Mobile commerce conference attracting global audience

May 23, 2003

Sanju Patro is pleased with the international interest in the high-tech conference that Kettering will host this fall called University Synergy Program (USP) 2003.

Sanju Patro is pleased with the international interest in the high-tech conference that Kettering will host this fall called University Synergy Program (USP) 2003.

"We have received an overwhelming response from several countries," she said.

Patro, an assistant professor of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering and Business (IMEB) at Kettering, is serving as co-chair of USP 2003 with her colleague Michael Sanders, also an IMEB assistant professor.

(Register for USP 2003 at:

She reports that international submissions for paper presentations are running 2-to-1 over domestic entries. Fourteen papers have been submitted so far, featuring work from South Africa, Israel, Netherlands, England, Norway and Japan. The papers are just one part of the international flair that USP 2003 will have, she noted.


"In addition to the international attendees to our conference, presentations will be made via WebEx from Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, and South Africa," she explained. "Live broadcasts of the keynote speeches and paper presentations will also be made to various centers around the globe. We anticipate these practices (live Internet based interactions) to be utilized by Kettering's distance learning programs in the near future with the direct help from WebEx Communications, Inc."

USP 2003 will focus on bridging the gap between organizational processes and high-tech options for the supply chain and mobile technology industries. It will be at the historic Dearborn Inn in Dearborn, Mich., Sept. 15-18, with select events in Flint. USP 2003 is sponsored by the BEEHIVE Fund ( with the intention of bringing business, industry and academic endeavors together through a shared focus - creating a synergy of people working on theory and applications.

Sanders said an impressive lineup of mobile commerce and supply chain executives have agreed to speak at USP 2003. "Kettering's professional co-op education program is expected to grow through several new domestic and international organization participants who have already expressed their interest in this program," he added.

USP2003 conference chair is Albert L Wright, vice president, United Parcel Service.


USP 2003 Keynote Speakers

David Allen, CEO, World Chain
Jan Baan, Chairman & Managing Partner of Vanenburg Group
Paul Baan, CEO, Noaber Foundation
Subrah S. Iyar, Chairman and CEO, WebEx
Chris Lawrence, President, TenDots, LLC
Carol A. Ptak, CFPIM, CIRM, Jonah, PMP, PeopleSoft
Caston Thomas, Interworks Technologies
Jane Warner, President, EDS Manufacturing Division
Min Zhu, President and Chief Technical Officer, WebEx

Conference registration deadline is Aug. 1. Exhibition booth registration deadline is June 15.

For complete registration information (forms, fees, deadlines) please log on at: and click on USP 2003 or contact Dr. Michael Sanders at, (810) 762-7947.

For more information on paper submissions, contact Dr. Sanju Patro at, (810) 762-7950.


David Allen '83 - Chief Executive Officer, World Chain
David Allen is a globally renowned supply chain expert whose passion is supply chain transformation. He joined WorldChain in January 2001, after serving as the vice president of Global Operations for Dell Computer Corp. While at Dell, he was responsible for the functional leadership and transformation of Dell's global manufacturing operations as well as for procurement, manufacturing engineering, build-to-order manufacturing software, and global logistics. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of operations at Frito-Lay North America, where he managed manufacturing, distribution, engineering, procurement and sales route engineering. He is a frequent keynote speaker at strategic industry conferences. A graduate of the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, he also holds an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Jan Baan, Chairman and Managing Partner of Vanenburg Group
Jan Baan, the founder of Baan Company N.V., is recognized the world over as a pioneer of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. He founded his namesake company in 1978 and began developing the first software package in 1979. In a reflection of the company's expansion from a small scale Dutch firm to a global enterprise, the Baan Company conducted its initial public offering (IPO) in 1995 on the Nasdaq and Amsterdam Stock Exchanges. His visionary approach to the business software industry can be traced back to an early fascination with manufacturing in addition to an exacting eye for detail. He began his working life as an administrative clerk at a Dutch meat packaging company, where he delved into inventory control after-hours to come to an understanding of the flow of goods to and from the company. In addition to holding a series of positions as assistant accountant and controller of wholesale and food manufacturing companies, he attended business college. He started an accounting consultancy specialized in financial engineering. With the development of his first software package, he entered what was to become the ERP industry. The Oikonomos Foundation was set up when Jan and Paul Baan (Paul Baan is co-founder of the company) were preparing the IPO of the Baan Company. Oikonomos is Greek for 'steward'. The foundation's goal is to act as a steward for the capital acquired through the investment in other companies. It also cooperates with (development) organizations that have a Christian background. The foundation supports projects worldwide. He is currently chairman and managing partner of the Vanenburg Group, an investment company that invests in software companies which have a value proposition for companies that have business processes beyond the traditional ERP scope. Vanenburg Group wants to have complementary intellectual property in its portfolio and provides additional technology to its investments in order to increase their value offer to the market. He holds various supervisory board and director positions in several private and public IT companies.

