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Bellwether League, Inc.Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership to induct 8

Bellwether Class of 2020 joined by 3 Future Famers, new Ammer Honoree

SCHAUMBURG, IL (July 27, 2020) – Bellwether League Inc., the Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership, elected 8 professionals, regarded as innovators, pioneers and visionaries for their industry contributions and performance, as honorees of the Bellwether Class of 2020. They join 112 earlier honorees inducted since inception.

Bellwether League’s Board of Directors selected the following professionals for the 13th Bellwether Class: Jack R. Anderson, Doug Bowen, Gregory R. Bylo, Fred W. Crans, Kathleen Garvin, Edmond D. Hardin, Jr., David Reed and Rita L. White.

Bellwether Class of 2020 honorees will be inducted at the 13th Annual Bellwether Induction Event, scheduled for Monday, October 5.

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

Bellwether League also recognized three professionals for their contributions to supply chain operations during the first decade or so of their respective careers. They join 27 earlier recipients.

The Future Famers Class of 2020 includes the following individuals who have made significant strides in the healthcare supply chain industry early in their employment:

Hunter Chandler, Director, Supply Chain Information Systems, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC

Jack Koczela, Director of Services, Supply Chain, Froedtert Health Integrated Service Center, Menomonee Falls, WI

Kenneth Scher, CMRP, Vice President, End-to-End Supply Chain, Nexera Inc., New York

Finally, Bellwether League saluted the first recipient of its new “Dean S. Ammer Award for Healthcare Supply Chain Performance Excellence.” This award is named for and dedicated to the first inductee into Bellwether League’s Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership in 2008, and it honors those professionals in the middle of their careers who best exemplify the practice and spirit of healthcare supply chain performance excellence through their innovative leadership and influential project management experience.

Fittingly, the 2020 Ammer Honoree is a popular educator in his own right: Randy V. Bradley, Ph.D., CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Haslam College of Business, Department of Supply Chain Management

Bellwether League Board Chairman Nick Gaich praised this year’s Bellwether Class of 8, Future Famers Class of 3 and first Ammer Honoree.

“I am both proud and pleased to announce our 2020 Bellwether Honorees and Future Famers,” Gaich said. “In a year of an unprecedented medical crisis our Supply Chain colleagues have displayed an unwavering commitment to secure, preserve and sustain lifesaving products and services unequaled in modern history.

“As a fitting testament to the powerful efforts of our Healthcare Supply Chain colleagues our awardees have demonstrated the leadership attributes of courage, innovation and purpose,” he continued. “The efforts of each one of our Bellwether Honorees and Future Famers are clearly driven by a will to serve others first, once again shining a spotlight of contributions worthy of their distinction.

“I also am thrilled to announce our first individual honoree of the ‘Dean S. Ammer Award for Healthcare Supply Chain Performance Excellence,’” Gaich said. “Our 2020 Ammer Honoree best exemplifies the ideals and spirit of lessons learned from the teachings of Dean S. Ammer. The Bellwether League Board of Directors is honored to carry forward his legacy with this recognition.”

For 13 years, Bellwether League has remained true to the mission of soliciting, reviewing, validating and promoting a select few to be inducted into its Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership, according to Deb Templeton, Board Treasurer and Co-Chair of the Nominating Committee.

“The quality of the candidates and their contributions to supply chain truly has given the nominating committee a challenging job,” Templeton said. “The eight candidates selected for induction in 2020 again reflect the pioneering spirit and contributions to healthcare supply chain that have driven the practices in place today and contribute to the overall delivery of quality patient care. In addition, the Future Famers class reflects the abilities of those early in their career that have had their metal tested during the recent COVID-19 challenges.” 

Bellwether League also hailed its first honoree for the new Ammer recognition. 

“This candidate is being recognized for unique and superior work that the award’s namesake, Dean S. Ammer, Ph.D., would be proud of,” said Jamie Kowalski, Co-Founder, Founding Chairman and Co-Chair of the Nominating Committee.

