Smith Headlined F. Alan Smith Distinguished Lecture
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Greg Smith, executive vice president for supply chain at Walmart U.S., and a contingent of nine other executives, managers and directors from the global retail giant spent Tuesday at Florida Tech, meeting with students and faculty and touring campus facilities.
“You’ve got a lot to be proud of here,” Smith said.
Later Tuesday, Smith headlined the fall F. Alan Smith Distinguished Lecture, presenting, “Leveraging the Supply Chain as a Competitive Advantage: the Walmart Story,” and taking questions afterward.
His lecture focused on the innovations that Walmart continues to develop, as the company strives to be the best supply chain in retail. He said that customer desire for value and convenience are the driving forces behind their efforts. “The supply chain must be a competitive advantage,” he said.
At Walmart U.S., Smith has responsibility for all product flow and distribution centers, as well as for all domestic and global ocean transportation functions.
Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, serves customers and members nearly 270 million times per week.
The lecture series’ founder and benefactor is F. Alan Smith. He spent more than three decades in leadership positions at General Motors in the U.S. and Canada, including serving as executive vice president of finance of General Motors and president and general manager of General Motors of Canada, Ltd.
Smith, who now lives in Indialantic, has served on Florida Tech’s Board of Trustees since 1996.
The lecture series, which began in 2007 as the F. Alan Smith Visiting Executive Program, was created to attract corporate executives to speak to students, faculty and community leaders at Florida Tech. At least one executive speaker is welcomed to campus in both the fall and spring semesters.
Tuesday afternoon, Monique Picou, vice president, supply chain flow and a Florida Tech alumna, Elise Vasquez-Warner, vice president and regional general manager for Walmart in Florida, and Maria Amoedo, senior director, reliable operations, spoke to two dozen women students and community leaders.
“I want to encourage you not to let go, not to give in – keep pushing,” Picou said.
She later offered her examples of when “Ds” in school are acceptable: when they detail a philosophy of success. She spoke of “driving” your education, “delivering” results, and “demanding” courage from yourself.
Find out more about the Smith Distinguished Lecture Series at www.fit.edu/distinguished-lecture-series.