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Christine Wertz, CPCP – Featured Member for November 2018

Purchasing Card Coordinator, Harford County Public Schools

The P-Card story began for Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) in the summer of 2000 when the CFO informed Christine Wertz that HCPS would begin utilizing a P-Card program and she would manage it. Although it was a brand-new concept for the district, and a little frightening for Christine to consider a project of this scope, the program was implemented successfully in about six months. 

Over the years, the P-Card program has evolved in many ways and Christine has been managing each step. When the program began, the district was not only concerned about providing cards to employees to make purchasing easier, but also ensuring that the process was the most cost-effective way to make purchases. Furthermore, transparency of purchases was vital and available with P-Card purchases. Read more about Christine in the interview below:

1. What are you passionate about with your job? Outside of work?

There isn’t one specific element in the job that I am passionate about but rather a combination of the many roles I get to play each day. The job provides a lot of variety and the opportunity to work with so many different individuals. In any given day, I am the program manager, analyst, auditor, budget/finance resource, customer service representative, trainer, and hopefully, friend to all stakeholders.  

It is exciting to work in the P-Card arena as the jobs are in a unique, niche industry. Although P-Card programs have been around for a while, it is still a distinct career path. This path provides opportunities to constantly learn new things and grow professionally. 

2. What are you most proud of about your job? 

I am most proud of the fact that the program has been successful for HCPS for so many years. Audits of the program occur at the federal, state, legislative and internal level on a constant basis, and the program remains solid and retains its integrity. 

I am also proud to be a member of NAPCP’s K-12/Government Advisory Team. I have participated in the Process-Cost Analysis in 2012 and 2015 and have presented at the national conference as an individual and as part of the Advisory Team’s presentations. I have learned so much from being a member of this group, and this knowledge has translated into benefits for my program with HCPS.

3. Christine's current challenge:

HCPS is in the process of changing providers. This is the third provider in the history of the program. The biggest challenge is simultaneously managing two separate card products, all while accomplishing “business as usual.” However, even with the challenges faced in switching providers, it is invigorating to accomplish and implement something new and different!

4. What are you passionate about outside of work?

Outside of work, I am passionate about the great outdoors. I love nature and feel energized when I am pursuing any outdoor activity. In the winter, I am an avid skier and have been fortunate to ski in 12 states and British Columbia. In the warmer months, I cycle, hike and kayak.    

5. Fun fact: 

I am the youngest of 14 children. Oh, the funny stories I could tell about being raised in such a large family…😊

Program details: 

  • Number of cards: ~550 
  • Annual spend: >$13 million
  • Annual number of transactions: 39,000
  • Year program was established: 2000

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