Today KC SmartPort, a nonprofit economic development organization that works to attract freight-based companies to the Kansas City region and affiliate of the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC), announced that Elli Bowen is a recipient of the 2020 “Women in Supply Chain” award from Supply & Demand Chain Executive (S&DCE).
S&DCE is the only magazine in the supply chain industry that focuses on return on investment (ROI), professional development and change management. The publication introduced the new award category, designed for female leaders in the supply chain space, to celebrate its 20-year anniversary.
As the Vice President of Business Development for KC SmartPort, Bowen works to close supply-chain related deals for the 18-county, two-state Kansas City region. Over the past four years, her projects, including Chewy, Inc., Hostess, Amazon, PAE, Are You Game and American Box, among others, have amounted to $332 million in capital investment, 2,165 jobs, approximately $78 million in payroll and more than 3.5 million square feet of industrial space.
“The supply chain and economic development fields are a relationship business and Elli has built a reputation of hard work and professionalism. The clients we work with have recognized that in Elli and are eager to work with her,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort. “She has a positive attitude and looks for opportunities to assist her clients and move projects forward. She is one of the best.”
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late-winter 2020, Bowen has worked on 17 freight-based expansion projects, including e-commerce, food production and distribution, and advanced manufacturing, as companies expand to handle increased demand.
In Kansas City, distribution projects are up 25% and manufacturing projects are up 21% from the same time in 2019, according to the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC).
"Supply chains have been buffeted by significant changes in recent years, including the surge in e-commerce. Elli’s ability to thoroughly understand the importance of location on e-commerce strategies has led to her success and in turn, the success of our region,” said Roger Woody, executive lecturer emeritus of Supply Chain Management at the University of Kansas, and Bowen’s nominator for the award. “In addition to the important role Elli plays professionally, she also works hard to cultivate supply-chain awareness at various levels – from grade school through higher education - helping to strengthen the region’s workforce development."
Through Bowen’s position on the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) KC Heartland Roundtable Board of Directors, she also works to grant scholarships for local students to attend supply-chain conferences and further their professional connections. In affiliation with the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, as well as local initiatives such as KC Tech Academy and Skilled KC Technical Institute, Bowen also helps cultivate supply chain opportunities and promotes hands-on experience to aspiring professionals. This includes internships, part-time work, full-time employment, technical certifications, higher education programs and more.
“It is essential for women to have a seat at the table as successful companies require diverse leadership teams,” says Bowen. “As the supply chain industry continues to diversify, it's imperative we all get involved with programs and institutions who are working to attract and train diverse, versatile professionals.”
According to S&DCE Editor-in-Chief Marina Mayer, S&DCE received more than 200 entries this year for the new award, which honors female supply chain leaders and executives whose accomplishments, mentorship and examples set a foundation for women at all levels of the supply chain network.
“Elli Bowen is a special talent. She has the ability to balance the intense demands of her customers while maintaining full knowledge and respect for what her regional partners can do to support a relocation project,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO at KCADC. “Elli is the very definition of a highly intelligent, selfless and capable honest broker. The KC region and our organization are incredibly fortunate to have her on our team.”
The full list of the 2020 Women in Supply Chain winners is available here. This award news will appear in SDCE’s September 2020 issue.https://kcsmartport.thinkkc.com/