AWESOME Scholar Spotlight

Kyani Alford

Kyani Alford already was inspired by the prospect of supply chain as a profession where there is always something new to learn. Then the pandemic hit. What she saw during that time convinced her that the supply chain industry has been changed forever, with COVID demands resulting in requirements for more flexible transportation, more agile and lean processes at production sites, and updated demand forecasts.  

With her first-hand experience as a Procurement Specialist for Nestle Purina Petcare during that time, Kyani saw the pet food market increase dramatically due to the vast number of adoptions taking place. She’s excited that her company will continue to grow and change to fit the consumer’s demand.  

Kyani was first introduced to all that supply entails through her mentor when she was an undergraduate at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. As a 2016 AWESOME Excellence in Education Scholar, she graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management and Logistics and a minor in African and African American Studies. In 2021, she completed an MBA at LSU Shreveport. 

Her journey at Nestle Purina North America began as an intern and included a number of other positions leading to her newly promoted role of Materials Manager at a Nestle Purina Petcare R&D facility. Her expectations of supply chain changed once she entered the workforce and she gained a better understanding about how many other business units the supply chain industry touches.  She sees supply chain as being essential to making the overall process and success of a business flow.  

Kyani’s advice to other young women interested in a supply chain career includes “being adventurous” and taking advantage of opportunities, such as career fairs, all through the college years. She is an example of that herself, serving as president of WISE (Women Impacting Supply Chain Excellence) – a University of Arkansas student organization focused on promoting the field of supply chain management/logistics. She also recommends that young women who are interested in a supply chain career connect with someone currently in the industry to get insights on the daily “ins and outs” of being a supply chain professional.  

Early in her career, Kyani has learned that working in supply chain opens a range of opportunities as the industry touches so many other business segments. She’s excited about the unlimited options offered by her chosen field.  

Congratulations Kyani!

Learn more about the AWESOME Scholars program.


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