UT Student Receives First Sales Forecasting Scholarship

KNOXVILLE — Meredith Wright, a junior from Baton Rouge, La., is the first scholarship of the Amway Endowed Scholarship in Sales Forecasting in the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Wright will graduate May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She is majoring in both logistics and marketing with additional concentrated studies in international business.

Amway, a subsidiary of Alticor Inc., recently established a $50,000 endowment in the College of Business Administration to support students who either study sales forecasting or who have a specific interest in a sales forecasting career.

Wright is a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity and Phi Eta Sigma honors fraternity. She has been a Clarice and Orville Smith Scholar, J. Wallace and Katie Dean Scholar, and 20th Century Endowed Scholar.

“I am honored that I was chosen as the inaugural recipient for the Alticor scholarship,” Wright said. “My career ambition is to excel in the supply chain field, and Alticor is helping my dream come true.”

Wright will receive a $2,000 Amway scholarship during events at the eighth annual Sales Forecasting Management Conference to be held May 13-15 at UT. The conference is being organized by the Department of Marketing and Logistics and will draw forecast management practitioners from companies and organizations worldwide.

“Companies with sophisticated, highly developed sales forecasting processes have documented returns on investment of more than 200 percent,” said Tom Mentzer, the forum’s executive director. “It’s important for forum participants and our students to learn about methods that affect an organization’s bottom line.”

The Sales Forecasting Forum at the University of Tennessee enables participants to gain a better understanding and appreciation of sales forecasting, demand planning practices, market analysis and improving forecasting methodologies. Amway is among 27 organizational sponsors.

“Sales forecasting is an important and growing business discipline that we want to support,” said Dave Pocklington, director of sales forecasting and analysis at Alticor. “Growing numbers of companies worldwide rely on sales forecasting methods to project an outlook on the future and to gauge corporate performance. We are helping the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, prepare for the rising demand.”

The Amway scholarship cements a five-year mutual relationship between Amway and the UT’s College of Business Administration. Most of Amway’s forecast analysts have achieved sales forecasting management certification through the UT program, and the company each year has provided a summer internship for a UT student.

In addition, the research gained through the relationship has been greatly valuable to Amway through access to sales forecasting articles and research published by the UT professors and graduate students.

“UT’s expertise in this area is evident in our bottom line,” Pocklington said. “It is the only university we’re aware of that has a forecasting curriculum. We think combining our forces to help future supply chain professionals is a win-win for the entire profession.”

For information on the Sales Forecasting Management Forum, persons may contact Forum Managing Director J. Paul Dittmann, 865-974-9413 or jdittman@utk.edu, or Dianne Marshall at 865-974-0569 or dkmarsh@utk.edu. Information also may be obtained by visiting http://Forums.utk.edu.


Contacts:

Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu
Cindy Raines, (865) 974-4359, craines1@utk.edu
Alticor media information line, (616) 787-7565, mediainfo@alticor.com.