State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) 2012

The State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) honors State departments for outstanding achievements in Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) advocacy and for contracting success SBs and DVBEs.

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, the Department of General Services (DGS) will host the 13th Annual SARA presentation at the Citrus Heights Community Center in Citrus Heights, CA from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. 

Through continued contract improvement and positive feedback, SARA continues to grow each year as evident by the increased number of nominations the DGS received this year from various State departments.  This year's event proves to be exciting. 

For any questions regarding this event, please contact:

Wayne Gross at 916.375.4339 or
Michael Aguillio at 916.375.4328 or
Tasha Nomura at 916.375.4567 or



Judging Process

A panel of judges representing SB/DVBE businesses, our resource partners and the State of California representatives selected winners for their best practices in SB/DVBE outreach and contracting. 

2012 SARA Highlights

Montage (Windows Media Player)

SARA Speakers

Introduction (Windows Media Player) 

Eric Mandell
, Chief Office of Outreach & SB/DVBE Services
Rich Dryden, Executive Director, California Disabled Veteran Business Alliance

Presentation of the Colors -
The Governor's and Adjutant General's Own Color Guard

The National Anthem -
Steve Ohlin

Welcome to SARA -
Jim Butler, Deputy Director, Procurement Division, DGS

Small Business Testimony

Small Business Testimony (Windows Media Player) 

Lynn Merritt, Merritt Business Supplies 

Joel Pena, United Textile

John K. Lopez Award

John K. Lopez Award Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Individual Excellence - Robert Mulz
Elite DVBE Network

Business Excellence - Gary Herbold
Amerit Consulting, Inc.

Small Business / Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Leadership Award

Small Business / Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Leadership Award Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Molly Lovett -
Real Estate Services Division (RESD), Department of General Services

Molly Lovett has quietly, but effectively played a significant role in assuring that her very large area of state government has greatly exceeded its small business and DVBE goals for each of the last three years.  In 2011/12 for example, our winner’s area achieved 35.82% small business and 9.16% DVBE contracting percentages on tens of millions of dollars of contracting.


She is an excellent communicator who regularly and tactfully keeps her top management informed about her division's status in terms of accomplishing the participation goals.  The information serves as a reminder and catalyst to keep all staff mindful of the statute and what's needed to meet and/or exceed stated goals.  Our winner has also become the foremost promoter of her department’s Small Business/ DVBE first policy which has led to great results:


Fiscal Year 2011/12 Small Business 35.32% and 9.16% DVBE

FY 2010/11 Small Business 30.26% and 10.25% DVBE, The results for both years are remarkable, particularly when compared to fiscal year 2009/10 when SB/MB was 26.05% and DVBE was 5.89% - both above the minimum, but not as impressive as numbers in fiscal year 11/12.


Molly’s dedication to actively and effectively communicating with vendors, clients, and senior staff in the proper methods for reaching the SB/DVBE statutory goals, continues to payoff.

SARA / Advocate Finalists

State Agency Recognition Award 2012 Nominees (Windows Media Player)

  • Avenal State Prison

  • California Department of Highway Patrol

  • California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet)

