About our NGSC Speakers

Dr. Alan Amling

Distinguished Fellow, University of Tennessee Supply Chain Institute; CEO, Thrive and Advance, LLC

Alan Amling is a TED speaker and thought leader on harnessing digital disruption for success. Alan helped drive innovation over a 27-year career with UPS and is currently a Distinguished Fellow at The University of Tennessee, CEO of advisory firm Thrive and Advance LLC, and on the Executive Advisory Board for the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute. He researches, invests, advises, and speaks on innovation in manufacturing and logistics and how firms can recognize and thrive in disruption.

At Tennessee, Alan teaches a strategy course in the Master of Supply Chain program. His research focuses on Industry 4.0 technology applications and the eCommerce-driven transformation of the supply chain. His first book, Organizational Velocity, is scheduled for publication in 2021.

Alan’s latest role at UPS was VP Corporate Strategy, where he helped revitalize UPS innovation and venture capital programs for the digital economy. He moved into this role after serving as VP of Marketing for UPS Global Logistics & Distribution.

Alan holds a Ph.D. in Management from Kennesaw State University, an MBA from Indiana University, and a BA in business and psychology from Lewis & Clark College.

Bobby Bernard

Executive Director, DCG Supply Chain Strategy & Innovation, Lenovo

Robert (Bobby) Bernard is currently the Executive Director of Global Procurement / Supply Chain Strategy & Innovation for Lenovo Data Center Group (DCG). Based on his ability to create a vision and make it a reality through strategy development and implementation, he was asked by the senior executive team to take on this new role after serving in various supply chain, procurement, and services roles within Lenovo since joining in 2013. Bobby leads an organization with members in US, Europe, and China responsible for developing industry- leading supply chain strategies and the digital transformation of the DCG supply chain to create operational efficiencies, drive incremental commerce, and ensure positive customer experiences.

Prior to Lenovo, Bobby worked in a various executive leadership positions at Dell, Inc. across procurement, supply chain, product development, services, and quality. This included a three- year international assignment in Shanghai, China where he built locally a product operations and supply chain organization with global responsibilities and led the product quality organization for Dell’s entire consumer business worldwide with teams in Austin, Singapore, Taiwan, and China.

Bobby started his career at IBM in various roles across manufacturing, supply chain, and new product development over an eight year span.

Bobby holds a bachelor of science dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is married, has a daughter and a son, and lives in Apex, North Carolina. Outside of work, Bobby spends time volunteering in youth sports and participating in Sitting Volleyball for disabled veterans.

Pete Blair

Vice President of Marketing, Berkshire Grey

Pete Blair is the Vice President of Marketing at Berkshire Grey where he is responsible for branding, messaging, communications, demand generation, and overall marketing execution and strategy. Pete brings years of hands-on supply chain experience to his marketing role including: retail logistics management, supply chain consulting, and software development for CPG and retail enterprises. Prior to Berkshire Grey, Pete was the Vice President of Marketing for Applause software and Head of Marketing for Kiva Systems; now Amazon Robotics.

Pete started his career in logistics operations at The Home Depot, traveled the globe as an IBM management consultant, and contributed to the success of multiple technology startups over his 25-year career. Pete is an active speaker at supply chain and innovation conferences, and he has a bachelor’s degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.

Peter Bolstorff

Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, Association for Supply Chain Management

Peter Bolstorff oversees ASCM corporate impact programs that include transformation, talent development, sustainability, and community driven public health. Peter, the author of Supply Chain Excellence: A Handbook for Dramatic Improvement Using the SCOR Model, brings over 25 years of experience in supply chain and operations management to the position. He joined ASCM as the Executive Director to lead the APICS, Supply Chain Council merger. Prior to joining ASCM, Bolstorff was the founding principal of SCE Limited, a consulting firm focused on providing supply chain program management and SCOR-based education to supply chain executives and their global teams. Bolstorff also held supply chain and operations management leadership roles at 3M and Imation and has been a lifelong volunteer within the SCOR community. He received his master’s degree in industrial education from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, education, and psychology from St. Olaf College.

