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Campus News
     
Your faculty and staff news since 1965

Special Spotlight Insert

Sedillo banks on bright future for faith, family, UNM

By Laurie Mellas Ramirez

Peggy SedilloIn June, Peggy Sedillo will be stationed roadside near Chimayo, N.M., to support some of the 400 Catholics who pledge to walk 100 miles during the “Pilgrimage for Vocations,” designed to inspire youth to be nuns, sisters, deacons and priests.

The effort speaks to Sedillo’s nature. At UNM, she nurtures staff who tread into new territory.

As coordinator of the Purchasing Card Program, intended to simplify the procurement and payment process, reduce transaction-processing cost, and allow greater flexibility, she is noted to be helpful, thorough and conscientious.

“She told us she is available day or night to help as we learn the process,” said Jane Everhart, administrative assistant II.

A Sunwest Bank employee for a decade, six years ago Sedillo was temporarily assigned to UNM’s Purchasing Department to assist with implementing the Purchasing Card program. When Sunwest merged with Bank of America she was laid off, but soon after UNM hired her fulltime.

“It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was blessed to get this job and I bring a lot of banking experience,” she said.

She currently oversees two assistants, Melissa Cordero and Dan Cosper, and is responsible for all activities related to the purchasing card – from issuance to training users and tracking purchases.

Since 1997, the card has been available to UNM employees and can be used for purchases not exceeding $1,000 unless a lower limit has been preset by a department.

“It almost mirrors the SPO (Small Purchase Order). It’s accepted anywhere Visa is accepted. It empowers the user to buy goods, materials and supplies on behalf of the University on the spot as they need them,” Sedillo said.

Isn’t that risky business?

“It empowers the user, but it also gives the user more responsibility,” she cautioned. “We do everything possible to run a solid, fraud free program.”

Risk is controlled through a process that includes a formal review of every document and periodic audits. The 43-page policies and procedures manual Sedillo authored guides cardholders through the realities of do-it-yourself finance. Purchases are still authorized and each transaction is logged and then reconciled monthly.

The card offers many perks. For example, users can log onto the HigherMarkets Web site and shop with selected vendors while taking advantage of University contracted pricing.

“Once card holders start using the P-Card and go through a few bank cycles they’re excited about it,” she said.

Sedillo tests software regularly in an effort to improve service. Users will find additional ease with a new Web-based application premiering May 2003. And small purchases will be electronically automated after implementation of Project LINK (Linking Information Networks and Knowledge).

Leo, husband of 18 years, and her children, Charlene, 17, and Mateo, 15, keep Sedillo busy at home, too. In addition to helping with the pilgrimage, she is active in other ways with her church and frequently fundraises for youth projects. This is her first time serving as a “trucker” for the pilgrimage.

“We are trying to spark interest in our youth. [The church] needs new priests and deacons,” she says.