Interest on building connections inspires newer WERC member to accept Chicagoland WERCouncil leadership role
As the Director of Distribution for Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, Dan Beard joined the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) in 2015 when he relocated to the Chicago area to join his company. Beard has been working in the warehousing and logistics industry since entering the field in late 2005 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
"Since then, I’ve worked for smaller, privately held companies managing single and multi-site distribution, as well as for multi-billion dollar companies where I oversaw international, multi-site warehousing and distribution networks," he explains. "When I joined WERC, I was looking for a peer-driven organization that would help me make more connections within our industry."
Professionally, Beard has focused his decade-plus career around systems implementations—warehouse management (WMS), transportation management (TMS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP)—as well as developing distribution networks. Currently he’s in the process of obtaining his commercial driver’s license (CDL) to gain further insight into the connection between logistics and distribution.
"Our industry is at a fantastic stage in its evolution; the availability and scalability of technology, knowledge and systems is allowing companies of all sizes to develop truly dynamic and effective distribution programs," Beard notes. "Smaller companies now have the ability to join the ranks of the multi-billion dollar companies with long histories in our industry, which offers a great opportunity for all of the players to share and learn on an entirely new scale."
That desire for expanded connections and more industry-specific knowledge led Beard to his first WERC Conference in Providence, Rhode Island in 2016. He was so impressed by the experience he joined the Chicagoland WERCouncil board as a Director at Large upon his return, and has recently been appointed President of the group.
"Although Dan hasn’t been involved in our WERCouncil for very long, he brings a strong background in logistics, warehousing and distribution to the role," says Bill Miller, Director of Business Development for Faure Brothers Corp., and long-time leader of the Chicagoland WERCouncil. "I think he’s going to contribute a lot both to the local group, as well as at the national level."
Beard is particularly eager to become more involved in the VETS to WERC program, which debuted at the 2016 Conference and was featured at the 2017 Conference. "As a military veteran who has made a career in the warehousing industry, I’m excited about the possibilities for this program—both for companies and for former members of the military—and am hoping to help it grow this year," he notes.
"The great thing about WERC is that it allows me to connect with professionals throughout our industry and learn from them, while at the same time lending my voice to help shape the future of distribution and logistics," Beard continues. "WERC is the epicenter of this connection between companies and industry professionals, and I’m very excited to see what’s in store for the future of our organization and our industry!"