Top Management Night 2017

APICS Top Management Night, 2017: Supply Chain Strategies for International Expansion

APICS Princeton South Jersey Chapter concluded 2016-17 year with its annual Top Management Night on Wednesday, 21st June. The event was held at the picturesque Old York Country Club in Chesterfield, NJ.

Awards & Felicitations

The event started off by hosting the annual awards night that recognized individual achievements made in APICS Certifications of CSCP, CPIM, and CLTD from members based in the Princeton – South Jersey region. A key highlight was the first ever CLTD certification achieved by Lucas Merritt. In addition, the following members were also recognized:




Andrew D'Amore

Abdul Razak

Akiko Oshima

Lukas Merritt

James Andrew Gilmour

Mayon Silva-Netto

Suvin Patel

Alice Weng

Trang Hoang

Gayle Bruney-Phillip

Claudia Edwards

Ben Romano

Keith Maurer

Subha Bala

Victor Simons

Kingshuk Ghosh

LiDong Pan

Nancy Wang

Dennis Moore

Chetan Parekh

Diana DiBella

Blair Williams

Bhaskar Patil

Kristy Penland

Peter Blok

Michael Polt

Kevin Hall



Lukas Merrit (center) the first PRSJ student to pass the new CLTD Exam  Flanked by  Peter Blok, Dennis Moore, Blair Williams and John Zoller

In addition to individual achievements, the chapter also annually recognizes Companies and Institutions for demonstrating Supply Chain Excellence through sustained sponsorship of continuing education & certifications. The chapter was proud to recognize Church & Dwight as the ‘Company of the Year’, for their commitment to improving supply chain education.

Accepting the award is Steve Barrow flanked by Peter Blok and Maureen Kettner

In addition, the chapter recognized Dr. Andew Johnson of Rowan University as Outstanding Educator of the year.  Dr. Johnson was instrumental in the formation of Student Chapter and the creation of the Supply Chain major at Rowan. 

 Accepting the award is Mr. David Nate, supply chain professor at Rowan.


Passing the Leadership Baton

The evening assumed a special significance as it held the ceremonial biennial transfer of leadership of the Chapter President. Peter Blok, Chapter President since 2015, dutifully passed on the baton to Maureen Kettner, unanimously elected by the board and took the oath of office for her 2-year tenure that began in June 2017.

The board recognized Pete for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the chapter, which include many firsts in the chapter’s history such as the formation of Rowan University Student Chapter. Pete’s charisma and high energy set a clear vision and helped achieve many breakthroughs in addition to expanding the chapter’s goals.


Outgoing President Peter Blok commemorated by past chapter Presidents for his service.  (L-R): John Christopherson, Peter Blok, Dennis Moore, Bob Wetherill, Bryan Warshovsky, John Zoller


Key Note Presentation: Supply Chain Strategies for International Expansion

The chapter was delighted to have Sharon Bracken, President, Abbott Point of Care, who provided solid perspectives on Supply Chain Challenges realized during business expansion into international markets. Sharon shared unique insights about Abbott’s Point of Care Medical Devices business, and overview of rapidly evolving technologies that are bringing greater integration with the customer, reducing response times and costs for the healthcare system. With an average annual 14% CAGR for well over a decade, Abbott Point of Care has a history of tremendous growth.

A key priority for Abbott Point of Care is international markets and expanding in emerging economies with some of the highest growth rates in the world. However, every country presents its own unique set of challenges and opportunities that range from having distributed & fractured supply chain networks, multiple distribution layers & channels and inconsistent or unclear regulatory frameworks, all of which present significant barriers to entry and ultimately drive up the cost of doing business.

Hence, unmet needs within the marketplace must be understood, an effective product, process or solution offering must be established, and then an organization must be put in place with a strong team.  As the customer base expands, so must the supply chain of an organization.

A key takeaway from the session was “A supply chain organization that anticipates needs in a global expansion and can effectively assess risk and take action (often with limited resources) is essential to an organization undertaking a global expansion.”



Solid Turnout and Engaged Audience

The event had a diverse turnout of supply chain professionals, academics, and students that morphed into a highly engaged audience. Various companies ranging from Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Products, Cosmetics, Beverages, Chemical, Data automation and Heavy Industries were represented in the audience. Academicians and Students from South Jersey Universities (Rowan University) rounded up the audience participation. Q&A discussion points centered on leadership skills essential for realizing these goals.

Sharon emphasized that traits of flexibility & agility, ability to learn quickly, anticipate and adapt to needs of the marketplace are fundamental.


In addition, she provided invaluable advice for Supply Chain Professionals: “Be flexible, learn to adapt and diversify into other functional areas as needed.” During the growth phase, the ability of a person to wear multiple hats is cherished and encouraged within Abbott POC through cross functional movement, such as, for instance, Supply Chain professionals branching out into Contract Negotiation, Strategic Procurement, etc.

In closing, we truly appreciate Sharon for sharing her valuable insights, and making this a memorable evening!


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