  • California Institution for Men

  • California Labor and Workforce Development Agency

  • California Medical Facility

  • California Public Employees’ Retirement System

  • California State Prison, Solano

  • California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran

  • California Technology Agency

  • Calipatria State Prison

  • Caltrans, District 4

  • Caltrans, Office of Business and Economic Opportunity

  • Department of Aging

  • Department of Consumer Affairs

  • Department of Corporations

  • Department of Developmental Services

  • Department of General Services, Office of State Printing, Procurement Team

  • Department of General Services, Real Estate Services Division

  • Department of Insurance

  • Department of Pesticide Regulation

  • Department of Real Estate

  • Department of Water Resources

  • Employment Development Department

  • First 5 California Children and Families Commission

  • Folsom State Prison

  • Franchise Tax Board

  • High Desert State Prison

  • High Speed Rail Authority

  • Ironwood State Prison

  • Kern Valley State Prison, Procurement

  • Military Department

  • Mule Creek State Prison

  • Northern California Youth Correctional Center

  • Office of Real Estate Appraisers

  • Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development

  • Salinas Valley State Prison

  • State Lands Commission

  • State Water Resources Control Board

  • Valley State Prison for Women

  • Victim Compensation & Government Claims Board

Advocate of the Year 2012 Nominees

  • Alicia Sequeira

  • Barbara Verade

  • Colleen Rubens

  • Dahya Patel

  • Danelle Hamilton

  • DeDe Seda

  • Eileen Coggins

  • Elizabeth Garcia

  • Elizabeth Parker

  • Ernesto Francisco

  • Fidel J. Martinez, Sr.

  • Freddie Sells

  • George Crosby

  • Jack Cummings

  • John H. Katavich

  • Kevin Hannah

  • Laura Stumpf

  • Laurie Cootz

  • Leticia Garcia

  • Linda L. Langley

  • Lisa Tackett

  • Lori Morgan

  • Molly Lovett

  • Paul Gonzales

  • Raymond Estey

  • Richard Brown

  • Robert Padilla

  • Sean O’Neal

  • Tanya Marcellana

  • Teddy Vallejos

  • Tracie Zamora

  • Wayne Gross

Most Improved Small Business Participation

Most Improved Small Business Participation Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Small Business (SB) Participation is based on a 25% State Goal

Small Agency (Under $1 million)
California Educational Facilities Authority
SB Participation total: 48.53%
Award Accepted By: Ronald Washington, Kenna Waddell and Chanda Nelson

Medium Agency ($1 million to $7 million)
Department of Housing & Community Development
SB Participation total: 26.12%
Award Accepted By: Wendy Barnes

Large Agency (Over $7 million)
Department of Education
SB Participation total: 47.58%
Award Accepted By: Doris Morris

Most Improved Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Participation

Most Improved Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Participation Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Participation is based on a 3% State Goal

Small Agency (Under $1 million)
California Educational Facilities Authority
DVBE Participation total: 32.78%
Award Accepted By: Ronald Washington, Kenna Waddell and Chanda Nelson

Medium Agency ($1 million to $7 million)
Department of Community Services & Development
DVBE Participation total: 35.79%
Award Accepted By: Scott Vice and Dan Agpoon

Large Agency (Over $7 million)
Department of Water Resources
DVBE Participation total: 5.45%
Award Accepted By: Lori Hall

SARA Winners

SARA Gold Winners Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Department of Water Resources
Award Accepted By: Lori Hall

The Department of Water Resources achieved 2011-12 SB/DVBE Results – SB (29%, up 7% from last year); DVBE (9%, up 5% from last year) This is due to collaborative efforts between the advocate and staff that have resulted in a consistent, continual improvement to the SB/DVBE program performance; development, implementation, and the creation of innovative processes and procedures, templates, workshops, and training; our winner has created stronger bid language and more focused outreach and education to acquire SB awards exceeding $20 million; program staff, buyers and contract analyst routinely contact the advocate for assistance early in the process.

The department has entered a new "normal" with regard to SB and DVBE participation - that of posting greater than 20% SB and 3% DVBE as opposed to the mid-teen SB percentages and less than 3% it was achieving prior to FY 08/09.   In the last four years the department exceeded mandated DVBE participation each year.   Small Business has twice achieved 22% and twice exceeded 25%, the most recently in FY 11/12. 

This department consistently spends over $45 million dollars each year in the SB community.  Over the last five years the Department has spent $309.1 million dollars in the small business sector and $64.4 million in the DVBE community.

Franchise Tax Board
Award Accepted By: Tracie Zamora

The Franchise Tax Board consistently exceeds mandated participation requirements. In each previous year, the procurement staff continues to work diligently to exceed them. Their advocates provide education and outreach to staff and attend various program forums. They provide guidance on project challenges and participation goals, provide exemplary customer service, brainstorm new ideas, consistently update their internal program by updating solicitation templates, convene round table discussions. They strongly encourage awarding directly to SB/DVBEs whenever possible and promote subcontracting opportunities in LPAs, whenever feasible.

The Executive Staff of our Gold Award Winner understands the importance of the SB/DVBE Program and the advantages it provides to SBs/DVBEs and to the State financially. They continuously strive to improve their areas of responsibility and tackle the difficult job of balancing between cost, mandated contracts and the Program. Collectively, they share innovative ideas with the Advocates and management, hold customer forums to provide education and outreach, and focus on the enterprise while continuing their efforts to meet the participation goals.

Our Gold Winner pioneered the “SB/DVBE First Policy” remains a significant element in their SB/DVBE participation success. This policy promotes best practices for purchases under $250,000 and results in many procurement opportunities for SBs/DVBEs. Other State departments such as DGS followed their lead and have adopted the same policy.   

SilverSARA Presentation (Windows Media Player)
Department of Aging
Award Accepted By: Tanya Marcellana

The Department of Aging’s 2011-12 SB/DVBE Results – SB (47.96%, up 20% from last year); DVBE (32.01%, up 11% from last year.)


To assure their continued success, the Department of Aging gives preference to the SB/DVBE community, whenever possible and when a Scope of Work has been drafted, buyers are instructed to query the SB/DVBE database to solicit those vendors first; use the SB/DVBE off-ramp when using LPAs.


They embrace the SB/DVBE community, and were able to award nearly 48% of total contracting dollars to SBs, and 32% to DVBEs. Exceeding the SB/DVBE goals is only achievable by the entire Department supporting these efforts.  And that support begins from the top down. Our winner’s management and executive staff are fully supportive of the efforts to award contracts to the SB/DVBE community. Although their Advocate wears multiple hats in the Department, but when she needs to take time away from the office to attend SB/DVBE events or meetings, management finds other staff to cover the tasks while she is away.


Even with limited staff and time, our winner’s management team ensures that the Advocate has the resources she needs to perform her job. At the buyer level, when a Scope of Work has been drafted, buyers are instructed to query the SB/DVBE database and solicit those vendors first. Even with Leveraged Procurement agreements, buyers utilize the SB/DVBE off-ramp to ensure that 100% SB and or DVBE credit is achieved for that purchase. Whenever an opportunity arises to utilize a SB/DVBE, they will pursue the contract through that method.

SARA Presentation (Windows Media Player)
Department of Insurance
Award Accepted By: Pat Applewhite, Patricia Ousley and Linda Tucker-Smith

The Department of Insurance has achieved: 2011-12 SB/DVBE Results – SB (48.52%, up 23% from last year); DVBE (8.38%, up .60% from last year.)  They continue to be proactive and innovative in providing outreach to the SB/DVBE Community.  They have implemented policies and procedures to improve procurement opportunities for certified SB/DVBE firms, established a vendor management tool to track products a SB/DVBE firm is authorized to resell – request quotes electronically, and their SB/DVBE Advocate was instrumental in explaining benefits of certification, providing links to DGS website, as well as providing guidance in navigating the certification process.


Over the past several years, the Department of Insurance has consistently met or exceeded the Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) goals.  In fact, this past year, CDI is very proud to report an astounding 93 percent increase in SB participation and an 8 percent increase in DVBE participation.


As a result of their outreach efforts, this department was able to increase SB participation by over $2 million by assisting legal and consulting firms in getting small business certification.


In July 2011, their Procurement Units, Business Management Bureau (BMB) (non-IT) and Information Technology Division (ITD) Procurement (IT), implemented policies and procedures to improve procurement opportunities for certified SB/DVBE firms.  Some of the improvements made were: ensuring that every effort is made to seek out and include SB and/or DVBE vendors when conducting any procurement activity within their approved delegated purchasing authority and contracting through certified by utilizing the SB/DVBE Option (GC 14838.5 and 14838.7), whenever possible.

SARA Presentation (Windows Media Player)
Kern Valley State Prison - Procurement
Award Accepted By: Lisa Tackett

Kern Valley State Prison Procurement’s contracting results are impressive:

FY 2012/11 – SB 55.82% & 11.42 % DVBE

FY 2011/10 – SB 45.76% & 3.23% DVBE


“TEAM Procurement” has created a tutorial on how to utilize their local area network of suppliers from the onset of the purchase process.  They offer drop-in consultation to prospective suppliers, and assist internal staff with training when necessary.  


Utilizing Local Area Network capabilities, “Team Procurement” works with Computer Services in maintaining an intranet "Procurement Folder" filled with all of the forms and information any staff member would need to start a purchasing task.  Within the folder, staff will find a 12 page tutorial of the local processes, access to the statewide Procurement Handbook, the standard forms necessary to start a purchase process, and helpful tips.


One of the key elements of our awardee's continued success in exceeding SB/DVBE goals is the local requirement of contacting at least one certified SB/DVBE vendor in the competitive bid process.  Team Procurement is always available by telephone or for drop-in consultations to assist in locating certified vendor information utilizing the BidSync site.  In addition, the Team makes every effort to act as guest trainers for other department's training and/or safety meetings.  Whether by phone or in person, getting the information to the customers results in increased usage of certified SB/DVBE businesses!    

SARA Honorable Mention Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Honorable Mention
Department of Corporations
Award Accepted By: Laurie Cootz

The Department of Corporations consistently exceeds their 25% SB & 3% DVBE goals, eleven straight years in fact. For:

FY 2010/11 – 64.84% SB & 22.48% DVBE

FY 2011/12 – 51.44% SB & 20.85% DVBE


Out of 396 contracts, 93% were awarded to SB's (239) and DVBE’s (129).  Just 28 were awarded to non-certified vendors.  The Department has surpassed the SB goal by at least 6% and at the most 40% in ten out of the 11 years.  It has exceeded the DVBE goal by at least 3% and as much as 19% throughout the 11-year period.  The Department's trend has been above 40% SB and above 10% DVBE for the last three years.  


This Department makes certain that all procurement staff are trained to look for SB/DVBE suppliers first. They use off-ramps whenever possible, solicit suppliers to get certified, monitor goals through reporting, and top management reviews all purchase to ensure appropriate SB/DVBE participation was considered.

Honorable Mention
Military Department
Award Accepted By: Tom Clarke

The Military Department exceeds the SB/DVBE participation goals:


FY 2010/11 57% SB and 15.83% DVBE

FY 2011/12 67.43% SB and 13.87% DVBE


It has a “Top Down” business model where all Purchase Orders and Projects are reviewed prior to execution to determine where SB/DVBE can be utilized.  This honoree has instituted a mandatory 10% goal on contracts where the SB/DVBE option cannot be used.  They consistently work with DVBE organizations and attend outreach conferences whenever possible.

They have adopted the small business/disabled veteran business enterprise option as its primary method of doing business.  The department adopted the program several years ago because the contracting managers and leadership believed that supporting disabled veteran business enterprises and small businesses was the "right thing to do".  It has developed into an exceptionally valuable tool in doing business. 


Currently, its contracting managers are increasing the mandatory percentage levels for contracts that exceed the SB/DVBE ceilings and building stronger alliances with the DVBE and SB organizations in the state.


During the period of this nomination, approximately 96% of our winner’s public works projects went to small business and almost 32% public works dollars were awarded to DVBE's, either as primary or sub-contractors.

Honorable Mention

California Medical Facility
Award Accepted By: Ernesto Francisco

The California Medical Facility has consistently improved its efforts in reaching or exceeding its goals for SB/DVBE participation:

FY SB/DVBE 2012/2011 SB 52.94% and 11.07% DVBE
FY SB/DVBE 2011/2010 SB 47.92% and 4.94% DVBE

Their dedicated SB/DVBE Advocate continues to provide guidance to procurement staff with administrative support, the department aggressively solicits to SB/DVBE suppliers locally and statewide, and they consistently monitor their progress.  When this Small/Disabled Veteran Business Advocate assumed the role, DVBE participation was languishing at .84 percent. Not only has the agency shown improvement in the DVBE percentage to goal, our honoree has surpassed the 3 percent (3%) goal by an additional 8 percent.   This success has been achieved by Providing Training to all Staff with emphasis on the importance of the Small Business/Disabled Veteran Programs to improve California’s Prosperity, and aggressively soliciting Small Business/Disable Veteran enterprises, both locally and state wide. 

