White House Taps Industrial Suppliers to Ensure PPE Supply Chain

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On March 17, the White House organized a conference call between President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and a group of 32 senior executives in the industrial supply retail and wholesale sector regarding the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Thursday, industrial supplies master wholesaler ORS Nasco distributed a press release detailing the key takeaways of that industry address, of which CEO and president Kevin Short was invited to attend.

ORS said the industrial supply business leaders were encouraged to amplify Trump’s “15 Day Plan to Stop the Spread” message to ensure everyone is doing their part in the plan’s suggested actions.

“The President thanked the participants for providing Americans the goods they rely on every day and asked they extend his thanks to the incredible employees, customers, and suppliers who are working tirelessly to keep store shelves well-stocked,” ORS’ release said. “Also discussed was the benefit from the lifting of federal restrictions on the trucking industry to allow maximum efficiency throughout the distribution network. The collective group agreed that American supply chains are the most powerful in the world and that continued cooperation and coordination between the private sector and all levels of government is essential to mitigate the effects of this pandemic. Further, the participants discussed the importance for private sector leaders to work closely with state and local officials.”

ShortShort“It’s an honor to collaborate directly with the President, Vice President, and the CEOs of some of America’s finest companies in order to ensure the supply chain of personal protective equipment is functioning at the highest possible level to address the threats of COVID 19,” Short stated. “This public-private partnership is focused and intent on flattening the curve and prioritizing the health of all citizens. I’m so proud of the 1,150 associates across both ORS Nasco and MEDCO; they are at the epicenter of mitigating this crisis.”

Along with Trump and Pence, the call included fellow Trump Administration officials Marc Short - Assistant to the President & Chief of Staff to the Vice President; Ambassador Debbie Birx, M.D.; White House Coronavirus Coordinator Tim Pataki – Deputy Assistant to the President & Director of the Office of Public Liaison.

The 32 industrial supply leaders included representation of five of Industrial Distribution’s 2019 Big 50 List companies: MSC Industrial Supply president and CEO Erik Gershwind; Grainger chairman, president and CEO DG Macpherson; Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller; Winsupply chairman Rick Schwartz; Sonepar North America president Rob Taylor.

See the full list of business executives below who were invited to the call:

  • Bill Abington, EVP, Global Operations, Medline Industries Inc.
  • Peter Arvan, President and CEO, POOLCORP
  • John Barrett, Executive Director, International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA)
  • Jeff Bezos, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, Amazon
  • Steve Collis, Chairman, President, and CEO, AmerisourceBergen
  • Chester Davis Jr, President and CEO, Healthcare Distribution Alliance
  • Marvin Ellison, CEO, Lowes
  • Saul Factor, President, Smith Drug Co/Div JM Smith Corp
  • Maria Ffolkes, CEO, TriMark USA
  • Erik Gershwind, President and CEO, MSC Industrial Supply Co.
  • Joe Grieshaber, Senior Vice President of Merchandising, The Kroger Co.
  • Thomas Hartland-Mackie, President and CEO, City Electric Supply
  • John Hartmann, CEO, True Value Hardware
  • Roman Heini, Chairman, Lidl US
  • Claude Hornsby, CEO, MORSCO
  • Mike Kaufmann, CEO, Cardinal Health
  • Steve LeClair, CEO, Core & Main LP
  • DG Macpherson, Chairman and CEO, W.W. Grainger, Inc.
  • Kathy Mazzarella, Chairman, President and CEO, Graybar Electric Co. Inc.
  • Jim McCool, CEO, Bunzl North America
  • John Menard, President, Menard Inc.
  • Craig Menear, Chairman President and CEO, The Home Depot
  • Tammy Miller, CEO, Border States Electric
  • Matthew Rowan, President and CEO Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA)
  • Rick Schwartz, Chairman, Winsupply
  • Kevin Short, President and CEO, ORS Nasco and MEDCO
  • Dan Starr, President and CEO, Do it Best Corp.
  • John Sullivan, Senior Vice and General Counsel, Costco Wholesale Corp.
  • Rob Taylor, President, Sonepar, North America
  • Robert Tillis, CEO, Imperial Dade
  • John Tisera, President and CEO, Johnstone Supply
  • John Turner, President, CEO, Gypsum Management and Supply
  • Liz Uihlein, President, Uline Company
  • Dirk Van Dongen, President and CEO, National Association of Wholesaler- Distributors
  • Jon Vrabely, President and CEO, Huttig Building Products Inc.
  • Douglas York, President, CEO, Ewing Irrigation Products
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