Omnitrans Names Art Torres Director of Procurement

Omnitrans Names Art Torres Director of Procurement

San Bernardino

Omnitrans has appointed Art Torres to serve as the agency’s new Director of Procurement.   With more than twenty years’ procurement management experience, Torres was most recently employed as a Senior Manager in Contracts Administration at the Los Angeles Country Metropolitan Transit, Metro where he gained experience working within Federal Transit Administration guidelines.  Commenting on Torres’ appointment Omnitrans CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham stated, “Omnitrans will benefit from Art’s vast experience in the government sector including his work on purchased transportation and construction contracts.”  At Omnitrans, Torres will lead a department of 20 employees.  The Procurement Department oversees the purchase of all goods and services for the Agency including preparation of bid documents, proposal evaluation, price negotiation, contract award, and contractor compliance. The department also maintains and manages an extensive parts warehouse to support maintenance of the agency’s fleet of 178 buses. “In this profession, we are called upon to ensure that public funds are spent properly.  It is a balancing act between getting the task done and doing it within the process,” said Torres. “As procurement professionals we are focused on the process, but we can’t lose sight that we are an internal service group supporting the rest of the organization to ensure we collectively achieve desired results.” In response to his appointment and in consideration of the underutilization of Black contractors by the agency Torres was asked about his plans to more fully engage the Black community to compete for more opportunities.   “Federal Transit Administration regulations do not allow us to provide any special considerations or favoritism to any particular businesses such as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), but we are required to do outreach to ensure that DBEs, etc. are informed about business opportunities at Omnitrans,” he shared.    According to Torres this is done through outreach such as advertising in minority-focused publications and participation in DBE workshops, etc.  “A good first step that local businesses can do proactively is to register on our online bidding system omnitrans.org/business-employment/become-a-vendor/ to receive notifications of bid opportunities.” When pressed further on the issue he stated, “I look forward to expanding opportunities for small businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises to do business with Omnitrans.” He continued, “In prior positions, I found that visiting and engaging with local chambers of commerce, minority chambers and small business associations proved fruitful in bringing more local vendors to the table.” 

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