Sessions | Virtual

NIGP Forum 2022

August 22 - 24, 2022 

NIGP Forum 2022 Session Tracks:

Construction
 

Cooperatives
 

Cornerstones
of Procurement

Leadership
 

Technology
& Innovation

Use the filters below to view sessions by the above tracks.  The Level Filter allows you to view those sessions available at the Foundation Level and those for the Advanced Practitioner.

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Monday, August 22, 2022
 
Time
Session
Speakers
Details
 
8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Plenary: “Future-ready: Building resilience in the face of uncertainty.”

 Contact Hours: 1.25    Live-Streamed


 

Seth Mattison
 
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Diversity Study Contract: Start to Finish

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Where you spend your money is an indication of where you set your priorities.  The Disparity Study is an equity tool for setting spending priorities within the public sector.  Share in on a collaborative effort between Procurement and the Small Minority and Business Resource team in executing a contract to complete a Disparity Study for the City of Austin.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Providing an overview of the procurement method used to select a consultant 
  • Components necessary for developing the Disparity Study scope and evaluation criteria;
  • On-going utilization of the Disparity Study to drive public spending.
Cyrenthia Ellis, MBA, PMP, Tamela Saldana, Ph.D
 
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
NIGP-CPP: A Proven Pathway That Invests in Your Long-Term Career Growth

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


The NIGP Certified Procurement Professional (NIGP-CPP) is NIGP's certification for mid to executive level leaders in procurement. The focus of the NIGP-CPP is competency-based - the work that a procurement leader does on the job. The NIGP-CPP is unique in that it is integrated with Pathways for holistic learning and credentialing, and it is refreshed by ongoing research which keeps the NIGP-CPP relevant and meaningful.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore the NIGP-CPP and how it is a part of the overarching Pathways programs to help you plan career advancement and professional development.
  • Obtain information about the uniqueness and the values that the NIGP-CPP brings to procurement leaders.
  • Explore the exam content covering the competencies, skills, and behaviors required of procurement leaders on the job.
  • Compare your college/university education and fulltime procurement work experiences to eligibility requirements.
  • Discover the many NIGP-CPP study and preparatory resources available from NIGP as you prepare for this certification.
Rick Grimm, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, FCIPS,, Diane Daly
 
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
From Slow to Pro: The Ins and Outs of IFB's

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Going through the solicitation process for the first time can be a bit of a daunting task—every entity does it differently and knowing where to start can be a challenge. When should you use the Invitation for Bid process? What is the difference between specifications and scope of work? How do we know we haven't missed anything? Explore the basics of the IFB process and specification writing, consider how checklists can be a great guide to get you through your process, and discuss other tips to help make your IFBs a success in this discussion-focused, lecture-style session.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore the basics of the IFB process and specification writing.
  • Discover the difference between specifications and scope of work.
  • Utilize checklists to assist in the IFB process.
Amy Flack, NIGP-CPP, CPPB, PMP, CPPO, BA
 
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Considerations for buying Procurement Software

 Contact Hours: 1.0  


A discussion on how to navigate the vast Procurement Software market place and find out the things they won’t tell you.

Yen Pang
 
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Managing Board-Level Communication During a Supply Chain Crisis

 Contact Hours: 1.0  


This topic focuses on effectively communicating the state of the supply chain to a board or council, given the sometimes daily changes that can affect large purchases or long-term contract pricing.  The cost of construction, proposal validity timelines, and labor rates and shortages are all major factors that have to be relayed to the decision-making entity, but getting that message across on a case-by-case basis can be both time consuming and stressful to manage.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to concisely deliver the message
  • Learn how to inform on your mitigation strategy
  • Learn what strategies to not employ

 

Paige McDonald
 
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Entity Networking Sessions

 Contact Hours: 2.0  


  • Large Counties
  • Small and Medium Cities 
  • Canadian Procurement
  • Corrections
  • Higher Education 
  • K-12 Large Cities 
  • Small and Medium Counties 
  • States 
  • Transportation 
  • Utilties 
  • Housing Authorities 
 
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
An Introduction to Cooperative Procurement

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Join us to discuss the foundations of cooperative procurement. This is a great session for a new Procurement Specialist or Contract Administrator as it covers the basics of cooperative procurement. There are no prerequisites needed to attend.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Conduct thorough of price, market and gap analysis.
  • Explore best contracting methods for your organization.
  • Discover and evaluate the best fit of commonly used cooperatives for your organization.
Erin D'Vincent, NIGP-CPP, CPPB, Sai Xoomsai Purcell, CPPB
 
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Bonding: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Everything you wanted to know about Surety Bonds, but were afraid to ask

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Can you use a performance bond for something other than construction?  How can a public agency using the low-bid system in awarding public works contracts be sure that the lowest bidder is dependable? How can private sector construction project owners manage the risk of contractor failure? Most public agencies and construction contractors are familiar with the process of obtaining surety bonds, but they may not be aware of the legal relationships that bonds establish. Bonds confirm the relationships among the principal (the contractor), the obligee (usually the owner) and the surety. This session will answer these questions and more. Participants will get a brief overview of bonding and insurance, see an outline for timing, and be able to identify when to use a particular type of bond.Training session is targeted to beginning procurement professionals.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe the types of surety bonds.
  • Identify  when to use a particular type of bond, and why one might be better in certain cases.
  • Understand  with examples, of how the surety provides the assurance that a contractor can perform.
Kirk Buffington, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, C.P.M., CPFIM, MBA
 
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Core Values in action : how Social Equity and Sustainability fit into Procurement' Core Values

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


As more and more of our agencies are directed to include social equity and sustainability in our procurements,  It is critical that we execute those requirements consistent with the core values of Accountability, ethics, impartiality, professionalism, service and transparency.  Procurement officers often feel challenged about how to offer vendors with certain characteristics preferences while still preserving competition and this session will explore how social equity ( labor, MWBE, DBE) requirements and sustainability requirements are not only not in conflict with our core values bust essential to them.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Use social equity requirements to increase competition and lower pricing.
  • Discover how incorporating sustainability helps to meet the needs of customers (service).  
  • Learn how social equity and sustainability requirements  meet and exceed the governments form function and utility. 
  • Establish how to keep equity and sustainability requirements from diminishing competition. 
  • Establish equity and sustainability requirements to root out inherent bias and vendor specific terms and conditions.
Sean Carroll
 
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Oh My Data! Data analytics in procurement

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Data can be overwhelming; however, analytics help tell a story, create dialogue, save time, and increase productivity. Leveraging data is critical to make smarter decisions for our organizations.  Having the right information helps to increase awareness and transparency of spend. Additionally, it creates opportunities to increase efficiencies, reduce rogue spend, and centralize procurement.  This session shares ways that your procurement team can leverage data to help your organization.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn the types of data analysis and how they can benefit procurement.
  • Identify tools to communicate the importance of data analytics and how they can support your organizational mission.
  • Discover types of reporting and analytics used to help procurement.
Ginger Line, MPA, NIGP-CPP, CPPB, Jeremy Schwartz, CPPO, CSSBB
 
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sustainability, It's Not My Job....or is it?

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


One of the high priority initiatives of many public entities is sustainability. Though it is not a new concept, there is an ever-increasing focus on public entities to ensure they are doing their part to make a difference in this area. Most procurement organizations have a generalized statement of policy or procedure that goes into our solicitations, but where do we go from there? Is there more we can do?  The answer is "yes", there is. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain a clearer picture of what ‘sustainability’ means and the role of procurement.
  • Discover the building blocks of a sustainable purchasing initiative.
  • Explore some of the options and opportunities for procurement professionals to make a difference in this space.
Theresa Webb, M.A. CPPO, CPPB, CPSM, C.P.M.
 
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
The Functionality Matrix - How to create and use THE tool to ensure a successful IT procurement (red pill not required)

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Like it or not, information technology products and services are making up more and more of our entities' spend each year. For the uninitiated, IT-related procurement can seem daunting and overwhelming. But what if I told you there was a tool that can assist you through every step of the procurement cycle - from acquisition planning and market research through specification development, evaluation, demostration, negotiation, and contract administration? That tool is the Functionality Matrix, and in this session you will learn what the Matrix is, how to create one, and how it will help make your IT-related procurements more efficient and effective.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Use the Matrix during market research/acquisition planning to determine whether the solution the entity is looking for exists and/or can be developed.
  • Use the Matrix with end users to focus their “wish list” and determine what functions the entity NEEDS the system to perform, and what functions are merely DESIRABLE.
  • Apply the functions listed in the Matrix to keep the specifications on target without making them too restrictive.
  • Include the Matrix in the solicitation document and instruct Offerors to complete it – those completed Matrices are then evaluated by the panel.
  • Develop a demonstration script using the Functionality Matrix.
  • Use the Offeror’s completed Matrix to develop negotiation points and to assist throughout the negotiation process.
  • Use the answers in the Offeror’s completed Matrix to keep them accountable for the functionality of the implemented system.
  • Revisit the Matrix at the end of the contract term to determine if the entity’s needs have changed.
Nathan Dawson
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
 
Time
Session
Speakers
Details
 
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Plenary Session: Innovation in Procurement: Pivoting Leadership, Management and Career Shifts

 Contact Hours: 1.5    Live-Streamed


Come together for this NEW Main Stage Session of our leading innovators in the Public Procurement field. NIGP has collated procurement innovators and visionaries to share their big ideas and the impact they have (or have had) on the procurement field. These speakers will lead a dynamic, 15 minute Ted-talk style presentation about their big idea in procurement. Listen to how their innovative thinking was taken from an idea to improving and shaping the profession. Join us for this premier gathering of the nation’s top public procurement professionals to learn how to push the limits of what is possible in these changing times.

Zac Christensen, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, Stéphanie Dion, NIGP-CPP, CPPB, Jack Pellegrino, CPPO, CPCM, NIGP-CPP, Clarissa Clark, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, Stacy Gregg, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB
 
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Buying the Future: Sourcing solutions that don't exist - Yet!

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Embrace the future; create solutions, lead your communities into a better and more resilient future.  The problems we face are significant and ever evolving, market changes, climate change, poverty, the need for education, the desire to protect the vulnerable among us, lack of opportunity, and the list goes on.  Current solutions sometimes have limited success, sometimes fail, sometimes, but rarely succeed and change the lives and fortunes of those around us.  This session will focus on how procurement processes can find and develop new solutions, prove them in the real world and then contract to make them a lasting reality.  We will explore the start-up in residence program as a procurement process and a way to redefine our approach to and impact on the future of our communities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify baseline needs and important issues for your clients.
  • Embrace the challenge/need/solution-based RFP Model.
  • Energize the start-up community to create community-based solutions.
  • Implement a start-up residency program to develop new solutions to current challenges.
  • Contract for the next generation of software.
Michael Bevis, Esq., NIGP-CPP, JD, CPPO, CPSM, C.P.M.
 
