Director, Supply Chain Strategy & Planning
Robert Kunze is a senior supply chain leader with broad experience in multiple industries and rapidly changing environments. He is an expert in strategic sourcing and category management transformations and a driver of continuous improvement culture and alignment with top level organizational goals.
BaSE Project Engineering Manager
United Parcel Service
Robert Gonzalez is a Project Engineering Manager at United Parcel Service, responsible for managing the construction of new facilities, expansion of existing facilities and implementation of new technology including automation of sorting operations. Robert is currently managing the construction of two new Hub Automation facilities in Portland Oregon. His areas of responsibilities include Project and Construction Management of General Contractors and Conveyor Systems Integrators. Robert works closely with various contractors ranging from site development to engineering technology development, including systems testing and integration processing. He is currently overseeing $150 Million in new construction projects. Robert maintains strategic partnerships with small and large businesses across the country.
Director, Legal Operations, Director- Legal Shared Services (Interim)
Arrow Electronics, Inc.
Denika joined Arrow Electronics in 2015 and helped transition the Contracts department from Melville, NY to Denver, CO. Prior to joining Arrow Electronics, Denika worked in Procurement for 14+ years in the telecommunications and financial services industries.
Denika has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver in English and lives with her husband, three children and two dogs in Greenwood Village, CO. Denika is passionate about supporting the growth and development of the future generation of leaders, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. She has been involved with the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council since 2008, and has served as a volunteer, awards committee member, panelist and event host. Denika is most often found project managing initiatives that encourage cross collaboration, globalization, and standardization of how the business is supported by Legal.
Faison Office Products
What better way to transition to a new millennium than to realize your dream of business ownership. That is just what Jared D. Casey, Jr. accomplished after retiring from a successful career in purchasing management. In February of 2000, Jared D. Casey Jr. launched the next phase of his professional career with the purchase of Faison Office Products Company, a small minority business with a proven track record and even greater future potential. Under Jared Casey’s astute leadership role as President/CEO of Faison Office Products, Inc., this small certified MBE Corporation has grown to be the parent company of Piedmont Office Suppliers in Greensboro, NC; Southwest Business Machines in Dickinson, ND and Gaffaney’s Total Office Source in Williston, ND.
Faison has furthered their reach for opportunities through becoming a member of the NMSDC Corporate Plus Program. Faison Office Products, Inc. is a single source solution for office products, furniture, computer supplies/peripherals, IT infrastructure; copier equipment/service; janitorial products and many specialty items to a prestigious list of customers nationally and internationally. Jared Casey’s goal for Faison Office Products, Inc. is to expand their global presence through growth and acquisition.
SVP/Director of Operational Risk Mgmt/ Corporate Risk Services
Jennifer has been in the field of finance for 14 years and 5 years in banking corporate risk. She started her career at the Federal Reserve Bank of KC after receiving a BA in finance/management. In her nearly 7 years at the Fed she worked with phenomenal people and had mentors that encouraged her to further her education. She then obtained a MA in Economics and is ABD (all but dissertation) on a PhD in Economics and Public Administration. After leaving the Fed she worked for DST Output for nearly 6 years learning the financials of a print manufacturing industry. Jennifer then moved on to Pioneer Services where she learned a great deal about consumer finance and the various complexities of the industry. She has been at UMB since January 2015 where she started as the Director of Model Risk Management, building a strong model risk program from the ground up. In September 2017, in addition to Model Risk, Jennifer gained responsibility of Third-Party Risk Management, Third-Party Insurance, Corporate Insurance, Contingency Planning, and Loss Reporting. Most recently, Jennifer had contracts management and supplier diversity added to her responsibilities, and is now SVP/Director of Operational Risk Management.
Jennifer is very passionate about giving back and is involved in the community with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Firsthand Foundation, Teach For America, and School of Economics to name a few.
Mountain Plains MSDC
Stan Sena is President & CEO of the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council, a 501c(3) corporate member organization that certifies Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), provides access to certified MBEs to its corporate members, and provides contracting opportunities to its certified MBEs from its corporate members within Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Western Missouri.
