Confirmed Attendees

Universities/Higher Ed.UNC CharlotteCal Poly San Luis ObispoDalhousie UniversityArizona State UniversityUniversity of ReginaSimon Fraser University

State, City, and County GovernmentsCity of BuckeyeKneehill County, Alberta CACity of Hamilton, Ontario CACity of SurpriseMaricopa CountyState of Arizona, Attorney GeneralCity of GlendaleCity of PhoenixPinal CountyMohave CountyCity of Tempe

UtilitiesEfficiency Nova ScotiaLos Angeles Dept. of Water and PowerSalt River ProjectCentral Arizona Project

Service ProvidersCanonCJR Group

A/E, Contractors, & Construction ProductsTremcoWTI ServicesStakweather RoofingState Roofing SystemsBalfour Beatty ConstructionUniversity Mechanical & Engineering ContractorsSouthland EngineeringUnited Power, LTD

School Districts/EducationTempe Union High School DistrictValley Schools Management GroupGlendale Elementary School Dist. #40Peoria Unified School Dist.

Healthcare & Co-opsCentral Susquehanna Intermediate UnitAllegheny Health Network

Transportation/Public SafetyValley MetroDept. of Transportation, Maricopa CountyDept. of Public Safety, State of ArizonaAviation Department, City of Phoenix

Speakers & Agenda

Gwendolyn W. Williams

Assistant General Manager
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)

Gwendolyn W. Williams is Assistant General Manager- Supply Chain Services for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Prior to LADWP she was an AECOM Project Director in Los Angeles and Tripoli, Libya, and Executive Officer, Procurement at LA Metro. She holds a M.S from USC and is a Project Management Professional.

Richard Hamilton

Ulmer & Berne LLP

As chair of Ulmer & Berne’s White Collar Practice Group, Rick Hamilton draws on his more than 20 years as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice to counsel the firm’s clients on a wide variety of matters, including criminal and civil violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act and related federal and state antitrust laws, securities, financial, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), RICO, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, tax violations, public theft, bribery, obstruction of justice, perjury, false statements, conspiracy, trade secrets, kickbacks, and criminal and civil asset forfeiture.

Mike Drane

Procurement Director
Dalhousie University

Mike Drane has held a number of positions in his work career that has spanned 38 years, including Warehousing and Logistics Management, Facilities Operations, Fleet Management, Owner Engineering and Project Management, and Contractor Service Provider.  This experience has proven to be a significant resource for his current role as Procurement Director at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.

Ian Wagschal

Assistant Director
Dalhousie University

Ian Wagschal brings over 20 years of experience in infrastructure design, construction, and project management to his role at Dalhousie University. As Assistant Director, Ian has been directly responsible for the implementation of over $185M in architectural, mechanical and electrical infrastructure projects since 2009. Ian was awarded the CAUBO emerging leader award in 2017, and assisted implementation of Expertise-driven Project Delivery (XPD) within his Project Management team in 2015. He also developed an award winning contractor safety management program in 2013.

Kenn Sullivan

Associate Professor
Arizona State University

Dr. Kenneth Sullivan is an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. He specializes in performance measurement, risk management, best value contracting, organizational transformation, and accountability systems. His research processes have generated over $10 Million in research funding and have been implemented in construction, design, facility management, IT, and business services projects valued at over $11 Billion. In addition to all types of design and construction delivery, he has led project efforts in networking systems, software, dining, sports media rights, fund management, radio systems, health insurance, document management, and others. Prof. Sullivan possesses a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, an MBA in Real Estate and Urban Economics, and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, all from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Josh Rubin

The CJR Group, Inc.

Josh Rubin founded The CJR Group in 2003 as a government relations firm specializing in advocacy at both the state and federal levels of government.

Prior to his work in the private sector, Josh worked for Senator Mike DeWine and then-Governor George Voinovich. Josh served as campaign manager for Senator DeWine’s successful re-election campaign in 2000. From 1995 to 1999, Josh served as a legislative aide and directed the Senator’s Northeast Ohio office.

From 1991 to 1994, Josh served in the administration of Gov. Voinovich as a personal assistant to the Governor, and then as a member of the Governor’s legislative team.

Josh earned an M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, and a B.A. from the University of Colorado. He has also studied at the London School of Economics.

