Kelly Kozisek - NAEP President
Chief Procurement Officer
Oregon State University
Hi, I’m Kelly Kozisek and I have the great fortune to have been elected as the 2016 NAEP President. It’s with much enthusiasm that I embark on this exciting journey and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this amazing association. If I can do half the job that Lisa did, I’ll consider the experience a success!
I’d like to start by acknowledging the advice of a special person who encouraged me to accept the nomination for this position and delve into what I see as one of the greatest benefits of getting actively involved in NAEP. It is through his simple but wise words that I am focusing on this year’s theme of Mapping Procurement’s Future, through the relationships that we develop with one another. This person was a colleague and mentor and, while he’s now retired, his advice continues to motivate this introvert to reach beyond her comfort zone by continuously building strong working relationships. I can still hear his words today. “Kelly, it’s all about the relationships,” he would say. He advised that it would be my relationships with my colleagues, staff, suppliers and executive leaders that would be the key to maneuvering our organization through tough challenges and propel us to progress in achieving our departmental goals and objectives. Oh, and by-the-way, just might result in my own personal growth. I recall our many one-on-one conversations, as I sought his advice on a variety of issues. At the end of these coaching sessions he would summarize with, “Kelly, it’s all about the relationships.” I got so tired of hearing that line and, because I didn’t take it seriously at first, soon my typical response was to give him a good-natured roll of my eyes and shoot him a look that said, “Yeah, whatever,” and we all know what “whatever” means, right? Since those days, something clicked. As I built and fostered my relationships, I have had to confess to him that his statement really does hold a great deal of relevance and that he was right after all. Indeed, it’s all about the relationships.
Fast forward to the present. Here we are wrapping up the NAEP Annual Meeting, where many of you have established or reinforced relationships with colleagues, suppliers and NAEP staff. Members of NAEP have several things in common, whether it’s because we work for educational institutions, support professional development, are committed to our professions, or enjoy some level of involvement in NAEP. With these commonalities we can continue to foster our relationships with one another and expand our network. Why not build off of our Annual Meeting theme—“Mapping Procurement’s Future: Change, Improve, Execute”—by committing to contribute to NAEP in some manner and being a part of the continuous improvements that make this organization relevant? Everyone has something that they can contribute. Each one of you is mapping the future of procurement in your role as procurement professional and can make a positive impact on the NAEP Membership. Writing an article for the NAEP Educational Procurement Journal, submitting a presentation for your regional meeting, offering a webinar idea to the NAEP staff, nominating a deserving Member for an award, volunteering to participate in a committee, or adding RFP documents to the online portal are just a few of the many ways you can change, improve, and execute through your contributions. It doesn’t have to be these standard volunteering activities. You may have your own ideas and suggestions on what would strengthen the Association. If you have ideas about what you can contribute and don’t know where to go with them, then start with me. I may not have all the answers, but through my relationships I can help you make those connections. The point is that everything you contribute will help map the future of NAEP and create a stronger Association, which will come full circle and benefit you and your educational institution.
Now to support the theory that it’s all about the relationships, I’d like to extend my gratitude to the many NAEP Members who supported me both as a member of the National Board and as procurement professional. Thank you, Jennifer Adling, Nancy Brooks, Mark Conley, Denise Finn, Corey Harms, Bill Harris, Sandy Hicks, Ted Johnson, Nichol Luoma, Charlene Lydick, Burr Millsap, Steve Mack, Mike McNamara, David Pollard, Dee Ann Schneider and Barry Swanson. Thank you, Lisa Deal, for mentoring and preparing me for this role. You are a tough act to follow but your generosity and thoughtfulness have prepared me for this role. Thank you, NAEP staff members. Doreen Murner and her talented team are amazing. Their guidance and support are what enables us as NAEP Members to reap numerous benefits. Opportunities for professional development, a myriad of tools that are available to us, a network of procurement professionals who we can communicate with through the online forums, volunteering opportunities and programs such as this Annual Meeting are all valuable resources that wouldn’t be available without the NAEP staff.
Thank you to the 2016 Annual Meeting Program Committee. This team of volunteers contributed some of the most innovative ideas for generating a generous amount of presentation submittals in record time, as well as presentations submitted by many new presenters. As a result, we had many presentations by Members who had not previously presented at an Annual Meeting.
Thank you to my Oregon State University colleagues, staff and family. I have the great fortune of working with some of the most talented, hard-working individuals. With the strength and diverse talent of the Procurement, Contracts and Materials Management staff we are making progress, despite the fact that we run lean as an organization. Thanks especially to Tamara Gash, whose contributions to OSU and NAEP are truly impactful. Finally, it’s with great passion that I thank my husband, Tim, and my children, Megan and Nick. Tim, I appreciate that you continue to fully support me in my career because you see that I love it so much.
You might be pleasantly surprised with the relationships you develop if you journey into volunteering for this Association. Through the experience of making contributions to NAEP, you’ll create a network of colleagues and friends with whom you’ll have meaningful and long-lasting relationships. And after all, isn’t it really all about the relationships? Thank you and enjoy this final day of the conference!