Rich in cultural heritage and community spirit, St. Louis is the backdrop for the 64th Annual Forum and Products Exposition hosted by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP). The theme for the major North American gathering of government purchasing professionals is "Gateway to Excellence."

Public procurement professionals from federal, provincial, state and local government agencies in the United States and Canada will come together to network with colleagues and learn from industry leaders and professional speakers. The forum will provide a "gateway" to the useful best practices and innovations that drive excellence in public procurement. The St. Louis venue makes it a convenient educational and social opportunity, given the central location within driving distance for many NIGP members and chapter affiliates in the Midwest.

An extensive Products Exposition Hall, August 24-25, will feature the NIGP Green Pavilion and key suppliers and resources to support an agency's green excellence initiatives.

Worth spending travel dollars

Many procurement professionals are faced with fewer people and resources during the tough economic times, although the public clearly expects the same services from its government in good times and bad. The forum will provide knowledge to empower procurement professionals to meet those expectations in the austere business environment. Making sound, practical decisions for the good of an agency or institution is critical, and doing so requires awareness and understanding of the most effective practices at work in the field, which will be the focus of NIGP's Forum. The content-rich workshops and knowledge exchange will enable attendees to return home strengthened by new ideas and enriched professional skills.

Four days of intensive professional training, networking activities, product exhibits and knowledge sharing will elevate attendees' professional opportunities as they elevate the community and the public they serve. Attending the forum will put professionals at the forefront of procurement and equip them to make a difference through decisive, effective purchasing programs.

Through the Gateway to Excellence

Here are some highlights of the program:

Welcome Dinner

Saturday, August 22

The Gateway opens on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with entertainment by master guitarist and humorist Mike Rayburn. He uses comedic presentation skills and guitar creations to challenge and encourage audiences to step beyond their perceived limitations. The program's blend of music, humor and insight will keep the audience laughing throughout the evening. The entertainment event is sponsored by the National Business Council.

The Welcome Dinner also features presentation of The Albert H. Hall Memorial Award, NIGP's top honor given annually since 1977 to publicly recognize leaders who have made major contributions to the public procurement profession over the span of their career.

Four Plenary Speakers

Meagan Johnson — “Zap the Gap”

Sunday, August 23, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Meagan Johnson leads audiences on a journey of discovery to bridge the communication gap across generations. Her session will help attendees understand what it takes to maximize the effectiveness of a multigenerational workforce. Based on original research, the program provides tools and techniques to make working with older — and younger — colleagues more productive and less frustrating, more joyful and less painful.

John Schuster — “Leading Green: Saving the Planet with Everyday Action”

Monday, August 24, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

John Schuster explores the real opportunities to live in harmony with green principles as companies, citizens, communities and family members. He urges everyone to think about today, tomorrow, next year, next decade and the next generation in order to do the right thing. He says taking responsibility is at the core of green leadership, and urges everyone to face facts about how they think, and how they live and work.

Patrick Kuhse — “The Eight Slippery Steps to Unethical Behavior”

Tuesday, August 25, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Patrick Kuhse uses his personal story to illustrate the eight critical thinking errors that undermine one's ethical integrity and legal practice, while providing insight into common ethical dilemmas faced in business today.

Chief Richard Picciotto — “Last Man Down”

Wednesday, August 26, 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

In a presentation modeled after his best-selling book, "Last Man Down," Fire Department of New York Chief Richard Picciotto offers a tribute to the lives that were lost on Sept. 11, 2001. His story is not one of death and destruction, but a celebration of life and its unpredictable nature. He offers an eyewitness account of the defining historical event of our lives, providing the story of a man, a hero and a tragic event that inspired a nation.

Premier Events

A Night at the Museum

Sunday, August 23, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The St. Louis City Museum is the 600,000-square-foot former home of the International Shoe Company, now offering an eclectic mix of children's playground, fun house, surrealistic pavilion and an architectural marvel. Acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly and his longtime crew of 20 artisans constructed the museum from unique objects found within the St. Louis city limits, giving this urban institution deep roots. Circus performers and other entertainment are sponsored by AutoZone, Inc., and the meal will feature St. Louis delicacies.

NIGP Awards Luncheon

Monday, August 24, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

NIGP's annual red carpet awards luncheon will celebrate excellence, recognizing and honoring the agencies, individuals and chapters that have demonstrated and achieved their commitment to excellence.

Products Exposition

Monday, August 24, and Tuesday, August 25

This year's expo hall boasts nearly 200 suppliers representing a spectrum of industries including financial management and insurance, construction and medical equipment, emergency management and eco-friendly supplies. Lunch will be served in the hall on Tuesday. The expo enables attendees to visit with the companies providing the products and services necessary to the agency and the community.

