Candidate for Director
Rick Gay, CPPO, RSBO
Baltimore County Public Schools
Rick Gay has 32 years of experience, in increasingly responsible management positions, in public education, military, state government, academia, and corporate business. He joined Baltimore County Public Schools in 2001 as the purchasing manager, responsible for the issuance of solicitations and contracts for all commodities, construction, renovations, equipment, furnishings, instructional materials, and services in compliance with the federal and state laws and board of education policies, for a $400 million MRO budget. He is a Certified Public Purchasing Officer and a Maryland & DC RSBO. He also earned his CTSBO from TASBO in 2000.
Since 2005, he has achieved the yearly NPI award, Achievement of Excellence in Procurement. In 2010, his office earned its ISO 9001:2008 certificate and NIGP accreditation. He earned his BA from Stephen F. Austin in 1978, his MPA from Troy University in 1991, and his MBA from the University of Houston in 1997. He served 28 years as an officer in the US Army and the Army Reserve. Rick has served as President of the MD & DC ASBO during SY 2006-07, and he now serves as Chair of the ASBOI Purchasing & Supply Management Committee. He is a published author on school business issues. He and his wife Tricia reside in Columbia, Maryland. They have three children and one grandchild all residing in Texas.
To establish ASBOI as the “Go To” organization for all things related to school business practices. This would be achieved by providing quality professional development opportunities to enhance our members’ content knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and enabling them to reach maximum potential in a global economy as responsible, life-long learners and productive school business officials. As the recognized experts in school business, our organization promotes effective and efficient school business practices that support schools, students, and community.
Given the perhaps permanent changes in the US economy with increased globalization and less funding for schools, what do you think are the most important areas that ASBO should focus professional development?
If we are to establish ASBOI as the “Go To” source for information on school business and a full partner with superintendents and curriculum developers, our professional development programs need to concentrate on building and creating visionary leaders in school business. ASBOI’ professional development programs need to become a place to share best practices, as well as institutions of higher learning dedicated to developing leaders of multi-discipline teams. Our professional development should teach our members to be strategic thinkers and planners, helping to lead the process of school business planning and management side by side with curriculum planners and superintendents. Our professional development programs should be designed around teaching our members to be mentors and coaches, capable of developing the next generation of school business officials. ASBOI must become a “learning organization” that is open and dedicated to lifelong learning, and yet flexible and nimble to change, as our educational environment changes. Only by staying up to date in a constantly changing environment can we take a seat at the leadership table. These are challenging times, nothing will remain the same, and change is inevitable, constant, and at times very quick. If we are not out in front of these changes, we may be left behind.
How can ASBO increase its collaboration globally given the interdependent world economies and the outsourcing of education and distance on- line learning that is growing in K-12 education?
ASBOI will have to change in how it delivers professional development
or it will become as irrelevant as the one room school house of
yesterday. By change, I mean we will have to look at how education is
delivered. The globalization of education will entail breaking down
barriers and opening up access to the world. If we are to remain
relevant in this new and challenging environment, we cannot afford to
remain in our comfortable vertical stovepipes. Rather we need to
break-out of our comfort zones and create horizontal paths of learning
that must be available from numerous directions. What happens in
Wisconsin, California, or New York really does matter and could impact
each individual school business official whether they perceive it today
or not. We must challenge the bureaucracy and the status quo by creating
a sense of urgency by disturbing our traditional comfort zones,
disallowing complacency and satisfaction, and encouraging
Along with new ideas and new topics, there will be new delivery methods that include the sharing of ideas and issues via new types of learning that are in real time, such as webinars, online video sessions, blog discussions, and lists serve. The ASBOI Connected is an excellent way to jump out there and ask the membership a quick question and get a quick answer. It’s ASBOI’ answer to Google. We should allow our members from Maryland to join other members in New York, Ohio, Texas, or California to discuss current issues we are all facing. We should give our members the ability to participate in lectures on subjects relevant to school business from world class practitioners in other locations and in real time. If you are a financial person you need to join the purchasing section as well as the transportation, food service, and facilities sections, and vice versa for the procurement, transportation, or facilities’ professional. By joining in and following the conversations, you can learn a lot just by reading the questions and the answers provided. In the future, the ability to effectively access, interpret, evaluate, and apply information will become even more essential as we face a constantly changing work environment that requires us to make quick and timely decisions often with very little information.
With the launch of the SFO credential in 2010, what do you think are the next logical steps/directions for ASBO to pursue in regard to fostering awareness, promotion and acceptance of the SFO credential? What are the next steps, as you see it, for integrating the professional development ASBO or its affiliates provide with the new SFO credentialing exam?
The new SFO program is a good start, but we need to take it to the
next level with a curriculum tied to a course of study allowing all
school business officials to become certified through validation of a
course of study, with a certification that has gravitas and can become
the standard for which all school business officials can aspire and
achieve. A certification that not only validates their credentials, but
establishes school business officials as a certified professional in our
There is now a new reality in our world of school business and that reality is the rapid globalization of our environment requiring an awareness of the world with a particular emphasis on the changes in communication and relationships among people and the impact of the technological revolution. This new reality requires us to re-evaluate our dependence on the traditional branches of specialist knowledge, break down the boundaries between disciplines, and encourage the emphasis on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams capable of thinking critically and coming up with creative solutions to the serious problems of today. Our professional development cannot be limited to just topics in school business. Rather than specialists in a particular area, we must have an understanding of all areas affecting schools from every corner of the global environment. We must understand changes in school curriculum and technology as much as changes in GASB if we are to be a credible partner at the table and a participant in the educational arena of ideas.
Listen to complete interview.