Expanded “Build It In DC” Conference Provides Exclusive Insights into How A Digital Transformation Can Deliver Better City Services to Support the District Economy

Conference Offers Inclusive Space for Residents, Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs to Connect and Discover Innovative Resources from Private and Public Sector Leaders

WASHINGTON, DC, April 25, 2019 – The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) will co-host the 5th annual “Build It In DC” conference on Tuesday, May 14 from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The half-day conference serves as one of the District’s strongest resources for those who want to gain access to public and private sector decision-makers who are leading the charge to create change in their respective industries. The reimagined conference will provide attendees with key insights on how a broader digital transformation and incorporation of technology can streamline both business and regulatory processes.

This year at Build It In DC, attendees can expect to learn about best-practices, innovative tools and measures the city is taking to deliver services more efficiently to help stakeholders build, grow and operate a business in the city.

“City services have a critical role in building sustainable communities and businesses. In an on-demand economy, customers are growing more accustomed to the delivery of efficient service at the touch of a button,” said Acting Director Ernest Chrappah. “Whether you are a resident, business or nonprofit organization, our primary goal is to deliver value for our customers and adapt to their needs.”

A key focal point of this year’s conference is an exclusive first-look at Vision 2020, a digital transformation, spearheaded by Acting Director Chrappah, geared toward enhanced transparency, responsiveness, heightened customer service and fundamental changes to regulatory and permitting processes; this includes how current-day best practices can be used to support businesses and government alike. Overall, this initiative reflects how city leaders are putting customers first to make it easier for them to build their homes or businesses in the District.

Also emphasized this year is the path toward a more sustainable business economy and the ways that different businesses can benefit from the “greening” of industries. As the city’s key agencies continue to implement sustainable practices, Build It In DC is pleased to feature a discussion focused on net-zero city projects, “Going, Going, Green: Building a Sustainable Future,” moderated by David Epley, Green Building and Sustainability Division Manager, DCRA. Panelists include Janice Lachance, EVP of Strategic & Organizational Excellence, American Geophysical Union; John Miller, Principal, Flywheel Development; and Andrea Swiatocha, Manager, Facilities Planning & Design, District of Columbia Public Schools. Panelists will delve into all aspects of what it means for the city to be net-zero in 2030 and explore how being socially responsible can increase a company’s bottom line to be financially viable.

“We have reimagined what Build It In DC can be by looking towards the future, and innovative measures the city is taking to improve processes that will ultimately benefit business owners, entrepreneurs and residents while ensuring that the District of Columbia’s economy remains competitive,” said Keith J. Sellars, President & CEO of WDCEP. “It is our goal to continue setting the standard for cities across the country, and frankly, the world.”

The conference will begin with a keynote address by Acting Director Chrappah, “Vision 2020: Roadmap To A Digital Transformation,” and will be followed by a series of fireside chats with leading industry experts to discuss their experiences and how innovative technologies can adapt for business and government.  There are three key breakout sessions led by the District’s top movers and shakers, with topics touching on a wide array of industries focusing on how businesses can utilize DCRA resources to grow businesses across all industries.

The interactive sessions will provide keen perspectives on DC’s future, offering attendees an opportunity to interact and ask questions to esteemed panelists on topics such as building a business and implementing sustainable practices in the community.

This year’s Build It In DC conference will feature the following lineup:

Build It In DC Featured Programming 

Opening Session:

  • Welcome Remarks – Keith Sellars, President & CEO, Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP)
  • Keynote Speaker – Ernest Chrappah, Acting Director, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA); Vision 2020: Roadmap To A Digital Transformation

Fast Facts: Fireside Chats With Industry Experts 

Acting Director Chrappah will lead a series of side-by-side conversations with leading industry experts to discuss their experiences, offering dialogue on how a digital transformation and innovative technology can adapt for business and government.

