WMU supply chain program names new director

Contact: Angela DeYoung

Dr. Marcel Zondag

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Marcel Zondag, associate professor of marketing and director of the Food Industry Research and Education Center (FIRE) at Western Michigan University, has been named director of the integrated supply management (ISM) program at the Haworth College of Business.

Zondag was appointed to the faculty in July 2012. He also serves as a visiting professor at the Institute for Marketing and Service Research at the University of Rostock, Germany. Zondag earned a J.D. from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and MBA and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee.

He took over the program director's role in April 2022 and will lead the program and the academic major, which has been named a top program in the U.S. for 13 consecutive years. Additionally, Zondag will continue to teach graduate courses in food marketing, global business management and supply chain management.

Before entering academia, Zondag spent 22 years in the aerospace and defense industry in different senior management positions in Europe, Asia and North America. During his tenure in the aerospace industry, he acquired extensive knowledge and hands-on experience in implementing the principles of Lean Six Sigma, sales, operations, demand planning and the theory of constraints. Under his direction, these management techniques and operational principles were implemented globally.

“Dr. Zondag brings an incredible roster of talents to this position,” says Dr. Kelley O’Reilly, chair of the Department of Marketing. “He is widely recognized as an exceptional builder of industry partnerships, a highly organized and strategic thinker, and a strong champion of experiential opportunities for our students to work on real problems for real companies.”

WMU Haworth is fortunate to be able to draw on Zondag's extensive experience to continue to support the ISM program. “He brings years of global executive leadership experience in demand and supply integration and can pull together the program's resources to strengthen and streamline the curriculum to address today's supply chain challenges. We are so lucky that he is willing to step into this new role, and I can't wait to watch his success unfold” says O’Reilly.

Zondag’s research focuses on demand and supply integration, omnichannel retail marketing, shopper loyalty, alternative supply chain structures and supply chain management in the food value chain. He is a regular presenter at academic and industry conferences. He consults with organizations on enhanced customer experience management, sales management and in-store execution, the so-called “last 100 yards of the food supply chain.”

Following the principles of cross-functional integration, Zondag will continue to innovate Haworth's Food Marketing and ISM curriculum by connecting different majors, both in the classroom and as director of the ISM program and the FIRE center.

“Supply chain management is in the limelight in the academic and popular press, and its wide-ranging impact on businesses and society is becoming more apparent,” says Zondag. “I am looking forward to this excellent opportunity to take the lead in restructuring and refocusing our ISM program toward educating well-rounded professionals at the undergraduate and graduate level.”

Zondag’s industry and academic experience will enable WMU Haworth to continue to offer a top-notch supply chain curriculum. Zondag has exciting plans to align the program to the needs of the industry and provide additional supply chain educational offerings.

“There is a synergy between sales, marketing and supply chain management,” says Dr. Sime Curkovic, associate director of the Center for Integrated Supply Management and professor of supply chain management. “The industry has been tapping into that synergy for a competitive advantage, and we need a curriculum that does the same. Dr. Zondag has all the skills needed to blend these programs and give the industry what it needs and wants from future business professionals. Our students will come out ahead as we create more career development opportunities related to their long-term advancement goals.”

Learn more about WMU Haworth’s Integrated Supply Management or contact Dr. Marcel Zondag.

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