Mr. Sena was previously Executive Vice President and COO of Americold Corporation, the leading third-party supplier of supply chain solutions in the consumer packaged goods industry. Americold, with 117 locations in North America, enjoyed sales of over $800 million and an employee base of over 6500. In his capacity with Americold, Mr. Sena was responsible for the growth of the organization-an LBO from Beatrice Companies-starting with 30 locations nationally and $65 million in sales to an international organization with over 100 locations and $800 million in sales.
Director of Business Diversity and Outreach
Denver Public Schools
Murugan Palani is the Director of Business and Outreach at Denver Public Schools. He is a native of Denver, Colorado proudly graduating from George Washington H.S. in 1995 and from the University of Colorado with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems. He completed his M.B.A. at Webster University in 2011 and earned a Masters in Human Resource Management in 2012.
Murugan served in the Colorado National Guard his last two years in college and served 6 years as an Officer in the Army upon obtaining his Business degree.
Upon completing his service to the United States Army, Murugan accepted a position with Xcel Energy as its Manager of Supplier Diversity in April of 2009. Murugan is a strong proponent of small business and believes that helping small businesses grow and succeed is the key to growing our economy and our community. His passion for small businesses is evident with his involvement in and leadership roles in several of the local Chambers of Commerce and other business organizations.
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
University of Nebraska
Reporting to the President, Stancia J. Whitcomb Jenkins is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the University of Nebraska system. Jenkins provides leadership in developing and implementing policies, practices and initiatives that enhance access, inclusion and retention of a diverse student body, faculty and staff. She also assesses high-impact strategies, programs and activities to promote diversity, access and inclusion across the university in the three mission areas of teaching, research and service.
Jenkins holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Kansas, and a master’s degree in public affairs with a concentration in business and government relations from Park University. She is also a certified administrator and interpreter of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a Certified Affirmative Action Planner (CAAP) through the American Association for Access Equity and Diversity (AAAED), and has completed Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program.
CPS Senior Solutions Consultant, VP
Bank of Blue Valley
Deborah is the CPS Senior Solutions Consultant. VP for Bank of Blue Valley with 13 years of experience in Commercial Payments including Treasury Management
At the Bank of Blue Valley, Deborah serves on the Leadership Board and as a strategic partner to clients in planning and executing a best in class accounts payables strategy. Working with companies of all sizes Deborah’s expertise in commercial card and treasury management allows her to advise clients on how to pay, who to pay, and when to pay while keeping the companies best interest top of mind. Deborah is passionate about making sure clients are aware of what is happening in the payments industry including, shifts to electronic payments, fraud prevention and technology enchantment. She is relationship focused and values working with great clients. Deborah has participated in Junior Achievement, and enjoys volunteering with kids as a Baseball mom and a Girl Scout troop leader.
Deborah received her education from Graceland University, after joining the U.S. Army for both Active and Reserve Duty serving her country for 8 years. Before transitioning to Bank of Blue Valley she rose through the ranks to hold senior business strategy and treasury sales positions at UMB and BMO Harris Bank. With her husband Christian, (who is also an Army Veteran) they have made a longtime home in Kansas City with their three kids.
Deborah’s commitment to her community is reflected throughout her career, and is passionate about that obligation leading and guiding her career through the duration.
Sheryl Tockerman is a Director, Procurement at Charter Communications – the second-largest cable operator, which offers services to consumers and businesses under the Spectrum brand. She joined Charter and moved to Colorado in September of 2017, now calling Englewood home.
Sheryl has 20+ years of experience in various supply chain management and sourcing roles. She began her career in Supply Chain at ABB, where she completed a ‘Management Rotational Program’ over 2 years. She also spent time working for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals NYC in the Strategic Sourcing organization. Currently, at Charter she is responsible for supporting Charter with software and professional services.
Sheryl graduated from Penn State University in 1999 with a degree in Supply Chain Management. She is also a member of the WICT Rocky Mountain Chapter and hoping to complete her CPSM certificate in the next year. In her free time, Sheryl enjoys spending time outdoors exploring the Colorado Mountains, fixing her new home and spending time with family and friends.
FirstBank – Colorado
Luki was born in China and immigrated to Denver with her family during High School. Luki graduated from University of Denver in 2013 with a Bachelor Degree in Mathematics and Economics. After being a loan officer for five years, Luki decided to expand her technology exposure and worked in Information Security at FirstBank for two years. With Luki’s passion for customer development and community outreach, she accepted a position at FirstBank’s Multicultural Banking Center as an Assistant Vice President. Luki is committed to use her professional strength to help households and businesses grow and succeed. During her spare time, Luki enjoys spending time dancing Samba and Bollywood with her dance team.
