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Volume 2, Issue 20
September 1, 2010
The government marketplace is large, diverse and complicated...but definitely worth the effort!
 
Mary Scott NabersKnowing how to successfully sell to government at any level in any state is truly an asset...one that will reap long-term benefits. Sales representatives who have the experience, knowledge and expertise required to be successful in public sector markets are in high demand these days. Government sectors, in spite of budget constraints, still purchase products and services each year that add up to billions of dollars.
 
And, while good sales reps can demand high wages, the reality is that only a small percent have truly mastered the public sector marketplace. No matter how smart, eloquent, persuasive and/or skilled in sales techniques, until a sales rep is comfortable with the various jurisdictions, the idiosyncrasies of public sector decision making and the nuances of selling in a political environment, success is often a hit or miss proposition.
 
IN THIS ISSUE
$242.3 million going to rural projects
$1.8 billion to aid Louisiana schools damaged by Katrina
Highway group seeks $600 billion for rural roadways
Upcoming education opportunities
Opportunity of the week
Other contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
People
Calendar of events
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Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
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Breaking news...
 
$242.3 million in Recovery Act funding announced today
 
Benefits health care, community centers, schools, public safety projects in 28 states
 
HospitalPublic safety projects, community centers, public schools and health care facilities in rural areas of the nation today got a $242.3 million boost from the federal Recovery Act. The funding is being allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facilities Program. In addition to the more than $242 million from federal funds, another $58.4 million in matching funds from other sources will also go toward the projects in 28 states.
 
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (pictured) said the projects will provide "needed infrastructure in rural communities" and improve the "quality of life in towns and small cities throughout the country."
 
Tom VilsackAmong the health care awards is a $40 million loan to South Central Foundation Valley Native Primary Care in Alaska, with the funds to help construct a primary care clinic. The Marshall Medical Center in California is the recipient of a $3 million loan to purchase medical equipment. And in Williston, North Dakota, Trinity Health has been selected to receive a $5.5 million loan to construct a medical office building that will consolidate two current clinics within an energy efficient building. Forty exam rooms will be provided with additional space allocated for radiology and laboratory services.
 
Some of the education funding includes a $520,000 loan and $280,000 grant to the Alleghany County Glade Creek School in North Carolina to provide water and sewer services to a rural elementary school. Strathmore Union Elementary School District in California was awarded a $48,750 grant to renovate an elementary school cafeteria and Greene County, North Carolina, received a $13.6 million loan and $400,000 grant to build a new intermediate school.
 
In the public safety category, Elbert County, Georgia, was awarded a $390,119 loan to help construct three new fire stations and in Rawlins County, Kansas, a $7 million loan will go toward construction of a hospital. Kane County, Utah, was awarded a $10.5 million loan to construct a public safety building and Berkshire Fire District in New York was awarded a $400,000 loan and a $100,000 grant to construct a new fire station.
To view a complete list of the awards, click here and look under "Recent Reports."
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 
One of largest recovery grants awarded to Louisiana
 
Schools ravaged by Hurricane Katrina get $1.8 billion for rebuilding, renovations
 
School ConstructionMillions of dollars in contracting opportunities will open up soon after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Education this week announced $1.84 billion in funding for the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD) and Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). The money will be used to repair and replace public schools that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina in Orleans Parish and the City of New Orleans. The funding commitment is one of the largest recovery grants awarded since the storm ravaged Louisiana and the Gulf Coast in 2005.
 
The money will help build or renovate approximately 85 schools. It will allow many of the affected schools to replace the portable classrooms that were put in place following the extensive Katrina damage. The grants mean that every school impacted by the storm will receive either a new building or a significantly renovated one. 
 
Woody KoppelThe fact that the money is coming in one lump sum means the money can be spread among all the affected schools - both charter and traditional. "If we didn't have this single settlement, we'd be arguing about how much for this school, how much for that school. Now, we can just go ahead and start building and get kids out of modulars," said Orleans Parish School Board President Woody Koppel (pictured). Already, three new schools have been built from pre-committed funds and renovations are complete at three schools. The next projects that are part of the state's $1.8 billion master plan include a dozen new schools and renovations at seven others. Most of the new schools in phase two are priced at either $19.8 million or $26.4 million.
 
