Board of Advisors

  • Anindya Basu
    Anindya Basu

    Supply Chain Management Consultant

    An expert in leading management consulting projects to redefine, realign and rebuild client organizations’ extended supply chains while helping clients resolve challenging business problems to gain competitive advantages through continuous improvement and change management.

    Six Sigma Black Belt and Strategic Sourcing (A. T. Kearney) certified, experienced supply chain management and ERP consultant with proven track record in implementing CPFR (Collaborative Planning, Forecasting & Replenishment) and SCOR (Supply Chain Operational Reference) methodologies to architect S&OP processes; strong knowledge base in collaborative demand planning, inventory management, distribution network modeling and value chain analyses.

    Basu has consulted CSC, Kraft Foods, Hospira, Crown Imports, Mars Drinks, Corn Products International, Cummings Engine, Pulte Homes, and various mid size 3PL (third party logistics) companies in the field of Supply Chain Management.

    Before embarking in the field of management consulting, Basu practiced structural engineering for a top 20 A/E/C (Architectural, Engineering & Construction) firm named Michael Baker Jr., Inc in Pittsburgh, PA for 7 years.

    Basu, who is a structural engineer by background, is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Pennsylvania and Illinois. He also possesses a real estate managing broker license in the state of Illinois.

    He holds a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India and Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Florida. He also holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Ilan Berkner
    Ilan Berkner

    Chief Technology Officer, ReloQuest, Inc.
    Email Ilan | (754) 701-7447 (office)

    Ilan Berkner is the Chief Technology Officer of ReloQuest, Inc. ReloQuest™ services provide an independent cloud based sourcing platform for the Temporary Housing and Serviced Apartment Industry that offers real time, unbiased options. ReloQuest™ offers suppliers the ability to become educated and more competitive in the market place while at the same time ReloQuest™ significantly reduces cost to the client. ReloQuest™ is a cloud based seamless platform integrating Clients, Suppliers and Guests throughout the process of their accommodation.

    Ilan has expertise in software engineering, agile methodologies and developing and deploying large scale B2C and B2B enterprise platforms.

    Prior to joining ReloQuest™, Ilan was a Senior Manager for Centric Consulting, Senior VP of Technology for Friedman, Billings, Ramsey and Chief Technology Officer of Time4Learning. During his tenure at these organizations, Ilan led and architected complex enterprise and consumer solutions. Notable projects include:

    • A SaaS based sourcing platform for the Temporary Housing market.
    • The first online B2C marketplace for IPO share allocation and distribution to the retail channel.
    • An online K12 education platforms used by students across the globe.

    Ilan currently serves on the Supervisory Committee of Velocity Credit Union and contributes to his community by supporting educational initiatives and getting kids excited about STEM.

    Ilan holds a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from The George Washington University and has a son who is a student at UF.

  • Tedd A. Comerford
    Tedd A. Comerford

    Associate Vice President, Supply Chain – UF Health & Shands

    Tedd has been in Healthcare Supply Chain and Support Services for over 30 years in both for-profit and not-for-profit health systems. He most recently came to UF Health Shands in March of 2017 from Savannah, Georgia, where he was the Corporate Director of Supply Chain at Memorial Health University Medical Center. Memorial is a 650-bed, level-one trauma center associated with Mercer University. Tedd received his undergraduate degree in Organizational Management from Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee and his graduate degree in Health Services Administration from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine. Tedd grew up just below Knoxville, Tennessee in Athens. Tedd has been married to Lisa for 33 years and has two kids. Payton is 22 and Preston is 19.

  • Jason Fischer
    Jason Fischer

    Director, Supply Chain – Operations, Chick-fil-A

    Jason Fischer serves the Chick-fil-A by working on the CFA distribution roll out team. Chick-fil-A is privately held and family owned and is the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States, with over 2,500 locations in 48 states and the District of Columbia. In 2018, annual sales were over $10 billion. Chick-fil-A has set itself apart by pioneering innovations and delicious products.

