Archive | October, 2012

Valley Schools Holds 5th Annual Conference

26 Oct

Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG) is a group purchasing cooperative organization that saves its members millions per year in insurance, workers’ compensation and employee benefits costs.  It was created in 1987 and has expanded into all three areas over time.  This is the fifth consecutive year that the VSMG, run by Tom Boone, has held an annual conference to inform its members on the latest in insurance, workers’ compensation and employee benefits laws, regulations and opportunities for savings.  VSMG is truly a model for transparency and keeping their membership informed and up to date on all issues.

This year, Andrea Billings, Administrator for the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) was one of the speakers, discussing the latest in health care and other benefits for tens of thousands of members in the VSEBT.

Rebecca McGonigle of VSEBT, Dr. Steven Masley, and Andrea Billings of VSEBT

In the past, the conference has featured guest speakers including Congressman John Shadegg, Dr. Andrew Weil the wellness guru, and Dr. Nick Yphantides, author of My Big Fat Greek Diet.  This year the featured speaker was Dr. Steven Masley, author of Ten Years Younger.


Have you wondered, How Old Are You, Really?  You know what’s written on your birth certificate, but as you’re aware your chronological age may not match your biological age.  you are invited to hear a presentation by Steven Masley, M.D., a physician whose work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the Today Show, and over 200 media interviews. His program, Ten Years Younger is scientifically proven to work, with results published in multiple peer reviewed medical journals.

The Ten Years Younger Program is designed to combat the roots of accelerated aging. Poor nutrition, toxins in the environment, stress, and exposure to free radicals all make us old before our time, along with a little-known aging culprit: low- and no-carb diets.

“Dr. Masley shows us how we can take control of the aging process. Follow this simple ten-week plan, and you’ll find yourself getting younger, day by day.”
– Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Steven Masley, M.D. is a board and fellow certified family physician and nutritionist, author, speaker, and award-winning patient educator. His research focuses on the impact of lifestyle choices on aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cognitive function, menopause, and weight control. His passion is empowering people to achieve optimal health through comprehensive medical assessments and lifestyle changes.

Senior staff from the Paradise Valley Unified School District study the presentations.

Attendees went through a grueling time of back-to-back presentations, but once again very much appreciated the in depth information.  More organizations need to bring in their senior clients and membership to keep them informed and inspired like the Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG) does regularly.

Left to right, Tom Boone, Tim O’Brien, Skip Brown, Jim Migliorino and Ted Carpenter

Tom Boone, Chairman and CEO of VSMG, Opens up the Conference



Arizona NIGP Adopts Cooperative Contract Criteria

22 Oct

Arizona NIGP Adopts Cooperative Contract Criteria

They have now received national recognition for this new way of evaluating cooperative purchasing in government settings.

reposted from:

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP)

New Form Justifies Use of Cooperative Contract

The Arizona Capitol Chapter of NIGP recently adopted a new form to help school districts, cities, towns, counties and other municipalities justify the use of a particular cooperative contract. The Justification for Utilizing a Cooperative Contract was reviewed by the Cooperative Committee of the Arizona Capitol Chapter of NIGP with the input from a host of public procurement professionals across the State. The intent is that the document be used as a template starting point and edited as appropriate by the agency. This form can supplement due diligence documentation to further document the reasons for using a cooperative contract versus going out to bid independently.

The following questions and issues are addressed in the template document:

  1. Is there a Cooperative Purchase Agreement allowing use of the contract?
  2. Was the procurement done by a Public Procurement Unit?
  3. Do the terms, conditions and scope of work/specifications meet the need?
  4. If no, are the terms, conditions and scope of work/specifications negotiable?
  5. Does the cooperative contract provide the most advantageous solution? Why?
  6. Is the contract in effect and in force for all proposed purchases?
  7. Will any and all purchases comply with the terms and prices in the contract?
  8. Will volume pricing advantages be applied to purchases?
  9. Are there any fees associated with use of the contract? Are they reasonable and justified?
  10. Were local and regional vendors offered the opportunity to compete for the contracts?
  11. Did the cooperative or lead agency have the expertise, reputation and history of quality contracting for the good or service being procured?
  12. Was past experience with the cooperative or lead agency acceptable?
  13. Is it a unique purchase that is better serviced under another contract?
  14. Is the item urgently needed?
  15. What is the age of the contract? How many years is it into its contract term?

For your reference, attached is the template form, “Justification for Utilizing a Cooperative Contract.”

For more information about the form and its creation, contact:

Michelle Hamilton is the Director of Purchasing for Mesa Public Schools, serves on the AASBO Executive Board and may be reached by email at

Bill Munch is the Executive Director of Procurement Compliance, Outreach and Education with Valley Schools Management Group and may be reached by email at

Left to Right – Matt Donaghue, Brenda Carlson, of First Investors, Bill Munch of the Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG) and Dennis Snoozy with First Investors.

Special thanks to the Arizona Capitol Chapter of NIGP for sharing this resource with all NIGP members!

Source: Strategic Sourceror, Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Successful Project Examples

19 Oct

Successful Project Examples

This panel featured two successful projects in Oregon, one a retro-fit project and one a new construction project.  The Enterprise School is replacing a heating oil boiler to a biomass boiler that will utilize waste from a community wood products manufacturing facility.  The Harney County District Hospital installed a wood pellet boiler in the design of their new facility.

Download the presentations from the workshop to learn more about each project!


Biomass Boiler and Silo - Harney Co.

Biomass Boiler and Silo – Harney County, OregonThe Enterprise School Project 

Video Coming Soon!

Funding Renewable Projects Through Existing Budgets

Cam Hamilton – The McKinstry Group

Also check out theEnterprise Project Fact Page!


Harney County District Hospital Project

Wood Pellet Boiler Heating System

Jim Bishop – CEO

Also check out the Harney County Hospital Project Fact Page!


NASA Open Innovation Projects

14 Oct

Open Innovation Projects

NASA Challenges Through Open Innovation

this signifies a fact sheet with 'transparency.'
transparency |
this signifies a fact sheet with 'participation.'
participation |
This signifies a fact sheet with 'collaboration'.

The NASA Open Innovation projects develop challenges that seek innovative solutions to research and technology problems that impact human health and performance in short and long duration human spaceflight. The challenges are offered through organizations (InnoCentive and that offer challenges to a national and international community of potential solvers. A third pilot project was established with TopCoder and Harvard Business School to evaluate an open source code competition. These are pilot projects to determine the effectiveness of open innovation in solving NASA research and technology problems.


NASA Innovation Pavilion on InnoCentive index?pavilionName=NASA

NASA Logo and Open Innovation Text
NASA partnered with InnoCentive, Inc. to provide the public with the opportunity to solve difficult problems facing the U.S. space program in human health and performance. Solutions to the challenges on the NASA Innovation Pavilion will not only benefit space exploration, but may also further the development of commercial products and services in other industries. The first three challenges posted for one of the pilot projects have attracted more than 1,100 potential solvers across 64 countries. These challenges are currently undergoing evaluation for possible winning solutions. As an example, the challenge for a compact exercise device drew over 100 submissions that are undergoing evaluation.


The NASA Space Life Sciences developed a strategy in 2007 to pursue external alliances to establish a balanced portfolio of research and technology solutions for human health and performance during human space flight. We sought expertise from academia in mapping research and technology needs or gaps to the best possible collaborative strategy. One strategy that clearly emerged was the use of open innovation service providers to seek solutions to challenges external to NASA.

Open innovation was defined by Henry Chesbrough, a professor and executive director at the Center for Open Innovation at UC Berkeley, as “a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology.” This open innovation strategy requires NASA to refine problems in the research and technology portfolio into challenge statements that can be addressed by a wide variety of disciplines and technical expertise external to NASA. In this way, NASA seeks to obtain innovative technology, research, service, and software code solutions through the extended community. Each pilot project has a different means of seeking and rewarding winning solutions.

We have created the NASA Innovation Pavilion on the InnoCentive open innovation platform, which, to date, has had four challenges (three from Johnson Space Center and one from Langley Research Center). In 2009, we developed an open source competition on the TopCoder community resulting in the writing of 3,500 lines of code and drew more than 1,800 entrants for the posted NASA challenge. These results are currently undergoing evaluation.

Later in 2010, we will have completed the pilot projects and will have recommendations for the further use of open innovation challenges to solve research and technology problems for NASA. These recommendations will evaluate the yield of solutions obtained versus the costs of using these open innovation tools (costs may include the actual service cost, time for personnel to be engaged in the process, training time, etc). These recommendations could then include useful metrics for the further use and evaluation of these tools. Potential solutions are provided to the government through open innovation service providers using a variety of business models, but all cost much less than traditional methods of seeking research and technology solutions. A second value to this approach is the rapid development, posting and solution time of weeks for finding potential solutions, instead of months or years required using more traditional means.

How This Fits into Open Government

In order to use open innovation pilot projects, NASA must be transparent in articulating a current challenge for human spaceflight and other challenges facing NASA. These models are inherently participatory as large and diverse communities of solvers around the world may pose a potential solution to a challenge. Depending on the type of pilot project, solvers may collaborate on a solution or establish a partnership with NASA to develop the proposed deliverable. These pilot projects greatly diversify the number of potential external collaborators for NASA.