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Procurement Trends Beyond COVID

 Contact Hours: 1.0 


We will review how COVID and subsequential emerging technologies has impacted how procurements are created, collaborated, and completed. This session focuses on Workforce development and consistent emerging technology changes and challenges, along with the impact of remote work has challenged the seasoned procurement professional. We will review what we can do to adapt, and what changes we may (will?) see in the foreseeable future.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Enable the attendees to grasp how they can be on the cutting edge of this technological tsunami.
  • The audience will be challenged to discover/reveal current biases on "how it's always been done",
  • Apply the newly acquired knowledge to their organization.
Lisa Mehalko, NIGP-CPP, MBA, CPPO, CPSM
 
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Does it really say that: A Look at legal cases affecting procurement

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


The intent of this workshop is to introduce the participants to the importance of case law and court cases which have had an impact upon the decisions made by procurement professionals. there will be an introduction discussing why case law and precedent are so important in our legal system.  We will look at cases from other jurisdictions including US Supreme Court decisions, so that participants can see how others interpret laws and regulations impacting procurement. The presenter will introduce pertinent facts of a particular case, and then asks questions to drive the participants toward what they believe was the court decision in the case.  Rarely will all participants agree, which allows for a spirited discussion amongst the participants and the presenter.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discover the importance of common/case law and how each case pertains to their daily job. 
  • Learn the importance of  case law why it is critical to our legal system. 
  • Discover how acceptance of a contract may occur in different ways, other than "I accept".
  • Recognize the difference between mandatory case law, and persuasive case law.
Kirk Buffington, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, C.P.M., CPFIM, MBA
 
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Signed, Certified and Delivered. Its your 2022 Contract Template!

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


1. Come and see how the new electronic procurement office can achieve.   2. Check our process to see how contract management is vital to the success of the organization.   3. Explore what methods have been used to solve procurement challenges.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply a pragmatic approach to the key concepts discussed with the use of a contract management guide developed for the "Give back, Make an impact" NIGP Forum 2022 to ensure compliance and fiduciary responsibility to managing public contracts
  • Implement best practices by an NIGP Award winning Procurement Office to implement in their procurement process
  • Apply contract templates and attachments to contract documents and manuals.
Jesus Amezcua, CPA, Kendra Jackson, Edna Johnson
 
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Creating a SWaM Program with Impact

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Small, Woman and Minority – owned business enterprises, Service-Disabled Veteran owned business enterprises– how does your organization support these businesses?  Learn what and how the City of Virginia Beach has created programs, facilitated conversations and increased participation in City Contracts.  City of Virginia Beach Purchasing Division and SWaM Office discuss the continued growth of our SWaM and SDV program.  We will explore disparity studies, procurement initiatives, educational programs, expos and more.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore different options for SwaM and SDV programs. 
  • Understand Disparity Studies and the value they provide.
  • Discover tools for enhancing SWaM and SDV participation in procurement programs across your organization.
Rebecca Kee, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, CPO, Lavera Tolentino
 
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Thanks for the feedback!: Techniques for using surveys and focus groups to improve operations and attract more suppliers

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Running surveys, holding focus groups, and soliciting broad feedback from prospective and current suppliers can be a powerful way to close knowledge gaps around how to improve operations and attract a larger, more diverse group of suppliers. Join the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab for an in-depth exploration of best practices for designing and running surveys and focus groups with the supplier community. In this session, participants will explore how to use surveys and focus groups to solicit feedback on procurement processes, understand knowledge or capacity barriers that prospective suppliers face, and assess suppliers’ experience working with your entity once hired.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore the benefits of launching a supplier survey and holding focus groups with suppliers.
  • Apply the approaches learned in this session to design clear, action-oriented questions to ask current and prospective suppliers. new information about the opinions suppliers have about working with your entity, suggestions for improvements, and barriers faced when submitting bids and proposals.
  • Receive take-home tangible tools and examples to launch your own survey or focus group and analyze the quantitative and qualitative data collected.
Charley Kargman, MPP, Elliot Karl, Laura Merryfield
 
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
Taking Strides into A More Inclusive Future

 Contact Hours: 1.0 


The City of Phoenix recently participated as a cohort in the National League of Cities (NLC) City Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) program. When Phoenix joined the CIE program last November, we did so because we saw a need in our community to give underrepresented entrepreneurs more opportunities for economic advancement. Our current system was not serving all our residents equally, and the disparities grew starker during the pandemic. With light touch technical assistance from the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab, other participating cities and local community partners, the City committed to implementing practices and policies that helped reduce barriers for local and small businesses to better understand, bid, and win government contract opportunities.

TJ Maring
 
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
Great Resignation Got You Down? Solutions for Supporting Your Procurement Function

 Contact Hours: 1.0 


Many entities are continuing to experience the pains of COVID, the supply chain disruption, the shift in workforce management, the large number resigning and retiring....and now the economic pinch.  No wonder entities are struggling!  Experiencing challenges with finding employees?  Struggling to keep up with the workload?  This conversation will discuss challenges, but more importantly, ways in which entities are solving their resources struggles for staff support. Bring your challenges to share, but more importantly, bring your ideas (especially those that have been a success!)

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the impacts of the various resource challenges facing procurement
  • Learn ways to analyze the impact to identify options for solving issues
  • Create a list of possible solutions to try back at your entity
Marcheta Gillespie, FNIGP, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, C.P.M., CPPB, CPM
 
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Leading with Emotional Intelligence - Understanding Each Team Member & How to Adjust Accordingly

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


As we all work to be more inclusive, knowing each of our team members and how they operate is key to effective leadership. Come experience fun, informative personal assessments that help you better understand yourself and others, that you can then take back to the office and use with your employees for awareness and making necessary adjustments for individual satisfaction and team success.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Take personality and communication style assessments then learn what each style means and how to best interact.
  • Connect with others like you to collaborate about what your styles need to be successful.
  • Share with the other styles so they gain awareness of your traits and needs on the job/as part of a team.
  • Listen and learn about the other styles so you understand how to best work with them/others on your team.
  • Take the assessments, information and lessons learned and replicate/apply to your team at work and at home.
Cheral Manke, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, CPM
 
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT COOPERATIVE PURCHASING? THINK AGAIN!

 Contact Hours: 1.0     Live-Streamed


This panel of industry peer experts will share tips, "tricks," and strategies for getting the most out of using cooperative purchasing contracts. (expectation to have a city, county, and school district represented to get a broad perspective for attendees)  Jennifer will conduct this panel as an interview with prepared questions and examples from the panelists that will provide the most important tools for attendees to use back home.  You'll hear real examples of successful uses of cooperative contracts in the most unlikely (AKA a global pandemic, supply chain problems, etc) situations.  Want to hear how your peers are navigating the thousands of available cooperative contacts available?  Each panelist will provide real examples from their agencies that will lead attendees to a more effective process to return home to their agencies.  -Discover how to figure out what your best value is. -Learn how to easier find and use contracts. - Want to buy local? No problem! -Need help getting your Ts& Cs met? -How to deal with supplier relationships. -Get answers to your individual agency/buyer questions.  Attendees are encouraged to prepare questions to bring to this session for the panelists and interact with their own examples throughout.  Join us!

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn ways to use cooperative contracts you've never thought of before. 
  • Explore how to more easily find and use contracts.
  • Discover how easy it is to "buy local" or with MBE/WBE partners through contracts.
  • Are you leaving some benefits on the table? Apply these tips and tricks to ensure you're getting best value for your agency.
  • Get answers to individual agency/buyer questions about cooperative purchasing.
Jennifer Sulentic, RuthAnne Hall, CPPO, Jennifer Alford, CPPO, Bryan Forero
 
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
What didn't kill me. Lessons learned from a workplace mass shooting

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Five lessons learned from the mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Complex will be shared.  These are actions and mindsets that will help you everyday in your career and life.  In addition, to make the best use of these lessons, get ready to be involved, as we issue a call to action for an exciting new endeavor of procurement community support and kindness.  Disclaimer: This session will include media and discussion around the topic of workplace violence. Please be aware that this content may be difficult. I encourage you to consider your well-being before choosing to attend.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discover why the soft skills are so important in everyday and extreme situations.
  • Apply lessons of customer service to all interactions in the workplace.
  • Explore why professionalism and kindness matters every.
  • Learn how you can actively support your professional network.
Rebecca Kee, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, CPO, Barb Johnson, FNIGP, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, Stacy Adams, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB
 
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Introduction to an Electric Vehicle (EV) Pilot Program for Procurement

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


The 2030 electrification deadline is around the corner – where are you on the road to electrification?   The public sector needs to plan and start the groundwork now, not tomorrow.     EV transition can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be.   A comprehensive EV Transition Plan includes the Project Design and Management; EV Fleet Transition Analysis; Charging Infrastructure Plan and Funding Strategies.   Attendees will leave with a template to be customized for their organization.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply a basic understanding of electrification and how it would apply to their organization.
  • Leverage a template for your organization to get started on a pilot program or continue to move forward with your EV goals.
  • Set goals across multi-stakeholders sustainable and operational needs of your fleets.
Jason Kazmar, BS
 
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Procurement Leadership: Lessons from the Boatwrights Shop

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


For thousands of years boatwrights have plied their trade to transform roughhewn materials into elegant, efficient and seaworthy craft.  They have developed principles of design and construction that have withstood the challenges of time.  We will apply the principles of these masters, combined with over 30 years of successful procurement leadership, to the challenges of you face every day.   Come and explore the tools and techniques of the boatwrights shop and learn how these approaches and principles can be applied to the creation and formation of effective teams, helping individuals realize their full potential and shaping a brighter and more resilient future for the communities we serve.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Fostering team identity and commitment
  • Build trust and teamwork
  • Apply the tools of leadership
  • Lead your team through the storms and challenges of project execution
  • Move from team leader to big-picture strategist
Michael Bevis, Esq., NIGP-CPP, JD, CPPO, CPSM, C.P.M.
 
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Professional Judgement - Why It Is Important

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Procurement expertise includes performance of specialized skills, knowledge, and competencies.  Over many years public procurement has transformed from a very traditional process to a transformational process.  The transformation process can introduce more gray area which requires more decision making by the public procurement professional.  This session will explore professional judgment as it applies to public procurement.   The attendee will explore with the presenters what is professional judgment, why is it so important now, and when is it needed.  As well as examples and discussion with the group.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discover professional procurement judgment.
  • Understand the importance of professional judgment in public procurement.
  • Explore when and how to apply professional judgment.
Mike Thornton, CPPO, Mr. Victor A. Leamer, CPPB , Stéphanie Dion, NIGP-CPP, CPPB
 
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Advancing Equity through Cooperative Procurement

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Does it feel like you have to choose between the ease and speed of cooperative procurement and meeting your entity’s goals around supporting local or diverse businesses? What if you could achieve the best of both worlds? In this session, you’ll hear from procurement leaders who are simultaneously leveraging the benefits of cooperative procurement and supporting local and diverse businesses, and leave with actionable tactics for how you can, too.

Learning Outcomes:

  •  Access new tactics for achieving equity and local economic development objectives through cooperative purchasing. 
  • Connect to resources that can help you work with local and/or diverse vendors on cooperative contracts. 
  • Build relationships with like-minded peers interested in collaborative procurement, business diversity and inclusion, and technology.
Becca Blazak, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, Maria Agrusa, Michael Wenzel
 
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Don't mess with the Feds!

