William "Gus" Pagonis
Retired 3-star general masterminded logistics for Gulf War, Sears, RailAmerica, Genco
Few people are as qualified to talk about leadership in a supply chain as William "Gus" Pagonis. A retired three-star U.S. Army general, Pagonis won high praise from Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf for successfully masterminding logistics for the Gulf War. Pagonis also served as Head of Supply Chain for Sears Roebuck and Co. for more than 10 years, chairman for RailAmerica and now vice chairman for Genco Supply Chain Solutions, one of the largest third-party logistics providers in North America.
Lt. Gen. Pagonis is widely recognized for his achievements as the chief logistician during the Gulf War, but he also established new standards for supply chain leadership in the corporate world. "I think corporate America is waking up to supply chain as the last frontier," Pagonis said. "It's the place where people can really maneuver to get a competitive edge."
When Pagonis retired from the army in 1993, he was hired as Head of Supply Chain for Sears where his responsibilities included: establishing policies and procedures for the flow of inventory from vendor to store, vendor relations, transportation, distribution, international logistics, home delivery services, and the integration of information systems. He functioned as the single point of contact for l Sears Logistics. He directed logistics for more than 2,500 stores and a network of distribution centers. He was also president of Sears Logistics Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears. He retired from Sears in 2004.
A native of Charleroi, Pa., Pagonis earned both his undergraduate degree in trade and transportation and MBA, with a concentration in logistics and operations research, from Penn State University. Pagonis is author of the business bestseller "Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War," published by Harvard Business School Press. He is presently serving as vice chairman of the board for Genco and Combine Net, both based in Pittsburgh, Pa. He also served as chairman of RailAmerica and the Department of Defense Business Board under former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
During his keynote address at the Indiana Logistics Summit, Pagonis will discuss "Leadership of the Supply Chain" and two models he has developed to promote corporate success - "Supply Chain Pentagon" and "Three-Star Leadership."
"Gus Pagonis is one of the leading logistics professionals of our time," said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. "Anyone who has a leadership position related to logistics will certainly enjoy hearing him speak and greatly benefit from his insights on business strategy, management techniques and how to tap into supply chain opportunities. He specializes in providing real-world solutions that have been successful in the military as well as corporate settings. These are logistics concepts and leadership techniques that you can apply to just about any business."