Safeena Leila Mecklai
Associate Vice President, Capalino+Company
Growing up as the child of immigrant small-business owners, Safeena Mecklai saw firsthand how much one family’s success can spark success for other members of a struggling community.
“When they do well, you tend to do well,” she says. “You have a mentality to bring people around you with you.”
So it’s clear to Mecklai just how much could be accomplished by bringing more city contracts into the hands of minority- and women-owned businesses, or MWBEs. By one count, only about 5 percent of the city’s contracts currently go to those communities. In her role as associate vice president at Capalino+Company, Mecklai spearheaded the creation of MWBE Connect NY, an app to make the city’s procurement process more accessible to MWBEs.
Between her professional background in political organizing and her family history, the project was a perfect fit. She also designs and implements corporate social responsibility initiatives for a number of the firm’s clients and for the firm itself.
“Equity … is not just about social services. It’s not just about programs,” she says. It “means making sure that the communities that are served by the city are also the communities that the city is buying from.”
Previously on Ismailimail…