A Quick Thought: Has the Top 30 Under 30 Gone MIA?

Posted on January 13, 2016


I was, like many in our industry, delighted when ThomasNet and ISM teamed up to launch the Annual Top 30 Under 30 program. I even did a radio segment on it shortly after the campaign was launched in early 2014.

By focusing on a group of 30 “rising”supply chain stars who, as the name suggests, were all 30 years of age and younger, I believed that the program was important because it provided a glimpse into the future movers and shakers in our industry.

In fact, I also believed that featuring our GenerationNext professionals in such a manner, would have a positive spillover effect beyond the procurement world. Specifically, the profile of procurement would be raised across the enterprise as a whole, bringing us closer to that long coveted seat at the executive table. We will talk about the Freudian merits of so desperately needing an inanimate object to validate an entire profession’s contribution and self worth in a future post.

In the meantime, the inaugural program was what I would consider to be a big success.

But that was 2 years ago, and it seems that despite officially launching the second Top 30 Under 30 campaign in 2015, the program has gone missing in action.

Yes, there have been two separate announcements about delays regarding the naming of candidates for the sophomore campaign, in which vague references were made to submission numbers?

I don’t know, maybe there has been a tidal wave of nominations that has pushed a 2015 program into 2016? I mean skipping a year isn’t a big deal . . . after all, didn’t they cancel the 1994 World Series?

But here’s the point, the ambiguity of the reasons that were previously given for the delays, coupled with the continuing silence in the new year – and yes it is still early, may tell another story. At the very least, the absence of any meaningful updates that has left the program in what appears to be an indeterminate holding pattern, undermines the 2014 success.

I think that it also hurts the creditability of our profession. Let’s face it, when you say that you are going to do an annual Top 30 Under 30 program, and it doesn’t happen, is it because there are not enough qualified and/or interested candidates?

We are all familiar with the term silence is golden however, at least in this instance, silence is troubling.

Someone, anyone, please say something!



Posted in: Commentary