Baseball at Busch Stadium — Cardinals vs. Astros

Tuesday, August 25

For baseball fans, NIGP has secured a limited number of tickets to the Cardinals/Astros game, starting at 7:15 p.m. The stadium is approximately eight blocks from the downtown area. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at a discount price of $18. Contact or call 800-367-6447, ×242, with questions.

Presidential Banquet

Wednesday, August 26, 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

A regal evening culminating NIGP's 64th Annual Forum will include a lavish meal while attendees compare highlights from this year's forum with old and new friends. After dinner, music will be provided by the Spectrum Band with dancing in the ballroom.

Forum Money-Saving Opportunities

  • Group Discounts: A 10 percent discount off Forum registration fees for 3-9 registrants from the same agency; a 15 percent savings if more than 9 attend.

  • Conference-Only Registration Fee: Does not include meals (except for lunch in the exhibit hall), and savings have been passed along.

  • Roommate Matching Service: Makes it easy to save money by sharing accommodations.

At NIGP's Forum: 50 Themed Workshops Aligned with the Certification Body of Knowledge


Going Green When It's White — S103
Domain 2: Procurement Requests

Sustainable Vehicle and Equipment Replacement — S203
Domain 2: Procurement Requests

How to Measure Your Green Spend Using Eco-Label Calculators — S205
Domain 2: Procurement Requests

Going Green While Saving Green — S306
Domain 3: Solicitation and Evaluation

Step-by-Step Guide to an Environmental Purchasing Program — M102
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies

Making Blue Green: Transforming Green Ideals into Sustainable Practices — M104
Domain 9: Human Resources/Personnel

Planting the Seeds of a Green Code — T202
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies

Cutting-Edge Socially Responsible Procurement — W202
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies

Achieving Sustainable Growth — The Crucial Role of Supply Management — W207
Domain 2: Procurement Requests

Personal Development

Stop Me Before I Strangle Somebody — S101
Relationship Management: Are You Getting the Most Out of Teams, Suppliers and Your Organization? — S104
Domain 7: External/Internal Relations

The Human Side of Procurement — S202
Domain 9: Human Resources/Personnel

Close the Gap…Maximizing Your NIGP National Membership via the Web — M103

Defining and Developing Your Own Personal Ethical Code — T101
Domain 1: Purchasing Administration

Forging Ahead from Failure — T201
Domain 9: Human Resources/Personnel

Now That's a Great Idea! Chapter Excellence — W201

Procurement Practices

RFP Development Process — S105
Domain 3: Solicitation and Evaluation

Understanding the Benefits of Contract Purchasing — S106
Domain 3: Solicitation and Evaluation

Cooperative Purchasing-Card Contracts — S206
Domain 1: Purchasing Administration

Procurement-Card Programs: Avoiding the Pitfalls — S302
Domain 1: Purchasing Administration

You Should Have Picked Me! Case Studies on Public Contract Appeals — S303
Domain 6: Contract Award and Administration

Procurement Support to Major Events: 2009 Presidential Inauguration — S304
Domain 9: Human Resources/Personnel

Job Order Contracting: Reducing Overall Procurement Expenditures — S305
Domain 6: Contract Award and Administration

10 Things Your Should Know About Other Jurisdictions' Contracts — M101
Domain 3: Solicitation and Evaluation

Property Disposal Surplus — M105
Domain 8: Materials Management

What's a PPOA and Why Do I Need One Anyway? — M106
Domain 6: Contract Award and Administration

Everything Is Negotiable — If You Know What You're Dong — M107
Domain 5: Negotiation Process

NIGP Consulting Services — Is Now the Time? — T104

Cooperative Purchasing — Buy Bigger, Buy Better — T105
Domain 1: Purchasing Administration

A Brief on Debriefing: Successful Debriefing of Unsuccessful Offers — T106
Domain 3: Solicitation and Evaluation

Gateway to the Future of Procurement: Perspectives from the Public and Private Sectors — T204
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies

Management Myths, Clichés and Experts — T205

How to "Buy Local" — T206
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies

Contract Risk Mitigation — W101
Domain 6: Contract Award and Administration

Measuring Performance in Government Procurement — W103
Domain 1: Purchasing Administration

From Transaction Processors to Purchasing Pros — W104
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies

De-Icing or Anti-Icing — What's an Airport to Do? — W105
Domain 2: Procurement Requests

Construction Management/General Contractor Project Method vs. DBB — W204
Domain 3: Solicitation and Evaluation

Life After the Audit: P-card Technology for Law and Compliance — W205
Domain 1: Purchasing Administration


