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Phil Caldarella, Business Services Coordinator, Fort Osage R-1 School District, Independence, Missouri

Featured Member for October 2019

Phil Caldarella started working for Fort Osage R-1 School District in May of 1994 as an accounts payable clerk and relief switchboard operator at their central office. A year later, he became a business services representative for the district continuing to handle accounts payable duties along with some accounts receivable duties including the data entry of cafeteria and student activity deposit receipts, and handling student accident insurance. Around 2010, Phil’s job title changed to business services coordinator which he still holds today and encompasses the same responsibilities that he had been doing with the exception that he added the role of P-Card Administrator in May of 2012 when they implemented the P-Card program. Phil has been a proud member of the NAPCP since June 2012. Phil attended his first NAPCP Annual Conference in 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has been attending ever since. Additionally, Phil has served as a panelist on several NAPCP webinars and attended an NAPCP Regional Forum in Kansas City. Besides the NAPCP, he is also a proud member of NIGP (The Institute for Public Procurement), MACPP (Mid America Council of Public Procurement) and MoASBO (Missouri Association of School Business Officials).

Fort Osage R-1 School District implemented their P-Card Program back in 2012 using the state’s cooperative contract and they have been with the same provider since. After three years on the state contract, they negotiated a new rebate scale on their own as a district with their provider. The district started their P-Card program with about 30 cards and today have around 310 traditional P-Cards. In 2016, they also implemented an ePayables program with their current provider. The benefit to the district by using the same provider for ePayables was that the spend on their traditional P-Cards would combine with our ePayables spend, driving up their annual rebate amount. They started with about 45-50 ePayables vendors and currently have 160 active ePayables vendors! 

What are you passionate about with your job?

Being able to provide our staff with a payment tool that makes the purchasing or procurement process easier for them and has allowed them to become better shoppers while helping them to stretch their budgets further.  

What are you most proud of about your job?

In a time where we have seen our share of budget cuts as many others have, we have been able to provide our district with a source of income they would not have had.

Phil's current challenge:

Being able to get our electricity vendor as well other big utility or food service vendors to accept P-Cards/ePayables. The fees, whether it be the transaction charges or surcharges, seem to continually be an issue for vendor acceptance.  

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Spending time with family and friends. Helping coach my summer baseball team for 28 years. Volunteering for various groups and foundations within my community including the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, the Independence, MO Police Department (VIPS-Volunteers in Police Service), the Big 12 Sports Conference, the Kansas City Sports Commission, the Pujols Family Foundation and Strike Out Slavery.

Fun fact: 

I have been an MSHSAA (Missouri State High School Activities Association) certified official in the sports of baseball and basketball for over 25 years.   

What is the most significant difference between when you started your career and now?

Professional development has immensely improved from when I first started and has allowed me to grow more professionally in my position. My district allows for us to take advantage of professional development and networking opportunities whenever we can, and the NAPCP provides some of the best along with the other professional organizations I belong to. This has allowed me to keep up with emerging trends and best practices as it relates to my job in the P-Card/ePayables world. 

Program details: 

P-Card program established in 2012 and ePayables program established in 2016

This information below reflects the last 12 months:

Number of P-Cards/ePayables: 470
Card Products: Purchasing Card and ePayables
Spend on P-Card: $3,020,000.00
Number of P-Card Transactions: 9,800
Spend on ePayables: $678,459.00
Number of ePayables transactions: 204

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