Volume 2, Issue 28
November 3, 2010
Going 'lean' in America

Mary Scott NabersThe public sector, like the private sector, is undergoing dramatic change. One interesting trend, common to both sectors, is a management technique known as "lean operations." Some public leaders are touting "lean" as the new best option for resource- challenged governmental entities. 


Lean government involves the elimination of everything that does not add value for customers. With that in mind, the first step is to determine what outcomes hold the greatest value. Then, the desired outcomes must be prioritized.


Lean government focuses on outcomes and operations. It involves identification and elimination of time-wasters and efforts that produce no significant value. It calls for removing bottlenecks, cleaning out backlogs and eliminating barriers. It redirects resources to activities tied to desired outcomes.  Projects and processes left in place must produce measurable and improved results along with cost savings.



Construction, renovation part of program
Texas bond issues pass
Grants to accelerate health IT
High-speed rail funds awarded
Upcoming education opportunities
Other contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Calendar of events
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
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Construction, renovation part of $11 billion program


HHS announces up to $335 million to accelerate primary health care


Health CentersUp to $335 million is being made available across the country to increase access to primary health care in medically underserved areas and expand services at existing health center sites. The funding is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, which over the next five years will provide $11 billion in funding for the operation, expansion and construction of health centers throughout the United States.
Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) administrator, said the federal government is "committed to improving the overall Mary Wakefieldhealth and wellness of our nation's under-served communities." She called the recent funding allocation "a step in the right direction."


The funding will increase access to preventive and primary health care to include dental care, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision and enabling services at current health center sites.


Of the $11 billion to be made available over the next five years, $9.5 billion will help create new health care sites and expand existing health centers' provision of preventive and primary health care services. Another $1.5 billion will be used for construction and/or renovation projects at facilities nationwide. Officials say these expansions will allow community health centers to serve nearly twice as many patients as they are currently serving.
"These new investments will allow existing health centers to improve and expand vital primary health care services, and continue to meet the increased demand for services," said Wakefield.


Texas entities approve millions in bonding authority


Document available with comprehensive results from statewide elections

Nearly $3 billion in bond elections for Texas public schools, higher education and other local government entities were at stake Tuesday. Millions of dollars worth of projects were approved as a result of the statewide elections.


Among the bond issues that passed are $90 million in transportation projects for a city in Central Texas. The bond proceeds will provide for trails, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance projects, intersection improvements, utility relocations and bicycle lanes. Up to 12 new schools will be built, facilities and equipment will be upgraded and buses purchased after passage of a $459.8 million bond election in a public school district in the Houston metropolitan area. A successful $68.5 million bond vote in West Texas means a community college there will get a new performing arts center, a vehicular technology center, new academic buildings, student housing and more.


These projects are among hundreds that will result because of bond packages that passed Tuesday. Other projects include city community centers, street and drainage improvements, new sewer plants and wastewater system upgrades, new fire stations, police department expansions and new athletic/recreational sports fields.  Millions of dollars were approved for new construction, renovations and technology and security upgrades at dozens of Texas public schools.


Strategic Partnerships, Inc., publisher of the State & Local Government Pipeline, has compiled a comprehensive document that includes a statewide listing of Texas bond elections that passed. The research document lists all upcoming projects that will be announced in the near future.  Purchasers of that document will also receive an outline of bond packages under discussion in Texas for May 2011 and beyond. For more information, contact Reagan Weil at (512) 531-3917 or


'Early Innovator' grants will help with health IT


States, coalitions can qualify for funding to help with infrastructure 


Joel ArioIn another effort to speed up the development and use of health information IT, funding was recently announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for "Early Innovator" grants. The grants can play a key role as nation's health care providers and professionals are speeding toward a 2014 deadline to implement the use and exchange of electronic health records.