Innovation: Making the Case for the Value of Procurement — S102

The Role of the Client in Improving Procurement: Canada's Experience — S107
Domain 7: External/Internal Relations

Performance-Based Contracting for Services: Who's Doing What — S301
Domain 3: Solicitation and Evaluation

Standards for Measuring Cost Savings — T102
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies

Procurement Compensation Study 2000-2008: A Management Resource — T203

Lean Thinking? Is It Time? — W102
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies


RFID Adoption within the Public Sector — S201
Domain 1: Purchasing Administration

Open the P-Card Gate with a Solid Business Case
Domain 1: Purchasing Administration

Delivering Savings: Abstract Art or Bowl of Fruit with Real Bananas? — W203
Domain 10: Forecasting and Strategies

Courses at Forum

CPPO Prep*

Thursday, August 20-Friday, August 21
Instructor: Mary "Jane" Lopez, CPPO

CPPB Prep*

Thursday, August 20-Friday, August 21
Instructor: William E. Hertwig, Jr., CPPO, CPPB, C.P.M., A.P.P.

Contracting for Construction Services — NEW

Friday, August 21-Saturday, August 22
Instructor: Edward Pabor, CPPO, C.P.M.

Fundamentals of Leadership and Management

Friday, August 21-Saturday, August 22
Instructor: Lynda Allair, CPPO

Chapter Leadership Symposium

Saturday, August 22
Presenter: Jennifer Steffan, Chapter Relations Manager, NIGP

Developing and Managing Request for Proposals

Sunday, August 23-Wednesday, August 26

*The certification prep courses are part of a larger array of preparation resources created by NIGP to support those seeking their CPPO or CPPB certification. Visit Cert Prep Central at to access an online personal assessment tool, recommended preparation timeline and all of the text, courses and webinars that meet particular needs.

Registration for pre-Forum events is independent of Forum registration. Register at

Airport Purchasing Group Annual Conference

Airport Purchasing Group (APG) will host its annual conference in conjunction with the NIPG Forum on Wednesday, August 26, and Thursday, August 27. Events on Wednesday will run concurrently with NIGP covering airport-related topics. APG-exclusive events will be held on Thursday, August 27.

Featured Seminar: Capital Improvement Projects/Federal Stimulus Dollars Getting Funding and Managing Responsibility

Attendees will learn about FAA grant funding, use compliance and reporting in this multiday seminar with Nancy Williams, FAA's National Resource Specialist for Policy and Legislation.

Wednesday, August 26, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Airport Networking Session Let's Talk Airports
  • FAA Part I Capital Improvement Projects Getting Funding
  • De-Icing or Anti-Icing? What's an Airport to Do?
  • Chief Richard Picciotto, FDNY Chief, Last Man Down

Thursday, August 27, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • FAA Part II Learn How to Navigate Resources and Get Answers
  • Airport Lighting
  • Airline Discussion
  • General Membership Meeting
  • Tour of St. Louis/Lambert Airport

*Subject to change. For more information, contact LaWann Terry, NIGP Conference Manager, at 800-367-6447, ×242, or visit

200 Exhibitors

From ADT Security Services Inc. to Zep Sales and Services, from across the country and across industries … and covering two half-days of products' exposition.

Special thanks to this year's Forum event sponsors.

AutoZone, Inc.
Canon U.S.A. Inc.*
Centennial Contractors
The Hartford
HD Supply Facilities Maintenance
Milliken Carpet*
National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA)
Office Depot
The Toro Company*
U.S. Communities*
*NIGP Premier and Corporate Sponsors who are on The National Business Council.

40 Peer2Peer Networking Sessions

  • Traditional agency- and community-based sessions
  • Gateway sessions — ask questions of subject matter experts
  • Open Source — spontaneous topics and problem-solving

New this year

Jump drives (sponsored by U.S. Communities) will be provided to all attendees to download the workshop sessions.

NIGP's Purchasing Partners Program: Reaching Out to First-Timers

Not knowing anyone, not being a part of a group and finding the way alone can be challenges for first-time attendees at the NIGP conference. Any repeat attendee can help a first-timer to feel more comfortable by becoming a "Purchasing Partner," a delegate who volunteers to help first-time attendees learn the ropes and meet new people. Partnering doesn't extend for the entire conference, but making an introduction and arranging to meet for breakfast or another event can make a big difference to a first-timer. Several members have formed lasting relationships by participating in previous Purchasing Partner events.

Introductions will be made at the First-Timer's event on Saturday, August 22, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It will be an opportunity to make new friends, enrich another participant's Forum experience, share knowledge of previous Forums and help first-timers get the most out of their time in St. Louis.

Anyone who would like to help enrich the experience of a first-time attendee should contact Belinda Reutter, Director of Member Services, at