2004 Conference Presenters

Keynote Speaker

Thomas Donohue

President and CEO

US Chamber of Commerce


The US Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing 3 million companies, associations, state and local chambers, and American Chambers of Commerce abroad.


Sheri Bandle

IT Department Solution Planner

Cargill, Incorporated


Topic:  “Total Impact:  Corporate Citizenship in a Global Economy”

Jude Conway

Partner, Hopewell Ventures

Limited Partnership


Topic:  “Is Venture Capital Right for my Business?”


This presentation will answer what is Venture Capital? What are venture capitalists looking for in a business? How does this relate to conducting business internationally? How does a venture capitalist structure a deal? How do I find venture capital? What should I include in my presentation? How long does the process take?  Should I perform due diligence on the venture capital firm? How? Is venture capital right for me or is a alternative form of financing more appropriate.

Neil Theiss

Senior Director of Supply Chain Management



Topic:  “Building Sysco’s Supply Chain”


In this presentation Neil Theiss will explain how $26 billion Sysco Corporation is moving from its current state where individual entities optimize themselves, to an end-to-end supply chain vision. 

Dave Ecklund

Vice President

Cat Logistics Services

Client Services Division


Topic:  “Caterpillar’s Global Distribution Strategy”


Dave will provide an overview of Caterpillar’s heritage, how their organization is structured, and discusses the company’s supply chain strategy including the role of Six Sigma, the supply chain’s contribution to shareholder value, and a look to the future.

Beth Ford

SVP Global Operations & Information Technology

Scholastic, Incorporated


Topic:  “Captain Underpants and the Supply Chain Transformation”


Scholastic, Inc.

Scholastic, Inc. is the world’s leading publisher and distributor of children’s books.  It is also a media company with award winning TV programs, magazines and Internet sites.  Over the last 3-4 years, this organization has undertaken a substantial effort to transform its supply chain.  These efforts have included numerous initiatives focused on margin and working capital improvement, cost reduction, service improvement, and organization/competency development.   This presentation will provide an overview of these efforts with a specific discussion around the implementation of integrated planning capability in a multi-channel environment.

John Holcombe

Vice President and Partner

Insights Marketing Group

Miami, FL


Topic:  “Globalization? What Globalization? The case for international market research and how to approach it.”


Entering and developing a new international market remains a weak spot in many an entrepreneur’s business plan. In spite of so-called “globalization” countries happily and, often stubbornly, remain very different. Economic stability, business cultures, legal and regulatory environments, consumer tastes, infrastructure and distribution channels, etc. are all over the map. So much so, that entering a new country is, for the entrepreneur, like a start-up business plan with no sales or marketing infrastructure or knowledge of the market.

In spite of what appears to be obvious, many entrepreneurs will treat international business as simply an extension of business; a potential source of incremental revenue for products and services.

Roger Underwood

Founder and Chief Executive

Becker Underwood


Topic:  “Think Global, Act Local:  Why every business should be global.


Successful Iowa entrepreneur, Roger Underwood, will explain how he and co-founder Jeff Becker started Becker Underwood in Ames, IA and entered the global marketplace.  Roger will share why entrepreneurs should not wait too long before making the move into the international market place.  He will tell why all businesses should consider the world their market from the day one.

Ken Walker

Regional Director

Kurt Salmon Associates


Topic:  “Supply Chain Efficiency & Effectiveness-  Unlocking the Secrets of the CPG Supply Chain of the Future”


Visionary participants across the CPG supply chain are beginning to create new and innovative connections linking manufacturers, retailers, and service providers more closely to their customer’s requirements. 

Developing these connections requires executives to challenge traditional approaches to Merchandising, Logistics and Store Operations, paving the way for more internally & externally collaborative processes driving quantum improvement in supply chain effectiveness.


By examining real-life examples of innovative processes, systems, and relationships, Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA) will describe a roadmap for executives to follow in guiding their own successful evolution toward the very different future of supply chain operations.


Ken Walker is KSA’s West Coast Regional Director.  He has assisted some of the most visionary CPG manufacturers and retailers in the development and deployment of many of the supply chain innovations described in this session.