In fiscal year 2008/2009, the DVBE percentage was at .84 percent (84%) and the SB/MB percentage was 6.71 percent (6.71%). By developing an action plan that has been supported and adhered to by Administration and Staff, this agency has shown significant and substantial improvement each year. Additionally, by interfacing with institutional staff and providing training sessions that included an open dialogue of their progress, staff has become more aware of the State Wide goals as outlined by the Governor's Office and have embraced the challenge.   


Advocate of the Year

Gold - Advocate of the Year Presentation (Windows Media Player)
Lisa Tackett, California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, Kern Valley State Prison

 - (Windows Media Player)

Lisa Tackett leads her facility’s “Team Procurement.”  Her facility has simply excelled:

FY 2011-12:    SB 55.82%    DVBE 11.42%
FY 2010-11:    SB 45.76%    DVBE   3.23%     

Lisa attends many local workshops and events to inform community businesses about the SB/DVBE certification program whenever possible. 


They have developed an outreach letter which is used to contact those businesses that consistently show up in the bid process but may not be aware of the certification opportunities available to them.  They actively encourage the local business community to become certified so they can achieve greater statewide visibility and increase business opportunities for themselves. 


The second element our Gold Award winner stresses is the recognition of the training and support needs of fellow staff.  They enable and encourage every person in their Procurement Department to act as one.  The team works to disseminate information and training to other staff.  Meeting the mandates of SB/DVBE participation is not an individual goal, but a team effort.   

One of the key elements of this advocate’s team’s continued success in exceeding SB/DVBE goals is the local requirement of contacting at least one certified SB/DVBE vendor in the competitive bid process.


Thanks to the work of this Advocate, her agency was able to more than double the Small Business activity mandated by Executive Order and more than triple the amount mandated for Disabled Veteran's Enterprises Program!   

Advocate Presentation (Windows Media Player)
Laurie Cootz, Department of Corporations

Laurie has helped her department achieve:


FY 2011-12:   SB 51.44%     DVBE 20.85%

FY 2010-11:   SB 64.84%     DVBE 22.48%


Her department has met or exceeded statewide goals for the last 11 years--ever since they became the advocate in 2001.


She has participated in many training forums and outreach events, helping to craft the State's first "Advocate Toolkit." They are a vocal authority on new laws and policies that affect SB/DVBE businesses and the State's ability to achieve goals. Our awardee has provided input on statewide reporting procedures, assisted in the development of the Contracting and Procurement Task Force recommendations, and proposed changes for mandatory contracts.  They are a trusted voice in the SB/DVBE community and a key member of the Advocate Steering Committee. 

Bronze Advocate Presentation (Windows Media Player)
Sean O'Neal, Department of Real Estate

His department achieved:

FY 2011-12:  SB 45.55%  DVBE 14.18%
FY 2010-11:  SB 38.98%   DVBE 6.93%

Sean has taken a proactive approach in working with and assisting all Department of their buyers in utilizing all of the available tools to increase proficiency and to not only maintain, but to increase SB/DVBE participation levels and awareness of the need to expand the use of certified vendors when purchasing.

He consistently attends SCAN and Small Business Advocate meetings during the year as well as outreach events in the local Sacramento area. They are co-chair of the Small Business Advocate Steering Committee and have participated in the Commercially Useful Function (CUF) workgroup to help write new State Contract Manual (SCM) language. The opportunity to attend these meetings and events and to be part of committees and workgroups keeps the Department apprised of State policy changes and helps the advocate to stay informed, in contact with other advocates, and in using the advocate network to seek out and find a wider array of certified vendors and to assist other advocates throughout the state.