Open Government Goals

  • Three Months
    • Identify second round of challenges for two of the pilot projects and lessons learned developed from the first round.
      v1.5 Status Update: The first round of challenges has completed. The second round have been identified and posted on the NASA InnoCentive Pavilion.
  • Six Months
    • Execute additional challenges both internal to NASA and externally based on the results of the first pilot projects.
      v1.5 Status Update: The first round of challenges has completed. The second round have been identified and posted on the NASA InnoCentive Pavillion.
  • One Year
    • Develop a contract mechanism to permit open innovation models to be used by all NASA centers across a wide variety of challenges and disciplines.
    • Develop a “how to” guide for the future use of open innovation models within government.
  • Two Years
    • Establish open innovation services as a mechanism for problem solving within NASA.
    • Develop a “system of innovation” that will determine the best application of existing and new tools to solving NASA problems. This system could be captured in contracts, processes, or policy in the future.

Actual Energy Savings Examples at Arizona Schools

12 Oct

Here are some actual examples of savings at Arizona schools brought about through utility reduction.  They were part of a project approved by Jim Migliorino, Associate Superintendent of Business Services at the Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD).  The team conducting the utility study and reduction was Tim O’Brien and John Brunelle at the Valley Schools Insurance Trust (VSIT).

Deer Valley USD September 4, 2012
17624 N 31st Ave
Sunrise Elementary
Existing Proposed
Energy Consumption (kWh): 416151 163100
Demand Consumption (kW): 127.17 65.23
Utility Rate ($/kWh): 0.10 0.10
System electric cost: $41,615.08 $16,310.00
Maintenance cost/yr.: $58.60 $6.98
* Maint. Savings is not included in ROI.(for information only)
Kilowatt hours Saved (kWh) 253,051
Kilowatts Saved (kW) 61.9
Project Total: $95,921.06
Estimated Taxes (6.045%): $5,798.43
Electric (Saved): $25,305.09
Demand (Saved): $5,737.77
Estimated APS Rebate $34,837.14
Estimated Energize Phoenix Rebate $0.00
Total First Year (Savings): $65,880.00
Simple Payback (Years): 2.2
Return on Investment: 65%
Investment: $66,882.35

Independently Verified by:

Lisa Ann Rosenstock

Project Manager
602-437-2700 x111
Cell: 480-255-4477
Fax: 480-962-4008
After Hours Emergency: 602-578-3651


Hillcrest Middle School September 4, 2012
22833 N 71 Ave , Glendale
Existing Proposed
Energy Consumption (kWh): 508168 196890
Demand Consumption (kW): 183.32 89.10
Utility Rate ($/kWh): $0.09 $0.09
System electric cost: $45,735.13 $17,720.07
Maintenance cost/yr.: $1,401.67 $134.02
Kilowatt hours Saved (kWh) 311,278
Kilowatts Saved (kW) 94.2
Investment: $125,081.13
Electric (Saved): $28,015.06
Demand (Saved): $8,728.40
APS Rebate $47,561.98
Total First Year (Savings): $84,305.44
Simple Payback (Years): 2.1
Return on Investment: 67%

Independently verified by”

Lisa Ann Rosenstock

Project Manager
602-437-2700 x111
Cell: 480-255-4477
Fax: 480-962-4008
After Hours Emergency: 602-578-3651

Congratulations for saving money on utilities, actually proving those savings, and preserving funds for our kids in the classroom!

Deer Valley Wins Arizona Quality Alliance Showcase in Excellence Award for 2011

5 Oct

The Deer Valley Unified School District through a partnership with the Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG) have been awarded the Arizona Quality Alliance Showcase in Excellence Award for 2011.  This recognition is well earned for their outstanding projects in utility redesign and management.  Jim Migliorino, Associate Superintendent for Fiscal Services at the Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) spearheaded this project and brought in support from VSMG.  The multi-year project has been amazingly successful.







Jim Migliorino, Associate Superintendent DVUSD

In addition, Tim O’Brien CEM, CEA, Director of Utility Management Programs for Valley Schools and John Brunelle of Valley Schools have presented this information in conjunction with the Malcolm Baldridge Foundation for consideration for that national award, appearing on the programs for the Regional Baldridge Conferences.  You can see the information on their presentation here, followed by the conference detail for the upcoming October 11, 2012 presentation at the next link.

The project was started to earn Energy Star ratings for all DVUSD schools and facilities, starting as a pilot program and extending from there into solar installations and credits as well.  Here is an example of the utility complexity at a high school:


The results of this multi-year project are clear.  Here are the savings in percentages each year.  Total savings to DVUSD already exceed $1 million.

•2008 to 2009 → reduction of kWh of 7.9%
•2009 to 2010 → reduction of kWh of 7.6%
•2010 to 2011 → reduction of kWh of 10.92%
•2011 to 2012 → reduction of kWh of 7.52%
•Largest recipient of utility company energy rebates (APS Solutions for Business)
•6+ megawattage of solar installations
DVUSD is to be congratulated on their outstanding work.  If you want to see more details, please click on the above links and attend the October 11, 2012 conference.

Deer Valley High School Solar Panels




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