The 20th annual State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) honored state departments, small business (SB) and disabled veteran business enterprise (DVBE) advocates, and state employees for outstanding achievements in SB & DVBE advocacy and contracting for fiscal year 2018-19.

The 20th annual SARA Ceremony was held on January 29, 2020 at the Citrus Heights Community Center.

The 20th annual State Agency Recognition Awards

Opening ceremony by Eric Mandel, former branch chief, Department of General Services

Opening ceremony by Eric Mandel, former branch chief, Department of General Services.

 

Presentation of the Colors by the Governor's Honor Guard Photo of National Anthem The National Anthem by Dee Hardy

Presentation of the Colors by the Governor's Honor Guard

 

The National Anthem by Dee Hardy

The National Anthem by Dee Hardy

Watch the opening ceremony and welcoming remarks

Welcome to SARA by Daniel Kim, Director, Department of General Services

Welcome to SARA by Daniel Kim, Director, Department of General Services

 

Welcoming remarks by Porsche Middleton, Council Member, City of Citrus Heights
Welcoming remarks by Porsche Middleton, Council Member, City of Citrus Heights

Watch the opening ceremony and welcoming remarks

Presented by the California Department of Veterans Affairs, these two awards are presented to an individual and a business. The individual award goes to an individual in state government who is a champion of the disabled veteran business enterprise program. The business award goes to a disabled veteran-owned business that works with the state and supports of veteran entrepreneurs.

The winners are:

John K Lopez Individual Excellece: Vito Imbasciani, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs presents John Palmer, CEO of Servexo U.S.A, with the John K. Lopez award for Individual Excellence.

John Palmer, Servexo U.S.A.
Individual Excellence

 

Vito Imbasciani, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs presents the Veterans Business Outreach Center, Region IX, with the John K. Lopez award for Business Excellence. Coreena Conley, President and CEO, and Robert Beamer, Chairman of the Board, accept the award.

Veterans Business Outreach Center, Region IX
Coreena Conley, President and CEO, and Robert Beamer, Chairman of the Board
Business Excellence

Watch the presentation of the John K. Lopez awards

Representatives from the departments that won the Notable Achievement award pose for a group photo on stage with a "Notable Achievement" banner.

Departments that achieved 30 percent or more small business participation and 5 percent or more disabled veteran business participation were recognized with a Notable Achievement award.

The winners are:

  • Department of Aging
  • Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeal Board
  • California Arts Council
  • Delta Stewardship Council
  • Department of Developmental Services
  • Department of Education Diagnostic Centers
  • Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
  • Department of Fair Employment and Housing
  • Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
  • Franchise Tax Board
  • Department of Industrial Relations
  • Office of the Inspector General
  • Department of Insurance
  • Military Department
  • Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Department of Pesticide Regulation
  • Public Employment Relations Board
  • Department of Rehabilitation
  • San Diego River Conservancy
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • California School for the Blind
  • California School for the Deaf – Riverside
  • Secretary of State
  • Sierra Nevada Conservancy
  • Board of State and Community Corrections
  • Commission on State Mandates
  • Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development
  • Office of the State Public Defender
  • Office of Tax Appeals
  • State Treasurer
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • Student Aid Commission
  • Office of Systems Integration
  • Department of Tax and Fee Administration
  • Tax Credit Allocation Committee
  • Commission on Teacher Credentialing
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • California Victims Compensation Board

Presented by Wayne Gross, Business Outreach Liaisons, Department of General Services

Watch the presentation of the Notable Achievement awards

The department that made the largest increase in their small business or disabled veteran business enterprise participation percent from Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18 to FY 2018-19, while also achieving at least 25 percent small business or 3 percent DVBE participation, was recognized with a “Most Improved” award. The award was given to five departments based on the sizes of the departments and broken down by small business participation and DVBE participation.

Most Improved Small Business Participation winner

San Diego River Conservancy
Extra Small Agency (under $250,000)
Participation rose from 43 percent to 79 percent

 

Demeshia Swanson, Department of General Services, presents the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee with the award for Most Improved Small Business Contracting for a small agency.

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee
Small Agency ($250,000 - $2 million)
Participation rose from 18 percent to 73 percent

 

Keith Boylan, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Demeshia Swanson, Department of General Services, present the State Treasurer with the award for Most Improved Small Business Contracting and Most Improved DVBE Contracting for a medium agency.

State Treasurer
Medium Agency ($2 million - $20 million)
Participation rose from 30 percent to 40 percent

 

Demeshia Swanson, Department of General Services, presents the Employment Development Department with the award for Most Improved Small Business Contracting for a large agency.

