This week we caught up with Cindy Lombardi, Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Colorado. Perfect timing too! NASPO’s 2019 Exchange Conference is being hosted in the beautiful capital city of Denver.
Cindy has served as Colorado’s Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) since March of 2015. As CPO, she launched the Procurement Code Modernization Initiative that has resulted in an improved procurement code and procurement rule changes for the state. Cindy has over 20 years of experience in purchasing and contracts for the federal government, the University of Colorado, and several state agencies including the Departments of Personnel & Administration, Public Health & Environment, Revenue, and Human Services. Cindy is a Director at Large on the NASPO Board of Directors and is currently serving as Conference and Events Champion. She has also served on the NASPO ValuePoint Management Board since 2015. Cindy is also currently the 2019 Chairperson of the NASPO Exchange committee and has been instrumental in the conception, planning and execution of the upcoming conference, April 9-11, 2019.
This week we caught up with Lisa Eason, Deputy Commissioner for the State of Georgia, and 2019 NASPO President.
Lisa has served as Georgia’s Deputy Commissioner of the State Purchasing Division since August of 2015. She is responsible for the administration of the State’s purchasing card program, the sourcing division which includes the agency sourcing, strategic sourcing, contract management, and data analytics units. She also manages the policy and training division which administers the state’s purchasing training program and the development and oversight of Georgia’s procurement policies and procedures. The Audit and Compliance Division, which is responsible for audits related to P-Cards and the purchasing process, also falls under her purview.
Article by Dana Dembrow (State of MD), Intro by Olivia Hook Frey (NASPO)
Introduction by Olivia Hook Frey:
Many of our states have expressed concerns associated with their retirement-age workforce. Even more stress-inducing is not knowing where or how to recruit new talent to fill those gaps. As part of NASPO’s higher education initiatives, student recruitment at the college-level has been a priority. This emerging talent is oftentimes overlooked in the public sector, but NASPO is working to change that. Through our partnership with impressive colleges and universities across the country, we work to place these quality students in both internships and full-time positions within our state purchasing offices.
This week we caught up with Jason Soza, Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Alaska.
Jason has served as Alaska’s Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) since 2013. As CPO, he and his staff work to ensure understanding of and compliance with the laws and regulations that govern procurement for the State of Alaska, while also always looking for ways to do things better. Jason has nearly 20 years of experience in purchasing at all levels, from the front lines of an agency to his position now as CPO. Jason is a member and board member of NASPO and is NASPO’s President-elect for 2019.
“A Day in the Life” is a new series here on Procurement Pulse! We will give you insight into one of our NASPO member’s busy days in the central procurement office of their state, and allow a small peek into their lives. So look for your favorite friendly neighborhood procurement official to be featured here!
This week we caught up with Rosalyn Ingram, Director of State Purchasing & Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Florida Division of Purchasing to learn more about her role.
Roz has a B.S. degree in Business from Florida State University. She is also a Project Management Professional, Certified Public Manager, and Florida Certified Negotiator. She has 30 years of state government experience and has worked in several agencies to gain her diverse knowledge of state government and best practices in procurement. The Division of State Purchasing, led by Roz, creates state term contracts that leverages all state agency spend, as well as spend created through cities and counties that are able to use them. Her division also provides training for Certified Contract Managers, Certified Negotiators, and Project Management Professionals. They are also charged with rule promulgation and policy initiatives.
NASPO STAFF: Roz, first of all congratulations on your re-election to serve a second term on the NASPO Board of Directors. You are one of the many energetic CPOs and dedicated NASPO Board of Directors member. Why do you value your membership with NASPO?
How many surveys have you completed this year? Chances are you have already participated in several reviews and customer satisfaction surveys. The real question is how many surveys we complete actually matter? In today’s big data world, businesses need to gather data and understand customer behavior in order to gain a strategic advantage or identify new business opportunities. Requests to participate in customer satisfaction surveys, guest surveys after returning from a domestic or international travel, or surveys to evaluate your recent dentist’s visit have become a part of life. The average consumer seems to be bombarded with a lot of “tell us how we did/tell us about your visit” surveys and requests for feedback. Researchers try to strike the right balance between gathering the right amount of information while being mindful of survey fatigue which can lead to low response rates. Rightfully so.
If you are interested in a survey that matters, a survey that offers a comprehensive nationwide perspective of state procurement practices, look no more! NASPO has the best vantage point to provide insight into how various state central procurement offices handle the procurement of goods and services across the country and infer valuable trends. NASPO’s Survey of State Procurement Practices is a comprehensive data collection, and the longest running survey for the association.
Through conferences, research, informative publications, and various member benefit programs, NASPO is dedicated to providing educational and information-sharing opportunities to the state government procurement community. Curious to learn more about what NASPO membership can do for you? Don’t take our word for it – check out this new video which features some of our members discussing the benefits of their NASPO memberships!
NASPO recently held the REACH (Regional Education and Connection Hub) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. 270 state members representing 47 states and the District of Columbia came together to participate in the first “super regional” conference in NASPO’s history, bringing together the Southern, Eastern, Midwestern, and Western Regions. The event was filled with educational and professional growth opportunities that expanded NASPO members’ support network into all four regions. In this series of blogs, NASPO staff will share key takeaways and highlights from REACH’s expansive programs agenda.
One conference. One session. Many lessons to be learned. Getting the best value out of contracts was a main learning objective during one of the REACH General Sessions. Developing a negotiations strategy to aid in accomplishing that goal was another one. Continue reading to find out what our members learned during this session, and how to become a more successful negotiator!
The basis of any good business partnership is the ability to understand problems and develop a joint strategy to find a solution. In other words, communication and teamwork are essential. These were the central themes throughout NASPO’s 2018 Exchange conference this year in the Big Apple, New York, New York! It was here that purchasers and suppliers assembled to learn, discuss, and contemplate their relationships. Networking flourished while old friends reunited and new professional bonds were forged. The conference served as a platform in which buyers and suppliers took stock of innovative projects they had worked on together as well as learn about the vast resources NASPO has to offer. Conference-goers had the opportunity to attend large general sessions that featured keynote speakers and interactive, state government panels.
During a general session cleverly titled “Problem Solvers,” a panel of NASPO state members and suppliers sat on stage together to identify characteristics of effective supplier relationship management programs and discuss the impact of positive, open communication on the ability to reach successful procurement outcomes. Audience members were able to text their questions to the facilitator, who then asked the speakers to discuss them on stage. It was an effective way to outline strategies that could alleviate conflict in the state-supplier relationship, as well as keep all parties focused on solving the issues at hand. Although each session began with a script, it quickly morphed into a flowing, organic conversation between purchaser and supplier.
A unique aspect of NASPO’s Exchange conference is the opportunity it provides to state members and suppliers to come together and have open and honest conversation in a “safe space,” where no ideas are bad, and no questions are stupid. It is a learning and thinking environment that lends itself to useful and edifying conversations that might not otherwise take place. The session “Ten Things Your Procurement Officer Wants You to Know,” led by Stacy Gregg, Procurement Manager from the State of South Carolina, really seized the moment Exchange creates and used it to convey some hard-won truths to the supplier community in attendance.
In an overflowing room, Stacy walked through the “ten things” with care and precision – taking questions along the way and allowing CPOs and other procurement officials in the room to chime in with additional viewpoints and advice. Her list included insightful quotations from her fellow public procurement officials and is presented with many of those insights below: