By OPEC Staff

CDCR staff and sites were recently recognized for outstanding commitment to excellence and contributions to the success of the state of California’s Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (SB/DVBE) program.

The presentations were made at the 18th Annual State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) ceremony held 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.

CDCR honorees were:

  • Shantill Castro, SB/DVBE advocate at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center, received a Silver Award for Advocate of the Year.
  • Shelia Smith and Ryan Nelson, SB/DVBE advocates at Folsom State Prison, each received a Bronze Award.
  • Nina Martinez, Statewide SB/DVBE advocate at Sacramento headquarters, received the Richard G. Polanco Award for Diversity.

(Last year, Nina Martinez received the Gold Award for Advocate of the Year.)

Finalists for the advocates awards from CDCR were:

  • Annette Holling, California Institution for Men
  • Cynthia Tyree, California Medical Facility
  • Eleanor Amith, Avenal State Prison
  • Francisco Rason, Ironwood State Prison
  • Irene Contreras, Valley State Prison
  • Keala Barkhurst, Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
  • Maritza Gutierrez, California Institution for Men
  • Nina Martinez, Sacramento headquarters
  • Phyllis Johnson, California Correctional Institution
  • Terri Barrera, Northern California Youth Correctional Facility
  • Yolanda Flores, North Kern State Prison

Finalists for the State Agency Recognition awards were:

  • Avenal State Prison
  • California Correctional Institution
  • California Institution for Men
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Facility CMF
  • Valley State Prison
  • California State Prison, Corcoran
  • Correctional Training Facility
  • Facility Planning, Construction and Management
  • Folsom State Prison
  • High Desert State Prison
  • Sacramento headquarters
  • Iron Wood State Prison
  • Kern Valley State Prison
  • California State Prison, Los Angeles County
  • Mule Creek State Prison
  • Pleasant Valley State Prison
  • Wasco State Prison-Reception Center

For more information about the awards, go to