Judging Criteria for the
NYC Business Innovation Challenge

Our expert panel of judges will evaluate each entry for its unique ability to galvanize your workforce. Specifically that means your plan must improve the ability of your workforce to increase productivity, reduce costs and increase revenues, while elevating your workers’ skill sets, increasing their access to benefits or providing a clear path to higher wages and greater opportunities.


  • Will your plan be seen as an “Ah-ha!” moment in the world of workforce services and programs?
  • Will its ingenuity lie in the way it achieves the Win-Win of workforce and organization maximization?


  • Your plan must improve the skill sets and prospects of the workers with the most to gain in your company.
  • This improvement must strengthen your organization’s performance.
  • The more people in your organization who are positively affected, the better.

Sustainability & Scalability

  • Is your plan designed to do its job for years to come?
  • Can your plan scale up as your organization grows in size and scope of offerings?


  • Will your plan apply to different size organizations?
  • Is it relevant to businesses and non-profits?

The Judges

Selected from the uppermost tier of New York City’s leaders, our judges are experienced at building organizations.

They instinctively know that a great organization is the result of a great workforce. From large, for-profit enterprises to small non-profit and public sector entities.

  • Aliyyah Baylor

    Co-Owner, Make My Cake

    Heralded by President, Aliyyah Baylor, MAKE MY CAKE®, a third generation-owned bakery beloved by A-List celebrities and local tastemakers serves up decadent southern-style recipes prepared by using the secrets of heritage baking and a generous dash of love.

    The brands’ two retail locations in Harlem have caught the eye of the mainstream media, including the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Washington Post, New York Times Magazine and local television stations.

    Aliyyah, a board member of Citymeals-on-Wheels, credits her mother, Joann Baylor and her maternal grandmother, a southern matriarch lovingly known as “Ma Smith”, for training her in the craft, fostering her entrepreneurial spirit and respect for community.  Under the direction of Aliyyah Baylor, MAKE MY CAKE® serves bus-loads of discerning customers a day and boasts a celebrity clientele that includes Tina Fey and Whoopi Goldberg, blockbuster shows 30 Rock and Law & Order, as well as, power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

  • Carlo A. Scissura

    President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

    A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Carlo has been the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce since September 2012.  He lead's one of New York’s largest business advocacy and economic development organizations with over 1,000 members.  Prior to this, Carlo served as the Chief of Staff to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for five years.

    Carlo was appointed to the Community Education Council for District 20 in 2004, where he served as President and Chairman of the Legislative committee. During his time at the CEC, Carlo vigorously advocated for increased community and parental involvement, strengthened the cooperation among civic leaders and schools, and continued the relationships built during his years on the school board.

    Carlo has served on the boards of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and the Brooklyn Public Library.  He is also the Vice President of the Federation of Italian-American Organizations, where he has spearheaded the building of the new Italian Cultural and Community Center.  He is also the Master of Ceremonies for the Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade.  Carlo has received numerous honors and awards for his work in the community.

  • Laurice Arroyo

    Senior Counsel, National Grid

    Laurice Arroyo is Senior Counsel in the legal department at National Grid, where she manages all aspects of litigation matters involving the company’s gas and electric businesses in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She also currently serves by appointment on New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Workforce Investment Board.

    Before joining National Grid, Laurice clerked for James G. Carr, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, practiced as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's office in the Eastern District of New York and at a global law firm. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan Business School. 

    Laurice lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two children.

  • David Bolotsky

    Founder and CEO, UncommonGoods

    A native of NYC's Lower East Side, Dave first learned about retailing from his grandfather’s candy store on lower Broadway.  After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Binghamton University, where he managed the school's record store, he spent twelve years as a retail research analyst for Goldman Sachs.  Dave founded UncommonGoods in 1999, creating one of the first retail sites that featured the work of artists and independent designers, while also focusing on sustainability.  UncommonGoods is growing its warehouse, call center and offices in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  UncommonGoods has been a certified B Corporation since 2007 (www.bcorporation.net), was named to Internet Retailer's Hot 100 list in 2012 and Dave was invited to the White House to meet with President Obama last November.

  • Gregg Bishop

    Deputy Commissioner, Business Development Division

    As Deputy Commissioner of the Business Development Division, Gregg is responsible for NYC Business Solutions, Business Incentives, the Business Outreach Team, the Corporate Alliance Program, and the SBS Customer Service Center. These programs are designed to make it easier for businesses to start, operate, and expand in New York City.

    Gregg is also responsible for Compete to Win, a set of capacity building programs to help minority and women businesses compete for City contracts. The services in his portfolio include Bidding Technical Assistance, Bonding, the City’s first Construction Mentorship program, NYC Loan, and NYC Teaming.

    Gregg received his Masters in Integrated Marketing and Management Communication from The Florida State University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University. He has also studied International Management and Marketing in Tokyo, Japan and is a graduate of the Coro Foundation’s Leadership New York program.

  • Robert B. Harrison

    Chief Omnichannel Officer

    Robert B. (R.B.) Harrison, became Macy's chief omnichannel officer in January 2013 after serving since July 2012 as the company's executive vice president for omnichannel strategy. In addition to his role managing the development of strategies to closely integrate the company's stores, online and mobile activities, Harrison is responsible for the company's systems and technology, logistics and related operating functions. He previously was executive vice president for finance since 2011, president for stores since 2009 and president and chief operating officer of Macy's West since 2008. Harrison became president and chief operating officer of Macy's Northwest in February 2006 following Macy's, Inc.'s acquisition of May Company. Previously, he had been chairman of Robinsons-May since October 2004, having served as its senior vice president and chief financial officer since June 2002, as well as the senior vice president for finance of the Meier & Frank division before it was merged with Robinsons-May. Harrison began his career at Kaufmann's in 1986 as an accounting analyst and served in positions of increasing responsibility before becoming vice president and controller of Kaufmann's.

  • Jamie Dunchick

    Former Director for Impact Investing, Tides

    Jamie is a corporate social responsibility and philanthropic advisory professional with a track record of developing meaningful public-private partnerships and market-based solutions to local and global social challenges in both the nonprofit and private sectors.  Prior to Tides, Jamie worked in the Investment Bank and Corporate Social Responsibility offices at JPMorgan Chase.  Jamie earned her undergraduate degree and a Certificate in Justice and Peace Studies at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, and her MBA at the McDonough School of Business, both at Georgetown University.

  • Jeffrey Hollender

    Social Entrepreneur and Educator

    Jeffrey Hollender is a leading authority on corporate responsibility, sustainability and social equity. More than twenty years ago, he co-founded Seventh Generation and went on to build the fledgling company into a leading natural product brand known for its authenticity, transparency, and progressive business practices. Today, as a social entrepreneur, author, speaker, consultant, and activist, Jeffrey’s mission is to inspire and provoke business leaders to think differently about the role they and their companies play in society.

    Jeffrey is an Adjunct Professor for sustainability and social entrepreneurship at New York University; co-chair of Greenpeace US; a board member of Practice Green Health; Healthcare Without Harm; and Verité. He is also the co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council.