CollegeBuys Quarterly December 2020 | 2nd quarter

Before the fall semester began, our colleges were anxious with back-to-school plans as the pandemic ushered in one challenge after another. Now we find ourselves only a couple weeks away from the end of the fall semester, the beginning of the winter holiday break, and finally the conclusion of 2020 (we made it!). We commend our purchasing community’s resiliency through an unprecedented and hectic year, and we hope you have time to reflect on all that you have accomplished, especially given all the obstacles 2020 threw our way.

Over the last quarter, the Foundation has continued to address new challenges and secure new programs and agreements to benefit our colleges during this trying time. Within this edition of the newsletter, you will find information about the launch of the Systemwide Technology Access Collaborative (STAC) and the Foundation’s upcoming bid opportunities, as well as your quarterly dose of new piggybackable contracts, regional updates, and conference recaps. This edition also recognizes our retiring colleagues, who have poured in countless hours of hard work and dedication in procurement and in their communities. If you have any questions about the information provided, please contact the CollegeBuys Concierge Service at cbcontracts@foundationccc.org.

The Foundation, in Collaboration with the Chancellor's Office, Launches the Systemwide Technology Access Collaborative (STAC)

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, through the Office of the Digital Innovation and Infrastructure Vice Chancellor, Barney Gomez, the CollegeBuys program and our Advisory Group, continues to deliver much needed support to California’s community colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources provided by this collaboration spanned the gamut of education technology; virtualization of operations, healthcare, and student support services; and bridging the digital divide. Led by the Chancellor’s Office, supported by CollegeBuys, and guided by the Advisory Group, all 116 California Community Colleges and 2.1 million students were positively impacted by this comprehensive support effort.

Education technology is an essential component of our system, especially during the pandemic, as our students and colleges migrated to virtual delivery of instruction. Leveraging the expertise of the CVC-OEI, and the 20-year experience and long-standing corporate relationships of CollegeBuys, the Chancellor’s Office was able to deliver resources such as online tutoring (NetTutor), counseling (Cranium Café), proctoring (Proctorio), and student engagement and communication (Pronto), and accessibility content support (Ally) to our community colleges. These tools, which integrate with Canvas, are essential in ensuring our students have the necessary support to persevere in their academic journey. Doubling down on these efforts, as resources became more limited, the Chancellor’s Office guided CollegeBuys and the CVC-OEI toward launching the Systemwide Technology Access Collaborative (STAC). STAC centralizes the purchase of the above-mentioned educational technology tools through the CollegeBuys program. These procurements (i.e. orders) are aggregated through December 4, 2020 and used by CollegeBuys as leverage to lower existing contract pricing even further for services that will be delivered January 1 – June 30, 2021. This effort delivers immediate cost savings; institutional efficiency by reducing the need for staff resources to negotiate with each supplier; and ensures pricing parity for all community colleges, regardless of size or purchase volume. STAC is crucial for the spring 2021 semester as centralized financial supports are realigned.

Complementing the above mentioned institutional education technology efforts, CollegeBuys expanded its commitment to narrowing the digital divide. The CollegeBuys program distributed Chromebooks, essential technology software, and affordable internet connectivity to over 100,000 community college students thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic. All these products were delivered to students’ doorsteps, minimizing person-to-person contact, and ensuring the health and safety of students remained top priority. This remarkable success in providing digital access was made possible through the leadership of Vice Chancellor Barney Gomez, the CollegeBuys programs’ 20-year experience in delivering essential technology tools to students, and the commitment of local districts in containing the digital divide. CollegeBuys is expected to deliver an additional 100,000 technology tools to students by the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2021.

Concurrently, the Chancellor’s Office, again through CollegeBuys, was able to provide preferred contract pricing for the system’s operational technology needs. Contracts for multi-factor authentication (Okta), student success technology (Hobsons and Civitas), electronic signatures (Adobe), telehealth services (TimelyMD), contact tracing (OptimumHQ), financial aid automation (CampusLogic, Global Financial Aid Services), student support chatbots (Ocelot), and electronic forms (NextGen Technologies) were all secured in response to the pandemic as resources to operate colleges needed to be virtualized. Additionally, on-campus preparations were also supported by this collaboration by securing new (or enhancement of existing) contracts to prepare the community colleges for in-person courses. CollegeBuys secured preferred pricing for personal protective equipment (Amazon, OfficeDepot, Grainger, and Waxie), and health and wellness products for classroom and administrative areas with 20 industry-leading furniture manufacturers – providing an added layer of safety when students, faculty and staff return to campus.

As the pandemic continues and new challenges emerge, the Chancellor’s Office and CollegeBuys are ready to support the community colleges and find solutions to their institutional and technological needs. If you would like more information on STAC, please click here. To learn how to participate in the 2021-2022 school year, please reach out to us at collegebuys@foundationccc.org. For contract-related inquiries, please contact the CollegeBuys Concierge service at cbcontracts@foundationccc.org.

The Foundation's New Piggybackable Contracts

Since last quarter, CollegeBuys has continued contracting with new partners and we now offer 11 new agreements, ranging from educational technology solutions to flooring and contact tracing. Please see below for a summary of our newly executed contracts. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the CollegeBuys Concierge Service at cbcontracts@foundationccc.org.

  1. ACI Payments - Provides online payment solutions. (Contract)
  2. Appsian - Offers data security and privacy solutions for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. (Contract)
  3. Bentley Mills - Provides award-winning broadloom, carpet tile, and area rug products for interiors. (Contract)
  4. Civitas Learning - Offers educational technology solutions in success management, advising, and student experience. (Contract)
  5. EesySoft - Provides technology adoption solutions to identify how students and staff use LMS and third party tools. (Contract)
  6. Innovative Educators - Develops and provides online education trainings for faculty, staff, and students. Offers Go2Orientation, OnlineLearning, StudentLingo, ParentLingo, Go2Knowledge, and TutorLingo. (Contract)
  7. Interface - Offers commercial flooring products such as resilient flooring, luxury vinyl tile, and nora® rubber flooring. (Contract)
  8. Invoke Learning - Provides education-focused artificial intelligence products to allow colleges to quickly adopt innovative solutions. (Contract)
  9. Olympus - Creates innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products. (Contract)
  10. OptimumHQ - Provides a cloud-based Health Status Portal to collect and manage health (contact) tracking. (Contract)
  11. Shaw - Supplies carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile and stone flooring products and synthetic turf. (Contract)

To access our full contracts library, please visit our CCC Contracts Library.

A Digital Transformation at Foothill-De Anza CCD Bolstered by Adobe Sign

The Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) signed an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) with Adobe, giving the state’s 116 community colleges affordable access to Adobe Sign and Adobe Acrobat Pro. Led by Joseph Moreau, Vice Chancellor of Technology and CTO at Foothill-De Anza Community College District (FHDA), FHDA jumped on the opportunity to improve operations for the district’s centralized business functions. Moreau’s team includes Chien Shih, Director of IT and Operations, and Claire Chang, Project Coordinator for Adobe Sign.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, there was a sudden influx in demand for digital workflows. Since the beginning, FHDA has published 43 workflows, with about half of them within the first few months. Virtually every paper form is now a PDF, and any document requiring a signature goes through Adobe Sign.

Moreau and his team have found that, with the ease and efficiency of using Adobe Sign and Acrobat, the tools catch on fast. Upon learning the user process, faculty and staff are naturally inclined to tell one another and forgo the traditional paper route. Looking forward, FHDA aims to further increase efficiency by encouraging people to collaborate on documents using Adobe Acrobat. The native collaboration and editing features within Adobe Acrobat make it even easier to create, refine, and gain consensus on new digital forms. FHDA also plans to use Adobe Sign to automate document generation and approval processes, saving with a more streamlined process.

The organization has a solid start to its digital transformation, even though it’s still in the early stages. “We’re looking for the next opportunity to serve students better, reduce workloads, and help faculty and staff focus on student engagement,” says Moreau. “Adobe Document Cloud will help us get to the next level.”