The "Early Innovator" grants are intended to provide incentives for states that lead the race toward that 2014 deadline. Competitive funding opportunities will be available for states designing and implementing the IT infrastructure needed to facilitate health insurance exchanges. These health insurance exchanges are part of the health care reform law. They will provide an online portal for individuals and small businesses to shop for insurance plans and purchase insurance coverage.


Because states are developing what he calls "cutting-edge innovative systems" for delivery of "cost-effective and consumer-friendly care" to both individuals and small businesses, Joel Ario (pictured), director of HHS' Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Office of Health Insurance Exchanges, said by encouraging and rewarding states for their efforts, "We can build and leverage models that can be adopted and tailored by other states." The result, he said, is taxpayer savings "across the board."


But for that shopping and purchasing program to work, a reliable infrastructure must be created. That work is already under way. But many states have requested financial assistance for their preliminary work. These new grants will reward states with cost-effective, efficient technologies that make it easier to sign up for particular insurance plans a consumer seeks to purchase. Two-year grants will be awarded in February of next year to up to five states or coalitions of states that present programs that can become models for other states. The amount of funding will vary, depending on resources necessary to develop and establish the most innovative systems that are the most efficient and cost-effective. In September, 49 grants totaling $1 million were awarded to begin work on the exchanges.


23 states share $2.4 billion in federal high-speed rail funds


Projects include track, station construction, equipment purchases, planning studies


California RailCalifornia was the big winner in the recent announcement of federal funding for high-speed rail. The West Coast state was awarded $901 million of the $2.4 billion in federal funds split among 23 states for 54 projects. The California project includes $715 million to construct new high-speed rail lines in the Central Valley.


Florida was also a big winner among the state allocations. The state garnered $800 million for the high-speed rail corridor from Tampa to Orlando, which officials hope will be part of an eventual line that connects Tampa, Orlando, Miami and other Florida communities.


The more than 50 projects that drew funding allocations will be used for projects from the construction of track and stations, to new passenger equipment purchase to planning studies for new service.


In Iowa, $230 million was awarded to create a new intercity passenger rail service between Iowa City and Chicago. And Michigan will receive $161 million for a high-speed rail corridor that connects Detroit and Chicago.


Joe SzaboThe first round of awards from the federal government last year totaled $8 billion. Officials received applications totaling $55 billion, more than four times what was available. For this round of funding, there were 132 applications from 32 states, totaling $8.8 billion, three times what was available. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the demand for high-speed rail funding "intense," which he said shows how important the projects are. "In the 20th century, our vision led to the interstate highway system," said Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Joe Szabo (pictured). "In the 21st century, our vision will give us a world-class network of high-speed passenger rail corridors."


Not only does the high-speed rail funding include money from the federal Recovery Act, but another $95 million has come from the U.S. Department of Transportation's FY 2009 appropriation and from a related FY 2008 program. Funds from the FY 2010 appropriation are also included - $2.125 billion for development of high-speed rail, $245 million for individual projects and $50 million for planning and multi-state proposals.


To view a complete list of funding 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.
Strategic EdgeSPI Research

Upcoming education opportunities


Loan will leave two schools in line for major renovation projects
Bobby HathcockBids are likely to be opened this month for two major construction projects in an Alabama school district. The Pell City School District has approved taking out loans to provide for renovations at the Iola Roberts Elementary School and the front addition to the Pell City High School. "All the waiting is over," said Superintendent Bobby Hathcock (pictured). Renovations at the elementary school will include a new gym, band room and four classrooms. Price tag for the project is estimated at $3.6 million. A new front entrance will also be added to help increase security. The Pell City High School project includes a new front addition estimated at $789,000. A new addition at the high school will also house administrative offices. Officials said that more than a dozen contractors have shown interest in bidding on the projects.


