Schedule - Sunday, August 2

8:00AM – 9:45AM

Opening Plenary - Erik Wahl


Somehow we've come to believe that creativity is reserved for the chosen few -- the poets, the painters, the writers. The truth is bigger and better than that. Creativity is in all of us. We simply need to rediscover the keys that will unlock our potential. UNthink is the keynote experience that pushes you beyond traditional thought patterns and habitual levels of performance. UNthink inspires you to realize you are capable of so much more than you have been led to believe. 

Read and download the program

*Icon designates Development Track

10:00AM – 11:00AM

Conversations that Connect

The power of face-to-face conversation is like no other form of communication. It’s that personal touch that literally sparks the senses. The eye contact, the verbal and body language exchange, the socializing and interaction, hearing a question and being able to respond immediately in person. It’s the plain and simple sharing of ideas, experiences and feelings. In Conversation that Connect, we ‘connect’ with colleagues in a free ‘forum’. No presentations, no agenda just the power of you and your face-to-face conversation. 

  • Aviation Authorities - William Kirwin, CPPO, CPPB, Columbus Regional Airport, Columbus, OH; Tracy Osborne, CPPB, Office of the COO Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Columbus, OH; Karen Hatten, CPPO, CPPA, Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, Jackson, MS

  • Canadian Entities - Stephanie Dion, CPPB, The City of Red Deer, Red Deer, AB; Shelly  Flahr, CPPO, CPPB, SCMP, The City of Red Deer, Red Deer, AB

  • Cities - Large - Renee Medlin, CPPO, MBA, City of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO; Yadissa Calderon, CPPB, City of Miami, Miami, FL

  • Cities - Small/Medium - Pete Toth, City of Arvada, Arvada, CO; Stephanie Suter, CPPO, CPPB, City of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, VA 

  • Corrections - Charles Smith, Jr., MBA, CPPO, CPPB, Georgia Department of Corrections, Forsyth, GA; Janie Terry, CPPB, Arizona Department of Corrections, Phoenix, AZ


  • Counties - Large - Michalyn Rains, CPPO, CPPB, Collin County, McKinney, TX; Matthew Dobecka, CPPO, CPPB, Collin County, Mc Kinney, TX; Karen Luther, CPPO, CPPB, Washington County, Hagerstown, MD
  • Counties - Small/Medium - Brett Wood, CPPO, CPPB, Placer County, Auburn, CA; RuthAnne K Hall, CPPO, Lake County Government, Waukegan, IL
  • Higher Education - Andrea Thompson, CPPB, CLGPO, Winston Salem State University, Winston Salem, NC; Denise Finn, CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M., University of Kentucky Purchasing Division, Lexington, KY


  • K-12 - Jerel Nielsen, CPPO, CPPB, Poudre School Dist. R-1, Fort Collins, CO; Molly McLoughlin, CPPB, Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO
  • Public Housing - Shari Hamilton, CPPO, C.P.M., Newark Housing Authority, Newark, NJ
  • Special Authorities - Rebecca L. Kee, CPPB, Little Rock Wastewater, Little Rock, AR
  • States - Jean Stephenson, CPPO, C.P.M., A.P.P., State of Ohio, Columbus, OH; Sharon Eddings, CPPO, CPPB, State of Illinois Procurement, 
    University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
  • Transportation - Rebecca Jackson, CPPO, CPPB, Missouri Department of Transportation. Jefferson City, MO; Norma Hall, FNIGP, CPPO,  CPPB, CPM, South Carolina Department of Transportation, Columbia, SC
  • Utilities - Nelson Park, CPPO, CPPB, Seattle City Light, Snoqualmie, WA

10:30AM - 12:30PM    

Introduction to Public Procurement 

Instructor: Ron L. King, CPPO, VCO, CPPB
Pre-registration required (additional fees apply)


11:15AM – 12:15PM

Conversations that Connect

Protests: Are They Inevitable?

  • Joyce Foster, CPPO,CPPB, Contract Administrator, DeKalb Peachtree Airport, Atlanta, GA

  • Cathryn Horner, Procurement Agent Senior, CPPB, DeKalb County, Decatur, GA

Getting Started with pCard:  It's Not Hard!

Feeling like the pCard train left the station and you're still standing on the platform?  Does your pCard program only exist but not thrive?  Need a little pCard 101? Not everyone has a robust pCard program.  In fact, some agencies have yet to introduce the concept into their agency.  The more you know, the more you can help your agency get started.  Purchasing Card programs provide both hard and soft savings, value and can sometimes be a source of revenue generation. Value is derived through processing efficiencies, data capturing, expediting payments and enabling those scarce procurement resources to focus on more critical procurements.  Join us as we talk about the basics of pCard programs, including how to get started, pitfalls to watch out for and how to grow your new pCard program into an agency success story! 