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Come and explore the impact of 2 cfr 200 to your procurement processes.   Understand how Federal funds require special attention to meet compliance requirement and explore ways to make sure that internal controls and processes meet the federal requirements.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Examine the changes to the 2 cfr 200 as issued by the US Office of Management and Budget and implement changes to the procurement cycle.
  • Develop internal controls to meet federal requirements in the 2 CFR 200.
  • Apply the CF 200 law changes and recommend policies and procedures changes.
Jesus Amezcua, CPA
 
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Lessons from Anaheim - Using the Disney Model to Improve Your Customer & Employee Experiences

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Anaheim reminded us of the incredible success Disney has created at the "Happiest place on earth." We may not manage amusement parks, but there are critical business elements we can take from Walt and apply them to our procurement shops. Come learn about the secret success formula and brainstorm together on changes we can make in our businesses to improve our customer and employee experiences.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn behind the scenes approaches that Disney uses to create happy experiences for customers and staff. See examples of small invisible changes that have huge impacts
  • Brainstorm with other leaders to identify things you can do in your office to make similar adjustments.
  • Take what you learn back home and assess your own procurement business for ease of use and experiences.
  • Work with your team, customers, suppliers to identify and adjust unnecessary pain points.
Cheral Manke, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, CPM
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
 
Time
Session
Speakers
Details
 
8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Plenary: “The Future of Work is Here”

 Contact Hours: 1.25    Live-Streamed


Get Ready to Laugh…and Learn!  Join us as Crystal Washington helps us identify the significant ways in which technology is changing human beings. We’ll discover the unique ways technology trends will impact our profession in the long-term and uncover tactics for riding the wave of change to positive business results.

Crystal Washington - Keynote
 
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Design-Build "It’s the fastest growing and most popular method used to deliver construction projects in America."

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Design-Build Project Delivery: "It’s the fastest growing and most popular method used to deliver construction projects in America."  What is Design-Build and what do research studies tell us about it compares to other project delivery methods in terms of cost growth, schedule growth, and delivery speed? Presentation will review how Design-Build differs from other project delivery methods (Design-Bid-Build , Construction Management at Risk, Multi-prime) reviewing delivery method structures, procurement characteristics, and contract administration implications for successful project delivery. Discussion will also delve into how risk factor impacts differ when using design-build in a vertical (building) versus a horizontal (transportation) environment. Discussion will present how organizations need to be process adaptive and flexible to manage design-build contracts for best results.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore a basic understanding of how Design-Build differs from other Project delivery methods.
  • Discover research results showing the benefits of Design-Build in terms of Cost, Schedule, and Delivery speed.
  • Discover the concept of single point of responsibility in design and construction.
  • Understand design and construction project delivery method market share and trends.
  • Evaluate risk factor impact differences when using design-build in a vertical (building) versus a horizontal (transportation) environment.
     
Richard Formella, DBIA, PMP, Brad Cummings
 
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Outside of the Box With Cooperative Purchasing

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


The cooperative world is changing - do you know the latest that is out there? During this informative session, discover how many of your pinch points can be solved by fully using what is offered through cooperative contracting. While many use cooperative contracts for commodities, there's a whole expanding world of contracts that your team should be familiar with. Construction, repairs, financing, leasing, consulting services - you might be surprised what you can buy. Tammy Rimes will lead a fun trivia game at the end to cement the learning with "Let's Just Cooperate" t-shirts given away. Discover more from other agency success stories and panelist insights.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain insights into using cooperative contracts when federal dollars are involved 
  • Understand value-added services to attain diversity contracting and sustainability goals 
  • Identify rebates, special features, and consulting services 
  • Learn how to handle supply chain issues and changes in contract to be more comprehensive 
  • Attain “outside of the box” ideas for using a cooperative through other agency success stories 
  • Discover what is on the horizon for the development of new services and products to serve government teams 
Tammy Rimes, MPA, Ronnie Barnes, Pam Pedler, Duff Erholtz, Dr. Kim Abrego, PT, DPT
 
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Community Impactful Procurement - Ensuring Positive Community Impact, Equity, and Best Value

 Contact Hours: 1.0   Pre-Record and available On Demand


Positively Impacting Your Community & Organization  You may have been already asked to consider including Diversity and Community Impact in your procurement activities, however if not yet, expect that this request will be coming shortly.  This session will discuss how to start if you’re not already doing so, as well as, share ideas that can be adapted to meet the new expectations of both your internal customers, while providing a positive economic benefit to your community and your organization.  San Diego County is pleased to share and discuss our first annual Diversity and Engagement Report (FY2020-2021).

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify where to begin with assessing your current procurement spending in the community and how you can improve the impact. 
  • Identify specific examples of what SD County has implemented to both increase community and diverse contractor engagement and drive positive economic impacts from public spending. 
  • Describe how examples can be adapted for each organization's own needs.
Jack Pellegrino, CPPO, CPCM, NIGP-CPP
 
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Minimizing Risks of Biases in Evaluations

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


The fundamental principle of a competitive solicitation is that it represents a fair, objective, merit based process and all bidders have the same opportunity to compete and win. If the procurement is impacted by bias – whether it is conscious or unconscious bias – then this fundamental principle is no longer held true. This can result in missed opportunities and contribute to business community distrust, especially when it comes to small and diverse businesses seeking to do business with your organization.  In this session, we will share the tools used by our state agency to assist team members with structuring and conducting evaluations in a way that minimizes the risks of bias.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify potential implicit and explicit bias risks during the competitive solicitation process.
  • Explore lessons learned related to procurement bias risks from other procurement professionals.
  • Apply provided tools to help mitigate procurement bias risks at your organization.
Elena McGrew, MBA
 
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
New Age Vendor Engagement: Town Hall

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Procurement officials are often focused on compliance-based functions, and ensuring minimum standards are met during the procurement process. Procurement Officials do not often consider vendor engagement until there is problem with not receiving enough responses to a solicitation. It can be very difficult to see the perspective of a vendor since procurement officials have insider knowledge and only see one side of the process. Taking innovative approaches at vendor engagement can lead to greater competition for government procurement methods. The innovative approach of Town Hall – takes an established political strategy and revolutionizes it to a modern forum to collect input, suggestions, and ideas to improve government processes, procedures, and communication methods.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Examine methods to collect data from qualitative vendor engagement events.
  • Analyze how to structure, organize, and deliver a vendor engagement event.
  • Examine strategies to utilize to discuss vendor engagement within your organization.
Vitesh Patel, Grace Enlow, Toni Cook, MPA, MBA
 
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Achieving Massive Operational Efficiency with Collaborative Procurement Automation

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


We hear this a lot: "We moved from paper to electronic procurement, but we didn't gain the efficiency we had hoped to achieve". The move from paper to PDF documents solved the "physical paper" issue, but many agencies have discovered that a virtual mound of PDF-based solicitations and scanned documents as responses isn't much better, and in most cases, creates additional operational drag.   By connecting the talent that exists within your government together, streamlining the necessary regulations and processes into guided workflows, and eliminating word processors and spreadsheets as your primary productivity tools - you can make streamlined strategic procurement a part of the core culture for your agency going forward.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discover how to make workflows more seamless and integrated with strategic procurement automation.
Thao Hill, SVP , Jennifer L Olzinger, CPPB
 
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
The Price is Right....now what?

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Your name has been called so… ”Come on Down” …..you are the next contestant to test you skills at getting the right price. We as procurement professionals have spent years crafting our skills to get the right price.  It’s one of the first things we learn in government procurement, award goes to the responsive, responsible supplier with the lowest price.  We've got that strategy down, so, what else is out there? Is there more we can do to get value beyond price that has a positive impact for our entities and demonstrates procurement’s strategic value? (HINT: You might even get a chance to “Come on Down” and test your skills at getting the right price).

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discover more about the concept of value beyond price.
  • Explore techniques that can deliver value.
  • Learn ways to apply this concept  to today's priorities.
Theresa Webb, M.A. CPPO, CPPB, CPSM, C.P.M.
 
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
A Bit of History - Great Moments in Procurement

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


How did we get to where we are in government procurement? And what does Oliver Cromwell have to do with the FAR? People often think that procurement is simply process with no context, so let's explore some of the more interesting procurement events that got us to where we are today.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to calm down a newly-hired department head who is impatient and frustrated and can’t understand why we weren’t able to acquire something that he requested last week, especially since a provider is next door.
  • Discover the origin and purpose of RFPs and what you would use them for.
  • Discover why certain clauses are included in almost all public sector procurement, and the cases that they are based on.
Greg Tatar, J.D., MBA
 
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Cybersecurity - If the adage "data is currency" is true, how do we make sure our entity's "money" is safe?

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Our entityies' data is becoming more and more valuable, yet we are moving away from on-premises software solutions and opting to entrust the safeguarding of our most valuable asset to contractors and third-parties. Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent, and making headlines daily. How do we determine whether our data will be safe, and what steps can we take to address the consequences of a cyber attack on our data?  This session will discuss two aspects of cybersecurity:  1. Assessing whether a potential Contractor meets our security standards. We will discuss different methods of assessment, including questionnaires, surveys, and using third-party solutions.  2. Cyberliability insurance. We will examine what it is, the current state of the market, and how to determine when we need it and how much we need.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply a data classification tool to differentiate the types of data we have.
  • Determine what our levels of security need to be for different classifications of data.
  • Explore the different assessment options available to determine whether a potential Contractor can provide a level of security with which we are comfortable.
  • Discuss what sorts of questions to ask of the Contractor in order to properly evaluate their security measures and procedures.
  • Examine the cyberliability insurance market, especially given the current explosion in the number of instances of cyber-attacks.
  • Analyze how we determine when we need cyberliability insurance.
  • Explore the cost of cyberliability insurance, and the level of coverage we need in any given situation.
  • Determine whether our entity's risk assessment measures address all relevant factors, and our ability to adapt and stay current when these factors change.
Nathan Dawson, Stephanie Akerley, NIGP-CPP, CPPB, CTPE
 
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
RFP Evaluation and Scoring Best Practices

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


This session is an exploration of the approaches professional public agencies use to evaluate RFPs. We will discuss scoring, non-scoring, and hybrid methods along with specific approaches used for technical and price scoring and review examples where many of these methods are used.  The intent is to bring awareness to the different methods, help us understand how our own approaches fit within the range of options, and explore where we might best use certain approaches.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the different scored, non-scored, and hybrid methods approaches to evaluating RFPs and consider how your organization’s approaches compare to others.
  • Explore rubrics, rankings, comparisons, and other technical scoring methodologies and discuss when and how each might be best used.
  • Explore price evaluation and scoring techniques along with their application, advantages, and disadvantages.
  • Review examples of public agencies using these approaches and methods.
Allen Hunsberger, NIGP-CPP, CPSD, C.P.M., MBA, CAPPO
 
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Creating a Police Department: Procuring ammunition to vehicles in a time of Covid and supply chain challenges.

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


Join us for an exciting "Ride-A-Long" as we show you how Procurement became an integral part of the transition team that launched a Police Department.  How important flexibility in your procurement rules are and ways you can modify them to meet challenging and difficult times.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discover why developing a relationship with your team is important: Who, what, where, when, how. 
  • Identify process changes to meet challenging times in Procurement. Is there room for change?
  • Learn to become an “expert”, teach and mentor through research, collaboration and good communication.
Myrna Quihuis, CPPB, Melissa Bauer
 
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Raising Minority Spend without a Disparity Study

 Contact Hours: 1.0    Live-Streamed


MWBE’s ( Minority Women Business Enterprises) can struggle with contracting with the government for a various number of reasons. These reasons can vary from an overburdensome procurement process, to discrimination, to access to capital. Most governments have realized that the need to increase contracts with MWBE’s. This session will dive into strategies that cities can use to help raise their minority spend when they do not have a disparity study to give preference to MWBE’s.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply innovative strategies to raise minority spend when preference cannot be given.
  • Examine opportunities each procurement department can provide to smaller/MWBE’s businesses without access to additional capital.
  • Analyze methods to streamline or simplify procurement processes.
Toni Cook, Vitesh Patel
 
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Closing Session: “FEAR(LESS) MINDSET”

 Contact Hours: 1.25    Live-Streamed


Our brains believe the stories we tell them. Without conscious effort, they are negativity seeking missiles, but we have the power to change that. Science demonstrates that more positive people enjoy better relationships, higher quality of life, improved health and longevity, and they far outperform less optimistic peers at work with increased sales, promotions, and engagement. Optimism is a lucrative investment for every organization. Rewire your brain to optimize the power of positivity!

Rebecca Heiss - Keynote

Seth Mattison

Cyrenthia Ellis, MBA, PMP

Procurement Manager, City of Austin


Cyrenthia Ellis is currently a Procurement Manager within the Financial Services Department for the City of Austin. Ms. Ellis currently oversees a team of  Procurement Professionals responsible for the procurement of General Services, General Goods, and Administration. Ms. Ellis has been with the City of Austin for 14 years and offers over 20 years practical knowledge and expertise, within the public and private sector, in department leadership, purchasing and contract management, category management, project management, and IT development. Ms. Ellis has earned an MBA degree in Industrial Management from the University of Dallas, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Loyola University at Chicago. She has her Project Manager Professional certification and is also a Certified Texas Purchasing Manager.

Tamela Saldana, Ph.D

Assistant Director, Small and Minority Business Resources Department and Acting Director, Office of Civil Rights


Tamela Saldana works for the City of Austin’s Small and Minority Business Resources Department where she serves as the Assistant Director. Ms. Saldana has close to twenty-five years of federal, state and local government experience having worked as the Director of the federal Disadvantaged and Small Business Program for the Texas Department of Transportation. Ms. Saldana has been a graduate professor at Texas State University in the Masters of Public Administration Program for over ten years. Ms. Saldanahas earned her Doctorates degree from University of Texas in Anthropology of the African and African American Diaspora with an emphasis in racial and cultural studies.   Dr. Saldana has earned two master’s degrees, a M.P.A in Public Administration from Texas State University and a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Saldana is a graduate of the City of Austin’s Executive Academy, Leadership Texas graduate, a previous recipient of the Outstanding Women in Texas Government Community Involvement Award and has received numerous awards recognizing her efforts and support of small and minority businesses.

Rick Grimm, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, FCIPS,

Chief Executive Officer, NIGP

Rick Grimm has served as NIGP’s Chief Executive Officer for 23 years.

Rick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Florida International University.  He served county governments and public school districts for 23 years, including over 12 years in the management of the public procurement function, before joining the NIGP team in 1998. 

As NIGP continues to develop, support and promote public procurement, Rick’s recent priorities have been the development of partnerships with universities and associations that represent the direct reports of the procurement function. To leverage these relationships and enhance NIGP’s role as a trusted advisor, Rick reorganized the NIGP team with a focus on content management and sustained membership growth.  The Institute now offers certificate programs for professionals entering the workplace and for seasoned professionals who seek high-level skills on procurement specialties such as technology and construction.

Diane Daly

NIGP's Director of Certification Programs

Amy Flack, NIGP-CPP, CPPB, PMP, CPPO, BA

Senior Manager, Non-Capital Program, Hillsborough County Aviation Authority


Amy Flack has over 16 years of public procurement experience, obtained her CPPB and CPPO and is working towards a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. She has successfully facilitated the procurement process for various projects, including Janitorial Services, Remote Baggage Check Services, Spa Services, Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefit Services, and Glass Cleaning Services. she is Procurement’s Training Administrator, responsible for supplier and Authority-wide staff procurement training. She currently serves on the Member Council for NIGP and as the Public Relations Director for the Airport Purchasing Group. Shewas named 2015 Buyer of the Year and 2017 Manager of the Year by her Chapter and the 2017 Inaugural Young Professional by NIGP National. She has served on NIGP’s Forum Committee and the Dictionary Update and NIGP-CPP Item Writing Task Forces. Ms. Flack has held various leadership roles within her local Chapter such as Treasurer, Vice President, President, Membership Director and currently serves as the Programs Chair.

Yen Pang

County of San Mateo - County Contracts Manager


20 years in procurement with a specialty in complex solicitations. She recently completed the first AEP submission for the County of San Mateo. Her most awesome office had a window overlooking the runways at San Francisco International Airport. 

Paige McDonald

Erin D'Vincent, NIGP-CPP, CPPB

Procurement Manager, City of Austin


Erin D’Vincent is a Procurement Manager for the City of Austin specializing in end to end procurement and contracting.  Ms. D’Vincent has a degree from Texas State University, is a member of NIGP, graduate of Leaders Edge, has her CPPB, and NIGP-CPP. Erin leads all procurement activities for the City’s Industrial, Facilities, Water, and Waste Team and Mobility, Health, and Safety Team. She supervisors a staff of ten that manage a portfolio of over 585 contracts valued at more than $1.3 billion.

Sai Xoomsai Purcell, CPPB

Procurement Manager, City of Austin Financial Services - Purchasing


Sai Xoomsai Purcell graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has 20+ years in public/private procurement, has been with the City of Austin for over 11 years, and prior to that was a Senior Buyer for a retail clothing company. Sai Xoomsai Purcell received her Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) in 2013 and manages staff of nine Information Technology procurement professionals with contracts valued at $1.3 billion

Kirk Buffington, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, C.P.M., CPFIM, MBA

Retired


Kirk Buffington retired in June 2019, from the City of Fort Lauderdale, where he spent the last five years as Director of Finance.  Prior to serving in that capacity he served the City as Deputy Director of Finance, Director of Procurement Services, and Deputy Director of Administrative Services.  Before coming to the City of Fort Lauderdale, Kirk was the Purchasing Agent for Osceola County. In addition, Mr. Buffington has purchasing experience with the Orange County School Board, and as a Grocery Buyer with the Wal-Mart Corporation, and as a Receiving Supervisor with the Walt Disney World Co.  He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida State University, and an MBA, with a concentration in Procurement and Acquisitions Management, from Webster University, St. Louis, MO.  Mr. Buffington served as President of the Florida Association of Public Purchasing Officers and was elected to the NIGP Board of Directors in July 2003, and served as President of NIGP in 2008-2009.  In addition to his activities with NIGP, Mr. Buffington has also served the National Purchasing Institute, NPI, on their Selection and Evaluation Committee for the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award.  Mr. Buffington co-authored the NIGP text “The Legal Aspects of Public Purchasing” now in its third edition and has published  various articles concerning Procurement Case Law both in local news blogs, and in nationally peer reviewed academic journals.  In January, 2022, Mr. Buffington was admitted to the Masters of Legal Studies Program at the University of Cincinnati School of Law.

Sean Carroll

Chief Procurement Officer, New York State Office of General Services


In August 2016, Sean Carroll was appointed Chief Procurement Officer for NYS's Office of General Services. Mr. Carroll  manages more than 1,500 contracts with a value exceeding $29 billion and is responsible for statewide contracts for commodities, services, and information technology for authorized users.  He previously served as the Director of Onondaga County’s Division of Purchase from 2010 to 2016. In the private sector, he managed his own consulting firm for nearly 10 years.

Ginger Line, MPA, NIGP-CPP, CPPB

Client Development Administrator, Sourcewell


Ginger Line, MPA, NIGP-CPP, CPPB is a Client Development Administrator at Sourcewell, where she helps government agencies walk through the cooperative purchase process through contracts. She previously worked for 8.5 years in Procurement.  Ms. Line has a B.A. in Political Science; in 2019, and her Master’s in Public Administration from Villanova University.  She is the past President of the Minnesota chapter, is an area 6 Chapter Ambassador, and is serving on the BOE for the CPPB exam.

Jeremy Schwartz, CPPO, CSSBB

Chief Procurement Officer, Sourcewell


Jeremy Schwartz, CPPO, CSSBB is the Chief Procurement Officer for Sourcewell. Mr. Schwartz has been a public procurement practicioner since January 2012, and has been serving as the Sourcewell CPO since 2018. He has a B.S. from Bemidji State University, is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt through the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and is a Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) through the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council (UPPCC). Mr. Schwartz also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Cooperative Procurement Partners (NCPP)

Theresa Webb, M.A. CPPO, CPPB, CPSM, C.P.M.

Retired


Theresa Webb, M.A., NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M. has over 30 years of experience in procurement. In her leadership roles Ms. Webb oversaw the procurement of goods, services, technology, construction, concessions and capital improvement. She has Bachelor and Masters degrees in Business. Since retiring Ms. Webb has continued serving the profession as an NIGP Instructor, on NIGP coursework creation teams, as Chair of the NIGP Accreditation Committee and her role as consultant for Civic Initiatives.

Nathan Dawson

Procurement Manager II, South Carolina Fiscal Accountability Authority


Nathan Dawson serves as the Procurement Manger of the Sourcing Team for the Division of Procurement Services in South Carolina. His job is to assist State Agencies purchase goods and services whose value exceeds those Agencies’ certification levels. In other words, he buys stuff. The majority of that “stuff” is now IT-related – Mr. Dawson has purchased hardware and software solutions, ranging from electronic poll books for the presidential elections to grants management systems, as well as software maintenance and application development services. He is an active member of his local NIGP Chapter, as well as one of NIGP's instructors, teaching primarily the two Technology Procurement classes. He has presented at past NIGP and chapter Forums around the country. Originally from Australia, Mr. Dawson worked for both Federal and State Governments in Australia and England before moving to South Carolina 15 years ago and discovering his true calling as a procurement professional.  And no, he does not know Chris Hemsworth.

Zac Christensen, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB

Director of Purchasing and Contracts, Utah State Board of Education

Zachary Christensen is currently the Director of Purchasing and Contracts with the Utah State Board of Education, supervising the distribution and expenditure of education funds at the state level. He is passionate about furthering public procurement as a profession and providing professional development to help ensure that those practitioners can move forward in this exciting profession. Zac also teaches procurement courses for NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement, and has served on local and national professional organizations. Prior to working at USBE, Zac served as a contract analyst for state purchasing, was a practicing lawyer, and worked for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in legal and subcontract management.  

