March 2021 was National Procurement Month. NCPP awarded fifteen ABOVE & BEYOND Awards to recognize public procurement professionals nominated by their peers—see the full list of winners below!
Senior Category Buyer
Chicago Public Schools, Illinois
"Bryan is the IT Senior Buyer for the district, which usually has an extremely large workload. During the pandemic, Bryan was tasked to work on other COVID-19 emergencies, such as procuring Chromebooks in a tight timeline due to the school district quickly moving to remote learning. The district had to adjust to obtain devices for students to be able to do remote learning. Bryan conducted a great deal in negotiating lower unit costs for these items in a remarkably short time frame. He spent many late hours working with the ITS team to make things happen. Bryan is new to public procurement and we appreciate how he dove in and put in 150% effort to benefit our students. He is a true example of going above and beyond."
Orange County Government, Florida
"Managing a large workload of 100+ term contracts, many of which require renewal or re-solicitation, Kathy Bozeman also serves as a key resource to the Emergency Support Function 7 team any time the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated. In 2020, Kathy spent over 1,600 hours in the EOC over the course of 6 months supporting the county’s response to COVID-19. She focused on strategic sourcing of personal protective equipment (PPE) to support not only Orange County government, but other governmental entities such as the Orange County sheriff’s office, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, LYNX, and Orange County Public Schools. While working from the EOC, she successfully managed her procurement workload and, outside of work, attended the University of Central Florida online to continue pursuing a bachelor's degree. Kathy is a true go-getter and truly went above and beyond in 2020 to ensure Orange County government obtained all required resources to effectively respond to COVID-19."
Supply Services Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, California
"During the COVID-19 situation, Michael really stood out in managing our emergency response in purchasing. He quickly put together a team to find those hard-to-find items like masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, wipes, etc. Not only did he go above and beyond, he was super innovative and worked with our shops to create items that we could not find. For instance, he downloaded the formula for sanitizer and took it to our testing lab to see if they could make it, which they began producing. Also, dispensers for wipes and hand sanitizer solution could not be found. Once again, Michael thought outside the box and had the metal shop fabricate one-of-a-kind dispensers. These are just a couple of innovations and things how Michael went above and beyond during the pandemic."
Senior Purchasing Agent
Town of East Hampton, New York
"Jeanne deserves consideration for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to her duties as a Purchasing Agent, she also served as the recent past president of SAMPO - New York State Association of Municipal Purchasing Officials. She had to cancel all of SAMPO's in-person events and quickly pivot to keeping our chapter connected in a virtual world. Jeanne organized a webinar series that was attended by over 300 and SAMPO's first Virtual Conference with 111 attendees! She also kept the SAMPO Board on task by hosting regular meetings on Zoom. The organization never missed a beat and we could not have done this without her leadership."
Collier County Sheriff's Office, Florida
"Manager Brandy Hazel is an invaluable member of the Procurement Bureau and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. Manager Hazel not only leads the charge with her Procurement Role for the agency, she also manages a large portion of the Logistics efforts as the Sourcing Manager during major events such as Hurricanes, Wildfires, and most recently COVID-19. During the agency’s COVID-19 response Brandy Hazel worked tirelessly to ensure the agency was well stocked with PPE, sanitizers, and other cleaning products for the agency. In addition to her COVID-19 response, Manager Hazel is leading her small but efficient team through the start of a record year for requisitions and Purchase orders. Since October 1, 2020 we are experiencing a 20% increase in purchase orders. Manager Hazel and her one Buyer have also taken over the procurement processes for a Mobile Command vehicle, Bomb Squad Vehicle, a Helicopter, as well as numerous outboard engines for our Marine Unit."
City of Allen, Texas
"We are a small department of five in Allen Texas, serving a population of 108,000 residents. Ellen Ataie began working for the City of Allen four years ago as a buyer. Within a year, she was promoted to Senior Buyer, and year later, she was promoted to Contract Administrator. This past year, Ellen received the CPPB certification. Only a few months following this awesome accomplishment, she has now received the CPP Certification, Certified Procurement Professional! This is quite an accomplishment to achieve two certifications in one year. Ellen volunteers with the local DFW Chapter of NIGP as the Newsletter Editor.
