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State Agencies, Employees Awarded for Excellence in Business with California-Certified Small and Disabled Veteran Businesses

SACRAMENTO - The Department of General Services (DGS) today announced the winners of the 16th annual State Agency Recognition Award’s ceremony.

DGS recognized 63 state departments and 16 state employees for their outstanding work with California-certified small businesses (SBs) and disabled veteran business enterprises (DVBEs). This year DGS introduced two new awards; the Richard G. Polanco Diversity Outreach Award and the Collaboration Award of Contracting Excellence.

The State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) honors state departments and employees for their best practices, creativity, and outstanding achievements to advance California’s SB and DVBE programs.

State agencies work to meet an annual goal of 25 percent of purchasing and contracting with small businesses. Additionally, California’s Veterans and Military Code’s goal is to purchase at least three percent from DVBEs.

Agencies receiving top honors at the award ceremony were:

Governor's Award – Department of General Services. The Governor’s Award is given to the department or agency that models a superior standard to which all state departments can aspire.

Government Operations Agency Secretary’s Special Achievement Award – Nina Martinez, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Small Business Advocate Innovation Award

  • Marie Ramos, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
  • Curtis Dickinson, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Richard G. Polanco Diversity Outreach Award – Department of General Services, Outreach Team

Most Notable Improvement for Small Business (SB) Contracting

  • Extra Small Agency – State Independent Living Council
  • Small Agency – California Tahoe Conservancy
  • Medium Agency – Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development
  • Large Agency – California State University, Chico
  • Extra Large Agency – California Highway Patrol

Most Notable Improvement for Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Contracting

  • Extra Small Agency – Board of Pilot Commissioners
  • Small Agency – Department of Community Services & Development
  • Medium Agency – Department of Housing & Community Development
  • Large Agency – State Controller’s Office
  • Extra Large Agency – Department of General Services

State Agency Recognition Award

  • Platinum – Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Gold – Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
  • Silver – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Headquarters
  • Bronze – Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development

Advocate of the Year

  • Platinum – Lisa Tackett, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Kern Valley State Prison
  • Gold – Steven Martinez, Department of Transportation, District 10
  • Silver – Sam Venero, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Ironwood State Prison
  • Bronze – Lynette Hall, California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Sammy Wong, Department of Parks and Recreation

Collaboration Award of Contracting Excellence

  • Barry S. Johnson, Shooting Star Solutions, LLC
  • Jason Schwartz, i3 Tech Data Solutions, Inc.
  • Roberto Herrera, Department of Veterans Affairs-Veterans Services

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

  • Individual Excellence –  Rene Cota, DVBE Alliance
  • Business Excellence –  Global Blue DVBE

The awards ceremony took place in Sacramento on Jan. 14.

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Division of the State Architect

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Office of Administrative Hearings

The Office of Administrative Hearings hears administrative disputes for state, local and county agencies, including special education due process hearings and mediations for school districts and parents of children with special education needs.
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The Procurement Division oversees policies and procedures used by all state agencies in their purchasing and contracting activities. It develops innovative procurement solutions including statewide contracts, purchasing portals, and end-user training enabling state agencies to acquire the goods and services needed to serve the people of California.

Real Estate Services Division

The Real Estate Services Division is a full-service real estate organization. Its highest priority is to provide the highest level of customer service in fulfilling state agencies’ facility and real property needs.

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The DGS Office of Public Affairs is responsible for considering requests by professional photographers/videographers who desire access to the Ziggurat building’s 8th floor, northeast balcony in West Sacramento. DGS requires that a photographer is either on assignment from a bona fide news media outlet, or if not a photojournalist, that the photographer maintains a commercial website and/or provides verifiable references. 

Time frames: Photo shoots are limited to 30 minutes during business hours from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, as our schedule and the meeting room adjacent to the balcony in question allow. DGS public affairs staff will escort photographers into and out of the building and will stay with them throughout the shoot. For photography shoots after business hours, some photographers have chosen to set-up their equipment on the balcony for time-lapse shooting prior to 4:30 p.m. on a business day, they then retrieve their equipment on the next business day. DGS assumes no responsibility for any equipment left unattended in the building. Contact our office at least five working days prior to the proposed day and time of the photography shoot.  Contact: dgspublicaffairs@dgs.ca.gov.

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