University of Iowa regents approve $114M in construction projects
A $75 makeover of the University of Iowa's 85-year-old student union is part of $114 million in construction projects recently approved by the university's Board of Regents. The old Iowa Memorial Union (MU), heavily damaged by the 2008 flood, will be refurbished to include the campus bookstore, expanded food service and a six-lane bowling alley. Another $22 million will be for deferred maintenance, including a new sprinkler system, a new roof and upgrades to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Another $53 million will be used for flood mitigation and refurbishing the ground floor of the IMU that includes student lounge space, food service, the bookstore and shells for outside vendors.

Illinois school district planning expansion projects at 12 elementary buildings

Donald BatisteTwelve elementary buildings in the Waukegan (Illinois) Public School District are due major expansion projects next summer at a cost of $37 million. The additions will help facilitate a student population of up to 2,000. Nearly $29 million of the funding for the project will come from capital development funds announced by the state, with the school district putting up $9.4 million of its own funding. Part of that money is expected to be raised through a bond issue. Superintendent Donaldo Batiste (pictured) said school officials, students and their parents are "gratified that our district will finally get the classrooms we so desperately need." The Waukegan district was one of 18 across the state to participate in the Illinois Jobs Now! package that includes $270 million in funding. Nine schools in the Waukegan district will benefit from the addition of eight new classrooms at each campus, meaning an additional 132 students can be served at each site. At two other schools, 16 classrooms will be added, adding capacity for a total of 660 students. One other school will get a dozen new classrooms that will have a capacity of 232 students. The projects could get started within the next 30-60 days with preliminary architectural studies during the winter months. The design phase would follow and construction could begin as early as next summer. Other schools receiving funding were $54 million for the Chicago Public Schools and $20.6 million for the DeKalb Community Unit for a new high school.


Virginia school's Capital Improvement Plan includes numerous renovations
The Henrico (Virginia) County School Board recently approved millions of dollars worth of renovations in its 2011-2012 Capital Improvement Plan. Among the projects are $5.1 million in renovations for the Pinchbeck Elementary School, $16.4 million in renovations at Henrico High School, $700,000 for planning for renovations at Pemberton Elementary and $700,000 for land purchase and planning of a middle school in eastern Henrico. The school district will also request $500,000 per year from the county government for improvements and repairs to athletic fields and $750,000 for parking lots. The CIP will be submitted to the county budget office and in December a presentation will be made to the county manager and review committee. A recommended plan will then be submitted by the county to the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission at the first of next year. 


Mississippi school district planning new school, renovations
Derek StarlingA new school for elementary and middle school students is in the works for the Canton (Mississippi) School District. Overcrowding at two existing schools was cited for the reason for needing the new facility. Board President Derek Starling (pictured) said that the schools' population has grown "a couple hundred students at certain grades," warranting the building of a new school. The building will serve grades K-8. There will be two separate and independently operated sides to the school, one serving grades K-5 and the other serving grades 6-8. The school is currently in the design phase and bids are expected to be solicited in late December or early January. Officials are hopeful to begin construction in spring 2011, with an 18-24 months completion schedule. A total of $22 million in bonds will be used for the project, along with $3 million in federal stimulus funds. Another school will undergo renovations. The school entrance will be renovated with larger administrative offices and improved security. The project also includes a new media center and new sidewalks. The sidewalks will be paid for with a Safe Routes to School Grant. 


Illinois community college to put $52.6 million bond issue before voters
The Board of Trustees of the Kishwaukee (Illinois) College will put a no -ax-rate-increase, $52.6 million bond issue before voters. The funding would be realized through the re-issue of 20-year bonds. The college will also support the costs of proposed expansion with $2.1 million in reserve funds and a tuition increase that will add $7.3 million over the 20 year life of the bonds. The expansion proposal is in response to a 20 percent increase in student enrollment since 2008. 


