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Eastern Kentucky University, the first public university in Kentucky to offer a bachelor’s degree option in Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM), will host Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas’ annual supply chain conference and awards event.

More than 550 leaders representing more than 250 global suppliers, as well as approximately 100 global Hitachi leaders, are expected to attend the conference, which will be held on May 24 at the EKU Center for the Arts.

EKU College of Business and Technology Dean Dr. Thomas Erekson will deliver a welcome on behalf of the University, and an overview of EKU’s GSCM program will be provided to all attendees.  EKU’s GSCM students will participate in a wide variety of ways, including welcoming and registering guests and providing directions within the Center, as well as joining in all the various meetings and presentations.

“This has high potential to generate explosive growth in our program,” said James Kirby Easterling, an EKU School of Business executive-in-residence using his 22 years of corporate supply chain leadership experience to direct the program.  “Having an elite company like Hitachi Automotive host their event here at EKU and partner with our new Global Supply Chain Management program will provide our students great exposure to global issues firms are facing and the importance of a well-integrated supply chain network”.

The Global Supply Chain Management Program at EKU focuses on operations management, supply chain management, logistics, strategic procurement, supply chain network design and information systems analysis and design.

“There are a few reasons why Supply Chain Management has been and continues to be very hot,” Easterling said in 2015. “Globalization is a major reason, as firms are buying raw materials, manufacturing products and shipping their goods all over the world at unprecedented levels, and supply chain management is at the forefront of making that happen. A second major reason is that top executives are correctly assessing that effective supply chain management is often a quicker path to improving profitability than simply selling more product.”

For more information about EKU’s Global Supply Chain Management Program, visit