Nina Martinez, CDCR, Statewide SB/DVBE Advocate, Office of Business Services, was presented with the “Gold” Advocate of the Year.

Nina Martinez, CDCR, statewide small business/disabled veterans advocate in the Office of Business Services, was recently presented with the Gold Advocate of the Year.

The 17th Annual State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) presentation was held in Citrus Heights earlier this year. The SARA honors State departments for outstanding achievements in Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (SB/DVBE) advocacy and for contracting success.

Also honored was Keala Barkhurst, SB/DVBE Advocate, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, with the Bronze Advocate of the Year award.

The Office Business Services manages the CDCR SB/DVBE Program to ensure program compliance, provides representation of the department in the SB/DVBE community with information on how to do business with CDCR, certification assistance, bidding opportunities, prompt payment assistance, and outreach.

An Executive Order requires departments to reach and maintain a minimum participation goal of 25 percent for small business. A state code  requires a 3 percent for a disabled veterans business enterprise.

In Fiscal Year 2015/2016, the CDCR surpassed both percentage requirements – 34.22 percent for SB (approximately $515 million) and 4.85 percent for disabled veterans businesses (approximately $72.9 million).

The CDCR has a Statewide SB/DVBE Advocate and a SB/DVBE Advocate assigned to each institution to assist in identifying SB/DVBEs that can provide commodities and/or services.

The SB/DVBE Advocates share procurement and contracting practices to increase SB/DVBE opportunities, attend meetings, workshops, promote SB/DVBE certification, highly encourage staff to use certified SB/DVBE first, provide training, participate in outreach events, act as a Liaison between the department and businesses, and complete mandated legislative reports.

According to a DGS press release, CAL FIRE received the Governor’s Award.

Advocate of the Year

  • Gold – Nina Martinez, CDCR
  • Silver – McKensie Pimley, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
  • Bronze – Keala Barkhurst, CDCR – Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran

State Agency Recognition Award

  • Gold – California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet)
  • Silver – California Department of Public Health
  • Bronze – Caltrans, Training and Outreach Branch, Office of Business and Economic Opportunity (OBEO)

Most Improved for DVBE Contracting

  • Extra Small Agency – California Educational Facilities Authority (State Treasurer’s Office)
  • Small Agency – Board of State and Community Corrections • Medium Agency – California Department of Education
  • Large Agency – California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Extra Large Agency – California High-Speed Rail Authority

Most Improved for SB Contracting:

  • Extra Small Agency – California School Finance Authority (State Treasurer’s Office)
  • Small Agency – Sierra Nevada Conservancy
  • Medium Agency – Transportation Agency (Office of Traffic Safety)
  • Large Agency – First 5 California
  • Extra Large Agency – California Department of Public Health

Notable Achievement:

  • 40 departments exceeded both SB and DVBE goals

John K. Lopez Awards presented by California Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Individual Excellence – Cole Woodman, owner of Global Engineering Services in San Diego
  • Business Excellence – David Poorman, a combat-disabled veteran of the Gulf War and owner of IECLT, Inc. in Lancaster

SARA CDCR Advocate finalists:

  • Alice Valdez, R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility
  • Annette Holling, California Institution for Men
  • Carol Bell, Centinela State Prison
  • Linda Lintag, R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility
  • Eleanor Amith, Avenal State Prison
  • Elizabeth Swanson-Callan, California Medical Facility
  • Francisco Rascon, Ironwood State Prison
  • Irene Contreras, Valley State Prison
  • Kimberly Love, Pelican Bay State Prison
  • Linda Langley, Wasco State Prison-Reception Center
  • Lisa R. Tackett, Kern Valley State Prison
  • Ryan Nelson, Folsom State Prison
  • Yolanda Flores, North Kern State Prison

SARA CDCR (Agency) finalists:

  • Office of Business Services
  • Chuckawalla Valley State Prison
  • Avenal State Prison
  • California City Correctional Facility
  • Calipatria State Prison
  • California Health Care Facility
  • California Institution for Men
  • California Medical Facility
  • California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
  • Facility Planning, Construction and Management
  • Ironwood State Prison
  • Kern Valley State Prison
  • Mule Creek State Prison
  • Wasco State Prison-Reception Center
  • R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility

Keala Barkhurst, SB/DVBE Advocate, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, was presented the “Bronze” Advocate of the Year.

The SB/DVBE program provides opportunities for local communities to do business with CDCR, which brings more options to the CDCR buyers when looking for suppliers.  The CDCR utilizes the SB/DVBE option and DVBE Incentive Program to meet and exceed participation goals.   CDCR fully supports the SB/DVBE Program and is a valued leader and partner with the State in assisting the SB/DVBE suppliers in their growth and development.

If you have any questions about the SB/DVBE process or nominations for next year’s SARA please contact your local SB/DVBE Advocate.

Learn more about the awards ceremony at