I hardly know where to begin...

I guess it would be telling all of you what this Association has meant to me.

I’m one of the rare people who had been in purchasing my entire career. So when it was time to go back to work after having my wonderful kids, I wound up doing purchasing again. This time for a governmental agency.  Well, as most of you know that was a whole new world from corporate purchasing.

After a short time, I found out about GPANJ and the Rutgers courses for RPPO. It was so long ago (mid ‘80’s) that we didn’t even have RPPS yet.

I was extremely lucky my instructor was Joe Valenti.  Who better to learn from than Joe? He remained my mentor and teacher until today.

I started going to meetings and meeting other purchasing professionals who I could always rely on for help. There was usually someone who had done it before you, or could let you know who did, and they were always willing to help.  I always enjoyed what I did and really liked my colleagues.

There was an organization to go to for any specification you needed.  Of course, in those days it was a paper copy and mailed to you snail mail.

In the early ‘90’s, I was asked to be on the Board and of course said yes.

From there on, I loved my career even more. Rutgers asked me to teach the Purchasing Courses, and as most of you know I did.  I so enjoyed the teaching, and meeting so many of you who were new to Public Purchasing and watching you to learn how things were to be handled and become involved and also go on to the Board.

I had the best career. Getting involved in Legislation and helping work on some bills. Of course many did not go the way Public Purchasing would have liked, but quite a few did. I learned so much about the legislative process and meet many legislators along the way.

I was on the Governor’s task force for public purchasing which helped make some significant changes to the Public Contracts Law. Several committees for the State and Rutgers. Got to meet the Chinese delegation who came to Rutgers to see how Public Purchasing was handled here in the USA.  Guess they had never heard how different New Jersey was compared to other States.

When I retired in 2011 and was asked to become the Executive Director, it gave me the opportunity to continue with an organization and people I loved.

I just want to thank everyone for helping make my career and time on the Board a wonderful experience.  It’s hard to believe I will not see many of you, but perhaps I will surprise you at a Symposium.

Please feel free to keep in touch.  My e-mail is fndshames@gmail.com and cell number is 732-718-3442.

I know Deb will do a great job and look forward to the changes that are bound to happen.

I will think of many of you often!