Housing Agency Marketplace

Our Story

The Housing Agency Marketplace is an always-on eprocurement platform for Housing Agencies, large-to-small, across the United States. 

The company started in 2002 as the vision of three men with diverse backgrounds: one an entrepreneur and marketer; another with an expertise in information technology; and the third an expert in procurement with special emphasis in HUD and Housing Agency regulations.

The Marketplace serves housing agencies across the country and is still 100% privately owned. We’re headquartered in horse country, Lexington, KY with satellite offices in other states.

To this day, all three initial founders are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.

Early growth

In 2002, Larry Hancock, Mike Gifford, and Valerio della Porta started a software company called the Housing Agency Marketplace. Their focus was on helping Buyers (Housing Agencies publishing solicitations) and vendors (who wish to bid on these solicitations) to easily communicate via the internet during and after the bid process.

It gave Housing Agencies, small to large, access to cutting edge technology that could facilitate the procurement process at a fraction of the cost of doing it in house.

In 2004, Procurement Assistance Software and Support, LLC was formed to provide web-based procurement software to public, private, and not-for-profit-organizations across the country.

The Housing Agency Marketplace fell under this umbrella and has grown to become the largest private provider of innovative technology-driven procurement solutions for the housing agency sector.

Planning for the future

2014 led to the creation of the future blueprint and re-branding of the company to International eProcurement LLC.  IE LLC was formed using the same initial core values as in 2002:

  • Customer service w/ integrity
  • Honesty
  • Courtesy
  • Under promise / over deliver
  • Innovation
  • Profitability

Both the Housing Agency Marketplace and the newly formed USA Buyers Marketplace were now under the International eProcurement umbrella. 

The Housing Agency Marketplace now having over 100 clients nationwide and 17,000 vendors using the software. 

With our broader marketing efforts for the Housing Agency Marketplace now in full swing,  the timing is perfect to take USA Buyers Marketplace to the next level. 

Our latest chapter

Expansion is on the horizon! 

We’re making dramatic improvements to the Housing Agency Marketplace core software.

The USA Buyers Marketplace is being taken from wireframe to reality as we narrow our focus to public and private sector procurement solutions.

The team:

Larry Hancock, President

Larry Hancock has been an entrepreneur most of his adult career. His first business was the rare coin and jewelry business, which he founded in 1975 at the age of 22. He sold that business in 1980 and moved into the video rental business where he owned and operated nine regional video stores from 1980 to 1986, at which time he founded Movie Warehouse.

He was President and CEO of Movie Warehouse from 1986 to 1989. During that time Mr. Hancock expanded the operations to 12 company stores and built 21 franchise stores. He sold Movie Warehouse in 1989, and over the next eight years he owned and operated multiple businesses, including a video wholesale and consulting business.

In January of 1997 he moved to Las Vegas and helped co-found PurchasePro.com, an e-commerce procurement startup. PurchasePro.com went public in September of 1999. During tenure at PurchasePro he was Senior Vice President of several areas within the company including Sales & Marketing. He resigned in April of 2000, at which time he was Senior Vice President of the Supplier Diversity Program.

In 2002 he co-founded Digital Economic Technologies, LLC based in Detroit, Michigan. 

He split from his partners in 2004 and formed Procurement Assistance Software & Support, LLC, a technology company providing web-based procurement software to public, private, and non-for-profit organizations across the country. The name was changed to International eProcurement, LLC in 2014 and he is still the President of the privately held company.

Michael S. Gifford, C.P.M., CPSD

Gifford retired in June, 2007, as the Purchasing and Contracts Manager at a large housing authority in Las Vegas, Nevada, after 32+ years of service. For the past 12 years Gifford has worked as a consultant providing procurement-related technical assistance, training and mentoring to housing agencies nationwide.

Gifford has been awarded:

  • Life-time Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
  • Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD) by ISM

Gifford has given numerous procurement presentations on-site at HA’s and at NAHRO national, regional, and state conferences. Gifford has been the instructor for over 150 2.5-day procurement and contracts seminars across the country.

Gifford is a principal designer of the Housing Agency eProcurement Marketplace (ha.economicengine.com).

Gifford is very knowledgeable in HUD and Housing Agency (HA) procurement regulations and replies to procurement-related inquiries daily from both HUD, HA staff and consultants. Gifford’s solicitation documents are recognized nationally as “best in field” and are available at no-charge on Gifford’s procurement resource website, procurementassistance.org.

Valerio DellaPorta

Chief Technology Officer, Digital Economic Technologies, LLC

Valerio della Porta has 30 years of professional experience in the Information Technology industry as a consultant and seven years specifically implementing Internet applications. He has extensive experience in leading development groups and managing budgets, personnel, production and support teams and has been a Lotus Business Partner and IBM partner in development for AS/400 since 1996

His work has spanned a broad range of areas and technologies in the IT industry. The following are some examples.

Systems Integration

  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Lotus Notes/Domino since release 3.0
  • Mail Gateways
  • Document Management and Collaboration
  • Web Application
  • Mobile Development

In the area of e-commerce Mr. della Porta created an Internet based procurement system for Wayne County, MI as early as 1996.

He has extensive experience with the following technologies:

  • Database Platforms: DB2, Oracle and Informix application development and database administration in UNIX (Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, IRIX, DEC OSF/1, Linux, SCO), Windows NT, NetWare and OS/2 platforms. Oracle Web Application Server – versions 1.0 – 4.0 application development, deployment, and administration on HP-UX, Solaris, IRIX, Windows NT, Linux using PL/SQL cartridges, MySql
  • NoSql Database systems: Couchbase.
  • Object Oriented Database systems: CA-Jasmine, Poet, and ObjectStore
  • Internet Servers: Netscape Fast Track & Enterprise Servers, Netscape Server Suite, Microsoft IIS, Apache, NCSA Httpd, Oracle Web Application Server, Lotus Domino, Nginx
    Languages: Java, HTML, JavaScript, PL/SQL, Visual Basic, LotusScript, C/C++, Pascal, PL/I, Fortran, Lisp, Prolog.
  • Operating Systems: UNIX: SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, BSDI, Linux, FreeBSD.
    NOS: NetWare, Windows NT, OS/2 EE, AFS/IFS, OS/400, MVS, VM, OS/390
  • Desktop and mobile: DOS, Windows, Windows NT, Macintosh, Unix/X-Windows, Pilot OS, Newton OS, iOS, Android

Founder and Principal at MedisTray LLC. since 2006

Founder and Principal at American CodeWorks, Inc. 1987 to 2006

Director of CAD and Computer Services at Minoru Yamasaki Associates 1985/87

University of Rome 1972/77 curriculum in Architecture, Computer Science and Economics.

Ed Menster

Director of Marketing 

With over 35 years experience in marketing and business management, Ed’s emphasis is building B2B marketing solutions.

He will be looking at the latest market developments in the competitive landscape to identify key opportunities for expansion.

He leads the International eProcurement marketing vision to transform the way customers plan, manage, and execute projects and work across the enterprise.

University of Florida, BS Journalism 1978