  • Streamlining Service: Digital Transformation for Better GovernmentWith the implementation of digital strategies and technology to streamline services and support customer engagement, DCRA is a catalyst for change. Find out how innovative applications such as CRM tools, on-demand resources and cloud integration, among others, can enhance both government processes and user experiences.
    • Julie McPherson, Senior Vice President, Digital, Analytics and Strategy Lead, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Innovative Digital Strategies to Eliminate Red Tape – With the implementation of digital strategies and on-demand technology to streamline services and customer engagement to support a mobile economy, learn how innovative on-demand services can enhance government processes including experiences, challenges and solutions working with local and federal public sector clients.  
    • Antwanye Ford, CEO & President, Enlightened, Inc.
  • Tackling Tech: Implementing New Technologies for the Public Sector Discover how technological transformation and innovation can be harnessed in the public sector to deliver services, improve efficiencies and amplify value to stakeholders. Learn how these improvements will elevate overall customer experience and responsiveness, focusing on digital strategies and technologies that streamline offerings and support customer engagement.
    • Wolf Ruzicka, Chairman of the Board, EastBanc Technologies
  • Customer Relationship Management: Bringing DC to its BestHear about how private sector best practices can be applied to government. Learn from a CRM expert on working with the government in the past to achieve an amplified level of customer service response and what challenges, successes and lessons are to be learned.
    • Speaker to be announced
  • User Experience: What Can Government Do For You?Identify approaches around how government services are being delivered and ways to add value so customers will benefit. This will be a discussion around what is “most” important and how account management tools have been successfully implemented and applied to government services, what better customer experience means, and how these leaders are evaluating what approach to take.
    • Speaker to be announced

Breakout Sessions:

  • Track 1: Determination in the District: Building a Thriving Business The District is the number one city for entrepreneurial talent. Business leaders from diverse industries share their personal experiences on starting and scaling a thriving business in the city, including their invaluable advice from personal triumphs and tribulations.
    • Maria Patricia Corrales, President, Fiesta DC
    • Brandon Ellis, CEO & Founder, Ghost Note Agency
    • Amelia Friedman, Co-Founder & Advisor, HatchApps
    • Kia Weatherspoon, President, Determined by Design
      • Moderator: Ahmad Ashkar, Founder, Falafel Inc
  • Track 2: Invest in Local: Building A Vibrant Community – Creating a strong community goes beyond the built environment. Residents, business owners and philanthropic organizations converge in a variety of ways to enhance the triple bottom line; socially, environmentally and financially. Local leaders discuss what it takes to build community and continue elevating DC’s vibrant neighborhoods and economy.
    • Alex Cohen, Founder, TwentyTables
    • Sheldon Scott, Director of Culture, Eaton Workshop DC
    • Naseema Shafi, CEO, Whitman-Walker Health
      • Moderator: Michael Akin, President, LINK Strategic 
  • Track 3: Going, Going, Green: Building a Sustainable Future Washington, DC aims to become a net-zero city by 2030. Explore what this means for your business through an in-depth conversation around sustainability, green building, and resiliency. Gain expert insights from key city projects to explore ways to benefit from the “green-boom” and ways that social responsibility can be financially viable.
    • Janice Lachance, EVP of Strategic & Organizational Excellence, American Geophysical Union
    • John Miller, Principal, Flywheel Development
    • Andrea Swiatocha, Manager, Facilities Planning & Design, District of Columbia Public Schools
      • Moderator: David Epley, Green Building & Sustainability Division Manager, DCRA


About Build It In DC

Build It In DC is a half-day conference that exists to inspire, inform, and connect the contractor and building improvement industry to resources including access to permitting and regulatory information directly from industry leaders. For updates and more information on programming at Build It In DC, visit www.builditindc.com.  For media inquiries, please contact Giselle-Marie Roig at giselle@thebrandguild.com or 202.733.5223 or Devin Zitelman at dzitelman@wdcep.com or 202.661.8679.

About The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)

DCRA is responsible for regulating construction and business activity in the District of Columbia. The agency operates a consolidated permit intake center, as well as reviews construction documents to ensure compliance with building codes and zoning regulations. Construction activity, buildings and rental housing establishments are inspected and housing code violations are abated, if necessary. To protect consumers, DCRA issues business licenses, professional licenses, registers corporations, inspects weighing and measuring devices used for monetary profit and issues special events permits.

About Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP)

The Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) is a non-profit, public-private organization that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports business and promotes Washington, DC as a leading global city. Our mission is to promote DC’s economic and business opportunities and support business retention and attraction activities. Our partners including private companies and public-sector organizations give us access to a variety of resources including signature, award-winning publications, program, activities and site location assistance.

Follow Washington DC Economic Partnership on Twitter (www.twitter.com/wdcep) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/wdcep).




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