Former Congressman to speak at Inaugural Forum on Supply Chain Management

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KINGSTON, R.I., April 19, 2012 – Boeing’s planned big moment turned into one big headache when its global supply chain faltered and left its 787 Dreamliner years behind schedule. The stumble rocketed supply chain management to a top concern of business executives and investors. Now, the University of Rhode Island is looking to help business leaders avoid similar blunders.

On April 25, the College of Business Administration will host its inaugural Forum for Supply Chain Management at the Providence Hilton. Headlined by the former chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the forum promises to provide innovative insights into 21st century supply chain management.

“In today’s economy every dollar counts,” forum organizer and URI Business Professor Joseph Estrella said. “Our forum will show how streamlining supply chains and smart public policy leads to strong financial performance.”

Former Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar will speak about the intersection of public policy and supply chain management. As the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, he witnessed firsthand how Congress influences supply chains through the choices it makes on everything from infrastructure funding to policies regulating commercial drivers.

The forum also welcomes Penn State University professor C. John Langley, who serves as director of development for the school’s Center for Supply Chain Research. Internationally renowned in his field, Langley will present how evolving supply chain management necessitates new ways of thinking in America’s corporate boardrooms.

“Our speakers bring a combination of real world experience rarely found together in the same room,” Estrella said. “Representative Oberstar and professor Langley will provide insight you will never receive from a textbook or whitepaper.”

Sponsored in part by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the forum also includes a rare opportunity to mingle with business leaders and a full-course dinner.

The April 25 forum starts at 5:30 p.m. Registration fee is $65 and more information is available at or by calling (401) 874-4362.