The Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering has awarded the first recipients of the ISE Emerging Leaders Award, which recognizes the achievements of our alumni within 15 years of graduation.  The award recipients are John Stacy, Vice President of Supply Chain at Kirkland's and Dan Surber, CEO of Alpine Consulting Partners.

The Leadership and Recognition Committee of the ISE Advisory Board, chaired by Dr. Richard Cassady, coordinated the selection of the awards. Both recipients were recognized at the ISE Honors and Awards Banquet on April 22, 2019 at the Inn at Virginia Tech.


John Stacy
John Stacy at the ISE Honors and Awards Banquet. Presenting the awards were Dr. Richard Cassady and Dr. Ian Rehmert, ISE Advisor Board Chair.

John Stacy received his BS in ISE in 2004, and also received an MBA from Virginia Tech.  He has 15 years of experience leading initiatives domestically and internationally.  He has accumulated corporate and field experience in finance, engineering, distribution, inventory management and manufacturing – where his ability to view the organization holistically has served him well.

He began his full-time career with Hubbell Lighting in Christiansburg, Virginia where he worked as an industrial and manufacturing engineer for several years, where he led multiple Lean and Kaizen events resulting in labor savings of almost half a million dollars annually.

He next spent a total of 11 years with Advance Auto Parts, in a variety of positions from Senior Project Engineer up to the Vice President of Supply Chain Operations Excellence and Analytics. Some of his most significant accomplishments with Advance Auto Parts include: designing a $3.7M distribution center redesign that enabled the integration of a 250 store acquisition; developing and implementing a route profitability model that resulted in $2M savings; leading a team that opened 11 distribution facilities over an 18 month period; developing a distribution center transportation model that saved $1.6M annually; creating partnerships with universities to create a talent pipeline for the organization; and standardizing all KPIs and reporting across the business. 

In 2018, John moved to the position of Vice President for Supply Chain at Kirkland’s and leads the supply chain for a $700M business representing over 400 stores across 43 states.  John currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.  

Dan Surber
Dan Surber at the ISE Honors and Awards Banquet. Presenting the awards were Dr. Richard Cassady and Dr. Ian Rehmert, ISE Advisor Board Chair.

Dan Surber graduated from the ISE Department in 2010 with his BS and a Minor in Music.  During his time as an undergraduate, he accumulated experiences in consulting with Accenture and with multiple manufacturing companies. 

After graduation, Dan joined Deloitte Consulting where he supported work for six major federal agencies.  He led a team to complete the full lifecycle implementation of a contract level budget execution application at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and led a team to implement a major enhancement for employee expense planning for the U.S. Census Bureau. 

In 2014, Dan switched to a much smaller commercial consulting firm, ADI Strategies, based out of San Francisco. At ADI, Dan launched the Federal Consulting Practice, where he built a $12M net-new pipeline, including selling a $2M contract within three months of starting the company’s federal practice. 

In 2016, Dan took the leap and founded Alpine Consulting Partners, in Washington, D.C.  In less than 3 years, Alpine has quickly grown into a firm of 10 full-time practitioners, 80% of whom are VT alumni and 60% of whom are VT ISE alumni.  Alpine has successfully acquired multi-million dollar federal contracts, as well as numerous large commercial contracts.  He has personally led the full lifecycle implementation of multiple Oracle EPM applications, data integration solutions, and infrastructure configurations for clients. 

An initiative that has kept Dan busy outside of work, is the Emerging Leaders Board. Dan currently serves as the ELB Chair and has been instrumental in its efforts to engage young alumni with the Department, including through an ELB Give Challenge that helped the Department raise $36,000 on Giving Day. In his spare time, Dan enjoys skiing, rock climbing, soccer, playing guitar, and going to concerts.