Elizabeth Velez spearheads strategic growth and project diversification for the 50-year-old Velez Organization as President and principal, ensuring that the second-generation construction services firm is one of the longest established and successful in the region. 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 ten billion dollars of significant educational, healthcare, and large-scale projects throughout New York.
Today, Ms. Velez is leading the Velez Organization to increasing prominence as the choice builder, construction manager, diversity, equity and inclusion and mentoring partner in New York and beyond. She is a sought-after advocate by numerous public and private institutions on economic development, legislative issues, and the building industry.
Ms. Velez was appointed in 2022 by Governor Kathy Hochul to the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – the largest public transportation network in North America. In July 2022, Ms. Velez was joined the MTA Traffic Review Board – a six-member panel to determine the city’s congestion pricing toll. She served until 2021 as Commissioner of the NYC Property Tax Reform Commission, which produced public inclusive recommendations to create transparency and equity in the NYC tax system. From 2020 to 2021, she served for both NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio and NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo on the COVID pandemic advisory and recovery boards, and for the latter, the NYS Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery & Rebuilding Committee, and the NY Memorial Commission for Hurricane Maria. In her advocacy role for the design and building industry of New York, Ms. Velez was Chair of the New York Building Congress, the preeminent A/E/C industry group – the first person of color and only the second woman to serve in that role in the NYBC’s 100-year history. During her 2020 – 2021 tenure, she provided leadership and direction to the industry during the COVID pandemic, spearheaded the Equity and Inclusion Task Force and Council, and celebrated the Centennial of the organization, including a book, a documentary, several industry symposiums, and the most successful gala in the NYBC history. She continues in a leadership role with the NYBC as the newly created Chair of the NYBC Council of Presidents.
Ms. Velez is a proud cheerleader and supporter for New York, as demonstrated by her many philanthropic, professional, and civic affiliations. She serves as Trustee for the New York City Police Foundation, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, and Boricua College – one of the few Latino schools of higher education in the area. She is on the Board of Non-Traditional Employment for Women (NEW), supporting workforce development and employment for women in the construction trades. With a focus on youth development, she serves on the Board(s) of Youthbridge, and ACE Mentor- NY. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for her Alma Mater – the Hofstra University School of Business.
She is a regular contributor to media outlets such as MSNBC, Morning Joe, and Matter of Fact TV with Soledad O’Brien, Commercial Observer, Fox News Latino, The Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, El Diario La Prensa, Hispanic Business, ENR, City & State, DowntownNY and Crain’s New York Business. She is an outspoken advocate and sought-after speaker for diversity, leadership, and the building industry. In addition to numerous awards and recognition, Ms. Velez was recognized by City & State as one of the “Manhattan Power 50” for 2021 -2019, “Construction Industry Power 50”, “Responsible 100”, “Diversity Advocacy 100”. Crains NY Business honored her as 2021 “Board Hero of Diversity & Inclusion”, and she was featured in their “Asked & Answered” feature pertaining to NYC’s post-pandemic economic rebound. Ms. Velez is a graduate of Hofstra University, achieving both her Bachelors and Masters of Business Administration.