DSC Logistics Invites Business Leaders from Across the U.S. to Exchange Ideas about Future Challenges

DSC Logistics hosted a future-focused Business Symposium entitled "Leading on  the Edge," on October 21. Approximately 150 guests participated as well as 23 panelists including business leaders from a variety of industries, supply chain professionals. professors and students. In addition to executives from DSC's customer base and other Chicago-area and Midwest companies, panelists and participants came from as far away as Cambridge, Massachusetts; Miami, Florida; Ft. Worth, Texas; San Francisco, California; and Santiago, Chile. They represented the fields of finance, consulting, education, consumer goods, health care, food, industrial manufacturing, law, real estate, transportation, and government policy-making. more about panelists

According to Ann Drake, DSC CEO, "As supply chain management plays an increasing role in helping businesses achieve their business goals, we wanted this exchange of ideas to take place among all members of the partnerships that are moving successful companies forward. We decided focusing on the future is the most exciting way to celebrate our company's 50th Anniversary."

DSC Logistics was founded as Dry Storage Corporation, a warehousing firm, in 1960 by Drake's father, Jim McIlrath. Drake became CEO in 1994 and has led the company through a transformation, adding operational and knowledge-based capabilities, into its current role as strategic supply chain partner and lead logistics partner. DSC History

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The October 21st event began in the morning with a three-hour Supply Chain Forum, featuring two panels offering insights into future supply challenges and opportunities. The first panel was composed of students representing seven of the top university-based supply chain management programs in the U.S., including M.I.T., Miami University, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, University of Tennessee, and TCU. Members of the second panel were leading supply chain professionals. panelists

The focus of the afternoon Symposium -- "Leading on the Edge -- Toward 2025" -- was circumstances businesses in general are likely to face over the course of the course of the next 5-to-15 years as well as strategies that leading companies may choose to utilize. Ann Drake's remarks on "Daring to Lead" opened the discussions with comments on the trajectory business leaders may take as they identify and interpret conditions around them and begin to make decisions that lead their company in new directions.

The first of two panels that followed offered a view of trends in five areas with a critical impact on business, including technology, new media, information proliferation and cyber security, changing demographics and workforce talent, and sustainability. The second Symposium panel, featured executives of leading companies in a variety of industries who focused on issues and strategies.  panelists

"Although the future is unpredictable, as business leaders, we gain a better understanding of the possibilities and the opportunities by sharing information and perspectives," Drake explained. "Our goal with the Symposium and the Supply Chain Forum that preceded it, was to put thought-provoking ideas and insights onto the table for future inspection and discussion. "


Professionals participating as panelists at the Supply Chain Forum were:

  • Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
  • Ralph Drayer, former chief logistics officer of Procter & Gamble
  • Nick LaHowchic, former president and CEO of Limited Logistics Services and author of "Start Pulling Your Chain; Leading Responsive Supply Chain Transformation"
  • Dr. Nancy Nix, executive Director of the EMBA program and professor, Supply Chain Practice, at TCU
  • Justin Zubrod, chairman of Northwestern University Transportation Center's Business Advisory Council (BAC)
  • Moderator was David Simchi-Levi, MIT professor of Engineering Logistics and author of "Operations Rules: Delivering Customer Value through Flexible Operations"

Members of the first Symposium panel, entitled "As Far As We Can See," included:

  • David Simchi-Levi, co-Director of Leaders for Global Operations at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Joanna Drake Earl, COO of CurrentTV
  • Sandra Baer, former principal of Ridge Global and currently an executive with Bloomberg Government
  • Donna St. Aubin, founder of human resources firm St. Aubin Haggerty Associates
  • JohnPaul Kusz, founder and associate director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Moderator was Cheryl Harbour, chief communications advisor, DSC Logistics.

The second panel members included:

  • Daan Delen, president and CEO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and recently named president- and CEO-Elect of parent company Reynolds American Inc.
  • Deb DeHaas, vice chair, Deloitte LLP
  • Sharon Flanagan, senior vice president, Strategy, of TreeHouse Foods
  • Steve Inacker, president, Channel Management, Medical Segment, Cardinal Health
  • Jane Warner, executive vice president, global finishing and stretch and protective packaging, Illinois Tool Works
  • Teresa Weintraub, president, Fiduciary Trust International of the South
  • Moderator was Donna Zarcone, president and CEO of D.F. Zarcone & Associates and former president and CEO of Harley-Davidson Financial Services.

The Symposium is the concluding event in a series of activities marking DSC's milestone of 50 years in the business. Other highlights of the year have included special Founder’s Day celebrations throughout the DSC Network.

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