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Featured NOAH Alumni


Executive Director, the Division of Minority and Women's Business Development

Dean E. Bennett joined Empire State Development (ESD) in 2011 as Executive Director of the Division for Minority and Women Business Development (DMWBD.)

As executive director of DMWBD, Mr. Bennett is responsible for the development of the statewide MWBE procurement policy as requested by Article 15A of the executive law and reflective of the Governor's objectives. His division's key objectives are to encourage and assist New York State agencies engaged in contracting activities to award a fair share of state contracts to MWBEs; to review applications submitted by businesses seeking MWBE certification; to maintain a directory of certified MWBEs to promote the business development of MWBEs through training and technical assistance, outreach efforts to state agencies and MWBEs; and to facilitate administrative adjudication of disputes related to Article 15A.

Prior to joining ESD, Dean was the President/CEO of J.K. Bennett and Associates, Inc. (JKB), a New York-based management consulting firm that specializes in business development, supplier diversity management, government relations and securing procurement opportunities in the public and private sector.

Before establishing his firm, Mr. Bennett served as Vice President of Business Development and Supplier Diversity Initiatives at AVournou Construction Mgt Group (AVCMG) on Long Island. At AVCMG, he was responsible for generating business opportunities and responding to government RFP/RFQs as well as privately funded projects.

Mr. Bennett also served as Director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Deputy Director for the Office of Minority Affairs for Nassau County, where he was charged with overseeing MWBE outreach and compliance for over 40 different government agencies in Nassau County. As part of these responsibilities, Dean served as project manager of the first Disparity Study in the history of the county.

Mr. Bennett has a Business Management/Economics degree from Hofstra University as well as a Masters of Science in Human Resources from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for East Woods School in Oyster Bay, Career Opportunities for Accounting Professionals and is a member of the Hofstra University Alumni Board.

Mr. Bennett resides in Baldwin, New York with his wife and two children.

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