APICS Hosts “Careers in Supply Chain” Panel

By Amanda Sulkosky,
Stillman News Writer

On Thursday, Mar. 31, APICS held their “Careers in Supply Chain” event at 7 p.m. The night began on the fourth floor of Jubilee Hall with a registration area as soon as one would get off of the elevator. There were plenty of appetizers and drinks available. On the tables were various items for the attendees to take with them, including magnets, hand sanitizer, and USB flash drives.

The panelists networked before the event started and then made their way to the long table at the front of the room. There were eight panelists and a moderator. The first to be announced was the moderator, Benjamin Lowe.

Lowe is an associate director at Verizon Wireless. He has an impressive resume ranging from being the director of the Chief Scientist Office at Bell Labs, to even leading the Supply Chain Analytics Research group in Bell Labs Ireland-UK. Lowe stated how he had many careers in supply chain throughout his many years of working in the business world.

Throughout the night Lowe introduced all of the panelists, with the first being Karl Blomback who is the Vice President of Supply Chain at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC).  He stated, “With a little bit of smarts you can make a big change in supply chain.”

The next panelist was Joe Cervino, who is the U.S. Sales and Operations Planning Champion at Bayer Consumer Healthcare.

He enjoys supply chain because he can take a concept all the way to the customer through a process and see every step.

Wambui Gathu, a supply chain analyst at MARS, was the third panelist. Gathu even brought a colleague to sit on the panel.

He said, “In your career there may be many opportunities that are not in your path, but it is beneficial to take them. Supply Chain is a perfect path for exploring.”

Michael Goolsby, a director at HUMC, followed. He enjoys supply chain because he has control, using data to help the leaders in his company.

The fifth panelist was James Ward, a Procurement Analyst at Wakefern Food Corporation. He began his career in accounting but then moved into procurement, which is a part of supply chain.

Don Parriot, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory in North America for Ricola, was the next panelist. Parriot gave some tips and advice to follow throughout one’s career paths.

First off, he stressed the importance of flexibility. He also mentioned that networking is key because one may never know when one might need help or can help someone else. Parriot stressed that one is responsible for the development of his or her own career, and in order to stay ahead of the competition, one must be a lifetime learner. Last but not least, he said to have a positive outlook on life.

Richard Killeen, Director of Purchasing at HUMC, was the seventh panelist. He brought up the point that being able to leave Seton Hall University with education in supply chain can put one ahead of others in the workplace.

The last panelist was Gabino Roche, the Chief Executive Officer at Maag Studios. He came with advice and tips when it came to careers. Roche recommends to ask, “How is the team measured for success?” when one is being interviewed. When one is working, it is important to network internally and externally.

Overall, a common theme of the night seemed to be that most of the panelists fell into the supply chain field by accident. Many started with another career path and ended up in supply chain.

Therefore, after graduation, it is valuable to keep in mind that supply chain management is an option to look into.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 12th print edition.

Contact Amanda at


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