Celebrating Procurement Greatness in the Americas

17 September 2020
17:50 - 18:30
Americas Procurement Awards 2020 logo

Calling Procurement Champions

The Americas Procurement Awards were announced on September, 17 2020, following the Americas Procurement Congress Virtual.

The winners have been automatically shortlisted for the 14th Annual World Procurement Awards, which take place on November 5, during the World Procurement Week Virtual. These highly esteemed Awards are recognized as the pinnacle of professional achievement within the procurement industry, and over 2000 procurement elite from across the globe are expected to convene virtually during the annual celebration.

Five great categories celebrated

Americas Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Award

Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Award

Recognizing a function that’s delivering business value through an innovative supplier diversity and inclusion program.

Americas Procurement Leader Award

Procurement Leader Award

Highlighting the individual who empowers their team to succeed, together while steering their team on the function’s futuristic vision.

Americas Talent & Development Award

Talent & Development Award

Celebrating the function that’s exemplifying how to nurture and retain procurement talent.

Innovation Award

NEW FOR 2020: Innovation Award

Recognising the function capitalising on new, emerging technology to turn a challenge into an opportunity for new success.

Procurement Technology Award

NEW FOR 2020: Procurement Technology Award

Celebrating the provider that’s creating an innovative solution to support procurement’s value delivery.


For any questions please contact:

Vale Rimatori, Events & Awards Manager
+44 (0) 20 7819 1011


Americas Procurement Awards 2020 Winners

Procurement Leader Award
Winner: Tony Pittman, Under Armour

Innovation Award
Partnered by Greensill
Winner: Cargill
Highly Commended: Hilton Supply Management

Talent & Development Award
Winner: Hilton Supply Management

Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Award
Winner: Highmark Health

Procurement Technology Award
Winner: Service Corporation International


Meet the senior panel of judges carefully selected to conduct the independent, transparent and rigorous judging process crucial to the integrity of the Americas Procurement Awards:


Tim Burt, Editor, Procurement Leaders

Tim Burt

Editor, PLQ Magazine
Procurement Leaders


Carol Danoff, SVP and CPO, Discovery, Inc.

Carol Danoff

Discovery, Inc.

View Bio

Carol Danoff is SVP and Chief Procurement Officer at Discovery, Inc. She is an influential leader and valued business partner with a record of delivering superior business results across multiple industries. Accomplishments are achieved by closely aligning with the business to design and implement best-in-class sourcing and supplier strategies, process improvements, and compliance methodologies that meet the business needs. Demonstrated success in leading, engaging, and developing high performing global teams to consistently deliver sourcing solutions that positively impact business growth and cultivate customer and supplier relationships. Key accomplishments include delivering high single/low double digit % improvement in year over year cost savings and efficiencies while maintaining superior service and quality.

Prior to joining Discovery in 2018, she held management positions of increasing responsibility at Novartis, Mattel, Colgate-Palmolive, Pitney Bowes, and Motorola.

Carol holds a B.A. degree in Business Administration and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University. She received her CPM certification from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) in 1995 and was re-certified in 1998 and she has her CPIM from APICS. Carol is an advocate of Diversity and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in 2004 and 2005 where she chaired the Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain Committee.

Craig McKenney, Head of Enterprise Supply Chain, Citi

Craig McKenney

Head of Enterprise Supply Chain

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Craig McKenney is Citi’s Head of Enterprise Supply Chain (ESC) and a member of the Citi Operations & Technology Operating Committee.

Craig is responsible for the strategy and execution of the end-to-end supplier lifecycle process, including strategic sourcing of Citi’s suppliers across the globe, supply chain development, inclusion & sustainability, Citi’s strategic supplier partnership program, third party management operations, purchasing & payment operations, and supply chain systems & technology.

Through Craig’s global leadership, Citi’s Supply Chain is executed in an efficient and effective manner while maintaining rigorous controls and aggressively pursuing emergent technology. Prior to his current role, Craig led in several capacities as Citi’s Global Head of ESC Operations, Global Head of Procurement Operations, Capabilities & Systems, Source to Procure Service Centers, and LATAM Regional Procurement Head. Craig is also a member of the Citi Expense Governance Committee and the Citi Execution & Ethics Program.

