Department Operations Updates: April 21, 2023

This post includes a summary of recent Dallas County department operations updates relevant, specifically, to members of the Dallas County Commissioners Court.

Team updates include:

Small Business Enterprise (SBE)

Director: Jesse Crawford 

Jesse Crawford
Jesse Crawford, Director of Small Business Enterprise

Our department remains committed to our core mission of creating level playing fields on which small businesses can compete fairly through our ongoing outreach and capacity building efforts.

We want to acknowledge the advocacy and support of the Commissioners Court, and their embodiment of our mission, vision, and values!

Dallas County SBE kicked off our second-year partnership with the Beck Group and City of Dallas to conduct monthly training workshops to help SBEs improve their competitiveness, grow their understanding of Dallas County’s purchasing practices, and increase their capacity-building initiatives. 

In collaboration with our partners, 20 small, minority, and woman-owned businesses were selected to participate in the 2023 Beck School of Construction Program. The following participants must complete eight of the nine technical assistance and business development training courses to be eligible for graduation:

2CL Specialties Construction LLCLions Caulking & Restoration LLC
AMEX Electric Services Dallas-Fort Worth LLCNacho’s Painting
Carillo Painting LLCNPPC Consulting LLC dba Arrow Building Solutions
Davenport and Sons Excavation LLCPriority Resources & Solutions LLC
Eko & Sons LLC dba SolidLinesSims Engineering dba C3 Consulting Engineers
Enterprise Interiors LLCTemp Pro Mechanical Inc
Hernandez Underground Contracting LLCTX Hydro Industrial Services
Jscontractors DFW LLCW. Houston Restoration
K.C. Electric Systems dba Hilliard Electric LLCWinTex Mechanical
Landscape Horticulture ServicesWood Perceptions, LLC

We also want to thank Purchasing and Public Works for their ongoing support of this initiative through their participation, expertise, and outreach support.

Our department continues to successfully leverage Dallas County’s commitment to small businesses  through our membership in and sponsorship of local minority chambers of commerce, contractors associations, and our certification agency partners – The Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Diversity Council (DFWMSDC), North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (NCTRCA), and Women’s Business Council-Southwest (WBC-SW) – which further supports our shared goals of increasing our inclusion of certified small suppliers.

SBE actively partnered, networked, and educated the small business community on best practices for seeking and winning contracts with Dallas County.

These strategic partnerships ensure that Dallas County is recognized as a great public entity in the community, with an inclusive culture that extends to our supply chain.

Our department has participated in several outreach events:

The Golden Shovel Award Banquet was held on October 27, 2022, honoring local small, minority and women-owned contractors to celebrate their outstanding accomplishments. 

A special thanks to the following for their support during the awards ceremony: Michael Frosch, Purchasing; Alberta Blair, Melody Davis, and Jack Tidwell, Public Works; Christopher Hooper, Consolidated Services; and Margo Posey, Elizabeth Ponce, Marnese Barksdale-Elder, Small Business Advocacy Council.

Dallas County team members are pictured seated around a table at the Golden Shovel Awards Banquet.
Dallas County team, left to right: Christopher Hooper, Jesse Crawford, Margo Posey, Marnese Barksdale-Elder, Jack Tidwell, Alberta Blair, Elizabeth Ponce, Michael Frosch, and Melody Davis.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council E-Awards Gala was held on November 18, 2022. 

This Black-Tie event celebrates excellence in the inclusion of minority-owned businesses and supplier development. We were thrilled to have Commissioner Garcia, Dapheny Fain and Vincent Hall from Commissioner Price’s staff, and Dr. Ronica Watkins join us at the event.

Dallas County team members are pictured standing at the Dallas-Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council E-Awards Gala.
Dallas County team at the E-Awards: Commissioner Garcia, LaSonya Allen, Dr. Ronica Watkins, Dapheny Fain, Jesse Crawford, and Vincent Hall.

The Luna Awards was held on December 9, 2022, and celebrated the outstanding performances of women, woman-owned businesses, individuals, companies, and/or entities who advocate for women in architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C).