  • Marcheta Gillespie, CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M., CPM, Director of Procurement, City of Tucson, Arizona


Is there an RFP in Your Future?

Everybody knows about bids; they are comfortable. But cost may not be the most important part of the award equation. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is a useful sourcing method and also offers solutions for other issues.  Using an RFP allows for flexibility in the award process and a means to achieve best value.  If you are looking for a place to start, this is it. This workshop is a primer on the RFP process.

  • David Nash, CPPO, CPPB, Sunrise, Florida


Public-Private/Nonprofit Partnerships: Everything You Need to Know 

Faced with increasingly constrained budgets and the inability to generate additional revenues, many governments have begun partnering with the private and nonprofit sectors. Public-private/nonprofit-partnerships (PP/NPs) are touted as innovative and all-encompassing solutions to these budgetary constraints. Such contractual arrangement are typically linked with increased quality, improved service delivery, cost savings and lower costs of financing. While PP/NPs are interesting and creative mechanisms, they are not necessarily as accessible or as risk-free as popular opinion would lead one to believe. PP/NPs are highly complex structures that are quite unique on a case-by-case basis. There is much promise associated with PP/NPs. There is also much confusion. This session provides an introduction and answers many of your questions. By the end of the session, you’ll be able to define and discuss the main benefits, identify major barriers and scrutinize unsupported claims. 

  • Alexandru Roman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, California State University, San Bernardino, CA


Putting your Chapter’s Strategic Plan into Action

A step by step methodology for conducting a SOAR Analysis, developing a multi-year Strategic Plan with defined goals, and creating an annual Action Plan to ensure your Chapter achieves those goals.  How one Chapter was able to change how they approached strategic planning to build a team dynamic where every member has a role in growing their association.  After a brief overview of VAGP's approach, we will go through the process together and get some great ideas from one another. 

  • Stephanie Suter, CPPO, CPPB, Procurement Manager, City of Lynchburg, Virginia


SLA and MSA - How to make “Tech” work for you!

In the technologic evolution of today’s projects, procurement professionals are not only faced with a variety of solicitation methods, but with the added responsibility of sifting through software licenses, maintenance agreements, and the choice of different types of insurance to meet the IT project risk. Together, we will discuss available software licenses and the beneficial elements of license agreements; review features of warranty and maintenance agreements; discover IT specific insurance coverage and when to potentially use them.

  • Tabatha Freedman, CPPO, CPPB, BBA, MBA, Procurement Analyst II, Volusia County, DeLand, Florida


What have you done for me lately?  Measuring and Marketing Procurement Performance

There are a variety of performance indicators and methods available to market procurement’s achievements.  Take home some original ideas about small and large marketing efforts touting the work of your procurement function and the people that make it successful.  Develop timely reports to encourage your clients to appreciate your operations as the “GO TO” authority on planning to fulfill their needs, developing sources, and connecting to a network of professionals with whom you can share excellent resources.

 + Handout

  • Barbara Johnson, CPPO, CPPB, MPA, Contract Administrator, State of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Columbus, Ohio;

  • William Kirwin, CPPO, CPPB, MBA, Manager, Office of Contracts & Procurement, Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Columbus, Ohio

1:45PM - 5:15PM    

Introduction to Public Procurement 

Instructor: Ron L. King, CPPO, VCO, CPPB
Pre-registration required (additional fees apply)


2:00PM - 3:00PM

Contract Administration:  Key Concepts for Accidental Project Managers

fter the contract is signed and the notice to proceed is received by the Contractor, the carefully worded SOW may be in the hands of a person with no prior training in administration and project management. In this session you will learn the key activities you should share with the new administrator;  from the role of the contract administrator to the key elements of a contract close out.  It’s all about their need to know. "Great contracts don't happen by accident."

  • Barbara Grilli, CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M., FCCM, Purchasing Manager, City of St. Petersburg, Florida;

  • Mina Kaeding, CPPO, CPPB, Ph.D., FCCM, Senior Procurement Officer, Hillsboro County Public Schools, Tampa, Florida

Conversations that Connect

Hiring For A Strategic Future: Can we determine the skills today that we need tomorrow?

  • Hal Good, CPPO, Denver, PA

Evaluation Committees - How Important are They?

