VCON Forum

Forum 2019 VCON

Monday, August 26th - Wednesday, August 28th

 Bringing a full conference experience including workshops, motivating keynote speakers and a virtual trade show to you LIVE from Austin!

Whether you’re looking to amp up your skills, share ideas, or network
VCON Forum 2019 is for you.

  • No travel, no hotel accommodations, no time away from the office.
  • Earn 14 contact hours.


1st Registrant

Member - $200/Non-Member - $400

Register Individual

Group Discounts
2nd – 10th Registrants - 5% Off 

$190.00 Member / $380.00 Non-Member

11+ Registrants - 10% Off 

$180.00 Member / $360.00 Non-Member

6 Keynote Sessions and 6 Workshops

No travel costs, right from your desktop

Schedule of Sessions

Monday, August 26


  •   Monday (Pre-recorded from Sunday)
  • 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

PLENARY - Dare to Matter: How Procurement Professionals Rise to Significance

  •   Monday
  • 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM CST
  • Speakers - Pete Smith
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

The most effective procurement professionals understand that significance is found not just within the job one has but within the person who performs the job.

After years of research, Pete Smith reveals the Significance framework outlined in his best-selling book, Dare to Matter. This framework reveals the six major pillars of significance and how they can be incorporated into our daily lives and challenges traditional thinking of success and happiness and presents an alternative, possibly contrarian, approach that leaves you inspired, engaged, and committed to making a bigger impact in this world.

Having a stroke at the age of 35, Pete has since used that experience to inspire, educate, and entertain audiences throughout the world on the importance of pursuing significance in their personal and professional lives.

PLENARY - The Power of Purpose in your Business, your Life and the Life of America

  •   Monday (Pre-recorded from Sunday)
  • 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
  • Speaker - Roy Spence
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

C-level utility leaders are on the front line of powering and delivering extraordinary customer service. This is where the power of Purpose comes in. Having a mighty Purpose to power your organization’s culture in today’s world of chaos and warp speed innovations is the key driver of extraordinary employee engagement, customer service and a positive “ whatever it takes” attitude. Roy Spence has helped to discover and bring to life high-performing, Purpose-inspired cultures in nearly every sector of the American economy.

Transformation: Ready or Not...

  •   Monday
  • 1:45 PM - 3:00 PM CST
  • Level - Advanced
  • Track - Cornerstones
  • Speaker - Lourdes Coss, MPA, CPPO
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

Is your procurement organization "transformation" ready, or are you worried about what the future will bring to your entity? It doesn’t have be a scary word, especially when you know when, how, and what to prepare for. Discuss the pillars, enablers, and success factors that can propel you and your entity into tomorrow in this experience-driven session, highlighting how technology and staffing can set the foundation for a transformation-ready tomorrow.

Looking Beneath the Hood: Curating High-Resolution Supplier Intelligence

  •   Monday
  • 3:15 PM - 4:45 PM CST
  • Level - Intermediate
  • Track - Cornerstones
  • Speaker - Raj Sharma
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

Any successful procurement depends on finding the right supplier for any given requirement. Easier said than done, finding the right supplier means going beyond surface level information to understand the differentiated capabilities and experiences of suppliers, linking these to your requirements to promote impactful procurements. Determined to address this need at a practical level, Public Spend Forum has been working with experts, academics, entities at all levels of government, and suppliers across the spectrum to help public procurement professionals more efficiently and effectively conduct high-resolution supplier intelligence. Join us as we discuss real examples and practical approaches that can ensure your next procurement leads to the right supplier at the right cost in this case-study focused, lecture-led session.

Tuesday, August 27

Live from the General Session

  •   Tuesday
  • 8:00 AM - 8:15 AM CST
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

PLENARY - Fear Less, Do More

A talk that will change your perception on fear and inspire you to take action

  •   Tuesday
  • 8:15 AM - 9:15 AM CST
  • Speaker - Michelle Poler 
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela to a family of holocaust survivors, Michelle was accustomed to living with fear. But when she moved to New York, Michelle quickly realized that NYC was not for the fearful.

In efforts to re-write her definition of fear, Michelle set out to face 100 fears in 100 days. Half way into the journey, the project was discovered by the media, becoming an instant viral phenomenon.

Michelle completed her 100th challenge on a TEDx’s stage. This helped her turn a personal project into a global movement. Michelle discovered that inspiring others to go after their fears was her new calling. She is now touring the world speaking at companies, schools and organizations teaching audiences how to step outside their comfort zones as a way to tap into their full potential.

She is also the Founder of Hello Fears, a platform aimed at making the world a braver place through a mix of live events, video series, podcast interviews, user-generated content, and daily inspirational posts.

