The Institute for Supply Management™ Honors H. Ervin Lewis, C.P.M., with the J. Shipman Gold Medal Award

FOR RELEASE: April 27, 2004

CONTACT: Jean McHale
  ISM Public Relations
  800/888-6276 ext. 3143

(Tempe, Ariz.) — The Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) presented the J. Shipman Gold Medal Award to H. Ervin Lewis, C.P.M., at the 89th Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit in Philadelphia on April 27, 2004. The J. Shipman Gold Medal Award is the supply management profession's highest honor. The award was created by the Purchasing Management Association of New York in 1931 to honor Johnson Shipman, a pioneer in the profession. Each year, the award is presented to an individual who has provided able assistance and guidance to purchasing professionals and who has demonstrated modest, unselfish, sincere and persistent efforts for the advancement of purchasing and supply management.

Lewis has a distinguished record of service over 42 years of employment with Wellman Inc., a South Carolina-based polyester fiber and resin manufacturer. Lewis started with Wellman in the industrial engineering department, then spent several years in manufacturing management. In 1968, he was asked to take charge of the purchasing function. His responsibilities grew in size and scope as the company grew from a privately owned $75 million-a-year firm to a publicly held $1.5 billion multinational organization. Lewis became purchasing manager of the company's largest site in 1976 and was named director of purchasing for the corporation in 1994. Under Lewis' direction, the purchasing team developed and implemented a very successful strategy to optimize purchasing contribution across all locations.

A lifetime member of NAPM—Carolinas and Virginia, Lewis joined the affiliate in 1971. In addition to committee service and chair positions in professional development, scholarship and program planning, Lewis held the following local association offices: member of the board of directors, vice president, president and director of national affairs. In 1985, he received the Thomas Award, NAPM—Carolinas and Virginia's highest award for contribution to the profession. At the national level, Lewis was a member of the certification board for four years and served as certification board chair in 1991. Lewis has contributed to the last two editions of the Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) Study Guide. He currently serves as a member of ISM's Ethical Standards Committee.

Like other J. Shipman Gold Medal Award winners, Lewis' persistent efforts for the advancement of purchasing and supply management have resulted in a permanent and lasting contribution to the supply management profession. In 1980, while serving as chair of NAPM—Carolinas and Virginia's professional development committee, Lewis led an effort to petition the University of South Carolina, Columbia, to install a purchasing and materials management course. The course was established and offered by the School of Business Administration in 1981. In 1987, Lewis earned an MBA — with a double emphasis on marketing and finance — from the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

In 2001, Lewis formed Lewis and Associates, a full-service training and consulting firm based in Florence, South Carolina, where he and wife, Barbara, have resided for the past 22 years. Retirement from Wellman Inc. has allowed Lewis to continue in endeavors that advance the profession. He is nationally recognized as a trainer, teacher, author and scholar, yet his colleagues are quick to point out that he remains committed to the local affiliate. In addition to serving as chair of the NAPM—Carolinas and Virginia strategic planning committee, Lewis is also the association's mentor to the Pee-Dee Chapter, located in Florence.

Lewis is a strong proponent of the idea that the supply management function can be an effective competitive weapon for any organization. "I am convinced that Purchasing offers greater potential to remove cost and improve profitability than any other function in a company," he says. "It has to be managed with the understanding of organizational competitive imperatives and a focus on measurable contribution to overall success of the business."

ISM joins the members of the 2003-2004 J. Shipman Gold Medal Award Committee — Ralph G. Kauffman, Ph.D., C.P.M., chair; Henry F. Garcia, C.P.M., A.P.P.; Richard L. Jackson, C.P.M., A.P.P.; Alan R. Raedels, Ph.D., C.P.M., and Elaine N. Whittington, C.P.M., A.P.P. — in congratulating H. Ervin Lewis on this prestigious award.

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