About Us


Founded in 2014, the Virginia Higher Education Procurement Consortium (VHEPC) leverages collective buying power to create efficiency and value for our member institutions. Guided by strategic sourcing principles and grounded in data analytics, we drive development of cooperative contracts and provide a forum for schools to share learnings and best practices. By design, we aim to facilitate opportunities for small-, minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned businesses in the procurement marketplace.


group of diverse individuals standing in a business office

Our membership includes 13 of Virginia’s senior public higher education institutions, the Virginia Association of State College and University Purchasing Professionals (VASCUPP) Board of Directors, and the Virginia Community College System, which represents 23 schools across the state. While VHEPC and VASCUPP are separate organizations, we have a collaborative relationship that generates procurement advantages for the schools we dually support.

The Consortium is governed by a leadership council with representation from our doctoral institutions, our four- and two-year institutions, and the community college system.


A technical advisory committee composed of procurement professionals from member schools serves to target opportunities for cooperative sourcing. And dedicated resources (employed by our host institution, the University of Virginia) work on behalf of our members to provide strategic and analytical direction and contract administration.

The value we create through our aggregate spend is also value we share with the greater procurement community. Our publicly accessible contracts are available for use by any agency, public or private.

Our Team

Ryan Balber, Director, VHEPC

Ryan Balber


With 20 years of strategic sourcing and cooperative procurement data analysis experience, Ryan has helped higher education save hundreds of millions of dollars. He has guided VHEPC in his director role since 2015. Prior to joining, he was the Assistant Director of Contract Administration and Spend Analytics for the University of Illinois system and the Illinois Public Higher Education Procurement Cooperative. He holds a BS in Insurance and Information Systems from Illinois State University.

Chris Gerner, Senior Data Analyst, VHEPC

Chris Gerner

Senior Data Analyst

Chris joined VHEPC in 2019. As top data nerd, he’s always looking for new ways to leverage procurement data to create opportunities for Consortium member institutions. He has more than 13 years of analytics experience, holds an MS in Data Analytics Engineering from George Mason University as well as a BA in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Virginia.

Anu Mathew, Contract Administrator, VHEPC

Anu Mathew

Contract Administrator

Anu joined VHEPC in 2022 and brings a wealth of program management and leadership experience to her new role. She previously worked in contract management and strategic procurement at the University of Illinois and led event management, development, and education and outreach activities at Penn State University and the University of Texas. Anu holds an MBA from National University in San Diego and a BS in Biotechnology from Rutgers University.

Augie Maurelli, Vice President, VHEPC

Augie Maurelli

Vice President

Augie is UVA’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and serves as the VHEPC Leadership Advisory Council Chair, providing VP-level guidance and support for VHEPC.

Our Members


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