Supply Chain Now
Episode 705

What I want to impress on people is the importance of the trucking industry. Without our industry, life as they know it would not exist. Everything that they put their hands on has been delivered by a truck. They need to realize the importance of this industry and the sacrifice that drivers make so that they can have all the things that make their life comfortable.

- April Coolidge, Professional Truck Driver, Walmart Corporation

Episode Summary

When we think about logistics and supply chain, the first things that come to mind may be tractors and trailers, warehouses, and automation. But what really makes the supply chain possible are people; drivers who spend much of their life on the road away from friends and family so the rest of us get what we need when we go to the store. Beyond being absolutely invaluable to companies and the economy as a whole, these drivers are in demand as shortages plague carriers of all types.

April Coolidge is a Professional Truck Driver with the Walmart Corporation. She recently received a special award – she was recognized by Walmart and PepsiCo as an Everyday Hero. She was also appointed to the American Trucking Associations’ 2019–20 America’s Road Team, being selected as 1 of 18 team members out of 3,600 qualified candidates.

In this conversation, Scott and Greg have the opportunity to talk to April and get a driver’s point of view on a number of supply chain topics:
• The number one thing companies can do to both retain their current drivers and recruit young new drivers to join their team
• What the drivers of passenger vehicles need to remember when they are sharing the road with a tractor trailer
• Some of the ‘courtesy signals’ that drivers of all vehicles can use to communicate and manage safe lane changes on congested highways

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain. Now,

Scott Luton (00:00:31):

Good afternoon, everybody. Scott Luton and Greg White with you right here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Greg.

Greg White (00:00:39):

I am doing very well. This is going to be fun. This is just going to be fun. We’ve been waiting forever. It seems like to do this and I’m not spilling the beans I’m I don’t want to get in trouble. So I’m going to let you tell everybody

Scott Luton (00:00:51):

Well, so as Greg is speaking to on today’s show, we’re excited to be joined by an award winning professional truck driver. And she’s going to share some more insights or her point of view, her expertise. And I bet she’s going to be sharing a few things, Greg that’s in the blind spot for all of us.

Greg White (00:01:06):

Yeah. And a few things that might not come as such incredible revelations. As we learned just before we went on air that’s right. A lot of those times I knew that was the case

Scott Luton (00:01:17):

Guilty as charged. Yeah. And what Greg is alluding to is we may have just asked our guest, uh, who is a trucking expert driving expert. What state has the worst drivers? So maybe we’ll touch on that as we get into the interview a little bit deeper, but Hey, stay tuned. Welcome in April Coolidge, a professional truck driver with Walmart. Um, Hey, really quick, Greg, we’re going to make a few announcements and then we’re going to say hello to a few folks.

Greg White (00:01:44):

You ready? Let’s do that. All right.

Scott Luton (00:01:47):

Uh, so first off we want to invite you to join us August 18th. We are gonna, uh, put our finger on the pulse of an organization that is cranking out and creating raving fans. So join us as we host [inaudible] Patel with Quip for this webinar free webinar on August 18th, the link to join is in the comments, Greg, this next event, big one coming up in September with the one and only Lora Cecere, we’re gearing up for this. We’re the exclusive virtual provider of the, uh, the digital version of the event. How excited are you for this September

Greg White (00:02:19):

Event? I’m totally stoked. I’ve never actually been invited to attend this before, because I was always on the vendor side. And Laura is so protective to make sure that this is practitioners who can share ideas with one another and get you get so much benefit out of it. And you know, so being a media partner is kind of the way we, I weaseled my way in. So I’m looking, I’m really looking forward to it. You know, you get nothing but truth from Laura and you get nothing but great education from hers.