    Jason started his career in distribution working in the Wal-Mart Supply Chain, where he held various positions learning the value of leadership and innovation. Previously, Jason served as the Vice President of U.S. Operations for Martin-Brower. Jason provided leadership and support for Martin-Brower’s distribution across the U.S. Business. Martin-Brower is McDonald’s largest distributor in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the UK, APMEA and the Middle East delivering over 500 million cases of product to more than 16,600 restaurants each year. Martin-Brower operates 40+ distribution centers worldwide with over 8,000 employees.

    Jason holds a MBA and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Florida. Jason and his wife, Veronica, have a daughter, Riley Grace, and live in the Atlanta area. Roni operates a CrossFit gym. Riley attends the University of Florida where she plays volleyball. If they are not watching Gator volleyball, they can be found on the golf course or a CrossFit gym.

  • Walter Garvin
    Walter Garvin

    Professor of Practice in the College of Engineering at Clemson University

    Walter Garvin is currently serving as a Professor of Practice in the College of Engineering at Clemson University.

    Recently, Walter retired from Jabil Inc where he served as Vice President of Global Lean Six Sigma & Industrial Engineering for Jabil. He joined Jabil in 2000 as Corporate Industrial Engineer for Europe and has held various positions in industrial engineering, and lean and continuous improvement in Europe and the USA.

    Prior to Jabil, Walter worked in various manufacturing industries in Automotive, Textiles, High Tech and Consumer Products industry sectors.

    He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Clemson University as well as a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering and an MBA, both from the University of Florida. Walter is a certified Black Belt and Quality Engineer with ASQ and a certified Lean Master with IISE. Walter has been awarded the prestigious Fellow Award by IISE.

  • Benjamin Gordon
    Benjamin Gordon

    Managing Partner, Cambridge Capital

    Benjamin Gordon is the Managing Partner for Cambridge Capital, a leading investor, advisor and partner for successful companies in the supply chain sector. Cambridge has invested in several outstanding transportation, logistics, and supply chain technology companies including Grand Junction, XPO, Bringg, and others. Cambridge and its affiliate, BGSA, have also advised companies including UPS, YRCW, GENCO, NFI and others.

    Prior to Cambridge Capital, Benjamin founded 3PLex, the Internet solution enabling third-party logistics companies to automate their business. Benjamin raised $28 million from blue-chip investors including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, BancBoston Ventures, Con-Way, and Ionian. 3PLex has since been sold to Maersk.

    Prior to 3PLex, Benjamin led strategy projects in transportation and technology at Mercer Management Consulting, where he developed one of the first e-commerce and logistics business models.

    Benjamin is a published author and recognized expert on transportation and logistics, and has been quoted extensively by national media including CNBC, The New York Times, Business Week, ABC, Lehrer News Hour, Journal of Commerce, Transport Topics, Supply Chain Management Quarterly, and Traffic World. Benjamin has been a featured speaker, moderator, and/or chairman at the 3PL Summit, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), NASSTRAC, the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), AMB, the International Warehousing and Logistics Association (IWLA), and other industry events. In addition, Benjamin leads the annual BGSA Supply Chain conference, the largest annual conference for CEOs from all segments of the global supply chain.

    Benjamin is an active civic leader who is committed to giving back to the community. As founder and chairman of GesherCity, he has boosted young adult volunteerism, expanding the organization from startup to over 100,000 members in twenty locations. Benjamin has also served as Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) of Palm Beach. Benjamin has served on the Boards of several non-profit groups, including the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), JCC Association, Palm Beach United Way, Palm Beach Federation, Palm Beach YPO, the Middle East Forum, and various other community organizations.

    Benjamin received a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College.

  • Nick Gowen
    Nick Gowen

    Senior Vice President, J.B. Hunt 360

    Nick Gowen is the Senior Vice President of J.B. Hunt 360. J.B. Hunt 360 is the industry leading digital freight platform dedicated to creating the most efficient transportation network in North America. Prior to this role, Nick served as a Senior Vice President of Transportation for the ICS division with responsibility over dry van freight brokerage. In his 24-year career with J.B. Hunt, Nick has worked across all divisions in multiple capacities including engineering, pricing and operations.