The award ceremony featured remarks by RHCA President and CEO John Martinez, who highlighted the importance of recognizing women in the A/E/C industries. We also had the pleasure of attending this event with Kayla Benefield from Commissioner Garcia’s staff, along with the support of Melissa Kraft, Information Technology, Christopher Hooper, Consolidated Services, and Alberta Blair, Public Works.

Dallas County team members are pictured seated at a table during the Luna Awards.
Dallas County team, left to right: Kayla Benefield, Jesse Crawford, Melissa Kraft, Christopher Hooper, and Alberta Blair.

The Regional Black Contractors Association (RBCA) Year End Membership Brunch was held on December 12, 2022.

Mr. John Proctor, RBCA Chairman, invited Jesse Crawford to moderate the RBCA 2022 Panel which included Commissioner John Wiley Price and other community-driven leaders representing the City of Dallas (Tennell Atkins, City Council, District 8) and at the state level (Rep. Yvonne Davis, Texas House of Representatives). With more than 170 guests attending this year’s brunch, participants heard from this dynamic panel while networking and developing mutually beneficial relationships leading into 2023. Special thanks to Michael Frosch, Purchasing, and Christopher Hooper, Consolidated Services, for their support during this important dialogue.

The Office of Small Business Enterprise partnered with American National Bank of Texas (ANBTX) to educate 10 small businesses at a Lunch and Learn Seminar on February 28. 

The seminar shared the importance of having a strong banking relationship and provided funding and financial resources for small businesses. Those in attendance learned how to successfully seek loans, incorporate best practices, and improve their networking methods for growing their business.

A group of small business leaders.
Class participants and ANBTX personnel are pictured with Jesse Crawford and LaSonya Allen.

An informational session with Dallas County, in partnership with Metrocare, was held on March 23. This was a collaborative effort between Dallas County and Metrocare to promote current and future business opportunities with the Hillside Project.

CEO Dr. John Burruss spoke along with representatives from Metrocare who conducted presentations on project timelines and subcontracting opportunities. Jesse Crawford provided an overview of Dallas County’s SBE program and answered questions on certifications, goals, and participation. SBE plans to continue the partnership with Metrocare to host future events as we assist them with developing and expanding their current base of subcontractors.

Jesse Crawford presents to a classroom of small business leaders.
Jesse Crawford presents during the informational session with small businesses and Metrocare procurement professionals.

The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) invited Jesse Crawford to present at their 2023 Small Business Government-Industry Engagement Day on March 30.

Mr. Crawford participated in the Executive Speaking Forums on “How to Do Business” and addressed the types of goods and services Dallas County procures. Jack Tidwell and LaSonya Allen led the roundtable discussions, and approximately 10 small and minority business owners visited with Dallas County to learn about engineering services.

Jesse Crawford was appointed by Congressman Colin Allred, 32nd District of Texas, to serve on the Community Project Funding Committee. 

The work of this advisory committee was invaluable in evaluating the many regional projects submitted this year in Dallas County and our surrounding Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). In a press release on April 6, Congressman Allred announced his submission of 15 North Texas projects to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration for fiscal year 2024. This includes funding for public safety, energy, parks, and transportation and infrastructure at DFW Airport, the University of Texas at Dallas, the Dallas Police Department, the YMCA, and more. 

Representative Allred will be tracking the progress of the projects throughout the funding process and will keep the committee up to date if and when the projects reach the next stage of potential funding. 

Jesse Crawford met with Nike operations leaders to tour the Wilmer Fulfilment/Distribution Center and review their small business utilization plans and efforts.

He also collaborated with them to identify local certified suppliers and vendors and develop joint business diversity objectives to maximize their utilization of these suppliers.

The SBE team welcomed two new members: Valerie Castillo, Administrative Assistant, and Cierra Rowe, Compliance Officer. Welcome to the family!

