Greetings Fellow NASPO Members,

In just a few short days, NASPO will embark on a new chapter as our friend and former colleague, Dianne Lancaster of Oregon, assumes her new role as NASPO's first Chief Learning Officer (CLO). As the new CLO, Dianne will be the first NASPO employee to report directly to the Board of Directors. She will direct all efforts associated with Procurement U that include professional development, certification, training and higher education.

Interest in t his position was high, with more than 500 applicants responding to the challenge of overseeing the massive and critical initiative that is NASPO's Procurement U. In a field of many truly excellent candidates, Dianne's experience as Professional Development Committee Chair, years of procurement expertise, as well as active teaching of procurement in a higher education setting made her stand out from the rest of the crowd. We are fortunate to have her and look forward to the outstanding leadership she will provide for all of NASPO's educational initiatives.

As we prepare to welcome Dianne to her new role, we anticipate she will soon be joined by NASPO's first-ever Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who will provide the strategic vision and leadership for the future of NASPO.

The CEO will be instrumental in keeping pace with the increasing demands resulting from NASPO's growth while advancing strategic opportunities for engagement and promotion of the public procurement profession.  The current demands on our volunteer Board exceed their time availability and we have resolved to recruit for the CEO position. The CEO opportunity was posted early in May and applications will be received through June 9. Like the new CLO, the CEO will report directly to the Board and will work closely with the outstanding NASPO staff employed by AMR Management Services, with whom NASPO will continue its long-standing affiliation.   

The addition of these two new positions is timely, as NASPO continues its ongoing efforts to elevate public procurement as an elite profession, while also seeking to attract a skilled workforce for the future.

In March, NASPO and its higher-education partner, Arizona State University, held the first-ever Academic Forum in Tempe, Arizona. This event brought together industry practitioners and nationally ranked university supply chain management academicians for a discussion on the challenges and trends in the current landscape of public procurement. The response to this initial offering was outstanding and NASPO is already planning next year's event, which is tentatively scheduled for April 11-13, 2018, at Michigan State University. In addition to Arizona State and Michigan State, NASPO is pleased to count Penn State, Oregon State, North Carolina State, State University of New York, Chemekta Community College and others among its valued higher-education partners, while continuing to explore other higher-education partnerships that will help elevate the profession of public procurement as a potential career path for college students.

I am also happy to report that our strategic partnership outreach efforts, particularly with NASCA,  NCMA, NIGP, NASCIO and NASFA, among others, has continued to grow during my tenure as your President. I am excited about the prospect for further development on many of our associations' shared initiatives, goals and objectives as a result of these ongoing efforts.

As NASPO celebrates its 70th anniversary, I believe we are beginning the most exciting time in the history of our association. I hope you agree.

Larry Maxwell, NASPO President
State of New Mexico
NASPO celebrates 70 years! Click on the banner to learn more about what the Anniversary Task Force is doing to celebrate this historic event.

Procurement U State Training Coordinators Conference
The 2017 Procurement U State Training Coordinators Conference will be held July 14-16 in Asheville, North Carolina. This event is an opportunity for NASPO members to coordinate state procurement training efforts, learn about instructional methodologies,  identify curricula needs, exchange training resources and share peer-to-peer solutions.

Ideal attendees for this conference are staff members from the state central procurement office who are tasked with oversight and/or delivery of professional development for central procurement staff, as well as the staff who coordinate procurement training for external agencies. NASPO will fund participation for up to two members from each state. Registration for this event is by invitation only - please contact NASPO Staff for more information.  
Vote Now for the 2018 Joint Regional Conference Name!
Since the joint regional conference is an opportunity for state procurement staff - at all levels - to get an enhanced conference experience, we want you involved from the start!  CLICK HERE to view the prospective names for the pilot conference and vote on your favorite.

