In early 2020, the Collier County Sheriff ’s Office’s Procurement Bureau led by Manager Brandy Hazel started buying supplies for the agency to get ready for COVID-19.
It wasn’t an easy task. Supplies like toilet paper and hand sanitizer were low due to high demand, and raw materials like the kind used to make the canisters for disinfectant wipes were scarce.
“It was nail-biting at times,” Manager Hazel recalled.
She and her team worked around the clock finding creative solutions to problems while continuing to perform their daily tasks making all purchases for the agency and managing contracts and
They partnered with local vendors and tapped into their professional affiliations to buy items like a 270-gallon container of hand sanitizer from a jet fuel company which they then spent hours pumping into hundreds of smaller bottles and distributing to all areas of the agency. They
teamed up with local seamstresses to purchase fabric to sew masks for the entire agency. With Plexiglas a hot commodity, they purchased raw materials to construct face shields for deputies. They vetted every new vendor to ensure the agency didn’t fall subject to scams. They educated themselves about cleaning supplies to ensure items purchased were in compliance with EPA standards for COVID-19 effectiveness.
This was all happening while the bureau was finishing up orders for the fiscal year, one of its busiest times, and underscores Manager Hazel’s above-and-beyond style of leadership. “I had to negotiate quite a bit to keep us well stocked for whatever may come our way,” Manager Hazel said. “Agency members did not ever go without any necessary items. The absolute most critical piece of this whole process was that we worked flawlessly as a team. I couldn’t have done this without my
The National Cooperative Procurement Partners recently honored Hazel with its ABOVE & BEYOND Award for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly created award
recognizes the achievements of high-performing individuals in the procurement profession.
CCSO Central Services Director Sean Williams called her an invaluable member of the agency in his letter nominating her for the award. “Manager Hazel not only leads the charge with her
procurement role for the agency, she also manages a large portion of the logistics efforts as the sourcing manager during major events such as hurricanes, wildfires, and most recently
COVID-19,” he said.
During the agency’s COVID-19 response Manager Hazel worked tirelessly to ensure the agency was well stocked with personal protective equipment, sanitizers, and other cleaning products for the agency. She also contracted for cleaning services for our larger facilities.”
She and her one buyer have also taken over the procurement processes for a mobile command vehicle, Bomb Squad vehicle, a helicopter, as well as numerous outboard engines for the agency’s
“Manager Hazel is efficient with her time, creative with her approach to sourcing, and focused on preserving the agency’s contract standards,” Director Williams said. Hazel said she almost deleted the email notifying her of the award, thinking it might be a COVID-19 related scam.
“I almost got teary-eyed because it was nice to be recognized because we did work very hard during that time,” she said. “We work hard every day but this was especially more work than we had ever had put on us before. There was more stress and a lot more at stake.”