The grant includes $700 million for school construction that FEMA approved last year and an additional $1.1 billion.
 
The Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, RSD), the OPSB and FEMA developed an alternate project agreement to repair, replace and rehabilitate the original 127 damaged campuses and return RSD and OPSB to operation over eight years with a total of 87 campuses.
 
Highway group seeks $600 billion for rural roadways
 
Current system called inadequate; expansion, improvement of highways sought
 
John HorsleyProbably $600 billion would be adequate... That's what members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) say is need from the federal government to expand and improve rural highways throughout the country.
 
With legislation that authorizes federal funds for highway work expiring Dec. 31, AASHTO this week released a report calling the country's rural highway system inadequate. AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley (pictured) said that improving connectivity for the 60 million Americans who live in rural areas is just as important as it is for those in metropolitan areas.
 
"Rural states are essential to the nation's success, not only to meet the needs of their own citizens, but also to maintain their part of the national network on which the U.S. economy depends," said Horsley. "Highways across rural states are a 'bridge' for traffic between population centers for people and freight. They connect all Americans - urban and suburban - as well as rural."
 
According to the report, more than 60 American cities with a population of 50,000 or more do not have direct access to interstate highways. Nineteen of those cities are in California and seven in Texas. Georgia and Wisconsin have three. No other state has more than two. Some of the older roads have no shoulder or emergency lanes, which could be part of the reason that three times as many fatal crashes occur in rural areas than cities.
 
The association is advocating that the current legislation due to expire at the end of the years should be extended so that current levels of funding continue, but also that an additional $600 billion be set aside for road in rural areas of the country.
 
State & Local Pipeline will not publish Wednesday, Sept. 8
In observance of the Labor Day holiday, the State & Local Government Pipeline will take a week off next week. S&L will not publish a Wednesday, Sept. 8, edition, but will resume its regular Wednesday publication date on Wednesday, Sept. 15. The Strategic Partnerships, Inc. offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 6, in observance of Labor Day. Have a safe and happy holiday! 

Strategic EdgeSPI Research
Upcoming education opportunities
 
Texas school district to put $89.85 million bond referendum before voters
Orenthia Mason Trustees for the Tyler (Texas) Independent School District recently scheduled an $89.85 million bond election for Nov. 2. Funding from the bonds, if approved by voters, will be used to build three new elementary schools and a new middle school.  Board Member Rev. Orenthia Mason (pictured), said the district needs to do "what is best for investing in the lives of our children." Plans call for the new campus for Dixie Elementary to cost $20.2 million, while replacing Rice Elementary will cost about $25.6 million, including the $1.5 million price tag for purchase of a site for the school or accommodating students during construction. The new 185,000- to 200,000-square-foot middle school is expected to cost about $44 million. The new facility will be located south of the city on property the district purchased earlier this year for $1.9 million and is designed to accommodate 1,200 students.
 
Science Center planning new $80 million facility in Philadelphia
The University City Science Center in Philadelphia, one of the largest, urban research parks in the United States, is hoping to break ground on a new building by the end of the year. The Science Center has 31 colleges, universities and research institutions among its shareholders. The new building will house office and lab space and carries a projected cost of $80 million. It will be a 12-story structure with approximately 250,000 to 280,000 square feet and is expected to be completed by May 2012.
 
New Hampshire voters approve spending money on new school
After a local elementary school was pronounced unsafe for student use, voters in the town of Unity, New Hampshire, have agreed to spend $4.7 million to build a new elementary school. They also approved $143,000 in emergency renovations to the existing school so students can continue their classes there until the new building is completed. 
 
Oklahoma school district passes $23 million bond issue
Greg KasbaumA $23 million bond issue was recently passed by voters in the Noble Public Schools district. There were two propositions on the ballot, both passed by voters. Noble Superintendent Greg Kasbaum (pictured) said the project includes 12 classrooms. Four will be added to Hubbard Elementary and eight to the Noble High School. The project also includes new school buses, a field house and a new dining area at the high school. After architectural fees, permits, bond insurance, etc., are paid, the district will have approximately $17 million for construction projects. The projects are expected to be completed in two to three years.
 