By utilizing a DVBE first approach to purchasing and procuring services, the advocate has been integral in the Department increasing participation to its highest levels achieved. The Advocate wears many hats and has a varied list of duties that allow the opportunity to reach out to all areas of the department to increase awareness of the need to utilize small and disabled veteran enterprises whenever possible. All of the department’s service contracts and IT Services procurement are directed to this advocate’s responsibility. This centralized approach has given the advocate the ability to assist all sections with their procurement and service contract needs. 

Advocate of the Year - Honorable Mention

Honorable Mention Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Honorable Mention
Ernesto Francisco, California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, California Medical Facility

Ernesto Francisco of the CDCR California Medical Facility is a full time Advocate that is credited with helping his facility achieve the following results:

FY 2011-12:   SB/MB  52.94%   DVBE 11.07%
FY 2010-11:    SB/MB  47.92%  DVBE  4.94%

He has provided a firm direction to all staff as well as cultivating relationships with Small Business and DVBE vendors in order to consistently exceed contracting goals. This approach has generated consistent improvement over the last consecutive four (4) years.


In fiscal year 2008/2009, the DVBE percentage was at .84 percent and the SB/MB percentage was 6.71 percent. By developing an action plan that has been supported and adhered to by his facility’s Administration and Staff, this Advocate’s entity has shown significant and substantial improvement each year.


As a result of the increased effort led by our winner this entity has demonstrated its ability to overcome historical challenges by educating staff on the importance of supporting Disabled Veterans and Small/Micro Businesses and reaching a remarkable high of 11.07% for DVBE and 52.94% for SB/MB participation.

Honorable Mention

Tanya Marcellana, Department of Aging

Through Tanya Marcellana of the Department of Aging Leadership, her department achieved :

FY 2011-12:  SB/MB 47.96%   DVBE 32.01%

FY 2010-11:  SB/MB 27.72%   DVBE 21.23%


Tanya and her department embrace the SB/DVBE community, and continue to give them preferences, utilizing SB/DVBEs whenever possible. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, they were able to award nearly 48% of total contracting dollars to SBs, and 32% to DVBEs. Exceeding the SB/DVBE goals is only achievable by the entire Department supporting these efforts.  


Due in a large part to this person, whenever a Scope of Work has been drafted in their department, buyers are instructed to query the SB/DVBE database and solicit those vendors first. Even with Leveraged Procurement agreements, buyers utilize the SB/DVBE off-ramp to ensure that 100% SB and or DVBE credit is achieved for that purchase.

Honorable Mention
Richard Brown, Eileen Coggins, Raymond Estey, Leticia Garcia, Dahya Patel, Dede Seda (not shown), Freddie Sells (not shown), Laura Stump (not shown), Teddy Vallejos (not shown), Barbara Verarde, Danelle Hamilton, Jerry Hill, Lori Morgan (not shown) and Elizabeth Parker, Department of General Services, Office of State Publishing

This team consistently exceeds their SB and DVBE numbers:


FY 2011-12:   SB/MB  75%       DVBE 30.13%  

FY 2010-11:   SB/MB   86.3%  DVBE  36%

They take full advantage of the SB/DVBE option and continually monitor its use.  On a daily basis they reach out to and encourage potential SB/DVBE vendors and diligently work to build its working relationships with these firms.  The team assists qualifying vendors to become certified to do business with the State of California and focuses their bidding/quote opportunities with the SB/DVBE firms

Small Business Advocate Innovation Award (SBAIA)

Small Business Advocate Innovation Award (SBAIA) Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Peter Gravett -

Calvet is being recognized for effectively using the 80/20 rule to dramatically increase their small business and DVBE contracting results by more effectively engaging the vendors they were already using.


They have vastly increased the number of Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) firms they were working with by developing and implementing a campaign to request that all their vendors who qualified apply for, or renew, their State certifications.


Through this process a far a greater number of certified firms, especially those that could provide medical services to our nominee’s facilities, would increase the level of participation and enable use of the SB/DVBE Option more often for contracts up to $249,999.99.


The result was more certified doctors, dentists, labs and therapists that not only could help our winner make their goals but also help other State agencies with similar needs statewide such as CDCR.