One of Ellen's roles is to represent the procurement team with the Engineering Department. Projects with Engineering are usually Capital projects and sometimes require special processes. Last year a contract was awarded for an erosion problem at the golf course. The work performed failed. An insurance claim was filed and a new project was born. New specifications were developed and a Design Build bid was issued. A new contract has been awarded and the construction is about to begin. Ellen provided valuable procurement advise and added value for Engineering, Purchasing, the vendor, the city, and taxpayers."
Strategic Purchasing Manager
University of New Mexico, NM
"Veronica Trujillo was tasked with supporting Project ECHO in its fulfillment of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Contract Award to form a Nursing Home COVID Action Network. This program provides training to educate nursing home employees on how to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak within their facility and, if an outbreak should arise, how to contain the spread in a timely manner. The $237 Million award is the largest Federal Award for The University of New Mexico. Mrs. Trujillo has been vital to the success of the Project ECHO program in helping to establish and maintain processes between Project ECHO and Purchasing Department functional units to ensure as many nursing homes receive training about COVID-19 and are compensated in accordance with the contract terms. To date, approximately 7,000 nursing homes have been reached to participate and approximately 4,000 have signed agreements. If the term of the contract is extended, Project ECHO is looking to touch an additional 7,000 nursing homes. Much of the success of this program was due to Mrs. Trujillo's facilitation and assistance...truly an ABOVE & BEYOND performance."
Procurement Policies & Training Coordinator
Miami-Dade County, FL
"Maria Carballeira serves in a highly responsible senior-level position within the Strategic Procurement Division (SPD) of the Internal Services Department (ISD) and is primarily responsible for managing the professional development portion of the centralized procurement operations by devoting her 10-hour+ workdays to onboarding new talent and retaining and cultivating existing procurement staff through professional development opportunities. The sheer volume and range of the duties and responsibilities that Ms. Carballeira has undertaken is worthy of distinguished recognition, which includes: on-boarded six new employees; prepared twelve (12) individual SPD employee reports; facilitated the professional procurement certification of three SPD employees; conducted a formal procurement overview session, consisting of 3-4 hours worth of material, for the benefit of the new County Mayor’s administrative staff; led and moderated the Countywide Formation and Performance of Selection Committee Workshop; drafted the Procurement 101 course curriculum and presentation; and Initiated and led two preliminary negotiation strategy meetings with Trillium for Supplemental Agreement No. 2 to Master Developer Agreement No. 00096 for the Department of Public Works and Transportation’s Compressed Natural Program. In addition to her regular duties, Ms. Carballeira served as ISD-Facilities Management & Infrastructure Division’s (FIMD) Procurement Concierge to provide first-line support services to their mission and facilitating the emergency acquisition of all goods and services essential to confront and mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Senior Contract Officer
City of Tucson, AZ
"As is often the case when emergencies arise, it’s procurement’s time to shine. When the pandemic hit our country last year, Norma Camacho stepped up in a big way for her assigned customer department—public housing authority. When shelter-in-place orders were enacted in our community, the public housing authority was tasked with taking the homeless community off of the streets and housing them in hotels. Norma worked quickly to develop lease agreements to lease hotel rooms for our homeless population. She also created a number of agreements with local vendors for all the associated services that were needed, such as transportation services, laundry services, catering services, security services, etc. This was unchartered territory for our organization, but with Norma’s thoughtful approach and tireless efforts, the project was successful! Through her procurement role, Norma was able to contribute to the community-wide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in a significant way, and all while ensuring that the expenditures were compliant with federal regulations so as to be eligible for reimbursement later. Norma is definitely a shining procurement star at the City of Tucson!"
Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority (LRWRA), AR
"To create a one-stop shop for vendors to view and respond to bid opportunities for multiple Arkansas government entities, Amber spearheaded an initiative to partner with other central Arkansas governmental entities to implement one shared vendor portal and online e-procurement system. Realizing that small, local, and minority businesses do not always have the staffing to research, create, and maintain dozens of vendor profiles across multiple local governments, Amber met with various agency personnel, presented to agency directors and the Little Rock Mayor, sent out email blasts to current vendors, and mailed information to potential vendors. She also worked with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC)’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Division and LRWRA’s Communications Department for a media outreach campaign. In addition to her role, Amber also volunteers and currently sits on the ARNIGP board as the Legislative Liaison and Program Chair."
