Ann Drake is chairman and chief executive officer of DSC Logistics. She has been involved in the field of logistics and supply chain management since the mid-1980s, when she became a member of the advisory board of directors of Dry Storage Corporation, a warehousing company founded by her father, Jim McIlrath. After earning her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University, she joined Dry Storage as vice president for strategy and culture and initiated a transformation aimed at positioning the company for the 21st Century.
In 1994, she was named CEO, and under her leadership, the 22 separate companies in the Dry Storage network became DSC Logistics. Ms. Drake and her team then implemented a series of structural and strategic initiatives that resulted in a focus on integrated supply chain solutions and a business model based on collaborative partnerships, innovative thinking, and high performance operations.
Today, DSC Logistics is one of the nation’s leading supply chain management firms, with strengths at both the operational and strategic levels. DSC’s customers and business partners include leading Fortune 1000 companies in a variety of industries, including food and consumer goods, health care and medical devices, electronics, paper products, and others. The DSC nationwide network includes more than 50 Logistics Centers and a Transportation Management Center located at the corporate campus in Des Plaines, Illinois.
In emphasizing the importance of talent development, Ms. Drake has actively promoted the inclusion of both men and women – as well as persons from throughout the world – in rising to positions of leadership. In 2013 she founded AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education) to advance women’s leadership in supply chain. “The real power and potential of supply chain management is in the ability to think, to learn and to find creative solutions to complex challenges under ever-changing circumstances,” she explained. “It’s a perfect place for women’s leadership.”
Ms. Drake has received recognition for her leadership from a number of organizations in recent years. She received the 2015 Schultz Award for advancing women in transportation and logistics from the McCormick School of Northwestern University. In 2014 she was honored with the global Women Who Make a Difference Award from IWF (International Women’s Forum). In 2012, she was selected to receive the CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor presented annually to an individual for outstanding accomplishments in the profession. Also in 2012, she was presented with the Alumni Merit Award from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University and, in 2009 was named “Industry Leader of the Year” by the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Ms. Drake is a long time member of the Board of Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), a member of the Board of Trustees for Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, and a member of the Board for the Supply Chain Innovative Network of Chicago (SINC), a council launched by Mayor Emanuel’s World Business Chicago Economic Growth Plan. She is a former member of the Boards of A.M. Castle Company (NYSE: CAS), a global distributor of specialty metals, and the Committee of 200 (C200), a business women’s leadership organization, and former Vice Chair, Business Advisory Council, Transportation Center, Northwestern University.
Ms. Drake received her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa prior to earning an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University.