Paul Baan, CEO, Noaber Foundation
J.G.P. (Paul) Baan, chairman of the Noaber Foundation, began his career in the house-building industry. In 1981 he joined his brother Jan in the Baan Company, which produces ERP software. He served Baan Company, which had a successful IPO in 1995 on the Nasdaq, as president and vice-chairman of the supervisory board until 1996. In 1996 he founded the Vanenburg Group (, which is a venture capital company, investing in innovative IT companies. He holds several supervisory board positions in American, Dutch and Israeli based start-ups, where he gives entrepreneurial advice. In 1998, he founded the Noaber Foundation (, which is a charity foundation and social venture capital to ICT-initiatives in developing and emerging countries. It aims to stimulate with factors 'Globalisation' and 'ICT' the welfare of the local people in getting sustainable income sources with innovative business models, leveraging these people in the network economy and modern society. Besides projects in developing and emerging countries, he also originated the University Synergy ProgramTM (USPTM) with the objective of creating a world-wide community of enthusiastic industry leaders, professors, student entrepreneurs, consultants, and other experts in enterprise applications ('ERP' and 'beyond ERP'), knowledge management and e-commerce areas. This program is designed to create close links with advanced research and educational institutions as well as business entities. Another initiative is the erection of a private equity fund called George Avenue BV. This initiative is part of the trend of social responsible and sustainable development. The focus of this fund is social venturing in the information- and communication technology. Assistive technologies for disadvantaged people and the creation of employability in under-invested areas are the focus of George Avenue. Worldwide large communities are not part of the "the Digital Society." Bridging this "Digital Divide" is one of the biggest challenges of the future. Exploring initiatives to alleviate the shadow-site of this digital society creates opportunities hardly utilized. Baan holds a master's degree of economy from the University of Groningen as well as a bachelor's degree from the Technical College of Enschede.

Subrah S. Iyar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, WebEx
Subrah Iyar's professional background is comprised of 18 years experience in sales, marketing and business. During a six-year tenure at Apple Computer, in market development roles, he was instrumental in creating the first OS licensing business in the Newton Group. At Intel, Iyar held several positions in product marketing and OEM sales management within the LAN software and systems group. Iyar was also vice president of sales, marketing and business development at Teleos Research, which was acquired by Autodesk. In 1995, Iyar joined Quarterdeck Inc. as vice president and general manager of the company's Northern California Internet business division. He was also president of Future Labs, a Quarterdeck subsidiary and holds a bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering and a master's of science degree in computer engineering.

Chris Lawrence, President, TenDots, LLC
Chris Lawrence is the president of TenDots, LLC. He is responsible for cultivating, developing, and leading the channel, alliance and enterprise partnerships for TenDots Business Intelligence Solutions. Prior to TenDots, he held senior management positions with companies ranging from Baan Business Systems, SolutionBank, iGate, PepsiCo and Ernst and Young. His career has focused on consulting, advising and leading organizations through the selection, implementation and development of strategic technology solutions. Lawrence graduated with distinctions from Syracuse University with a master's of business administration and also from Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in computer science.

