Purdue IE Webletter

Fall 2012
  IE alum Kathy Kilmer installed as IIE Fellow

IE Alum Kathy KilmerPurdue's School of Industrial Engineering would like to congratulate Kathy Kilmer (BSIE '92), director of Worldwide Sales Planning and Development for The Walt Disney Company, who became a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers at the IIE conference in Orlando this past summer.

As director of Worldwide Sales Planning and Development for Disney Destinations, Kathy Kilmer oversees two distinct groups that are part of her organization. The Worldwide Distribution Planning team is responsible for defining, developing and delivering technology to support content and commerce solutions for all Disney Destinations sales channels and businesses. This team works closely with Information Technology, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts online, Ticketing and other key groups to ensure they optimize the channels' connectivity and performance. The second group, the Strategy and Planning team, works alongside Sales and Travel Operations (SATO) senior leaders to evaluate and translate channel and distribution strategies into business plans, assess market trends in Sales, drive integration across SATO, develop and administer sales incentive planning, set the third party nets and commission structure, and provide decision support and analytics. Kathy is also co-leading the program management of the CommercePlus project focused on new strategy and tools for shopping and booking a Disney vacation through all channels and at all sites.

Prior to her current role, Kathy was director of Industrial Engineering for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., overseeing more than 120 industrial engineers who served as internal business consultants applying the IE skill set to a multitude of business challenges. Her role involved improving the effectiveness, efficiency and overall profitability across all areas of the business from front-of-house operations (e.g., six theme parks, two water parks, 20 resorts, two Downtown Disney areas, Disney Cruise Line, etc.) to back-of-house operations (e.g., four textile Plants, three distribution centers, asset maintenance, energy management, etc.), as well as sales and marketing, and new development around the world.
A graduate of Purdue University, Kathy received a B.S. in industrial engineering. She also holds a master's of science degree in operations research and an executive master's of business administration from the University of Central Florida (UCF). She was a keynote speaker at the Institute of Industrial Engineers' 2006 Annual Conference; the 2008 Industrial Engineering Congress in Monterrey, Mexico; the 2009 Canadian Operations Research and Lean Health Care Conference in Vancouver; and the Mayo Clinic Conference of Systems Engineering & Operations Research in Health Care in Rochester, MN.

Her leadership of Diversity and Community Service teams at Disney demonstrates her passion and commitment to those efforts, especially as it pertains to increasing K-12 students' awareness of the engineering field. She also shows her commitment through her participation on Purdue University's Engineering Advisory board and the production of a video that describes Industrial Engineering at Disney.

Kathy is a recipient of the Institute of Industrial Engineers' UPS Excellence Award for Minority Advancement, Disney's Partners In Excellence lifetime achievement award, and Purdue University's Outstanding IE Alumni Award.  Kathy was recently inducted into Purdue Engineering's Co-op Hall of Fame.


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