The 21st annual State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) honors state departments, small business (SB) and disabled veteran business enterprise (DVBE) advocates, and state leadership for outstanding achievements in SB & DVBE advocacy and contracting for fiscal year 2019-20.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 21st annual SARA was pre-recorded and was not a live event.

See the winners below.

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 Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeal Board
  • Department of Business Oversight
  • Commission on State Mandates
  • Department of Conservation
  • Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation
  • Department of Developmental Services
  • Department of Education Diagnostic Centers
  • Exposition Park
  • Department of Fair Employment & Housing
  • Franchise Tax Board
  • California Gambling Control Commission
  • California Health Benefit Exchange
  • Department of Industrial Relations
  • Office of the Inspector General
  • Department of Insurance
  • Military Department
  • Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Public Employment Relations Board
  • Public Utilities Commission
  • Department of Real Estate
  • Department of Rehabilitation
  • Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy
  • California School for the Blind
  • California School for the Deaf
  • Sierra Nevada Conservancy
  • State Controller's Office
  • State Department of Health Care Services
  • California State Library 
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • State Transportation Agency
  • Statewide Health Planning & Development
  • Office of Systems Integration
  • Department of Tax and Fee Administration
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Victim Compensation Board

Presented by Jolene Hulick, Business Outreach Liaison, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services, Department of General Services.

The department that made the largest increase in their small business or disabled veteran business enterprise participation percent from Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 to FY 2019-20, 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 winners

Office of Administrative Law
Extra Small Agency (under $250,000)
Participation rose from 13 percent to 43 percent

California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority
Small Agency ($250,000 - $2 million)
Participation rose from 11 percent to 93 percent

Office of Exposition Park
Medium Agency ($2 million - $20 million)
Participation rose from 4 percent to 64 percent

State Water Resources Control Board
Large Agency ($20 million - $50 million)
Participation rose from 32 percent to 61 percent

California Department of Toxic Substances Control
Extra Large Agency (over $50 million)
Participation rose from 12 percent to 41 percent

Presented by Nancy Huth, Certification Manager, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services, Department of General Services.

Most Improved DVBE Participation winners

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy
Extra Small Agency (under $250,000)
Participation rose from 2 percent to 34 percent

Office of the Inspector General
Small Agency ($250,000 - $2 million)
Participation rose from 17 percent to 39 percent

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
Medium Agency ($2 million - $20 million)
Participation rose from 10 percent to 24 percent

California Department of Industrial Relations
Large Agency ($20 million - $50 million)
Participation rose from 9 percent to 18 percent

California Public Employees' Retirement System
Extra Large Agency (over $50 million)
Participation rose from 6 percent to 16 percent

Presented by Jermaine Carter-Gibson, Business Outreach Liaison, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services, Department of General Services.

Presented by the California Department of Veterans Affairs, these two awards are presented to an individual and a business. The individual award goes to a disabled veteran 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 veteran entrepreneurs.

The winners are:

Jackson Dalton
Individual Excellence

Joel Pulgarin Jr. of Paramount Safety Supply Inc.
Business Excellence

Presented by Keith Boylan, Deputy Secretary, Veterans Services, Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).

The Green Awards, presented for the first time this year, are given to a medium and a large agency who have met their small business goals while proving their commitment to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. The Green Awards consider Environmentally Preferable Purchasing data, participation in the Performance and Environmental Standards workgroup, and the number of purchasing officials that have taken EPP training.

The winners are:

California Department of Parks and Recreation

California State Water Resources Control Board 

Presented by Mark Wriston, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Supervisor, Department of General Services.

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

The winners are:

Chantelle Parr
Office of Statewide Health, Planning and Development
Bronze Award

Ramon Rivera
California Public Employees' Retirement System
Silver Award

Thomas Johnson
California State University Los Angeles
Gold Award

Presented by Joshua Zebley, Section Chief - CalTAP & DVBE, California Department of Veterans Affairs and Michael Aguillio, Business Outreach Liaison, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services, Department of General Services.

The Agency of the Year Award honors a state agency or department for their best practices, creativity and outstanding achievements to advance the state’s small business and DVBE programs. This year's winner demonstrated their commitment and success across the areas of outreach efforts, performance measurements, and notable improvements.

The winner is:

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Presented by Anda Draghici, Branch Chief, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services, Department of General Services.

This award celebrates 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 winner is:

San Diego Unified School District

The Nominees are:

  • County of Sacramento
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • San Diego Unified School District
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District

Presented by Danetta Jackson, Outreach Program Manager, Office of Small Business and DVBE Services, Department of General Services.

This 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:

Catrina Blair
California High-Speed Rail Authority, Small Business

The nominees are:

  • Imelda Cadigal, CDCR-California Institution for Men
  • Rich Zmuda, Division of Business Services (DBS), Department of Water Resources (DWR)
  • Shea Jolley, CDCR California City Correctional Facility
  • Catrina Blair, California High-Speed Rail Authority, Small Business

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

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:

Nina Martinez
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Presented by Krista Canellakis, Deputy Director of General Services, Government Operations Agency.

Presented for the 14th year, this award honors the state agency or department that best demonstrates excellence and innovation in providing contracting opportunities to small businesses and disabled veterans business enterprises. 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:

California State University, Los Angeles

Presented by Michelle Radmand, Acting Deputy Director and Northern Regional Advisor for the Office of the Small Business Advocate at the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.

Contact

Office of Small Business and DVBE Services
Department of General Services

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