Sandra MacQuillan, chief supply chain officer at Kimberly-Clark, was honored with the first-ever Distinguished Women in Supply Chain award at last week’s Supply Chain Forum at UT’s Haslam College of Business.
The award was presented by the college’s Nexxus group, an organization launched by female supply chain students and faculty at last year’s forum. The group aims to help close the gender gap in supply chain by attracting more female students and providing them with mentoring and networking opportunities.
“It’s an honor to receive this award and represent women in supply chain,” MacQuillan said. “Our industry will continue to be strengthened by the diversity of thought and experiences we bring. I’m proud of how the University of Tennessee is paving the way for future generations to come and look forward to continuing our partnership together.”
Diane Mollenkopf, McCormick Associate Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and faculty advisor for Nexxus, said MacQuillan is an ideal recipient of the first award.
“She’s an outstanding role model to all our students but a particularly great inspiration for female accomplishment in the field.”
MacQuillan has worked in all areas of supply chain, holding regional and global roles. Before joining Kimberly-Clark she managed a $15 billion business as global vice president of supply chain at Mars.
MacQuillan also gave the keynote address at the forum, providing a senior executive’s view of supply chain challenges, particularly emphasizing the need for supply chain to play a strategic role in business and the necessary communication skills for supply chain leaders to reposition the field. She also addressed talent diversity in supply chain, a topic that has become a mainstay at the forum.
“Our members vote on the topics of importance to them, and increasing diversity in the field has been one of their top picks in recent years,” said Paul Dittmann, executive director of UT’s Global Supply Chain Institute. “I think that demonstrates how much the industry values this initiative as a means of broadening perspectives and creating competitive advantages.”
Lieutenant General Larry Wyche reinforced MacQuillan’s topic on the second day of the forum with a keynote on leadership principles. Wyche serves as deputy commanding general of the United States Army Material Command, with 64,000 employees impacting all 50 states and 155 countries.
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