Combatting the Collaboration Challenge

For community college students - many of whom are juggling work and family obligations on top of schoolwork - working collaboratively with their peers can be challenging, even in the best of times, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated this challenge. With remote learning and teaching occurring at higher levels than ever before, how do educators ensure the benefits students gain from group interactions are not lost?

Furniture manufacturer, Haworth, offers collaboration tools like Bluescape®, a cloud-based platform aimed at improving the classroom experience, whether it takes place on campus, online, or a combination of both. From traditional lectures to recreating lab and studio atmospheres in a virtual setting, Bluescape is designed to accelerate results by allowing individuals and groups to create, communicate, and brainstorm, keeping students and instructors connected, motivated, and engaged. It’s accessible on multiple devices including laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, as well as large scale, high-definition multi-touch screens. Multiple users from any location can work simultaneously in real time to organize, display, retrieve, and edit information in a way that is profoundly effective.


  • Enables students and instructors to share, present, and review class materials, assignments, and projects from any device, at any time
  • Information organized in one cohesive spot
  • Focus on content allows students to digest materials at their own pace
  • Ability to track project progression or lesson plans from start to finish
  • Can be used in real time or as users’ schedules permit
  • Integrates with leading audio and visual systems like Cisco WebEx, keeping communication closely linked to content
  • Limitless opportunities for students, faculty, and administrators

Bluescape is helping teachers nationwide engage in collaborative, creative, and tech-forward learning. To learn more about this Higher Education solution, please contact Kelsey Heng, FCCC’s Haworth vendor contact, at kelsey.heng@haworth.com.

Vendor Consolidation and Cost Containment

The community colleges are faced with a multitude of IT-related challenges during these unprecedented times. IT decision makers are dealing with budget constraints, supply chain limitations, and are being overwhelmed with a rapid expansion of offerings from manufacturers and OEM’s.

CDW-G is here to assist you by simplifying and streamlining the vendor and procurement practices; here are a few examples of how:

  • Latest innovations: Focus on new technologies that enable the Return to Work/School, such as thermal imaging, contact tracing, and occupancy counting.
  • Best solution: Dedicated to providing best-fit solution whether that’s based on performance, ease of integration, cost, or all the above.
  • Multiple vendors: Leverage a variety of OEM partnerships to identify the best-fitting solution and extract competitive offerings on your behalf.
  • Expertise: ITS organization that provides technical engineering services and recommendations.
  • Warehouse: Take a strategic stocking position to meet the needs of our clients. We were able to source a variety of solutions and assist our customers when much of the market was out of inventory.
  • Ongoing maintenance: Provide guidance on how to extend the usable life of your equipment
  • Lower cost alternatives: Research lower cost alternatives on commonly purchased solutions that still meet your specifications/requirements.

If you are interested in having a more detailed conversation focused on your institution’s needs, please reach out to your dedicated CDW-G account team.

Working Comfortably from Home with Steelcase Products

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, Steelcase is pleased to offer discounting for all California Community College employees for any personal purchase of Steelcase products for their home office use. This program is accessible through Steelcase’s retail site at www.store.steelcase.com. A user account & log-in using your community college email address is required to access these discounts. Please contact Kevin Schmidtbauer at Steelcase (kschmidt@steelcase.com, (415) 699-9529) to set up your college district with an authorized site.

Simplify Your Technology Orders with B&H Photo

In today’s current environment, budgets are being cut, funds are constantly being redirected, and projects are continuously being revised and changed to accommodate the needs of students and campuses due to the pandemic. B&H is here to help make your technology needs simpler. We have experts on staff to make recommendations to you and determine the best solutions for getting classrooms set up for remote learning. Through our contract with the FCCC, we have helped a number of districts source incredibly hard-to-find items like chromebooks, webcams, PTZ cameras, and more. We were able to source hundreds of chromebooks for College of the Sequoias and we even assisted Coast Community College District source 100 cameras that were previously discontinued. Whatever your needs are, B&H is here to help make your job easier during unprecedented times. With online quoting and ordering on our portal (www.bandh.com/FCCC) purchasing with us is now easier and simpler than ever. Please feel free to reach out directly to Ariel Sobin, ariels@bhphoto.com, and he can help with all of your technology needs.