Massachusetts charter school eyeing $8M bond for athletic complex
With help from a multi-million-dollar tax-exempt bond, the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, Massachusetts, is eyeing a new indoor athletics facility for its athletics program. The state's economic development arm, MassDevelopment, has issued the bond to help finance the facility, which will feature an indoor field and regulation-sized gym. The school currently leases land throughout the city for athletic practices and games. 
 
Texas school districts announce upcoming bond elections
A number of school districts in Texas have announced they will hold bond elections in November. Here's a sampling:
  • Jasper Independent School District has scheduled a $48.8 million bond election with bonds to be used to pay for a new elementary school, major renovations to the junior high school, to build a new athletic complex and to expand the office, library and food service areas at the high school;
  • Henderson ISD will put a $39.2 million referendum before voters that would pay for a new $25.6 million middle school, renovation and expansion of an intermediate school, a new, $8.3 million, 1,800-seat auditorium at the high school and installation of artificial turf at the football stadium. Another $4.44 million would separate car and bus traffic at the intermediate school and build a new kitchen and cafetorium, science lab, library research lab, speech lab, special education room, a secure main entrance and restrooms for the gymnasium. Renovations include upgrading technology and communications, student restrooms, replacement of existing heating and air conditioning systems, replacement of ceiling tiles, entry doors, flooring and 600 student lockers;
  • Lubbock ISD will hold a $198 million bond proposal for district-wide facility improvement. Some $34 million would build two new elementary schools and expansion of the high school cafeteria. The security proposal also includes installation of new cameras, security fencing, lighting and controlled access to schools. Other upgrades include new playgrounds at elementary schools, renovations to athletic facilities at middle schools and high schools as well as upgrading stadium facilities to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Three Rivers ISD's $11.9 million bond referendum would pay for building a new high school/junior high school facility and administrative offices. It would include family and consumer science labs, a library, science labs, administrative offices, a band hall, print shop and an area to house central administration offices;
  • Katy ISD's $459.7 million bond election would spend $282 million on new schools, $119 million for renovations, $35 million for technology upgrades and $22 million for buses, portable classrooms and land purchases;
  • Campbell ISD will ask voters to approve a $5 million bond vote that would building 12 to 14 new classrooms, a gym and cafeteria;
  • Carlisle ISD plans a $7.5 million bond vote that would add 10,000 square feet of space to elementary schools, 7,000 square feet to the high school, install new air conditioning and lighting, renovate the field house, concession area and stadium parking lot, build a new agricultural science facility and a new multi-purpose facility for elementary students; and
  • Athens ISD will ask voters to approve a $6.525 million bond vote to build new classrooms and renovate existing facilities. 
 North Carolina community college building to get renovations
Kathy MatlockUsing a $2.9 million gift from the late Ben and Lucy Nesmith, the G building on the campus of Southeastern Community College in Columbus County, North Carolina, will soon undergo renovations. The 100-acre campus is on the Chadbourn in southeastern North Carolina and has a student population of a little over 10,000. College president Kathy Matclock (pictured), said the financial donation is one of the largest any community college in the state has received. The G building that will benefit from the gift is more than 40 years old and in need of repairs. Construction should start next spring.
 
Wisconsin voters approve bond issue for two new buildings
The bond issue was scaled back, but successful, in the Drummond (Wisconsin) Public Schools. Although a $3.29 million bond issue in March failed, voters said yes this time around to a $2.8 million bond issue that will fund a new multipurpose building and a new agriculture education building. The multipurpose building will help alleviate overcrowding in the district and eliminate scheduling problems. It will include two classrooms and a large multipurpose room for physical education, performances, multi-grade assemblies and gatherings. The classrooms will also be built as storm shelters. The agriculture education building replaces a small building behind the school that is too small for class activities and has no storage. 
 
Kansas school district to take bond proposal to voters
Kyle HaydenOfficials with the Tonganoxie (Kansas) School District will likely in February ask voters to approve a bond issue that will help build a new elementary school. A bond issue also would provide for additions to the current elementary and high schools. The cost of the new school and additions to the old ones is estimated at almost $25.1 million. Superintendent Kyle Hayden (pictured) said the 115,000-square-foot elementary school is expected to carry a price tag of approximately $19.4 million. The high school additions are expected to be $4.9 million and the elementary school renovations would cost another $679,000. High school projects would include addition of an updated media library and science facilities, along with administrative and student services facilities. Most of the elementary school additions include administrative services, safety and security and remodeling of restrooms. 
 
