Awards recognize support of small and disabled veteran-owned businesses
By Krissi Khokhobashvili, CDCR Public Information Officer
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) support of small businesses and disabled veteran business enterprises was recognized by the Department of General Services (DGS) at the recent annual Awards of Excellence ceremony.
“California is always looking for companies that can provide high-quality goods and services, offer competitive prices, develop innovative business solutions and who are focused on customer needs,” said Jim Butler, Chief Procurement Officer for DGS. “Small and disabled veteran-owned businesses bring those qualities to the business arena.”
DGS honored 37 state departments and 20 state employees for their work with small businesses and disabled veteran business enterprises (DVBEs). They were recognized for their best practices, creativity and outstanding achievements to advance California’s small business and DVBE programs.
Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) in Coalinga was honored with a Bronze State Agency Recognition Award, and Linda Langley of Wasco State Prison (WSP) earned a Bronze Advocate of the Year Award. California Correctional Health Care Services earned the Gold Award for State Agency Recognition.
“I am very proud of our team for their diligence in procuring contracts with California small and disabled veteran businesses,” said PVSP Warden Scott Frauenheim. “Pleasant Valley State Prison strives to be a leader in seeking out these business opportunities, and we encourage others to do the same.”
In addition to the two Bronze awards, nine CDCR institutions were finalists for the State Agency Recognition Award: California Institution for Men, California Medical Facility, Calipatria State Prison, Folsom State Prison, Kern Valley State Prison, California State Prison-Los Angeles County, Mule Creek State Prison, Pleasant Valley State Prison and Salinas Valley State Prison.
CDCR finalists for Advocate of the Year Awards were Annette Holling, California Institution for Men; Cassandra Sanchez, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility; Cynthia Tyree and Michelle Fortunato, California Medical Facility; David Moore, San Quentin State Prison; Eleanor Amith, Avenal State Prison; Keala Barkhurst, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility; and Lisa Tackett, Kern Valley State Prison
Langley, a Procurement Officer II at WSP, said working with these businesses has been a passion of hers since she started with the department nearly 30 years ago.
“I just think that as a government agency, we need to be able to give back to those people who are working so hard to try to start businesses in California,” she said. “I’m especially passionate about the disabled veteran-owned businesses. I think that they deserve all the great opportunities that they can get after everything they’ve done for us.”
In addition to this year’s Bronze award, Langley has also received the Silver award in 2010 and the Bronze award in 2013. In 2011, she and the institution received the MK Madding Award, recognizing the highest DVBE participation of all institutions.
These institutions’ commitment to supporting small business and DVBEs is seen in the contracts for supplies throughout the prisons, from office supplies to maintenance materials. Langley said her division staffs a booth at a business expo each year to encourage these types of businesses to become certified and provide information about contracting with CDCR.
State agencies work to meet an annual goal of at least 25 percent of their purchasing and contracting with small businesses. Additionally, the goal of California’s Veterans and Military Code is to purchase at least three percent of all goods and services from DVBEs. This year, more than 78 percent of WSP’s contracts were awarded to small business, and more than 7 percent were for DVBEs.
Over the past five years, PVSP has increased its DVBE participation to 15 percent and its small business participation to more than 83 percent. The procurement office encourages staff to visit the DVBE/Small Business website to find vendors that may be used for solicitations, and sends broadcast emails and catalogs of new prospective DVBE/small business vendors out to all staff to provide them with multiple vendors they may use in bid solicitations.