In this session we review different methods of evaluating responses to RFP”s and ITN’s, the responsibilities of evaluation team members, points or no points, and procurement’s role in Evaluation Committee meetings.

  • Jo Thacker, Esq., Partner, Broad and Cassel, Orlando, Florida

It’s All About the Process: Elected Officials and RFPs

RFPs can be confusing, especially to those outside the procurement community. Helping elected officials or a governing board understand that every award may not be solely based on price can be a challenge.  This session will outline an effective way to explain the process to those who need to know. Now, it will be easier to explain and easier understood. Using this tool your RFP award recommendation has a higher probability of approval. 

  • Greg Spearman, CPPO, FCCM, Director of Purchasing, City of Tampa, Florida


Performance Monitoring Now = Better Source Selection Tomorrow

Measuring supplier performance and using the results can help both the supplier and the agency when making future awards. Using a case study that explores the example, you will follow the RFP process, managing the contract and monitoring the supplier performance. The session will highlight ways to enhance the value of a contact plus offer ways to improve the processes required for future source selection. If you are looking for measurement techniques that will result in improved value, this session is for you.

  • Sheema Mirchandani, Faculty, Rutgers University Business School, New Brunswick, New Jersey


Procurement Performance Transformation – An Organizational Progression Assessment

Where does your public procurement organization fall on the transformation progression spectrum?  As public procurement continues to evolve, so do public procurement organizations. This session explores the transformation progression of procurement organizations with the identification of practical procurement practices.  Additionally, each attendee has the opportunity to perform a self-assessment of their own organization to provide tactical and actionable actions for increased performance and transformation. 

  • Jean Clark, FNIGP, CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M., CPM, Director, Transformation Services, NIGP Consulting, Periscope Holdings, Austin, Texas



3:15PM - 4:15PM

Conversations that Connect

Construction Manager at Risk

  • Lizbeth Bryan, CPPO, CPPB, CPA, Procurements and Contracts, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, Bowie, MD
  • Darren Durbin, CPPO, Contracting Officer, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Reagan International Airport, Washington, DC

Failures and Resiliency – Tales from the Trenches of Public Procurement

What happens when a procurement goes WILD???  Learn about the value of sharing your fabulous failures with your colleagues! More importantly, learn about how to recover from those failures and not beat yourself up about them!!!  Resiliency is the key to coping with today’s issues and thriving in the future. Discuss the importance of failure in the work environment, the value of communicating about failures in the work environment, and how to employ resiliency skills to perform better in the future.  A fun, healing presentation! NOTE: This is a two-hour deep dive workshop. 

  • Barbara Johnson, CPPO, CPPB, MPA, Contract Administrator, State of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Columbus, Ohio


Innovation versus Bureaucracy

Politicians are bantering about innovation as the 2015 tool to change Federal, state and local organizations into dynamic organizations that instantly respond to every marketplace quirk and stakeholder desire. So why do so many public sector organizations appear to be practicing 1950s bureaucracy? What is innovation? What is bureaucracy and how did it evolve? How can we identify and apply innovative processes while performing our fiduciary duties? What are the implications of innovations in public procurement to public stewardship? This session offers great discussion but also identifies areas that lend themselves to successful innovation. 

  • Ken Hayslette, CPPO, C.P.M., CPCM, Alexandria, Virginia

NIGP Position Papers: What Are They and How Can You Use Them?

The NIGP Legislative and Position Committee is responsible for recommending positions to be taken by NIGP on key issues surrounding professional practices or legislation.   You will be  introduced you to the six Position Papers recently published on topics ranging from “Best Value” to “Negotiation” to “Cooperative Purchasing” to “Procurement Authority.” You will find out what’s coming next, how you can influence future papers, and share your ideas on how to make the papers even better.

  • Steve Demel, CPPO, Director of Purchasing, Tacoma School District, Tacoma, Washington;

  • Ted Lucas, CPPO, J.D., FCPM, Director Procurement & Contracts, Sound Transit, Seattle, Washington

Project Management

This is part of a five-session professional development track on project management.  This workshop will explore the role of procurement in the successful project management and the role of the procurement professional in insuring the successful execution of public sector projects.

  • Michael Bevis, CPPO, JD, CPSM, C.P.M., PMP, Purchasing Division Chief, Arlington County, Arlington, Virginia


Public-Private Partnerships: What are they, why have they become so popular, and what does it take to execute a successful P3? 

This workshop topic represents a five-session development track.  

Session One: Introduction - What’s the deal with Public-Private Partnerships? 

