30 Under 30 Program Nomination Period Extended, Spend Matters Talks to Former Nominator

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ThomasNet and the Institute for Supply Management recently announced they were extending the deadline to nominate young procurement professionals for the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program. The program, now in its second year, calls attention to the “best and the brightest” industry leaders between the ages of 18-30, otherwise known as millennials. The 30 winners will be showcased at the ISM annual conference next year in Indianapolis and receive a 1-year complementary ISM membership.

Those interested in throwing the name of a fellow colleague, protégé or mentee into the hat now have until Oct. 30. (The previous deadline was July 31.) ThomasNet and ISM have pointed to what they called a “perfect storm” headed toward the supply chain management industry as reason to continue the 30 Under 30 program. Many of those in the industry are of the baby boomer generation, and as they retire, too few young professionals are taking their place. Calling attention to these younger supply chain industry workers will hopefully encourage others to pursue similar careers.

To gain a better understanding of what the nomination process for the 30 Under 30 Program looks like, Spend Matters talked to David A. Allen, functional excellence lead for contracting and procurement at Shell. David nominated fellow Shell colleague Katy Conrad Maynor during the inaugural 30 Under 30 program. Katy, category manager, finished lubricants/B2B at Shell, ended up winning the “megastar” 30 spot in the program last year. Below is an edited version of our interview with David.

Spend Matters: How did you first hear about the 30 Under 30 program and what made you want to put a name into the hat?

David Allen: I first heard of the 30 Under 30 program through a discussion I had with an ISM executive and then by visiting the ISM website to learn more about the program, its objectives, requirements and nomination process. My initial reaction to the program was extremely positive. Recognizing and properly rewarding talented individuals are key aspects in the employer-employee value proposition. I believed this was a great opportunity to showcase Katy and her competencies as well as place a spotlight on Shell’s highly effective contracting and procurement organization.

SM: Do you think Katy and other winners have brought new attention to the supply chain and procurement industry? How so?

DA: The 30 Under 30 program has generated a great deal of attention and enthusiasm for the supply chain industry. The supply chain profession remains dynamic and is becoming more strategic all of the time. Business leaders recognize the value that supply chain professionals bring to their bottom line. If you review the profiles of the 30 Under 30 winners, they are outstanding. They are great examples of the type of supply chain professionals that companies wish to employ. The leadership, collaboration, innovation and communication skills they exhibit help drive future success for their companies. I believe companies will be holding up the 30 Under 30 winners as models for their supply chain staff to emulate.

SM: How has having Katy be among the 30 under 30 supply chain stars impacted your organization?

DA: It has been very positive overall – it has inspired many of our younger staff to become more involved in external supply chain organizations, including participation and accepting leadership roles in local ISM Affiliates. Numerous Shell supply chain professionals have begun pursuing their ISM certification. Shell’s Contracting & Procurement organization has gained additional credibility with our internal business partners. I have also had a number of staff contact me regarding future 30 Under 30 program nominations and what they should focus on to improve their skills and competencies.  

SM: Do you think it is important that programs like 30 Under 30 exist? Do you see attracting young professionals to the procurement industry as a challenge?

DA: Programs like 30 Under 30 help to raise the profile of professionals in the supply chain industry and the companies that support and recognize the value of supply management. The supply chain industry continues to expand and will provide numerous job opportunities for new and talented young professionals. I do not believe attracting young professionals will be a problem. Young professionals gravitate toward roles where they can exhibit their leadership, hone their functional/people skills and deliver results. I continue to see growth in supply chain curriculums and in the number of supply chain students. I believe the supply chain profession is in a very good state and poised to help lead our companies to future success in a very challenging and dynamic global marketplace.

SM: What was your experience like as a nominator? What was the process of submitting Katy as a candidate?

DA: Submitting a nomination was simple and easy to do. The difficult part of the nomination process was trying to take a great deal of information and synthesize it to some very clear tangible points which highlighted Katy’s strengths and accomplishments without feeling as if we were bragging or being arrogant. This part of the process did take additional time and careful thought.

SM: Would you recommend that your peers get involved in the 30 Under 30 program and nominate candidates? If so, why?

DA: I would definitely recommend that my peers and supply chain leaders from all industries get involved with the 30 Under 30 program. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your organizations and talented young staff. It will provide additional motivation to your staff to improve their skills which will translate into delivering additional value to your companies.

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