Sumit R Chadha

Principal, Kearney

Sumit Chadha is a Principal at global management consulting firm Kearney. He advises consumer and retail clients on a broad set of topics across supply chain transformation, distribution operations, omni-channel fulfilment, replenishment planning and vendor management. He is a senior leader within Kearney’s Strategic Operations practice and currently is based in Chicago, IL.

Varadheesh Chennakrishnan

CIO – IT, Supply Chain and Logistics

Varadheesh Chennakrishnan, CIO, JOANN – Varadheesh is currently responsible for all IT, Supply Chain and Logistics at JOANN, which is an omni-retail enterprise with over 850 stores across the US. Since joining JOANN he has been part of the company’s digital transformation initiative helping to enable JOANN’s business growth by drawing on his more than 10 years of retail industry expertise.

Jon Chorley

Chief Sustainability Officer and Group Vice President, Supply Chain Management Product Strategy, Oracle

Jon S. Chorley is group vice president of product strategy for Oracle’s supply chain management (SCM) applications, bringing more than 25 years’ experience in the software industry and supporting value-chain transformation through the enablement of various solutions including product lifecycle management, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, asset lifecycle management, value-chain planning, and order fulfillment. In addition, Jon is the chief sustainability officer for Oracle, driving corporate initiatives, practices and product development that help protect the environment, covering all areas from IT infrastructure and business operations to corporate reporting and risk management.

Mark Cosway

EVP, Sales & Marketing, LevaData

Mark Cosway brings more than thirty years of experience and is a veteran supply chain technology evangelist. He has worked with industry innovators such as GT Nexus, Transvoyant, Excelon, and i2 Technologies. Known as “Coach Cos” internally for his engaging leadership style and strategic thinking, he is responsible for LevaData’s commercial sales, alliance partners, and growth strategies.

Julian Counihan

Partner, Schematic Ventures

Schematic Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund with a focus on industrial technology (supply chain, manufacturing, commerce infrastructure) founded by Julian Counihan. Julian started a career in technology as a software developer at Fortna where he worked on warehouse control & automation systems. After a period in technology investment banking, he began investing in the industrial and supply chain sectors. Julian holds an MBA from MIT and a BsC in systems engineering from UVA

Lior Elazary

Co-founder and CEO, inVia

Lior has more than 20 years of experience as an executive in internet networking, robotics, software development and enterprise architecture businesses. He has led and directed diverse teams developing everything from back-office systems to core enterprise technologies. Most recently, he co-founded and later sold EdgeCast, a content delivery platform with customers such as Twitter and YouTube.

Before that, he co-founded and later sold HostPro (now Web.com), an internet hosting company. Elazary completed a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Southern California (USC) with a specialty focus on artificial intelligence. He attended a Ph.D. program in robotics at USC, where he met his inVia co-founders. Their work together sparked a passion for the dramatic effect robots can have in driving efficiency and productivity and, most importantly, in helping people live happier and more fulfilling lives.

Drew Ehlers

Global Futurist and Global General Manager of SmartPack™, Zebra Technologies

Drew Ehlers currently serves as the Global Futurist and the Global General Manager of SmartPack™, Office of the CTO at Zebra Technologies where he is responsible for overseeing the integrated global SmartPack™ team. Drew is also responsible for producing advanced machine-learning models and algorithms for predictive analytics to solve critical business problems for Zebra and its partners and customers. This includes emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision and blockchain. Drew currently holds contributing board positions on the Global AIM Blockchain Council and the Retail Advisory Council for Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at Northwestern University. Drew has more than 19 years of experience within the B2B technology industry and has held numerous leadership roles. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President at Gallagher Bassett and Vice President of Channel for the North America region at Zebra. Drew holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE

Chief Executive Officer, ASCM

Abe Eshkenazi currently serves as the chief executive officer for ASCM. Prior to joining ASCM, Eshkenazi was the managing director for the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services.

Eshkenazi has provided business, operational, and compliance consulting services to professional service organizations, associations, and tax-exempt and government organizations. His leadership role included project management, business process redesign, and individual and organizational alignment, including design and implementation of outsource strategies. Eshkenazi has been a frequent speaker on outsourcing, nonprofit mergers, and strategic alliances.

In addition to his CPA, Eshkenazi holds a master of business administration in management from Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management; a master of business administration in finance from DePaul University; and a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University. Eshkenazi is also an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), a Certified Healthcare Executive (CHE), and a Certified Association Executive (CAE).

