RedStone Logistics CEO Leads Session at 2021 NDTA Fall Meeting
Written by Chloe Harris
Read time: 3 minutes
This October, President & CEO of RedStone Logistics Jim Ritchie had the esteemed honor of leading an informative session at the 2021 Annual NDTA Fall Meeting. The event took place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland from October 18-21.
Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force, speaks during his keynote address during the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) Fall Meeting, in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, October 20, 2021. The topic of his keynote “Contested Military Logistics and Supply Chain Weaknesses: How to Strengthen the United States’ Capacity for Strategic Competition” discusses the threat the Department of the Air Force is facing and how it should strengthen its assets and partnerships at home and abroad to maintain air superiority.) Photo Link here.
“Resilient and Reliable Logistics…Agile and Adaptable”
The theme of this year’s NDTA Meeting – Resilient and Reliable Logistics…Agile and Adaptable” was arguably more relevant than ever before in light of the supply chain crisis the world has been experiencing since the start of 2020. Hundreds of our nation’s boldest and brightest were in attendance: members of each military branch, individuals representing government-adjacent businesses, and civilians alike were all present.
Throughout the three-day event, hundreds of members of the National Defense Transportation Association attended educational sessions lead by both military and civilian leaders in the supply chain industry. Notable speakers at the Fall Meeting included The Honorable Pete Buttigieg – Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Frank Kendall III – 26th Secretary of the Air Force, General Jacqueline D. Van Ovost – USAF Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, Jim Ritchie – President and CEO of RedStone Logistics and Instructor at the University of Kansas, and Simon Sinek – esteemed author and international speaker.
Air Force Gen. Jaqueline D. Van Ovost, commander U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) speaks during her keynote address during the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) Fall Meeting, in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, October 20, 2021. The NDTA and USTRANSCOM co-sponsor the annual Fall Meeting as an opportunity to gather and discuss logistics, transportation issues, technologies, and best practices.) Photo link here.
Topics covered at this year’s educational sessions included topics such as “Contested military logistics and supply chain weaknesses: how to strengthen the United States’ capacity for strategic competition,” “TRANSCOM – enduring and ready,” “COVID 19 Medical Response – A Case Study from Masks to Vaccinations,” and even “Logistics thru Space: Challenges in Application.”
Supply Chain Disruption and Adaptation
On Wednesday, Jim Ritchie lead the session “Supply Chain Disruption and Adaptation.” In the session, Ritchie took the attendees through a real-life example of combatting supply chain disruptions in real-time. The audience was placed in the shoes of a medium-sized product manufacturing company, tasked with navigating the unexpected ebbs and flows of their logistics operations. Ritchie explained valuable strategies when planning for success: developing and understanding high-level flows, understanding cycle time, and implementing a Backout Schedule. Audience members were encouraged to engage with the speaker and their peers – making for a lively, high-energy, educational session. Many participants stayed after, and all were encouraged to join Ritchie’s virtual follow-up session for additional relevant content.
Jim Ritchie, President & CEO of RedStone Logistics as well as Capstone Instructor at the University of Kansas – School of Business, Supply Chain Management, speaks during his session at the NDTA Fall Meeting.
About The NDTA
From the NDTA website: “Since World War II, the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) has served our country’s national defense and homeland security as a trusted environment where government, military, and private sector professionals can solve pressing challenges in the fields of logistics, transportation, and passenger travel services.
NDTA is a non-political, non-profit educational organization. Our three priorities are to:
• Maintain that “trusted environment” by facilitating strong working relationships, education, and the exchange of ideas
• Invest in programs and capabilities that provide value to our corporate and individual members, and help develop the next generation of professionals
• Serve the broader national security interest through a new focus on all government stakeholders in logistics, transportation, and passenger travel
We have a rich history, dating back to 1944. In that time, NDTA has established a great track record of service; including real-world disaster relief through partnerships with organizations like American Red Cross, the creation of transportation studies and white papers, the development of emergency management plans, and exercises in cooperation with the military.”
About Jim Ritchie
Jim Ritchie has spent more than 35 years in the logistics and supply chain management industry. His experience includes running the retail and consumer products group for Ryder Logistics business unit before leaving to start up Meridian IQ Logistics. As a co-founder of Meridian IQ, Jim and his team expanded the company into one of the largest logistics organizations with 4,500 employees, operations in 26 countries, and revenues exceeding $1.4 billion. Ten years ago, Jim founded RedStone Logistics, based in the Kansas City Metro area.
In addition to his CEO role at RedStone Logistics, Jim has been an instructor for the University of Kansas graduate program for Supply Chain Management. Jim instructs the capstone course for logistics officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Jim holds a BA degree in Industrial Design – Architecture from California State University at Long Beach.