Stéphanie Dion, NIGP-CPP, CPPB

Director, Procurement Centre of Excellence, Government of Manitoba


Stéphanie Dion is the Director, Procurement Centre of Excellence, Government of Manitoba.  She was previously employed by Manitoba Hydro, The City of Red Deer and the Government of Yukon. Stephanie practiced extensively in both the contract A and non-contract A paradigms. She is also the co-founder of the #RFPDreamTeam who provides advisory services and training on executing RFPs. Stephanie graduated university with a teaching degree and is involved with professional development at various local, national, and international events. She has been an active volunteer and advisor with professional associations since 2012 starting with the Cooperative Accreditation taskforce and now serves as the Chair of the Content Management Committee for the National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP). Stéphanie recently contributed a few articles to procurement magazines. She is the recipient of NIGP’s 2021 Buyer of the Year award.

 

Jack Pellegrino, CPPO, CPCM, NIGP-CPP

Director of Purchasing and Contracting, County of San Diego


Jack Pellegrino, CPPO, NIGP-CPP, NCMA CPCM and Fellow is Director Purchasing & Contacting at County of San Diego with four decades of government procurement experience in public and private sectors. He serves as CAPPO President, a member NIGP Certification Commission. Mr. Pellegrino is an instructor at SDSU Contracts Program and CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government. He was awarded the Inaugural 2015 Walt Ekard Integrity in Action Award, 2016 CAO Excellence in Leadership Award; 2020 CSAC Procurement Executive of the Year.

Clarissa Clark, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB

Director of Purchasing, University of South Carolina


 

Stacy Gregg, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB

Director of Procurement, South Carolina State University


Stacy Gregg is the Director of Procurement at SC State University. She is an Online Instructor for NIGP and volunteers with The Institute on the Member Council and Certification Commission. Ms. Gregg is an active member o the SC Association of Governmental Purchasing Officials (SCAGPO).  She has an Associate’s Degree in Public Service (Paralegal) and B.A. Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Concentrating in English & Management). She holds the NIGP-CPP, CPPO, and  CPPB designations.

Michael Bevis, Esq., NIGP-CPP, JD, CPPO, CPSM, C.P.M.

Chief Procurement Officer, City of Norfolk, VA


Michael Bevis is an internationally recognized thought leader in the public procurement profession. He is currently Chief Procurement Officer for the City of Norfolk, Virginia, where he is charged with integrating business, technology, operations and budgeting goals to further the City’s commitment to grow Norfolk’s economy and adopt programs that build a solid foundation for partnering with the business community. He currently serves the Chair of the Center for Job Order Contracting Excellence and in the immediate past Chair of the Governing Board of NIGP the Institute for Public Procurement; he also represents the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management on the Global Standards Board. Michael’s professionalism has been recognized by NIGP (Agency Advancement Award, Distinguished Service Award, Pareto Award of Excellence, Manager of the Year, Outstanding Agency Accreditation and Innovation awards), IFPSM (the Lewis Spangler Award), National Purchasing Institute (Achievement of Excellence in Procurement – awarded to his jurisdictions 18 times).  Mr. Bevis’s teaching experiences include 23 years as an Instructor for NIGP, independent curriculum and training development for various agencies. Mr. Bevis is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School (JD), Lincoln Memorial University (BA magna cum laude) and has completed post graduate studies at North Central College (Leadership Studies) and Northern Illinois University (Public Administration).  He holds the NIGP-CPP, a CPPO from the UPPCC and the CPSM and lifetime CPM from the Institute for Supply Management.

Lisa Mehalko, NIGP-CPP, MBA, CPPO, CPSM

Director of Procurement, Georgia Technology Authority (GTA)


Lisa Mehalko is the Director of Procurement for the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) overseeing statewide technology initiatives, with over $500M in spend annually. She has over 20 years of government procurement and currently holds a MBA. . She holds a NIGP-CPP, CPPO and CPSM from the ISM. Ms. Mehalko is a proud member of the national Finance Committee, serves as the Treasurer and Educational Chair of the Georgia Chapter of NIGP (GANIGP), and is also a board member of the Atlanta Chapter of ISM.

Kirk Buffington, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, C.P.M., CPFIM, MBA

Retired


Kirk Buffington retired in June 2019, from the City of Fort Lauderdale, where he spent the last five years as Director of Finance.  Prior to serving in that capacity he served the City as Deputy Director of Finance, Director of Procurement Services, and Deputy Director of Administrative Services.  Before coming to the City of Fort Lauderdale, Kirk was the Purchasing Agent for Osceola County. In addition, Mr. Buffington has purchasing experience with the Orange County School Board, and as a Grocery Buyer with the Wal-Mart Corporation, and as a Receiving Supervisor with the Walt Disney World Co.  He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida State University, and an MBA, with a concentration in Procurement and Acquisitions Management, from Webster University, St. Louis, MO.  Mr. Buffington served as President of the Florida Association of Public Purchasing Officers and was elected to the NIGP Board of Directors in July 2003, and served as President of NIGP in 2008-2009.  In addition to his activities with NIGP, Mr. Buffington has also served the National Purchasing Institute, NPI, on their Selection and Evaluation Committee for the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award.  Mr. Buffington co-authored the NIGP text “The Legal Aspects of Public Purchasing” now in its third edition and has published  various articles concerning Procurement Case Law both in local news blogs, and in nationally peer reviewed academic journals.  In January, 2022, Mr. Buffington was admitted to the Masters of Legal Studies Program at the University of Cincinnati School of Law.

Jesus Amezcua, CPA

Assistant Superintendent for Business/CFO, Harris County Department of Education


Jesus Amezcua has been the Department’s Assistant Superintendent for Business Services since 2008 and he oversees the financial management, investment management, debt management, procurement, compliance, tax collections, accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll departments in the Business Services Division. He is a member of the Professional Standards Committee for the Texas Society of CPAs. He is a member of the best practices committee from GFOA and ASBO. He coordinated a $51 million Capital Improvement Program to include a bond rating upgrade by Moody's Investor Service in 2020. Previous to HCDE, Dr. Amezcua worked for Laredo Independent School District as the Chief Finance Officer for 12 years where he was responsible for the management of the business operations of the district including Accounting, Investments, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Budget, Purchasing, Tax Office, Risk, Compliance, Debt, Transportation, Food Services, and Construction and Facilities. He coordinated the analysis, presentation, and implementation of the largest Bond Election ($144 million) for the school district, the Public Facility Corporation for a bond issue of $68 Million, and the Bond Elections of $60 Million and $57 Million bond series.  Prior to Laredo ISD, Dr. Amezcua worked for the City of Laredo where he was responsible for overseeing 6 divisions in the Finance Department including Accounting, Accounts Payable, Ambulance, Budget, Technology–Data Processing & Purchasing. He managed a $120+ million investment portfolio, legal debt and assets of the city. During his tenure with the city, he also served as Revenue Manager, Internal Auditor, and Staff Accountant.

Kendra Jackson

Procurement Director, Harris County Department of Education


Kendra Jackson is the Director of Purchasing. Kendra has served in the Purchasing Division since 2009. Before being named the Director, she served in many roles, including the Assistant Director. Ms. Jackson is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the Purchasing Division. Prior to coming to the HCDE, she worked for Humble ISD in the Purchasing Division and The University of Texas Health Science Center. Ms. Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Downtown.

Edna Johnson

Assistant Director of Procurement, Harris County Department of Education


Dr. Edna E. Johnson is the assistant director of the Purchasing Division of Harris County Department of Education (HCDE). Dr. Johnson has served HCDE since July 2021 and is responsible for conducting numerous procurement activities which include contract mananagement.

Rebecca Kee, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, CPO

Purchasing Agent, City of Virginia Beach


Rebecca Kee, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB Rebecca has over 17 years’ experience in the public procurement field and has worked extensively to develop, create, and support educational programs and opportunities for the profession. Ms. Kee currently serves as the Chief Procurement Officer and Purchasing Agent for the City of Virginia Beach, VA. She has served as Professional Development Chair and President for her local NIGP Chapters and is proud to be a Charter member of NIGP’s newest Chapter the Chesapeake Bay Procurement Association.  Ms. Kee has also served on the NIGP Awards Committee, as Chair for the Content Management Committee and as a Chapter Ambassador for Region 2.  Ms. Kee currently serves on the NIGP Talent Council. Ms. Kee has served as adjunct faculty teaching procurement classes at Arkansas State University as well as an instructor for NIGP.

Lavera Tolentino

SWaM Procurement Administrator, City of Virginia Beach, VA


Lavera Tolentino has over 25 years of local government experience in Finance and Procurement. In her current position as the SWaM Procurement Administrator for the City of Virginia Beach, she supports the growth of small, woman, minority (SWaM) and veteran owned businesses through outreach, mentoring, coaching and education. She is an advocate for the SWaM business community and has been instrumental in implementing several programs to increase procurement opportunities and the utilization of small businesses who desire to do business with the City of Virginia Beach.

Charley Kargman, MPP

Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab


Charles Kargman is a Government Innovation Fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL). He oversees GPL’s engagement with the City of Tulsa and leads efforts to promote efficiency, innovation, and equity in procurement, particularly as it applies to social services. In addition to his Tulsa work, Mr. Kargman uses trainings and technical assistance to help cities across the country realize the full potential of government contracting as a nimble, results-driven policymaking tool. Mr. Kargman holds a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Michigan, where he focused on state and local policy and fiscal health, and a BA in political science from the University of Chicago.

Elliot Karl

Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab


Elliot Karl is a Government Innovation Fellow based in Chicago, IL, working with the Government Performance Lab’s Procurement and Economic Mobility team on the Opportunity Accelerator project in Alameda County, California. For the past year, he has worked with county staff to identify the most common and significant barriers to government contracting by convening MWBE advocate organizations and co-designing structured focus groups. Prior to joining the GPL, he worked in affordable housing and eviction defense non-profits and at municipal transportation departments in the Bay Area. His local government experience includes capital financial planning, fund management, and public engagement design. Outside of work, he regularly invests in local community organizing projects and political campaigns. Mr. Karl graduated with a Masters of Public Policy (MPP) with a Certificate in Municipal Finance from the University of Chicago in June 2020. He also holds a Bachelors of Arts (BA) from Grinnell College where he majored in Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies and Economics.

Laura Merryfield

Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab


Laura Merryfield is a Government Innovation Fellow at the Government Performance Lab focused on increasing equity in procurement in the city of Long Beach, CA.