P3s are a hot topic in public procurement. What is a P3? Are P3s partnerships or contracts? Are they secret and sole source, or subject to full and open competition?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of P3s? How does a government initiate a P3? What should you look out for when planning a P3? In this introductory session, the team that is drafting the public procurement P3 best practice document discusses the basics of P3s.

  • John Adler, CPPO, Vice President, Procurement, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas;

  • Lawrence Martin, Ph.D., Professor of Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida;

  • William Tommie, Jr., CPPO, Purchasing Director, Cobb County, Marietta, Georgia;

  • Jon Walton, CPPO, CPPB, JD, CPM, Contracts Officer, Oregon Business Development Department, Salem, Oregon

Writing the Contract You Hope You Never Use

Where does procurement fit in your organization’s emergency preparedness and response plan?  In this workshop we discuss the keys to establishing primary and contingent time-critical emergency response contracts for goods & services.  We touch on how to get critical contractors interested in obtaining contracts that may never be used and how to get and keep these critical resources on your emergency preparedness and response team.

  • Cathy Muse, CPPO, Director, Department of Purchasing & Supply Management, Fairfax County Government, Fairfax, Virginia


4:30PM - 5:30PM

A Buyers Guide to Prepare for an RFP Evaluation Committee

Preparing and organizing RFP evaluation committee meeting(s) is in everyone’s job description.  This session will cover a soup to nuts approach from first meeting to award recommendation. Planning schedules for meeting and helping committee members understand their roles and responsibilities are just two of the areas to be covered. A successful evaluation committee results in a successful outcome. 

  • Kimberly Hopkins-Will, CPPO, CPPB, Buyer II, City Utilities of Springfield, Springfield, MO


Government Budgeting 101: What Procurement Needs to Know

So you have an idea what property and sales taxes are. Have you ever wondered what else goes into those taxes and how they’re calculated? What about other types of revenues like a building license, permits, water or wastewater charges? This session is designed to “lift the hood” regarding basic government budgeting including revenue and expenditure estimation, the role of fund balance as well capital projects and their various funding sources.

  • Ben Hart,Vice President of Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C., Wichita KS


Project Management Methodologies

This is session two of a five-session professional development track on project management.  This workshop will explore the use of the project management methodologies in managing complex procurements.

  • Michael Bevis, CPPO, JD, CPSM, C.P.M., PMP, Purchasing Division Chief, Arlington County, Arlington, Virginia


Public-Private Partnerships: What are they, why have they become so popular, and what does it take to execute a successful P3?

This is session two of a five-series development track. 

Session Two: Procurement Success Stories

In this session, we take a close look at five P3 projects through the eyes of responsible procurement professionals. Each panelist describes the project, sourcing process, results and lessons learned.


  • Brian Smith, CPPO, Purchasing Manager, Multnomah County Purchasing, Portland, Oregon


  • John Adler, CPPO, Vice President, Procurement, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas;

  • Norma Hall, FNIGP, CPPO, CPPB, CPM, Procurement Director for Commodities & Service Contracts, South Carolina Department of Transportation, Columbia, SC; 
  • Lawrence Martin, Ph.D., Professor of Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida;

  • Miriam Singer, CPPO, FCPM, FCPA, Chief Purchasing Officer & Sr. Assistant Director Internal Services, Miami Dade County Internal Services Department, Miami, FL; 
  • William Tommie, Jr., CPPO, Purchasing Director, Cobb County, Marietta, Georgia;

    The Perfect Storm – A Case Study in Ethics

    Ethics is one of the cornerstones of a successful procurement department.   Sometimes even an award winning procurement program can come under scrutiny.  Find out how perception can become reality if the “right” conditions converge.  Hear tips on how to foster ethical procurement in your organization and survive should you find your organization itself in the middle of The Perfect Storm.

    • Alisa Morningstar, CPPO, Director of Procurement Services, Cobb County School District, Kennesaw, Georgia


    The Scoop on Scopes, Specs, Backgrounds & Minimums

    Take a look at some practical ways that can help you sum up the essential components of a well written specification in a concise and detailed format.  You need more than a textbook definition and instruction when providing the information necessary on the background, scope/specs, and minimum qualifications to achieve positive results.  Writing good scopes/specs, backgrounds and minimums are not only about “what you say” but equally important “how you say it”.

    • Theresa Webb, CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M., FCCM, Purchasing Manager, Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, Tampa, Florida


    6:30PM - 9:30PM 

    Awards Gala


    Schedule is subject to change and may be adjusted at any time.   

    Keynote Speaker Erik Wahl

    Keynote Speaker Erik Wahl

    Designates Development Track
    Designates Development Track