SBE is participating in the following outreach events during Q3:

4/13/2023Arlington Black Chamber of CommerceHow to do Business with Dallas County5:00 – 8:00 p.m.Virtual
4/19/2023Women’s Business Council – SouthwestWomen of Color Business Mixer4:00 – 6:00 pmAmerican Airlines – Skyview 8
5/6/2023Regional Hispanic Contractors AssociationDay of the Construction Worker9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.Dallas College Mountain View
National Association of Minority Contractors Association DFW Chapter
How to do Business with Dallas County2:30 – 4:00 p.m.NAMC DFW Office Arlington, TX
5/24/2023Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development CouncilAccess 20239:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.Irving Convention Center


Director: Michael Frosch

Michael Frosch
Michael Frosch, Director of Purchasing

Our department remains committed to delivering timely service to its clients through strategic and competitive purchasing while working diligently to maximize purchasing power and establishing business opportunities for local, small and minority communities. 

The Purchasing Department is actively involved in the design and implementation process of the County’s new financial system which is expected to be a best-in-class financial system.

Our department continues to implement contracts to support the client departments’ operational needs. To date for FY2022-23, the Purchasing Department has submitted 79 Court agenda items in the estimated amount of $155M, releasing five requests for proposals and authorizing five separate public auctions. 

Significant contract awards approved by the Commissioners Court to date include:

  • April 4 – Five-year service price agreement for a fleet fuel card program and associated fleet fuel card management software, RFP 2022-026-6941
  • March 21 – Five-year service price agreement for unemployment cost control management services, IFB 2022-011-6926
  • March 7 – 18-month service price agreement for consulting services for the Dallas County Open Space Plan, RFP 2022-042-6957
  • March 7 – Five-year service price agreement with one five-year renewal option for kitchen concessions services for Dallas County Courts and Records Building, RFP 2022-043-6958
  • February 21 – Five-year service price agreement for management services for Dallas County parking garages, RFP 2022-036-6951
  • February 21 – Five-year service price agreement for the purchase of background screening for the Human Resources Department
  • February 7 – One-time construction agreement for the demolition and construction of a new single-family home located at 318 Adams St., Wilmer, Texas 75172, IFB 2022-052-6967

Our department continues to work in collaboration with the Office of Small Business Enterprise (SBE) to educate, promote awareness, competition, and create a more transparent public procurement process.  

Our department participated in the following events with SBE:

  • On April 4, Kim Gould represented the Purchasing Department at The Women’s Business Council Southwest Connections to Contracts round table event.
  • On April 11, Michael Frosch represented the Purchasing Department in support of SBE’s second annual Beck School of Construction.  

Michael Frosch continues to represent Dallas County as a member of the NACo Procurement Advisory Committee. 

Pretrial Services

Director: Duane Steele

Duane Steele
Duane Steele, Director of Pretrial Services

Our department welcomes new Pretrial Release Supervisor Robyn Calhoun.

Robyn worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 10 years before moving on to Dallas County Pretrial Services in March. She worked as a parole officer for 7 years, a parole unit supervisor for 3 years, including as the unit supervisor of the largest halfway house in Tarrant Count.

Our department recognizes our employees of the month for their exceptional work.

  • January: Audrey Arizmendi –  Audrey takes pride in her work and completing her job with accuracy. When she worked in the Intake Unit she was an asset on her shift. Due to her great work ethic, she was promoted to the Alcohol Monitoring Unit and quickly grasped the job duties,  completing calibrations in a timely manner. Audrey asks questions, has a positive attitude and is a team player. More recently, she was promoted to the Electronic Monitoring Unit as an Electronic Monitoring Technician.
  • February: Stephanie Klausen – Stephanie has been an asset in training and onboarding new officers. Her assistance was requested to help with on-the-job training as she takes pride in producing error-free work. She is dedicated to the mission of the department and her unit. She follows policies and procedures, and practices inclusion when completing duty and interview tasks. Her great work ethic exceeds expectations, and her detail-oriented case management documentation does not go unnoticed. Her positive attitude and willingness to take on additional tasks make her a vital member of the team. 
  • March: Isaura Hernandez – Our department has had many personnel changes recently and went through a shortage of Spanish speaking staff. On many occasions, Isaura has been asked to go above and beyond in this area. She has responded with energy and has led by example. She has a positive, respectful demeanor and is serious about her job responsibilities. She is always looking for ways to improve and is great at communicating ideas to make our unit better. She keeps and submits accurate reports and documentation for the Intake Assessment Unit.

