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Bellwether League, Inc. Bellwether League Foundation (BLF) offers a year-end salute to its 15th anniversary

SCHAUMBURG, IL (December 23, 2022) — Bellwether League Foundation (BLF) offers a year-end salute to its 15th anniversary that featured a return to in-person events for the Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership and the Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership Forum, both of which were held on a college campus for the first time. BLF also provides a fresh look ahead about its leadership and plans for 2023.

Glancing backward

BLF recognized four members of the Future Famers Class of 2022 and inducted eight members of the Bellwether Class of 2022 during the Bellwether League Foundation Induction & Recognition Event (BLFIRE15) at Marquette University, Milwaukee, on Monday, October 3.

The 2022 Future Famers Class honored were Ryan R. Burke, Vice President, Strategic Sourcing, Pandion Optimization Alliance, Rochester, NY; René A. Gurdián, Assistant Vice President, Supply Chain Finance and Strategy. Ochsner Health, New Orleans, LA; Caroline Marion, Manager, Supply Chain Clinical Engagement and Implementation, Novant Health, Wilmington, NC; and Allison T. Tidd, Assistant Vice President, Contracts, Atrium Health/Atrium Health Supply Chain Alliance, Charlotte, NC. They joined 33 Future Famers in seven earlier classes.

The 2022 Bellwether Class Honorees inducted were Teresa L. Dail, John H. Hammergren, Edward J. Hisscock, Thomas M. Lubotsky, David R. Myers, Rosaline Parson, John F. Sasen Sr. and Susan M. Tyk. They joined 129 Bellwethers inducted in 14 earlier classes.

The official video of and photographs from BLFIRE15 can be found on BLF's website at . Visitors to the website also can access video of the 2022 Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership Forum, which features the first capstone project presented by college students from the University of Michigan through BLF's Bellwether Philanthropy division and a panel discussion about the past, present and future of the healthcare supply chain as shared by several Bellwethers and Future Famers.

Visitors also will be able to access the latest edition of BLF's "REMEMBER" e-newsletter and its Leaders & Luminaries online magazine.

Looking forward

BLF elected its Board of Directors and appointed its Advisory Council for 2023.

Jamie Kowalski (Bellwether Class of 2017), Co-Founder and Founding Chairman (2007- 2013) was elected Chairman; Barbara Strain (Bellwether Class of 2021) was elected Secretary; and Rick Barlow, Co-Founder and Executive Director, was elected Treasurer. Deborah Templeton, R.Ph., Board Chairman 2021-2022, was named Chairman-Emeritus.

Kowalski appreciated the opportunity to continue serving the organization.

"As a Co-founder, I always believed that BLF would be successful, especially because of the superior talent and experienced supply chain leaders that have served on the Board," Kowalski indicated. "They have led and helped build the foundation of this unique organization. Now, as we approach 2023 — the 16th year of BLF, we continue to bring additional talent, and new viewpoints, into the mix — on the Board and in the Advisory Council. I am extremely honored to have been a member of this amazing group through all these years and I see nothing but continued success ahead. Join us and help us make this happen."

Templeton reflected on the progress BLF achieved during her pandemic-riddled tenure.

"Having served as Chairman for the last two years has been a rewarding experience," Templeton noted. "It is truly an honor to be able to bring forth recognition to those who have contributed to the healthcare supply chain in so many varied ways. Through the efforts of the Bellwether League Foundation, these professionals are recognized on many levels, from seasoned veterans to up- and-coming stars.

"The highlight of my service to Bellwether League was shepherding the change to 501c3, non-profit status and seeing the Philanthropy Division deliver the first capstone project, uniting with students in supply chain programs and bringing Bellwether influence to those at the start of their career," she continued. "I have also enjoyed working with many colleagues across the country to continue to celebrate the Foundation, its mission, and members. In 2023, I hope to see additional growth and recognition for the Foundation as it continues the efforts to shine its beacon on those so deserving."

Strain, the newest Board member, welcomed the opportunity to promote healthcare supply chain.

"It will be an honor to serve on the BLF 2023 Board and to help advance healthcare supply chain of the future," Strain said, "and ask that you assist us in continuing to honor those who have helped made this journey."

Advisory Council members for 2023 (listed in alphabetical order by surname) include: Ryan Burke (Future Famers Class of 2022), Fred Crans (Bellwether Class of 2020), Jake Groenewold (Bellwether Class of 2021), Mike Langlois, Tom Lubotsky (Bellwether Class of 2022), Carl Meyer (Bellwether Class of 2019), Gary Rakes (Bellwether Class of 2021), John Strong (Bellwether Class of 2011), Mark Van Sumeren (Bellwether Class of 2021) and Donna Van Vlerah (Future Famers Class of 2015 and Ammer Honoree of 2021). Van Sumeren also will lead Bellwether Philanthropy.

BLF saluted retiring Advisory Council members Karen Conway, Nick Gaich (Bellwether Class of 2013), Kate Polczynski (Future Famers Class of 2016) and Mary Starr (Bellwether Class of 2018). Both Gaich and Starr served as past Board officers, Chairman (2016-2020) and Treasurer (2012- 2016), respectively, and Conway served as a past Board member (2018-2020), during the organization's not-for-profit corporation era, prior to becoming a nonprofit foundation in 2021.

"We may have just crossed the peak of Year 15, but with our past and present Board and AC we are well-positioned to grow as we embark in 2023 on the climb to Year 20," Barlow said. "I, for one, look forward to the journey together with the industry and its dedicated professionals."

BLF announced that BLFIRE16 will return to Marquette University on Monday, October 2, 2023. Nomination forms for the Future Famers Class of 2023 and the Bellwether Class of 2023 can be found on BLF's website at .

About Bellwether League Foundation

Bellwether League Foundation comprises two operating divisions that educate, endow and evaluate professionals in healthcare supply chain performance excellence: The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership and Bellwether Philanthropy.

The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership evaluates and validates professionals submitted for consideration in its three award programs: Bellwether Honorees, Future Famers and Ammer Honorees. The Hall of Fame also offers educational and professional development content via the Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership Forum and its "Leaders & Luminaries" multimedia of online and printed content.

The Board selects deceased, retired and currently active professionals with a minimum of 25 years of exemplary service and leadership performance in supply chain operations that meet its criteria to be recognized publicly as Bellwether Class Honorees.

Future Famers represent supply chain professionals early in their healthcare careers who do not yet qualify for Bellwether consideration but have contributed meaningfully to the profession and industry.

Honorees who receive the "Dean S. Ammer Award for Healthcare Supply Chain Performance Excellence" represent noteworthy executives and professionals in the middle of their careers who, through their innovative leadership and influential project management experience, best exemplify the practice and spirit of healthcare supply chain performance excellence.

To date, The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership has honored 137 innovators, leaders and pioneers in healthcare supply chain management in five distinct categories: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management (Provider), Group Purchasing, Supplier and Consulting Services. Bellwether League Foundation also has recognized 37 Future Famers, and two Ammer Honorees.

Bellwether Philanthropy offers grants, scholarships and capstone educational and developmental projects to college-bound high school students who plan to study supply chain curricula, current collegiate students who major in supply chain-related careers and professionals who pursue continuing education through associations and universities.

Launched in late July 2007 by a group of influential veterans in the healthcare supply chain industry, Bellwether League Foundation began as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation that upgraded to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in January 2021.

Bellwether League Foundation currently is funded by six Founding and Platinum Sustaining Sponsors — GHX, HealthTrust, Owens & Minor, Premier, Vizient and Wingfoot Media — and a host of additional sustaining sponsors at multiple levels. For more information, visit Bellwether League Foundation's website at