Karen Stack Executive Vice President & Chief Logistics Officer, Army & Air Force Exchange Service
Chief Logistics Officer
Karen Stack is the Executive Vice President & the Chief Logistics Officer for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) at its headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense. Established in 1895, the Exchange is the 61st largest retail organization in the U.S. With annual revenues of $8.6 billion, the Exchange employs approximately 35,000 associates, including military personnel. In 2019, the Exchange produced $369 million in earnings, all reinvested into the military community.
Stack provides vision and leadership in the development and execution of worldwide logistics, supply chain and transportation strategies that supports e-commerce and brick-and-mortar with a focus on optimizing efficiencies and customer experience.
The Exchange operates 4,000 facilities, including department and convenience stores, restaurants, malls, movie theaters, gas stations and other specialty retail businesses on military installations. The Exchange’s operations span 50 states, four U.S. territories and 32 countries. Additionally, the Exchange Credit Program manages a $2.5 billion credit card receivables portfolio. To support combat readiness and provide foreign-based service members and their families with U.S. products, the Exchange operates bakeries in Europe and Asia and water bottling plants in Europe under six licenses from U.S. consumer goods companies, including Wonder Bread, Krispy Kreme and Culligan.
The Exchange annually provides troops with more than 800,000 combat uniforms and serves more than 2.6 million lunches to Warfighters’ children at Department of Defense Education Activity schools overseas. A major employer of Veterans and military spouses, the Exchange has hired more than 1,600 Wounded Warriors since 2010 and is committed to hiring 50,000 Veterans and military spouses by the end of 2020.
Stack received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the State of New York. She also holds a Master of Science in Human Resources and Business from Amberton University in Garland, Texas, graduating in May 1998.
Stack began her career with the Exchange in 1976 at the Giessen Distribution Center in Germany. She held various assignments at Fort Bliss, Texas, until her promotional transfer to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, as an Exchange Services Manager. Stack remained in the Services field as Exchange Services Manager at Fort Sill, Okla., and later transferred to the Central Texas Area Contracting Office at Fort Hood, Texas. In 1986, she was promotionally reassigned to the Carswell AFB, Texas, Main Store. Stack then assumed the role of General Manager/Main Store Manager at Laughlin AFB, Texas, and then General Manager at Grand Forks AFB, N.D. In 1990, she volunteered for a one-year deployment as Exchange Manager in Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Stack returned to Grand Forks for one year as General Manager/Main Store Manager before being promoted to General Manager at Presidio of San Francisco, Calif. In 1992, she was transferred to Exchange headquarters as Business Program Manager for the Main Store Strategic Business Group. In December 1997, Stack became Vice President of the Southeast Exchange Region, later becoming VP of the Eastern Region in August 2000. In March 2001, she began serving as VP of the Western Region, and in July of that year she was promoted to Senior Vice President for the same region.
In September 2001, Stack was named SVP of the Europe Region/SW Asia Region, where she oversaw contingency operations in up to 30 countries and coordinated Exchange support for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Her team's efforts earned the Exchange the Army's Meritorious Unit Commendation, recognizing their support of more than 300,000 troops. Stack became the SVP for Sales Directorate in July 2004 before returning to the Western Region as SVP in 2005.
Stack was named the SVP of Logistics in October 2012, assuming the title of Chief Logistics Officer shortly thereafter. In this role, she oversees global distribution and transportation operations including 10 distribution centers and the 12th largest private retail fleet in the U.S. She is also responsible for Logistics operations in Contingency operations, providing essential support and a lifeline to America for deployed warfighters, enhancing expeditionary capabilities in the Middle East, Africa, and Central/Southwest Asia.
Since 2012, Stack has focused on establishing an agile and efficient logistics network, including integration of supply chain optimization and contingency operations teams within the directorate. Logistics continues to modernize the supply chain and expand capabilities by leveraging state-of-the-art technology. The JDA warehouse management system platform will support the global logistics network by 2021. Along with the Oracle Transportation Management system, this optimizes inbound and outbound transportation, bringing continuous improvement to ecommerce processes and fulfillment as the industry rapidly grows.
Stack’s devotion and dedication to service has resulted in multiple accolades, including two Desert Shield and Desert Storm medals, three Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn medals, the Exchange Exceptional Service Award, two Exchange Extraordinary Achievement Awards, six Exchange Superior Accomplishment Awards, and five Exchange Excellence Awards.