Oklahoma school district voters pass one of two referendums
In Cleo Springs, Oklahoma, voters in the Aline-Cleo Springs Public Schools recently said "yes" to one bond issue and "no" to another. The bond issue that passed included $180,000 to purchase a 65-passenger bus, a Suburban, an agriculture pickup truck and possibly an 11-passenger van. A $200,000 bond to pay off borrowed money to complete the financing of a new high school failed.
 
LSU plans to renovate older building to meet housing needs
Mike MartinSome 1,000 students seeking on-campus housing at Louisiana State University were put on a waiting list at the university, which his now looking to open an outdated facility to help meet the housing needs. The older Kirby-Smith Hall, which has been used for storage and office space recently, could house 350 beds. Officials at LSU are seeking $1.7 million in student housing fee revenues to renovate and open up Kirby-Smith next year. They blame the jump in freshman enrollment this fall as the reason for the increase in students seeking university housing. "The good news is we've seen a real surge in demand; the bad news is we can't accommodate it all," said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin (pictured). Reopening the 45-year-old Kirby is a necessity, say LSU officials. Another new residence hall is expected to be built and online in 2015. 
 
Illinois school district planning $70 million bond referendum
The board of the McHenry (Illinois) school district has called a $70 million building bond referendum that would build a new school to replace East Campus and would accommodate up to 1,700 students. The district proposed the vote so it can take advantage of Build America Bonds, subsidized by the federal government.
 
Connecticut school studying use of RFID technology to monitor students
Nick WilliamsTown school officials in New Canaan, Connecticut, are studying using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to monitor students as a way of keeping them safe. The RFID system uses radio waves that can be imbedded into student ID cards. The goal of an RFID system would be student safety, said Board of Education Chair Nick Williams (pictured).  He said with an open campus like New Canaan's, if there is an incident in the school, the RFID system "lets you know who is in the school and who is not." Officials say they would have to be sure there were no negative impacts on privacy or security. Participation by students would be voluntary and there is talk the program could also be used to track bus ridership and to locate students in a building during an emergency.
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 
Opportunity of the week...
A California regional airport authority plans to issue $430 million in bonds, with the ability to upsize to $600 million, for a new two-level road with "smart curb" technology, 10 new gates, additional seating room at many of its gates, more checkpoint lanes, improvements, new concessions and more. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or rweil@spartnerships.com.
 
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
 
Florida city in line for $5 million in funding for sidewalk projects
Joe YarbroughThe City of South Daytona, Florida, will use more than $5 million in grants and federal stimulus funds for sidewalk enhancements. City Manager Joe Yarbrough (pictured) said the city was ranked number 20 on possible grant recipients for these funds, but the fact that the city had its permitting in place already moved the city up the list.  The city will enter into agreements with the Department of Transportation and the Volusia County Transportation Organization regarding the projects. Among the projects are a 4,680-foot, shared-use path adjacent to Ridge Boulevard expected to cost more than $632,000 and school/pedestrian safety improvements that will cost $465,000. The Ridgewood Avenue Phase One enhancement project, at $4 million, will include streetscape improvements for 5,100 feet, installation of a decorative sidewalk with enhanced intersection crossings, curb replacement, resurfacing and bike path striping with signage.
 
Mississippi tourism groups get $3 billion for advertising
Hoping to help residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast who depend on tourism for their livelihoods, BP is sending $3 million to tourism groups in that area to help pay for advertising and to boost business in the region. The money will be distributed through the Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau, the Harrison County Tourism Commission, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Golf Association. These funds are in addition to the $15 million sent to the area in May to support tourism after BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Arkansas counties meeting to discuss possible regional jail
Dan EllisonIncreasing populations and overcrowding in county jails has led six counties in northeast Arkansas to meet to discuss the possibility of building a regional jail. The group is meeting at the behest of Lawrence County Sheriff Dan Ellison (pictured), and was attended by sheriffs, county judges, court members and other officials from Greene, Clay, Lawrence, Randolph, Jackson and Sharp counties. The group is considering building a 300-500 bed jail facility centrally located among the counties at a cost of not more than $5 million. Only adult inmates would be housed there. The cost projections do not include operational costs. Officials are studying ways to pay for such a facility since either bond issues or tax increases are unpopular. One route being studied is to house federal prisoners at a cost of $75 per day paid by the federal government.
 