Scott Luton (00:02:49):

Well said. So join Greg and I were going to be hosting all two and a half days on the digital side. We’ve got Kevin L. Jackson, Kelly Barner and Karin Bursa. Who’ll be joining us for the live coverage. And we only thing missing is you. So make sure you sign up at supply chain insights, global summit.com. Okay. And then finally we are gearing up our latest event in December where much like this conversation day, we’re going to be celebrating globally, all the contributions and achievements and the, and the breakthrough successes of the supply chain and procurement community with our 2021 supply chain and procurement awards, registration, open nominations, open sponsorships open you’ll check that out at supply chain, procurement awards.com. Okay. Greg, lots of stuff, cooking. But as you suggested, I am really excited. We’re really excited. Our team is excited to be featuring our guests here today. April Coolidge, a professional truck driver with Walmart. We’re going to bring her own momentarily, but first we’ve got to say,

Greg White (00:03:49):

We do need to say hello to some folks. Yes.

Scott Luton (00:03:52):

Start with clay and Amanda and Allie and Jayda and the whole gang behind the scenes helping to make production happen here at supply chain. Now, thanks for all that you

Greg White (00:04:01):

Do. Do you think people wonder what all of those people are doing? Maybe we have to share a little bit. Yeah. I mean, so some of them help us directly with the production. This is being viewed on five different social platforms. So they’re monitoring and also interacting with the audience on all of those platforms. They are the voice of the voice of supply chain, right? I mean, so, you know, it’s, it’s a really interactive experience, no matter what platform you’re on. And these are the people that you are connecting with.

Scott Luton (00:04:34):

Well said, I couldn’t have said it better myself and big thanks to the whole team. Yeah. Uh, now Kyle Garcia out there on the west coast. Portland, I believe I was cause last time we said to Seattle, but he’s in the Portland area. No mess that up. Come over Kyle. Great to have

Greg White (00:04:50):

You here on basketball teams. Remember

Scott Luton (00:04:53):

The legendary Gary Smith is back with us from New York city via LinkedIn. Great.

Greg White (00:04:58):

He is on these last few days, literally, literally where the rubber meets the road.

Scott Luton (00:05:06):

Love that Joseph tuned in via LinkedIn. Hey, tell us where you’re tuned in from Joseph. We’d love to, to find that out. Welcome Shelley in Colorado via LinkedIn. Shelley. I hope this finds you well. Great to have you here. Oh, James Malley with PAC curate with this field. LinkedIn. I want to say James is in. I think, I won’t say he’s like in the Boston area, Greg. Okay. I bet you bet. I bet you a diet Coke. Uh, we’ll see James refresh our memory, but as Kyle reminds us, Hey, Portland’s a great city, but Hey, Seattle is a great city as well. And then T squared who holds down the Fort force. They’re on YouTube. Great to see you back. He says, good Friday Eve folks. It’s lunchtime looking to get fed supply chain management nourishment. Great to have you back T squared. Okay. So welcome everybody. No, couldn’t get a few folks looking forward to having you all as part of the ride of today’s conversation.

Greg White (00:06:03):

I like that part of the ride

Scott Luton (00:06:06):

We tried. We try from time to time, Greg. Um, all right. So with no further ado, Greg, we ready to bring on our guest.

Greg White (00:06:13):

Okay. I think we’ve done enough to do so. Yes, let’s do that.

Scott Luton (00:06:18):

Well, hang on a sec. I owe you a diet Coke or regular Coke. He’s in Brooklyn, man. Brooklyn, Boston, you know, I’m kidding.

Greg White (00:06:25):

Okay. Yeah. No. Hey, I may be sending some people up there that you need to keep an eye on James. So we need to talk in the next few weeks.

Scott Luton (00:06:33):

Awesome. Well, Hey James, enjoyed your you and your comments as part of Greg’s last, a tequila, sunrise, take your shot. Shot episode. Always want to say, take your pitch, right?

Greg White (00:06:45):

Yeah. Take your shirt off. Take your shifts.

Scott Luton (00:06:48):

Yeah. Well I feel like I’m always communicating to the Atlanta Braves batters. Take that outside pitch. Take that pitch, but yeah. It’s take your time. Well,

Greg White (00:06:57):

Okay, so they they’ve been taking some pitches, obviously because they did win two in a row after setting major league record for win loss, win loss, win loss, win loss,

Scott Luton (00:07:08):

Right? Yes. Right. Uh, like 19 days back to back a winner one day losing next new major league record. And I’m surprised I have any here left.

