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The Arkestro Opti Awards 2021: Celebrating Achievement and Innovation in the Procurement Industry

April 15, 2021

Voltaire once wrote, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” This key truth—the importance of appreciation and recognition—is the core foundation of the Opti Awards, which we recently announced for this season.

The Opti Awards were specifically designed to celebrate stellar achievement and innovation in the procurement industry. And just like the quote above claims, they remind us that in coming together to applaud and honor those in our industry’s outstanding accomplishments, we are all winning. These are the leaders taking us all forward.

Key Performance Awards

Opti Awards Graphic

Let’s start by officially naming and honoring each company and team that received an Opti, including the specific category they dominated this year.

Leading the accolades were the Key Performance Awards, which are awarded to teams leveraging AI to deliver strong outcomes based on key performance indicators that are clear, measurable, and benchmarked against Arkestro’s overall user community.

  1. The first category in the Key Performance Awards was Sourcing AI Velocity, an honor which Kurita and its team, including Nate Vetter and Marcie Myers, won.
  2. Taking home the Opti Award for Supplier Engagement was VSP Technologies and its team, including John Winn, Phillip Collier, Allison Heath, and Bill Meriwether.
  3. Abraham Saxionis and KEOLIS were recognized as the frontrunner in the Spend Automation and Innovation Advocate category.
  4. Dover Chemical Corporation and Workato dually dominated the category of Operational Efficiency through Systems Integration.
  5. The reigning experts in our field in the category of Topline Procurement AI were the hard-working teams from Holman Enterprises (comprised of Bob Daglian, Allison Rispler, Verna Daly, Sara Humbert, and Jeremy Paolone), as well as the masterminds behind the scenes at VROOZI (Shaz Khan, Joe Fox, and Mike Jud).
  6. Rounding out the Key Performance Awards and receiving the top honor for Tactical Sourcing AI Process of the Year was UCB and its Digital Mission Lead, Claudia Hayes.

Excellence in Sourcing AI Awards

Excellence in Sourcing AI Awards

Fast on the heels of the Key Performance Awards were the Excellence in Sourcing AI Awards, which are awarded, by category, for the team with the most successful projects launched in each strategic sourcing category.

  1. Top of the industry in the category of Global Deployment was ERIKS and its team, including Stijn van Roosmalen, Pablo Lucero, and Tjalling Leenhouts.
  2. Leading the charge forward in the Supply Chain niche were Frank Battino and Neil Garlock of Holman Enterprises.
  3. Receiving recognition in the category of Shared Services was GuideWell, and its team consisted of Todd Marshall, Matt Koraleski, and Charles Wijayawardhana.
  4. Making the most strides and exhibiting excellent innovation in the area of Raw Materials was BASF, with special nods to Sven Theysohn and Tung Do.
  5. Making progress in leaps and bounds for the industry in the category of MRO, VW and its team helmed by Andrew Leach, Saskia Van Velze, Aida Gonzalez, Nicoule Goins, Austin Dittrich, and David Torres took home the Opties top honors this year.
  6. Paving the way to progress in the category of Packaging was Fareva and the duo of Angela Moy and Courtney Kelly.
  7. The category of CapEx was won by Power Design and its endeavors led by Paul Menconi and James “Jimmy” Wilson.
  8. Bel and its team of Jean-Michel dos Remedios, Justin Heard, and Sally Kubes brought home the top honors for the Food and Beverage category this year.
  9. Surging ahead this season in the category of Specialty Materials was Formulated Solutions, specifically thanks to the hard work of Jim Cuff.
  10. Completing the Tactical Sourcing AI Process of the Year Awards was a favorite and worthy category in everyone’s opinion, the arena of Non-Profit, which was won by the Food Bank for New York City, with special honors to the tireless work of Anna McGovern.

Arkestro Awards

Arkestro Awards<br />

The final headliner awards of the Opties were the Arkestro Awards, which are special honors awarded to users, partners, and thought leaders that deliver exceptional results and contribute to the advancement of Procurement as Operations.

  1. Leading off with the Sourcing Team Of the Year category was Dover Chemical Corp., which won the honor thanks to its dynamic duo composed of Patti DeVault and Jacquie Humphrey.
  2. Capturing the prestigious title of Partner of the Year was Kearney and its team (John Thomas, Jason Krajcovic, Will Hagan, Astron Liu, Rajeev Prabhakar, Oklend Murati, Lara Leclerq, Eline Leermakers).
  3. Winning the sought-after honor of being named Supplier of the Year was Pipe Valves, with a special nod to the excellent work of Douglas Eberhard.
  4. The Supplier Innovator of the Year category win went to Grainger, much in part to the pairing of Lindsey Ferguson and Quentin Frazier.
  5. The uniquely named category of “Voice of LinkedIn” was won by Content Callout, led by Mark Raffan and Kayla Graham.
  6. The final honor of the evening Arkestro Awards was for CPO Innovator of the Year, which was won by Box’s CPO, Linda Chuan.

It was an exciting afternoon highlighting the well-deserved achievements of our colleagues and the forerunners in our field. The words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry perfectly summarize the event’s purpose, which is to inspire and honor innovation: “A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.” We—alongside our Procurement contemporaries—are excited to keep building beautiful, strong cathedrals, stone by stone.


To watch the “Opti Awards Ceremony” video in its entirety—and others from “Optimal: The AI Conference for Procurement Teams”—head over to the Arkestro site.