Keynote Speakers

Prathibha Rajashekhar

Prathibha Rajashekhar

Senior Vice President, Innovation & Automation
Walmart U.S.

Prathibha Rajashekhar currently serves as senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart U.S., where she and her team are responsible for transforming the company's end-to-end supply chain and store operations through the advancement of high-tech capabilities. This includes modernizing the company's facilities with state-of-the-art automation designed to enhance the work environment for associates. It also includes digitizing the in-store experience with next generation solutions such as touchless checkout, digital shelf labels and more.

Prior to this role, Prathibha served as senior vice president, private brands and sourcing at Sam's Club where she led the development of Member's Mark products that drove member advocacy and profitable growth for the business. During her time at Sam's Club, she also served as vice president/DMM for Baby, HBA & OTC categories, responsible for identifying great items and bringing them to life at the best value for Sam's members.

Before serving in merchandising at Sam's she served as VP for data, analytics and insights for Global People, responsible for providing insights around human capital to enable better talent outcomes for serving our customers better.

She started with Walmart in January 2011 serving as manager of operations for Walmart Tech. Since 2011, Prathibha has had the opportunity to serve in multiple positions and areas within the company in Global Leverage, Shared Services, and Next Generation Supply Chain. Prior to Walmart, she worked as a consultant helping design and build IT architecture for insurance and financial services companies and establish and manage IT operations for the vehicle planning division for General Motors.

Prathibha currently serves on STEMconnector, collaborating with other companies to create a focus on STEM talent pipeline, jobs, and recruitment with an emphasis on diversity and women. She has a passion for helping youth and is currently working with Boys & Girls Club of Benton County (Arkansas).

Prathibha holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Mysore, India and a MBA from Duke University. Prathibha and her family reside in Northwest Arkansas.


Benoit Montreuil

Benoit Montreuil

Professor and Coca-Cola Material Handling & Distribution Chair
Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering
Georgia Tech

Benoit Montreuil is Professor and Coca-Cola Material Handling & Distribution Chair in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech (GT). He is Executive Director of the Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Director of the Physical Internet (PI) Center and PI Lab, and Co-Director of the Sentient Immersive Response Networks (SIReN) Lab, a joint initiative of GT and IMT Mines Albi.

He leads the International Physical Internet Initiative, engaging academic, industry and government leaders worldwide into research and innovation projects on smart, hyperconnected, resilient, and sustainable supply chain, logistic and transportation ecosystems and infrastructures.

Dr. Montreuil has introduced in collaboration with students and colleagues an imposing set of paradigm-challenging leading-edge research contributions shared through 300+ scientific publications, 260+ scientific communications and numerous keynote speeches at international scientific and professional conferences.

His main research interests generically lie in developing concepts, methodologies, and technologies for creating, optimizing, transforming, and enabling businesses, supply chains, industries, as well as societal systems and infrastructures, to thrive in a disruptive, fast evolving hyperconnected world.

He stands at the crossroads of industrial and systems engineering, supply chain engineering and management, logistics, operations research, computer and data sciences, strategic management, and sustainability science. His research builds mostly on a synthesis of systems science and design theory, optimization modeling and mathematical programming, simulation and digital twin modeling, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

He has extensive advisory, entrepreneurial and collaborative research experience with industry, organizations, and government. In recent years, he has notably led collaborative research projects with Aldi, Americold, BRP, Cisco Systems, Daimler, MiTek, Red Cross, SF Express, South Shore, The Home Depot, and UPS. He serves on the advisory board of several companies. As a spinoff from one of his research threads, he is founding member and chief scientist of Pull Logic Inc.

Before joining Georgia Tech in 2015, he was Professor of operations and decisions systems from 1988 to 2014 in the Faculty of Administration Sciences at Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada, after serving on the industrial engineering faculty of UQTR and Purdue University. He has held the Canada Research Chair in Business Engineering from 2000 to 2014 and the Bell-Cisco-NSERC Business Design Research Chair from 2003 to 2009. He was a founding member of the CIRRELT Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation.

He has been president of the College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education and its Liaison to the Board of Governors of MHI, the North American industry association of material handling, logistics and supply chain solutions and technology providers.

He has an industrial engineering education with B.Ing. from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in 1978, MSIE and Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1980 and 1982.

He is a IISE Fellow and co-leads IISE Fellows’ International Ambassadors Committee.


Tom WoodsTom Woods

Corporate Board Member,
including Bank of America Corp. and
Alberta Investment Management Corp.

Tom Woods spent his entire career with CIBC and Wood Gundy, the predecessor firm of CIBC World Markets, initially in Investment Banking, advising companies raising financing in the capital markets, as well as in mergers and acquisitions. He later was head of canadian corporate banking, chief financial officer, chief risk officer and retired in 2014 as vice chairman.

Tom serves on the boards of Bank of America Corp., Merrill Lynch International (BofA's Broker Dealer subsidiary in London), Alberta Investment Management Corporation, St. Michael's Hospital Foundation and the University of Toronto College of Electors.

Tom previously served as board chair of Hydro One Limited, Unity Health Toronto, and Covenant House Toronto as well as on the boards of TMX Group Inc., Jarislowsky Fraser Limited, DBRS Limited, Covenant House International and the Canadian Opera Company.

Tom has a B.A.Sc. in industrial engineering from the University of Toronto and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

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