Industry Market Trends, ISM Unveil Program to Recognize Millennials in Supply Chain Industry

May 05, 2014 and the Institute for Supply Management's new "30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars" program honors young, up-and-coming purchasing/supply chain professionals while highlighting the urgent need to nurture the Millennial generation, who represent the future of the industry.

As Baby Boomers begin to clear their desks and retire from the workplace for good, the purchasing/supply chain management industry is on high alert. A generational shift has only just begun. By the year 2025, today's Boomers will be 61 to 79 years old, and that means many more of them will be living out their retirement dreams. Supply chain industry leaders hope that today's Millennial generation (now 18 to 32 years old) will have enthusiastically stepped in to take their place. Indeed, within 11 years, this generation will comprise about 75 percent of the total workforce. and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) have decided not to leave the choices of this rising generation up to chance. Today, during the international ISM2014 conference in Las Vegas, they announced "30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars," a new partnership recognition program to spotlight those Millennials whose initiative, collaboration, innovation, and leadership are strengthening the purchasing/supply chain industry. ( is the parent and publisher of ThomasNet News.)

"This program will honor those dedicated and creative professionals who represent the future of the industry," said Mark Holst-Knudsen, president of ThomasNet.

"Every day, supply chain management and purchasing professionals make decisions that affect their companies' brands, competitive positioning, and bottom-line performance. Being able to have such an important impact makes supply chain management particularly rewarding," said Tom Derry, CEO of ISM. "This group of outstanding young leaders can make their own futures in one of the most strategic and dynamic careers in the global economy of the 21st century."

This is not the first time that and ISM have come together to help the purchasing/supply chain management industry stay strong and vibrant.

Back in 1913, Elwood B. Hendricks, who had been a salesman for the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers (the predecessor to, foresaw a need for an organization that would help purchasing agents advance and make a greater contribution to their firms. His vision, along with the dedication and support of leading purchasing executives, led to the formation of the Purchasing Agents' Association of New York in 1913. This organization was a predecessor to today's ISM-New York and a springboard for the international ISM.

Individually, these organizations continue to help purchasing/supply chain professionals every day. does so through its free supplier discovery and product sourcing platform, which is used by corporate, government/military, and institutional buyers seeking industrial/commercial products. ISM leads the profession through its standards of excellence, research, promotional activities, and educational/certification programs.

But as the generational shift in the workplace continues, these organizations feel a strong sense of urgency to collaborate once more. "The rewards of purchasing/supply chain management careers are still one of industry's best-kept secrets, and we need to change that fast. Our new recognition program will become a powerful asset that can be used to drive awareness of the exciting supply chain careers that exist today," said Holst-Knudsen.

The program will showcase 30 Millennials who are 30 years old or younger and have already had notable accomplishments in purchasing/supply chain management. Contributions to their companies, professional associations, and the industry at large will all be considered. Examples include outstanding achievement, exceeding goals, and creating or improving processes.

Each of these young luminaries will receive complimentary membership in ISM for one year. One "megawatt" professional from the group, along with their nominator, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to ISM2015 to be held May 3-6 in Phoenix, Ariz. This conference is designed to help professionals make an even bigger difference to their organizations and develop their careers.

Individuals can nominate deserving young professionals by going to Self-nominations are also being encouraged. The nomination deadline is July 31, 2014, and winners will be announced in the fall. All nominees must be 30 or younger as of Dec. 31, 2014.

For additional information, contact Linda Rigano, ThomasNet's executive director of media relations, at (212) 629-1522 or