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Curt Topper was appointed Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on May 12, 2015.
As Secretary of General Services, Topper oversees Pennsylvania’s state government operating agency responsible for the procurement of goods and services, the management of non-highway capital projects, the management of the Commonwealth's real estate portfolio, increasing and advancing contracting opportunities for small and small diverse businesses and the maintenance and protection of state-owned buildings and facilities.
Under his leadership as DGS Secretary, the department has:
Adopted a new mission “to help government operate more efficiently, effectively, and safely; delivering exceptional value for all Pennsylvanians.”
Taken the lead in training and applying lean thinking, principles, behaviors and tools to the department’s business areas to help them add more customer value to key product and service offerings by removing waste and identifying and resolving root causes of ongoing problems;
Lowered the costs for goods and services purchased by state agencies saving approximately $143 million from 2015 -2017 by leveraging procurement technologies and strategies such as reverse auctions and contract renewal discounts;
Optimized the commonwealth’s mail presort process by bringing it in-house and leveraging technical and physical resources, saving the commonwealth more than $2 million since 2015;
Spearheaded the commonwealth’s diversity, inclusion and small business opportunities efforts, including commissioning the commonwealth’s first-ever statewide disparity study on state government contracting; and
Received national and statewide recognition for its efforts to modernize the commonwealth’s construction management process by going to a totally electronic environment, streamlining processes and cutting bureaucratic red-tape by empowering employees to make decisions. The effort earned national honors in e-Builder’s 2017 “Innovators in Construction Award” for the public sector and statewide honors by receiving the highly competitive Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency, or GO-TIME, Award.
Prior to his appointment to Secretary of DGS, Topper served at Georgetown University, where he renegotiated service and supply arrangements and introduced the business process and system improvements to reduce the University’s operating costs by more than $1 million.
Topper also served as deputy secretary of procurement for the Commonwealth from 2005 to 2008, where he led the department’s new shared services centers for procurement, warehousing, and print production. In this role, he was instrumental in modernizing and streamlining operations and played a key role in the implementation of new procurement activities. Topper also negotiated key contracts and reduced costs for the commonwealth by more than $200 million annually.
Kenneth Hess serves as the Deputy Secretary for Procurement, in this position, he oversees the goods and services procurement, supplies and surplus and the management of the commonwealth’s vehicle fleet.
He previously served with the Department of General Services the Commonwealth from 2004 to 2011 as the Director of the Bureau of Supplies and Surplus Operations. Most recently, he held supply chain leadership positions with TE Connectivity and Patton Electronics. He has more than 25 years of experience with PA firms in Logistics, Purchasing, Fleet, and Operations roles.
Hess holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from Bucknell University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bloomsburg University of PA and an Associate in Applied Science degree from Penn College of Technology.
Shawn Smith serves as Deputy Secretary for Administration. In these capacities, he oversees human resources, budget and insurance management, information technology, print and media services, and real estate transactions for the commonwealth.
Smith has more than 21 years of legal experience with 17 of those years with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Having most recently served as the Deputy Chief Counsel, Governor's Office of General Counsel, Department of General Services since 2016, and also as the department's Policy Director since 2020.
Smith has served as both Executive General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel in the Governor's Office of General Counsel, where he oversaw all areas of contracting, grants, procurement and regulations for the 36 executive agencies under the Governor's jurisdiction and the 500 attorneys of the Office of General Counsel. In addition, he served as the Assistant Counsel/Prosecuting Attorney for the Governor's Office of General Counsel, Department of State.
Smith holds Bachelor of Art degrees in History and Legal Studies with a minor in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his Juris Doctorate from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University.
Liz O'Reilly serves as the Deputy Secretary for Public Works. In this position, she oversees and manages state government public construction projects through the bureaus of Professional Selections & Administrative Services, Engineering & Architecture and Construction.
Prior to her appointment to the deputy position, she served in the department’s Office of Chief Counsel, where she provided legal advice to the Public Works Deputate on all aspects of construction law, encompassing design, bidding, and construction issues. Her experience also includes construction litigation, including bid protests; claim hearings; litigation before the Pennsylvania Board of Claims; bankruptcy litigation in Federal Court; eminent domain proceedings; and construction dispute resolution.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the Pennsylvania State University and a law degree from Wake Forest University.
Mr. Kirkland serves as the senior public official to represent and advise Governor Tom Wolf's Administration and the Department on all matters related to the development of statewide policies and programs to substantially increase the participation of small diverse businesses (SDBs) and small businesses (SBs) in Commonwealth contracting and in Pennsylvania's overall economy.
Under his leadership, the Department of General Services (DGS) commissioned the first Commonwealth Disparity Study, purchased a state-of the art contract compliance data collection and tracking system, and implemented the Commonwealth's Small and Small Diverse Business development program.
He formally served as Associate Deputy Administrator and Regional Administrator, US Small Business Administration; Vice President, US Black Chamber of Commerce; and Executive Director, Pennsylvania Democratic Party. Mr. Kirkland is the Co-Founder of the American Contract Compliance Association, the largest membership-based contract compliance training organization in the world. He is the founder of the African American Political and Leadership Roundtable.
Mr. Kirkland served with a four-member delegation from the United States to South Africa. While there, he facilitated equity management training and provided technical advice to members of President Nelson Mandela's leadership team.
Mr. Kirkland is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards including: the W.E.B. Dubois Award for Excellence, the Parren J. Mitchell Award for Outstanding Minority Business Development Service, the Arthur A. Fletcher Vanguard Award, and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Civil Rights Award.
