The history of KPN going back to 1974 demonstrates pioneering best practices for cooperative purchasing

The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) initiated its cooperative purchasing program in 1974. While many cooperatives have arrived on the scene recently, CSIU’s was a pioneer in promoting the benefits of agencies working together to streamline their purchasing more than fifty years ago.

Created as the Pennsylvania Education Joint Purchasing Council (PAEJPC), the program offered area members opportunities to save on basic supplies. In the ensuing years, the PAEJPC expanded membership to allow statewide entities throughout Pennsylvania the opportunity to utilize our contracts and take advantage of best procurement practices.

In 2000, PAEJPC became a member of the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA) and was one of the founding agencies. Through this partnership, the PAEJPC could offer members additional commodities in Pennsylvania and neighboring states.

These programs and their successes were the building blocks for the national program that we offer today, known as the Keystone Purchasing Network (KPN).

Now agencies in 48 states use KPN contracts to save time and money in procurement while using a fully legal and valid contracting procedure.

Successful purchasing cooperatives have unique needs. Mark Carollo has specialized in a niche that requires a comprehensive understanding of technology, ecommerce, specifications, bidding, contract management, and social media.  He is the Associate Director of Cooperative Purchasing for CSIU and oversees KPN's regional and national contract initiatives. He is active in the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies, which has now grown to include 29 state cooperative agencies. Mark has been with the CSIU since 1997 after receiving his degree from Bucknell University.

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