Celebrating Hispanic American Heritage & Energy Awareness Month – Oct 13, 2023

The Caribbean American Society of New York (CASONY) and Friends, on Oct 13, 2023 are hosting a network and energy information event from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the Center For Fiction in Brooklyn, NY.

Our featured speaker, New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker will be delivering an address on the importance of leadership and workforce development in the Energy industry.

At this event we will recognize the board of the National Dominican Day Parade for their tremendous efforts and work to promote and support the Dominican community. Additionally, we will have a panel discussion on workforce development in the energy Industry related to New York City. 

Domincan Day Parade Logo_1

RSVP for the Oct 13 Networking Event

Our Energy Industry Panelists

Hon. Kevin S. Parker
New York State Senator, Dist 21, Chairman of Committee on Energy and Telecommunications

State Senator Kevin S. Parker is committed to restoring the overall quality of life for the constituents of the 21st Senatorial District in Brooklyn. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Senator Parker has been a Flatbush resident for more than 31 years — nurtured, educated, and employed in the borough. Senator Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of the 21st District, which consists of many diverse communities: Flatbush, East Flatbush, Kensington, Ditmas Park, Midwood, Flatlands, Canarsie, Georgetown, Old Mill Basin, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach and Marine Park. 

Elected to the New York State Senate in 2002, Senator Parker’s professional background reflects a wide range of public service and an unwavering commitment to a better New York. As Project Manager with the New York State Urban Development Corporation, Senator Parker financed minority and women owned businesses and promoted community business redevelopment. 

In addition to becoming a prestigious fellow, he was one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the country to receive a Toll Fellowship from the Council of State Government. In 2005, he participated in intensive government course work with professionals of various fields from around the country at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

His commitment to education has taken him into the classroom as a professor of both African-American Studies and Political Science at several colleges, including: CUNYs: Baruch College, John Jay College, Medgar Evers College, City College; SUNY, Old Westbury; and Long Island University. Brooklyn College is where Senator Parker teaches a majority of his classes and is a faculty advisor to student organizations and activities. The Senator is currently an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College’s Center for Worker Education. At Penn State (where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Service), Senator Parker organized students for racial justice and encouraged diversity at the University. He holds a Master’s of Science Degree from the New School for Social Research in Urban Policy and Management and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Political Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He is also a member of the Alpha Chapter of the Pi Eta Honor Society.

Roman Jackson
JobsFirstNYC, Vice President, Community & Policy Solutions

Roman V. Jackson is JobsFirstNYC’s Vice President. In this role, Roman leads the organization’s community and policy solutions work, where he focuses on identifying, designing and advancing practices and policies that achieve better outcomes for young adults.

Before joining the JobsFirstNYC team, he worked at JPMorgan Chase as a program officer for its Private Foundation Services team, where he engaged with over 60 foundations and worked closely with trust officers, trustees, and grants managers to manage the day-to-day operations of grantmaking, including making grantmaking decisions. Before joining JPMorgan Chase, Roman worked for six years at the Annenberg Foundation. There, he managed various aspects of the Annenberg Alchemy Leadership Seminars for nonprofit executive directors and board members and served as a grantmaker in the Community Grantmaking Program.

He also worked at the Harlem Children’s Zone, where he served in various roles, including multimedia arts instructor and research assistant to the director of education and quality control.

He serves on the board of Broadway Housing Communities, where he is also chair of the Development and Marketing Committee. Roman holds a bachelor’s degree in government and legal studies from Bowdoin College.

Carlos Bannister
NYC DOT, Senior Deputy Chief Contracting Officer / Chief Contracting Diversity Officer

Carlos Bannister joined NYC DOT in March 1999 as an Intern in the Agency Chief Contracting Office where he has risen to the rank of Senior Deputy Agency Chief Contracting Officer and now the Agency Contract Diversity Officer / Chief MWBE Officer. He oversees the Vendor Relations and Contracts Compliance Units.

Under his oversight, he advises the Agency in making award determinations, enforces contract compliance and manages the Agency Disadvantage Business Enterprise & Minority Women Business Enterprise programs. He is very passionate and committed to promote equitable contracting and procurement opportunities. He strives to give all business, including Disadvantaged / Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises an equal opportunity to compete for contracting opportunities.

In his efforts to provide more opportunities to Disadvantaged / Minority and Women Owned Business he has looked for opportunities for the agency to de-bundle large contracts, work with Senior management to change policies and procedures that have or can potential hinder opportunities for Disadvantaged / Minority and Women Owned Businesses.

He believes the Best is yet to come for NYCDOT Disadvantaged/Minority and Women Owned Business (D/MWBE) program as they continue this push for more opportunities for D/MWBE’s and equity in government contracting.

Renee McClure
National Grid, Director of Community and Customer Management

A native New Yorker, Renee was born and raised on Long Island. Her foundation being built on church and family life. She received a BS in Computer Science from NY Institute of Technology and a Masters in the Ministry from California School of Ministry (Summa Cum Laude).

She started out at an early age with a goal in mind, to own her own company. At the age of 13 she started her first business selling terrariums. Her entrepreneurial spirit has continued with various ongoing initiatives.

An employee of National Grid for over 34 years, her expertise lies within IT and Community engagement. The foundation of technological skills and passion for the community has provided a win-win combination. Renee currently is the Director of Community and Customer Management.

Currently she is the Community Chairperson of Alliance of Black Professional (ABP) at National Grid, and Co-Chair of the MWBE Committee and Executive Board member for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, executive board member of Weeksville Heritage Center, executive team member of the NY chapter of American Blacks in Energy (AABE), board member of HeartShare and a member of Women in Energy and Communications (WICE).

Aleida Pérez, Ph.D. 
Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Office of Educational Programs, Manager, University Relations and DOE Programs

Dr. Aleida Perez is the Manager, University Relations and DOE Programs for Brookhaven National Laboratory’s (BNL) Office of Educational Programs (OEP).  Before joining BNL, Dr. Perez was a research scientist in the biopharmaceutical industry and an educator in higher education.  Dr. Perez has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico-Cayey and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Michigan.

She has a strong background in virology and molecular biology research.  As a researcher, Dr. Perez worked in the field of oncolytic viruses and gene therapy.  In 2007, she left a successful industry career to pursue her passion for education, focusing on underserved communities. She also oversees the High School Research (HSRP) and community research programs.   Through these programs, Dr. Perez is actively developing authentic educational research programs for students and educators, enabling their access to BNL user facilities and scientific staff and supporting the integration of classroom curriculum and real-life applications. She also collaborates with Cold Spring Harbor DNA Learning Center in the Barcode Long Island Project.

Dr. Perez was a Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientist (WDTS) program participant herself, as an undergraduate at both Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories





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