State Procurement Analyst
Department of Admin Services, OR
"Josh is part of the Department's Emergency Preparedness Team, ESF7 desk, for over 14 years. When the Governor of Oregon declares an emergency, Josh supports state agencies, cities, counties and schools with logistics. While everyone across the nation has been working though emergencies this past year, Oregon has seen more than its share—snow storms, COVID-19, wildfires, flood, and ice storms—all within the last 11 months. The 2020 wildfire season was one of the most destructive on record in the state of Oregon, with over 2000 fires that killed at least 11 people, burned more than 1,000,000 acres, and destroyed thousands of homes. Being part of ESF7 is a volunteer position. Josh chose to step up and excels at his above and beyond emergency efforts, in addition to his normal job, for the citizens of Oregon."
State Patrol Supply Section Purchasing Department, WA
"In an environment supporting police officers and civilians and during a time of riots, protests, COVID-19, and an already heavy workload with limited staff for daily operations, I am proud to share how amazing, persistent, and determined Theresa has been this last year. Providing PPE for the entire patrol due to COVID-19 when supplies were limited, she also procured riot gear for the RDF team so they had the needed items for crowd control during the Seattle protests. She rolled out a new training series to the WSP staff (commissioned and non-commissioned) on small purchasing training, that should aid in the field with an understanding on what is allowed to be purchased in the field and what is required to be processed through the Supply Section. Theresa and her team have been flexible, as they are often pulled away to work on projects outside of their normal assigned duties."
Richard (Rick) Gay
Director of Purchasing Services
Spring Branch ISD, TX
"Richard (Rick) Gay has served Spring Branch ISD for three years and has 25 years of procurement experience for various school districts. With an emphasis in 2020 on keeping students and staff safe, Gay was tasked with finding strategic sources to provide PPE, and provide WiFi service and infrastructure, both for in-school and at home, which was a daunting task when all other districts were in need of the same products and services. When schools first closed due to COVID-19, the process of transitioning to distance learning required close coordination with the district’s curriculum department to obtain necessary materials. Students were issued Chromebooks and a hotspot for connectivity. Packets were put together containing basic school supplies and printed materials that were grade-level appropriate then distributed to students over a three-day period each week. Rick also coordinated with his district’s food service department to issue Grab and Go meals for each student. This process required the warehouse and procurement services personnel to put more than 8600 packets together each week for the next six weeks until the online processes were fully operating. An amazing accomplishment in a short period of time—definitely Above & Beyond!"
City of Mesa, AZ
"Over this past year, Evan spent countless hours sourcing and procuring N95 masks and other PPE and also procured temperature screening devices using CARES funding. Our Procurement Department was short staffed during most of this time. Evan took on extra duties such as covering for his supervisor during a leave of absence and took on extra workload due to a retirement in the office. Despite the extra work, Evan was also able to complete the Emergency Operations plan begun prior to the pandemic. During the pandemic, he completed the remaining contract amendments, which added federal certification language to the contracts identified that could be utilized in an emergency. He also completed the set-up of an Excel database which identified these contracts. Evan has always gone above and beyond, but in the case of COVID-19 and handling emergencies, he was a rock star."
City Utilities of Springfield, MO
"Kim is truly a star! She is committed to lifelong learning and during the season of COVID-19 she has worked full time to serve all the needs of her organization as well as earned her NIGP-CPP, volunteered for professional and community organizations such as Kiwanis and the Missouri Association of Public Purchasing (MAPP), AND started taking courses to complete her master's! As the President of MAPP, COVID-19 has presented challenges, we have been forced to cancel in person professional development. Recently we had a vacancy for our Professional Development Chair, and I was THRILLED when she stepped up and volunteered because she is the perfect person for this position! Kim is a 'doer' with a passion for our profession and our professional organizations! Kim has taken the ball and is running with it by working on a survey of our membership so she can work to meet their developmental needs."
Thanks to our NCPP members for supporting best practices in cooperative
procurement and education for public procurement professionals.