Bellwether Class of 2020

Jack R. Anderson remains as dedicated and devoted to service and serving others today as he did when he began his career nearly five decades ago. In fact, a motivation and passion to serve percolates through his veins. To him, service isn’t so much an occupation but a lifestyle, a calling. Whether leading a hospital supply chain where he was one of the earliest adopters of surgical case cart systems, automatic replenishment systems and even desktop delivery for office supplies; developing and negotiating contracts for regional and national GPOs; launching professional associations; or managing his consultancy, Anderson consistently kept the customer in front of his mind’s eye.

Doug Bowen demonstrated the value of information technology in supply chain operations – not only in bringing electronic data interchange (EDI), autonomous electronic purchase orders and other IT-based productivity improvements, but also in promoting the value of supply chain IT outside of supply chain in the form of reliable service. Bowen served as one of the ringleaders who re-engineered supply chain operations for a prominent national investor-owned hospital company around a SMART system, and then drew upon that expertise to refashion supply chain operations for a southwestern integrated delivery network that has earned critical accolades inside and outside the industry.

Gregory R. Bylo (1958-2018) simply wasn’t satisfied with the status quo of healthcare supply chain processes and systems and continually felt that complacency in supply chain information technology development, improvement and implementation would be a detriment to the entire industry. Bylo advocated for enterprise- and industry-wide use of supply data standards so that data transactions were accurate, detailed, fluid and transparent within an organization and with the organization’s myriad trading partners. His efforts in master data management and enterprise-resource planning (ERP) execution reinforced the need for the FDA’s unique device identification (UDI) regulation as standard operating procedure.

Underneath the flamboyant carrying case of industry maverick and raconteur Fred W. Crans resides more than five decades of healthcare supply chain experience and expertise, spanning the military and private sectors, the latter of which includes a variety of hospitals, GPOs and consulting firms. A prolific writer and storyteller, Crans backs up his enlightening and entertaining yarns with underlying professional development and performance improvement lessons, many of which were self-learned and tested as leadership by example and experience. Disciples of Crans’ mentoring and tutelage routinely season supply chain operations with noteworthy ideas and improvements that ultimately can be traced back to something he did or said.

Kathleen Garvin served as a supply data standards evangelist for the government sector as example for the private sector to emulate. She led the charge for data standardization of medical/surgical supplies and equipment within the Department of Defense’s Logistics Agency. She then used that concurrent experience to advocate for similar development and progress in the healthcare industry under the universal product number (UPN) initiative, the precursor to UDI. Garvin envisioned a product data utility that would improve supply chain visibility and generate the cost efficiencies that data synchronization brought to the grocery and retail sectors.

Edmond D. Hardin, Jr. consistently has advocated and continues to promote redefining supplier-provider-as-customer partnerships through collaboration, innovation and performance management. Many of his strategies and tactics center on leadership development, mentoring, coaching and performance measurement that enabled the teams and organizations he led to be recognized nationally with a variety of awards. Hardin also spearheaded a number of diversity projects, programs and collaboratives at both the supplier and provider levels and integrated clinical perspectives and viewpoints into supply chain and value analysis decision-making.

David Reed recognized that incremental supply chain improvements were good and needed, but not enough to be meaningful long-term, which required comprehensive end-to-end supply chain solutions. During a career that crossed sales and operations, Reed emphasized the need for collaboration between suppliers and provider customers while concurrently consolidating customer service and support functions for the supplier in which he worked. For Reed, dedicated and reliable service to the customer fueled supply chain success on either side of the table that included the use of supply chain automation and visibility, supply data standards and clinical value analysis. He also advocated for deeper and stronger professional relationships between supply chain and clinicians for access to high-end inventory.

With considerable healthcare supply chain leadership experience, Rita L. White leapt outside of the industry to run a manufacturing company when opportunity arose. After guiding that engineering firm through a successful sale, White returned to healthcare, parlaying that entrepreneurial expertise and spirit to lead supply chain operations for a new cancer hospital and clinic for more than a decade before moving on to help develop and expand an award-winning integrated delivery network (IDN). At this IDN she helped to re-engineer supply chain operations as an entrepreneurially driven enterprise that moved beyond merely acquiring, moving and storing stuff to developing IT and logistical products to drive efficiencies and generate revenue.

