Thomas Benes

(BSIE 1975, MSIE 1976)
Outstanding Industrial Engineer (2018)
Tom Benes is the President and CEO of Forum Purchasing, LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Forum is the leading Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) in the long term healthcare industry, serving as the primary supply chain for 500,000 of our nation's senior citizens. Following 25 years of supply chain roles in both the computer manufacturing and healthcare industries, Tom conceptualized, designed, and created Forum in 2003. At the onset, the idea of a GPO servicing the long term care industry was new and unproven and Forum was created with an initial group of six Members (a Member is a chain with at least 50 individual skilled nursing or assisted living facilities). Since that time, Forum has enjoyed year over year growth for 15 consecutive years, reaching today's level of 55 Members, nearly $2 Billion of annual Member spend, and 5,000 individual facilities providing healthcare to a half-million residents. Tom is a frequent speaker on campus to IE classes. Both he and the students enjoy discussing the characteristics and benefits of a virtual, e-commerce driven supply chain, as well as the career path and opportunities leading from Industrial Engineering to healthcare. Additionally, for the past two years, Tom has been honored to serve as one of the four initial participants in the IE student/alumni mentoring program, which was recently granted the "Staff Team Excellence Award" by the Purdue College of Engineering. In addition to the normal mentor/mentee discussions, Tom and Forum have added a popular twist to the program by hosting the mentees for a day at Forum's HQ. There, the students are able to discuss a wide range of issues (such as career choices, horizontal vs. vertical growth, work/life balance, job satisfaction, etc.) with employees who only a few years ago faced the same issues and decisions as today's mentees. Tom received both his Bachelor of Science (1975) and Master of Science (1976) degrees in Industrial Engineering from Purdue. He and his lovely wife Linda live in Sandy Springs, Georgia.