On Wednesday, October 9, 2019, GBCA hosted Contractor Roundtable: A Conversation with MBE/WBE Contractors, as part of Philadelphia’s Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week. The event featured owners of MBE/WBE Certified contractors, who had a frank and meaningful conversation about being union contractors in the Philadelphia Region.
- Jewell Antoine-Johnson, President, Antoine Johnson LLC
- Kristin Smith, President, Smith Flooring, Inc.
- Ivan Watson, Chief Executive Officer, The Watson Organization
- Jameel Worthy, General Manager, Steadfast Entities LLC
Moderator: Emily Bittenbender, Managing Partner, Bittenbender Construction, LP
The conversation focused around issues of what it means to have the MBE/WBE/DBE Certification, doing business in Philadelphia’s construction industry, and challenges that are particular to MBE/WBE/DBE businesses and to union contractors. The panelists discussed their experiences working with owners and developers, with other contractors including associations such as GBCA, and with union halls and the workforce. Panelists also spoke about the challenges of being entrepreneurs and small business owners.
While there were differing experiences and opinions among the panelists and audience members, one main message was repeated from the panel:
Build strong relationships within and outside of your organization.