N.C. A&T Supply Chain Students Selected for WISE Future Leader Symposium

By Jackie Torok / 12/01/2022 College of Business and Economics, Transportation and Supply Chain

From left, Arie Bethea, Elah Ra-El, Elah Spence, Arim Park, Ph.D., and Gwenyth Easterling represent North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics at the fourth annual WISE Future Leader Symposium.

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2022) – Four supply chain management students in North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics were selected to participate in the fourth annual WISE Future Leader Symposium.

Arie Bethea, Gwenyth Easterling, Elah Ra-El and Elah Spence, accompanied by Arim Park, Ph.D., assistant professor of supply chain management, participated in “A Wiser Future for Supply Chain” at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

Spence has since been chosen to serve as an advisory board member for 2023 WISE Connections.

Bethea, Easterling, Ra-El, Spence and Park were among about 115 students and faculty members from 24 universities registered for the symposium presented by WISE: Women Impacting Supply Chain Excellence.

“Our excellent female supply chain management students had an opportunity to understand how to prepare to become future leaders in the supply chain who can build more agile and innovative ways of thinking through this symposium,” said Park.

Keynote speakers included Shelley Simpson, president of J.B. Hunt Transport Services; Kathryn McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club; Amiee Bayer-Thomas, chief supply chain officer of Ulta Beauty; and Debbie Hodges, vice president of supply chain at Walmart.

“I had a great experience. I felt more empowered to strive toward leadership,” said Bethea, a third-year student from Windsor, Connecticut. “I felt assured that it is the right thing to stand with an esteemed organization that cares about representation within their business. And, not letting odds make me feel discouraged.”

Participants heard from panels of industry experts discussing a variety of topics related to supply chain challenges like sustainability and technology, how to navigate a successful supply chain career, the importance of mentors and sponsors, and much more. Breakout sessions discussed key event takeaways and how to increase diversity, especially as it relates to gender, among supply chain students and professionals.

“Being able to hear from so many strong and impactful women is completely something I will never forget,” said Easterling, a third-year student from Chicago. “Surrounding myself with like-minded women within supply chain gave a social connection that I longed for, and I’m very thankful for the WISE connections and the space it gave for future women in supply chain.”

A new addition to the event was the WISE Legends ceremony, an inaugural women's hall of fame featuring 14 women in the supply chain management field. Honorees ranged from transportation pioneers to women who have influenced the diversity and success of today’s supply chain industry. The honoree list was developed and researched by an inter-university collaboration of female supply chain students. A new class of legends will be introduced at future symposium events.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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