Florida National Cemetery to benefit from $1.51 million award
The Florida National Cemetery will garner $1.51 million in federal stimulus money, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The funds will be used to raise and realign headstones, repair gravesites, improve roads and renovate the facility's information center, restrooms and shelter. It will also pay for new equipment that will be used to maintain the grounds and conduct burials. More than 100 cemeteries, soldiers' lots and monument sites across the country received stimulus funds from the VA.
 
New Mexico
agencies to purchase license plate recognition systems
More than $7 million in federal grants are headed to law enforcement agencies in New Mexico, with $33,000 of the funds to be used by the city of Clovis and Curry County to purchase license plate recognition systems. The grants were awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice.
 
Florida officials seeking more than $1 billion more to build bullet train
Kevin ThibaultFlorida officials have sent a letter to the federal government seeking an additional more than $1 billion to be used for a bullet train system that would link Tampa and Orlando and advance the system from Orlando to Miami. Because a previous request for $30 million for an environmental impact study was denied, Florida officials say they will now seek the funding in installments. Kevin Thibault (pictured), Florida Rail Enterprise executive director, said the funding sought includes $1.1 billion for the Tampa-Orlando leg, $8 million for the Orlando-Miami route and $250 million for the Miami-Jacksonville service. Gov. Charlie Crist sent a letter to the U.S. Transportation Secretary seeking the funds, which he said would allow the state to complete the Tampa-Orlando project by 2015. If money is received soon for the Orlando-Miami service, that project could be completed by 2018, according to Florida officials. That segment alone would cost more than $8 billion. Florida Rail Enterprise has also applied for $250 million for Amtrak passenger service from Miami to Jacksonville using the Florida East Coast Railway. Thibault said an announcement regarding the funding is expected to be made by the first week of October.
 
 
Arizona, New Mexico DOTs to be awarded transportation funds
The Arizona and New Mexico departments of transportation have been awarded part of $11.6 million in federal funds to help minority- and women-owned business enterprises to compete for federal highway contracts in 30 states and Puerto Rico. A total of $750,000 is headed to the Arizona DOT, while another $218,500 will go to the New Mexico DOT. The grants from the Federal Highway Administration's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Supportive Services program that provides federal aid to DBE firms improve their ability to compete for and fulfill federal highway contracts.
 
Utah board exploring possible privatization for some of state's park facilities
Randy SimmonsThe Utah Privatization Policy Board is exploring the possibility of privatizing up to eight state parks. The board, chaired by Randy Simmons (pictured), head of the Utah State University political science department, is charged with investigating the potential for privatizing some functions of state government. Simmons said he would like to see a pilot project initiated to see if parks can be run more efficiently by the private sector. The state currently managed 43 parks, reservoirs, museums and golf curses. They receive approximately $31 million in operating funds from the state each year. Most of the entities are not profitable. While state park officials cite problems with attempts to privatize some parks, Simmons said perhaps the state was at fault for not monitoring the contracts. Simmons said he would like to hear from contractors and managers from other states with experience in contracting to run parks.
 
Grant will allow for installation of solar panels at Albuquerque airport
Officials of the Albuquerque international airport have been awarded $2.4 million in federal grant funds to install solar panels that will provide the electricity needed at a parking facility at the airport. The funds, from the Federal Aviation Administration, will provide a solar photovoltaic array on top of the airport's multi-level parking facility for motor vehicles.  

Texas county, school district to develop $14 million aquatics center
John FolksBexar County and Northside Independent School District in Texas are banding together to develop a $14 million outdoor aquatics center designed to attract national and worldwide swim and dive meets. Each entity has put up $7 million in funds for the project, which is slated for completion by mid-2013. Voters approved the county's contribution in 2008 to fund the project with an extension of revenue taxes from hotel stays and car rentals. Northside Superintendent John Folks (pictured) said Bexar County stands to benefit to a great degree. Plans call for a capacity of 1,000 athletes, 2,500 spectators and 300 coaches. The facility at Bamberger Trail and Skyhawk Drive, which is withinUSA Swimming standards, will feature a 50-meter outdoor pool with shaded bleachers and a 25-meter diving and warm-up pool. 
 