Carlos Gutiérrez Ferrete

Operations, SVP, Reyes Beer Division

Carlos is the Senior Vice President of Operations for Reyes Beer Division. He is responsible for directing and controlling the operational effectiveness of the warehouse, delivery, supply chain, demand planning, and fleet operations as well as the overall safety for all the companies within the Beer Division. Prior to this role, Carlos joined RBD in 2016 as General Manager at Gold Coast Beverage in South Florida

Prior to joining the organization, Carlos was the Senior Director of Warehouse Operations for C&S Wholesale Grocers, following 11 years of progressively increasing responsibilities in Operations and Supply Chain Strategy with the Grocery retailer HEB. Carlos is originally from Mexico and began his career with Frito Lay as Transportation Project Engineer.

Carlos holds a Master of Engineering degree in supply chain management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial and systems engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. Carlos is a graduate from St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, WI and he currently lives in Parkland, Florida.

Rachel Hinkes

VP Strategic Market Development, Blue Yonder

Rachel Hinkes is VP Strategic Market Development at Blue Yonder where she is responsible for defining and taking to market solutions that support Supply Chain company’s in their Digital Transformation journeys. Prior to taking on this role, Rachel was VP Product Management where she designed and developed Blue Yonder’s Luminate AI/ML based SaaS offerings. Rachel has built and delivered production scale AI/ML solutions for use cases related to demand forecasting, replenishment, pricing, network optimization, fraud detection, and predictive maintenance within the supply chain and energy sectors.

Mike Futch

President, Tompkins Robotics

Mike is the President and one of the original leaders that has created Tompkins Robotics and brought the t-Sort sortation system to life for global customers. t-Sort is the world’s first robotic, truly scalable, portable, and intelligently adaptable automated sortation system that is changing the way firms execute in their supply chains.

He has been involved from day one in the evolution of this unique and innovation system—recognizing the potential, designing the applications and creating the value proposition for Tompkins Robotics’ customers. He continues to lead the design and forward movement of the company, driving much of the new application development, new product conceptualization and the integration with partners solving unique problems with complimentary robotic automation.

His focus is to deliver Tompkins Robotics and its systems to customers in North America and Europe to maximize their service, performance and operations in ways never before thought possible. Mike spent his prior career doing supply chain consulting and implementations for customers in a range of industries, including pharmaceutical, retail, food & beverage and consumer products.

Mike has been highly successful in building long-term relationships based upon his personal involvement in successful implementations. He has achieved significant results for clients that have led to bottom line savings, higher levels of performance, enhanced service levels across the supply chain and an increase in overall shareholder value. He now brings that same level of success to the leadership of Tompkins Robotics and its customers. Throughout his career, Mike has served more than 200 hundred firms. Prior to Tompkins Robotics, Mike’s work history includes the U.S. Air Force, Tompkins International, Garr Consulting and Deloitte Consulting.

Fergal Glynn

VP Marketing, 6 River Systems

Fergal Glynn is 6 River Systems’ VP of Marketing. 6 River Systems is the new way companies fulfill. Prior to 6 River Systems Fergal held leadership positions at Docurated, Veracode and Fidelity Investments.

Barbara Gress

Director of Innovation and Engineering, NFI

Barbara Gress joined NFI in 2019 as its Director of Innovation and Engineering. In this role, Barbara oversees NFI’s innovation management portfolio of new technologies for transportation and distribution solutions across North America.

Barbara’s past positions include over 15 years of increasing responsibility in engineering, solutions and sales at Ryder where she supported retail, CPG, automotive and high tech industry verticals .Her last position at Ryder was Director, Product Development where she was a key member in the development and launch of the RyderDrive and RyderShare product offerings. Before Ryder, Barbara held engineering and operation positions at UPS, HP and Nabisco.

Barbara obtained a Bachelor of Science in Decision Sciences from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia.

Barbara and her husband, David, reside in Northville, MI with their five children.