Greg White (00:07:19):

So if any of you wonder whether yelling at the television does any good Scott can confirm that it does, it sometimes takes 19 or 20 days, but your team is listening.

Scott Luton (00:07:30):

That’s right. Eat your Wheaties and keep being on those TVs. Um, okay. So we’re really, if you can’t tell, we’re excited about today’s special guest here, uh, on the heels of an interview with CNBC and, and several other outlets. We’ve got our, uh, our guests here with us today on supply chain. Now April Coolidge, a professional truck driver with Walmart, as we’ve mentioned, and one of the exceptional supply chain professionals that’s helped us continue to move forward throughout this, this tough pandemic times. So let’s bring on April Coolidge. Hey, Hey, good afternoon, April coolers. How are you? How are you doing great.

April Coolidge (00:08:05):

Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:08:09):

If you can’t tell we’re a little bit excited, we had a wonderful time with you in the team. Pre-show and just tickled to be able to share your story with our global community here and ready to dive right in. So on that note April, before we get to the hard hitting expertise and some of those experiences, let’s get to know you a little bit better. So for starters, get got to tell us, where did you grow up? I

April Coolidge (00:08:32):

Grew up in billings Montana, so I’m a Montana girl. I grew up riding horses, skiing, you know, all the outdoor stuff. So it was, it was a great childhood, a great life in Montana. Oh,

Scott Luton (00:08:42):

Greg, she paints such a wonderful picture there. Um, let’s talk about one, you know, whenever we ask this question, I love to know, um, from a food and a culinary standpoint, what’s, you know, growing up in billings what’s what was one of your go tos, whether it’s a restaurant or just a dish or what was a big part of that?

April Coolidge (00:09:01):

Well, when we would go out on a special occasions, we would go to a restaurant it’s called a cattle company and it was just a great upscale steak house. And, and I guess being from Montana, that is probably my favorite food is meat and potatoes is what we have in Montana. So a good, extremely rare steak is right in my wheel house.

Greg White (00:09:22):

Extremely rare. I liked that.

April Coolidge (00:09:26):

And when I go to a restaurant, when I say extremely where, I mean, put it on the grill, flip it and then put it on my plate. Love

Scott Luton (00:09:33):

That, love that. Hey, let’s say low Ginny Froome is with us from Johannesburg, South Africa leader of say pigs, great to see a genie. You, you, you picked another great show to be on April is going to be a wonderful interview. A med is tuned in hot champions via LinkedIn greatly. Great to hear from you a med, tell us where you’re tuned in from as well as, uh, uh, edge and B um, as B perhaps I apologize, the Jimmy

Greg White (00:09:59):

In the states anyway,

Scott Luton (00:10:00):

Well, Hey, let us know how we get that right. And how we nail that and welcome via LinkedIn, listen to where you’re from. Okay. And by the way, April, I’m not sure who this is, but they’ve been to the cattle company and they echo your endorsement. So I love that. Okay. So let’s, um, kind of switching gears. Uh, so your father, so from what we, we piece about, uh, doing our homework about your career, uh, prior to being a, uh, truck driving professional, you were very successful in real estate. Um, but your father had a big impression and I think helped get you into trucking where, you know, you’ve been moving things, making it happen for about 10 years now, is that right?

April Coolidge (00:10:40):

It is Scott. Yes. My dad has been a role model for me my entire life, but in, you know, when I was in real estate in 2008, when the market crashed, you know, I just couldn’t sell a house to save my life. There was nothing happening whatsoever. So I had to think about what I wanted to do with my future. So I approached my dad and I said, Dan, I want to do what you’re doing. And he said, what’s that? I said, I want to go to truck driving school. I want to drive a big truck. And to be honest with you, Scott, he didn’t take me seriously. He just kind of laughed me off for a while because I just don’t think that he envisioned his baby girl, you know, out here, big world. But, you know, I was just persistent and, you know, I just kept bringing it up to himself, you know, after a while. And he really did see that, that I was serious about it. And he says, well, we’re going to send you to truck driving school. So that’s what I did. I went to truck driving school.

