New Assistant Purchasing Agent to Focus on Disadvantaged Businesses

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

New Assistant Purchasing Agent to Focus on Disadvantaged Businesses

Posted: 02/29/2016
Pamela CothamKnoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero announced today the hiring of a new Assistant Purchasing Agent in the City’s Purchasing Division, who will have a particular focus on City contracting with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). Pamela Cotham, who has been the Purchasing Agent for Anderson County government for the past 15 years, will assume the new job with the City of Knoxville on March 14.

Boyce Evans, the City’s Purchasing Agent, said, “Pamela’s years of public purchasing experience put her in a unique position to interact effectively with both local Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and the City administration to increase the amount of business the City conducts with DBEs.”

DBEs include minority-, women-, service-disabled and veteran-owned businesses, as well as local small businesses in general.

Cotham, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University, joined Anderson County Government as a Purchasing Assistant in 2000 and became the County’s Purchasing Agent in 2001. In that position, she was responsible for the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment and contracted service for the County’s elected officials, agencies and departments.

She currently serves as Vice President of the East Tennessee Purchasing Association and co-chair of the legislative committee of the Tennessee Association of Public Purchasing.

The City of Knoxville typically purchases more than $50 million in goods and services every year. Mayor Rogero has made a priority of increasing the percentage of that business that goes to local DBEs. 

Among Cotham’s responsibilities will be planning and conducting outreach efforts for DBEs; setting goals for DBE contracting across City departments; helping departments reach those goals; and facilitating the use of DBEs as subcontractors or consultants on City projects.

You can find more information about the City’s DBE efforts on the City website at