TJ Maring

Marcheta Gillespie, FNIGP, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, C.P.M., CPPB, CPM

President of NIGP Code & Consulting, Periscope/NIGP Code & Consulting


Marcheta Gillespie, FNIGP, CPPO, NIGP-CPP, CPPB, C.P.M., CPM, is a dynamic international speaker, professional consultant and trainer. For over 30 years, Ms. Gillespie has served as an experienced thought-leader, advocate and volunteer leader in the procurement profession. As the former Chief Procurement Officer at the City of Tucson, she led one of country’s most highly acclaimed procurement organizations.  Retired from government service, Marcheta now serves as President of NIGP Code & Consulting, working with public and private industry to transform their procurement operations. Ms. Gillespie is the 2019 Albert H Hall recipient and 2017 Distinguished Service Award recipient, the highest honors bestowed upon individuals by NIGP.  Marcheta is a former Chair of the UPPCC Governing Board, Former President of NIGP and served on the NIGP Board of Directors for 10 years. She now serves on the NIGP Business Council and Chairs the NIGP Mentorship Committee. Ms. Gillespie has spoken at hundreds of international, national and regional events and authored numerous published works in the profession.

Cheral Manke, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, CPM

Procurement Innovation Manager, State of Washington


Cheral Manke currently serves as the Procurement Innovation Manager for the State of WA. Prior to her appointment, she was the Former State Procurement Manager/ Marketing & Relationship Manager, State of WA. Ms. Manke was deemed “Face of moving to a Human-centered Organization.” Ms. Manke believes in leading Procurement community thru key directives-environmental, diversity, equity & inclusion, One WA ERP. She has 17 years public procurement & contracting and 20 years private sector contract management. She currently serves as a NIGP Governing Board Member and is a past NIGP Member Council Chair. She holds a NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB and Certified Purchasing Management (CPM) from the University of Texas, Arlington. Ms. Manke holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Legal Studies-Contracts/Executive JD fromCal State University-Lexington University.

Jennifer Sulentic

Chief Procurement Ally, CompareCoOps


Jennifer leads CompareCoOps as its Chief Procurement Ally, making cooperative purchasing easier to use and more transparent for public agencies across the country. With over 10 years of experience working as an advocate and resource for public agencies and suppliers alike, she is well known and widely respected in the world of public procurement cooperative contracting.

During her time at ProcureSource, Jennifer brought the first of its kind cooperative purchasing directory to our industry.  Before that, Jennifer's consultative efforts with U.S. Communities brought efficiencies, (including a strong focus on buying environmentally conscientious products via contracts) to public sector purchasing and better communication between suppliers and buyers. Her expertise in public procurement cooperative contracting led to millions of dollars of savings for public agencies nationwide.

Jennifer also led the central division for furniture giant, Knoll, driving growth and strategy.  This role gave her a keen understanding of LEED/sustainability status in manufacturing and the supplier side of government contracting.

She is a frequent guest speaker at multiple NIGP & NIGP chapter events and has presented at CAPPO, FAPPO, NRPA & ASBO conferences. When she’s not on Zoom you can find her on Clubhouse talking government purchasing internationally.

Jennifer grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa. Yep twice a day every day. She’s happy procurement smells a LOT better.

RuthAnne Hall, CPPO

Purchasing Manager at Lake County, IL

RuthAnne K. Hall, CPPO has worked in municipal and county government for over 19 years and is currently serving as the Purchasing Manager for Lake County since 2011. In her role as the Purchasing Manager, RuthAnne oversees a staff of purchasing officers that procures over $250 million annually on various goods, contracted services, construction and professional services for 26 county departments. She currently serves as the President of the Midwest Association of Public Procurement (MAPP), has served as a Board Member for the Illinois Association of Public Procurement Officials (IAPPO) and is an active member the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) and has participated as a member of the Standard Setting Panel for the NIGP-CPP. RuthAnne also serves as a member of the Illinois Government Finance Officer Association Professional Education Committee to provide purchasing training to finance professionals. RuthAnne is a graduate of Augustana College in Illinois and holds a MS degree from Columbia University in New York.

Jennifer Alford, CPPO

Director of Purchasing, Contracts and Auxiliary Services, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA


Jennifer Alford is the Director of Purchasing, Contracts and Auxiliary Services at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, CA. For the past three years she worked in local government. Prior to local government, Jennifer worked in the CA Community College system for eight (8) years managing District operations including purchasing, contracts, warehouse, print shop, mail/courier services, bookstore and food services.

Although originally from California, in 2004 Jennifer began her procurement career in Georgia working for a rural county located northwest of Atlanta. In 2011, Jennifer returned home to the Golden State with husband and son to be closer to family. 

Mrs. Alford is a Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and an active member of several procurement associations. She serves on the Board of Directors for California Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. (CAPPO) and has held leadership positions for the Foundation of California Community Colleges (FCCC) Advisory Purchasing Board. 

Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (Spanish Minor) from UC Santa Barbara and a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Argosy University, Atlanta.

Bryan Forero

 

Procurement Manager, Chicago Public Schools


Bryan lives to question everything to secure the best deals. As a Procurement Manager at Chicago Public Schools, he has leveraged all kinds of solicitations and existing agreements to optimize the District's benefit. Managing within the 3rd largest School District in the nation during a union strike, pandemic, organizational change and supply shortage has forced innovative solutions to come about from a collaborative perspective. Bryan remains of the mindset that there is always an answer and it's necessary to have the right tools in your arsenal in order to achieve excellence.

Rebecca Kee, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, CPO

Purchasing Agent, City of Virginia Beach


Rebecca Kee, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB Rebecca has over 17 years’ experience in the public procurement field and has worked extensively to develop, create, and support educational programs and opportunities for the profession. Ms. Kee currently serves as the Chief Procurement Officer and Purchasing Agent for the City of Virginia Beach, VA. She has served as Professional Development Chair and President for her local NIGP Chapters and is proud to be a Charter member of NIGP’s newest Chapter the Chesapeake Bay Procurement Association.  Ms. Kee has also served on the NIGP Awards Committee, as Chair for the Content Management Committee and as a Chapter Ambassador for Region 2.  Ms. Kee currently serves on the NIGP Talent Council. Ms. Kee has served as adjunct faculty teaching procurement classes at Arkansas State University as well as an instructor for NIGP.

Barb Johnson, FNIGP, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB

Agency Procurement Officer (Retired) State of Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction

Barbara R. Johnson served for 38 years as a State, City and Airport Authority Procurement Leader. She serves the Institute members on many committees, task forces, and as a frequent Forum speaker and moderator. Barb instructs public procurement courses for the Institute (NIGP), the Ohio State University, and others upon request, as well as providing consulting services through NIGP's Consulting program.

Stacy Adams, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB

Director of Statewide Sourcing, State of South Carolina, Division of Procurement Services


Stacy Adams, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, is the Director of Statewide Sourcing for the State of South Carolina, Division of Procurement Services managing the State Term Contracting Teams. With almost 20 years of experience her skills represent governmental purchasing at the county, state agency and state-wide levels. 

Stacy is a leader who has been actively involved in content builds for The Institute for Public Procurement (NIGP) Pathways program. She also instructs courses nationally as a NIGP Certified Instructor.   

Stacy’s desire to “give back” to the profession she so dearly loves continues in her service to NIGP and its local Chapter, the South Carolina Association of Governmental Purchasing Officials (SCAGPO). As an active member of both, she has served in many capacities including SCAGPO President. She was awarded SCAGPO’s Buyer of the Year for 2014 and was honored as the recipient of the B.D. Bland Distinguished Service Award in 2018 for her contributions to the Procurement Profession and the entity she serves.  Stacy currently serves on SCAGPO’s Past President Council and NIGP’s Talent Council as Chair Elect. 

Jason Kazmar, BS

Director of Electric Vehicle and Sustainability Strategy, Element Fleet Management


Jason Kazmar has more than 13 years of experience in the electric utility industry working in a number of engineering, consulting, program management, and strategy roles. Specific areas include emerging technology evaluation, electric vehicle infrastructure program design, renewable energy grid integration, corporate strategy, and cyber security program design. At Element, Mr. Kazmer is responsible for the development of electrification services including long-term EV strategy/planning, EV feasibility analysis, and EV program implementation. Jason’s client base covers a wide range of electrification use-cases including both centralized (pool/depot fleets) and decentralised (home-based fleets) as well as a multitude of vehicle cases (light-duty passenger fleets, service truck fleets, etc.). Jason received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

Michael Bevis, Esq., NIGP-CPP, JD, CPPO, CPSM, C.P.M.

Chief Procurement Officer, City of Norfolk, VA


Michael Bevis is an internationally recognized thought leader in the public procurement profession. He is currently Chief Procurement Officer for the City of Norfolk, Virginia, where he is charged with integrating business, technology, operations and budgeting goals to further the City’s commitment to grow Norfolk’s economy and adopt programs that build a solid foundation for partnering with the business community. He currently serves the Chair of the Center for Job Order Contracting Excellence and in the immediate past Chair of the Governing Board of NIGP the Institute for Public Procurement; he also represents the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management on the Global Standards Board. Michael’s professionalism has been recognized by NIGP (Agency Advancement Award, Distinguished Service Award, Pareto Award of Excellence, Manager of the Year, Outstanding Agency Accreditation and Innovation awards), IFPSM (the Lewis Spangler Award), National Purchasing Institute (Achievement of Excellence in Procurement – awarded to his jurisdictions 18 times).  Mr. Bevis’s teaching experiences include 23 years as an Instructor for NIGP, independent curriculum and training development for various agencies. Mr. Bevis is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School (JD), Lincoln Memorial University (BA magna cum laude) and has completed post graduate studies at North Central College (Leadership Studies) and Northern Illinois University (Public Administration).  He holds the NIGP-CPP, a CPPO from the UPPCC and the CPSM and lifetime CPM from the Institute for Supply Management.

Mike Thornton, CPPO

Manager, City of Leesburg, FL


Mike Thornton is the Purchasing Manager for the City of Leesburg, Florida. He has been at Leesburg for over 15 years and has over 20 years experience in public procurement.  The City of Leesburg is a smaller municipality that operates 5 utilities. This allows Mr. Thornton to facilitate all types of solicitations to acquire the commodities required by his entity. He is a regular contributor to Nsite discussion and presents at NIGP forum annually. Mike  takes a specific interest in promoting and encouraging innovation in public procurement through the use of technology. He is active in the Central Florida Chapter of NIGP and is the past vice-president. Mr. Thornton has volunteered for several opportunities at NIGP including co-author for Global Best Practices.

Mr. Victor A. Leamer, CPPB

Senior Buyer, Spokane County


Victor Leamer has 35 years of public procurement experience at the county, state department, and state-wide levels. Victor teaches Sourcing in the Public Sector and the Core Certificate: Foundations in Strategy and Policy for NIGP (virtual), the 10-part Learning Lab RFP series, and has presented NIGP webinars on protests, evaluating responsiveness in bids, virtual leadership, and contract price adjustments. He was appointed to the NIGP Talent Council in 2021, serves on NIGP's Content Management Committee (formerly Knowledge Management Committee) since 2015, produces the monthly Radio NIGP show, and is a founding member/former Vice President of the Alaska/Hawaii Governmental Procurement Association NIGP Chapter.

