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My WBE certification has been DENIED as per a letter received April 10, 2023.  The Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development of the New York State Department of Economic Development has denied my certification after 30 years!  Apparently, I do not meet the eligibility criteria enumerated in Article 15A of the NYS Executive Law.  They claim that my resume, “is devoid of the expertise and experience needed to perform the core revenue generating function of the firm”.  They go on to say that “there is no indication that the owner (me)… performed any of the tasks that would be considered the critical function of the firm”.  Continuing to state, that “the woman relied upon for certification, has failed to demonstrate and possess adequate, industry-specific competence to make critical business decisions without relying upon other persons”.

I have been President, and sole officer of Rochester Rigging & Erectors, Inc. since 1990. I’ve devoted my career to this company and have never taken more than a week off in all that time.  I have managed this company’s growth over the 33 years to a 10M dollar firm with an A+ customer list and reputation.

I have continued to employ the best employees in the business and the keenest advisors to help me make the best decisions possible.  But this is “devoid of expertise and experience”!  I’m appalled, I’m angry and mostly I’m insulted.  As a woman, I feel I have just been discriminated against from a State agency that is mandated to propagate and prop up Woman Business Owners.  Is this just not the irony of it all? All I know is that I appealed this ruling to rectify this situation. I know what I have accomplished and I’m proud of my company and my people. We did it together! I will not allow the Department of Economic Development to tear down my career and my self-worth.

I’m sorry to all my customers. I have this certification for you. It has assisted you to meet ever increasing minority goals with a company you can depend on.  We sincerely appreciate your business, and we hope to continue to be your steel fabricator and erector of choice, regardless of what the State of New York thinks.