Proposed feasibility would look at possible high school addition, new school
Jerry WeastIn Maryland, the Montgomery County Schools are looking to a feasibility study to look at the possibility of adding onto the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Superintendent Jerry Weast (pictured) also called for a site selection process and feasibility study for a new middle school. As lower grades matriculate to high school, facilities are becoming overcrowded. The study would be conducted in the 2011-2012 school year to develop cost estimates for possible future construction. Weast also recommended that the Capital Improvements Program include feasibility studies in the Richard Montgomery school cluster, committee work on the Northwest Cluster and replacing older heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in schools throughout the district. "I am asking that we keep up with basic maintenance and replacement of our infrastructure, while laying the groundwork to help us deal with future enrollment increases," he said. The school's board will approve and submit the CIP request to the County Council and County Executive later this month, with the Council's final vote expected in May of next year.


Southeast Missouri State regents plan maintenance, renovation plan
Regents at Southeast Missouri State University recently approved a plan that would result in the sale of general education bonds for a $58.25 million campus-wide maintenance and renovation plan. Among the projects are a $22.78 million upgrade of the 100-year-old Academic Hall and approximately $18 million for renovation of the university's Magill Hall, a science building. Nearly $10 million in deferred maintenance projects and $7 million in power plant upgrades were also approved. Gifts, increased student fees and energy savings could be used to help defray some of the costs, officials said. 


Plans for new middle school in Ohio district being finalized by board
Monica Hatfield PricePlans for a new 120,000-square-foot Bloom-Carroll (Ohio) middle school were discussed by the school board at a recent meeting. The $19.5 million facility is expected to begin construction in the spring once the plans are approved. Board member Monica Hatfield Price (pictured) said the plans include 32 classrooms, a gym and an auditorium. "This school is designed for today's students and teachers and will be a valuable asset to the community," she said. School board members and school officials are taking a final look at the plans before they go to the design and construction plan phase. Funding for the project comes from a bond issue that passed last November.


Mississippi State's Cooley Building to be new convention center
The 108-year-old Cooley Building on the campus of Mississippi State University is about to undergo a makeover into a convention center that will anchor a $176 million, mixed-use development near the edge of the Starkville campus. The former cotton mill will be leased to a private development group for 41 years. The group will also buy eight acres adjacent to the facility. With a private developer upgrading the facility, there will be no cost to the university. The first phase includes turning the building into a conference center with office space and building a 150-bed hotel. A shopping center and restaurants will be added later.

Kim StasnyMississippi voters approve $30 million bond issue for local schools
Voters in Oxford, Mississippi, recently approved a $30 million bond issue to build a new high school and upgrade other schools in the district. School superintendent Kim Stasny (pictured) noted the need for the new school by citing a growth figure of 14 percent in the district over the last decade. The existing Oxford High School, built in 1960, and two other schools in the district are already above their capacity, said Stasny.


For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
Other upcoming contracting opportunities


Floor plan for Tennessee city hall approved by city council
Dean DickeyA floor plan for the Columbia (Tennessee) City Hall was adopted recently by the city council. The new City Hall will be housed in the former Region's Bank and will include the city's 12 departments. The two proposals from the architect were a base option that costs $2.1 million and an alternative plan with a $1.5 million price tag. The base plan includes a drive-through window and a new elevator and restrooms. The second option keeps the current drive through and upgrades the restrooms to meet federal standards. Mayor Dean Dickey (pictured) proposed a redesign since the prices were higher than expected, and putting a ceiling of $1.65 million on the project. The city could handle a $1.5 million price using capital projects funding, money left over from a park project and $500,000 from city reserves. The project cannot be bid until funds are available.


Colorado town prioritizes projects for upcoming spending
The Highway 145 Spur into Telluride, Colorado, is about to get an overhaul. In spite of the failure of a $12 million bond issue that would have reconstructed most of the highway, the Town Council has approved spending $880,000 in 2011 to at least fill in potholes and ruts. The project also calls for an overlay the smoother road surface with another two inches of asphalt. Other projects high on the list for funding are $300,000 for a roundabout at Society Turn, $200,000 for striping and winter sand, $100,000 over two years to improve the cratered surface of the Carhenge parking lot, $232,000 for fleet replacement and $75,000 for capital improvements for the Parks and Recreation Department.


