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Buyer and Manager of the Year Awards

The Copper Chapter of NIGP endeavors to annually recognize individual outstanding professional achievement and development and significant contribution to the advancement of the purchasing profession at the Chapter Level through the Buyer and Manager of the Year Program. The Chapter level awardees of Buyer and Manager of the Year are expected to submit to the National NIGP Buyer and Manager of the Year Award competition. Because of this expectation, the Chapter level award program will closely mirror the requirements of the national award program.

This year's winners:

Manager of the Year

2023 - Kennie Downing, MPA, NIGP-CPP

Procurement Specialist of the Year

Buyer of the Year

2023 - Tracy Garcia, CPM, NIGP-CPP, CPPB


The purpose of this Policy and Procedure is to:
  • Define eligibility, evaluation and award requirements for the Buyer and Manager of the Year Awards program.
  • Establish organizational responsibility for this program.
  • Identify criteria used in evaluation of award program submissions.
  • Provide guidelines on the evaluation and award process.

Evaluation Team

The Evaluation Team shall be assembled by the Nomination Committee prior to the evaluation of the submittals.

The Evaluation Team shall consist of either 3 or 5 voting members from the Chapter membership. None of the members of the Evaluation Team shall be on the Chapter Board of Directors.

None of the members of the Evaluation Team should submit a nomination form for themselves at NIGP National, that person shall refrain from serving on the Evaluation Team.

Should a member of the Evaluation Team defined above have a conflict of interest, that member shall be excused and replaced by a person who does not have a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest shall include, but not be limited to:
  • The Evaluation Team Member is nominated for one of the awards
  • The Evaluation Team Member has a supervisor/subordinate relationship with one of the nominees
  • That person anticipates submitting a nomination form for themselves at NIGP National
During the evaluation period,  evaluation team members shall not discuss any information related to the nominations or evaluations with each other or any members.


As the Chapter intends to submit the local Buyer and Manager of the Year awardees to the national competition, the nomination form, submission format, criteria and scoring structure should be very similar to that of the national competition as posted on the NIGP website.

Should deviations be needed to the national NIGP format, these changes shall be presented by the Nominations Committee to the Board of Directors at the Board of Directors meeting prior to the call for nominations


Buyer of the Year Award:
  • Nominees for Buyer of the Year Award must be regular members in good standing with the Chapter.
  • The definition of Buyer is limited to those buyers who have little or no supervisory or management responsibilities in the organization.
  • The Buyer function as defined by the UPPCC “involves the process of determining the customer requirements, reviewing specifications or requirements, developing and issuing bids, evaluating offers and selecting the vendor, arriving at fair and reasonable price and terms, preparing the contract or purchase order, vendor relations, following up to ensure timely delivery, and contract administration provisions.”
  • Personnel involved in one or more facets of the procurement cycle shall also be eligible: managers of contracts; warehouse personnel including storekeepers, stocking personnel, and property accountability personnel; contract oversight personnel such as engineers; and MBE/WBE outreach personnel. Buyers must have performed the activity themselves or have had primary responsibility for performing the activity as a member of a team.
Manager of the Year Award:
  • Nominees for Manager of the Year Award must be regular members in good standing with the Chapter.
  • The definition of Manager is limited to those public professionals who have supervisory or management responsibilities in the organization. Public Procurement Manager functions must include responsibility for overall procurement/material management activities in a specific governmental entity to include the supervision of procurement personnel and/or the display of executive abilities involving economic/financial, technical, statistical, legal and administrative attributes.
  • Management positions may be totally dedicated to the procurement function, or shared with other responsibilities.
The Nominations for both Buyer and Manager of the Year shall be supported by documentation reflecting the activity of the previous two years in public procurement for the period of January 1 to December 31.


In January of each year, the Nominations Committee, in conjunction with the Secretary, shall issue an electronic call for nominations which shall be sent to the regular members in good standing via email or other electronic means. This correspondence should include:
  • Brief description of the award program
  • Nomination Form (Nomination form used for national competition or similar form shall be used)
  • Instructions for completion and submission of the forms
  • Overview of submission format, evaluation criteria, and scoring structure
  • Due date and location for submissions
  • Anticipated Date of Award
The Nomination Committee shall establish a timeline for submission, evaluation, tabulation and award ensuring that awards will be ready for announcement at the March meeting.

Nominations and supporting documentation generally should be submitted by mail with enough copies for evaluation team members and should be due to the location identified by the Nominations Committee in mid February.

The Nominations Committee shall ensure that submissions are properly date stamped.

The Nominations Committee shall prepare an evaluation packet for each evaluator consisting of a copy of each submission and a corresponding evaluation scoring sheet

The Nomination Committee shall distribute the evaluation packets to the evaluators

Members of the Evaluation Team shall independently score and rank the submission and attend the Evaluation Committee Meeting at the date, time and location determined by the Nominations Committee

The Nomination Committee shall chair the Evaluation Committee Meeting where evaluators will come to a consensus and shall tabulate the scores of the Evaluation Team. The Nomination Committee shall also be responsible for capturing feedback from the Evaluation Team on the strengths and weaknesses of each individual proposal for the purpose of shaing the feedback with the nominees at a later date

The Nominations Committee shall prepare and deliver the physical awards for the March regular membership meeting

The President shall announce the winners and present of awards at the March meeting.

After the awards have been presented, the Nomination Committee shall provide feedback to the nominees from the Evaluation Team on the strengths and weaknesses of their submittal.

The Nominations Committee shall submit local Buyer and Manager of the Year awardees to NIGP national competition by the due date for that competition and copy the Secretary with the submission. Any transmission or introductory letters should be prepared and signed by the President or designee.

Due to the significant amount of work that must be done by the person being nominated for the award, the winner of the Chapter's Buyer and Manager of the Year Awards shall be responsible for submitting their own nomination from to NIGP National's Award Program by the deadline set by NIGP National. The Nomination Committee shall offer assistance to the nominee.

2015 NIGP Small Chapter of the Year Award winner

At NIGP's Forum 2015 in Kansas City, MO, Copper Chapter received the Small Chapter of the Year award for the following achievements:
  • The Copper Chapter focused heavily on education this year.  We provided scholarship opportunities to our members totaling just under $10,000.
  • Partnered with Pima Community College Foundation to award a $500 scholarship to a current business student.  This student attended Chapter meetings to learn about career opportunities from agency representatives.
  • To support scholarship efforts, the Chapter hosted its 7th Annual Reverse Trade Show which netted nearly $15,000.
  • We hosted a one day seminar on “Professional Principles & Current Trends in Procurement” which exceeded expectations with over 40 individuals participating.
  • In preparation for UPPCC certification exam, the Chapter produced an “Agency Feud” game.
 Chapter of Year


Copper Chapter

Established 1983 - Southern Arizona's NIGP Chapter  

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