Parker Lighting UV-C Solutions

Since 1965, Parker Lighting has been a staple of the Inglewood Community, providing lighting solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, and retail spaces in Southern California. They have been counted on to provide advice, lighting fixtures and illumination for homes, shops, stadiums, hospitals, public areas, and educational institutions. Parker Lighting is a certified small business, aligning with district initiatives in buying local, and is one of three lighting vendors recommended by the Foundation of California Community Colleges CollegeBuys program.

UV-C lighting has been around for over 100 years to eradicate surface, air, or water viral particles and germs. It has been used successfully in hospitals, operating rooms and medical offices to eliminate Tuberculosis, MERSA, mold, bacteria, flu, and more. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, UV-C technology has increasingly been accepted and used outside the medical arena as a permanent or mobile non-chemical lighting and HVAC solution.

For the safest and most effective use, UV-C lighting needs to be customized according to location needs and set-up by professionals with tested and certified technology. Parker Lighting is proud to offer fixtures and applications directly from industry experts. As colleges begin to open, UV-C should be an integral component in creating safe pathogen-resistant solutions for the classrooms, local gathering areas, restrooms, locker rooms, food prep & eating facilities, etc.

No matter how large or small, Parker Lighting will create a customized UV-C solution to address your location/area specific disinfecting needs. To learn more, visit www.ParkerLighting.com or call us at (877) 310-8193.

Upcoming Systemwide RFPs

After being delayed by the pandemic, the Foundation will resume its plan in 2021 to release three RFPs - Jan-San, Office Products, and LED Lighting. In March and April, the Foundation worked with the current vendors to execute an emergency extension to ensure community colleges coverage through June 30, 2021. The Jan-San RFP will be released in Q3 and Office Products and LED Lighting will follow shortly behind in Q3 or Q4 with the intent of executing new contracts before the end of the fiscal year.

To continue efforts to provide cost savings on technology products for California Community Colleges, the Foundation will release an RFP for IT peripherals, products, and accessories early next year. Product categories will include data storage, desktop and notebook computers; power, cooling and racks; servers and server management; video-projection-pro audio. The Foundation’s current agreement with CDW-G for IT peripherals is set to expire in June 2021, and this new RFP and resulting contract will ensure a continued contract option in this space.

If you are interested in being on the evaluation committee for any of these RFPs, please reach out to Jorge Burwick, Operations Manager, jburwick@foundationccc.org.

Regional Updates: NCCCPG & SCCCPA

Upcoming Retirements

As the year draws to a close, it is with bittersweet sentiments that we announce the well deserved retirement of the esteemed colleagues mentioned below. During their tenure, they made their mark in the procurement space with their leadership, innovation, and commitment to their craft. We know that the growth and success in this line of work is possible through the collaborative efforts of these individuals and to celebrate them, we’d like to share the following words from their colleagues.

Colette Blanchard began her career with College of the Canyons over 13 years ago as the Senior Buyer in the Contract, Procurement, and Risk Management Services department. She has been a vital member of the department as the “go to” person for all questions regarding purchase orders, especially furniture and equipment. Over the years, she tirelessly coordinated the space planning and furnishing of rooms in almost every single building on two campuses. She diligently handled numerous Requests for Proposals enabling the District to obtain the best price and value on purchases, each having a significant role in the delivery of services to students. She has earned the utmost respect of her colleagues by demonstrating kindness, integrity, dedication, enthusiasm, sense of humor, and generosity. Her contributions to the District and community are unrivaled and exceptionally significant. She will be greatly missed as she moves to Tennessee!

- April Graham, Director of Contract, Procurement, and Risk Management Services at Santa Clarita CCD

Jim Watson, Los Angeles CCD

Since joining the CollegeBuys team in 2015, I have had the pleasure to work with Jim Watson and his team on various projects and challenges – both big and small. Jim has always been supportive and collaborative to work with; and we’ve definitely done our fair share of jointly managing vendors to ensure they meet our expectations! I am saddened to learn of Jim’s retirement as he has led the purchasing efforts of LACCD for so many years, but wish him all the best as he enters this next chapter – he deserves it! He will be sorely missed at LACCD and by the CollegeBuys team.