Stéphanie Dion, NIGP-CPP, CPPB

Director, Procurement Centre of Excellence, Government of Manitoba


Stéphanie Dion is the Director, Procurement Centre of Excellence, Government of Manitoba.  She was previously employed by Manitoba Hydro, The City of Red Deer and the Government of Yukon. Stephanie practiced extensively in both the contract A and non-contract A paradigms. She is also the co-founder of the #RFPDreamTeam who provides advisory services and training on executing RFPs. Stephanie graduated university with a teaching degree and is involved with professional development at various local, national, and international events. She has been an active volunteer and advisor with professional associations since 2012 starting with the Cooperative Accreditation taskforce and now serves as the Chair of the Content Management Committee for the National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP). Stéphanie recently contributed a few articles to procurement magazines. She is the recipient of NIGP’s 2021 Buyer of the Year award.

 

Becca Blazak, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB

Partnerships & Community, CoProcure


Becca Blazak manages partnerships and community engagement at CoProcure, a free cooperative contract search tool for public procurement professionals. Ms. Blazak has spent her career working at the intersection of government and tech. She's supported technical teams embedded in local government agencies across the country and partnered with state-level government in Australia to improve legal aid technology and embrace new methods for sourcing and developing tech tools. She is excited to use her experience to build collaboration tools for the public procurement community.

Maria Agrusa

Michael Wenzel

Director of ARPA Procurements with the State of Maine


Mike started his career with the US Coast Guard where he served at both the US Public Health Clinic in Hawaii and the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. His career with the State of Maine started with Social Security Disability Determination Services directing a disability claims team and providing technology services. He then spent several years directing the Maine CDC’s Statewide Immunization Program. His first foray into public procurement was working as a Contract Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. After several years with the DHHS, Mike had the honor of serving the citizens of Maine as their Chief Procurement Official. He then served as a regional Outreach and Education Director with NASPO ValuePoint a cooperative purchasing organization. Mike has been able to continue his passion for public procurement running a modest consulting business assisting public procurement entities and suppliers and continues to support the State of Maine as Director of ARPA Procurements.  

Jesus Amezcua, CPA

Assistant Superintendent for Business/CFO, Harris County Department of Education


Jesus Amezcua has been the Department’s Assistant Superintendent for Business Services since 2008 and he oversees the financial management, investment management, debt management, procurement, compliance, tax collections, accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll departments in the Business Services Division. He is a member of the Professional Standards Committee for the Texas Society of CPAs. He is a member of the best practices committee from GFOA and ASBO. He coordinated a $51 million Capital Improvement Program to include a bond rating upgrade by Moody's Investor Service in 2020. Previous to HCDE, Dr. Amezcua worked for Laredo Independent School District as the Chief Finance Officer for 12 years where he was responsible for the management of the business operations of the district including Accounting, Investments, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Budget, Purchasing, Tax Office, Risk, Compliance, Debt, Transportation, Food Services, and Construction and Facilities. He coordinated the analysis, presentation, and implementation of the largest Bond Election ($144 million) for the school district, the Public Facility Corporation for a bond issue of $68 Million, and the Bond Elections of $60 Million and $57 Million bond series.  Prior to Laredo ISD, Dr. Amezcua worked for the City of Laredo where he was responsible for overseeing 6 divisions in the Finance Department including Accounting, Accounts Payable, Ambulance, Budget, Technology–Data Processing & Purchasing. He managed a $120+ million investment portfolio, legal debt and assets of the city. During his tenure with the city, he also served as Revenue Manager, Internal Auditor, and Staff Accountant.

Cheral Manke, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, CPM

Procurement Innovation Manager, State of Washington


Cheral Manke currently serves as the Procurement Innovation Manager for the State of WA. Prior to her appointment, she was the Former State Procurement Manager/ Marketing & Relationship Manager, State of WA. Ms. Manke was deemed “Face of moving to a Human-centered Organization.” Ms. Manke believes in leading Procurement community thru key directives-environmental, diversity, equity & inclusion, One WA ERP. She has 17 years public procurement & contracting and 20 years private sector contract management. She currently serves as a NIGP Governing Board Member and is a past NIGP Member Council Chair. She holds a NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB and Certified Purchasing Management (CPM) from the University of Texas, Arlington. Ms. Manke holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Legal Studies-Contracts/Executive JD fromCal State University-Lexington University.

Crystal Washington - Keynote

Crystal Washington, CSP works with organizations that want to leverage technology to increase profits and productivity!

As a technology strategist and certified futurist, Crystal takes complex social media, app, and web topics and makes them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people.

Crystal’s clients comprise Fortune 500 companies including Google, Microsoft, and GE, and as a sought-after keynote speaker, she has entertained and educated audiences around the globe.

As one of Forbes’ 50 Leading Female Futurists, She appears weekly on season two of the Emmy nominated show, Life 2.0 and she’s appeared in numerous publications including Entrepreneur and Bloomberg Businessweek. She is regularly called on by major television networks as a tech expert.

Crystal is the author of the books One Tech Action and The Social Media Why.

Richard Formella, DBIA, PMP

Design-Build Construction Consultant, Design Build Strategic Solutions, LLC


Richard (Rich) Formella, PMP, DBIA  Director, Owner Support & Resources  Design-Build Institute of America Waxahachie, TX. Mr. Fomella is the President of Design-Build Strategic Solutions, LLC, a design & construction procurement process and contract administration consulting firm, and Director, Owner Support & Resources for the Design-Build Institute of America. He retired from federal service as Chief of the Bio-Containment Procurement Branch for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), after serving as Chief of Procurement for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (DHS) since 2006. Prior to joining DHS, Rich served the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for over 20 years and concluded his service at BOP as the Chief of Construction Contracting where he led and administered the $2.5 billion-dollar new federal prison construction contracting program. At the DHS he led the team providing design and construction contracting support for the DHS Science and Technology Directorate for major laboratory renovations and new construction an overall $1.5 billion program, including the $1.3 billion National Bio & Agro Defense Facility. He has over 35 years of federal acquisition/contracting experience, beginning as a warranted contracting officer in 1986. Mr. Fomella holds a BS in Forest Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point; and a MS in Management – Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness from Troy University. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and a designated Design-Build Professional (DBIA). He is a former DBIA National Board member; DBIA Federal Committee member, and is a seasoned DBIA and NIGP instructor.

Brad Cummings

Vice President, Procurement, Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority


Brad J. Cummings joined DART in April 2021. Prior to DART, Mr. Cummings successfully served as Director or Chief Procurement Officer at three agencies, including Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) in Jacksonville, Florida, Valley Metro in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Utah State Board of Education.  DART's Procurement Department oversees the award and management of DART construction, services, and commodity contracts. With responsibility for three divisions: Supply Chain Management; Operations and Policy; and Construction and Professional Services. Cummings not only oversees the contract award process, but also ensures all contracts and purchases are conducted and administered in accordance with DART's procurement regulations and in compliance with all applicable statutes.  He’s also served as Experience Director of Contracts, Procurement and Materials Management, Jacksonville Transportation Authority Chief Procurement Officer, Valley Metro Director of Contracts and Procurement, Utah State Board of Education State Contract Analyst, Division of Purchasing, State of Utah Legal Consultant, Price Law Group  Awards and Professional Affiliations Law, Science and Innovation Certificate from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law Member, NASPO, NIGP, Professional/Civic Co-founder and Vice President, UNICEF Red Advisor, The More Project  Education Bachelor of Science (BS), Political Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City Juris Doctorate (JD), Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Tammy Rimes, MPA

Executive Director, National Cooperative Procurement Partners (NCPP)


Tammy Rimes is the Executive Director of the National Cooperative Procurement Partners (NCPP), the premier Association for educational content, legislative advocacy and support for cooperative procurement.  She also formally served as Purchasing Agent for the City of San Diego, the 9th largest city in the nation and Emergency Logistics Chief during the 2007 Witch Creek Fires that raged for 17 days and destroyed over 2000 homes. Under her leadership, the City consolidated its warehouse operations, centralized all purchasing and contracting operations, and moved to a more customer focused approach. With past sales and marking experience in the airline, retail, electrical utilities, and wine industry, she has the unique perspective of working in three different worlds – corporate, government and entrepreneurial.

Ronnie Barnes

Director for Public Services. Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC)


Ronnie has more than 30 years’ experience in public purchasing and worked previously for the City of Houston prior to coming to H-GAC. As Director, he is responsible for all aspects of the Public Services Department which encompasses H-GAC Public Safety Programs, SBA and EDA Loan Programs (H-GALDC) and HGACBuy Cooperative Purchasing Program. He is a native Houstonian and studied at the University of Houston. Ronnie also serves as Chair for the National Cooperative Procurement Partners, North America’s premier Association for cooperative procurement.

Pam Pedler

Omnia Partners


As Group Vice President, East for OMNIA Partners, Public Sector, Ms. Pedler is responsible for the sales and operations within the East Region which is comprised of over 20 states. She supports a talented Regional Management team to develop and maintain relationships with key participating public agencies within the municipal, K-12, and non-profit markets. Ms. Pedler has over 20 years’ experience selling into public sector agencies and has held both sales and sales management positions. In her most recent position with OMNIA Partners, she was the Director of State Business in the Northeast and was responsible for managing eleven states. Prior to that role she managed both Higher Ed and Local/K12 members for OMNIA Partners. Prior to joining OMNIA Partners, she was with Office Depot in various sales and management positions.

Duff Erholtz

Client Services Adminstration, Sourcewell


Duff Erholtz is completing his 15th year in Membership Services for Sourcewell – formerly the National Joint Powers Alliance / NJPA. His primary responsibility is communicating with and supporting the procurement needs of the over 100,000 Sourcewell Members throughout the country. Duff volunteers as the Educational Working Group Chair for NCPP and helps create educational tools to assist procurement as they consider and utilize Cooperative agreements.

Dr. Kim Abrego, PT, DPT

COO and President, Disaster Recovery Services


As COO of Disaster Recovery Services, Kim has over 20 years of experience helping public entities prepare for and recover from complex disaster events. Kim and her team have recovered billions of dollars for public entities across the nation through FEMA’s Public Assistance program and other federal and state funding programs, including CARES and ARPA. With funding claw backs often tied to procurement, Kim has a keen interest in educating and supporting public procurement professionals in the area of disaster recovery as it relates to federal grant programs. Kim is Vice Chair of NIGP’s National Business Council and has earned her NIGP Public Procurement Supplier Masters Designation.

Jack Pellegrino, CPPO, CPCM, NIGP-CPP

Director of Purchasing and Contracting, County of San Diego


Jack Pellegrino, CPPO, NIGP-CPP, NCMA CPCM and Fellow is Director Purchasing & Contacting at County of San Diego with four decades of government procurement experience in public and private sectors. He serves as CAPPO President, a member NIGP Certification Commission. Mr. Pellegrino is an instructor at SDSU Contracts Program and CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government. He was awarded the Inaugural 2015 Walt Ekard Integrity in Action Award, 2016 CAO Excellence in Leadership Award; 2020 CSAC Procurement Executive of the Year.

