McCord Hall.

The fifth annual Women in Supply Chain Symposium investigates the evolving role of AI in supply chain

The ASU Supply Chain Executive Consortium invited industry experts and students to explore how people and artificial intelligence can positively impact the supply chain.

Molly Loonam

The Supply Chain Executive Consortium hosted the fifth annual Women in Supply Chain (WISC) Symposium on ASU’s Tempe campus, bringing together ASU students and industry leaders from Cisco, Dell Technologies, E & J Gallo, IBM, Logility, Starbucks, Sysco, and W. L. Gore & Associates to discuss the event’s theme, “People and Artificial Intelligence in Supply Chain."

The symposium began with a welcome address from Sophie Hopson (BS Supply Chain Management ’26), vice president of outreach for ASU’s Supply Chain Management Association, and Adegoke Oke, supply chain management professor and interim department chair. Students explored the opportunities and challenges organizations face related to artificial intelligence (AI) through speaker presentations, a panel discussion, and networking roundtables with corporate partners to discuss executive’s career experiences, industry trends, and tips for navigating the job market.

Neil Russell (BS Management ’94) presented the symposium’s alumni welcome address. Russell says his degree shaped his career path by teaching him to work hard, lead purposefully, and pursue continuous learning.

“It’s exciting to return to my alma mater and speak with the next generation of leaders about the impact they can have in shaping the future of supply chain,” says Russell, senior vice president of corporate affairs and chief administrative officer at Sysco. “It’s important to discuss how to use AI insights correctly to optimize the best use of our resources. Understanding the needs of current and future generations is something I was pleased to see in action at the WISC Symposium.”

Lindsay Chen (BS Supply Chain Management ’22), a material planner at W. L. Gore, presented the event’s second alumni speech. Chen’s greatest takeaway from the event was that while many companies understand how AI optimizes supply chain, expertise is limited due to new technology. Understanding how to integrate new tools best is the field’s greatest challenge.

“There are endless opportunities for AI to improve supply chain processes. As we explore the applications of AI, we can streamline how materials move through the supply chain like never before,” explains Chen.

As a recent graduate, Chen was excited to speak at this year’s WISC Symposium to share her experiences, insights, and advice with students preparing to start their careers.

“Having just entered the workforce as a woman in supply chain, I vividly recall the mixed emotions and challenges that come with the transition,” says Chen. “I had a fantastic student experience at ASU and was happy to return to campus as an alumna. Giving back to the university community has been instrumental in shaping my career.”

Heather Domin speaking at the WISC Symposium

AI is a foundational technology in the supply chain field. Keynote speaker Heather Domin says opportunities to discuss AI’s current and rapidly evolving capabilities with students and industry experts help attendees and their organizations maintain and build best practices. As program director of Tech Ethics by Design at IBM, Domin builds solutions and conducts research to advance understanding of AI ethics and governance.

“AI has captured the imagination of many types of organizations, largely driven by increased familiarity with generative AI capabilities like those we see in ChatGPT,” says Domin. “This event provided an excellent opportunity to gain a deeper perspective on the current opportunities and challenges that organizations are facing in the supply chain today.”

The symposium’s panel discussion included panelists Swapna Digumarti, director of supply chain at Dell Technologies; Diane Ngabire, vice president of business development at Logility; Vanessa Spring, senior manager of demand and capacity planning at Starbucks; Lucia Soares, senior manager of packing and sourcing at E. & J. Gallo; and Kyra Sedej, 56th logistics readiness squadron flight commander for the U.S. Air Force. Michelle Moorman, director of sourcing at E. & J. Gallo, moderated the panel.

“I was so encouraged to interact with the students preparing to embark on a successful supply chain career,” says Russell. “The future of supply chain is bright! Their ideas, innovation, and inspiration will greatly benefit today’s business world.”

Latest news