The California Department of General Services (DGS) hosted State Agency Recognition Awards (SARA) recognizing state agencies, departments, advocates, and leadership whose exceptional work and dedication helped accomplish the Governor’s commitment to meet or exceed small business and disabled veteran business enterprise (SB/DVBE) contracting goals for fiscal year 2020-21. The Awards Ceremony was held in the spring.
Two employees recognized during Agency Recognition Awards
The Angel Carrera Leadership Award went to Maribel Garcia with North Kern State Prison.
Garcia reviewed the DGS PD 810 Contracting Activity Report every month to target specific areas for improvement. Her department exceeded the state participation goal by achieving an impressive 71% SB participation and 19% DVBE participation.
The award honors the legacy of Angel Carrera, a Department of General Services leader and advocate who championed the program. This is awarded to the leader who provided outstanding support to the efforts of their employees, program, and department in SB/DVBE contracting. This individual worked with their SB/DVBE Advocate, other leaders within their organization, and procurement staff to inspire and innovate their department’s SB/DVBE contracting practices.
Garcia is devoted to supporting her teams’ endeavors to include SB/DVBEs in state contracting. She has worked actively to build SB/DVBEs success. With over four years of state service, she has dedicated her state career to serving the SB/DVBE community. She set up training sessions for the buyers in her organization and has stressed the importance of getting to know the new SB/DVBEs and what they had to offer the department and provided detailed assistance navigating state systems to find and use SB/DVBEs. Garcia attended outreach events to personally connect with businesses and support their efforts to contract with the state.
Gold Advocate of the Year award went to Nina A. Martinez, Headquarters, Office of Business Services. She has over 10 years of dedication to the SB/DVBE program and has attended almost 30 outreach events this year to reach SBs and DVBEs all over the state. She conducts one-on-one training for certified businesses and educates them about state certifications, the SB/DVBE Option, SB Preference, DVBE Incentive, and more. Martinez works with her buyers to include SB/DVBEs in all contracting opportunities and personally reaches out to drive SB/DVBE participation. She continually makes communication efforts with SB/DVBEs to not only keep them engaged with their department and Cal e-Procure, but also to encourage them to submit for an upcoming bid. She also serves in a leadership role as she participates on the Advocate Steering Council.
Nominations for Gold Advocate of the Year focus on three key areas: outreach efforts, performance measurements, and notable improvements. The Gold Advocate of the Year is awarded to a SB/DVBE Advocate for their outstanding achievements in supporting, promoting, and contracting with SB/DVBEs. The Gold Advocate of the Year is also recognized for mentoring others and actively engages with the SB/DVBE community.
What is the DVBE?
California established the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program (DVBE) in 1989 (Public Contract Code 10115) to promote self-reliance for California’s disabled veterans by offering veterans the opportunity to gain experience in business, while sharing their expertise with the state’s citizens. In addition, Departments are to promote the use DVBEs in State contracting and meet 3% participation. The department shall review the participation levels achieved and if the participation is less than 3% the department must complete an improvement.
It is the State of California’s policy to promote small business participation in its procurement and contracting processes by requiring all State agencies, departments, boards, and commissions to achieve a goal of 25% small business participation in state procurements and contracts.