The Purdue University College of Technology has named Jim Keppler, vice president, Integrated Supply Chain and Quality, its 2015 Distinguished Technology Alumni. He will be recognized during an awards program at the university on Friday, April 17.
The program recognizes technology alumni who have elevated the University and college by using their education to improve and move the world forward. Faculty from the School of Engineering Technology selected Keppler, who received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the school, in 1989. He also holds a master’s degree in Manufacturing Management from the General Motors Engineering and Management Institute (now Kettering University), in Flint, Michigan.
“Jim has remained true to Purdue traditions and given back to the college and the profession in many ways, like all of this year’s honorees, ” said Gary Bertoline, dean of the College of Technology. “We highlight Jim’s success and determination to help our current students understand the opportunities that exist for Technology majors.”
Only 98 of the College’s more than 39,000 living alumni have been named distinguished alumni since the award’s inception in 2003. As part of the award program later this month, Keppler will have the opportunity to visit the Whirlpool RENEWW house, meet with faculty and network with students.
This is the second prestigious honor accorded Keppler in 2015. In February, he was appointed to a two-year term on the U.S. Manufacturing Council. The council serves as the principal private-sector advisory body to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on matters relating to the U.S. manufacturing industry. Its sub-committees work to ensure regular communication between government and the manufacturing sector and provide a forum for discussing and proposing solutions to industry-related problems.
In his position with Whirlpool, Keppler heads the company’s North American Integrated Supply Chain and Quality organizations, which includes the manufacturing, logistics, planning, trade-partner customer support, and quality functions. Among his accountabilities in this role is leading the execution of the company’s “Invested in America” strategy, which includes the investment of approximately $1 billion in our U.S. manufacturing facilities during the past 5 years. He also has accountability for the strategic development of global supply-chain initiatives to drive operating excellence across the global operations for Whirlpool.
In his previous assignment with the company, Keppler served as vice president of Manufacturing with responsibility for our 13 manufacturing facilities in North America. Before joining Whirlpool, he served in various manufacturing-leadership roles in the automotive industry, including senior vice president, North American Operations for International Automotive Components, where he was responsible for 32 manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In the community, Keppler serves on various charitable and industry boards. He currently is vice chairman for the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation, which supports the local public schools, and also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Whirlpool Foundation and United Way of Southwestern Michigan. In addition, he represents Whirlpool Corporation on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Manufacturers.