In 2016, Craig was recognized as ‘Practitioner of the Year’ by the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network for his leadership in the transformation of ESC’s Global Operations. Before joining Citi, Craig was Chief Procurement Officer, Vice President of Procurement and Vendor Management at Best Buy, also serving on the board of the Metropolitan Economic Development Board (MEDA), supporting Minnesota entrepreneurs of color, and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). Before Best Buy he occupied roles at both Accenture and IBM, focused on IT and Business Process Outsourcing. Earlier in his career he founded two successful technology companies, focused on application development of workflow and Internet solutions.

Craig studied Engineering at the University of Alberta, has an MBA from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s of Science in Risk Management at New York University.

Laks Natarajan, Head of Global Business Services, Procurement, Marsh and McLennan

Laks Natarajan

Head of Global Business Services, Procurement
Marsh and McLennan

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Laks joined Marsh & McLennan in 2010 as the Chief Procurement Officer. His role was expanded in 2012 to head Global Business Services which includes the Sourcing/Procurement and Real Estate/Facilities organizations. Laks’ previous jobs were with TD Ameritrade where he was the Chief Procurement Officer and TD Bank where he led the US Sourcing Organization. Laks holds an MBA in Operations and Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business and an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering.

Lara Nichols, SVP Procurement, NFP, Corp.

Lara Nichols

SVP Procurement
NFP, Corp.

View Bio

In her role as head of Procurement for NFP, Lara leads the newly formed procurement organization, providing strategic sourcing, procurement and supplier operations management for corporate and field offices. Lara’s work focuses on aligning procurement goals into a broader multi-year integration strategy and designing revenue generating practices leveraging procurement for margin expansion and top-line gain. Lara also manages functional programs for real estate and travel management company-wide. Lara’s most recent development work includes serving as a member of NFP’s inaugural Women in Leadership (WiL) council and sponsors the supplier-focused subteam for NFP’s PeopleFirst Advisory Board focused on inclusion & diversity. Lara was instrumental in developing and now leads NFP’s popular mentoring program. Prior to her work at NFP, Lara served as the head of Specialized Supplier Strategies and Global Optimization for Merck. She has also held significant leadership positions at Tyco International and Wells Fargo Corporation. Lara’s expertise spans complex business transformation and business development strategies as well as practical experience in mergers/acquisitions and divestitures, operational shared services and, comprehensive business management and procurement and vendor management functional excellence. She volunteers as program director for leadership development at Rutgers University and is the former chair for the global conference leadership committee of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). Lara holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and a post-graduate certification in technology from James Madison University.

Lloyd Switzer, CPO, Telus

Lloyd Switzer


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As Chief Procurement Officer, Lloyd leverages partner ecosystems to drive short and long-term value for TELUS to enable its continued success. The goal is to create processes and infrastructure that are cost-effective and competitive, enabling TELUS to constantly meet the evolving needs of its 13 million subscriber connections and future growth demands. Lloyd and his team are responsible for the procurement and sourcing strategy, capital management and investment returns, supply operations, and transforming the underlying processes and systems that support them. Lloyd is also responsible for fleet management within TELUS and works closely with fleet users to ensure the lowest total cost of ownership and safe and effective operations.

Lloyd is passionate about sustainability and over the last five years, he has directed TELUS’ long-term energy reduction program, as well as the data center and central office convergence strategy. His contributions to a greener industry have been recognized outside of TELUS and in 2014 Lloyd was named a Clean 16 member for his outstanding contributions to sustainability in Canada.

