First AWESOME Symposium will be May 9, 2013, in Chicago
Women who are leading executives in supply chain management, including logistics, procurement, supply management and sourcing, are being invited to "The AWESOME Future of Women's Supply Chain Leadership" on Thursday, May 9, at the DSC Meeting Center, 1750 S. Wolf Road, Des Plaines, Illinois - just five miles north of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. After a day of networking and conversation, participants are invited to join Ann Drake for a reception and dinner at the Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont, Illinois.

Order of Events, May 9:

    Coffee and Conversations available beginning at 7:30 a.m.

    8:30 am – 9:00 am


    9:00 am – 9:20 am

    Welcome / Opening Remarks

    9:20 am – 9:30 am

    First Buzz of the Day
      Talk around the table

    9:30 am – 10:25 am

    AWESOME Opportunity: Future Directions in Supply Chain Leadership

    This panel of top women in supply chain management, representing different aspects of the profession, sheds light on the state of industry – past, present and future. What are the major changes taking place? How does the supply chain’s increasingly important role in business and the global economy affect the need for leadership – and what qualities must leaders have, now and in the future? What lessons have these leaders learned that help them be ready?

    • Lillian Dukes – Vice President, Material Flow at The Beechcraft Corporation and former Vice President, Technical Services, American Eagle Airlines Inc.
    • Sandy Evett – Vice President, Logistics and Distribution, Heinz North America
    • Debbie Lentz – Senior Vice President, Customer Service and Logistics, Kraft Foods North America
    • Kathy Wengel, Vice President, Quality & Compliance and Chief Quality Officer, Johnson & Johnson)
    • Moderator: Dr. Nancy Nix, Executive Director, EMBA Program and Professor, Supply Chain Practice, TCU

    10:25 am – 10:45 am

    Buzz and Break

    10:45 am – 11:40 am

    AWESOME Champions: A Conversation with Enlightened Men

    Some of the field’s leading men talk about their views. Why would they like to see more women in supply chain leadership? What strengths do women bring to leadership? What will we need to learn or do differently to help men and women work together successfully? How can men help the efforts to advance women?

    • Rick Blasgen – President and CEO of CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals)
    • Edward Bowersox – former Senior Global Director, Logistics and Supply Chain, Kimberly-Clark Corporation
    • Brian Hancock – President of North America, Martin Brower, distributor of products to McDonalds
    • Dave MacEachern – Global Transportation and Logistics, Spencer Stuart
    • Moderator: Donna St. Aubin, Principal, St. Aubin, Haggerty & Associates and Secretary, Human Resources Management Association of Chicago

    11:40am – 12 noon

    Buzz and Break

    12 noon – 1:15 pm

    Lunch and Major Buzz

    1:30 pm – 2:25 pm

    AWESOME Future: Insights from Emerging Leaders

    This discussion by panel of high-potential, middle management women focuses on developing leaders at the company level, identifies challenges women face, and highlights specific initiatives.

    Moderator: Cheryl Harbour, Chief Communications Advisor, DSC Logistics, and Founder, (Intelligent Women Dialogue)
    Also featuring Words of Wisdom: Vignettes of companies with successful leadership development programs
    Allegra Biery, Senior Vice President, Northern Trust
    Bola Delano, Deputy Director of Planning and Programming, Illinois Department of Transportation
    Alex Marren, Senior Vice President, Network Operations and United Express, United Airlines

    2:25 pm – 2:45 pm

    Buzz and Break

    2:45 pm – 3:40 pm

    AWESOME Impact: Learnings from top women in other industries

    Women who’ve risen to the top of other fields where women leaders are the exception talk about their own experiences with relevant lessons for our industry. What were the barriers to leadership and how did they overcome them? How did they, individually, and how did their industry deal with gender issues and resistance to change? Have women changed their industry – or is it still a work in progress? What advice can they offer?
    *     Phyllis Cochran – former President, Parts Group, Navistar and former CEO, Navistar Financial Corporation
    *     Deb DeHaas – Vice Chairman, Central Region Managing Partner and Chief Inclusion Officer, Deloitte LLP
    *     Kathryn Hayley – Executive Vice President, Strategic Relationships, UnitedHealthcare, and former EVP, AON Group
    *     Donna Zarcone – President and CEO of The Economic Club of Chicago and former President, Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc.
    *     Moderator: Karen Greenbaum, COO, Nixon Peabody, and former President and COO, Mercer Consulting /MMC

    3:40 pm – 4:00 pm

    AWESOME Conclusion – Just the Beginning
    Ann Drake, CEO, DSC Logistics, and Founder of AWESOME

    4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

    Reception and Buzz

    Dinner hosted by Ann Drake

    5:00 pm

    Cocktails and dinner

    Dinner held at the Rosewood Restaurant, 9421 Higgins Road, Rosemont

    Transportation will be provided to dinner and O'Hare Airport.


    Registration fee for symposium $75 may be paid online. (See credit card option at top left)

    RSVP by April 26 at


Ann Drake launches AWESOME initiative for women's leadership

DSC CEO Ann Drake has announced a new initiative to increase women's leadership in logistics and supply chain management. The initiative recognizes the contribution of women leaders to the field and promotes the development of up-and-coming leaders. The initiative is named AWESOME - Advancing Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education.

Background: Over the past 10 years, the field of supply chain management, including logistics, procurement, supply management, and sourcing, has transformed. The pace of business has accelerated, the economic consequences of moving products through global markets have multiplied, and new technology is being developed and adopted at warp speed. The field is now recognized as one with tremendous power to help companies achieve their business goals. With increasingly complex problems to be solved and constantly-changing needs to be addressed, the role of strategic supply chain leaders is expanding dramatically.

According to Drake, "In an industry once thought to be mainly about moving boxes and driving trucks, critical elements of success now include creative problem solving, information sharing, and long-term partnerships. In this environment, women have a natural and vital role as team members and leaders. Yet, too few women are fulfilling top leadership roles in supply chain management."

"Our goal is to change that and bring new energy and new talent to our profession."

Key Elements of the Initiative:
Leadership Organization - Organizing a successful, sustainable national network of leading female executives in supply chain management

Leadership Collaboration - Expanding opportunities for interaction and collaboration among top women supply chain leaders

Leadership Development - Addressing the need to increase the number of women with strong leadership potential who enter the field, to fully develop the potential of up-and-coming leaders, and to improve opportunities for the next generation of women supply chain leaders:

• At the national level     • At the company level     • At the university level

Communication about Women's Supply Chain Leadership - Raising awareness throughout the industry and the general business community of women's significant contribution to the field - and increasing openness to women's leadership

Who will be involved in the initiative?

  • Director level and above executives with supply chain responsibilities at manufacturing companies and retail businesses
  • C-suite leaders in medium or large logistics and and supply chain management companies (including ocean and rail)
  • Practice leaders of consulting firms in supply chain management, engineering, technology and other related fields
  • Leaders involved in aviation, space, military logistics, and in government, responsible for transportation and/or infrastructure
  • Professors of university-level programs in logistics and supply chain management, business, engineering, and other programs educating future supply chain professionals
  • Industry organization leaders