ISM Dispatch One: Landed in Charlotte

On my way to Charlotte this afternoon, I only saw one man with a mask on. I’m not sure if he was trying to protect himself or others. Still, I suspect the combination of the recession and swine flu -- after all, Vice President Biden told the American public that he would recommend that his own family not ride on public transportation last week during the outbreak -- will take its toll on attendance this year. Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing a number of old faces and meeting new ones at the event. In less than an hour, I’ll be attending the Richter Awards dinner, where the winners for the ISM R. Gene Richter Awards for Leadership and Innovation and the recipients of the R. Gene Richter Scholarships, will take center stage.

While I personally believe that some of the best skills when it comes to procurement and supply chain are taught in the field -- regardless of any previous academic study in this area or otherwise -- it’s great to see a new youthful generation passionate about pursuing the opportunity to make a difference in the procurement and supply chain area. Kudos to ISM and the Richter foundation for recognizing the need to develop, fund and mentor future superstars of the profession -- before they’re drawn into a boring life in finance, sales and marketing, engineering or some other cost-adding corporate function.

If you’re at ISM and want to connect or just put a face to a name (or this blog), drop a line (but only if you can show me a note from your doctor that you’re swine flu free). My email is: jbusch (at) spendmatters (dot) com. I’ll be around most of Monday and part of Tuesday intentionally without many commitments other than attending the main stage and breakout presentations. Look for a couple of dispatches from the event, along with some more thoughtful missives after I have time to digest material from the show later this week and throughout the month of May.

Jason Busch

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