Mr Adrian Kumar

Global Head, Operations Science & Analytics at DHL

Adrian Kumar is DHL’s Global Head of Operations Science and Analytics. Leading a team that works on solving some of the most complex supply chain challenges with proprietary operational research and artificial intelligence solutions. Adrian is a leader in the roll out of supply chain technologies, helping DHL’s customers implement new strategies to address challenges driven by rising consumer expectations.
Previously, Adrian was responsible for leading a team of engineers, developing solutions worth over $10 billion in potential contract spend. He also headed DHL’s facility design, automation and transport practices, tasked with training 350+ engineers across the globe. A perennial presenter at many of the industries’ largest conferences, Adrian has landed media coverage around the world, including the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Adrian has a Masters in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto and teaches part time as an adjunct professor at Ohio State University.

Richard Lebovitz

President and CEO, LeanDNA

Richard is the president and CEO of LeanDNA, the only purpose-built analytics platform for factory inventory optimization. Richard has been fighting for factories and the people in them since the earliest days of his career. A more than 30-year supply chain veteran, Richard has worked with manufacturers throughout the world in engineering, sales, marketing, and Lean strategy roles to empower factory-level employees with technology that increases efficiency and enables global scale. When he’s not empowering the modern factory, you can find Richard exploring Austin with his wife and spending time with his two sons.

Gordon Lu

Director of International Business, JD Logistics

Gordon Lu is the director of International Business at JD Logistics, JD.com. JD Logistics is an integrated supply chain management solutions provider. Joining the company in 2017, he is responsible for a wide range of services and solutions for key areas in international logistics, including supply chain management, cross-border logistics, express, as well as after-sales service.

Mr. Lu previously served as a director of the Open Logistics Department at JD Logistics, where he has successfully built its integrated e-commerce platform model. Prior to that, he led the company’s Open Innovative Department, where he built the platform for strategic customer development.

Prior to joining JD.com, Mr. Lu held senior sales management positions at Kerry Logistics in North China from 2013 to 2017. Mr. Lu holds both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in International Logistics from the University of Plymouth.

Daren J. Mallard

Senior Manager, Marketing Strategy – Global Logistics Organization, Cisco Supply Chain Operations

Visionary. Focused. Collaborative. Action-Oriented. Adaptive. Impactful. Reflective. These are a few elements of my professional value proposition. My name is Daren Mallard, and my goal is to see not only what will make Cisco successful today…but also, to focus on achieving greater success in the future.

Currently, I develop Marketing Strategy for Cisco’s Global Logistics organization, within Supply Chain Operations. In addition to managing and transporting tens of billions of dollars’ of Cisco product, we’re growing our external forward logistics services by more than 10% annually…while leveraging reverse logistics to facilitate Cisco’s Circular Economy efforts. And, we run two technology innovation centers which develop solutions that digitize and optimize supply chain operations. In my role, I collaborate with executives, account teams, customers, and partners, to develop initiatives & programs that better position and improve the overall supply chain experience.

I’ve been with Cisco for thirteen years, and my prior roles include managing Product Marketing, Technical Marketing, & Sales Operations, within the video business. Before my previous company, Scientific-Atlanta, was acquired by Cisco, I had roles managing Investor Relations & Financial Analysis…and began my career journey as a CPA with Ernst & Young (EY). I’ve proudly served my country as a member of the U.S. Army, and am a Morehouse College alumnus. I’m on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Innovation & Technology Policy Committee, the Next-Gen Supply Chain Conference Advisory Board, and previously served on local chapters of CTAM, NAMIC, and NABA…for which I was twice elected Board President. Additionally, I had the distinction of being selected to, and attending the Harvard Business School Cable Executive Management Program, sponsored by the CTAM Educational Foundation.

Within the community, I’ve been a Youth Ministry Leader, and led mentoring programs for Junior Achievement Fellows & the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology…teaching business skills, financial principles and entrepreneurship. Promoting financial literacy is a passion, and I enjoy teaching my nephews (aged 12 and 5) and godson (age 15) how to invest their time and resources, so that they can achieve a measure of financial independence. In addition, I enjoy spending time & traveling the world with my wife, rooting for NY sports teams that consistently disappoint, and thinking of new ways in which I can make a positive impact on the community & the world.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Daren_M
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Daren_MD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daren-mallard-8525ab24

Brian T. Martin

Sr. Director, Engineering & Technology Team, Dell Technologies Service Parts

Brian T Martin joined Dell in 2000 and is currently a senior Director on the Dell Technology Services Parts team. Mr. Martin has responsibilities for the global engineering & technology team that supports over 60 repair partners in 160 countries. Mr. Martin team is responsible for: repair readiness, repair diagnostic & test enablement, process & reparability, service parts and whole unit repair quality governance, parts & whole unit change management, and supplier quality performance management.

