Nikhil Thaker - President

Nikhil is a Principal, Supply Chain at Amazon. Nikhil has a Masters in Industrial engineering and 12+ years of supply chain experience. In the past, Nikhil has been a consultant and worked with multiple companies and industry verticals throughout his career. Nikhil specializes in Optimization technology and has in depth knowledge of network, inventory and transportation optimization. Nikhil is CPIM certified with APICS and has been active member of IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers). Nikhil has a B.S. in industrial engineering from the Nagpur University, India, and an M.S. in industrial engineering from Oklahoma State University.

George Zhang - Vice President 

George Zhang is a professor of Management Science in the Department of Decision Sciences at Western Washington University and a professor of Operations Management in Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. He is also a long-term visiting professor of Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. He has published more than 110 papers in prestigious journals such as Management Science, Operations Research, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, IIE Transactions, IEEE Transactions, Queueing Systems, Journal of Applied Probability, EJOR, IJPE, and IJPR etc. Co-authored with N. Tian, he published the research monograph entitled Vacation Queueing Models – Theory and Applications in 2006 by Springer, which is the first book on this topic and has been widely cited since its publication. Professor Zhang is one of the Editors-in-Chief for Journal of the Operational Research Society, the first Operational Research journal in the world, and one of the founding Editors-in-Chief for new journal Queueing Models and Service Management and is on the editorial board of several international journals in Operations Research and Management Science.

Gary O'Keeffe - Treasurer 

Gary O’Keeffe is a Data Science Consultant at ProCogia---where he leads teams working with clients in the Telecom and Healthcare industries. He is originally from the west coast of Ireland (where he earned his PhD in Applied Mathematics), and has consulted for several companies in the United States, and throughout Europe. He is also the Treasurer of the PNW Chapter for INFORMS and really enjoys being a part of such an active community of like-minded people!

Kara Thrift - Communications 

Kara Thrift is a Strategic Account & Event Manager at AIMMS. Kara is a specialist in building connections and enjoys bringing businesses and academics together to advance the use of optimization. She has more than 5 years of experience in marketing and sales and a unique understanding of the analytics community. In her Account Management role, she focuses on helping organizations upgrade their supply chain planning with prescriptive analytics.