A message from the NASPO President

Fellow NASPO members, 

As my presidential tenure draws to a close, I am filled with great excitement and anticipation of what the future holds for our organization. While concluding this chapter in my professional life is bittersweet, I have confidence that I am leaving our association in the very capable hands of your incoming President Michael Jones, who is an excellent leader. In addition, he will be ably assisted by a fabulous Board of Directors.

While reflecting upon all NASPO has accomplished in 2017, I am amazed at what a truly exceptional year it has been in the life of our association.

In March 2017, NASPO hosted its first-ever Academic Forum at Arizona State University, providing a unique venue to foster dialogue between practitioners and academia. Eight academic partners and more than 35 states were represented at this event, bringing together state procurement officials, academics and current university students. Building upon the success of last year's event, NASPO will join forces with another of our academic partners, Michigan State University (MSU), to host the second annual Academic Forum in April 2018 on the beautiful campus of MSU.

As an outgrowth of our blossoming collaboration with the academic community, NASPO began attending college career fairs in an effort to attract new talent to the field of public procurement. The Board also approved a scholarship initiative and the creation of an internship program to attract emerging talent interested in pursuing a career in public procurement.

In addition to our growing academic alliances, NASPO continues to enjoy productive stakeholder engagement opportunities with our strategic partners.

In August, NASPO and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) continued our collaboration on IT procurement by co-hosting a workshop in Pittsburgh. Together, CIOs and CPOs representing 14 states hammered out 18 recommendations on IT negotiations and outlined detailed strategies for implementation.

As part of an ongoing effort to promote a deeper understanding of procurement and administrative functions in state procurement, NASPO and the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) held a joint Roundtable on Procurement Leadership in Atlanta, October 10-11. This event attracted tremendous participation as 67 CPOs and CAs representing 34 states attended the 1½ day event.

Through these various outreach and engagement opportunities, NASPO made some significant strides in the areas of professional development, as well as the strengthening of both our academic and strategic partnerships, all of which support NASPO's mission of helping members achieve success as public procurement leaders in their states.

In 2017, the NASPO Board took significant steps toward establishing greater independence and member ownership of our association. In the Spring, the Board announced the hiring of its first-ever Chief Learning Officer, Dianne Lancaster, who became the first NASPO employee to report directly to the Board of Directors. In July, the Board announced the selection of Lindle Hatton as Chief Executive Officer of NASPO, another first for our association. In October, Lindle announced the hiring of two very capable new additions to the NASPO Executive Staff; Jennifer Salts, NASPO's Chief Administrative Officer, and Susan Gonzalez, NASPO's Director of Business Operations. These individuals will soon be joined by a new Technology Director or CIO.

During the 2017 NASPO Annual Conference in Atlanta, the Board of Directors also approved significant revisions to next year's workplan with AMR Management Services. Beginning in January 2018, AMR will continue to provide its expertise for the planning and execution of NASPO conferences and events, which greatly benefit our members through a matrix of educational programs and networking opportunities. For many years, AMR has managed the planning and coordination of these large events, and the Board is pleased that they have committed to do so again in 2018. Additionally, AMR will continue to provide some administrative support, including, as requested or required by the Board: member services; member engagement; strategic planning; and other vital services.

Beginning in January 2018, NASPO will internalize many of the other programs and services currently administered by AMR staff. Employment offers were extended to many of the talented AMR staff who support NASPO's Research, Procurement U, Communications and External Relations. I am pleased to announce that nine staff members will join Lindle and the rest of the NASPO executive team beginning January 1, 2018. Those individuals are: Jack Branum, Jordan Henson, Olivia Hook, Jill Midkiff, Kevin Minor, Elena Moreland, Matt Oyer, Megan Smyth and Alex Wilcox.

These future NASPO employees will ultimately report to the Board through the NASPO executive team, and will work closely with the staff employed by AMR Management Services, as AMR continues to support the work of NASPO. The NASPO Headquarters will continue in Lexington, but a final domicile has not been finalized. This housing decision will lend support to our continued work with AMR, as well as maintain proximity to our many strategic partners.

This is indeed a new chapter for our association, but one whose time has come. NASPO will continue its ongoing effort to elevate public procurement as an elite profession, while also seeking to attract a skilled workforce for the future. Further, we will continue our partnering outreach to other organizations. These four pillars: Professional Development; Education; Development of Strategic Partnerships; and Internalization of NASPO's core functions, have been my pledge as your president and my resolve to these commitments remain absolute. In my new role as your immediate past president, in addition to the foregoing, one of my primary goals will be to continue to provide steady leadership and direction during this time of transition.