Employment Development Department
Large Agency ($20 million - $50 million)
Participation rose from 28 percent to 37 percent

 

Keith Boylan, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Demeshia Swanson, Department of General Services, present the Military Department with the award for Most Improved Small Business Contracting and Most Improved DVBE Contracting for an extra large agency.

Military Department
Extra Large Agency (over $50 million)
Participation rose from 32 percent to 57 percent

Most Improved DVBE Participation winners

Keith Boylan, Department of Veterans Affairs, present the Debt Limit Allocation Committee with the award for Most Improved DVBE Contracting for an extra small agency.

Debt Limit Allocation Committee
Extra Small Agency (under $250,000)
Participation rose from 17 percent to 37 percent

 

Keith Boylan, Department of Veterans Affairs, present the Public Employment Relations Board with the award for Most Improved DVBE Contracting for a small agency.

Public Employment Relations Board
Small Agency ($250,000 - $2 million)
Participation rose from 19 percent to 34 percent

 

Keith Boylan, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Demeshia Swanson, Department of General Services, present the State Treasurer with the award for Most Improved Small Business Contracting and Most Improved DVBE Contracting for a medium agency.

State Treasurer
Medium Agency ($2 million - $20 million)
Participation rose from 3 percent to 20 percent

 

Keith Boylan, Department of Veterans Affairs, present the California State University, Humboldt with the award for Most Improved DVBE Contracting for a large agency.

California State University, Humboldt
Large Agency ($20 million - $50 million)
Participation rose from 3 percent to 7 percent

 

Keith Boylan, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Demeshia Swanson, Department of General Services, present the Military Department with the award for Most Improved Small Business Contracting and Most Improved DVBE Contracting for an extra large agency.

Military Department
Extra Large Agency (over $50 million)
Participation rose from 9 percent to 28 percent

Presented by Keith Boylan, Deputy Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs and Demeshia Swanson, Certification Manager, Department of General Services

Watch the presentation of the Most Improved Small Business and DVBE Participation awards

This new award was given to two individuals who, as buyers for the state of California who conduct procurements with small business and DVBEs, awarded contracts to the largest variety of businesses.

The winners are:

Nancy Huth, Department of General Services, presents Kimberly Page, California Highway Patrol, with the Small Business Contracting Award.

Kimberly Page,  California Highway Patrol
75 different small businesses awarded over 200,000 dollars across 150 procurements

 

Christopher Calceta, Department of General Services, presents Tammy Kirkwood, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, with the Small Business Contracting Award.

Tammy Kirkwood, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
75 different small businesses awarded over 3 million dollars across 330 procurements

 

Margaret Cortez: Nancy Huth, Department of General Services, presents Margaret Cortez, Department of Veterans Affairs, with the DVBE Contracting Award.

Margaret Cortez, Department of Veterans Affairs
21 different DVBEs awarded over 600,000 dollars across 40 procurements

Presented by Nancy Huth, Certification Manager, and Christopher Calceta, Certification Officer, Department of General Services

Watch the presentation of the Small Business & DVBE Contracting awards

This new award was given to an individual who, as a buyer for the state of California who conducts procurements with small business and DVBEs, made exceptional use of the SB/DVBE Option procurement method. Doing so supports the preferred use of small businesses and DVBEs in state procurement, and helps departments achieve their SB and DVBE goals.

The winner is:

Araceli Mohseni, Department of General Services, presents Connie Smith, Department of Veterans Affairs, with the SB/DVBE Option Award.

Connie Smith, Department of Veterans Affairs
conducted over 200 SB/DVBE Option procurements

Presented by Araceli Mohseni and Jolene Graham, Business Outreach Liaisons, Department of General Services

Watch the presentation of the SB/DVBE Option award

The leadership of the advocate steering committee was recognized for their dedication, hard work, and support of more than 200 small business and DVBE advocates throughout the state of California.

The honorees are:

Michael Aguillio, Department of General Services, recognized Andrea Pina, Department of Consumer Affairs, Nina Martinez, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Headquarters, Shaironda Morris, Department of Rehabilitation, and Tracy Bowen, California Highway Patrol, for their leadership on the advocate steering committee.

Andrea Pina, Department of Consumer Affairs

Nina Martinez, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Headquarters

Shaironda Morris, Department of Rehabilitation

Tracy Bowen, California Highway Patrol

Presented by Michael Aguillio, Business Outreach Liaison, Department of General Services, and Chair of the SB/DVBE Advocate Steering Committee

Watch the recognition of the advocate steering committee

This award recognizes three small business and DVBE advocates throughout the state of California for exemplary work and success through outreach efforts, performance measurements, and notable improvements.

The winners are:

Darvin Manuel, Department of General Services, presents Brandon Chastain, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - Avenal State Prison, with the Bronze Advocate of the Year Award.

