The Top 50 Advanced Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Logistics Influencers You Should Know (Part 1)

manufacturing and supply chain

With the advent of COVID-19, the world’s manufacturing, supply chain and logistics industries have had to adapt and innovate at a breakneck pace to navigate this new, unknown territory. And as they power through, new methods, technology and resources are being used to respond and create opportunities for growth.  

Our annual list of the Top 50 Advanced Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Logistics Influencers You Should Know includes CEOs, start-up founders, leading analysts, respected journalists, industry watchers and more, all of whom are forging the way through unprecedented circumstances to advance the future of these industries, (in alphabetical order.)

1) Dr. Prasad Akella


Co-Founder & CEO of Drishti

Dr. Akella’s experience advancing robotics to safely amplify workers’ physical capabilities is just one of his impressive accomplishments. At Drishti, he returns to the factory to again enhance workers’ capabilities—this time, by driving advances in computer vision and AI. The company recently closed a $25M Series B funding round which will bring significant benefits to manufacturers and the people they employ on the factory floor.


2) Steve Banker


VP, ARC Advisory Group and Columnist, Forbes

As a highly regarded analyst and regular Forbes columnist, Steve features quantitative and qualitative research on supply chain management technologies, emerging trends, and best practices. You’ll learn how manufacturers are navigating the current landscape, the lessons they’ve learned and more through his work.


3) Kay Blohowiak


Sr. Technical Fellow-Materials and Processing, The Boeing Company

The results of Kay’s innovation are being applied to almost every Boeing. She currently has 25 patents in areas ranging from adhesive bonding and corrosion control, to inorganic polymers, superconductors, and coatings development. Her team’s efforts in sol-gel technologies have resulted in new technology implementations on commercial, military, and space to solve manufacturing and performance issues and result in production cost savings and hazardous materials reduction.


4) Dan Bradley


CEO, Petasense

Founded with a vision of making industrial machines smarter, Petasense offers a modern industrial monitoring solution – comprised of wireless sensors and predictive analytics software – to help improve asset reliability and predictive maintenance programs. With Dan at the helm, customers in the power generation, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, metals and mining and other critical facilities sectors can remotely monitor the health and performance of any industrial asset and predict failures before they happen, helping them increase operational uptime, reduce maintenance costs and improve workplace safety.


5) Veronica Braker


Sr. VP of Global Operations, ADM

Veronica has used her 25 year’s experience as an operations professional in chemical and mechanical manufacturing in various roles including quality, supply chain, and continuous improvement. She has a passion for environmental, health, safety, and continuous improvement and collaborating with teams globally that sets a high standard of excellence.


6) Peter Brand


Co-Founder and COO, Oden Technologies

Peter focuses on developing artificial intelligence solutions to help manufacturers achieve perfect production. He’s seen first-hand the value that manufacturers can create from optimizing their production processes and eliminating waste.


7) Lora Cecere


Founder, Supply Chain Insights

Lora steers new directions in building thought-leading supply chain research. She has over 40 years experience in the supply chain industry and is also author of the enterprise software blog “Supply Chain Shaman” which covers the use of enterprise applications to drive supply chain excellence.


8) Patrick Cogny


Global Business Leader, Hi-Tech, Manufacturing and Services, Genpact

A six sigma professional, Patrick serves clients with keen acumen in industries such as manufacturing, automotive, transportation, hospitality, and leading software companies.  Prior to Genpact, Patrick had a successful 15-year career with General Electric where he held leadership roles in sourcing, manufacturing, quality, supply chain and field services.


9) Alicia Boler Davis

VP of Global Customer Fulfillment, Amazon  

Formerly the long-serving executive vice president for global manufacturing and labor relations at General Motors, Alicia now brings her rich experience to Amazon as Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment.


10) Thomas Derry


CEO, ISM – Institute for Supply Management

With more than 30 years of experience in leadership and general management roles in both public, private and non profit companies, Tom has spearheaded acquisitions, divestitures, restructuring, and business process re-engineering. Today he has a front seat in observing major macroeconomic trends and the development of global supply chains through his regular contact with Fortune 500 chief procurement officers, chief supply chain officers, government agencies, academia and NGOs in the United States and overseas.


11) Priska Diaz


Founder & CEO of Bittylab  

Priska migrated from Peru at the age of 17 without knowing a word of English. She financed her own college education, which paved the way to having jobs in corporate America. After becoming a mother, Priska designed and engineered groundbreaking technology in the infant feeding industry. With just two years in the market and over $1MM in sales, Bare® Air-free feeding system offers clinical benefits to babies.


12) Wang Fengying


CEO, Great Wall Motors  

Ranked #58 as in Forbes’ the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2019, Wang is considered an icon in traditional manufacturing, who embodies the most valuable qualities in Chinese business, namely sensitivity, courage, determination and innovation.