As NASPO concludes a yearlong commemoration of its 70th anniversary, the time is ripe for our association to capitalize on this opportunity to own its future. We are witnesses to the beginning of what I anticipate will be the most exciting time in the history of our association. I hope you agree.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

With every best wish,

Larry Maxwell

Setting the Vision for 2018:  Incoming Leaders Meeting

NASPO's 2018 President Michael Jones hosted key Board, Regional and Committee leaders in his home state of Alabama, December 7-8, for the Incoming Leader's Meeting. Participants joined together to establish their shared vision for the organization in the coming year, one which reflects a renewed dedication to NASPO's mission, openness and transparency in the activities of the organization, and responsiveness to the needs of all NASPO members.

The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Russ Cargo, an expert in board and organizational leadership, who has consulted with nonprofit organizations and associations across the country. Dr. Cargo reminded NASPO leaders of the great responsibility they hold and helped articulate the importance policy compliance, effective budgeting, leadership and communications in helping the organization achieve its mission.

NASPO le aders discussed the need for effective measurement of board and organizational performance, how best to update policies to reflect good governance, activities that can be taken to ensure NASPO remains a mission-driven organization and how the transition of leadership to internalized staff will impact the organization in the coming year. If the in-depth, thoughtful conversations were any indication, NASPO is in for another great year in 2018!
NASPO State Procurement Law Institute
An Inter-State Exchange of Information for Supporting State Central Procurement 

NASPO wrapped up the 2017 programming year with the State Procurement Law Institute, held December 3 - 5 in Seattle, Washington. Ninety state representatives, representing 44 states and the District of Columbia met at the fourth Law Institute to further their knowledge of legal issues impacting state central procurement. 

The conference kicked off with an opening session highlighting the role human behavior plays in the legal field and continued with two engaging days of panel-led discussion on important issues such as Technology Procurement, Contract Management and Model Procurement Code. Attendees were invited to take part in interactive sessions on emerging issues through roundtable discussions on topics, like Click-Wrap/Browse Wrap Agreements and Cybersecurity. The interactive sessions provided networking opportunities among attendees, like a state Ts & Cs Swap and a group problem solving exercise featuring Liability in Contracts. Attendees gained new approaches to help resolve issues in their own states through connecting with their peers on common problems shared among in states. 
Best Practices Webinar
Calculating the Value of Buying Green

Thank you for attending the Best Practices Webinar: Calculating the Value of Buying Green, showcasing three examples of benefits calculation tools: Waste Reduction Model (EPA); Cool Climate Calculator (University of California, Berkeley); and Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator (EPA)!

Click the link to view the webinar recording .
Procurement U on the Road
NASPO's Learning Manager, Matt Oyer recently traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to present at the NC Division of Purchase & Contract Procurement Conference. The conference included over 400 procurement professionals from North Carolina state agencies, community colleges, universities, public schools, cities, towns and municipalities. 

Oyer's presentation entitled "BECOMING THE WORKFORCE OF THE FUTURE: WHAT CAN NASPO DO FOR YOU?" included an interactive discussion around the importance of professional development and the resources available through NASPO. Attendees were able to learn about what NASPO offers to both members and non-members. This included a preview of several Procurement U courses and a discussion of NASPO's MOU with North Carolina State University(NCSU). This relationship with NCSU is part of Procurement U's ongoing initiative to build mutually beneficial partnerships with higher education institutions.

Procurement U Learning Management System Transition
The Procurement U team is excited to announce that the new Procurement U Learning Management System (LMS) will launch on Monday, January 8, 2018. All new course registrations and new user accounts will take place in this new site starting on January 8.
If you have any courses in-progress, the deadline to finish those courses in the old LMS is Friday, January 26 in order to receive full credit for your work. Any courses not completed in the old LMS will be carried over as an "in progress" course in the new LMS. All course transcript information will transfer over to the new LMS, so you won't lose any course completion history.

The Procurement U team will host webinars on the following dates to provide members an overview of the new LMS:
  • January 8 at 1:00 pm EST
  • January 16 at 1:00 pm EST
Below is the connection information for these webinars:

Conference Number(s): US (Toll Free): 1-877-860-3058
Participant Code: 2010109176
Web link: https://amrms.adobeconnect.com/r7zvtxhuynz

Stay tuned to your email and NASPO community announcements for more information about this transition. 

Happy Holidays from NASPO ValuePoint
Happy Holidays from NASPO ValuePoint Supplier Partners

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.