Thinkers & Movers Award honors two for moving supply chain field forward
DSC Logistics has announced the 2013 recipients of the “Thinkers & Movers” Award. They are Debbie Lentz, Senior Vice President, Customer Service and Logistics, Kraft Foods Group, and Rick Blasgen, President and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). The awards will be presented at a special event on Monday, October 21, in conjunction with CSCMP’s annual global conference in Denver, Colorado.
As one of the nation’s leading supply chain management companies, DSC Logistics, headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, developed the “Thinkers & Movers” Award in 2009 to recognize individuals and companies whose innovative leadership has resulted in ground-breaking supply chain understanding and practices. According to DSC CEO Ann Drake, both Lentz and Blasgen have applied their extensive experience as supply chain professionals to become thought leaders in a field that is increasingly important to both the top and bottom line of business.
“To make this year’s ‘Thinkers and Movers’ Award especially interesting, Debbie and Rick have common roots in supply chain management,” said Drake. “Both began their careers with Nabisco and went on to hold top supply chain positions with Kraft Foods. In their current roles, representing different aspects of leadership, they continue to move our industry forward in bold new ways.”
About Debbie Lentz
As Senior Vice President, Customer Service & Logistics, for Kraft Foods Group, based just outside Chicago, Lentz has responsibility for Product Supply, Fulfillment, Distribution, Transportation, Customer Service, and Customer Development.
She joined Nabisco in 1983 and, in 1989, became the Transportation and Customer Service Manager of the Eastern region. In 1998, after holding various corporate positions in areas of Logistics Administration, Warehouse Operations and Customer Logistics, she was promoted to Senior Director, Logistics Operations.
In 2001, with Kraft’s acquisition of Nabisco, Lentz moved to Kraft Headquarters in Chicago where she fulfilled a variety of roles in Supply Chain and Logistics. In 2006, she was promoted to Vice President to lead the Business Process Design for Kraft’s North American SAP transformation. In 2008, Lentz relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, as Vice President, Customer Service and Logistics, Kraft Foods Europe. In that role, she was responsible for Logistics Operations, Product Supply and Customer Service for 17 EU countries for all businesses.
In 2011, Lentz returned to the U.S. and led a seamless transition for Customer Service and Logistics when Kraft separated its snack business into a new company, Mondelez. She then led the transformation of Kraft’s logistics functions, including transportation and distribution, in concert with Kraft’s overall reinvention to a more exciting, leading edge company. Supply chain innovations are resulting in significant service improvements, inventory reduction and cost savings.
Throughout her career, Lentz has been a prominent advocate for collaboration among partners in supply chain. She is one of the key leaders of Kraft’s highly collaborative category captainship approach to supply chain relationships.
Lentz received a B.S in Business Logistics from Penn State University and an MBA in Operations Management and Personnel and Labor Relations from the University of Scranton. She is a past-President of the Illinois Chapter of the International Women’s Forum and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation which focuses on leadership development, mentoring, and advancing the careers of women globally.
About Rick Blasgen
Blasgen began his career with Nabisco, working in a regional customer service center in Chicago, Illinois. His responsibilities at Nabisco covered a broad spectrum of logistics areas and in 1998, he was named Vice President, Supply Chain. After Nabisco was acquired by Kraft in 2001, Blasgen became Kraft’s Vice President, Supply Chain. He joined ConAgra Foods in August 2003 as Senior Vice President, Integrated Logistics. In 2005, he stepped into a new role as President & CEO at CSCMP where he took on the organization’s mission of developing and disseminating supply chain education and research.
Under his leadership, CSCMP has become a truly global organization by expanding its involvement in supply chain conferences and other events around the world, including India, Europe, China, and Singapore. To serve the growing number of CSCMP members in India and the south Asia region, CSCMP established an office in Mumbai in 2011. Blasgen’s philosophy is that CSCMP should reach out to professionals in their own communities to reflect the increasingly global nature of supply chains.
Blasgen and CSCMP also have energized the professional development of practitioners with the inauguration of an innovative certification program. They also have introduced a Corporate Membership program that enables individuals and companies to interact with CSCMP in a variety of ways, according to their needs and interests. Through these efforts, CSCMP membership has grown significantly.
Rick was recently designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce to serve as the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (ACSCC) providing the Administration advice and counsel on issues and concerns that affect the supply chain sector. He is a member of Northwestern University’s Transportation Center Business Advisory Committee and a past chair of the Grocery Manufacturers Association Logistics Committee. Rick’s degree in business administration, with a major in finance, is from Governors State University.
According to DSC’s Ann Drake, “One of the reasons the supply chain has gained strategic relevance for companies throughout the world is that we have worked to see and lead across a spectrum of business functions. This year’s ‘Thinkers & Movers’ recipients have been exceptional leaders in demonstrating the benefits of bringing people together and moving past barriers to achieve strong, dynamic collaboration.”
Previous recipients of the Thinkers & Movers Award include:
2012 - Stephan Haeckel, business consultant and executive educator/coach who pioneered the sense-and-respond managerial principles of adaptive enterprise design, and David Simchi-Levi, professor of Engineering Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author, entrepreneur, and consultant in the field of operations strategy.
2011 – Dr. Donald Bowersox (in memorium), longtime professor of logistics and supply chain management at Michigan State University and well-known author, speaker, and industry leader; Ed Bowersox, former senior global director – Logistics & Supply Chain for Kimberly-Clark Professional; and John Bowersox, manager - PA Distribution, 3PL Relationships for Kohler Co.
2010 - Daan Delen, president and CEO of Reynolds American, Inc, a visionary CEO recognized for encouraging a higher level of collaboration among partners, and Nicholas LaHowchic, described as the “thinking man’s supply chain executive,” author, and former president of both Limited Logistics Services (for Limited Brands) and Becton Dickinson Supply Chain Services.
2009 - Ralph Drayer, former chief logistics officer of Procter & Gamble, and Dr. Nancy Nix, executive director of the EMBA program and associate professor, supply chain practice in the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University.
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