From left, Francisco Rascon, Procurement and Services Officer II; Patricia Farrell, Business Services Officer (retired); Marina Birdsong, Budget Analyst; Warden Neil McDowell; Sam Venero, Business Manager; Vernon Allen, Associate Warden of Business Services.

From left, Francisco Rascon, Procurement and Services Officer II; Patricia Farrell, Business Services Officer (retired); Marina Birdsong, Budget Analyst; Warden Neil McDowell; Sam Venero, Business Manager; Vernon Allen, Associate Warden of Business Services.

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
Office of Public and Employee Communications
and Lt. Kelli Madsen, AA/Public Information Officer
Ironwood State Prison

The Disabled Veterans Business Alliance selected Ironwood State Prison (ISP) as this year’s recipient of the M.K. Madding Award for the prison’s efforts to increase the work it does with disabled-veteran owned businesses.

The award is named after a former warden at Avenal State Prison who pioneered CDCR’s efforts to exceed the “3 percent goal established in statute for Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise  (DVBE) contracting and procurement,” the alliance states.

“Through the leadership of Warden Neil McDowell, the procurement and contracting team in ISP’s Procurement Office have made significant strides in DVBE contracting over the past four years,” according to the alliance. “ISP staff focus on meeting and exceeding the standard practices.”

In 2014/2015 fiscal year alone, ISP reached 9.19 percent participation by awarding 569 contracts worth $386,489 to DVBE vendors.

“The alliance is happy to acknowledge the hard work of Small Business/DVBE Advocate Sam Venero and his colleagues in ISP’s Procurement Office,” the alliance states.

Venero won the silver State Agency Recognition Award for outstanding DVBE Advocate of the Year.