Get to know Cyndi Toler, purchasing officer

By Madeline Otten

When Cyndi Toler and her husband, Kenny, moved from Northern Virginia for a job transfer three and a half years ago, she applied for the role of purchasing officer and was hired almost as soon as she moved to Fluvanna County.

The purchasing department makes sure that county government – and the taxpayers that fund it – receives the best prices and highest quality for goods and services. To accomplish this, Toler uses a competitive procurement process.

“I very much feel I am in a support role,” she said. “I work with nearly every department associated with Fluvanna County making sure state procurement laws are followed and that taxpayer money is spent responsibly.”

Toler is responsible for the county’s buying. Her signature binds the county to contracts and purchases. Some of those purchases and contracts need to be approved first by a Board of Supervisors vote.

When the county wants to solicit bids for large projects or purchases, Toler is responsible for administering those solicitations. She manages the processes of interviewing the candidates who put themselves forward, negotiating contracts, and awarding those contracts to the winning bidders.

Toler also handles all the surplus property the county needs to trade, sell, dispose of or donate. She manages insurance coverage for county vehicles and handles risk management. Her efforts protect the county’s money and assets.

Toler used to work for Fairfax County government in the fiscal office of the health department. She also worked for Quest Diagnostics in materials management. For both positions she worked closely with vendors and contracted for equipment and supplies. Both of these roles helped Toler learn how to make sure purchases brought the greatest value for the organizations.

Telling someone they can’t buy something right away is one of the downsides of Toler’s job. State procurement laws “are put in place to encourage competition and be sure that taxpayer money is spent responsibly and for the best value,” said Toler. “That takes more time than picking a name from a phone book, so buying something you think should be quick and easy usually isn’t.”

Toler is proud of what she does and enjoys everything that comes along with her job, especially when a project is complete.

“It is rewarding to know the projects I work on will have a lasting effect on the future of this county,” said Toler. “I can tell my kids that I had some small part in making our community better. It makes me feel good.”

Toler also works closely with the assistant county attorney on contracts. Since she works with departments whenever they need to buy something, she is constantly learning about processes and needs in public works, water supply, fire and rescue, parks and recreation, and more.

Toler has been married to her husband, Kenny, for over 20 years and they have two kids: Dylan, who is attending Piedmont Virginia Community College, and Asia, who will be graduating from Fluvanna County High School in May. Toler enjoys spending her weekends with her family and four dogs.

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