Commissioners approve $19.6 million county courthouse in Oregon
Diane McKeelA $19.6 million new East County Courthouse (as seen in accompanying architect's rendering) in Multnomah County, Oregon, has been approved. County commissioners recently approved both the financing and construction of the facility. Commissioner Diane McKeel (pictured) said she expects the new facility will not only meet the space needs of the county, but also create New Courthousemuch-needed jobs. The courthouse being located in the eastern part of the county will provide services to residents there so they do not have to make a trip to the downtown courthouse, said officials. Some $15 million of the costs of the project will be paid for with Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds from the 2009 federal stimulus bill. The remainder will come from the sale of some property by the county in 2008. The courthouse will be designed to meet LEED gold certification standards, and will include solar systems, eco roofs and geothermal ground source heating. Buildings previously on the site have been razed and ground is expected to be broken on the new courthouse early in 2011, with an opening date of spring 2012 forecast.


Pennsylvania county approves development of $2.5 million library headquarters
The Pike County (Pennsylvania) Public Library has approved the development of a plan to build a new $2.5 million headquarters library on a site purchased in 2005. Almost a year ago, voters said no to a special tax surcharge for a new library. The library now will be developed around a pared-down plan. The recommended action on the project will be presented at the library's Board of Directors meeting in November. The library headquarters will include green, energy-saving features. In addition to grants totaling $2 million, the project will also be funded by some $700,000 in donations already pledged.  


Oklahoma city council approves $150,000 for new 9-1-1 dispatch center
Ed GordonThe proposed new 9-1-1 dispatch center at the Washington County Jail in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, got a $150,000 boost from the county commissioners recently. The commissioners voted to allocate $150,000 in unallocated one-half-cent Capital Improvement Project funds to the jail project. Of the $350,000 in unallocated funds, $200,000 will be needed to complete other projects, leaving $150,000 for the jail. City Manager Ed Gordon (pictured) praised police department officials for working to secure part of an $800,000 U.S. Justice Department grant for communications, enhancements and computer improvements. The police department is working with the congressional delegation in an attempt to secure $125,000 of that grant funding. Bartlesville Police Department Capt. Mike Richardson said the dispatch center will be moved from the police department to the new jail. He estimate costs for needed equipment and a new tower to be approximately $328,000.


Massachusetts town approves $3.9 million in spending for variety of projects
Officials of the town of Natick, Massachusetts, recently approved $3.9 million in capital spending. Among the projects are the replacement of seven vehicles, the first phase of a multi-stage historical document preservation project and school and street projects. A $150,000 replacement of ground water wells was also approved. The records project will cost $700,000 over five years, with $100,000 allocated for the first phase. Many documents, some dating back to the 1700s, will be restored and preserved. Among the vehicle replacements are two police cars, a truck that lines roads and a fire command vehicle. New high-efficiency boilers costing $650,000 were approved for the Johnson School, with new energy-efficient windows included. A total of $2 million was allocated for the rebuilding of Oak Street, including sidewalks.

Michigan officials pushing for bonding authority for new jail, justice center facilities
Benny NapoleonWayne County (Michigan) officials have approved a measure that could lead to bonding authority for a new county jail and one for a new justice center in Detroit. The jail proposal would include issuing $300 million in bonds for a facility that would consolidate prisoners from three facilities. Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon (pictured) said he would not support a jail facility that does not accommodate at least 2,000 prisoners, since the three current facilities that would be combined now house up to 1,700 inmates each day. Officials are hoping for a savings of $20-$30 million per year. The court facility would require issuance of $400 million in bonds and would consolidate county court facilities. Commissioners are still trying to determine what type of savings could be realized with a consolidated court center.

Pennsylvania city approves moving forward on public safety building design
City Council members in Monessen, Pennsylvania, voted recently to move forward with plans to design a new public safety building. The building will be used to house the police department and Fire Department No. 1. The new facility will be funded through a $5 million bond issue for major capital improvements in the city. The $1 million building will be built on a city lot across from City Hall. Another $1 million of the bond revenue will be used to renovate the public library. Some abandoned properties in the city will be demolished with another $1 million of the funds. 