Brandon Chastain
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Avenal State Prison
Bronze Award

 

Jermaine Carter-Gibson, Department of General Services, presents Lauren Boehnke and Mike Fairbanks, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - California Institution for Men, with the Silver Advocate of the Year Award.

Lauren Boehnke and Mike Fairbanks
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Institution for Men
Silver Award

 

Darvin Manuel, Department of General Services, presents Yolanda Flores, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - North Kern State Prison, with the Gold Advocate of the Year Award.

Yolanda Flores
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, North Kern State Prison
Gold Award

Presented by Darvin Manuel and Jermaine Carter-Gibson, Business Outreach Liaisons, Department of General Services

Watch the presentation of the Advocate of the Year awards

The Agency of the Year Award honors three agencies or departments for their best practices, creativity and outstanding achievements to advance the State’s small business and DVBE programs. The winners of this year’s agency of the year award demonstrated their commitment and success across the areas of outreach efforts, performance measurements, and notable improvements.

The winners are:

Anda Draghici, Department of General Services, presents the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - California Institution for Men with the Bronze Agency of the Year award.

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Institution for Men
Bronze award

 

Rhonda Smith, Department of General Services, presents the Department of Public Health with the Silver Agency of the Year award.

Department of Public Health
Silver award

 

Anda Draghici, Department of General Services, presents the Department of Consumer Affairs with the Gold Agency of the Year award.

Department of Consumer Affairs
Gold award

Presented by Rhonda Smith, Chief of Strategic Sourcing and Acquisitions Branch, and Anda Draghici, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services Certification Program Manager, Department of General Services.

Watch the presentation of the Agency of the Year awards

This new award celebrates three organizations that recognize and honor the state’s small business and DVBE programs. These organizations, mostly counties, cities, transportation agencies, utilities, and other local municipalities are reciprocity partners of the state of California. Their efforts, although outside of state government, also benefit the small business and DVBE communities.

The winners are:

East Bay Municipal Utility District
Bronze award

 

 Julian Canete, President and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, presents the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California with the Silver Reciprocity Partner of the Year award.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Silver award

 

Julian Canete, President and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, presents the Sacramento Municipal Utility District with the Gold Reciprocity Partner of the Year

Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Gold award

The Finalists are:

  • County of San Diego
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • San Diego Association of Governments
  • San Diego Unified School District

Presented by Julian Canete, President & CEO, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

Watch the presentation of the Reciprocity Partner of the Year awards

This new award is in memory of Angel Carrera Jr., Chief of the Certification and Outreach Branch at DGS who passed away in 2019. The award recognizes and celebrates a leader in state procurement who, like Angel, supports small businesses and DVBEs in state procurement and is a tremendous leader.

The winner is:

Angela Shell, Deputy Director of the Procurement Division and Chief Procurement Officer at the Department of General Services, presents Ramon Carlos, Department of Veterans Affairs, with the Angel Carrera Leadership Award.

Ramon Carlos
Department of Veterans Affairs

The Finalists are:

  • Edris Diaz, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Avenal State Prison
  • Lisa Tackett, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Men's Colony
  • Maribel Garcia, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Wasco State Prison Reception Center
  • Nina Martinez, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Business Services, Administrative Services Unit
  • Paul Waters, California Children and Families Commission

Presented by Angela Shell, Deputy Director of the Procurement Division and Chief Procurement Officer, Department of General Services

Watch the presentation of the Angel Carrera Leadership award

This award is given to the state department, agency or individual whose best practices, innovation, and advocacy efforts have allowed them to go above and beyond in exceeding the state’s Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise contracting goals.

The winner is:

Rich Zmuda
Department of Water Resources

Presented by Julie Lee, Acting Secretary, Government Operations Agency

Watch the presentation of the Secretary’s Special Achievement Award

Presented for the 13th year, this award honors the state agency or department that best demonstrates excellence and innovation in providing contracting opportunities to Small Businesses (SB) and Disabled Veterans Business Enterprises (DVBE). It is a prestigious honor given to the department or agency that models a superior standard to which other state departments can aspire.

The winner is:

Isabel Guzman, Director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate at the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, presents the Governor's Award to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. They could not attend to accept the award.

Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development

Presented by Isabel Guzman, Director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

Watch the presentation of the Governor’s award

Danetta Jackson, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services Business Outreach Program Manager, Department of General Services, gives the closing remarks for the 20th annual State Agency Recognition Awards.

Danetta Jackson, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services Business Outreach Program Manager, Department of General Services, gives the closing remarks for the 20th annual State Agency Recognition Awards.

Watch the closing remarks

Contact

Office of Small Business and DVBE Services
Department of General Services

707 Third Street
West Sacramento, CA 95605
DGSSARA@dgs.ca.gov