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission awards grants for outdoor recreation facilities
Twenty-one grant requests for funding for city and county parks, ball parks, swimming pools, nature trails and other outdoor recreation facilities across the state were approved this week by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. The grant awards totaled $6.8 million and were awarded both to major urban municipalities and counties and smaller Texas communities and governmental entities. The funding included $2.74 million in Outdoor Recreation grants to six governments that applied for matching state funds for basic public recreation facilities. A total of $3.33 million in Urban Outdoor Recreation grants was awarded for outdoor projects in five counties and cities with populations of more than 500,000. And $722,796 in Small Community grants was awarded to 10 communities for basic public recreation facilities. To view the complete list of projects and the funding received, click here and look under "Recent Reports." Nearly two-dozen National Recreational Trail Grant projects were awarded funding as well, totaling $3.3 million in funding for projects in communities in Texas as well as in eight state parks and a wildlife management area. The program provides 80-20 matching grants. To view the list of projects by county that were funded, click here and look under "Recent Reports."
 
New fire station to be built in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, thanks to $1M grant
Tom SwisstackAn award of $1 million in federal stimulus funds will be used by the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, to build a new fire station. The total cost of the station will be approximately $1.2 million. The city expects city impact fees to make up the $200,000 that will be needed with the $1 million grant. Rio Rancho Mayor Tom Swisstack (pictured) said the new fire station will serve schools, businesses, two large neighborhoods and future residential, retail and commercial development. He said the station was a "top priority" on the strategic plan for the city. The facility will include more than 5,100 square feet and will house one fire engine and an ambulance and will provide living quarters and offices for fire crew.
 
Michigan airport to use federal grant funds to build new facility
A $5 million grant to the Pellston Regional Airport in Michigan will be used to construct a snow removal equipment and airport rescue and fire fighting facility. The facility will carry a price tag of approximately $8 million and will be 35,000 square feet in size. It will house the airport's fire truck and all fire equipment and provide for storage of three snowplows, two snow blowers, two front-end loaders and more than 20 other smaller vehicles. It will also be the base for the UNICOM communications operations and serve as the fire station and training facility. 
 
City authorizes $10 million in bonds to help build police headquarters
Timothy StewartThe State of Connecticut has authorized nearly $10 million in bonds to help the city of New Britain build a proposed new police headquarters. Mayor Timothy Stewart (pictured) said not only will the station upgrade public safety operations, but it will also help revitalize the downtown area where it will be built. The bonding is part of the federal Recovery Zone Economic Development Bond program that lowers the cost of financing for shovel-ready projects. Thanks to the state bonding, the city will only have to provide approximately $25 million on its own. The final plans for the building are expected to be announced soon, with construction expected to begin Nov. 1.
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 
Where are they now?
 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at editor@spartnerships.com and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Thomas W. Ross. 
 
Thomas W. RossIn his first 10 years after graduating from Davidson University in 1971, Thomas W. Ross earned his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law, taught at the university's School of Government, entered the private sector as part of a Greensboro, North Carolina, law firm and served as chief of staff for a member of the U.S. Congress. In 1974, he was appointed as Superior Court Judge, a post he held for 17 years. While serving, he was awarded the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence from the National Center for State Courts. In 1999, Ross was named director of the state's Administrative Office of the Courts. He was then asked to serve as executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. In 2007, Ross was named the 17th president of Davidson University, a small elite private institution. Ross was recently named president of the 17-campus University of North Carolina System.
 