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 and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Lt. Colonel Michael W. Gilchrist.


Michael GilchristMichael W. Gilchrist earned his bachelor's degree from East Carolina University. In 1986, he joined the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and was assigned to Troop B in Cumberland County. He was promoted to sergeant in 1996 and was assigned to Patrol Headquarters as the Patrol's Assistant Personnel Officer. He remained in that position until his promotion to first sergeant in 1999. In 2002, Gilchrist was again promoted, this time to lieutenant. He was assigned to the Training Academy to oversee Operations. In 2003, he was promoted to captain and Assistant Director of Training. After being promoted to major, he served from 2008 to 2009 as director overseeing Administrative Services and the Office of Professional Standards. Last year, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assigned to the Commander's Office as the Deputy Commander and Executive Officer. Last week, he was appointed colonel by Gov. Bev Perdue and the 25th North Carolina State Highway Patrol Commander.
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Opportunity of the week...

A Veterans cemetery in New Mexico has received $730,000 in federal stimulus funds for a variety of maintenance projects. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or
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Brad NeuenswanderDiane DebeckerMark ChristensenBrad Neuenswander (top left), a former school superintendent in the Cheney and Ellis (Kansas) school districts and the state's director of school finance, has been named deputy commissioner of education for learning services, replacing Dr. Diane DeBacker (top center), who vacated the position to become state Education Commissioner. Mark Christensen (top right), former city manager of Washington Terrace, Utah, has been named city manager for the city of Saratoga Springs after working part-time for the city one day a week while he completed transitioning from his old job. After 22 years with the Washtenaw (Michigan) Intermediate School District, including the last 12 as superintendent, William Miller has announced that he will retire on Dec. 31 to become executive director of the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators.Dave Evans, former associate field manager of the Carlsbad (New Mexico) Bureau of Land Management and former chief of operations for the bureau's Pecos District in Roswell, has been named the bureau's Farmington District manager. Two finalists have been named for the open superintendent's post in the Bibb County (Georgia) James BenfieldRomain DallemandMatthew Portnoyschool district - James E. Benfield (upper middle right), superintendent of the Yadkin County Schools in North Carolina, and Romain Dallemand (upper middle center), superintendent of the Rochester Public Schools in Rochester, Minnesota. Matthew Portnoy (upper middle left), program director of the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, has been named to serve as acting SBIR/STTR coordinator for he National Institutes of Health. Doug Whittaker, assistant superintendent for learning and a former human resources employee with the Charlotte County (Florida) schools, was recently named superintendent of schools, replacing the retiring David Gayler. The longest-serving superintendent of a single school district in Illinois - Bob Lauber of the Kinnikinnick district for the last 31 years - has announced he will retire at the end of the year. Jeff Smith (lower middle left), a 27-year veteran of the Galveston (Texas) Fire Department, has been named fire chief. The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has approved the Jeff SmithGeorge Wardappointment of George Ward Rick Hinson(lower middle center), who has served as a Kentucky commerce cabinet secretary, as the new executive director of the university's Coldstream Research Campus. William "Rick" Hinson (lower middle right), a former principal and project manager for a consulting engineering firm in Williamsburg, Virginia, has been chosen to fill the position of University Building Official at Virginia Tech. The city of Benicia (California) has chosen Brad Kilger, city manager of Ceres, as the new city manager, replacing Jim Erickson, who retired in April. North Carolina State University has named three finalists for its provost position: Interim Provost Warwick Arden (bottom right), former dean of NCSU's College of Veterinary Medicine; Robert T. McGrath (bottom center), former vice president for research at Ohio State University and former associate vice president at Penn State University and currently working in the private sector for a nonprofit science and technology company; and Cathryn R. Newton (bottom left), professor of interdisciplinary sciences, professor of earth science and former dean at Syracuse Warwick ArdenRobert McGrathCathryn NewtonUniversity. Denise L. Dzikowski, director of special education for the Wayland-Cohocton Central School District in Western New York, has been named superintendent of the Clifton-Fine Central School District. The Forest (Mississippi) Police Department will be looking for a new chief, with the retirement Nov. 19 of Chief Robert Roncali. Milledgeville (Georgia) Finance Director Donald Toms has been hired as the next city administrator for the city of Winder, replacing former City Administrator Bob Beck, who died in April. The City of San Luis Obispo (California) has chosen Charlie Hines, fire chief in Yakima, Washington, since 2007, to serve as its next fire chief, effective Dec. 7. The Bay St. Louis (Mississippi) City Council has hired Deputy Chief Mike DeNardo as its new police chief, replacing Tom Burleson, who retired several months ago. Gary Brown Jackson, former associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, former director of Human Sciences and current Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mississippi State University, has been named MSU's new Extension Service director.