Elena McGrew, MBA

Statewide Enterprise Procurement Manager, Washington State Department of Enterprise Services


Elena McGrew is Statewide Enterprise Procurement Manager for Contracts and Procurement Division of Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES).  She provides oversight and technical direction to 7 teams responsible for: (a) providing procurement consultation to other agencies; (b) developing and administering contracts for DES and on behalf of small agencies; and (c) developing and administering statewide contracts valued over $1.3 billion and utilized by state agencies, institutions of higher education, and local government entities. She is a recipient of 2021 Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management and has over 9 years of public procurement experience. She is committed to creating and implementing strategic plans and procurement procedures to improve value of every dollar spent and drive the state’s procurement priorities, such as environmental considerations, and small and diverse business participation. Ms. McGrew earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Relations from University of California, Davis, and Master of Business Administration from California State University, East Bay.

Vitesh Patel

Procurement Manager, City of Little Rock


Vitesh Patel is passionate about supplier equity, vendor outreach, energy drinks, and butter chicken. He holds a master's degree from the University of Arkansas in Supply Chain Management. Mr. Patel  has worked in various roles in supply chain management over the last ten years. Mr. Patel currently holds the title, Procurement Manager at the City of Little Rock. Outside of work, he can be found being a jungle gym for his two daughters, Amelia and Avah and working at his family businesses.

Grace Enlow

Buyer, City of Little Rock


Grace Enlow is passionate about supplier engagement and developing innovative training documents for internal and external stakeholders. She graduated last year with a business degree from the University of Arkansas, and is currently in her second semester of her Master's Program in Supply Chain Management. Ms. Enlow currently holds the position of Buyer at the City of Little Rock. Outside of work, she can be found wakesurfing, studying for her exams, playing pickleball, or trying new types of coffee.

Toni Cook, MPA, MBA

Assistant Procurement Manager, City of Little Rock


Toni Cook has a passion for process improvement, advocating for equity for women, traveling, and soft-shell tacos. She grew up in Central Arkansas and loves extreme sports, virtual reality, and skydiving. Ms. Cook is an avid lifelong learner, as she is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University, Kentucky State University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the Arkansas Coding Academy. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and one in Business Administration. As a procurement official with more than eight years of experience, she’s worked in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, and specializes in ERP’s and technology procurement. Ms. Cookcurrently holds the title of Assistant Procurement Manager for the City of Little Rock. Outside of work, you will find Ms. Cook volunteering as a CASA or cheering on the Little Rock Rangers Semi- Pro Soccer Team.

Thao Hill, SVP

General manager and SVP for OpenGov Procurement


Thao Jones-Hill is the SVP for OpenGov Procurement where he leads their public procurement software roadmap. He is a Government Technology executive with 24 years of experience leading cloud-based software companies and projects at the Federal, State, Regional, and Local levels. Mr. Jones-Hill was a member of the founding executive team for Granicus, one of the world’s leading local government cloud-based software companies, for 10 years. During his tenure there, he led their highest profile project implementations, including The US House of Representatives, The US Senate, and the City of Los Angeles. He has led engineering teams, customer support teams, hosting infrastructure teams and sales and marketing teams, for several govtech companies including Granicus, Govdelivery, and Public Systems Associates. He has also worked as a reliability engineering consultant for Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Amazon, Pinterest, and CBS Interactive. He received his electrical engineering degree from Tennessee Technological University.

Jennifer L Olzinger, CPPB

Assistant Director-Procurement Manager, City of Pittsburgh, Office of Management and Budget


Jennifer Olzinger joined the Office of Management and Budget for the City of Pittsburgh, PA as the Assistant Director-Procurement Manager in September 2015. She is responsible for managing and coordinating the City’s procurement process, as well as overseeing the preparation and evaluation of bid proposals, selection of contractors and negotiation of contracts. Ms. Olzinger determines the procurement strategy for obtaining goods and services in the most effective and efficient manner; develops and enforces “best practice” policies and procedures to certify compliance with City Code; and ensures procurement practices are consistent, open and designed to encourage maximum competition and best value procurements. Ms. Olzinger and her team analyze the city-wide and departmental spending to identify opportunities to reduce costs and/or procure goods and services more efficiently and effectively to provide the best overall value to the City.  Ms. Olzinger is currently serving as the Second Vice President for the Pennsylvania Public Purchasing Association (PAPPA) for the 2019-2020 calendar year. She previously served as the PAPPA Board Secretary for the 2018-2019 term. She was also recently named to the first-ever NIGP Impact Circle, a task force created by NIGP to help them further develop their new Pathways educational programs to reduce the barriers to obtain NIGP certifications. In addition, the task force seeks to tailor their offerings to better prepare procurement staff across the Country to handle the varied “smart” technologies and more technically complex IOT procurements that Cities are looking to implement.  Ms. Olzinger served as Acting Director of the Office of Management & Budget from September 2018 – September 2019. In addition to her primary duties as Assistant Director, Ms. Olzinger also oversees all areas of the Department including Operating Budget, Capital Budget & Asset Management, Fleet, Grants and the administration of the Community Development Block Grant program. Prior to joining the City, she served as the Manager of Procurement Operations at Education Management, LLC, where she managed a team of buyers supporting the purchasing process for 100+ EDMC locations.

Theresa Webb, M.A. CPPO, CPPB, CPSM, C.P.M.

Retired


Theresa Webb, M.A., NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M. has over 30 years of experience in procurement. In her leadership roles Ms. Webb oversaw the procurement of goods, services, technology, construction, concessions and capital improvement. She has Bachelor and Masters degrees in Business. Since retiring Ms. Webb has continued serving the profession as an NIGP Instructor, on NIGP coursework creation teams, as Chair of the NIGP Accreditation Committee and her role as consultant for Civic Initiatives.

Greg Tatar, J.D., MBA

Procurement Director, St Louis County, Missouri


Greg Tatar worked in New York City government for many years, eventually becoming Deputy Chief Contracting Officer for the Health Department and later the Department of Education. From there he moved to the San Diego Association of Governments, then to San Mateo County, CA as Procurement Director and later to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority as procurement director. Mr. Tatar currently serves as Procurement Director for St. Louis County. In addition to a J.D. and an M.B.A., he has been a budget analyst as well as Director of Facilities and IT.

Nathan Dawson

Procurement Manager II, South Carolina Fiscal Accountability Authority


Nathan Dawson serves as the Procurement Manger of the Sourcing Team for the Division of Procurement Services in South Carolina. His job is to assist State Agencies purchase goods and services whose value exceeds those Agencies’ certification levels. In other words, he buys stuff. The majority of that “stuff” is now IT-related – Mr. Dawson has purchased hardware and software solutions, ranging from electronic poll books for the presidential elections to grants management systems, as well as software maintenance and application development services. He is an active member of his local NIGP Chapter, as well as one of NIGP's instructors, teaching primarily the two Technology Procurement classes. He has presented at past NIGP and chapter Forums around the country. Originally from Australia, Mr. Dawson worked for both Federal and State Governments in Australia and England before moving to South Carolina 15 years ago and discovering his true calling as a procurement professional.  And no, he does not know Chris Hemsworth.

Stephanie Akerley, NIGP-CPP, CPPB, CTPE

Corporate Procurement Program Manager, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission


Stephanie Akerley is a Corporate Procurement Program Manager with The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.  In 2017, Stephanie became an instructor for NIGP and shortly thereafter, began to write class content for NIGP technology courses.  In fact, Stephanie has participated in the creation and writing of all of the NIGP technology pathway courses.  Stephanie holds several certifications: NIGP-CPP, CPPB, CPPO and CTPE  and is a Radio NIGP staff member.

Allen Hunsberger, NIGP-CPP, CPSD, C.P.M., MBA, CAPPO

Assistant Director, Purchasing and Contracting, County of San Diego


Allen Hunsberger is the Assistant Director, Purchasing and Contracting for the County of San Diego. He helps lead a Customer focused procurement department that supports the County’s operations.  Mr. Hunsberger joined the County in 1996, working in progressively responsible procurement and technology positions prior to his current role. He also recently retired from a career as an intelligence officer in the Untied States Navy Reserve. Mr. Hunsberger has a Physics degree from the University of California at San Diego, an MBA from San Diego State University, and holds NIGP-CPP, CPSD, and C.P.M certifications. Mr. Hunsberger is currently on the Leadership Development Committee for NIGP and is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the California Association of Public Procurement Officials (CAPPO) and has served as a Chapter chair for CAPPO San Diego, as well as on many conference committees and workgroups. Most of all, Allen enjoys learning about public sector procurement and sharing that knowledge with his peers. He speaks regularly at conferences and teaches at the San Diego State University World Campus.

Myrna Quihuis, CPPB

Procurement Officer, Town of Queen Creek, AZ


Myrna Quihuis is a procurement officer working for the Town of Queen Creek, Arizona and has a combined 26 years experience working in government procurement. She has held various positions with municipal government agencies including the City of Chandler, City of Mesa and Town of Queen Creek. In her current role with the Town, she solicits, awards and manages contracts for various goods and services for a variety of departments and most recently the newly formed Police department.   Ms. Quihuis was part of the transition team that launched a police department within 18 months which brought on many challenges during Covid and supply chain issues.  Ms. Quihuis is a member of the National Institute of Government Procurement (NIGP) and a member of the local chapter of NIGP, Capitol Chapter, where she has served on past regional conference committees. She also holds a Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) designation from the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC).

Melissa Bauer

Procurement Manager, Town of Queen Creek, AZ


Melissa Bauer is the Procurement Manager for the Town of Queen Creek, Arizona where she provides leadership and oversight of the Finance Department Procurement Division. She has 32 years’ experience working in government procurement where she has held various positions within State, County and municipal government agencies that include the State of Wisconsin and Arizona, Maricopa County and the Town of Queen Creek.  Ms. Bauer has served on the Maricopa Association of Governments Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Transportation Committee and the Regional Domestic Violence Council.  She has received a Platinum Excellence award from the State of Arizona for Mass Communications Systems Team and a National Association of County Governments (NACO) Award for Project Management System (PAM). Melissa is a member of the National Institute of Government Procurement (NIGP) and a member of the local chapter of NIGP, Capitol Chapter

Toni Cook

Assistant Procurement Manager, City of Little Rock


 

Vitesh Patel

Procurement Manager, City of Little Rock


Vitesh Patel is passionate about supplier equity, vendor outreach, energy drinks, and butter chicken. He holds a master's degree from the University of Arkansas in Supply Chain Management. Mr. Patel  has worked in various roles in supply chain management over the last ten years. Mr. Patel currently holds the title, Procurement Manager at the City of Little Rock. Outside of work, he can be found being a jungle gym for his two daughters, Amelia and Avah and working at his family businesses.

Rebecca Heiss - Keynote

After earning her PhD with research designated as “transformative” by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Rebecca Heiss went on to hold multiple appointments in academia and applying her research to solve practical problems in overcoming what she refers to as “biological ghosts” - subconscious behaviors that haunt modern life. She is currently launching a new self-awareness, 360-review app, called Icueity (I-cue-it-ee), to help every individual reach her, or his, full potential, and finishing her new book, Instinct, due to be published in May 2021. She has been honored to speak internationally on her work, including multiple TEDx talks, and has found her calling in helping others recognize the power of biological applications in their lives. Rebecca lives in South Carolina with her spoiled rotten dog, named Guinness, and tries every day to live her life motto: “spread happy.”

** Schedule is subject to change. **
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