Roon’s impact has been felt globally
In addition to serving as purchasing director for the State of Colorado and for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Roon is a past president of the Southeast Florida Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) and of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO).
Along with his many years of experience, he holds the designation of certified public purchasing officer (CPPO) and a doctorate in education from the University of Northern Colorado. Roon served as an assistant professor for Metropolitan State College and as a master instructor for the NIGP.
In 1987, Roon received the NIGP’s Distinguished Service Award, and in 2004 he received the Albert H. Hall Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the organization.
Roon served his country as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, retiring in 1986 after a distinguished career that included tours of duty at the Naval War College and in the Republic of South Korea. Along with receiving the Distinguished Service Award and the Albert H. Hall Award from the NIGP, Roon said that being selected to wear the four gold stripes of a U.S. Navy captain is the professional accomplishment of which he is proudest.
A global impact
In 1998, Roon traveled to Bucharest, Romania, where he worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop procurement rules for the Romanian government. Roon trained 30 Romanian administrators from local- and federal-government agencies.
The training material Roon provided was translated into Romanian. Roon recalls listening proudly to his class being taught in Romanian, even though he did not understand a single word.
Roon’s commitment to public service truly has been felt around the globe.
Roon’s philosophy regarding procurement is simple: Consider all alternatives, then choose the best option and move forward. Like many public-sector procurement professionals, Roon strongly believes that being responsible for spending someone else’s money is a sacred trust.
“If I had been as careful with my own funds as I was with the public’s money, I would be better off today,” Roon says.
Roon hasn’t let his devotion to his profession get in the way of his relationships with his family and friends, as he recognizes that “we only pass this way once.”
He urges his colleagues to take the same approach to both their personal and professional lives.
“Treat everyone as if it is the last time you will see them,” Roon says. “One day you will be right.”
Roon made time to volunteer
Roon worked diligently for his employers over the years, but he always made time to reach out to his colleagues and lend a hand. He spent countless hours in volunteer positions for various organizations, which was his way of giving back to a profession that had treated him so well.
“When you love what you are doing, there is always time to be found,” Roon says.
Roon also knows when to take it easy, exemplified by his choice of office furnishing during the end of his tenure at the City of Fort Lauderdale. According to longtime colleague and friend Dick Cummings: “He is the only purchasing director I’ve ever known who had a recliner in his office.”
A man of character
Few can match Roon’s professional accomplishments. However, it’s his character that truly sets him apart.
“He is a man of integrity, humor, hard work and play, and one of the greatest leaders I have had the privilege to know,” Cummings says. Cummings and Roon served together on the NASPO Board of Directors, often rooming together at meetings when travel funds were tight.
When looking at our purchasing role models, I think we should look past the plaques on the wall. In the words of another distinguished doctor—Martin Luther King Jr.—when judging somebody, we really should consider the “content of their character.”
It’s a test that Bud Roon passes with flying colors.
About the author
Darin Matthews is the immediate past president of the NIGP and serves as the chief procurement officer for Metro, the regional government of Portland, Ore.Reach him at [email protected]