George E. Kimball Medal
Anne G. Robinson has been an active advocate for the field of operations research ever since discovering the profession as an undergraduate mathematics student. Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Anne received her BScH in mathematics from Acadia University, her MASc in management sciences from University of Waterloo, and her MSc and PhD in industrial engineering from Stanford University.
Throughout her career, Anne has been dedicated to the application of analytics and operations research to solve problems. Following her time at Stanford, Anne spent several years at Cisco Systems, a high tech networking company, where her responsibilities included managing advanced analytics, business intelligence, and performance management teams across the supply chain. As the driving force for many foundational and cross-functional process innovations, she helped establish Cisco's presence and recognition as a leader in business intelligence and analytics, including being inducted into the balanced scorecard hall of fame.
Currently, Anne Robinson is the Executive Director of Supply Chain Strategy and Forward Operations for Verizon Wireless. Her team’s responsibilities include applying operations research and advanced analytics across the supply chain leading to improved product life cycle management, working capital optimization, and cost reduction.
Anne has been a member of INFORMS since her graduate school days, where she was president of the Stanford INFORMS student chapter as well as an editor for OR/MS Tomorrow. Her service to the society has only expanded. She has served multiple times on the Franz Edelman Competition as a verifier and judge, chaired several committees (including the membership committee and professional recognition committee), and served for seven years on the INFORMS Board. As INFORMS Vice President for Marketing, Communications, and Outreach, Robinson was a powerful force in shaping the strategic plan for INFORMS’ pioneering decision to grow from operations research and management science to the related field of analytics. When she became president, she combined careful preparation on INFORMS Board with public advocacy, becoming one of the top INFORMS spokespeople on analytics. She traveled not only to INFORMS meetings but to diverse business, analytics, and data science conferences, granting numerous interviews in different media to explain INFORMS’ unique contribution to the exciting field of analytics.
During Anne’s term, INFORMS unfolded Analytics magazine, INFORMS certification, continuing education, enhanced information technology, and several new outreach programs. Following her service on the INFORMS Board, she became the founding editor of INFORMS Editor’s Cut, a comprehensive online multimedia collection examining important research areas in operation research and analytics.
Additionally, Robinson has served on several advisory boards including the SAS Analytical Customer Advisory Board and was a topical editor for the Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. She is a popular speaker, and continues to represent INFORMS and the profession during industry events, interviews, and podcasts.
For her many contributions to the field of operations research and analytics, and for her distinguished service to INFORMS, it is with sincere appreciation to award the 2015 George E. Kimball Medal to Anne G. Robinson.
Jack Levis is a Senior Director of Process Management for UPS. He joined the company in 1976 as a package loader while getting his degree in psychology. Jack held many front-line management positions in both operations and engineering and in each was able to make significant, measurable improvement.
In 1987, he was promoted to the position of engineer responsible for the West Coast Transportation network. He led a reengineering effort that resulted in an annual savings of $30 million. Innovation has been a focal point of his career and in 1990 he was asked to join the corporate engineering staff responsible for an operations technology vision.
Jack worked to help UPS become a data driven company and in 1995 won a Computerworld Smithsonian Award for UPS’ first information/data warehouse. He was then given the added responsibility of managing UPS’ Operations Research (OR) divisions. This responsibility opened Jack’s eyes to the power and value of analytics, operations research, and INFORMS.
His new assignment put him in a unique position of being responsible for both operations vision and operations research. This allowed him to ensure that OR was built into processes from the beginning, and his team designed an award-winning suite of tools that included predictive and prescriptive models.
These tools transformed UPS’ delivery operations, ultimately reducing 185 million driving miles per year. The spectacular results garnered significant industry attention and won over a dozen prestigious awards, including the Gartner Business Intelligence Excellence Award, Computerworld technology awards, and CIO top 100 Awards.
Jack has been a very active INFORMS member. He served on many committees including Meetings, Strategic Planning, Certified Analytics Professional, and Edelman Gala. In addition, he served four years as Vice President of Practice, and was the emcee for the 2015 Edelman Gala. Along with CPMS and the INFORMS Board, he helped create the prestigious UPS George D. Smith Prize to strengthen ties between academia and practice.
Jack has been an evangelist for INFORMS and the profession. He has spoken about the value of operations research in media publications, interviews, and keynote presentations. This includes the National Academy of Sciences, Innovation Summits, The Wall Street Journal, CIO Magazine, Fast Company, Bloomberg TV, and NOVA. The MSL Group, a public relations and communications consulting company estimates an “audience reach” of nearly 175 million.
Purpose of the Award
The George E. Kimball Medal is awarded for recognition of distinguished service to the Institute and to the profession of operations research and the management sciences. The award is a medallion and a certificate.
Prior to the creation of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) by the merger of the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) and The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS), the Kimball Medal was an ORSA Prize. TIMS had a similar prize, the TIMS' Distinguished Service Medal. The winners of this prize are included in the list below.
James C. Bean, University of Oregon