The success of the Oregon Public Purchasing Association (OPPA) is attributed to its members. OPPA is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009. For nearly 40 years, the members have built a strong foundation for this organization to strategically advance its mission.

Our bylaws, handbook for board members and committee chairs, mission and vision statements and strategic plan all provide directions to help guide our path. That's not to say that we don't ever throw out these directions and blaze a new path, but we have a map to get us back on the right path should we need it.

Louis Pasteur once said, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” We can't get there unless we know where we're going. For example, to increase our chances of winning the NIGP Large Chapter of Year, our map is the application process. Our actions continue to follow our strategic plan, but we have tweaked those action items to align with the requirements of the award process.

The members are cohesive, are always willing to lend a helping hand, foster a team-player attitude and promote inclusiveness. OPPA members are very involved; approximately 20 percent of OPPA members are involved in various committees at the chapter level. Some are involved as NIGP master instructors and as NIGP committee members.

Many more members are involved in the communities on behalf of OPPA, such as raising money to help the flood victims in Vernonia (Ore.); raising money to make sure families can heat their home during the winter months; raising money to help children of families so they can afford to play sports; and collecting toys and jackets for families who would otherwise be without. Also, we help each other, from simple tasks such as sharing cooperative contracts to more involved tasks such as mentoring a fellow member to grow professionally.

OPPA offers quality programs and workshops and strategic professional development classes to promote our membership's professional growth. It's a lot of work and dedication, but we all pitch in and collectively we accomplish more.
Kevin Yin, CPPB,
Oregon Public Purchasing Association,
Salem, Ore.