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Bellwether League, Inc.10 tapped to enter healthcare supply chain leadership hall of fame

SCHAUMBURG, IL (July 23, 2014) – Bellwether League Inc., the hall of fame for healthcare supply chain leadership, chose 10 innovators, pioneers and visionaries as Honorees of the Bellwether Class of 2014.

Five are retired or semi-active and near retirement, one is deceased and four remain active and dedicated to service.

Bellwether League Inc.’s 11-member Board of Directors elected the following professionals to the Bellwether Class of 2014: Henry A. Berling, Robert P. “Bud” Bowen, Brent T. Johnson, Norman A. Krumrey, Keith Kuchta, Randall A. Lipps, Dale A. Montgomery, Richard A. Perrin, Joseph M. Pleasant and Earl G. Reubel.
of quality care through efficient and innovative supply chain operations. They represent creative thinkers who take the initiative, expand the boundaries of what’s possible, and perform in a way that improves and promotes the profession of supply chain management among
Bellwether Class of 2014 Honorees will be inducted at the 7th Annual Honoree Induction Dinner Event, scheduled for Monday, October 6, at the Sheraton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel.

Bellwether League Inc.’s Board selected these bellwethers for their achievements and contributions in the delivery hospitals, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), manufacturers and distributors, consulting firms, educational institutions and media properties.

Companies or individuals wishing to honor any or all of the Honorees can visit Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site at to register to attend and/or sponsor the award dinner event or post congratulatory messages in the collectible dinner program.

“Our 7th Bellwether class is a different set of names from past years, but they all share important traits with past inductees – leadership, innovation, imagination, and most importantly, a drive to be the best at what they did and do,” said John B. Gaida, Board Chairman, Bellwether League Inc.

“Bellwether League’s Board of Directors is so very proud of each class, and these newest honorees continue the tradition. They will take their rightful place alongside others who have made a difference to our profession – each in slightly different ways and in various areas of the Supply Chain, but nevertheless making it better for all of us in the business of taking care of patients. Each of them knew what was critical for their individual part of the supply chain – they did it and did it better than most. Bellwether League Inc.’s mission is to find these worthy individuals and honor them and their achievements. Our very best wishes go to each of them!” Gaida added.

“If there’s a common thread woven throughout the tapestry of the Bellwether Class of 2014 you’ll learn how each of the 10 honorees established sturdy connections between administrators and clinicians, between C-suite and front-line and back-office operators, between healthcare and other industries,” said Rick Dana Barlow, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Bellwether League Inc. “These bridges must be built, and bellwethers are leading the way.”

Bellwether Class of 2014

Henry A. Berling, through his Southern home-spun affability, helped to forge and expand a number of prominent distributors, including Owens & Minor Inc. and Stuart Medical, as well as craft solid contracts with some of the larger healthcare systems and industry-leading integrated delivery networks searching for supplier partners to assist in cost reduction and process standardization.

Robert P. “Bud” Bowen demonstrated his customer service and group purchasing acumen by helping to form, develop and grow Amerinet Inc. into one of the largest and leading group purchasing organizations in the nation, translating his prior administrative and supply chain experience from long-term care provider New England Management Corp. and distributor American Hospital Supply Co.

Brent T. Johnson relied on decades of supply chain experience in other industries to develop Intermountain Healthcare’s highly regarded consolidated service center, which has served as a model for other healthcare organizations to emulate, as well as to implement a self-distribution strategy generating noteworthy benefits for his organization and the patients served, and extending potential boundaries for others.    

Norman A. Krumrey applied the supply chain skills he honed in the aircraft industry to hospitals starting in the early 1970s, implementing centralized process and coding controls and automated cart systems in supply processing and distribution, as well as working with clinicians and physicians, which elevated him to the C-suite as a supply chain leader, and later propelled him to GPO leadership ranks.

Keith Kuchta may be synonymous with Kimberly-Clark Health Care after spending nearly four decades with the company, but it’s his industry contributions through Kimberly-Clark Health Care that elevates his stature, including helping to establish the annual Georgetown Healthcare Leadership Institute for hospital supply chain and other departmental leaders and developing a number of Strategic Marketplace Initiative projects.

