Resources for Public Entities

Curated content for public entities to learn more about cooperative purchasing and explore procurement collaboration case studies.

Cooperative Purchasing: The Basics

Looking to learn more about cooperative purchasing? We've collected questions and answers from public procurement professionals to help you stay up-to-date on the latest in cooperative purchasing, from the basics to beyond.

Regional Cooperative Purchasing

We've compiled best practices and case studies on regional public procurement collaboration. From Florida to Arizona, the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest, public agencies are finding ways to save time and money by working together on procurement. Learn more from the case studies below:

Meet our Public Procurement Advisory Council

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Ken Desowitz, C.P.M.

Ken Desowitz has over 30 years of municipal government supply chain management experience with the City of Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city. He rose through the ranks in positions of Buyer, Senior Buyer, Director of Purchasing, and as the City’s Supply Services Director for ten years, he was responsible for managing over $500 million in spend annually. Ken has been a leader in cooperative purchasing, serving as an Advisory Board member for the national cooperative formerly known as U.S. Communities, for six years. He has delivered presentations on procurement best practices at regional and national procurement conferences.

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Darren Muci

Darren Muci is the retired Division Director of Operations (2002 to 2018) for the Wichita (KS) Public Schools - Unified School District 259. He was responsible for oversight and management of the following departments: Purchasing, Supply, Production Printing, Student Transportation, Nutrition Services, and Building Venue Sponsorships. He was also responsible for weather information management and distribution to the Superintendent of Schools and District administration. Additionally, he managed several District-wide contracts including vending machines and served on the District’s emergency and crisis management response team. His “span of control” included management of over 300 employees and a budget of over $55 million dollars. Darren currently works for ASA Strategic Funding as the Wichita Market Manager.

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Mike Wentzel

Mike started his career with the US Coast Guard where he served at both the US Public Health Clinic in Hawaii and the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. After his tour in the military, he moved to the State of Maine and started a family. His career with the State of Maine started with Social Security Disability Determination Services directing a disability claims team and providing technology services. He then spent several years directing the Maine CDC’s Statewide Immunization Program. Shortly after that Mike discovered the wonderful and challenging world of public procurement. His first foray into public procurement was working as a Contract Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. After several years with the DHHS, Mike had the honor of serving the citizens of Maine as their Chief Procurement Official. He then served as a regional Outreach and Education Director with NASPO ValuePoint a cooperative purchasing organization. Mike is now able to continue his passion for public procurement running a modest consulting business assisting public procurement entities and suppliers.

Lourdes Coss
Lourdes Coss

Lourdes Coss is a transformational leader with a 27-year career in government procurement. She held Chief Procurement Officer and senior executive positions at some of the largest local government agencies in the US (City of Chicago, Cook County, City of Houston, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Public Building Commission of Chicago). Lourdes is the author of “Procurement Methods: Effective Techniques”; a certified John Maxwell Team coach, speaker, and trainer; a DISC Personality and Emotional Intelligence EQ i2.0/EQ360 Consultant; a Licensed Brain Trainer; and a certified Neuroencoding Specialist. She is currently the Principal Owner of M. L. Coss and Associates, LLC. Lourdes has been recognized for her value-centered leadership and as a one of the “Top 50 Global Influencers and Thought Leaders in Procurement”. Post-Pandemic, you may find her in a café writing her next book, a blog post, or notes for the next podcast episode.