Future Famers Class of 2020

Hunter Chandler brought financial and retail expertise to healthcare applications and operations, including a financial/operational toolkit developed to analyze and assist in product evaluations and decision-making. Chandler also engineered ways to link supply chain IT to the electronic health record, enabling a “One Man Analytics Shop.”

Jack Koczela incorporated IT functionality and helped to improve value analysis measures within supply chain that included conversion procedures, standards and practices. He also introduced supply chain management discipline, philosophy and principles to his organization’s laboratory department via a team-driven playbook and developed supply models to drive the department’s success during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a supply chain improvement go-to guy, Kenneth Scher has served as a cost-cutting efficiency expert at more than 100 project management engagements that involved designing and implementing logistics models and services as well as ERP implementations, inventory management reductions and product conversions. His efforts typically involved rapid plans for change and training for frontline staff as he helped to rescue struggling organizations or boost them to the next level.

2020 Ammer Honoree

Randy V. Bradley, Ph.D., CPHIMS, FHIMSS, demonstrates through lectures and teaching the value of IT in healthcare as he connects IT in healthcare to supply chain. As a university professor and an industry leader, Bradley’s thought leadership reinforces the need to advance supply chain digitalization – not simply for transactional purposes, but also for foundational development and progress towards healthcare transformation. His insights and international keynote addresses and industry engagements illustrate his reach across multiple ages, experience levels, and countries. Bradley’s finger is soundly on the pulse of 21st century IT and supply chain concepts in healthcare, and his explanations of how to take advantage of emerging technologies in healthcare supply chains are practical and relevant to current and next-generation supply chain professionals.

About Bellwether League

Bellwether League’s Board of Directors, a veteran group of industry advocates, evaluates and validates professionals submitted for consideration in its three award programs: Bellwethers, Future Famers and Ammer Honorees.

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 publicly recognized as Bellwether Class Honorees. Those honored demonstrate their qualifications by advancing the profession through work experience and performance and active participation in professional organizations and their communities.

Honorees include professionals from hospitals and other healthcare providers, manufacturers and distributors of healthcare products and services, group purchasing organizations, consulting firms, educational institutions and media outlets.

Future Famers represent supply chain professionals early in their healthcare careers who do not yet qualify for Bellwether consideration, but have contributed to the healthcare supply chain profession in a meaningful way.

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, Bellwether League has honored 120 innovators, leaders and pioneers in healthcare supply chain management in five distinct categories: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management, Group Purchasing, Supplier and Consulting Services. Bellwether League also has recognized 30 Future Famers, and its first Ammer Honoree.

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 currently is funded by six Founding and Platinum Sponsors – HealthTrust, Intalere, Owens & Minor, Premier, Vizient and VIE Healthcare – and a host of additional sponsors at the Gold, Silver and Bronze levels. For a listing of all of Bellwether League’s sustaining sponsors, please visit our web site at

The 2020-2021 Board of Directors of Bellwether League Inc. includes a veteran group of industry advocates:

  • Nick Gaich, (Chairman) (Bellwether Class of 2013),CEO, Nick Gaich and Associates, Morgan Hill, CA
  • Nathaniel Mickish, (Secretary) (Future Famers Class of 2015), Vice President, Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX
  • Deborah A. Petretich Templeton, R.Ph., (Treasurer), Chief Administrative Officer, System Support Services, Geisinger Health, Danville, PA
  • Rick Dana Barlow, (Co-founder, Executive Director), President, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL
  • Karen Conway, CMRP, Vice President, Healthcare Value, GHX, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Dee Donatelli, R.N. (Bellwether Class of 2015), Vice President, Professional Services, TractManager,Newton, KS
  • Jamie C. Kowalski, (Co-founder, Founding Chairman 2007-2013) (Bellwether Class of 2017), CEO, Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting LLC, Milwaukee, WI
  • Nicholas C. Toscano (Bellwether Class of 2018), Founder & CEO, Julicon Advisors LLC, Saint Simons Island, GA

For more information on how to become a sustaining or corporate sponsor or to nominate Bellwether Honoree and Future Famer candidates visit