    Nick holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Arkansas and has a Master of Business Administration from John Brown University. He is the proud father of 3 daughters and an avid cyclist.

  • Sherry Harriman
    Sherry Harriman

    Divisional Vice President, Supply Chain, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

    Sherry Harriman is a Divisional Vice President in Supply Chain for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. She has operating responsibility for three grocery distribution centers and four general merchandise distribution centers that are located in Florida and Puerto Rico. Her role includes responsibility for store backroom management, inventory management, and inventory flow and replenishment. She was promoted to Divisional Vice President in February 2010.

    Sherry’s previous role was as Regional Vice President, where she had operating responsibility for six grocery distribution centers and two general merchandise distribution centers that were located in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. She was promoted to Regional Vice President in 2007.

    Since joining Wal-Mart in 1989, Sherry has served in various positions in the Regional Distribution Centers, Wal-Mart Stores, and Sam’s Club operations, and Wal-Mart Private Fleet Transportation. She began her Wal-Mart career as an hourly associate and has played key leadership roles in start-up initiatives in each of the divisions during her career.

    She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and a MBA – International Business from John Brown University. She lives in Miami, FL with her husband, Sean, and their two sons, Ryan, and Tyler.

  • Kevin Kenney
    Kevin Kenney

    Senior Vice President – Growth and Client Success, CareBridge Health

    Kevin Kenney has been in healthcare for over 25 years and has a passion for delivering healthcare services to underserved populations. Currently, he is the Senior Vice President of Growth and Client Success at CareBridge Health. In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees for the Florida Council on Aging. Prior to CareBridge, Kevin held senior level positions Florida Blue, DaVita, and Accenture.

    Kevin is a proud Gator holding both a B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Florida. Kevin and his family live in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Gary King
    Gary King

    EVP & CIO, T-Mobile USA, Inc.
    Email Gary | (239)225-3892

    Gary King is a former Board of Directors member for the performance analytics company SOASTA which was successfully sold to Akamai and the former EVP and CIO of T-Mobile US, Inc. Gary was with the company during their historic turn around, which doubled the number of subscribers and moved the company to the third largest wireless provider in North America. Gary’s technology team supported its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS and numerous wholesale wireless operators. Gary is also the former EVP and CIO of Chico’s FAS, Inc. a specialty retailer of private branded clothing and accessories in their flagship brands, Chico’s, White House / Black Market and soma. While he was with the company it tripled in size and distribution coverage went International. In addition, Gary is involved in his local community having served in officer positions for the Lee County Economic Development Board and Southwest Florida Children’s Charities.

    Gary started his business career as a systems analyst for Burroughs Corporation and led the voice and data technical integration of the company with the former Sperry Univac Corporation to form Unisys. Gary is a highly effective technology leader, having been CIO three times, dramatically scaling, building, and repositioning technology teams and strategy. He has also participated in a public offering for the IPO of during the ecommerce boom of the late 90’s. He has a strong international and operational perspective from his six year assignment for Avon Products, based in the UK, starting up fourteen new market entry’s in Eastern Europe, Africa and India encompassing a full range of application development and software integration from markets in explosive growth to restructuring.

    As Executive Vice President with T-Mobile, Chico’s, Barnes & Noble and, Gary has had first hand experience in bringing large and complex technology governance, investment decisions and SOX compliance to successful Board level conclusions.

    Gary has been an early adopter for many of the current waves of computing having led the decision making for fundamental development, replatforming and integration projects across the technology landscape including the areas of customer service, supply chain, retail, finance, telecommunications, e-commerce, security and infrastructure.

