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Introducing the 2022 Opti Awards Winners

April 12, 2022

Optimal’22 — The Leadership Summit for Predictive Procurement— wrapped on March 24th. This event isn’t just an opportunity to network with the over 1,000 participants or to learn from incredible keynotes and workshops delivered by notable industry experts. Arkestro’s annual Optimal conference is also home to the Opti Awards ceremony, an event within an event where the innovators and leaders in procurement are recognized for their outstanding achievements during the year. It’s also a chance for procurement professionals and those involved in the industry to celebrate the accomplishments pushing the industry to new levels. Dawn Tiura, leader of the Sourcing Industry Group and Edmund Zagorin, CEO and Co-Founder of Arkestro, hosted this year’s Optis.

Without further ado, here are the 2022 Opti Award Winners.


The Opti Awards and the 2022 Winners

 There are two major categories of awards: the Arkestro awards, and the Predictive Procurement Excellence awards.

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The Akestro Award Winners

Leading the 2022 Opti Awards ceremony was Volkswagen Group of America, which took home the honors for being the Procurement Team of the Year. The second major award was for Procurement Operations Leader of the Year. That award was a tie this year. It went to Zimri Del Pino of the New York Times and Kristen Collins, Director of Global Purchasing Operations & Technology.

Next up, Jean-Michel dos Remedios of Bel Brands was recognized for being the Best VP of the Year. Jean-Michel also spoke earlier in the day about high-impact procurement and the high-performing processes at Bel Brands.

Continuing the C-suite series of awards, Dover Chemical’s Steve Toloday won the 2022 Bid Ops award for CFO of the Year. Linda Chuan of Box was named CPO of the Year. And the CPO Innovator Award went to Mike Morsch of CDK Global.

Jean-Michel dos Remedios

Bel Brands

Linda Chuan - Box

Linda Chuan


The Innovators, Influencers, and Thought Leaders

Next, a series of awards recognized individuals with a notable impact on various aspects of the procurement industry. These are the innovators, influencers, and thought leaders.

David Darland of Georgia Pacific won the award for Sourcing Operations Leader of the Year. Volkswagen Group of America won for the second time. This time with Austin Dittrich bringing home the hardware for Innovation Advocate of the Year. The ESG Advocate of the Year for 2022 was won by Shelia Gunderson of Moody’s.

Mark Raffan repeated his 2021 win after being recognized with the 2022 “Voice of LinkedIn” Procurement Influencer of the Year Award. This time for his work with Negotiations Ninja. Finally, Bayer’s Thomas Udesen won the CPO Sustainability Award. 

At this point, several trends are probably becoming clear. First, the companies that are actively involved in the procurement industry cover a wide range of industries. And second, the individuals and teams involved with procurement also cover wide ground. Some are traditional procurement professionals, others are CFOs, and some might not have been directly linked to procurement last year. These trends illustrate the growth in the procurement industry and the recognition of its strategic importance across functional areas.

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The diversity in the procurement industry becomes even more apparent with the second category of awards.

Predictive Procurement Excellence Awards

These awards recognize the growing value organizations place on thinking ahead of the market and locking in suppliers at advantageous times and prices. With over two years of supply chain disruption, predictive procurement has become an invaluable capability. These companies — and a notable individual — are leading the pack when it comes to this strategy.

The first series of awards are for excellence in specific areas.

Dover Chemical was the winner for End-to-End Predictive Orchestration. Epizyme took home the hardware for Predictive Sourcing in Indirect Services. When it comes to Excellence in Predictive Sourcing in Materials, Crowley came out on top. Searles Valley Minerals won for Predictive Sourcing in MRO. Bel Brands collected its second Opti 2022 award after winning for Excellence in Predictive Sourcing in Packaging.

The award for Predictive Sourcing for CapEx went to Holcim Group. BASF was in the spotlight for its Excellence in Predictive Compliance. CDK Global received the award for Predictive Savings Identification. Kristen Collins of Autodesk topped the Predictive P-Card Award nominees, while Evonik collected the award for Excellence in Supplier Diversity. Volkswagen Group of America added to its hardware with the award for Excellence in Predictive Tail Spend. When it comes to Predictive Global Spending, Novartis was on top this year. Finally, Materne won the 2022 award for Excellence in Predictive Supply Chain.

Those were the corporate winners in the predictive procurement category. But let’s not forget the individual recognized by his peers. David Shultz won the Thought Leader Practitioner of the Year.

See you at the Next Opti Awards!

Congratulations to all of the industry thought leaders and trailblazing procurement professionals making a difference in the world of procurement. That’s it for the 2022 Opti Awards, but we’ll see you for the 2023 edition. To watch the 2022 Opti Awards ceremony (plus videos of other sessions from Optimal’22), visit the Arkestro website.