Calvet’s advocate even contacted certified firms by telephone that could not be reached by the email address listed on the Supplier Profile.  This Advocate also worked closely with the Department of General Services (DGS), Office of Small Business and DVBE Services (OSDS) to help these medical professionals get certified.  As a result, In FY 2011-2012, they reported that they had achieved 28.59% Small Business contracting participation.

George Crosby -
Caltrans, District 4

Tasked with managing very large scale infrastructure projects, Caltrans District 4 uses a progressive approach to help Small Businesses and DVBE's navigate the “streams and rivers” that keep them from being successful in their attempts to “swim with the big fish.”   

They have endeavored to improve Small Business and DVBE participation through their Outreach events and Mandatory Pre-Bid meetings.  One example is an Outreach/Look Ahead event that highlighted 50 upcoming projects with an estimated value of $750 Million. Of that amount our winners were able to identify an estimated $150 Million that was available on these projects that was well suited for Small Business and DVBE bidders.  Additionally, they had seven Mandatory Pre-bid meetings for 11 projects with an estimated value of $435 Million. 

The main goal of these events is to make sure that Primes Contractors sit down and meet with every potential sub in attendance.   They also helped better educate firms about bonding and insurance.  A Small Business Procurement Fair, held on April 4, 2012, in conjunction with our partners at BART was their best to date with Purchasing Agents buying $3.3 Million in goods from Small Business and most of them were local.  The most quantifiable increase in SB/Participation can be seen on their Bay Bridges Yerba Buena Island contract. There are 52 Small Businesses and 2 DVBE's working on this contract. 

Advocate / Support Award

Advocate / Support Award Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Wayne Gross -
Department of General Services, Communication & Outreach Section

Wayne Gross has become a go to guy for small businesses and DVBEs seeking to navigate the State’s procurement system and get from contacts to contracts.  He gives workshops all over California on “How to do Business with the State” and has conducted countless webinars and workshops. 


Wayne has served a team lead for some of the largest and most successful small business and DVBE-focused outreach events each year, and is his department’s DVBE Alliance Advocate.  This year’s honoree has his name permanently enshrined on his department’s “Kudos” board, is an active member of the Statewide Advocates Group and has a boundless energy and passion for going above and beyond to help small businesses and DVBEs navigate the beloved BidSync system.  Around the state is when you need help dial 1-800- Call Wayne!

Secretary's Special Achievement Award

Secretary's Special Achievement Award Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Tracie Zamora, Franchise Tax Board

Tracie Zamora has been their department’s Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (SB/DVBE) Advocate for the last nine years, and 2012 will be her final year functioning in this role. Throughout her tenure, she has become an expert advocate for SB/DVBE programs and is the “go to” advocate for procurement analysts, Small Businesses, DVBEs and advocates from other agencies regarding the program and State contract procurements. 

This year she once again demonstrated her steadfast stewardship of the SB/DVBE programs by continually promoting opportunities for improved SB/DVBE participation in her department’s procurements. This is evident in her role as the Chair of the Statewide SB/DVBE Advocate Steering Committee, and as an active member of the Commercially Useful Function (CUF) Workgroup. As Chair of the Steering Committee, she leads discussions with other advocates by sharing FTB’s best practices, developing new ideas to improve the State’s SB/DVBE program, and by mentoring new advocates. As a CUF Workgroup member, she works closely with DGS employees and other State representatives to clarify and streamline the CUF requirements for program improvement and ease-of-use by all procurement officials. She shows her enthusiasm by volunteering her time to provide education and outreach through a variety of forums throughout the State, including her participation in the following SB/DVBE events.  At these forums, Tracie proficiently explains the State procurement process to interested vendors so they can participate in upcoming FTB and State procurements.
Even in times of economic hardship, Tracie is innovative and resourceful in attending these events to educate the SB/DVBE vendor and advocate communities.  Last fiscal year, her department awarded over $99 million to SB/DVBEs through subcontracting.  Consistent with the Government Code and Military and Veteran’s Code, this individual developed and implemented a mechanism for contractors to report their participation levels, as well as amounts paid, to SB and DVBE subcontractors. This is just another example of her pro-active approach the SB/DVBE program.  Lastly, while executing her Advocate responsibilities during her final year in that capacity, Tracie mentored FTB’s new SB/DVBE Advocate and has begun transitioning vital tasks associated with said role.