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People
 
Desiree Peterkin BellPeter WysockiGreg GillespieDesiree Peterkin Bell (top left) has been named director of communications and strategic partnerships for the City of Philadelphia, after having served in that same capacity for the Newark mayor. Laramie, Wyoming, Community Development Director Peter Wysocki (top middle) has been named to head the Planning Department for the city of Round Rock, Texas, replacing Jim Stendebach, who is retiring. Dr. Greg Gillespie (top right), interim vice president, administrative services at South Seattle Community College in Washington, is the new vice president of academic and student affairs at Yavapi College. Shirley Lawler, associate vice president for academic affairs at Ozarks Technical Community College in Missouri, has been promoted to the college's vice president for academic affairs post. Leon Shahinian, California Public Employees' RetirementRon PereaJames LangabeerJeff Long System's top official, has resigned to accept a position in the private sector. Certified Public Accountant Jeff Long (upper middle left), former vice president of finance and controller for the Golf Channel in Orlando, Florida, has been named deputy executive director and chief financial officer for the Port Canaveral Authority. James Langabeer (upper middle center), vice president for the Division of Business Affairs at The University of Texas-Pan American, retired Aug. 31, after 22 years of service at the university. Manager of Safety Ron Perea (upper middle right), who has been the head of Denver's police, sheriff and fire departments, has resigned his position after less than three months on the job. California's three-member Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously confirmed Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who is Gov. Arnold Butch ArnoldiBill JohnstonTom MuehlenbeckSchwarzenegger's nominee as chief justice of the California Supreme Court, where she would oversee the state's $3.5 billion court system. Rick Ferrin has resigned from his position as top administrator for the Jacksonville, Florida, Port Authority after 13 years with the seaport. Lt. Ugo "Butch" Arnoldi (lower middle left), one of the longest serving members of the Santa Barbar Sheriff's Office, has been named chief of police services for the City of Goleta, replacing outgoing chief, Lt. Phil Willis, who recently announced his retirement. Bill Johnston (lower middle center), former assistant fire chief and interim fire chief for the city of St. Cloud, Florida, has been named the city's new fire chief, replacing former Chief Charlie Lewis, who retired in July. Plano, Texas, City Manager Tom Muehlenbeck (lower middle right) will retire from the city in January, following 23 years in that capacity. Ron Olin, who will retire Sept. 1 as police chief in the City of Lawrence, Kansas, will move directly into the position of director of security for the University of Kansas athletics department. VirginiaGeoffrey MearnsJanelle AshleyTerry Garrison Beach has named Deputy Chief Jim Cevera as police chief, a position he has held on an interim basis since July 1, when former chief Jack Jacocks retired. Terry Garrison (bottom left), former interim chief of the Daisy Mountain Fire District and a 30-year veteran of the Phoenix Fire Department, has been named by Mayor Annise Parker as the new fire chief for the City of Houston. Dr. Janelle Ashley (bottom center), who has served as president of Worcester State College in Massachusetts since 2002, has announced she will retire at the end of the upcoming academic year to return to her home state of Texas, where she is a former vice president for academic affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. After having served as dean of its law school for the last five years, Geoffrey Mearns (bottom right) has been named provost at Cleveland State University. Norm Walker, a 36-year veteran of the U.S. Forest Service, has been chosen fire chief for the Idyllwild, California, Fire Protection District, replacing retired Fire Chief Steve Kunkle. New Bern, North Carolina, has named Michael Epperson as its new city manager. Ridgewood, New Jersey, has appointed 27-year veteran John Ward as its new police chief, replacing Chief John LiPuman, who is retiring.
 
SPI Research
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Calendar of events
 
Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists planning 6th Annual Conference
The Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists' 6th Annual Conference, featuring the general conference and networking activities, will be held Sept. 8-10 in Orlando at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld, 6677 Sea Harbor Drive. To register, click here.
 
TxDOT continues offering webinars for small minority businesses
The Texas Department of Transportation's Business Outreach & Program (BOP) Services branch is still conducting its webinars targeting small, minority and women business owners in the field of construction and professional services in Texas.  Only three webinars remaining for the 2010 fiscal year.  The external online seminars topics range from how to become a pre-qualified bidder on TxDOT contracts to online access of bid lettings and contract plans and much more.  Each session aims to provide valuable information to contractors, suppliers and small businesses on how TxDOT operates with external parties, how to better understand processes and procedures and improve opportunities to bid and obtain contracts with TxDOT. Invited parties include potential contractors, subcontractors, supplies, DBEs and any other small businesses. Each free webinar is limited and registration slots are on a first-come-first-serve basis.  More information on each webinar can be found at www.txdot.gov. Questions should be forwarded to TxDOT-BOP Webinars@dot.state.tx.us or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2 for more information.  
 
The Procurement Edge
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