SPI Research

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NACAS plans annual conference in Colorado Springs
The National Association of College Auxiliary Services will hold its annual conference Sunday through Wednesday, Nov. 7-10, at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Author and UCLA adjunct professor Robert Tucker will be the opening general session speaker on Sunday and addressing "Innovation is Everyone's Business." Speaker for the closing general session on Wednesday is speaker and trainer Juana Bordas, who will address "The power of WE: Leadership, Teamwork and Inclusive Environments." For more information, click here.
Higher education government relations conference slated in December
The 2010 Higher Education Government Relations Conference is slated for Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 1-3, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas. The conference will provide policy and practice insight on delivering results and building public support for higher education through a focus on partnerships, productivity and public engagement. Among the topics for the conference are: Advancing the Productivity Agenda, Effective Community and Legislative Relations, Third-Party Advocacy Strategies, Navigating State Lobbying Laws Strategic Messaging, Washington Update and 2010 Election Review and Implications. Speaker for the opening general session on Wednesday will be Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of The University of Texas System. Dr. Raymund Peredes, Texas commissioner of higher education, will speak at the Thursday morning session along with Keith Yehle, director of federal relations for the University of Kansas. To view the complete agenda and to view other speakers and their topics, click here. To register, click here. The conference is a partnership of the associations: the American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

TxDOT announces three Small Business Briefing conferences 
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services has announced three upcoming FY 2011 Small Business Briefing conferences. A  Nov. 10 conference is set this year in Beaumont, an April 20, 2011, conference is slated in Fort Worth and a July 20, 2011, conference is planned for San Antonio. The conference goal is to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with TxDOT.  Information will be available to help them do business with the agency and the State of Texas.  The sessions not only allow small businesses to be introduced to TxDOT and other state agencies, but also allow them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions.  It also gives agencies a chance to show the myriad of prospects available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information and to register, click here or call 1.866.480.2519, Option 2.

TxDOT Business Outreach & Program Services hosts webinars 
In fiscal year 2010, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach & Program (BOP) Services implemented a series of webinars offering technical business development opportunities to small, minority and women businesses in the field of construction and professional services in the state of Texas. The webinar series topics ranged from how to become a pre-qualified bidder on TxDOT contracts, TxDOT Plans Online, How to Market Your Business To Prime Contractors, Construction Industry Bonding and much more. Each session's goal was to provide valuable information to contractors, suppliers and small businesses on how to do business with TxDOT, how to increase business capacity and improve opportunities to bid and obtain contracts with TxDOT. The final 2010 webinars concluded in August, but the 2011 fiscal year webinar series planning is under way and will be announced later in the 2010 calendar year. Each free webinar is limited and registration slots are on a first-come-first-serve basis. More information on each webinar can be found here. Questions should be forwarded to or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2 for more information.

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Mary Scott Nabers, President
Ph: 512.531.3900
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