Garner Is MTA Diversity Chief

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[Business News]

Michael J. Garner has been appointed chief diversity officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the MTA announced today.

Previously he was Senior Director of Business Development at the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA).

In his new post, Garner is responsible for the development and expansion of Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs; MWBE/DBE Contract Integrity Monitoring functions; Title VI and Equal Employment Opportunity responsibilities; and other existing activities and functions of the Office of Civil Rights, the MTA said. He will report directly to MTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Elliot G. Sander.

"Michael has more than 20 years of experience in developing and creating business opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses to foster economic development and bring new jobs to New York," Sander said. "Tapping into this vast array of new and emerging entrepreneurs is critical to strengthening our economy as we compete in a truly global marketplace."

At the New York City School Construction Garner was responsible for the short and long term business development of qualified emerging Minority, Women-Owned and Locally Based Business Enterprises. The SCA created one of the most comprehensive small business development and inclusion programs in the nation including implementation of a Graduate Mentor Program; creation of a surety bonding program, which provided surety bonds to 22 MWLBEs totaling $56 million, under his watch.

He also oversaw the implementation of a small business loan program, that provided 44 small business loans to MWLBEs totaling $4 million and the implementation of an extensive construction and information technology training program tailored to the SCA's Construction Means and Methods.

"I am honored to join the MTA and play a key role in helping minority and women-owned businesses tap into new markets and meet their full potential," Garner said. "For the MTA, providing transportation as well as business development opportunities to the most diverse population in the world should go hand-in-hand."

Garner worked at the New York City Housing Authority, before his 15-year career at the SCA.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from the State University of New York at Buffalo and will soon hold a MBA degree from SUNY.

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