Our quarterly departmental meeting took place on March 31.

Veteran Services

Director: James T. Henderson Jr. (U.S. Army, Retired)

James T. Henderson
James T. Henderson Jr. (U.S. Army, Retired), Director of Veteran Services

Our department remains committed to the core mission of “assisting eligible Veterans and/or their survivors in obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the State of Texas. Our primary focus is to ensure that all Dallas County Veterans and dependents receive every federal and state benefit to which they are entitled.”

Veteran Services, in conjunction with the county forensics lab and Casey Anderson-Gould, have identified 14 remains as Veterans this quarter. 

The deceased indigent or homeless Veterans will always receive recognition and proper burial in Dallas County, and each identified Veteran will be interred at the DFW Nation Cemetery with honors for their military service. 

Debt to the federal government is stressful, but for an elderly Veteran with a monthly income of only Social Security, this can be overwhelming. Veteran Services was able to help a Veteran, Mr. Elderson, get his debt waived.

Mr. Elderson reached out to Veteran Services in early 2022 needing help concerning the $97,000 he owed to the Department of Veterans Affairs due to an overpayment of his current benefit. Understandably devastated over this news, the Veteran was panicked by the possible garnishment of his social security benefit. Through careful litigation with the VA by the Veteran Services Department, we were able to get the entire debt waived as of December 2022.

Due to the PACT Act that President Biden signed into law, our department has been able to file numerous claims for both Veterans and their survivors for presumptive medical conditions sustained by the Veteran.

The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act is the most comprehensive toxic exposure legislation ever signed into law. Mrs. Mazano lost her Veteran spouse to prostate cancer. Although the Veteran never filed a formal claim for the condition, our department was able to secure a lifelong benefit of $1,400 for the survivor. This “Dependency and Indemnity Benefit” is both tax free and will be awarded monthly.    

The department continues to keep the Veteran community updated and aware of changes associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs using any means available. 

Our department participated in the following events:

  • September 17: Together We Serve Reserve Resource Fair – Served as a vendor for Reserve and National Guard members currently drilling at the Grand Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Complex
  • September 28: Greater Dallas Veterans Council (GDVC) Conference – The conference encompassed Veteran organizations from the Dallas metroplex concerning resources for the Veteran community.
  • September 29: Veteran Stand Down – Assisted in providing homeless Veterans with winter clothing and helped more than 250 Veterans apply for VA benefits.
  • October 10: Creating a Bridge with Veteran Services – Virtual presentation discussing strategies to leverage the resources and assistance offered by Veteran Services.  Served 118 online applicants.
  • October 27: Veteran Career Expo at Dallas College – Ensuring that Veterans are aware of all VA education benefits available while pursuing higher education. 
  • November 5: Benefits Fair conducted in Desoto – Recognizing veterans within the community. Benefit presentation and lunch provided by In-N-Out Burger.
  • November 10: Women of Courage Widow Support Group – Presentation of spousal benefits to surviving spouses and dependents. Two-hour presentation with 110 surviving spouses in attendance.
  • November 12: District 4 Benefit Presentation – In conjunction with nine other Veteran organizations, presented benefits and resources to the Veteran Community in this district.
  • November 16: Dallas College Veterans Resource Fair – Presented Veteran resources and benefits to students and staff of Dallas College Mountain View Campus.
  • November 23: Virtual Presentation for Veterans Recovery Centers of Texas – Spoke to Veterans enrolled in mental health recovery programs and assisted with benefit applications.
  • February 22: Department-conducted Women Veterans Event – Recognizing mental health issues associated with Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
  • March 29: Vietnam Veteran Commemoration Event – Honoring all Vietnam Veterans with a welcome home ceremony.

Our department services approximately 300-400 Veteran information requests each month.

Veteran Services is proud to serve the needs of the 109,000 Veterans in Dallas County and is eager to boast our 95% monthly success rate in awarded disability claims. 

Veteran Services welcomes David Casarez to our team. 

David is a Combat Retired Army Veteran with an eagerness to advocate for the Veteran population of Dallas County. We look forward to his successful tenure with the department!

David Casarez
David Casarez