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E&I Cooperative Services Presents 11th Annual Business Partner Awards

Apr 15, 2019

Enterprise, Nikon Instruments, America To Go, and Staples honored for exceptional contributions

KANSAS CITY, MO – E&I Cooperative Services (E&I) presented its 11th annual Business Partner Awards during the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) Annual Meeting on April 9th, 2019 in Kansas City, MO. These awards are presented to business partners who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and commitment to E&I’s higher education and K-12 membership community.

Nominees were identified by a team of E&I representatives and were evaluated based on several criteria, including contract utilization, member purchases, new member acquisition, programs and level of service provided to members, and member satisfaction. The winners for this year are:

  • Partner of the Year was awarded to Enterprise for providing outstanding service and attention to members, responsiveness to member needs, and assistance in providing expertise and solutions to both members and the E&I team.
  • New Partner of the Year was awarded to Nikon Instruments for working collaboratively with E&I to foster strong business growth, delivering unrivaled customer service and quality products, and for timely responsiveness and assistance provided to members.
  • Best-in-Class Member Responsiveness was awarded to Staples for their timely responsiveness to all member inquiries, thorough follow-up services, professionalism, and reliability that extends across all levels of the organization.
  • Best-in-Class Sales Support was awarded to America To Go for consistently providing the highest level of sales support to E&I Member Relations teams, the member community, and extended E&I internal teams.

“While it is imperative that we bring our members time and cost savings, we ultimately need to deliver value beyond these important factors,” said Tom Fitzgerald, CEO of E&I. “Enterprise, Nikon Instruments, Staples, and America To Go embody this mission and have shown impeccable dedication to E&I and – most importantly – our members, striving to meet each unique need of individual member institutions. The commitment of our business partners is what helps distinguish E&I as a top-rate purchasing cooperative dedicated to serving the needs of education.

Left to Right: Michael Costigan (Portfolio Support Executive, Research & Academic Healthcare, E&I), John P. Orlando (Chief Operating Officer & Assistant Treasurer, E&I), Dan Witte (Biomedical Sales Specialist, Nikon Instruments Inc.), Gary D. Link (Chief Business Development Officer, E&I), Melody Burba (Senior Manager, US & Canada Sales, Nikon Instruments Inc.), Stephen Spinelli (Senior Vice President, Member Services & Communications, E&I), Tom Fitzgerald (Chief Executive Officer, E&I), Laura Perin (Vice President, Scientific Category, E&I), Barry Swanson (President of Board of Directors, E&I; Chief Procurement Officer, University of Kentucky)


E&I Cooperative Services (E&I) is the only member-owned, non-profit purchasing cooperative solely focused on serving education and related facilities. E&I delivers expertise, solutions, and services through a diverse portfolio of competitively solicited contracts. By leveraging the knowledge and purchasing power of its nationwide membership, E&I helps higher education and K-12 institutions reduce costs, optimize supply chain efficiencies, and save time on the RFP process. The Cooperative’s member-driven competitive solicitation process has been validated by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) as complying with generally accepted procurement standards. For more information, please visit:

For information on Nikon Instruments' contract with E&I, please visit:

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