A native of Brooklyn, Danny Camacho has been with New York City Transit (NYCT) and MTA for over 23 years. He currently serves as a manager in the Division of Business Programs, MTA Department of Diversity and Civil Rights. In this capacity, Mr. Camacho is responsible for the review and analysis of applications for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification and develops recommendations as to whether the applicants meet the federal regulatory requirements for DBE certification. He also assists with MTA’s D/M/WBE Outreach Program and other special business initiatives, as directed by the Department’s Chief Diversity Officer.
Mr. Camacho’s introduction to the D/M/WBE arena came in 1979, as a buyer for the Prudential Insurance Company. There were no specific mandates to attract MBEs and WBEs to Prudential at the time, except that it made good business sense to Prudential’s executive management. Mr. Camacho was asked to develop Prudential’s first MBE purchasing policy, requiring its buyers to make every effort to involve MBEs and WBEs in their purchasing activities.
In 1983, Mr. Camacho moved to NJ Transit as a contract manager, where he worked closely with NJ Transit’s Civil Rights staff in ensuring that D/M/WBEs were meaningfully involved in NJ Transit’s procurements. While at NJ Transit, Mr. Camacho helped found the New Jersey Chapter of COMTO (the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials) in 1984 and served as the chapter’s membership chairman. He remained active with COMTO, both locally and nationally, as he played a key role in developing the issues of the day relative to Hispanic and minority-owned businesses seeking business in the transportation and government sectors.
He started his career at the MTA in 1987 as a DBE Liaison Officer in New York City Transit’s recently formed Affirmative Action Department. It was then that Mr. Camacho decided that it was his mission to devote his support to the Hispanic and minority business community for the remainder of his career, regardless of where his career would take him. In 1991, he developed NYCT’s first D/M/WBE Outreach Program and became its Director. Shortly thereafter, he developed and implemented NYCT’s Reaching the Goal and Beyond the Goal series of workshops designed to provide technical assistance to the DBE and M/WBE communities. Also in 1991, Mr. Camacho was elected President of COMTO’s New York Chapter and, after one term, was elected to the national board of COMTO, as he continued his advocacy on behalf of Hispanic and minority-owned companies in the New York region. It was also at this time that he was elected President of the Hispanic Society of NYCT, a fraternal organization of NYCT that promotes cultural diversity and advocates for equitable treatment of Hispanic employees, customers and contractors of NYCT. He still serves in this capacity today.
Shortly thereafter, in 1993, he helped found The Competitive Edge, a multi-agency conference designed to provide technical assistance and networking opportunities for D/M/WBEs in New York State. In 2011, The Competitive Edge is entering its 18th year in existence, with the MTA remaining as one of its key participants.
After several years of inactivity with COMTO-NY, Mr. Camacho re-dedicated his commitment to the organization in 2007, upon election of its then President, Dwayne Sampson, and is proud to serve on its board as Vice President, Business Development. Since 2008, COMTO-NY has held several HUB Forums in the New York Metropolitan region. These are also designed to provide technical assistance and networking opportunities for the D/M/WBE community.
Mr. Camacho has always maintained that doing business with D/M/WBEs is good for business, not just because the federal and state governments have mandates to do so. He has also attempted to consistently develop new and creative approaches to increasing participation and capacity on the part of Hispanic and minority-owned businesses that do business with government.
An essential part of this development is listening to ideas provided by the businesses themselves and working within legal constraints toward realizing positive results for the minority communities.