We’re on a mission to reduce your operating costs!
The number one reason charter schools close is related to financial deficiencies.
BuyQ’s mission is to support quality public education in our nation’s charter schools by reducing operational costs and providing resources to inspire innovation and financial sustainability.
Who we are:
BuyQ is the only group purchasing organization devoted specifically to charter schools. Originally founded in 2012 as an initiative of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, BuyQ is now an independent, mission-driven company focused on serving charter schools throughout the country. BuyQ’s experience, knowledge, and passion for the distinct needs of charter schools and their students sets us apart from other group purchasing organizations.
What we do:
BuyQ leverages the combined purchasing power of 5,000+ charter schools to deliver significant savings and other benefits specifically for charter schools. In coordination with a committee of charter schools representatives, BuyQ selects group purchasing vendors through an open and competitive RFP process that ensures charter schools receive the greatest value available on the national market and the lowest possible total cost of ownership without sacrificing quality and service.
Our commitment to you:
At BuyQ, we put the needs of charter schools and their students ahead of everything else in all that we do. That includes adhering to a strict code of conduct that governs our contracting process. This ensures that our awarded vendors have been selected according to ethical purchasing standards that put schools first.
Marco Rafanelli is a leader and social entrepreneur focused on helping charter schools direct more money to the classroom by becoming more efficient and effective operators. He has been serving charter schools for over ten years, first as the Director of Member Business Services at the Colorado League of Charter Schools and now as the Co-founder and CEO of BuyQ. He brings deep experience in procurement best practices to his role, having begun his career at Acurity (formerly GYNHA Services), a healthcare supply chain company in New York, where he managed a products and services portfolio with gross sales exceeding $50 million. In 2010, he founded CharterChoice, a food services management company which ensures over 5,000 public school students have access to healthy food. Marco received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his MBA from the University of Denver.
Christine Rafanelli brings two decades of communications and marketing experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors to her role at BuyQ. After spending the first portion of her career as a broadcast journalist at ABC News in New York, Christine put her passion for storytelling to work for various non-profit organizations, developing global thought leadership events for clients including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and later serving as the communications director for the Colorado Children’s Campaign, Colorado’s leading children’s advocacy organization. Christine was bitten by the start-up bug while leading public relations efforts for an early-stage, VC-backed hospitality company in Denver, growing with the company from under 100 to 300 employees. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
A native of St. Louis, Jeff Howard joined the BuyQ team in 2018 as Senior Manager, Digital Marketing. Jeff comes to BuyQ with a deep background in digital marketing, communications and advocacy. Jeff holds a master’s degree in professional studies from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing his postgraduate diploma in digital business at MIT Sloan and Columbia Business School.
His career spans from working on Capitol Hill to education advocacy across the U.S in various capacities. He has also worked for a number of startups including DonorsChoose.org, where he helped the organization scale and managed their procurement and vendor relations. Jeff is eager to help BuyQ grow and further its mission while creating positive outcomes for its charter school customers.
Aimee Martinez joins BuyQ as the Manager of Customer Success, bringing her experience working in data analysis, finance and school operations. She is passionate about fighting for educational equities and is excited that her work with BuyQ helps leverage financial resources for charter schools, encouraging financial innovation and sustainability.
Prior to BuyQ, Aimee completed the Education Pioneer Fellowship at DSST Public Schools, working in their finance department on grant budgeting and payroll. Her work in the education space also includes operations management at an expeditionary learning school in Aurora, CO as well as leading development and marketing efforts at A+ Colorado, an education advocacy organization. She also serves as the treasurer on the Board of Directors for SustainEd Farms, a nonprofit promoting food justice through sustainability and nutrition education for students. Aimee is a graduate of Seattle University.