Carol A. Ptak, CFPIM, CIRM, Jonah, PMP, PeopleSoft
A leading authority in the use of ERP and supply chain tools to drive improved bottom line performance, Carol Ptak's expertise is well grounded with more than two decades of practical experience as a successful practitioner, consultant and educator in manufacturing operations. Her pragmatic approach to complex issues and her dynamic presentation style has her in high demand worldwide on the subject of how to leverage these tools and successfully become an e-business. She was president and CEO of APICS, The Educational Society for Resource Management for the year 2000. She is currently employed by PeopleSoft as vice president of Industry Strategy for the Manufacturing and High Tech Electronics Industries. She holds an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology and completed the EMPO program at Stanford University. Ptak is a frequent educator at the university level and presents at many key technical conferences around the world including South Africa, France, Israel, Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands and nine APICS International conferences. She is the author of numerous articles and the books "MRP and Beyond" and "ERP, Tools, Techniques and Applications for Integrating the Supply Chain." Her latest work, "Necessary but not Sufficient," was co-authored with Dr. Eli Goldratt and Eli Schragenheim. Ptak is certified through APICS at the fellow level (CFPIM) and was certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM) with the first group internationally. Prior to her election as APICS president, she served on the society board of directors as executive vice president, vice president SIGs, the SIG committee for Small Manufacturers (SM SIG), 1995 TEAM committee and the 1996 international conference committee. A highly accomplished author, lecturer and trainer, Ptak has successfully combined a solid academic base with more than 20 years of pragmatic experience. She knows how to turn theory into practical realities in today's changing organizations striving to become e-businesses.

Caston Thomas, Interworks Technologies
Caston Thomas enjoys getting at the heart of IT-based solutions that improve business and thus, people's lives. In his current role at Interworks Technology, he advises companies about the state of technology and how to apply it to their specific situations. On occasion, Caston debates with himself whether or not he spent five too many years captivated in the details of implementing really sophisticated technologies that sometimes taxed his predominantly good natured personality. That debate is short lived when he remembers that his experience led him to Interworks* where he has found a home.

Jane Warner, President, EDS Manufacturing Division
Jane Warner is president of EDS Manufacturing Global Industry Solutions. Under her direction, the group is responsible for industry strategy, relationship and business development, and identifying and delivering solutions in tandem with EDS lines of business to better position clients in their market space. She assumed her current position in February 2002. Joining EDS as managing director of the manufacturing group's automotive sector in July 2000, Warner had worldwide responsibility for developing strategies and leveraging solutions that grew the company's leading automotive position. She and her group initiated and supported cross-line of business pursuit teams throughout the world. Before joining EDS, Warner spent more than 25 years in the automotive industry. Most recently she was executive vice president for Textron Automotive and president of Kautex Textron North America, a $450 million integrated fuel systems provider. She managed plants in Canada, the United States and Mexico, while also having global responsibility for programs produced in the United States. She joined Textron in January 1994 as president of the Randall division, a seven-plant, four-business-unit operation. Warner began her career with General Motors in 1973 as a trainer at the Chevrolet Engineering Center. She progressed through the ranks and shifted her focus to manufacturing in 1982 when she became Pontiac Motor Division's first woman plant superintendent. She was promoted to the executive ranks in 1985 and held various positions in manufacturing and engineering, including general superintendent at the Doraville, Ga., and Willowrun, Mich., assembly plants; director of Chevrolet- Pontiac-Canada's Operations Quality; and assistant chief engineer for the Firebird and Camaro group, where she had future vehicle development and current model start-up responsibility. Warner is a board member of the MeadWestvaco Corp. and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA); vice chairman of the board of trustees for Kettering University, where she also chairs the Finance Committee. Warner is a former director of Federal Mogul. She has been recognized by a number of organizations for her contributions in business: Leading 100 Women In North American Automotive Industry, Crain's Automotive News, 2002 and 2000; Woman of Achievement Award, Women's Automotive Association International, 1999; One of Detroit's Most Influential Women, Crain's Detroit Business, 1997; and International Woman of the Year, Women in International Trade, 1996. She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education and business from Michigan State University. She was a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University, where she earned a master's degree in management.

Min Zhu, President and Chief Technical Officer, WebEx
Min Zhu's career spans 16 years, including experience with mainframes, database systems, networking and communications, telephony, PC collaboration software and expert systems. Min developed his technology expertise at the IBM Scientific Center in Palo Alto. He was also the deputy to the chief technical officer of Price Waterhouse and the vice president of Expert Edge, a software design company. In 1991, Zhu co-founded Future Labs (one of the first companies to produce multi-point document collaboration software). Quarterdeck acquired Future Labs in 1996, and Zhu went on to co-found WebEx. Zhu holds a master's of science degree in engineering from Stanford University.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533