- Jennifer Keiper, Director of CollegeBuys at the Foundation for California Community Colleges

Peggy Stroika, MiraCosta CCD

Peggy Stroika is retiring, and it feels like the end of an era. Having worked in Purchasing for 32 years, her name has been as consistent as the knowledge she has imparted to each of us through the years. I have known Peggy for the last 20 years, first as a colleague of another community college, then as my co-worker of 9 years, and finally as my leader over the last 2 years. But her legacy is more than just Purchasing, and her impact on me is more than business as well. Let me share a few glimpses into how Peggy has taught me, molded me, and made me a better person.

  • Calm – Ever calm in a raging storm, Peggy didn’t let emotion cloud her judgment. Her calm approach gained cooperation and acceptance that furthered the issue at hand. More than once I have said, “Peggy is amazing, I’ve never seen someone be able to have people walk out of their office happy that someone said no!”
  • Focused – Steadfast and steady in stride, Peggy kept pushing to complete the tasks at hand no matter the challenges in front of her. “We have a job to do, and we need to just get it done,” was a common phrase when everyone just wanted to throw up their hands.
  • Positive – Peggy has the gift of being able to see any situations through different lenses and points of view that leads to a positive outlook. In the most frustrating of times, Peggy always seemed to be able to see how this would be better. Maybe not better now, but better tomorrow.

I will miss Peggy as my colleague, my co-worker, and my leader. But mostly I will miss Peggy, my friend. Her impact was immeasurable, and the day to day without her will be a little lonelier. But rest assured, she has earned her time in retirement. She left us with this final thought, “In retirement my words are family, freedom, and fun.” Enjoy, my friend, you deserve all of the best that life has to offer!

- Kim Simonds, Buyer of Purchasing and Material Management at MiraCosta CCD

Victoria Lamica, Solano CCD

Victoria will be sorely missed at Solano Community College. She was an instrumental resource for the college. During her tenure, Victoria steered the department through great changes for the better, such as the implementation of UPCCAA, piloting Cal-Card initiatives, food taste tests for cafeterias and much more. She shared her purchasing expertise and distributed her procurement knowledge everywhere she worked at the District. She stayed professional, regardless of the situation or the pressure she was under. When she was given a task, she put her all into it and ensured the assignment was completed. We’ve been fortunate to have her guidance, encouragement, and knowledge to rely on through the years. Congratulations on a wonderful career, and best wishes for the next phase. It has been our pleasure to know you and to work with you!

- Laura Scott of Purchasing at Solano CCD

'Tis the Season of Virtual Conferences!

An Events Recap

CCC Purchasing Conference

The Foundation is proud to have successfully hosted its first ever virtual CCC Purchasing Conference in September. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we pivoted to hosting the event online through the virtual events platform, Hopin, in partnership with our Conferences and Events department.

The four-part conference series brought in over 120 attendees - the highest number of participants we have ever seen! The virtual aspect allowed more flexibility - individuals were able to join from the comfort of their homes and could participate in the sessions of their choosing.

With professional development being a cornerstone of our annual event, there were opportunities to reflect and connect over the emerging and salient topics in our field each day with the following workshops and sessions:

  • Legal Updates 2020 by Hugh Lee
  • Legislative Update on Community College Facilities and Procurement by Rebekah Cearley
  • Sustainable Procurement Panel by Aris Hovasapian, Jennifer Keiper, Joseph Fullerton, Lisa Mealoy, Ronnie Slimp, and Yash Patel
  • Bonds & Insurance by Sherman Wong
  • AB-5: Employee v. Independent Contractor by Mina Hernandez, Priya Jerome, and Sherman Wong
  • Cornerstone Implementation in CCC: The Vision Resource Center by Beth Kay
  • Case Study - Part II - Implementation: Simplifying Travel and Expensing with Concur by Aprilyn Tulod, John Geraghty, Leonard Riley, and Majd Askar
  • Developing Your Skills Through NIGP’s Pathways Offering by Todd Slater
  • CollegeBuys & Intersegmental Efforts by Jennifer Keiper (FCCC), Arun Casuba (CSU), and Susan Cotton (AICCU)

All conference sessions were recorded for those who may have missed out and/or wanted to review presentations. You may access these videos on our conference website by clicking here.

