State of New Jersey



A Message from the President

I am honored to be the next president of GPANJ. 

I have been in government for a total of 15 years. I started as an Account Clerk and was asked to move into the purchasing department. I became a Purchasing Agent after 2 years. Did I wake up one morning and say to myself…..I want to be a Purchasing Agent……like most of us the answer is NO. But here I am a Purchasing Agent loving what I do. We all have taken different paths that have led us to the purchasing field.  Some by their own choice, and perhaps some not by their own choice.  However, here we stand and we do what we do to the best of our abilities.

Every day we go into work to do our jobs and nothing is the same as it was yesterday.  You are constantly pulled in many directions on a daily basis due to the needs of the various departments.  Unlike most departments, we are fortunate enough to work with every department and even volunteers in our entities.   We also are constantly reminding our work colleagues that the purchasing process is the same on Monday as it is on Friday, even though they may disagree.  I know I learn something new every day and it is forever changing. 

When I first became a GPANJ board member I took it as a privilege and it is very much so.  It was my chance to get involved and help to make a difference.  Now looking back I realize that I didn’t think I could make a difference or affect change unless I was a board member or a powerhouse like Joe Valenti, Marylou Stanton, or Fran Shames. I have been on the Board since 2012 and I have learned you can make a difference and I encourage you to become more involved even if you do not wish to be a Board Member. 

There are changes made to 40A:11 and there is no Local Finance Notice sent out or email blasts to let us know what has changed and how to apply those changes.   There is no one at the State to call and ask so it is up to us to find the answers. 

The more involved I get into the Legislative end of purchasing the more passionate I’ve become. There are bills out there that may affect 40A:11 some are positive changes, for instance introducing electronic bidding, some are not, for example: releasing the bidders list.  We all need to be more aware of the pending legislation that may affect our field.  We need to be proactive and involved in the legislative process.  Our voices need to heard.  So I am asking for your help as Purchasing professionals, to get involved and become active participants in your organization.

It is up to us, as the Purchasing Professionals to come together with our Associations, and get the answers to the questions that we may have and work towards an affective change.   

The QPA Bill made them recognize us as the professionals that we are now it is up to us to take it further.


Michelle DeFrancis
G.P.A.N.J. President