Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alumna receives inaugural supply chain management award

Keiko Arai graduated from the KU School of Business with a supply chain management (SCM) degree 2.5 years ago and is already turning heads.
Keiko Arai

In August, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) announced that Arai is one of three recipients of the Young Professionals Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes up-and-coming supply chain management and logistics professionals 30 years old and younger who contribute beyond what is required of them and have the potential to impact the profession in the future.

Arai works at Bell Helicopter Textron in Fort Worth, Texas, a job she landed after attending a business school career fair. She also participated in Textron’s two-year-long leadership development program in integrated supply chain management.

CSCMP will highlight her achievement at its annual global conference Oct. 20-23 in Denver, giving Arai exposure to professionals around the world. In addition to the recognition at the conference, she will be featured in CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly magazine and invited to participate as a speaker or a panelist in a young professionals session at the conference. This is the awards first year and Arai said that makes the accomplishment a little more special.

“When it came to the selection of the recipients, there was no one to whom we could be compared,” she said. “Therefore, we were chosen to set the bar for future recipients.”

Arai plans to go back to school and hopes this award will help her get into a great MBA program. While at KU, she was a member of the Supply Chain Management Club. She credits the business school for giving her the opportunity to help the club grow.

“We received a great amount of support from the faculty members,” Arai said. “The KU School of Business sponsored a majority of our major events, making it possible for many students to attend.”

Roger Woody, SCM external development director at KU, nominated her for the award.

“She is certainly one of the most energetic of any student I’ve known,” Woody said, “and she has continued to exhibit that energy in her young career.”

Arai is from Overland Park, Kan., and is currently a project lead in the Mexico strategic transitions group in global outsourcing/procurement.

by Dan Dutcher