For the second year, ThomasNet and Institute for Supply Management (ISM) are searching for the millennial workers who are making a big impact on the supply chain management profession in North America. Last year, the electronics industry was well represented, underscoring the opportunities in the sector.
"Our first group of '30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars' are truly indicative of our industry's future leaders. We're excited by their incredible accomplishments, and their enthusiasm for the profession. To attract and keep more people like them, we need to build on what we've done so far. We encourage everyone in supply chain management to pay it forward, and nominate more superstars who should be recognized," said Tom Derry, chief executive officer for ISM.
The 30 under 30 program recognizes 30 individuals who are 30 years old or younger, and "whose initiative, collaboration, innovation and/or leadership are already bolstering the profession," ThomasNet said. The judges will be looking for delivering excellent performance to their organizations and evangelizing supply chain management to their peers.
For 2015, EBN hopes that the electronics industry will nominate its best rising stars for recognition—both for the industry and for the winners. We spoke with Laura Dearborn Stearns, supply chain business analyst at Cisco, one of last year's winners, about her experience being nominated for and winning the award.
EBN: Why is it important for young supply chain professionals to speak up about the impact they are making in the supply chain? Why would you encourage them to apply for the 30 under 30?
Dearborn: I think it is important for people to be aware of the younger generation in the workforce and the great impacts that they can and do have, especially because Millennials will soon make up the majority of the workforce. I would encourage individuals to apply for the award and to nominate young professionals. In addition to the visibility, encouragement, and opportunities that the winner receives, I think that the award itself is inspiring to others.
EBN: What experiences/benefits have you experienced since you received the award last year?
Dearborn: The announcement and article was well circulated within Cisco's Supply Chain organization, and the visibility I have received is amazing. I am so thankful. I also got the opportunity to attend the ISM Annual Conference. The conference itself was very educational and informative, and I was able to meet many of the other '30 Under 30' winners. They are all very accomplished and driven, and I learned a lot through my conversations with them.
EBN: Why would you like to see more electronics supply chain companies and individuals recognized?
Dearborn: The electronics manufacturing industry is very exciting in terms of technology and advancements and also offers a variety of career opportunities. By recognizing individuals in supply chain from electronics companies, it provides visibility that can help attract new talent.
EBN: Why do you think it's important for young supply chain professionals to be involved at an industry level?
Dearborn: I think industry level involvement promotes collaboration, including the sharing of ideas, challenges, and contributions. Ultimately, this networking and breadth of learning helps advance the individuals, the companies, and the industry.
Winners will receive a free one-year ISM membership, and one "megawatt" professional and his or her nominator will also receive an all-expense paid trip to ISM's 2016 conference to be held May 16-18 in Indianapolis.
Make your nominations before the July 31, 2015 deadline by going to the nominations page. Remember, it's fine to nominate yourself.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN