Kelly Bengston has been a driving force at Starbucks, currently holding the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer since 2018. In this pivotal role, Bengston is tasked with enhancing strategic sourcing, fostering supplier relationships, implementing global sourcing processes, developing talent management programs, and instilling a values-based approach to collaboration across all business categories.
With more than eight years of devoted service to Starbucks, Bengston has held a variety of leadership positions within the organization, including direct and indirect sourcing, store development, and commercialization. Notably, she served as the Vice President of Starbucks Global Supply Chain's Strategy and Deployment team, a testament to her prowess in steering teams toward digitization and aligning resources strategically.
Notably, Bengston’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Management from Central Washington University. Her commitment to her alma mater extends to serving on the university foundation board, where she chairs the board development committee.
Before her Starbucks tenure, Bengston accumulated valuable experience in packaging, product development, manufacturing, and project management at Macy's, Bensussen Deutsch, Cranium, and Hasbro. Her professional journey reflects a passion for problem-solving and delivering solutions within the supply chain and procurement landscape.
In her current role, she emphasizes the multifaceted nature of sourcing professionals, stating, "We get a reputation for only thinking of cost, but cost is just one small part of what we negotiate on behalf of our companies." She envisions the role of sourcing professionals as creative problem solvers focused on delivering comprehensive solutions.
Her leadership style revolves around creating flexible, high-functioning, and creative teams that unlock value through relationships, cross-functional collaboration, autonomy, and excellence in supply chain management. Her ability to foster shared-value relationships and build high-functioning teams has been a key contributor to her success.
Reflecting on her career, she acknowledges the highs, lows, and flat moments that have shaped her professional journey. Her advice to her younger self echoes the importance of following one's passion and embracing risks. "Every 'risky' position I have had has grown and developed me into who I am today," she reflects.
Beyond her professional commitments, Bengston enjoys running, traveling, and spending quality time with her family. Her leadership at Starbucks continues to elevate the standards of procurement excellence, making her a notable figure in the industry.
Bengston's impactful career trajectory at Starbucks exemplifies her dedication to advancing procurement strategies, fostering collaboration, and shaping the future of supply chain management within a global brand.