Randall A. Lipps, an industrial engineer from the airline industry, was inspired and motivated by personal healthcare experience to develop and manufacture automated technology for hospitals and other healthcare facilities in an effort to reduce – if not eliminate – process inefficiencies, redundancies and risks in the administration and delivery of patient care.

Dale A. Montgomery represents a bonafide healthcare supply chain veteran, having completed his career as a C-suite-based supply chain executive after working up the ladder from orderly four decades earlier for the same organization. His dedication to his employer was matched by his dedication to the supply chain profession, having spearheaded clinical quality value analysis and dedicated physician relationships to solidify his organization’s clinical, fiscal and operational foundation.

Richard A. Perrin has been a tireless advocate for and ambassador of healthcare supply chain information technology use and a pioneering voice for supply data standards since migrating from the hospital supply chain leadership ranks where he, too, started his healthcare career as an orderly. Perrin also helped bridge the clinical and corporate gaps between government and private sector supply chain operations.

Joseph M. Pleasant so faithfully and steadfastly believed in healthcare information systems interoperability and supply data standards that he helped found and chair separate organizations to justify and promote either cause. Through his CIO chair in Premier’s C-suite, Pleasant worked with other GPOs to drive data standards adoption and implementation as well as helped the federal Department of Defense pilot data standards use for its facilities.

Earl G. Reubel broke new corporate cultural ground with the introduction of what he called “supplier diversity” mentoring to nurture diverse, small and local suppliers into growing incrementally via financial and operational planning into national players even as he led his own distribution company. Through the late Reubel’s efforts, suppliers learned how to reach across the provider aisles, linking the C-suite and other administrators to physicians and clinicians serving patients.

About Bellwether League Inc.

Bellwether League Inc.’s Board of Directors 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 publicly recognized. Honorees demonstrate their qualifications by advancing the profession through work experience and performance and active participation in professional organizations and their communities.

To date, Bellwether League Inc., has identified and honored 72 innovators, leaders and pioneers in healthcare supply chain management in five distinct categories: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management, Group Purchasing, Supplier and Consulting Services.

Launched in late July 2007 by a group of influential veterans in the healthcare supply chain industry, Bellwether League Inc., is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation that identifies and honors men and women who have demonstrated significant leadership in, influence on and contributions to the supply chain from healthcare providers, healthcare product manufacturers and distributors, group purchasing organizations, consulting firms, educational institutions and media outlets.

Bellwether League Inc. is funded by five Founding and Platinum Sponsors – Kimberly-Clark Health Care, McKesson, MedAssets, Owens & Minor and Premier Purchasing Partners – and a host of additional sponsors, highlighted on Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site.

The Board of Directors of Bellwether League Inc. includes a veteran group of industry advocates:

  • John B. Gaida (chairman), senior vice president, supply chain management, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX
  • Patrick E. Carroll Jr. (secretary), president, Patrick E. Carroll & Associates, Cypress, CA
  • Mary A. Starr, (treasurer), assistant vice president, AdvantageTrust, HealthTrust Purchasing Group, Schaumburg, IL
  • Rick Dana Barlow (co-founder, executive director), president, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL
  • James R. Francis, chair, supply chain management, and chief supply chain officer, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Jamie C. Kowalski (co-founder, founding chairman 2007-2013), CEO, Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting LLC, Milwaukee, WI
  • Michael Louviere, system vice president, supply chain, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA
  • Vance B. Moore, senior vice president, operations, Mercy, Chesterfield, MO
  • Jean M. Sargent, CMRP, FAHRMM, CRCST, director, advisory solutions, MedAssets, Los Angeles
  • John W. Strong, principal, John Strong LLC, Fontana, WI
  • Mark A. Van Sumeren, senior vice president, strategy and business development, Owens & Minor Inc., Richmond, VA

For more information, to become a sustaining, corporate or individual sponsor or to nominate honoree candidates visit Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site at