USF gifted funds for high-demand supply chain management education

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A Bay Area woman who made a fortune getting things from one place to another wants to help others get into supply chain management. Think Amazon, then think just about everything else, too.

"90% of everything in the world is shipped and that should tell you it's a supply chain," said Monica Wooden, who was honored at USF after donating $5 million to USF's Muma College of Business.

The money will be used for the new Monica Wooden Center For Supply Chain Management and Sustainability.

"All the stars are aligned in the terms of excellence in supply chain logistics. The one thing that was missing was talent.," said Moez Limayem, the dean of the college of business.

Limayem said the Bay Area has ports, railways, highways, and other infrastructure needed to be a national supply chain hub. Now, he says, USF will be able to start undergraduate and graduate programs in supply chain management to feed the local industry.

Limayem says starting salaries in the field are in the high $60,000s and management positions command six figures.

Wooden co-founded MercuryGate International in 2000. It's a company that provides transportation management solutions in the field of supply chain management. The company was acquired last year.

Wooden said she saw USF doing good work, but felt a large donation would help create a nationally-recognized university program for supply chain in Tampa.

She says careers in the field have come a long way.

"People in supply chain transportation might have been a step above the janitor. Now they're at the board level," said Wooden, who believes many new executives in the field will come through USF.