Elizabeth Velez is the President of the Velez Organization, a second generation construction firm started in 1972 by her father, Andrew Velez. Ms. Velez has successfully earned a position as one of the integral principals of Velez Organization, as well as a supporter and leader of diversity and business issues facing the construction industry.
To her credit are hundreds of projects which have come to fruition under her direction, including over 600 units of housing made affordable by State and Federal grants in the Bronx and Harlem, and over two billion dollars of significant educational, healthcare and large-scale projects throughout New York City's five boroughs.
In addition to project involvement and corporate responsibilities, Ms. Velez is a staunch advocate for diversity in procurement and employment. She is a sought after speaker on construction industry issues, minority and women business development, and the diversification of corporate America, and the trades. She co-chaired a seminar on Women Entrepreneurship for the New York State Assembly, and the New York Construction News, Bronx Life, The Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, El Diario La Prensa, Hispanic Business, ENR and Crain’s New York Business have published interviews with Ms. Velez. She was interviewed by ABC television’s “Tiempo” show as an industry leader, and has appeared on several occasions on NY1; most recently on NY1's “Inside City Hall” to discuss the importance of effective NYS policies and budget.
Ms. Velez is Chair Emeritus of the New York Building Congress, and serves as Co-Chair of the NYC Mentorship Advisory Board, is a member of the diversity advisory boards for NYS Department of Transportation, NYC Small Business Services, NYC School Construction Authority, NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection, Chairs the Latino Builders Council and serves on the Board(s) of the Association of Minority Enterprises of NY, ACE Mentor NY, the NY Building Congress and the Women Builders Council. She is on the Board of Trustees of Boricua College. On the international front, Ms. Velez is Co-Chair of Iran 180 – an organization that advocates for human rights and the end of the threat of nuclear arms proliferation in Iran.
Ms. Velez was honored by the Professional Women in Construction at their “Meet the Construction Chiefs” event, was a panelist at ENR’s “Groundbreaking Women in Construction” event, and has participated in many discussions on the significance of diversity in the workplace alongside such distinguished panelists as the Rev. Al Sharpton. In April 2013, she was invited to the White House for a “Women in Transportation” R o u n d t a b l e Forum with Secretary of Transportation LaHood, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sebelius and Senior Advisors to President Obama. A recognized advocate and spokesperson on diversity and construction industry issues, Ms. Velez was the keynote speaker at the launch of the Global Women’s Network for Skanska – one of the top ten construction and engineering firms in the world, and was a panelist at the Women Construction Owners and Executives 2013 “Women Build America” National Conference in Washington DC. Among her most memorable experiences in 2013 was participating in the ringing of the NASDAQ closing bell with the U.S. Hispanic Advocacy Association, and traveling to Israel on a JCRC-NY peace and education mission with other community leaders from New York.