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The longtime annual conference of the Denver Transportation Club wraps up for another year. Committee chairman Doug Draper, director of business development with Acme Distribution Centers, talks about the event's mission, and future direction. And we meet some of the students who are planning a career in supply chain.
Operation Stimulus was started by four transportation professionals in Denver. Originally held in the fall, it was subsequently shifted to its current date of late January. What hasn't changed is the reason for the event. "Our mission has always been education and training for professionals and students," says Draper.
Sponsored by the Denver Transportation Club, Operation Stimulus offers an opportunity to attend educational workshops while networking with students, professors and industry professionals. One of the unique aspects of the event, added in 1998, is the student debate. Teams from around the country compete to offer solutions to a fictitious case study.
In addition, the club each year bestows the Terry L. Priest Scholarship Award to qualified graduates or undergraduates. In addition to academic and financial criteria, judges look for individuals who are "committed to the field and passionate about their subject."
Draper says the 2010 meeting was distinguished by a strong field of contestants in the case-study competition. "Professors were impressed by the variety of solutions for the case study," he says. "Initially they thought there would be three or four themes. [But] almost every student and debate team had a unique solution to the situation, all of which were very valid."
Themes of the speaker presentations centered on the prospects for economic recovery. Many companies face the challenge of securing enough capacity to meet customer needs when demand returns, Draper says.
Operation Stimulus will continue to focus on attracting a select group of attendees in years to come. At the same time, it will maintain its commitment to logistics and supply-chain education. "We want to continue to bring students in, first and foremost," Draper says. "We'd like to see 15 to 16 [debate] teams come, and a couple hundred professionals in industry, and we [want to] continue to expand the topics."
To view this interview in its entirety, click here.
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