Read open letter to AWESOME Leaders
Ann Drake, founder of AWESOME, is Chairman of the Advisory Board of DSC Logistics and served as CEO of DSC from 1994 to 2018. 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.
Creating a business model based on integrated, comprehensive supply chain solutions built on collaborative partnerships, innovative thinking and high performance operations, Ann has guided DSC to become one of the leading supply chain management firms in the U.S. DSC’s customers and business partners include leading Fortune 500 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, Ann 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 AWESOME community has grown to include more than 1,200 senior-level executives in a range of supply chain roles.
Ann is also a charter member of Paradigm for Parity, a coalition of CEOs, senior executives, founders, board members and business academics working for gender parity by the year 2030.
Ann 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.
Ann is a member of the Kellogg School Global Advisory Board at Northwestern University, serves on the Board of Governors for Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the A.M. Castle Company and the Board of Governors for the Committee of 200, and as vice chair of the Business Advisory Council for the Northwestern University Transportation Center.
Ann received her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa prior to earning an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University.