What led you to a career in supply chain?
In the fall of 2013, I was in my third year of undergraduate school, working on a path toward internal medicine. I never felt a passion for the content or lifestyle, and I questioned if I was heading in the right direction. It was almost instantaneous at that point: I knew that I wanted to work in a business-related field. Soon after, I stumbled onto supply chain management and was sold. I was convinced that supply chain was what kept the world running, and I was driven to be a part of that.
How did you get to your current job?
I crossed paths with Akebono at a career fair. It was there that I met the Vice President of Supply Chain Management and Production Control, Grant Church. Grant is an intelligent and seasoned professional, and my interaction with him increased my interest in the organization. I wanted to work for him. I was brought in as a junior buyer for castings, and, as my position transitioned to fit the organization’s needs, I was recently put in charge of a $50 million spend for raw materials.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve encountered on your career path so far, and how did you overcome it?
The challenge I had was negotiating. They don’t teach you that in school. I didn’t truly learn it until I started working at Akebono. Given that 90 percent of what I do is negotiate, I overcame this challenge through trial and error. When you have your back against the wall enough times, you have no choice but to push back, until it ultimately becomes second nature.
How are you using your supply chain superpowers to give back?
I am looking to apply my superpowers to my family’s restaurant business, by reducing the manual inputs and increasing the value add, as well as changing the operations to create a more incentivized environment. I am sure my pops will appreciate the attempt, regardless of the outcome. I hope to increase his free time so he doesn’t have to work as much.
How has ASCM Membership made a difference in your career?
I owe it all to the APICS Detroit chapter. Its members have been supporting me from the very beginning and continue to support me today. I really can’t express in words what APICS means to me; it’s a community I hope to never leave.