    Academic Background and Organizational Affiliations:
    University of Florida degree in Computer Science, Graduate Business Studies Florida Atlantic University. Current Advisory Board member Center for Supply Chain Management at the University of Florida and Tricentis. Former Advisory Board member at Apigee, a company acquired by Alphabet and former Founding Trustee and Treasurer, Southwest Florida Children’s Charity. Former Advisory Board member for Microsoft, SAS, Apax Partners and Trident Capital. Computerworld Premier 100 award recipient.

  • Graham Leary
    Graham Leary

    President, James Alistair
    Email Graham | Graham on LinkedIn

    Graham has had an extensive career domestically and internationally in procurement, global sourcing, retail and consumer products. Currently, he serves as President for James Alistair, a procurement consulting company. Prior to this, Graham was V-P strategic sourcing for Southeastern Grocers, a large regional grocer based in Jacksonville, Florida operating banners such as: Bi-Lo, Harveys, Winn-Dixie and Fresco Y Mas. At SEG, he led sourcing and negotiations for: private label products, national brands, commodity proteins, pharmaceuticals and goods & services not for resale.

    Previously, Graham served as Vice President, Global Sourcing for Black & Decker’s Hardware & Home Improvement Group based in California, with responsibility for procurement and global product sourcing.

    Prior to Black & Decker, Graham spent 17 years at Colgate-Palmolive Company, both at their New York headquarters and in Australia. At Colgate, Graham held various global product sourcing and procurement roles and spent considerable time working internationally.

    Graham earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Otago, New Zealand and his EMBA from Jacksonville University, Florida.

  • Laura Loughran
    Laura Loughran

    Vice President of Applications Development – Digital Commerce, Chico’s FAS, Inc.
    11215 Metro Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33966

    Laura Loughran is a Vice President in the Technology Organization at Chico’s FAS, a specialty retailer of private branded clothing and accessories. Our brand portfolio currently consists of four brands: Chico’s, White House | Black Market, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper. Currently, we operate over 1,250 boutiques and outlets. Laura has worked at Chico’s in numerous Technology positions since April 2003 specializing in the areas of Product Development, Sourcing, Logistics, Planning & Allocation, Finance & Inventory Management, Human Resources, Real Estate, and Business Intelligence.

    Prior to joining Chico’s, Laura worked as an ERP Implementation Specialist at PSS World Medical.

    Laura received a Bachelor of Science degree in Decision and Information Sciences at the University of Florida. She is a software conference presenter and graduate of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Program. She is also a board member of the Southwest Florida Technology Partnership. Their mission is to be the leading technology interest group in Southwest Florida; and to encourage the development, growth and attraction of technology companies and technology resources in the region. The core strategies are: Catalyze, Cultivate and Connect. She volunteers in the Lee County area and is a member of the Costal Conservation Association.

  • Penn Mou
    Penn Mou

    Manager, Supply Chain Planning & Analysis, Spirit Airlines, Inc.

    Penn Mou is the Manager of Supply Chain Planning & Analysis for Spirit Airlines, one of the fastest growing Ultra Low Cost Carriers in the world. Spirit Airlines operates more than 500 daily flights to over 70 destinations in the U.S., Lain America, and the Caribbean with the youngest fleet of any major U.S. airlines. Penn joined Spirit Airlines in 2014 and he is responsible for all aspects of Supply Chain Analysis, System Development & Implementation, and Technology Enablement. He is specialized in developing and utilizing different Business Intelligence tools to drive Business Transformation and Continuous Improvement, including Advanced Demand Planning, Inventory Forecasting, Procurement & Strategic Sourcing, and Transportation & Logistics Optimization.

    Prior to joining Spirit Airlines, Penn worked as a Lean Six Sigma specialist at Jabil, Inc.

    Penn holds a Master of Science degree in Information Systems & Operations Management from the University of Florida.

  • Sam Nimah
    Sam Nimah

    CEO, Special Care Providers of America, LLC

    After a successful career with several multi-billion dollar organizations, Sam Nimah, CPA, MBA became the CEO and owner of Special Care Providers of America, LLC in March of 2014. Nimah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from University of Florida and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University.