A seasoned telecommunications executive, Lloyd has over 30 years of experience across the industry with equipment manufacturers, service providers and strategy consulting companies, including Nortel Networks, Deloitte, Strategos and two technology start-ups. Lloyd holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo and resides in Toronto, where he puts his passion for his city into action as a member of the Board of Directors for the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

Miguel Gonzalez, CPO, Dupont

Miguel Gonzalez


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Miguel Gonzalez started his career in Procurement and Supply Chain with General Electric Plastics. He later has worked for Nalco, Kraft Foods and DuPont. He has lived in Spain, The Netherlands and the USA, together with his wife and two sons. He has a degree in Business Administration, a Master from Universidad Camilo Jose Cela and an MBA from ESERP Business School.

Miguel is on the Board of Directors for the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors for the National Minority Supplier Development Council. He enjoys coaching and mentoring and, in his free time, Miguel likes to spend time with his family, travel and get to know other cultures. He is also a collector of antique books.

Renée Peets, VP Supply Chain, Mars Petcare North America

Renée Peets

VP Supply Chain
Mars Petcare North America

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Renée Peets is a global procurement & supply chain executive with 25 years of diverse CPG, manufacturing, restaurant and finance experience. She currently leads the end-to-end Supply Chain for Mars Petcare North America and is based in Franklin, Tennessee. Mars Petcare owns many brands, including Pedigree, Nutro, Iams, Cesar, Greenies and Dentastix, among others. Renée joined the Company in 2015 as the Vice President of Procurement & CPO, and in 2017 assumed responsibility for the full supply chain. Prior to Mars, Renée had a series of leadership roles encompassing Procurement, Supply Chain, Operations, and Quality. She has worked in multiple industry sectors in both global and regional roles. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Pedigree Foundation, a charitable private foundation that supports shelters and rescue organizations in finding a solution for dog homelessness in the US.

Ric Schneider, CPO, Abbott

Ric Schneider


View Bio

Responsible for oversight of enterprise expenditures, supplier development, supply base performance, company-wide externalization strategies, and productivity/cash conversion management improvement initiatives. As part of supplier development, Ric oversees Abbott’s supplier diversity processes, which focus on ensuring an inclusive environment promoting engagement of diverse, disadvantaged and small businesses.

Prior to joining Abbott, Ric held leadership roles at Starbucks. Miller/Coors, Phillip Morris, and Kraft Foods.

Executive Director, DMSCA’s Advisory Board
Board Member, LeadersUp
Structural Engineer and Architect
MBA Kellogg Business School

Susanna Zhu, VP, U.S. Supply Chain Operations, The Hershey Company

Susanna Zhu

VP, U.S. Supply Chain Operations
The Hershey Company

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Susanna Zhu is Vice President, U.S. Supply Chain Operations for The Hershey Company. Susanna leads the U.S. end-to-end Supply Chain with focus on Supply and Demand planning, continuous improvement, innovation commercialization, transportation and logistics, packaging, and customer supply chain.

Susanna was the Chief Procurement Officer for Hershey from 2015 to 2018.

Prior to Hershey, Susanna held leadership positions with increasing responsibilities at PepsiCo and United Technologies Corporation across Global Procurement, Commodity Risk Management, Manufacturing and Operations.

Susanna has a MBA from University of San Diego, and she is a General Management Program graduate from Harvard Business School.

Charles Miceli, Vice President Network Chief Supply Chain Officer, The University of Vermont Health Network

Charles Miceli

Chief Supply Chain Officer, Network Vice President
The University of Vermont Health Network

View Bio

Miceli has set the vision and mission for the University of Vermont Medical Center Supply Chain operation, ranked #1 and #2 by the University Health System Consortium/Vizient in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, 2017 and 3rd 2018. The effectiveness of the supply chain has supported the clinical mission and operations of the University of Vermont Medical Center, OneCare Vermont, and the University of Vermont Health Network

Miceli has also served as the Vice President of Information Systems for the University of Vermont Medical Center as well as the CIO for the OneCare Vermont Accountable Care Organization

Key accomplishments include sponsoring the successful integration of biomedical devices with the EPIC EHR, as well as championing interoperability of key clinical applications with EPIC (McKesson PACS).

