A Debt of Gratitude

Bellwether League honors supply chain greats

A year-old organization has laid out an ambitious goal – to recognize those individuals who have exemplified and promoted supply chain excellence through the years.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based Bellwether League was founded by Rick Barlow, a journalist with 17 years experience reporting on healthcare supply chain issues; and Jamie Kowalski, a supply chain veteran and consultant. Bellwether’s mission is to publicly recognize individuals who have demonstrated “significant leadership in and influence on and contributions to the healthcare supply chain, including professionals from hospitals, non-acute healthcare providers, manufacturers and distributors of healthcare products, group purchasing organizations, consulting firms and educational institutions.”

In April, the organization announced its first group of inductees. They are:

  • The late Dean Ammer, Ph.D., professor of industrial engineering and economics, regarded by many as the father of healthcare materials management.
  • Lee Boergadine, former supply chain director and – through the Health Service Corporation of America’s Academy for Professional Development – trainer of some 600 materials management professionals.
  • Gene Burton, former hospital purchasing director and shared services director, as well as director of purchasing for Humana and vice president of materials management for Hospital Corporation of America.
  • Thomas Kelly, former materials management executive at Massachusetts General Hospital, and adjunct professor of management information systems/information technology at Northeastern University in Boston.
  • William McFaul, co-founder of the McFaul & Lyons consulting firm, which focused on non-salary-expense reduction. McFaul was a strong proponent of value analysis and was instrumental in the creation and development of MAGNET.
  • Tom Pirelli, founder of Enterprise Systems Inc.. Today, through his Arial Foundation, Pirelli works with children, handicapped individuals and families in need.
  • Donald Siegle, who helped develop Hospital Shared Services, Warrendale, Pa., one of the founders of Amerinet in 1986.
  • Alex Vallas, a hospital materials manager for more than 30 years, who helped introduce the concept of value analysis into healthcare from industry, and an early proponent of materials management certification.

The Bellwether League Inc. board comprises:

  • Jamie C. Kowalski (chairman), vice president of business development, Owens & Minor Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Rick Dana Barlow (executive director), president, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, Ill.
  • Bud Bowen (secretary), retired CEO, Amerinet Inc., St. Charles, Mo.
  • Patrick E. Carroll Jr. (treasurer), president, Patrick E. Carroll & Associates, Cypress, Calif.
  • James F. Dickow, director of supply chain management, facilities and operations consulting, Lerch Bates Inc., Mequon, Wis.
  • John B. Gaida, senior vice president of supply chain management, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, Texas.
  • Laurence A. Dickson, retired corporate director of materials management, Sisters of Providence Health System, Seattle, Wash.
  • Thomas W. Hughes, executive director, Strategic Marketplace Initiative, Scituate, Mass.
  • Richard A. Perrin, president and CEO, AdvanTech Inc., Annapolis, Md.
  • Derwood B. Dunbar Jr., president and CEO, MAGNET Co-op, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

The Bellwether League is soliciting financial sponsors to join its current sponsors: Owens & Minor, Hospira Worldwide, Premier, Kimberly-Clark, MedAssets, Amerinet, C.R. Bard, Cardinal Health and Wingfoot Media.