Western Michigan Student Wins ISA's Buffington Scholarship

The ISA Educational Foundation will award Aaron McClendon the $10,000 scholarship during the general session of the 2016 ISA Convention on April 16 in Rosemont, IL.

PHILADELPHIA — The Industrial Supply Association (ISA) recently announced that Western Michigan University student Aaron McClendon was chosen to receive the 2016-17 Gary L. Buffington Memorial Scholarship.

McClendon is majoring in Integrated Supply Management, with a minor in Business Analytics, and is scheduled to graduate in April 2017. A resident of Kalamazoo, Mich., McClendon is a member of WMU’s Honors College and has participated in internships and co-ops including logistics, warehousing, global purchasing/negotiations and operations.

McClendon is also involved with multiple student organizations, serving as vice president of FOCUS Kalamazoo, a student volunteer-based organization dedicated to educating, connecting, and developing college students in volunteer experiences throughout the community. He was recently elected president of WMU’s student chapter of APICs, The Association for Operations Management, where he plans to develop a network of young leaders within the industrial distribution community.

"Words cannot describe how honored and thankful I am to be recognized as the 2016 Gary L. Buffington Memorial Scholarship recipient,” said McClendon. “I am truly humbled to be the first recipient from my university. Not only do I thank the ISA Education Foundation and its supporters, but also Mr. Buffington himself, for paving the way for those that aspire to be life-long learners and business leaders. I promise to follow in his path by dedicating my life towards the development and empowerment of others."

McClendon completed an internship program with General Motors in the summer of 2015 and was invited back for the summer of 2016.

“Aaron is an outstanding young man who exhibits the attributes that I believe will enable him to be a success in whatever field he may choose, including a career in industrial distribution,” said Dave Drouillard, executive director of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Machinery & Equipment and Supplier Diversity for GM. During his GM internship, McClendon led a project focused on plant conveyor systems where he made sourcing recommendations that saved General Motors more than $3 million, while improving plant throughput and aligning supplier capacity.

“Aaron has an outstanding work ethic and did an excellent job on his project with the skillset of a buyer with three to five years of experience,” Drouillard said.

Sime Curkovic, professor and advisor for the Integrated Supply Management program at WMU, calls McClendon a leader and a team player, who is willing to help his fellow students when they are in need.

“Aaron has proven himself to be a hardworking and dedicated student in our program, and that is why we hired him to help us with students and employers. We regularly have Aaron meet with our new students to serve as a mentor,” Curkovic said.
The scholarship was created in 2003 as a memorial to former I.D.A. Executive Vice President Gary Buffington. It is awarded each year to a rising senior in a qualified undergraduate industrial distribution program. The ISA Educational Foundation selection committee evaluates candidates from colleges with programs in industrial distribution.

The ISA Educational Foundation will award the $10,000 scholarship during the general session of the 2016 ISA Convention on April 16 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Companies or individuals that wish to contribute to the Gary L. Buffington Memorial Scholarship fund may do so by submitting a check payable to the ISA Educational Foundation, indicate that the donation is earmarked for the GLB scholarship, and mail it to: ISA, 100 North 20th Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

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