Vice President Enterprise Procurement
Mutual of Omaha
Vanessa Elkins-Rogers is an exceptional senior-level manager of global procurement. She has more than twenty-five years of successful procurement experience, and has held leadership roles in vendor, materials, and marketing management, strategic sourcing strategy, project management, supply chain, accounting and supplier diversity. She is committed to leading the operation to profitable growth while implementing operational efficiencies. She has been instrumental in transforming companies into global consulting and diversified services organizations while achieving success via leveraging their supplier network as a tool and mechanism to positively impact their bottom-line.
Throughout her career, Vanessa has held positions of leadership with such noted companies as The Coca Cola Corporation, Home Depot, Cox Communications, Johnson Controls, Inc., and BellSouth to name a few, where she has applied her expertise and knowledge of procurement.
Vanessa is an alumnus of the well-respected Kennesaw State University where she successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Master of Business Administration Degree with special emphasis in Executive Leadership. She has plans to complete her doctoral degree at Kennesaw’s prestigious Michael J. Coles school of Business.
Vanessa has become a prominent member of the community – working with organizations such as The American Cancer Society, being appointed to the Board of Directors for the East Point Unit, The American Red Cross, The American Heart Association, Big Brother/Big Sister, and The March of Dimes. Vanessa is a phenomenal fundraiser often winning awards for her efforts and she is consistently recognized annually as a pace setter. She served as a member of the Clark Atlanta University’s Leadership Development Board, the Governance Board of Scholars Academy and Boys-2-Men of honor. Vanessa has also attended Ben Hill UMC for over 20 years having served as a Sunday school teacher. Vanessa is a firm believer that the key to a successful team is your greatest asset – “People”.
Vanessa Elkins-Rogers… Turning Can’t into Can & Dreams into Plans
Senior Director, Supply Chain
With over 18 years of Industry Experience, Marc is the Senior Director of Supply Chain for Evergy, Inc. Marc’s experience includes holding management positions in Safety & Training and Power Marketing. For two years, Marc worked as an I&C Technician. Marc has been married to Tracey for over sixteen years and has three kids. Outside of work, Marc’s favorite activity is playing Golf!
Stephen G. Mars
Director, Supply Chain Finance & Indirect Procurement
Hallmark – KSMO
Since 2020, Steve has been the Director of Supply Chain Finance and Indirect Procurement at Hallmark Cards. Dating back to 2014, Steve has held a variety of finance management positions within Hallmark. Additionally, Steve has held Management positons at Tervis Tumbler and Andrews McMeel Universal. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science – Finance, from Southwest Missouri State, Springfield, Missouri.
Area Vice President – Business Development Global Enterprise Sales
World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT)
Dicran joined World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT) team in 2004. As WWT’s Area Vice President, Business Development for WWT’s Global Enterprise Sales division, “D” and his team is responsible for building strategic relationships with WWT’s customers, foster partnerships with local Women and Minority Business Enterprises, lead WWT’s relationship with the NMSDC regional councils, MSDUK, local STEM and community outreach.
Dicran is currently serving on the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NWMMSDC) Board of Directors, the NWMMSDC’s Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBIEC) as Vice Chair, the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council’s MBEIC as Chairperson, the Mountain Plains MSDC’s Board of Directors and the Western Regional Minority Supplier Diversity Council (WRMSDC) Executive Advisory Committee. Previously, he also served on the WRMSDC’s Board of Directors and the MBEIC as an Ad Hoc member and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area’s Board of Directors.
Before joining WWT, Dicran was Director of Procurement for a publicly traded- third party logistic company in Duluth, GA, where he and his team brought and maintained inventories on behalf of fortune 1000 customers like BellSouth, PacBell, Porsche and Coca Cola, just to name a few. Prior to that, he worked at the Athlete’s Foot Group as a shoe planner and assistant accessory buyer. He also has several years of inventory management experience as a Store Manager for Pizza Hut and the Athlete’s Foot Group. In the early 2000’s he started his own company, DYK Enterprise a real estate and janitorial company before coming to working for WWT.
Dicran has been married for 18 years and has a 12-year-old son. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ole Miss.