Adapting to Change: Skills Analysis and Training at Sound Transit

Are your procurements becoming more technically complex and expensive? Are you experiencing increased public scrutiny and pressure to reduce the procurement schedule to meet the demands of your customers? Explore how Sound Transit’s Design and Construction Contracts team is incorporating new skills to better meet the demands of the procurement function through strategic planning, skills analysis, training opportunities, and transforming hiring practices to ensure our team has the skills necessary to excel in this fast paced and changing environment.

Procurement Methods and Internal Controls to Meet the CFR 200 Requirements: A Focus on Automated Cost Analysis

Local and state governments are subject to the uniform grant guidance of CFR 200, a federal law that details many requirements that impact procurement processes and programs. To acquire federal funding from several agencies, including Health and Human Services, Education, FEMA, NASA, and the Agriculture Departments, the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) adopted several policies to better coordinate and comply with this code. Join us as we review the implemented policies and procedures with emphasis on the cost analysis and some exceptions to the CFR 200, exploring how HCDE created an automated workflow to document its cost analysis review for its audit files in this informative and thought-provoking session.

Contract Compliance Program: The Lost Child of Procurement

Recently, the City of Tucson implemented its CAMP (Contract Administration and Management Program) initiative on a city-wide level. Designed to close the gap between contract formation, contract management, and post-contract compliance, the program engages the cradle to grave procurement function across all department levels of the city, exploring how we as stewards of the public trust can better partner with the internal customers (departments) and external customers (suppliers) to reduce potential risks in post award contract management. Discover what market and entity-specific research is critical to the success of your procurement and compliance program, identifying real and potential challenges with pro-active resolutions, in this results-oriented, interactive lecture-styled session.

Wednesday, August 28

PASSPort to Success: From Goods to Great Procurements

  •   Wednesday
  • 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM CST
  • Level - Beginner
  • Track - Cornerstones
  • Speakers - Mersida Ibric, MPA and Ryan Murray
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

In August 2017, the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) launched the Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort) as a means of streamlining and transforming the procurement process in New York City, setting in place a foundation that will allow entities to order and pay for goods they need to operate and allow the city to sunset various legacy systems and manual processes. Overarchingly, the Department of Citywide Administrative Service in NYC’s centralized procurement office sought out to address demands for reduced administrative burden, transparency, clarity, and simplification, all of which could be accomplished through the use of this common, collaborative platform. Join us and discover how the city created an end-to-end procurement system within a heavily regulated environment, learning the pits and peaks of such an undertaking.

PLENARY - Welcome to the BlindSpot Zone

If you have ever said to yourself, “I didn’t see that coming!” then Welcome to the BlindSpot Zone™.

Kevin McCarthy spent 33 months in a federal prison for a crime he didn’t knowingly commit because… he had blind spots. What are your blind spots doing to you?

We all have numerous blind spots. They are nearly impossible to recognize if we are not looking for them. In fact, it is easier for us to identify blind spots in others than in ourselves.

Through Kevin’s presentation you learn how to identify your own blind spots and mitigate their impact at work and at home. As a result, you can make better, more ethical decisions, enjoy better communications, deeper relationships and, ultimately, live your best life.

Kevin works globally with industry leaders to uncover the blind spots that affect their behavior and decision-making abilities. What are your potential blind spots? FREE assessment reveals all at

PLENARY - Creating a Purpose-Driven Workplace: How to Attract, Retain and Engage Your Employees

A thriving workplace begins with an engaged and collaborative workforce.

In this inspiring presentation, author and millennial workplace expert Adam Smiley Poswolsky shares how companies can attract top talent and empower the talent of the future by leading with purpose. We’ll breakthrough common stereotypes about millennial employees, share case studies for increasing employee engagement, and learn proven strategies and tools to foster collaboration in the workplace.

Smiley helps companies attract, retain, and empower millennial talent, and he's inspired thousands of professionals to be more engaged at work.

Live from the General Session

  •   Wednesday
  • 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM CST
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

CLOSING PLENARY - Hurdling Adversity - Creating Life's New Normal

  •   Wednesday
  • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CST
  • Speaker - John Register
  • Forum 2019 VCON Session

How does one bounce back from being an Olympic track and field hopeful and Army Officer Candidate one day and becoming an amputee the next? John Register knows the answer to that question all too well. "It is all about employing one's resilience," says John.

Despite his devastating setback, he hurdled his adversity and succeeded over it. Within 23 months he competed in Paralympic Games as a swimmer. Four years later he returned to his first love of track and field and in Sydney, Australia at the 2000 Paralympic Games, won the silver medal in the long jump and set the American record in the process. He has never allowed adversity to hold him back.

John founded the United States Olympic Committees Paralympic Military sport program which assist wounded, ill, and injured service members in their recovery to a healthy and active lifestyle and serving in a variety of capacities to include special advisor to two U.S. Secretary of State on disability foreign policy and being a U.S. Sports Diplomacy Ambassador (Envoy). The latter attracted the attention of President Barack Obama and John was asked and served in the capacity of being one of 35 co-chairs for 44th Presidents’ re-election.

Schedule is subject to change