As the 2018 calendar fades into 2019 and my Presidential tenure draws to a close, this is truly a time of reflection on all that has transpired over the past year. To say it has been an historic year in the life of NASPO does not adequately capture all that has occurred over the last 12 months.
In January 2018, a small NASPO staff of nine, primarily working in Lexington, joined the executive team led by CEO Lindle Hatton. That team of dedicated staff continues to grow and develop as NASPO assumes the remaining operations of our association, including the recent alignment with our cooperative purchasing arm, NASPO ValuePoint. Beginning in 2019, NASPO will become a fully independent, standalone organization dedicated to supporting the needs of public procurement professionals across the nation.
In March, NASPO members traveled to New York City for the 2018 NASPO Exchange Conference. This unique event once again attracted a record number of state procurement professionals, suppliers, small business leaders and government stakeholders, outpacing the previous year’s record attendance by 11 percent.
In lieu of four individual regional meetings, NASPO held its inaugural REACH Conference, July 16-18, in New Orleans, Louisiana. By all accounts, this newly launched event was a tremendous success. More than 270 procurement professionals representing 47 states and the District of Columbia attended this event, making it the largest meeting of procurement professionals in NASPO’s 71-year history.
In August, NASPO held its Inaugural Executive Leadership Program at the home of one of NASPO’s academic partners, Michigan State University. Twenty-four NASPO Board members, committee leads and NASPO staff participated in this customized executive education experience designed specifically for state procurement leaders. This executive development program will become an annual event.
As of November, NASPO’s Procurement U has experienced an 84 percent increase in online course enrollments compared to just one short year ago. It is anticipated that by the end of December, the number of Procurement U course enrollments will have more than doubled. That’s right, I said doubled.
The time and resources that NASPO and our academic partners have invested together is picking up steam as our original academic partner, Arizona State University, will become the first state university in the country to offer an undergraduate degree program with an emphasis in public sector procurement.
This new program is slated to begin in Fall 2019.
And the list goes on and on…
I want to express to all of you my deepest appreciation for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as your 2018 NASPO President during this time of such transformation. There is much to celebrate as we wrap up 2018 and so much more to look forward to in 2019. I leave you in good hands with NASPO’s Incoming President Lisa Eason and President-Elect Jason Soza, who I know will provide tremendous leadership for our association in the coming year and beyond.