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Brad Gillette

Brad Gillette

Director, supply chain excellence | Ryder System, Inc. | Class of 2003

He arrived at Illinois 20 years ago unsure how he wanted to make a living.

He left five years later with a general engineering degree and a drive that’s taken him far in his field.

And for that, Brad Gillette has the late, great professor Michael Pleck to thank in large part.

“Professor Pleck was in charge of academic advising for undergraduate students and the administration of the undergraduate curriculum when I approached him about changing my major to GE,” says Gillette  (BS ’03, general engineering), now the director of supply chain excellence at Ryder System, past president of the Chicago Alumni Club and an 11-year member of the Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering alumni advisory board.

“While I was probably not a shoo-in as an engineering student, he listened to my story, saw my passion, and he admitted me into the program.

“The rest of my life changed at that point because he believed in me and I will never forget it — or him."