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Real World Advice from an EKU Alum

Carhartt Supply Chain Operations Center

Special guest speaker William Hardy, a senior vice president at Carhartt, recently visited campus to share his experiences with Global Supply Chain students in James Kirby Easterling’s MKT315/Logistics class. Hardy is an EKU alum from Estill County and enjoys ‘giving back’ to EKU in a variety of ways, and also serves on EKU’s Global Supply Chain Management Advisory Council.

After graduating from EKU with a political science degree, Hardy intended on continuing his education by going to law school. A native of Estill County, Hardy’s summer job before starting law school was washing cars for employees of Carhartt’s Irvine location. Hardy’s hard work, dedication, communication skills, and attention to detail caught the attention of a senior manager at Carhartt who offered him an opportunity to join Carhartt instead.  Hardy has worked in a wide range of leadership roles with Carhartt over 26 years and now serves as Senior VP of Global Supply Chain Operations for all Carhartt locations and reports directly to Carhartt’s CEO.

students in classCarhartt has been a family-owned company since 1889 when it was founded by Hamilton Carhartt in Dearborn Michigan. The current CEO (Mark Valade) is the great-grandson of Hamilton Carhartt.  Carhartt’s Estill county location is a great asset to the company, as many generations of employees have worked at this location since its opening in 1929 in the midst of the Great Depression. 

Hardy’s management philosophy is based on 3 core principles: act like founder Hamilton Carhartt (strive to help hard-working people); respect the past while bravely walking into the future (extend Carhartt’s legacy for future workers and customers); and work with honesty andstudents with William Hardy integrity.  “Willingness to learn” is the main thing Hardy looks for in new employees, as well an ability to engage ‘face-to-face’.  Hardy stressed that effective communication skills are very important and that employees typically achieve greater success when they build face-to-face relationships with co-workers and customers as opposed to using only electronic means (emails, etc.).

Professor Kirby Easterling and William HardyCarhartt has been a great supporter of EKU’s Global Supply Chain Management program by offering internships to multiple SCM students, with several transitioning into fulltimeemployment upon graduation.  The faculty and students of EKU’s Global Supply Chain program are greatly appreciative of Mr. Hardy and Carhartt’s support of what has now become one of the fastest growing degree programs on the EKU campus.

Published on November 09, 2018

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