Mr. Martin is leading the digital transformation initiative building out the future SMART repair factories to include deploying intelligent (AI/ML/DL), automation (robots, sensors, . . etc.), and hyper-connected (Cloud enabled deep learning) processes. Also deploying SMART workspace which include building the future digital platform with advance analytics capability (predictive & prescriptive) to support the new digital engineer of the future. Lastly, developing SMART enterprise systems (Quality 4.0) that will digitally drive improved product designs, process and tools improvement into the Dell ecosystem.

Mr. Martin’s organization supports all Dell Branded and non-Branded Dell hardware for each of Dell’s Business Units and/or Lines of Business. Mr. Martin’s organization also provides support for numerous customer offerings ranging from: CIS, Depot, and Next Business Day to Onsite Parts, Pro Support and a variety of Same Business Day solutions.

Prior to joining Dell Mr. Martin worked with Raytheon Missile System Inc. where he held various positions in engineering to include: Sr. Program Design Mgr., Sr. Design Test & Integration Lead, and Systems Design Engineer

Brian’s education background includes: Computer Eng, Electrical Eng. of Technology, Business Administration, & Business Art in Management.

Steven A. Melnyk

Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management, Michigan State University

Steven A.Melnyk (Ph.D., Western –1981) is Professor of Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University. He has co-authored 21 books, over 100 refereed journal articles and numerous practitioner articles. His research focus includes supply chain risk and resilience, strategic supply chain management, supply chain cyber security, and certified management standards. Dr. Melnyk sits on the editorial review board for numerous journals, including the Journal of Business Logistics, the International Journal of Production Research, and the International Journal of Operations and Production Management. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Melnyk was a member of the APICS Board of Directors. From 2017 to 2019, Dr. Melnyk had a joint appointment from the University of Newcastle (Australia) where he was the Newcastle Global Innovation Chair in Supply Chain Management. In 2017, the Academy of Management – the Operations and Supply Chain Division — recognized Dr. Melnyk as a Distinguished Scholar in the field. Dr. Melnyk is recognized for this ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice. In 2018, Dr. Melnyk received the Withrow Teacher-Scholar Award from the Eli Broad School of Business, Michigan State University, in recognition of his work as both a researcher and a teacher.

Kristi Montgomery

Vice President of Innovation, Research & Development, Kenco Logistics

Kristi is a dynamic explorer of strategic innovation that drives revolutionary change. With 30 years of logistics and supply chain experience, she leads a dedicated team of specialists in Kenco Innovation Labs, who research, prototype, and execute creative solutions with the potential to positively transform the supply chain. As the senior innovation officer, recognizing that no single approach works for every customer, Kristi leads the combination think tank and practical working physical lab utilizing design thinking and open innovation to deliver business value for the 200+ customers that Kenco serves in North America.

Kristi holds a BS in Organizational Management from Covenant College and is a certified Specialist in Design Thinking and Innovation as awarded by the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. Kristi is the Co-Chairman of the International Warehouse and Logistics Association Education Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Warehousing Education Research Council (WERC). She serves the industry speaking, participating as a panelist, and publishing articles promoting supply chain innovation.

Pamela Armella Olazábal

Data Analytics, Director – Reyes Holdings

Pamela is the Data Analytics Director at Reyes Holdings. She oversees the business analytics and data science teams and is responsible for leading the analytics strategy, enhancing our capabilities to service our customers and suppliers more efficiently and profitably. She has held various roles since joining Reyes in 2017 with more than 10 years of engineering, strategy and analytics experience. Pamela holds Master Degree in Business Administration from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico.

Pamela is a true believer that data can improve virtually anything by developing systematic ways to address strategic challenges. For her, it is about embracing the ongoing change, innovation, technologies and analytical approaches to leverage data and foster informed decisions that will forge a path to competitive advantage, thus, greater profits.

