BY SUSAN K. LACEFIELD, EDITOR AT LARGE
THE DC VELOCITY Q&A thoughtleaders
IN ONE OF HER LAST ACTS AS PRESIDENT OF THE
Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC),
Sheila Benny stood before attendees at the group’s 2016
annual conference and urged them to remember that they
and their supply chains help save lives. After all, it is supply
chains in general that ensure that the necessities of life—
such as food, medicine, water, clothes, and fuel—get to the
people who need them.
Benny, who is an executive vice president and founding
member of the slotting optimization software company
Optricity, tries to spread this message wherever she goes,
especially through her work in industry associations and
in mentoring the next generation of supply chain leaders.
Benny’s own first mentor was her father, an engineer
with the space program. He encouraged her even as a small
child to tinker with nuts and bolts, and engaged her in
what he called “big picture talks.” But side by side with her
engineering genes was an intrinsic desire to help people and
give back to the community.
Through her career in supply chain management—first
with the consulting firm Tompkins Associates and later
with software companies like Performance Analysis Group,
Manhattan Associates, and now Optricity—Benny has
found a way to engage this analytical “big-picture thinking”
side for the greater good. That the supply chain can provide an avenue for both is an insight she tries to share with
young people in general, and young women in particular,
who are considering careers in the field.
DCV Editor at Large Susan Lacefield recently caught up
with Benny by phone to talk about her career, the value
Optricity’s Sheila Benny has made it her personal mission to give back to the supply
chain community through mentoring young people and leading an industry association.
INTERVIEW WITH SHEILA BENNY