As you saw posted earlier this month in the NASPO Network, in lieu of traditional regional conferences, members from all four regions will come together July 17-19, 2018, in New Orleans, LA, for networking, professional development and sharing of best practices. The conference will be an enhanced opportunity to:  
  • Connect with peers from all NASPO member states, not just those in their geographic region;
  • Glean broader procurement knowledge from the unique needs and practices across member states;
  • Build a stronger network for ongoing support;
  • Adopt new approaches, resources and tactics to improve procurement effectiveness; and 
  • Learn from high-level speakers, facilitators and procurement experts.
More information will be coming soon. Please feel free to contact  NASPO Staff with any initial questions!
NASPO Higher Education Team Meets with NCSU

The NASPO Higher Education team traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina last month to meet with leadership in the  Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University. NC State is one of a handful of Supply Chain Management programs NASPO has targeted over the last year and a half to partner with in its higher education initiatives and student recruitment efforts. While on campus, the NASPO team also attended NC State's Supply Chain Resource Cooperative semi-annual meeting, where they met with and heard from other thought leaders in the supply chain and procurement fields. Some of the key topics of conversation included:  impact of presidential elections on the US Economy; US withdrawal from the TransPacific Partnership Agreement; US Infrastructure investments; and Tax Reform, among many others. 

The Higher Education team will travel to State University of New York (SUNY) in June to discuss a partnership with NASPO. SUNY attended the inaugural Academic Forum in March, and is excited about working with NASPO. The SUNY system is comprised of 64 institutions, making it the largest comprehensive university system in the US. The opportunities within the SUNY system are endless!
Academic Forum Session Summary and Key Takeaways
On March 19-21, 2017, NASPO brought together for the first time industry practitioners and nationally ranked university supply chain management academicians for a discussion on challenges, trends and current landscape of public workforce. The 2017 Academic Forum, presented in partnership with Arizona State University provided NASPO members, academics, students and stakeholders the opportunity to share perspectives on talent acquisition and management, professional development, education and the workforce of the future.

For those of you that were unable to attend, check out the session summary and resources to read more about the key takeaways of the Academic Forum.

In-house IBIS World Training for the District of Columbia
Chris Gould, an IBISWorld Client Relationship Manager,  recently traveled to Washington,  D.C.'s Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) to teach procurement staff about IBISWorld's market research reports.  Approximately 60 OCP staff members attended the training and found the information on various industry areas to be very exciting. Many staff members provided positive feedback, stating that the training session was interesting, worthwhile and useful in helping them determine price reasonableness. Nancy Hapeman (D.C) worked with Chris to organize the training and highly recommends that other states take advantage of this opportunity as well.  

Examples of procurement research reports recently added to the IBISWorld database are: IT Asset Management Software, Pressure Measurement Instrumentation, and File Sharing & Synchronization Services. To view reports in your IBISWorld Portal, click here. To learn more about IBISWorld or schedule an in-person or online training session with one of NASPO's three Client Relationship Managers, contact Amy Mitchell.
In Case You Missed It: Regional Conference Recap
This month, procurement staff from states in the Eastern and Midwestern regions gathered for education, networking and sharing of resources at their respective Regional Conferences. Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the State of Maryland played host to the Eastern Region April 30-May 2, while the Midwestern Region convened in downtown Indianapolis May 7-9. 

The conference agendas reflected the issues of most importance to state procurement professionals, customized to the educational priorities of each region. Issues like eProcurement, performance metrics and agency relations took center stage at both events with participants engaging in dynamic discussions to share solutions, best practices and lessons learned. The topic of staff development, retention and motivation was a big area of emphasis in discussion for the Eastern Region, where much of the time spent in the "What's Your Solution" session focused on practical strategies to improve employee engagement and morale. The Midwestern Region spent a lot of time discussing change management and the unique challenge of working to support new strategies when so many different stakeholders are involved.

Participants said that "the level of participation and information sharing was outstanding," emphasizing the amazing resources that NASPO Members are for one another.

Look forward to more opportunities for this type of learning and engagement at the pilot, joint Regional Conference in 2018!
Support Cooperative Purchasing Initiatives in Your State!
Cooperative Purchaing Education Funds are available to promote in-state cooperative programs through December 8, 2017. Learn more today!
We procure more than contracts, we PROVIDE SOLUTIONS.

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.