The American Supply Association added a new position, vice president of innovation, and subsequently hired Beth Ladd in that role effective immediately.

In Ladd’s new role she will identify and solve for the technological trends and disruptions that will impact the future of the PHCP-PVF industry.

A key-player in the recently announced D.NEXT platform, Ladd will play a vital role in establishing and managing projects and teams that will create solutions and opportunities for ASA’s industry partners.

D.NEXT will provide comprehensive resources, enabling ASA members to invest in technologies that deliver customer-valued solutions, the association explained. Through this new program, members will develop the mindset, clarity and strategies to transform their businesses profitably. Central to the D.NEXT platform is the new ASA Innovation Lab that will open at Research Park in partnership with the University of Illinois.

The Innovation Lab will be a hub of industry, supplier, distributor and technology company alliances that fund prioritized digital innovations, available exclusively to ASA members, ASA noted. ASA members will have unprecedented access to technologists, data scientists, engineers and others focused on viable technology solutions for business.

Additionally, ASA will collaborate with University of Illinois faculty and students to develop industry-leading digital capabilities that strengthen its members’ supply-chain positions, ASA said. The D.NEXT platform of services will provide ASA members with needed resources to guide them along their technology transformation journeys, it added.

Building upon Ladd’s past successes in the areas of innovative research, including a role as a site director for an existing incubator lab at the University of Illinois, she will become a bridge between the leading firms in the industry and the talent that exists on the University of Illinois campus throughout the year, ASA explained. Ladd will be assisting in university recruiting activities while mentoring and guiding interns through the first steps in their career journey.

Ladd brings to the ASA organization a portfolio of research projects across multiple business domains as well as proven analytic leadership and concurrent managerial direction to teams of data scientists, engineers, business persons and ambitious emerging technologists.

With a strong background in managing innovation teams and incubator labs with companies such as Caterpillar, Ladd will be responsible for defining strategy, exploring leading-edge analytic capabilities and executing a portfolio of innovative research projects, while effectively managing a team of highly-skilled IT interns, in the new D.NEXT lab which will open in early 2020, ASA noted.