    As CEO of Special Care Providers, Nimah has rededicated the Company to maintaining exceptional quality of care and remarkable patient outcomes, while fostering a healthy and motivating work environment for his employees. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Special Care Providers manages acute hospital-based Special Care Units and is renowned for its ventilator weaning rates that far exceed the national average. Since 1991, Special Care Providers has served the community throughout South Florida and recently expanded into Alabama. Continued expansion plans are underway nationally. Nimah is an innovator and empowers employees through technology, positive leadership, constructive management, and placing emphasis on the importance of culture in the workplace.

  • John Peppes
    John Peppes

    Strategic Planning Manager, FCA US, LLC – Mopar ICT Service, Parts and Connected Vehicle
    1075 West Entrance Drive, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
    Email John | 586.295.1980

    John is the IT Strategic Planning Manager for the Mopar Service, Parts and Connect Vehicle organization with responsibility of working with internal business partners to define future strategies to enable global service and parts capability for the global supply chain of Mopar. In his previous role he had the responsibility in driving the definition and creation of the Service Parts supply chain (from a business and IT perspective) integrating Fiat vehicles as they enter the NAFTA and S. American markets.

    Mr. Peppes has over 20 years of IT and business expertise in the manufacturing and automotive sector specializing the Supply Chain Management consulting. He is an active member of APICS and CSCMP.

    Mr. Peppes was born in Greece and raised in Florida. He received his Associate in Arts degree from St. Petersburg Junior College (now St. Petersburg College) in 1987 and his Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida in 1989.

    Upon graduating, he moved to Michigan to begin his career with Ford Dealer Computer Services supporting parts and service managers with parts inventory management and service management strategies. He has held several positions with such companies as Decision Consultants and Compuware Corporation in the commercial sector where he has held several leadership positions.

    He later joined CIBER as a Sr. Program Manager in 2004 leading a diverse team building and implementing software solutions for complex business problems; including the implementation of an inventory management suite of products for Mopar. He was promoted to Supply Chain Practice, his responsibilities include hiring and mentoring consultants, defining supply chain solutions, building teams, and helping organizations with defining and implementing solutions to improve their bottom line results and streamline their supply chain performance. In 2012 he accepted a position directly with Chrysler leveraging his experience to help integrate Fiat and Chrysler’s supply chains.

    He has two children and resides in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He is an active member of the community and also serves on the Board of Directors for a non‐profit cultural organization in Metropolitan Detroit. He enjoys reading, golf and watching any Gator sporting event with the limited coverage he gets it in the Midwest.

  • Courtney Ryan
    Courtney Ryan

    Executive Vice President, Jabil, Chief Executive Officer, Nypro Division

    Courtney Ryan serves as Chief Executive Officer of Jabil’s Nypro Division. Jabil provides comprehensive design, manufacturing and product management services to a wide range of global business. Nypro specializes in engineering, manufacturing, automation, tooling and supply chain solutions in healthcare and rigid plastic packaging.

    Previously, he was responsible for the financial and operating performance of business in Jabil’s growth markets including Healthcare and Life Sciences, Defense and Aerospace, Emerging Markets and Clean Technology. These markets represent approximately $2.6 billion in annual revenue.

    Previously, Mr. Ryan served as Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain, responsible for the development of Jabil’s global supply chain logistics strategy while directing over $10B in material spend. In this role, he worked closely with logistics partners and customers to drive operational excellence, implement world-class processes throughout the entire organization, and manage to a set of well-defined metrics through his hands-on approach to leadership.

    Courtney joined Jabil in 1993 and was attracted to Jabil’s unique culture of entrepreneurship and autonomy. His first position with Jabil was as a Quality Engineer. During an explosive time of growth for Jabil, Ryan became an integral part of the Business Development and Operations team. Ryan was named Vice President of European Operations where he oversaw 13 plants in eight countries.