The virtual conference included our regular offering and opportunities for engagement and space to connect with sponsors and exhibitors through the platforms Remo and Hopin. Virtual booths were hosted by the following corporate partners:

  • Adobe
  • All-Phase
  • Bentley Mills
  • CDW-G & Lenovo
  • ComputerLand
  • Department of General Services
  • Enterprise
  • Golden Star Technology (GST)
  • GonLED
  • Haworth
  • KI
  • Knoll
  • Konica Minolta
  • KYA
  • Laerdal
  • NameCoach
  • Office Depot
  • PepsiCo
  • PlanetBids
  • Precor
  • SAP Concur
  • SHI & Fortinet
  • Student Insurance USA
  • Teknion
  • Tennsco (Estey)
  • U.S. Bank

To provide further opportunities for networking, we hosted Happy Hour sessions and raffles to conclude each day of the conference for both districts and vendors in the networking platform, Remo. Participants were able to message and video chat one another and use Remo’s built-in collaboration tools. On the final day of networking, we held our annual awards ceremony, announcing the winners of the Purchasing Professional of the Year Award, as well as the winner of the Green Award. Once again, congratulations to the following honorees!

  • Purchasing Professional of the Year (North): Sue Harrison, San Mateo CCD
  • Purchasing Professional of the Year (South): Priya Jerome, South Orange County CCD
  • Green Award: Riverside CCD

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Purchasing Conference! This event wouldn’t have been possible without your support and we hope that you found the conference to be informational and enjoyable. We look forward to seeing you again next year and in the years to come!

ACBO Fall Conference

The Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO)’s Fall Conference took place virtually on October 26-28. Over 200 California Community College leaders and business partners participated in this unique professional development opportunity. Session topics included best practices related to shared governance, fiscal stability and enrollment management.

The Foundation’s CollegeBuys team had the opportunity to present on “Strengthening Institutional Effectiveness and Student Support”. The presentation provided an overview of CollegeBuys’ key legislative efforts including PCC 20661, Best Value Contracting (AB 3186) and Intersegmental Contracting (AB 653). In light of the pandemic and our college’s drastic shift to an online environment, CollegeBuys highlighted the a number of its direct-to-student support offerings and systemwide contracts available to our 116 community colleges:

  • Student Telehealth Contract with TimelyMD: Click here
  • COVID-19 Contact Tracing Contract (OptimumHQ): Click here
  • Cal CCD TRANs Program Information: Click here
  • Redistricting Services Program: Click here
  • Consulting Services Contract with Huron: Click here

To access the CollegeBuys “Strengthening Institutional Effectiveness and Student Support” presentation, please click here. To learn more about ACBO and to access their 2020 Fall Conference Resource Page, click here.

CCFC Conference

In November, the Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC) hosted its 27th annual conference, virtually, with more than 300 industry colleagues and peers in attendance. The conference workshops addressed various topics such as capital outlay, construction delivery methods, space utilization, bond management, campus housing, sustainability, and master planning - all in light of our new normal.

Notably, our systemwide purchasing initiatives were highlighted in the “Climate Crisis and Sustainability: CCC Planning and Action in the Face of Uncertainty” workshop, which outlined the System’s Climate Change and Sustainability Policy and Resolution, the ongoing work of the Sustainability Steering Committee and local districts to achieve these goals, as well as the creation of CCC Sustainable Procurement Guidelines. If you have not yet had a chance to review or provide commentary on the System’s Sustainable Procurement Policy, please access the draft here and send your feedback to Jennifer Keiper at jkeiper@foundationccc.org by December 11, 2020. It is imperative to ensure the voices of the purchasing community at the local level are being reflected before the guidelines are finalized and implemented by the Board of Governors so thank you in advance!

If you would like more information about the past CCFC conference, please visit their website by clicking here.


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