2016 EPIC Awards Recognize Indirect Procurement Value

By Susan Avery

February 23, 2016 at 2:05 PM

2016 EPIC Awards logo.jpgMy Purchasing Center and ProcureCon presented six EPIC Awards to procurement and supply professionals at the 2016 ProcureCon Indirect East event in Orlando recently. Founded four years ago, the Excellence in Purchasing Indirect Category Awards recognize professional excellence in indirect procurement.  

The 2016 EPIC Career Award, which honors an individual for achievement throughout his or her career, was presented to Joseph R. Postiglione, Associate Vice President--Global Procurement at the National Basketball Association in Secaucus, N.J.

Postiglione is a procurement executive with more than 30 years of experience specializing in indirect procurement and in creating highly functioning procurement/sourcing units at such organizations as the NYU Langone Medical Center, Eisai of North America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Consulting.

Postiglione’s ability to connect, assess and manage any situation has led to his success at achieving savings through organizational change management. He’s a Certified Professional Credentialed Coach through the International Coach Federation and a Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner certification through GENOS, and he does pro bono work to help people get back on track in their careers and personal life.

Receiving the 2016 EPIC Innovator of the Year Award is Jay Ding, Contracts and Negotiations Manager at Intel, for using game theory to help negotiation teams understand a supplier’s options and its payoffs. Ding and his team did extensive research with Stanford and MIT to develop a training course and related tools, and came up with lively demonstrated exercises and simulations to introduce the Game Theory. Average return on investment for negotiations teams that use the Game Theory resulted in more than 10% additional cost savings per commodity manager per year.

The 2016 EPIC Rising Star Award goes to Kendra Lisak, Sourcing Manager at Amway. A graduate of the supply chain management program at Michigan State, Lisak was promoted twice in recognition of her work and is now responsible for managing the labor spend, a position that historically was filled by a more senior procurement professional.

Nominated by a manager or mentor, the EPIC Rising Star Award recognizes an individual who is fairly new to indirect procurement and shows promise in his or her career. 

Fabian Gordon Holladay, Manager-Indirect Procurement at Amway, nominated Lisak. Of her, he says, “Kendra demonstrates a maturity and expertise level above her peer group. She delivered more $9 million in economic value to the enterprise, successfully led outsourcing activities for our manufacturing storerooms across the U.S. and negotiated programs for business and call centers across the U.S. delivering both economic and performance value.”

Lisak also serves as a business advisor to a local startup incubator that focuses on Midwestern startups where she works with companies on business plans and strategies, and she was part of an Amway delegation to a Michigan Small Businesses supplier conference.

award winners.JPGTaking home the 2016 EPIC Team Award is Ashe Patankar, Director Global Professional Services at Mondelez International in Chicago. The EPIC Awards judging panel selected this team for transforming management of the business services spend, a $2.5 billion category. As the company applied zero-based budgeting, the team elevated its exposure and is now interacting with board-level members and driving savings and supplier relationships to a new level.

To get to this point, procurement leads had to influence senior level executives (board members), communicate the business case for change and propose teams to drive value. As a result, the procurement team reduced overhead costs—and the spend by 30% year over year, with a major cash flow impact—and supplier base by 30%. In updates to Wall St., the CEO and CFO referred to success of this team. 

Chris Weyhrich, Senior Strategic Sourcing Representative at American Financial Group in Cincinnati, earned the 2016 EPIC Individual Award for leading sourcing events covering $15 million in spend that have generated over $3.1 million in savings for 2015 and a projected $2.1 million for subsequent years.

To achieve this, Weyhrich collaborates with his sourcing peers, legal, buying and support, seeking their ideas, feedback, and ensures alignment on potential opportunities as well as ongoing projects discussed with internal customers. He embraces true leadership principles by taking the extra steps to listen to those around him, gaining consensus, and empowering others to lead the change.

Finally, the 2016 EPIC Supplier Award was presented to Office Depot, nominated by Eddy Guarascio, Strategic Sourcing Manager at Bayer Healthcare. The EPIC Supplier Award honors suppliers that excel at collaboration. 

Bayer awarded its global office supplies agreement to Office Depot in April 2015. Part of a procurement alliance, it encompasses more than one million worldwide employees, 34 countries, and a potential five-year spend in excess of 300 million euros, and provides a unique opportunity for Bayer to improve demand management efforts and leverage the alliance worldwide spend.

Participating in this global agreement removes much of the sourcing and supplier management burden from many individual countries. Advantages include significant leverage savings results. Says Bayer’s Guarascio, “Office Depot was aware of the ramifications of this significant global agreement and never wavered from acting in the most open, honest, professional, highly ethical manner.”

Watch My Purchasing Center and ProcureCon for information on the 2017 EPIC Awards. The two will begin taking nominations in early September, 2016.


EPIC Awards Stand for Excellence in Indirect Procurement 

The Excellence in Purchasing Indirect Categories (EPIC) Awards is a collaboration of ProcureCon and My Purchasing Center, the online publication for procurement professionals, to recognize professional achievement in procurement of complex categories such as human resources, marketing, travel, legal, professional services and many others.  


My Purchasing Center and ProcureCon announced the first EPIC competition in 2012, presenting awards at ProcureCon Indirect East every year since then. For this year’s competition, the two began accepting nominations in the fall of 2015 for EPIC Individual, Team, Rising Star, Supplier, Innovator and Career Awards.

The criteria are tough. EPIC Award recipients must demonstrate professional excellence at:

  • Aligning with corporate goals and helping to advance strategic initiatives
  • Identifying challenges, developing a plan to meet them and working to exceed expectations
  • Encouraging suppliers to be innovative and meet stakeholder goals
  • Measuring effectiveness and delivering value


2016 EPIC Awards Judging Panel 

To select the recipients of the EPIC Awards, My Purchasing Center put together a panel of CPOs, leaders in procurement representing the ProcureCon board of directors and the My Purchasing Center editorial advisory board and past EPIC Award recipients. The 2016 EPIC Awards judges are: 

  • William Bagley, Vice President, Global Procurement, Unum
  • David Butler, Vice President, Global Operations and Supply Chain, Philips Healthcare
  • Charen Buyce, Director, Global Indirect Procurement, Amway, and recipient, 2013 EPIC Individual Award
  • Ken Hartman, Global Procurement Manager, GCP Applied Technologies
  • Viet Ho, CPO, Russell Investments and recipient 2015 EPIC Individual Award
  • Joanna Martinez, (formerly) Executive Director and CPO, Cushman & Wakefield
  • Mike Rager (retired) Director, Supply Chain, PPL
  • Brent Shinall, (formerly) Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Rowan Companies 


Also see the My Purchasing Center articles, ProcureCon Indirect East 2016: An EPIC Event for Procurement  and EPIC Award Recipients Top in Procurement




Tags: purchasing MRO indirect Supply chain management Careers Procurement sourcing epic awards
Category: News Article

Susan Avery


Susan Avery is Editor-in-Chief at My Purchasing Center. She writes articles, blogs and white papers and manages and creates other content for the online procurement and supply management publication. She produces and moderates roundtable discussions, podcasts, webcasts and video interviews. Susan has 30 years experience covering procurement and supply management for Purchasing magazine and Purchasing.com. 

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