The Texas Southmost College Purchasing and Contract Services department recently received an Award of Merit for Purchasing Operations from the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO). From left: Raul Garza, Nilda Mora, Patricia Saldivar, Martha Casanova, Josue Muñiz 

Over the last two years, Purchasing and Contract Services, a department that works hard behind the scenes on campus stepped into the spotlight, earning state and national recognition for its attention to detail and transparency in serving the Texas Southmost College community.  

The work has paid off two-fold as the department met the criteria to be awarded twice in the span of five months. 

The department received an Award of Merit for Purchasing Operations from the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) in March. 

More recently, they learned that the National Procurement Institute (NPI) is recognizing TSC, for the first time, with the 2022 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award (AEP) ® as decided by NPI’s evaluation committee.  

“Our Purchasing and Contract Services Department has been an exemplary part of TSC’s day-to-day operations for some time now and we are proud that they have been collecting accolades for their commitment to consistency and transparency. This level of professionalism gives businesses and vendors working with TSC the utmost confidence they are doing business with the best,” TSC Board Chair Adela G. Garza said. “It is not easy to earn such a high distinction on the national level, but our team stepped up to meet many of the criteria as outlined by the National Procurement Institute.” 

“This honor bestowed upon our Purchasing and Contract Services department exemplifies Texas Southmost College’s commitment to excellence in every sector including the purchasing of equipment and fulfilling contracts,” TSC President Jesús Roberto Rodríguez said. “This award is eligible to all public institutions from school boards to municipalities and higher education institutions. This honor affirms commitment to a higher standard of transparency in purchasing.”   

The AEP Award is earned by public and non-profit agencies that prove a commitment to procurement excellence. This annual program recognizes procurement organizations that embrace Innovation, Professionalism, Productivity, Leadership, and e-Procurement. 

Dr. Gisela Figueroa Vice President for Finance and Administration was proud of the work paying off.  

“I am very proud of the team and all the work they’ve done,” Dr. Figueroa said. “It’s been amazing to see. It’s not that they weren’t doing a lot of these things before but now they are consciously making decisions and adding those things as extra to our vendors. Whether it’s publishing and posting to the website, putting more information our or extra training.”  

The AEP program encourages the development of excellence as well as continued organizational improvement to earn the award annually. For 2022, there were 171 successful applicants including 73 cities, 36 counties, 15 special districts, 17 school districts, 14 higher education agencies, 5 state or provincial agencies and 11 others. 

For Director of Purchasing, Patricia Salvidar, and her team, this is an award that is more than two years in the making. 

“The work started during the onset of the Pandemic, when we were working virtually,” Saldivar, MBA said. “It was a project we undertook in an effort to assess existing parameters and elevate our operations overall in order to better serve the college community. The application encourages departments to take a deep look at its operations and transparency.”
The Purchasing and Contract Services staff are the team that makes sure students, faculty and staff are well-equipped to learn and work. Saldivar explained some of the day-to-day tasks that keep her team busy. 

“We ensure that all purchasing and contract management activities comply with TSC Board policies and procedures as well as with the Texas Education Code and other applicable laws.  The purchasing activities include the distribution of purchase orders, issuance of requests for proposals, management of contracts, travel, and credit card program,” Saldivar said. “While we were working remotely, we were submitting applications to both the National Procurement Institute (NPI) Inc. and the Texas Association of School Business Officials.” 

Saldivar mentioned the continuous support from TSC’s Board of Trustees and upper administration.  

“This effort would have not been possible without the ongoing support of the TSC Board of Trustees who along with the college administration share the commitment to always strive for excellence and transparency to the community.” 

She also credited her entire team for working hard to meet the criteria outlined by the NPI.  

“This was definitely a team effort,” Saldivar said. “The work was pieced together according to each member’s strengths.   When it comes to contracts, we have someone who takes the lead to ensure that we get the proper training and certification.” 

The Purchasing and Contract Services staff consists of:  

Patricia SaldivarDirector of Purchasing 

Martha CasanovaCoordinator of Records and Contract Management  

Nilda MoraPurchasing Specialist 

Raul GarzaPurchasing Specialist 

Josue MunizSenior Accounting Clerk  

Vendors and contractors will have an opportunity to learn how to do business with Texas Southmost College on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022 from 2-3:30 p.m. in-person (Set-B Lecture Hall) or via zoom (  

You can reach director Patricia Salvidar at 956.295.3426, e-mail [email protected] or visit the webpage at Purchasing And Contract Services – TSC