13) Bob Ferrari


Founder and Executive Editor, Supply Chain Matters

Through Bob’s in-depth practice in global supply chain management, leadership roles in all aspects of supply chain business processes, IT, and research analyst roles, he is able to provide a unique and experienced perspective on the industry. Bob features independent, unbiased insight and education into today’s hot topics of global supply chain from a variety of top industry professionals.


14) Dr. Jennifer Fielding


Section Chief, Composite Performance and Applications, Air Force Research Laboratory  

Jennifer was also one of 20 women who recently received special recognition from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) for making an impressionable impact in aerospace and defense smart manufacturing.  If not impressive enough, she also launched and managed America Makes, an institute that uses partnerships among U.S. industry, universities and federal government agencies to develop new manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing.


15) Omid Ghamami


Founder, Center for Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Excellence and Director of Operations, Qualcomm

Omid is one of the most globally recognized thought leaders in the field of purchasing and sales negotiations. From pioneering the development of an innovative purchasing curriculum to leading perience leading Intel’s entire global corporate purchasing operations organization, he earns a spot as a top influencer. He’s a Fortune 50 executive, world class speaker, executive coach, trainer, executive board member, and author, so it’s no surprise Fortune 1000 clients all over the world have sought his expert advice.


16) Titan Gilroy


CEO, Titans of CNC

As an advocate for advanced manufacturing and education for the U.S. and beyond, he leads an advanced production facility based in Rocklin, CA and a revolutionary online CNC Academy. orce. It’s exciting to see that his academy is being used in over 170 countries as all humans should have the right to a good education and to make parts in their own communities.


17) Jerry Gootee


Americas Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Leader, EY

An advisory leader with nearly 30 years of experience, Jerry is devoted to developing people, building relationships and serving clients. He has led and coordinated projects across functions and domains including robotics and process automation, finance and back-office transformation, and supply chain transformation.


18) Martijn Graat


Founder, LogisticsMatter

On his online supply chain and logistics news platform, Martijn blogs about supply chain and logistics trends and developments. Via his social platforms, he shares the most interesting reads, infographics and videos. Don’t forget to visit his engaging Pinterest page too!


19) Allison Grealis


President, Women in Manufacturing (WiM)

Allison leads the only national trade association dedicated to providing year-round support to #WomeninMFG. She is dedicated to developing new skills and new connections for women to help them succeed and lead in the manufacturing sector.


20) Sheri Hinish


Executive Advisor and Thought Leader, SupplyChainQueen  

Known as the “Supply Chain Queen” by colleagues and clients, Sheri is an executive advisor, leading advocate for sustainable supply chains and is passionate about supply chains operating with a purpose. She is an IBM Futurist, a 2020 & 2019 Supply & Demand Chain Executive “Pro to Know,” and among LinkedIn’s Top 1% Social Selling Index (SSI) in Supply Chain.


21) Austen Hufford


U.S. Manufacturing Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Austen delivers comprehensive reporting on the manufacturing and supply chain industry with a keen eye on data. Look to his stories to find the latest in-depth news on how these fast paced industries are adapting to change.


22) Sarah Barnes-Humphrey


Host, Let’s Talk Supply Chain Podcast

Passionate about bringing stories to life in the supply chain industry, Sarah adds color to a sector that has traditionally been about stats and numbers. She’s not afraid to tackle hot topics in the industry which includes her Women in Supply Chain series.


23) Bradley Jacobs


Chairman & CEO, XPO Logistics  

Building five companies from scratch that all became billion dollar or multi-billion dollar industry leaders must have been no easy feat for Bradley. Not to mention, leading XPO Logistics has proven successful under his reign. It’s a top ten global logistics provider of cutting-edge supply chain solutions to the most successful companies in the world. Bradley champions an intense customer service culture that is the lifeblood of their business.


24) Kathryn Kelley


Executive Director, Ohio Manufacturing Institute  

Kathryn has more than 20 years’ experience in program leadership at industry-oriented higher education, economic development and statewide technology organizations. She collaborates with state and national partners to develop regional and national public policy to support manufacturing innovation, advocate for small- and medium-sized manufacturing needs within the supply chains and foster collaboration between academia and industry.


25) Brad Keywell


Founder & CEO, Uptake

As the Founder and CEO of Uptake, offering AI-driven software products that deliver insights to global industry, Brad led his company to become the fastest startup to ever reach a $2B valuation. His commitment to innovation and excellence drive Uptake to be the source of industrial intelligence for customers around the world. He was awarded the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019.


So, there you have the first 25 of our Top 50 Advanced Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Logistics Influencers to Follow. Stay tuned for the rest of the list — coming soon!  

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