Highlights from the 16th Annual California Community Colleges Purchasing Conference

The 16th Annual California Community Colleges Purchasing Conference, hosted by the FoundationCCC CollegeBuys program in San Diego from April 8 – 10, brought together procurement professionals from community colleges statewide. The theme for this year, “Boundless Collaboration: Driving Sustainable Procurement in Community Colleges,” underscored the critical importance of fostering system-wide cooperation to advance environmental stewardship within the community college system. The three-day conference served as a platform for learning, collaboration, and innovation as attendees engaged in a diverse range of workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities.

Darin Matthews, Chief Procurement Officer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, delivered an impactful keynote address, providing attendees with valuable insights into sustainable procurement strategies in higher education. Throughout the conference, attendees explored trending topics within procurement, including sustainability, negotiating SaaS agreements, leveraging AI, and managing contracts. The event also covered personal and interpersonal effectiveness, student housing procurement, insurance liability, and legal and legislative updates. Notable speakers from various organizations, including Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, Tao Rossini, APC, JHensley Consulting, NewLeaf Training and Development, Murdoch, Walrath & Holmes, and Kennan, shared their expertise, enriching the conference experience.

The conference also recognized outstanding contributions in the field of procurement to the following:

Procurement Professionals of the Year Awards

  • Jennifer Alford, Director of Procurement, Contracts & Auxiliary Services at San Joaquin Delta Community College District (Northern region)
  • Angelic Davis, Director of Purchasing, Printing, and Mail Services at Mt. San Antonio Community College District (Southern region)

ODP Business Solutions Green Award 

  • Riverside Community College District

Waxie Green Award 

  • Cerritos Community College District

The recipients of the Green Awards were acknowledged as system leaders in green spend for these respective suppliers.

The CollegeBuys team would like to express our gratitude to all participants, presenters, and award recipients for their dedication to advancing procurement excellence in higher education. To see photos from the event, click here.

Looking ahead, the 2025 California Community Colleges Purchasing Conference is scheduled to take place on April 14-16 at the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego, CA, inviting system procurement leaders to continue driving innovation and collaboration in the field.

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