He holds a Master's Degree in Human Services (MHS) from Lincoln University. Mr. Kirkland is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and is an Honorably Discharged United States Air Force (Viet Nam) Veteran.
Robert Carr serves as the Deputy Secretary for Public Works. In this position, he leads a team of approximately 100 employees who oversee the management of state government, non-highway capital construction projects through the bureaus of Capital Project Planning and Procurement, Design Management, Capital Project Construction, and Workplace Operations. Leveraging his expertise in managing change, Carr intends to continue efforts to align the deputate's people, systems, processes, structures and leadership in a way that results in measurable improvements. His goal is to use lean thinking and data to create a learning organization that delivers innovative projects to client agencies in a professional, transparent, and efficient manner.
Prior to his appointment to the deputy position, Carr served as the Director of the department's Business Transformation Office from 2016 - 2021 where he spearheaded the department's efforts to adopt lean principles. The work involved driving a fundamental change in how the agency thinks, strategizes, operates and behaves in order to deliver higher levels of employee satisfaction and greater value to customer agencies. Before entering commonwealth employment, he worked for seven years as a Senior Manager of Service Delivery with Momentum, Inc., an IT and management consulting firm in Camp Hill, PA. Carr possesses nearly 30 years of experience in helping organizations understand and transform complex systems in order to improve performance.
Carr holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Penn State and a Master of Science in Management: Change Management and Human Resources from the University of Central Florida.
Jason Snyder serves as the Acting Deputy Secretary for Property and Asset Management. In this position, he oversees property administration, police & safety, facilities & maintenance management, energy &resource management, and energy sustainability initiatives for the commonwealth.
With more than 17 years of state government service, all with DGS, Snyder most recently worked as the director of the Bureau of Facilities Management where he oversaw the area of the agency responsible for maintenance projects; custodial, grounds and the various trade operations in the Capitol Complex, state office buildings in Reading and Scranton, and the Executive residence. Snyder has held a number of positions throughout his career since he stared in the Carpenter Shop.
Charles E. “Chuck” Anderson serves as the Chief Counsel for the Department of General Services. In this position, he provides advice, counsel and expertise on complex and sensitive department legal matters to senior executive officials and the Office of General Counsel. He oversees a staff of attorneys and support staff who cover the department’s legal needs in procurement, real estate, non-highway construction projects, Capitol Police, facilities & maintenance and litigation for the department. In addition, the office covers government operations and human resources issues.
Since July 2004, Chuck served as the Assistant Chief Counsel for Purchasing in DGS, overseeing a unit of four lawyers that provide the day-to-day legal support for the department’s procurement operations. He previously served as a Deputy General Counsel in OGC in 2000 to 2003. From 2003 to 2004, Chuck was assigned to the Contract & Legal Services Section of the General Law Division at PennDOT. He was Assistant Counsel to the Department of Public Welfare from 1993 to 2000, and Assistant Counsel to the Department of General Services from 1988 to 1993.
Chuck is also a member of the Contractor Responsibility Program (CRP) Oversight Committee.
He received his bachelor of arts in criminology from the University of Maryland and his Juris doctor from The Dickinson School of Law.
Claire Osborne serves as the department's Director of Business Transformation. In this role, Osborne leads the agency's efforts to apply the Healthy Government Framework, change management principles, and lean thinking and tools to its daily operations. A key function of this office is conducting the annual survey, organizing and interpreting the responses and analyze that information to gauge the performance of the agency and develop strategic focus areas to be addressed.
Prior to becoming the Director of Business Transformation, Osborne served as the chief of the DGS Bureau of Publications, Administration and Customer Service Division from 2018 to 2021, where she oversaw the Bureau's fiscal activity including budgeting, forecasting and reporting as well as the Administrative activity including procurement, customer service and marketing to ensure the health of the Bureau enabling them to deliver quality print, mail and design while serving as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. Osborne also served in the COSTARS program as a program manager and marketing manager. Her career began with the commonwealth with the PA Department of Revenue where she was a Lottery Drawing Official/Clerk Typist 3.
Osborne studied at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA and is a graduate of the PA Office of Administration's Leadership Development Institute in 2019 and emerging Leader Program in 2016.
Sarah Hammaker serves as the Legislative Liaison for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. In this position, she advises the Secretary on legislative activities and serves as the department's legislative point of contact with the Governor's Office and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Prior to her appointment, Hammaker served as the Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for the Pennsylvania Department of State from 2018 to 2019, where she was responsible for managing constituent work and monitoring legislation relevant to the department's initiatives and activities. She also worked with Pennsylvania Legislative Services as a Legislative Data Specialist from 2017-2018 where she reported on legislative activities and issues being addresses by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Political Affairs with a minor in Spanish from Millersville University in Lancaster. PA.
Troy Thompson serves as the Press Secretary. In this position, he delivers information related to leases and land transactions, statewide contracts and bid procurements, the vehicle fleet, public works projects, matters involving all state-owned buildings and facilities, energy conservation and management initiatives, and matters involving the Pennsylvania State Capitol Police, among others.
Troy has worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the past 19 years and served in various press office roles at the departments of Health, Aging and Labor & Industry. Prior to joining DGS, he was Press Secretary at the Department of Labor & Industry.
Troy is a graduate of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Mass Communications. He also received his MBA from the Pennsylvania State University Capitol Campus.