Advocate / Peer Award

Advocate / Peer Award Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Wayne Gross -
Department of General Services, Communication & Outreach Section

For the past four and half years, Wayne Gross has gained the respect of his peers for his knowledge, compassion and dedication to the Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise program.  He can be found wondering the halls between the Ziggurat’s auditorium to the Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Business Services Office or running to the executive offices on the eighth floor or back to his home on the second floor in the Communication and Outreach Branch.  

The man in question is always there to help by either introducing himself as some Oakland A’s 3rd baseman in a workshop or making a fool out of himself at a Customer Forum when explaining the emergency evacuation procedures or to be a part of a panel to discuss “the SB/DVBE Option” or the “Reciprocity Program”.    Our advocate travels the state helping out where he can.  He isn’t shy when it comes to talking on the phone either.  He is willing to take the time to introduce the DGS website to new businesses.  He helps small business people understand that Bidsync isn’t the enemy and, like it or not, we have to make do until Fiscal comes along! 

As the lead on such events as CalCon, SBDCs panels in San Diego, and SARA for the past three years, or attending the DVBE Alliance monthly meetings to update attendees regarding future events, upcoming solicitations, or regulation changes that might affect them, our honoree ‘s new mantra is “To get the contract, make the contact.”  You know when he has had a one-hour phone call or has done a workshop.  YOUR phone rings off the hook or you get barraged by emails from potential certified businesses wanting to recite their 30-second elevator speech to you. 

Colleen Reubens -

Colleen Rubens has been a great force in the Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program for over ten years.  She is recognized by her peers as someone who is passionate and helpful.  She always volunteers as a mentor to new advocates, providing years of knowledge and experience.   She provides a voice when she feels SB and/or DVBE businesses are not being considered or when the program is not being used to its full potential. 

She has played a major role in the SB/DVBE community by attending DGS Customer Forums, DGS Collaboration Conferences, the Advocates Workshops as well as for being a long time member of the SB/DVBE Steering Committee.  She is recognized by the SB/DVBE Community as a great asset and supporter.  As an advocate and a contract analyst she understands how to apply the program and ensure participation within her department.  She constantly educates herself as well as her fellow buyers on the difference procurement vehicles to ensure there can be SB/DVBE participation.

When she cannot locate a SB or DVBE for specific contracting opportunities she reaches out to her fellow advocates, utilizing her network to find a good fit.  Last fiscal year 2011-2012 the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) had 44.90% SB/MB participation, increasing almost 20% from the previous fiscal year.  She strives each year to be a wonderful advocate and exceed the participation goals……and with much appreciation we would like to recognize for the Peer Advocate Award.   

Governor's Award

Governor's Award Presentation (Windows Media Player)

Corcoran State Prison, Substance Abuse
Award Accepted By: Albert Rivas

They are being recognized for their which have produced a steady increase in their Small Business and DVBE participation over the last six (6) fiscal years.  They have instituted many best practices that ensure maximum positive results.  These include requiring that all bid proposals target the Small Business and DVBE community, becoming a statewide leader by incorporating a one-on-one assessment and training service to all staff involved in purchasing which includes bi-annual training on all Procurement Procedures and working with the small business and DVBE communities,  a team effort involving the contributions of all Procurement Staff toward ensuring that best practices and increased Small Business and DVBE contract awards are part of the day-to-day operation.

As a result of this increased commitment and improvements in staff training, Our winner was able to increase their DVBE contracting percentage over the past three (3) years by 67% to secure 15.29 percent DVBE participation for Fiscal Year 11/12.  They were also able to increase their Small Business Contracting percentage over the last three (3) years by 87% to obtain a 72.70% for Fiscal Year 11/12.

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