Pamela has also held an active position in ASUMO, a not-for-profit consultancy that works with NGOs in impoverish communities aiming to strengthen their effort in attaining social equality. She currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. Her hobbies include sports: marathon runner, triathlete and endurance cyclist; as well as traveling (40+ countries), and social development.

Terrie O’Hanlon

Chief Marketing Officer, GreyOrange

Terrie O’Hanlon, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at GreyOrange, is responsible for global brand positioning and drives the Company’s overall marketing direction and plans. She leads collaborative cross-functional teams, including external partners, across multiple geographies.

Previously O’Hanlon has driven marketing strategy as CMO for leading companies in both emerging and established markets, including supply chain, financial ecommerce, healthcare, enterprise applications and cybersecurity. Her supply chain experience includes orchestrating a successful brand transformation for Manhattan Associates, a global leader in supply chain commerce, inventory optimization and omnichannel solutions. She sits on the Board of Directors for Revved Up Kids, a US non-profit dedicated to the safety of children.

Terrie holds an MBA in Marketing from Columbia University, New York, and a BS in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Torsten Pilz

Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, Honeywell

Torsten has broad responsibilities for Honeywell’s integrated supply chain, including procurement and driving improvements in plant efficiency and working capital while continuing to enhance quality and delivery.

Prior to Honeywell, Torsten served as Vice President, Supply Chain, for SpaceX, where he was responsible for planning, purchasing, material management and logistics. He built and developed a team that supported dozens of launches a year as well as the development and production of the Falcon and Falcon Heavy Rockets, the Dragon Spacecraft and the SpaceX’ satellite program. Prior to that, he served four years as Vice President, Worldwide Operations, at Amazon.

Before that, Torsten spent eight years at Henkel AG & Co. in a series of roles, culminating in his assignment as Senior Vice President, Global Operations, and Chief Executive Officer, Schwarzkopf & Henkel Production Europe GmbH.

Torsten earned B.S. and M.S. degrees, followed by a doctorate in chemical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.

Wes Reid

Senior V.P. of Product Management and Operations, IAM Robotics

Wes Reid is the Senior Vice President of Product Management and Operations at IAM Robotics, a company that is leading the way in the creation of autonomous mobile manipulation robots for the e-commerce, warehousing and distribution markets.

Before joining IAM Robotics, Wes developed his experience through various Product Line Management, Marketing and Engineering roles at organizations in the semiconductor device and capital equipment industries, whose clients included General Electric, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, Lam Research, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Phillips, Cisco and Apple.

Wes has written for multiple professional publications, including EETimes, Portable by Design, Electronic Design News and the Hewlett-Packard Journal.

Darin Russell

Sr. Director of Supply Chain Engineering Services, MSC Industrial Supply Co.

As Sr. Director of Supply Chain Engineering Services for MSC Industrial Supply Co., a premier distributor of Metalworking and Maintenance Repair and Operations products and services, Darin leads the development and delivery of supply chain engineering strategies designed to support the growth and optimize the efficiency of the company’s customer fulfilment centers. Most recently, Darin was instrumental in the creation and deployment of a patent-pending robotic packing system at MSC’s Harrisburg, Pa. facility. Prior to joining MSC, he held an engineering leadership position at Scholastic. Darin holds a BS degree in industrial management from Missouri State University and an MBA from William Woods University. 

Dr. Maria Jesus Saenz

Director, MIT Digital Supply Chain Transformation

Dr. Maria Jesus Saenz is the Director of the research area on Digital Supply Chain Transformation at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, as Research Scientist. The primary research aims at leveraging the connections among inter-organizational business drivers when facing new collaborative paradigms in digital transformations. Such opportunities require approaches that encompass the challenges of innovation around digitalization, with organizational changes at inter-organizational level, including multidimensional collaboration, digital supply chain capabilities and digital customer value.

Dr. Saenz also serves as the Executive Director of the MIT Supply Chain Management Blended Master Program, an elite MIT degree that allows learners to combine the MITx MicroMasters credential with one+ semester at MIT.