    Mr. Ryan is a passionate and adaptable leader and is committed to leading and developing those around him. He has held a variety of positions throughout the company and this experience gives him a unique insight into his current role as Chief Executive Officer of Nypro.

    Courtney holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Decision and Information Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, both from The University of Florida. He also serves on The University of Florida’s MBA and Supply Chain Advisory Board.

  • Steve Strachota
    Steve Strachota

    Chief Operating Officer, Ja-Ru

    Steve Strachota is the Chief Operating Officer for Ja-Ru, an family run international toy company selling in over 30 countries. Ja-Ru has offices in Jacksonville, Florida and Hong Kong. He oversees all aspects of the company’s operations including product development, strategic sourcing, warehouse operations, sales, IT, finance and office support functions.
    Steve’s work experience includes several global retailers and consumer product companies. He spent over 18 years in Europe serving a variety of roles in finance, operations and supply chain.

    Most recently he served as the Executive Vice President of Supply Chain, Central Operations and Information Technology for Southeastern Grocers (SEG), parent company of Winn Dixie, BI-LO, Fresco y Más, and Harveys. SEG is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the U.S. serving customers in grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies throughout the seven southeastern states The company is based in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Steve also served as the UK’s Operations and Development Director for Tesco (4th largest global retailer). He also led their UK distribution network for UK and Ireland. Steve’s responsibilities included the transformation of the supply network to better serve convenience stores, fresh food delivery and online shopping. He joined Tesco in 2010 as Chief Finance Officer for Tesco’s Czech, Slovak and Polish businesses.

    Steve’s previous experiences include a variety of general management, strategy and finance positions with Cadbury and Procter & Gamble throughout Europe and the U.S. At Cadbury, he served as CEO of Cadbury’s Russian & CIS businesses. Before joining Cadbury in 2003, he was the Western European Finance Associate Director for P&G’s Health Care division, operating first in London and then Geneva.

    Steve holds an MBA from Duke University, and a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from Wittenberg University.

  • Aaron Thompson
    Aaron Thompson

    VP- Maintenance and Purchasing, Action Enterprise Holdings

    Mr. Thompson’s 19 year career in Transportation & Logistics has included Senior Leadership roles in truck dealerships, engine distributors, private fleet, and for-hire trucking. In 2012 Mr. Thompson was awarded Innovator of the Year by Commercial Carrier Journal for his work on performance based driver pay and recruitment while VP of Operations at American Central Transport.

    Currently, Mr. Thompson is Vice President, Maintenance & Purchasing for Action Enterprise Holdings based in Birmingham, AL. Action Enterprise Holdings is a $300MM holding company that consists of three asset based, specialized transportation companies and a logistics brokerage. Aaron oversees the purchasing and asset management for the enterprise; consisting of over-weight/over-dimensional transport, specialty/hazmat chemical transport, and environmental remediation and clean up.

    Prior to joining Action in 2016, Aaron served as Vice President of Maintenance of a $400MM long haul transcontinental and inter-regional dry van carrier; as well as Executive Vice President of a $150MM refrigerated carrier in the upper Midwest. Aaron has a BA in Political Science from Truman State University and MBA from Webster University.

  • Wayne Varnadore
    Wayne Varnadore

    SVP Chief Logistics Officer, Bealls Inc

    Wayne is the SVP Chief Logistics officer at Bealls Inc which serves all logistics needs for Inbound/Outbound transportation along with Distribution Center and e-commerce Central Fulfillment operations for Bealls Stores and Bealls/Burkes Outlet. Over his 34-year career he has led numerous areas with Florida based companies including PGT Industries and Tervis Tumbler. These areas include: information technology, supply chain, customer service, human resources, manufacturing, field service, and transportation.

    Wayne graduated from the University of Florida in 1984 as a Business Finance major and completed an MBA with the University of South Florida in 1990. Wayne and his wife Cindy are both Florida natives and reside in Osprey Florida. Their two sons, Bruce and Blake, also graduated from UF.