On Thursday, January 21, Kansas City, MO Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James and Kansas City’s Purchasing Manager, Renee Medlin, received the honor of a U.S. Communities leadership award at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. The award recognizes the city’s excellence in promoting purchasing solutions nationwide and its active role in both utilizing and marketing the program. The award was presented by Columbia, SC Mayor Steve Benjamin, a staunch supporter of U.S. Communities, and was accepted by both Renee and Mayor James’ Chief of Staff, Joni Wickham.
Mayor Benjamin, in presenting the award, applauded Kansas City for serving as the lead public agency for two U.S. Communities contracts that launched this past year: HotelPlanner, which offers travel services and solutions, and ClubCar/ Columbia Par Car, which provides utility, transportation, and golf vehicles. This means that Kansas City bid for and evaluated the contracts through a competitive solicitation process, and once the contract was awarded, allows other participating agencies to make purchases on the contracts through U.S. Communities. Additionally, in the first three quarters of 2015, the City purchased almost $4 million worth of goods and services through a variety of U.S. Communities suppliers such as ACRO, Graybar, Hertz Equipment Rental, and DLT Solutions, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Kansas City Mayor James, whose award was accepted by his Chief of Staff, Joni Wickham, has served as Mayor since May 2, 2011. His support of the U.S. Communities program highlights his enthusiasm for streamlining processes at City Hall and encouraging small business development. Mayor James’ platform fits well with U.S. Communities’ dedication to aggregating purchasing power and giving public agencies an opportunity to “do more with less.”
Renee Medlin, Kansas City Purchasing Manager, has been with the City since 2007 and has been in her current position since 2009. She was appointed to the U.S. Communities Advisory Board in 2011 and has subsequently served as both representative of, and an ambassador to, her region for the program. She has also been active with NIGP, the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, for many years serving on several committees and in various leadership positions. As Purchasing Manager, she has consistently recognized the value of using U.S. Communities to help Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors is joined by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Award Recipient Renee Medlin, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, and Award Recipient Mayor James’ Chief of Staff, Joni Wickham. her city save money, and this best practice has made her a clear winner of the leadership award.
U.S. Communities is the leading national government purchasing cooperative, providing solutions and savings to members by aggregating the purchasing power of public agencies nationwide. U.S. Communities provides users with access to a wide variety of competitively solicited contracts with national suppliers, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, that have committed to providing their lowest overall public agency pricing. For more information, please visit www.uscommunities.org.