Dr. Saenz teaches various courses at Master, PhD and Executive Education level on Supply Chain Management, Collaboration, Risks, Resilience and Project Management. Regarding her education, Dr. Saenz is certified in Participant Centered Learning by Harvard Business School. She received Cum Laude and the Outstanding Doctoral Award for her PhD in Manufacturing and Design Engineering from the University of Zaragoza, where she previously obtained her M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering, while she also studied Mathematics Sciences for several years. In 2003, she received her tenure as Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Zaragoza. In 2004, she joined the research institute MIT Zaragoza Logistics Center from its very conception as Professor, where she also served as Executive Director. She was also the Director of the Spanish Center of Excellence in Logistics. Dr. Saenz has also led various international research projects for the European Commission, as well as for companies on Supply Chain Management innovation, such as P&G, Carrefour, Clariant, DHL, Leroy Merlin or Caterpillar. She is co-author of more than 80 publications, including books and articles in leading international Journals. Her knowledge transfer work has received 14 awards and her research was cited in the media including MIT Sloan Management Review, Forbes, Financial Times Press or Supply Chain Management Review. She also regularly interacts with business leaders as guest keynote speaker in more than 15 countries.

Krutin Shah

How to build eFulfillment Network

Krutin brings 15 years of experience in Operations, Supply Chain and Technology. He recently started N Squared Partners that advises companies making investment in Supply Chain or Supply Chain Tech companies validate product roadmap.

Some of the most recent work includes working numerous CPG / Ecommerce startups = tackle some of their most pressing operational challenges and working with Supply Chain Tech companies on improving their product offering and improving their sales process. He has also done extensive consulting work for companies like Walmart, The Children’s Place, TJ Maxx among other retailers. He was instrumental in scaling up distribution and improving order to delivery process for Adore Me. Krutin holds MBA from INSEAD and MS in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Mark Shirkness

Vice President, Distribution, GE Appliances

Mark Shirkness joined GE in 1986 and has held a variety of positions at GE Appliances. With experience in service, sales, marketing, and Six Sigma, Mark brings a very broad background to his current position as Vice President – Distribution. Most notable of his prior assignments include running the aftermarket services group that handles post customer and consumer sales activities, leading the Home Depot account during the initial launch of appliances in its stores, and overseeing the home builder sales channel during the historic housing run-up of the 90’s. When GE Appliances was sold to Haier in 2016, Mark led the overall efforts to integrate the two companies. In his current role, he is responsible for all warehousing, transportation, logistics, final-mile delivery and fulfillment for North American operations. Mark credits his strong background in sales and service as the key driver to his current success as it has taught him the importance of always staying focused on the customer and serving their needs.

Mark is very active in the community and serves on the Board of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Network and is very involved in Jefferson County Public Schools community outreach programs.
Mark is a graduate of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and completed his MBA at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.

Mark Shirkness joined GE in 1986 and has held a variety of positions at GE Appliances. With experience in service, sales, marketing, and Six Sigma, Mark brings a very broad background to his current position as Vice President – Distribution. Most notable of his prior assignments include running the aftermarket services group that handles post customer and consumer sales activities, leading the Home Depot account during the initial launch of appliances in its stores, and overseeing the home builder sales channel during the historic housing run-up of the 90’s. When GE Appliances was sold to Haier in 2016, Mark led the overall efforts to integrate the two companies. In his current role, he is responsible for all warehousing, transportation, logistics, final-mile delivery and fulfillment for North American operations. Mark credits his strong background in sales and service as the key driver to his current success as it has taught him the importance of always staying focused on the customer and serving their needs.

Mark is very active in the community and serves on the Board of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Network and is very involved in Jefferson County Public Schools community outreach programs.
Mark is a graduate of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and completed his MBA at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.

Mark and his wife Barb have two children and live in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jenn Tabbert

Director, Software Sales, Dematic

As Director of Software Sales for Dematic, Jenn has worked with wholesalers, retailers, and ecommerce businesses across a wide range of vertical markets to design software solutions that align a customer’s people, processes, and technologies within the four walls to reduce idle time, balance workflow, and provide better order service levels. Jenn has been with Dematic for 6 years, coming previously from the B2B consumer goods world. Jenn lives in the Dallas area with her supportive husband, very active 6-year old son, and sweet goldendoodle. She loves to travel with her family, craft, and volunteer with local organizations.

