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Bellwether League, Inc.Supply chain ‘hall of fame’ to honor 12 pioneers
Bellwether League Inc. celebrates the careers, contributions of a dozen men and women who made a difference in the profession

SCHAUMBURG, IL (June 15, 2009) – Before healthcare reform became politically and culturally fashionable, 12 pioneering men and women brought their own innovative concepts and ideas for change in the industry.

Bellwether League Inc. (BLI), the healthcare supply chain “hall of fame,” selected these creative thinkers for their accomplishments and philosophies that promoted the principles and profession of supply chain management.

Schaumburg, IL-based BLI will recognize and honor the 12 as its Honoree Class of 2009 at its second annual induction dinner, scheduled for Oct. 6, 2009, at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel.

BLI plans to reveal the names of this year’s Honoree Class during the annual conference of the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management in Tampa, FL, July 19-22. Three are former AHRMM presidents and one a former chairman of the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA).
Among BLI’s Honoree Class of 2009:

  • A metropolitan city purchasing agent during World War I who joined a hospital city council to develop the group’s nascent purchasing program
  • The first hire at a new hospital who developed the facility’s materials management department from scratch
  • A purchasing executive from a major airline who implemented product standardization, computerization and supplier partnerships at a top investor-owned hospital company in the 1970s and 1980s
  • A renowned executive who redefined the business of supply contracting at the nation’s oldest group purchasing organization in the 1960s and 1970s
  • One of the first hospital executives to plant a supply chain professional in the operating room in the 1980s to manage inventory and relationships with surgeons and nurses
  • A distributor executive who helped initiate electronic data interchange and bar coding between providers and suppliers in the 1960s and 1970s, and contributed to the career launch of a famous actor on a popular television show
  • An influential thought leader who advocated such concepts as exchange carts, automated washer-sterilizers, management engineering and space planning standards, centralized or regional shared services, nurse pocket pagers and zoned nursing in healthcare

BLI recognized its Class of 2008 Inductees on Oct. 28, 2008, at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel. That inaugural Class includes the late Dean S. Ammer, Ph.D., Lee C. Boergadine, Gene D. Burton, Charles E. Housley, Thomas W. Kelly, William J. McFaul, Tom Pirelli, Donald J. Siegle and Alex J. Vallas. Read each recipient’s bellwether profile online at

BLI honors supply chain professionals in five distinct categories. They are: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management, Group Purchasing, Vendor and Consultant. The Education & Media category includes college/university professors and researchers, publishers, editors and writers. The Supply Chain Management category includes professionals working at hospitals and other non-acute care facilities, hospital systems and integrated delivery organizations. The Group Purchasing category includes professionals from among the national, regional, state, metropolitan and local group purchasing programs. The Vendor category includes professionals employed by manufacturers and distributors of products and services purchased by healthcare providers. The Consultant category includes those professionals advising, instructing and motivating healthcare supply chain management professionals as the primary focus of their practice over the years.

Anyone can nominate a qualified professional for BLI Honoree recognition via BLI’s Web site at Qualifications include advancing the profession and industry influence, a minimum of 10 years work experience, work performance and a minimum of five years of active participation in professional organizations.

About Bellwether League Inc.

Launched in late July 2007 by a group of influential veterans in the healthcare supply chain industry, Bellwether League Inc. seeks to identify and honor individuals who have demonstrated significant leadership in and influence on and contributions to the healthcare supply chain, including professionals from hospitals, non-acute healthcare providers, manufacturers and distributors of healthcare products, group purchasing organizations, consulting firms and educational institutions.

BLI is funded by five Founding Sponsors to date – Hospira, Kimberly-Clark Health Care, MedAssets, Owens & Minor and Premier Purchasing Partners – and a host of additional charter, corporate and professional sponsors.

BLI plans to recognize its second group of honorees this summer and honor them at a recognition dinner in Chicago in early October, a schedule that will continue annually.

BLI selects individuals that meet its criteria to be publicly recognized and recorded in print and online media for their contributions in advancing and improving all segments of the healthcare supply chain. The criteria include ethics, innovation, integrity, leadership, longevity, mentoring, reputation, speaking, teaching, writing and volunteering.

The Board of Directors of BLI comprises a veteran group of industry advocates who have volunteered their time and expertise to create and continually develop the organization and its ongoing educational activities. The Board includes:

  • Jamie C. Kowalski (co-founder and chairman), vice president, business development, Owens & Minor Inc., Milwaukee, WI
  • Rick Dana Barlow (co-founder and executive director), president, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL
  • Robert P. “Bud” Bowen (secretary), retired CEO, Amerinet Inc., St. Charles, MO
  • Patrick E. Carroll Jr. (treasurer), president, Patrick E. Carroll & Associates, Cypress, CA
  • James F. Dickow, director of supply chain management, facilities and operations consulting, Lerch Bates Inc., Mequon, WI
  • John B. Gaida, senior vice president of supply chain management, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX
  • Laurence A. Dickson, retired corporate director of materials management, Sisters of Providence Health System, Seattle, WA
  • Thomas W. Hughes, executive director, Strategic Marketplace Initiative, Scituate, MA
  • Richard A. Perrin, president and CEO, AdvanTech Inc., Annapolis, MD
  • Derwood B. Dunbar Jr., president and CEO, MAGNET Co-op, Mechanicsburg, PA

For more information, to become a corporate or individual sponsor or to nominate honoree candidates visit Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site at Additional photos available on request and online.