New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce Honors La-Verna Fountain
On Friday, December 16, 2011, the New York Women's Chamber of Commerce (NYWCC) honored La-Verna Fountain, associate vice president of Construction Business Serves, at its annual New York Women of Excellence Awards Ceremony at Bridgewaters in lower Manhattan. With sweeping views of the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, the event honored New York women who have made a positive impact on society and have excelled in the areas of leadership, business, economic development and community services.
La-Verna was introduced by Quenia Abreu, President of the NYWCC and was honored for "administering the successful minority, women and local (MWL) construction management mentorship program. The program has successfully graduated more than 50 small and medium-sized MWL firms and spent more than $15 million in construction contracts with those firms for work at the University. Moving into its fourth year of operations, under La-Verna's leadership and working closely with New York City's Department of Small Business Services, the City has leveraged the Columbia model and expanded the program to include corporate giants Goldman Sachs, National Grid, Con Edison and BNY Mellon. During her acceptance speech, La-Verna thanked the many Facilities staff members who have dedicated their time and expertise to help make the Columbia MWL construction mentorship program a success and also acknowledged the MWL firms that participated in the program - many of whom were in attendance.
Other honorees included fellow MWL construction mentorship program partners New York City Department of Small Business Services and Claire Scanlon from BNY Mellon. Jessica Johnson, whose firm Johnson Security Bureau provides professional security services at Columbia, was also honored.
NYWCC is a member of the Columbia University Facilities MWL Advisory Council. NYWCC assists women and minorities achieve economic independence through business, microenterprise ownership and self-employment and recently announced the creation of "The New York Fund," which will provide opportunities for MWL firms to gain access to capital.