Learning, Networking and Partnering Center Stage at NASPO Exchange

More than 550 state procurement pro fessionals, suppliers, small business leaders and government stakeholders convened in St. Louis, Missouri, March 12-14 for the 2017 NASPO Exchange. Participants took full advantage of the revitalized and enhanced opportunities to learn about effective state procurement practices, network and develop partnership opportunities for state initiatives. 

The One-on-One meetings between state procurement professionals and supplier or vendor representatives remain the  most valuable and visible feature of the NASPO Exchange. By spending almost half of the conference in formal, pre-scheduled One-on-One meetings, participants maximized their investment by focusing on the contract and business needs of individual states. This aspect of the conference has always formed the foundation for networking and information-sharing, and 2017 was no exception. 

Participants found enhanced educational and learning opportunities as well, each emphasizing the peer-to-peer engagement so valuable to the conference experience. Interactive education sessions allowed participants to share the frustrations and pet peeves of the state-supplier relationship through small group discussion. Then, instead of letting those frustrations go unheard, a panel addressed them head-on, looking for creative ways to address the challenges inherent in the relationship between state government and the supplier community.

The Exchange also introduced an inventive way to allow supplier participants to ask questions of state members in attendance. The "snowball fight" format used written questions - with the paper formed into a ball and thrown in for consideration - to allow states to address supplier questions and concerns with an added layer of anonymity. Participants had fun, relating to one another in a new and different way while also getting the valuable info they need to be successful.

Another great example of the spirit of Exchange was reflected in the NASPO Cares Service Project. Partnering with fellow participants takes on a whole new meaning when it means contributing to the growth and development of the local community. With the help of the United Way of St. Louis participants put together 400 "reading buddy" packs that included stuffed animals (hand-stuffed on-site!), books and healthy snacks. However, this service activity was not included solely because of its value to the organizations served. It also directly tied into the relationship building goal of the conference. The project connected participants on a foundational human level, working together for the benefit of something larger than any one interaction, one contract or one business.

Not a moment was wasted during the 2017 NASPO Exchange, with each aspect of the conference experience incorporated to support participants building in relationships and connecting with one another. We look forward to seeing you at next year's Exchange in New York City, March 18-20, 2018! 
Attracting & Educating the Workforce of the Future
The inaugural Academic Forum, co-hosted by Arizona
State University's Department of Supply Chain Management, brought together state procurement professionals, academic partners and students to discuss challenges in the attraction and retention of qualified talent in state procurement. Sessions included panels featuring the student perspective of what the future workforce is looking for in an employer, ideas for setting up internship programs and a discussion on developing academic programs in public and non-profit procurement, among others. Twenty-nine states and nine academic partner schools participated in discussions on how to best develop the current and up-and-coming state procurement workforce. Coming soon - a summary document of the key takeaways and links to resources will be available in the coming weeks.
Member Reimbursements
Important Reminders! 
Per the NASPO Travel Policy
  • Reimbursement of expenses must be requested within two weeks after they are incurred.
  • Itemized receipts are required to document expenses, or state per diem rates may be applied.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited from requests, and should be removed.
  • The signature of the traveler and the NASPO primary member for the state are required.
  • Personal items are prohibited from reimbursements (e.g., gum, newspapers, toiletries, etc.)
For more information, forms and policies, 
please visit the Reimbursement Resource Page

Cronin Nominations Now Being Accepted  
Be a part of the exciting 40th Anniversary celebration  of the awards

NASPO wants to give your state the national recognition it deserves through the George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence. 

Nominations for the 2017 Awards are now being accepted and we want to encourage every state to consider a nomination, not only for a chance to be recognized, but also as an exciting way to share ideas and innovative solutions among the states.

The top five finalists will be invited to participate in Annual Conference, September 10 -13 in Tampa, Florida to present on behalf of their state. 

The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, July 14th. More information, including the submission guidelines, a submission template and the nomination form can be found online.

Please direct questions regarding the Cronin Awards to Jordan Henson.

NASPO, NIGP, UPPCC Hold Joint Meeting at Exchange
Recognizing the importance of NASPO's co-founding and continued support of the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC), the leadership of NASPO, the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) and UPPCC gathered in St. Louis on Saturday, March 11, prior to the commencement of the 2017 NASPO Exchange.

NASPO and NIGP jointly founded the UPPCC in 1978 as an independent credentialing body, which issues the popular Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) credentials. Both associations continue to advocate for CPPO/CPPB certification as an important professional development opportunity and mark of distinction for government procurement professionals.

NASPO President Larry Maxwell of New Mexico welcomed NIGP and UPPCC and noted his focus on collaboration as a vital directive for NASPO, before beginning a dialogue focused on the strategic initiatives of the three organizations and how they intersect. Leadership of NASPO, NIGP and UPPCC also discussed opportunities to build upon and sustain the certification program, with the goal of ensuring a shared vision for how CPPO and CPPB can continue to thrive in the years ahead.

Continuing the dialogue, the NASPO and NIGP leadership gathered together once again the next morning to discuss other potential opportunities for collaboration between the associations.
Support Green Purchasing Initiatives in your State!
In case you missed the release of the Green Purchasing Technical Assistance Funds (GPTAF), NASPO will continue to support state green purchasing initiatives in 2017.

The total amount available to each state is $10,000. Get your application in by October 1st
Send your state application, reimbursement requests for approved applications, or any questions to  GreenFunds@naspo.org.

The 2017 GPTAF Policy, Application Form, and Reimbursement Form are available in Member Central  on the NASPO Network. Please review the GPTAF Policy before submitting your state's application. Reimbursement requests for all approved projects should be submitted no later than December 8, 2017.
Thank you for your interest in green purchasing! We are excited to support your state green purchasing initiatives.
State Training Coordinators Conference
Join Procurement U for the second annual State Training Coordinator Conference!

Who should attend this conference? Staff members from the state central procurement office who are tasked with oversight and/or the delivery of professional development for central procurement staff, as well as the staff who coordinate procurement training for external agencies. NASPO will provide free registration and cover all travel expenses for up to two NASPO members from each state to attend. 

What are some of the conference session topics?
Topics will include eLearning, Instructional Methodologies, Assessment of Learning, Partnering with Higher Ed and SME Management & Expectations just to name a few. If your interest is piqued, you should definitely make plans to attend as many additional valuable sessions have also planned. 

When is the conference? July 14-16, 2017 

Where is the conference located? Asheville, NC at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel

Interested yet? Please mark your calendars for this exciting conference, we would love to have you! If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us 
Did you know 2017 marks NASPO's 70th anniversary? More details on how we'll celebrate this milestone coming soon.

NASPO's mission is to help our members achieve success as public procurement leaders in their states through promotion of best practices, education, professional development, research, and innovative procurement strategies.