David Villalpando

The Kraft Heinz Company

David has spent nearly three years improving inventory analytics and developing deployment strategies for the Supply and Operations teams at The Kraft Heinz Company. He is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he studied Industrial Engineering with a focus on network optimization and statistical modeling. There he was a board member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers where he completed his LEAN and Six Sigma Certifications.

Jacob L. Shapiro

Founder & Chief Strategist Perch Perspectives

Jacob L. Shapiro is the founder and chief strategist of Perch Perspectives, a human-centric business and political consulting firm that applies geopolitical expertise to business strategy. He advises Fortune 500 companies and governments on the nature of political, social, and economic power, and how these forces influence and impact the world around us every day.

A loyal student of history and geography, Shapiro wields both to provide clients with the context, foresight, and extensive analysis they need to solve for the unknown and enhance their understanding of global and regional affairs. He is known for challenging his clients’ perspectives to empower them to make accurate, informed decisions and gain a more holistic view of the events and issues that impact them, their businesses or governments. His extensive knowledge and profound love for learning about various cultures and regions of the world leave him uniquely positioned to work with clients to solve challenges in supply chain, technology, agriculture, aerospace and energy markets across the globe.

Shapiro is the former director of analysis at Geopolitical Futures, where he managed a team of analysts in forecasting geopolitical trends and events. Before that, he was a Middle East analyst and director of operations at the global intelligence firm Stratfor. He holds a master’s degree with distinction from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Near Eastern studies.

Morgan Swink

Ph.D., is the Eunice and James L. West Chair of Supply Chain Management

Morgan Swink is West Chair and Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Neeley Business School of Management, Texas Christian University, and the Executive Director of the Supply and Value Chain Center at TCU. He teaches in areas of supply chain management, project management, innovation management, and operations strategy. Dr. Swink’s research interests include supply chain management competencies, innovation management projects and programs, manufacturing strategies for integration, and design-manufacturing integration in product development projects. Dr. Swink is the former Co-Editor in Chief for the Journal of Operations Management. He has co-authored three books and published over 75 articles in a variety of academic and managerial journals

Before becoming a professor, Dr. Swink worked for 10 years in a variety of manufacturing and product development positions at Texas Instruments Incorporated. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University (83), an MBA from the University of Dallas (86), and a Ph.D. in Operations Management from Indiana University (92). He has won several awards for excellence in both undergraduate and MBA teaching. He consults and leads executive education workshops and seminars in supply chain integration, world-class manufacturing, project management, manufacturing flexibility, and breakthrough thinking for innovation and productivity. 

Tom Ward

A.I. Project Leader, IBM

Tom Ward is currently an A.I. Project Lead within the Chief Data Officer (CDO) organization. In this capacity, he leads the global development and deployment of cloud and AI projects across the enterprise. Tom has led supply chain cloud projects over the past eight years. For the past five years, Tom has led the implementation of several Watson applications including Risk Insights. He has been a featured supply chain conference speaker and published author in several magazines.

Tom is an IBM Academy of Technology Member and one of 25 certified Supply Chain Management Professional – Consultants, globally within IBM. He has over 30 years of technical leadership experience with IBM in many facets of the Supply Chain, Procurement, Enterprise and Operations Services.

Tom has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He lives in Highland, New York.

Matt Wicks

Vice President of Product Development, Honeywell Intelligrated

Matt has more than 25 years of experience in the material handling industry with expertise in the areas of controls and software integration for high-volume manufacturing and distribution systems. He also has extensive experience in the field of advanced robotic solution development, including robotic solution integration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri – Rolla (Missouri S&T) and currently serves as 2nd vice-chair on the Robotics Industry Association Board of Directors. Matt is also a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Missouri.

Ninian Wilson

Global Supply Chain Director, Vodafone & CEO, Vodafone Procurement Company

Ninian Wilson joined Vodafone in 2009 as IT procurement director and was appointed to the board of the Vodafone Procurement Company in November 2009. From 2014 to 2016 Ninian was technology director of Supply Chain Management, responsible for all technology sourcing in Vodafone, including networks and IT. In March 2016 he was appointed director of supply chain management for Vodafone Group and, in parallel, made CEO of the Vodafone Procurement Company, the Vodafone legal entity which leads purchasing and supplier management for Vodafone as a whole.