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Bellwether League, Inc.Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership honors 8 who will be inducted into the Bellwether Class of 2019 this fall

SCHAUMBURG, IL (June 24, 2019) – 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 2019. They join 104 earlier honorees inducted during the last dozen years.

Bellwether League’s Board of Directors selected the following professionals for the 12th Bellwether Class: Clara Barton, Stanley J. Costello, George Y. Hersch, Capt. Terry R. Irgens, USN-Ret., Carl P. Meyer, Vance B. Moore, Kevin O’Marah and Larry P. Smith.

Bellwether Class of 2019 honorees will be inducted at the 12th Annual Bellwether Induction Dinner event, scheduled for Monday, September 30, at The Westin-O’Hare in Rosemont, IL, a northwest suburb of Chicago adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

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 Board Chairman Nick Gaich praised this year’s Bellwether Class of 8.

“I am proud to announce our 2019 Bellwether Class Hall of Fame honorees, as well as humbled by the legacy of contributions they have given to the healthcare supply chain profession,” Gaich said. “Each one of our honorees represents the best of what can be accomplished as they have shown us all that when passion and purpose collide, greatness happens. 
“Throughout their careers each one of our honorees exhibited the courage to take a risk, the compassion to serve others first and a willingness to teach others through humility and professionalism that clearly stands out as enduring virtues of a Bellwether League Hall of Fame recipient,” he said.

As the Chair of the Nominating Committee, allow me to say that the Bellwether Class of 2019 is a group of qualified individuals that comprises one of the most diverse classes in our 12-year history,” said Jamie Kowalski, Bellwether League Co-Founder and Board Member. “They represent a cross section of career backgrounds, skills and experience that has contributed significantly to the advancement of Supply Chain Management in healthcare, reaching back more than a century. This class includes providers, suppliers, media/research, military logistics, and the most notable and recognizable crisis/disaster relief organization in the world. Female and male alike, they and their families can be proud of their contributions to the profession and the industry. Bellwether League is also very proud to have them join their predecessors as fellow classmates in the Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership.

Bellwether Class of 2019

Clara Barton (1821-1912), may be well-known for her first aid skills and the famous humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance and disaster relief she founded in 1881, but deep down she knew and demonstrated how to acquire and move supplies when they were needed to care for patients and people at large, both on and off the battlefield, and during and after crises and disasters. Her talents and skills uniquely qualify her as a pioneering, if not quintessential, supply chain expert, seasoned not only in the field and but also on the field. In short, Barton wasn’t only an educator, nurse, organizer or supplier of materials and provider of hope; she was a first mover.

Stanley J. Costello (1916-1976), may have brought group purchasing and supply chain expertise to the Dakotas and north of the Great Plains in the 1950s and 1960s, but what he really brought to that region, and the growing number of facilities he represented, was supply chain as a dedicated, heartfelt customer service. Costello’s customers counted on him without fail because he truly delivered. His dedication to helping clinicians and administrators alike became such a hallmark in healthcare group purchasing and supply chain history that his motivation, philosophy and reputation spawned a national award named for and given in his honor.

George Y. Hersch exhibits the even-keeled, steady leadership style of a “practical visionary” where progressive momentum occurs by bobbing and weaving through the dramatic and political speedbumps and roadblocks that emerge. With a low-key, unflappable aura of humble servanthood, Hersch advocated for supply chain efficiency and influence, and enabled and motivated a group of independently minded facilities to band and work together for the collective and common good. His efforts also led to one of the earliest system-wide, value analysis and technology assessment programs that incorporated strong physician leadership and participation. Years later, he replicated and enhanced the program at another healthcare organization across the country.