Prior to joining Fletcher Allen/University of Vermont Medical Center in 2008, Miceli held leadership positions in supply chain, biomedical engineering, and support services at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Loyola University Medical Center, The University of Chicago Hospital and Health Systems, and Partners Healthcare System in Boston. He has also served as an expert consultant in change management/turn around, cost management, and information systems.

An avid guitarist, Miceli and colleague McKenna Lee founded the musical group McKenna Lee and the Microfixers in 2010. Over the past 7 years the group has helped raise over $20k for charitable causes. He has two adult children with wife Mari, an RN and fellow patient safety advocate who designed and developed the PatientAider app that the Miceli’s donated to the Patient Safety Movement Foundation.


Americas Procurement Awards 2020 Categories

Procurement Leader Award

Highlighting the individual who empowers their team to succeed, together while steering their team on the function’s futuristic vision.

Great procurement leaders inspire, challenge and build great teams around them. They know when to play safe, when to take risks and are passionate supporters of the function. They are visionaries and strategists who are also able to spur on those around them to achieve great things.

The Procurement Leader award is open to all senior executives who have strategic responsibility for their organization’s procurement function and will recognize how he or she has impacted the wider business and put procurement at the top table in their organization.

In order to be a Procurement Leader, we understand that this might take longer than 12 months to prove, please provide the signigicant examples and achievments from their whole procurement career.

Innovation Award

Partnered by Greensill


Recognizing the function capitalising on new, emerging technology to turn a challenge into an opportunity for new success.

Innovation is a popular word which is easily over-used, but in the context of these awards judges will be looking for how procurement organizations have succeeded in one or both of the following two scenarios:

  • Employed innovative new approaches or processes within the procurement function to achieve great results.
  • Helped to develop a new product or service functionality/value through the use of recognized procurement levers.

To help our judges score this category, those entering are encouraged to focus on a specific project or initiative which took place during the past 12 months. This might include a specific new tool set, process improvement or product-improvement initiative.

Talent & Development Award

Celebrating the function that’s exemplifying how to nurture and retain procurement talent.

Being able to attract the most diverse top talent into procurement doesn’t only come down to money. High potentials demand to be in an environment of strategic influence and to work in a function which has the full support of corporate leadership. It is important for employees in any organization to be supported in their learning and development needs and if done well it is also something that can lead to improved retention and superior results.

Whether developed entirely in house or in partnership with an external provider/institution, this award will recognize procurement functions that are giving their staff a tangible learning journey through their training program - this could include procurement-led employee initiative projects that have opened up new opportunities for businesses.

Judges will be looking for organizations that combine excellent benefits with solid opportunities for career progression and development. At the same time, judges will be looking for evidence of how supportive corporate leaders are to the procurement function.

Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Award

Recognizing a function that’s delivering business value as a result of a supplier diversity and inclusion program.

This category is seeking entries from organizations that have implemented a successful supplier diversity and inclusion program. This award celebrates the work of a corporate organization that is driving forward the supplier diversity and inclusion agenda, making a significant impact on the development of corporate supplier diversity operations. This may include organizations that actively encourage the participation of minority owned and diverse businesses or helping to create a prosperous and vibrant business sector.

Procurement Technology Award

Celebrating the procurement technology that’s creating an innovative solution to support procurement’s value delivery.

It is important to recognize the innovations enabling procurement to fundamentally transform the ability of the function to deliver more value.

This Award recognizes the latest wave of technology-driven procurement solutions and the companies responsible for their development.

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Be forever adorned with the mark of greatness and join the prestigious list of winners, following in the footsteps of the inaugural champions from 2019:

Americas Procurement Awards 2020 placeholder

The ConnXus Americas Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Award, Partnered by ConnXus

Winner: Citi, New York

Highly Commended: JPMorgan Chase & Co., New York

Americas Procurement Leader Award, Partnered by Coupa

Winner: Gary Foster, Highmark Health, Pennsylvania

Americas Talent & Development Award

Winner: Abbott Laboratories, Illinois

Highly Commended: Corning Incorporated, New York