Rick Ranft

Senior Director
Canon Solutions America

As a Senior Director in Canon Solutions America’s Enterprise Managed Services Division, Rick Ranft is responsible for the Strategic Markets Team which provides industry research, analysis, and best practices to both current and prospective clients interested in knowledge sharing and collaboration. Holding numerous management positions throughout his 16 years at Canon, Rick has been guiding managed services programs for more than 20 years. He has also served as the executive sponsor for some of Canon’s largest and most complex engagements and brings a unique perspective and experience to the procurement process. Rick has a Master’s Degree in Management with concentration in Organizational Change. Over the last several years he has contributed thought leadership through regular speaking engagements at conferences and events such as NACAS, RTM, and many others.

Andrea Rai

Senior Manager
Canon Solutions America

Andrea Rai is Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships with the Enterprise Managed Services Division at Canon Solutions America, where she is responsible for developing and expanding alliances with some of Canon’s most significant clients. She works with current and prospective customers to find alignment between institutional goals and Canon’s core values, building robust partnerships that go beyond traditional vendor-client relationships. Andrea has been with Canon over 17 years and has spent most of her tenure in Business Operations, with an emphasis on financial and operational process improvement at an enterprise level. She is a member of the Shared Services in Higher Education Advisory Board, and holds a degree from Georgetown University.

Jake Smithwick

Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dr. Jake Smithwick is a researcher and educator in construction project delivery and facility management at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. He has worked on a variety of projects, totaling more than $575 million in value, with 25 public and private owners. His industry experience also includes field inspection of nearly 2,000 waterproofing systems (74 million SF) across the United States, and six years in the US Air Force Reserve (civil engineering squadron).

This year’s conference is all about moving away from Low Bid procurement.


CPE has engaged some of the leading experts in procurement and valued based project delivery to speak at the conference.  Speakers include individuals from the City of Los Angeles, a large Silicone Valley tech company, US and Canadian Universities, a former Department of Justice attorney, major manufacturers, facility managers, and others.

Some of this year’s topics include:

Kill Low Bid, or Kill Your Business – the Choice is YoursContractors, suppliers, and vendors face significant downward pressure on price. As a result, quality decreases and the owner receives an inferior product. Both owners and contractors are at a crossroads: continue the status quo on project procurement, or make the change to leverage expertise.

Problem: The Current Approach to Procurement is UnreliableThe challenge with low bid is that performance is inconsistent. Through real examples and practical advice, owners can learn to become the industry’s “client of choice.”

Moving On from Low Bid – Steps for Using Other Contracting SystemsThere are several alternatives available to owners instead of the traditional low bid process, including CM at Risk, Design-Build, and Integrated Project Delivery. Owners may also use cooperative purchasing agreements as a tool to leverage industry expertise. This session will provide owners and contractors with specific legislative tools to help enact policy change that permits the use of other non-price evaluation criteria.

Low Bid and the Cost of Hiring a Contractor Who FailsCost-focused procurements drastically increase the risk of nonperformance and litigation. This creates numerous inefficiencies such as contractors taking on inappropriate work, increased owner management costs, and widespread waste.

Breaking Down Silos Between Procurement and Facilities ManagementFunctional silos are an all-too-common problem in many organizations. In this session, procurement and facility management personnel from a large university will provide guidance on creating a truly collaborative environment that is founded on transparency & metrics… risk & value… performance & superior outcomes.

Bringing Procurement and Client Groups Together – The Value of Scope of WorkOwners often have a general idea of what they want to procure, but may struggle with developing a well-defined scope of work (SoW). Attendees will use CPE’s “Scope of Work Checklist” to understand the critical components of a clear SoW and develop strategies that align procurement and client groups.

There’s Always Time to Plan: Why High Performing Vendors Reduce Your RiskA study of more than 2,000 projects and contractor teams reveals that the most successful outcomes are a direct result of leveraging the expertise of the people hired to do the work through a well-structured preplanning process.

Social Event

Registration includes a Social and Networking event with your fellow industry professionals at Arizona State University’s School of Engineering. The social will include hors d’oeuvre, drinks, and great company. Come meet like-minded professionals and share ideas on bringing positive change to your organization and team.