Wendel begins work this week as Sarasota County’s new procurement official, filling vacant position

She helped lead Manatee County to national recognition for public procurement practices

Melissa Wendel. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Melissa Wendel has been hired as Sarasota County’s new procurement official, the county has announced.

“Wendel has more than 20 years of experience in procurement, including the past eight years with Manatee County Government, where she has served as purchasing official since 2011,” a county news release says. “She helped lead Manatee County to its first national recognition of excellence in public procurement,” with that county earning the National Procurement Institute’s (NPI) Achievement of Excellence award four times in a row, the release adds. “Manatee also earned the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials’ excellence award for the first time in its history under Wendel’s leadership,” the release points out.

In her Sarasota County position, Wendel will lead a division that has also been recognized with the NPI’s excellence award for the past three years, the release notes. “The accreditation reflects sweeping changes and improvements not only to procurement and the way the county conducts its business, but also to the key areas of contracting, transparency and ethics,” the release adds.

“We’re very proud of the strides Sarasota County has made in recent years in the area of procurement, and we are continually seeking to improve,” said Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer in the release. “Melissa’s extensive background in government purchasing in the state of Florida, her understanding of the industry and her commitment to excellent customer service will allow us to continue to evolve as an innovative organization.”

Wendel’s first day with the county was Aug. 7.

A certified public procurement officer, Wendell earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of South Florida, the release notes. She previously held positions in procurement with Charlotte County, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services in Clearwater, the release points out.

She replaces Ted Coyman, who left Sarasota County last year to take a position as director of procurement services with Collier County.

“I can’t wait to get to work and help further the procurement team’s mission of transparency, fiscal responsibility and providing excellent service,” Wendel said in the release.

Wendel resides in Lakewood Ranch with her husband, Robert, and their two daughters, Alex, 16, and Maddie, 9, the release adds.