Capt. Terry R. Irgens, USN-Ret. (1947-2017) led the Department of Defense’s Medical Materiel Directorate to switch to a commercial prime vendor program from the traditional depot system, which represented a radical departure in materiel operations for the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Personnel Support Center. He also oversaw medical logistics on the battlefield during the first Gulf War, led the implementation of automated transactions and spearheaded strategic partnerships throughout the federal healthcare system. For the federal government, Capt. Irgens’ efforts and outcomes were as challenging as navigating an oil tanker through the sliver of the Panama Canal. Irgens also was instrumental in helping to develop a program that repaired wounded warriors through surgery, technology and therapy.

Carl P. Meyer represents an authentic Renaissance man who reinforced “the art of the deal” as defined by how much the receiving customer or patient gains from a decision or transaction than the seller. Meyer skillfully guided his supplier and provider customers through the intricacies and nuances of distribution, electronic commerce, group purchasing and shared services so that they could improve their operations and performance for the benefit of their own customers and grow as an organization over time. He approaches challenges and changing needs with the attention, engagement and temperament of a dedicated mentor.

Vance B. Moore displays a natural twinkle in his eyes that may lead you to think he’s up to something – and typically, that’s horizon scanning and strategic foresight. Moore is one of those healthcare executives who consistently remains one step ahead of you but extends his hand to pull you along with him and show you the way. He was one of the earliest adopters of consolidated service center operations, self-contracting and self-distribution, as well as an advocate of phasing through the traditional walls of healthcare operations and service to embrace virtual modeling to enhance quality delivery. Before that, Moore also guided a prominent, brown-wrapped global shipping organization into healthcare.

Kevin O’Marah passionately ignited media recognition about the critical importance of supply chain as both a catalyst and a linchpin for success, regardless of industry or market segment. Through his research, content, conferences and community development, O’Marah re-affirmed the need for the C-suite’s strategic attention to supply chain operations for local, regional, national and even global health. Through his facilitation, leadership and mentoring, O’Marah has advocated for the advancement of supply chain understanding and training – from academic institutions to corporations to healthcare organizations.

Larry P. Smith fused the art and science of supply chain operations, having led multiple award-winning supply chain and sales organizations for several global healthcare product manufacturers. As part of that leadership, Smith implemented and oversaw the integration, redesign and upgrade of those organizations to “best-in-class” status, all while directing and mentoring cross-functional teams, at least one of which included R&D scientists. He parlayed his coaching and mentoring skills into supply chain education, serving as adjunct professor and advisor at several well-known universities for graduate and undergraduate students. Smith also extended his reach by helping to guide a growing third-party logistics company that is the largest woman-owned 3PL in the nation.

About Bellwether League

Bellwether League’s Board of Directors, a veteran group of industry advocates, evaluates and validates professionals submitted for consideration in its Bellwether and Future Famer award programs.

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.

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.

Bellwether League has honored 112 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 27 Future Famers.

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 five Founding and Platinum Sponsors –HealthTrust, Owens & Minor, Premier, Vizient and VIE Healthcare – and a host of additional sponsors.

Bellwether League’s 2019-2020 Board of Directors includes:

  • Chairman Nick Gaich, (Bellwether Class of 2013),CEO, Nick Gaich and Associates, Morgan Hill, CA
  • Secretary Nathaniel Mickish, (Future Famers Class of 2015), Vice President, Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX
  • Treasurer Deborah A. Petretich Templeton, R.Ph., Chief, System Support Services, Geisinger Health, Danville, PA
  • Co-Founder and Executive Director Rick Dana Barlow, President, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL
  • Karen Conway, Vice President, Healthcare Value, GHX, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Dee Donatelli, (Bellwether Class of 2015), Principal, Dee Donatelli Consulting LLC, Newton, KS
  • Edward J. Hisscock, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Trinity Health, Livonia, MI
  • Co-Founder and Founding Chairman Jamie C. Kowalski, (Bellwether Class of 2017), CEO, Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting LLC, Milwaukee, WI
  • Mark A. Van Sumeren, Strategic Advisor, Health Industry Advisor LLC, Ann Arbor, MI

For more information about Bellwether League, visit


Contact:  Rick Dana Barlow
Wingfoot Media Inc.
Phone:     847-466-7425