AWESOME…a ground-breaking supply chain leadership initiative

In October 2012, Ann Drake, CEO of DSC Logistics, became the first woman to receive the Distinguished Service Award from CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) since the award was created in 1965. For 47 years…no woman had been recognized.

Three months after receiving the award, Ann launched AWESOME – Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education. The response from the women Ann contacted was enthusiastic and unanimous: the time was ripe for advancing women supply chain leaders. Women in diverse leadership roles thoughout the industry were ready to develop, expand and, then, leverage a strong network of women supply chain executives.

Since then, the following milestones have built momentum for Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management & Education.

May 2013

The first AWESOME Symposium, held in Chicago, attracted 200 senior leaders for a full day of networking, discussion and learning.

October 2013

The professional network kept expanding and women supply chain leaders gathered again at a series of events in conjunction with the global conference of CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) in Denver.

May 2014

The network had expanded to nearly 500 supply chain professionals, and the second Symposium, “Accelerate AWESOME,” focused on new enlightenments and specific steps that can be taken to advance women leaders. For the first time the AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award was presented to two outstanding supply chain leaders, Heather Sheehan, VP, Indirect Sourcing and Logistics, Danaher Corporation and Kathy Wengel, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain (JJSC).

As a follow-up to each of these events, AWESOME published a summary of insights and observations in three volumes entitled “Reality Check.”

Download REALITY CHECK–Volume One: What We Now Know

Download REALITY CHECK–Volume Two: What We Learned in Denver

Download REALITY CHECK–Volume Three: What We Can Do

In the summer of 2014, Dr. Nancy Nix joined AWESOME as Executive Director.

October 2014

AWESOME collaborated with CSCMP to present six sessions in the Diversity and Inclusion Track at the CSCMP global conference in San Antonio. Read more

A summary highlighting key points of these sessions, powered by AWESOME, was issued as The AWESOME Report.

May 2015

The third annual AWESOME Symposium – “AWESOME in ACTION” – was hosted by Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, New Jersey, home of J&J’s World Headquarters. The AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award was presented to Beth Ford, EVP, Chief Supply Chain and Operations Officer, Land O’Lakes, and Debbie Lentz, SVP, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Toys”R”Us.

At the close of the event, featuring discussions, up close conversations, collaborative conversations, and a special program element focusing on development of emerging leaders, the AWESOME network of senior level women had grown to more than 600 members.

Collective Wisdom from the Symposium was published in REALITY CHECK – Volume Four: The New Realities of Women’s Supply Chain Leadership. Download

AWESOME Excellence in Education Scholarships, providing funds for university women to attend the CSCMP annual conference, were presented to five more scholars, bringing the total to 12.

September 2015

The networking reception hosted by AWESOME has become an annual tradition on the first evening of the CSCMP Conference. In 2015, members gathered in San Diego, and in addition to the reception, AWESOME presented two conference sessions powered by AWESOME and provided panelists for the “Women at Work” session sponsored by Penn State Executive Programs.

Later in the fall, Heather Sheehan, an AWESOME Advisor, 2014 recipient of the AWESOME Legendary Leadership Award and former VP, Indirect Sourcing and Logistics, Danaher Corporation, where she continues as an advisor, joined AWESOME as Director, Member Engagement and Sponsorships.

The interest in programs powered by AWESOME continues to grow and AWESOME leaders participated as panelists and moderators participated in conferences and programs throughout the year.

April 2016

NIKE, Inc. provided an exciting environment in Portland, Oregon, and nearby Beaverton, as Host Partner of the fourth annual AWESOME Symposium. The AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award was presented to Annette Clayton, EVP & Chief Supply Chain Officer, Schneider Electric, and Jackie Sturm, VP of Global Supply Management at Intel.

The AWESOME network has grown to more than 900 women in senior supply chain leadership roles.

With the addition of five more AWESOME Scholarships, the number of scholars now totals 17.

September 2016

AWESOME took an active role in the 2016 CSCMP Conference, hosting the annual networking reception for AWESOME Leaders and special guests and presenting a Mega Session and another session powered by AWESOME.


Fifth Anniversary Symposium: May 3-5, 2017

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