Today at ISM World 2024: Here’s to the Volunteers

May 01, 2024
By Dan Zeiger

With the sessions complete and meeting room stages being disassembled at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon, Institute for Supply Management® staff convened to honor the people that ISM World 2024 couldn’t happen without.

“The people who make this even happen are the Conference and chapter volunteers,” ISM CEO Thomas W. Derry said while raising a champagne glass at the Volunteer Toast. “We’re here for the education and for the speakers, but most of all, our attendees tell us they come for the community. It really is a family. And the volunteers are the inner part of that family.”

ISM member volunteers — supply management practitioners who often forgo opportunities to attend sessions and other Conference events to serve — were conspicuous in Las Vegas by their T-shirts, but they also do it anonymously at chapters around the country.

This year’s Conference was somewhat challenging, with a scheduling format change that had some attendees asking when-and-where questions. “It threw some people off,” Derry said. “But our volunteers, the people who live and breathe this Conference, helped everyone that needed it and created such a positive energy.”

Social Media Stars

On the last day of an ISM Annual Conference, Inside Supply Management® traditionally turns over part of its coverage to the attendees, session presenters and exhibitors by highlighting some of the best social media posts.

For whatever reason, X (formerly known as Twitter) has diminished as a communication platform for supply management professionals. However, LinkedIn remains active, and posts during the three days at the MGM Grand at Las Vegas detailed the experiences and insights.

Also, seeing the smiles and senses of humor — as well as the genuine sense of community — among attendees is always one of the best things about an ISM event.

Quote of the Day

“I know 3 p.m. on the final day of the Conference can feel a lot like late Friday afternoon, so I appreciate you being here.” — speaker Lihong Wu, MBA, CPIM, before his session, “Cross Continent Supply Base Transfer: A Case Study for Reflection and Future Success”

Extra Points

  • A team from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a giant killer by winning the ISM International Student Case Competition and ending the three-year reign of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Maastricht placed second, Wayne State University was third and the University of Michigan fourth.
  • ISM’s “Supply Chain — Unfiltered” podcast recorded three episodes from the Conference. The guests were Kenyatta Lewis, executive director of supplier diversity and sustainable procurement at MGM Resorts International, on creating an ecosystem for healthier supply chains and customer engagement; Lara Nichols, CPSM, head of global procurement at Flatiron Health, on change management and the technologies changing cancer care; and Ana Paula Zamorano, MBA, CEO of ReSource Partners LLC, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm, on the convergence of Industry 4.0 and procurement. The podcasts will be added to the “Supply Chain — Unfiltered” episodes page in the coming weeks.
  • The ISM World 2025 Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort, Derry announced during the Closing General Session.

About the Author

Dan Zeiger

About the Author

Dan Zeiger is Senior Copy Editor/Writer for Inside Supply Management® magazine, covering topics, trends and issues relating to supply chain management.