The thing that may be most striking about the five Visionaries chosen for the Technology & Logistics section is that, for the most part, they were not technologists by training or by background. Only Jack Strubbe, "Father of the UPC," had any real technical background as an engineering major in college, but even he went on to law school and became a patent attorney. Thomas Parkinson, founder of online grocery pioneer Peapod, was an art major in college. The others can be described as businessmen with an interest in technology.
Of course, the supermarket industry is concerned with bringing food products to consumers, and technology is simply an enabler of that goal. What these five individuals had, even without a lot of technical training, was an ability to see how technology could be used in new and creative ways to help the food industry serve consumers. But they did more than just have an initial insight; they all were able to bring their insights to fruition. As Alan Haberman, who directed the group that selected the UPC and helped launch the EPC, said, a visionary also has to be a missionary. These Visionaries were missionaries who changed the food industry.