Scott Luton (00:11:35):

I love it. Okay. Before I turn it over to Greg here. Uh, so your father, is he still drive and how long did, did he drive? What, tell some more about him. He

April Coolidge (00:11:43):

Drove, oh gosh. Uh, I don’t know how many years that hero a long time, but he retired with 4.2 million safe miles under his belt. Wow. Some big shoes to feel when I got into trucking. So

Greg White (00:11:58):

Did he have his own company or do you drive for someone else or

April Coolidge (00:12:03):

He drove a sub for people out there. They might remember a company called consolidated. Freightways of course he started off at consolidated Freightways in Montana, and then they closed the hub that he drove out of and billings. So he had to pick some places where he could be transferred. So he picked Charlotte, North Carolina so that, you know, he didn’t have to drive and deal with, you know, the winter. So being such a close family, uh, you know, I sold my house in Montana. I had their one and only grandchild, which they weren’t going to leave that behind. So we just all came together and migrated to Charlotte in 1995.

Scott Luton (00:12:50):

That is, and there’s, I’m sure there’s so many more stories there. Uh, we’ll have to have you back to talk sports Hollywood and, uh, some of those 4.2 million safely driven miles. It’s a great story. So Greg, where are we going?

Greg White (00:13:03):

Yeah, so you’ve been driving since when

April Coolidge (00:13:07):

I went to truck driving school at the end of 2012, I chose a company run out of truck driving. So I researched all the driving companies out there. And I chose to affiliate myself at that time with a company based out of Arkansas is a USA truck, had a wonderful driving career with them. They were just such a wonderful company to drive for, but I knew upon graduating truck driving school that I always wanted to be a Walmart driver. That was just my goal in my driving career is that someday I wanted to wear that white shirt drive that big Walmart truck and be a Walmart driver. So I worked very, very hard to protect my driving career and you know, my standings in, uh, the trucking community, which opened a lot of doors for me. So I got it.

Scott Luton (00:14:00):

I got to tell you, Greg, in April and April may take taking the page out of your book. The only, uh, tractor trailer toy I had as a kid was a Walmart cab over. And it was a big, uh, is a gorgeous, shiny white truck. And that thing, I don’t know if I got quite got 4.2 million miles driven, but it was close. I think the wheels were falling off that thing when we were done growing up. But it’s really, it’s such a small world. You see a ton of Walmart vehicles on the roads. Uh,

Greg White (00:14:28):

But anyway, right, you’re giving away your age by talking about cab overs, Scott, which virtually don’t exist anymore. Right. And they sure don’t produce them anymore, but I remember those the big flat front trucks as a kid. Um, well, so interesting. And that’s pretty, that’s a pretty clear career direction. So you’ve landed at Walmart I’m you said, uh, that was, you said off screen 2018, right?

April Coolidge (00:14:58):

  1. The end of October, 2018 is when I joined the Walmart transportation team.

Greg White (00:15:04):

So I don’t know that EV I don’t know that everyone, or maybe even anyone knows what the day, a day in the life of a driver or a week is like, can you share that with us, at least your point of view of, you know, what driving is like over the course of a day or a week? Absolutely

April Coolidge (00:15:21):

Great. My week I drive, uh, I get the luxury of being at Walmart to be home two days a week. So I rode five days a week and I’m home two days a week. So I go to work. I am what they call my schedule is a Saturday out, which my work week begins on Saturday and it ends, I get home a Wednesday evening. So on Saturday, I’ll usually get up about four o’clock in the morning to get up and get ready. Cause I have a 40 minute commute from my home to my distribution center, which is located in Pageland South Carolina. So I get up at four o’clock in the morning, uh, take care of my kiddie before I leave. And, you know, just do the last minute things and, you know, get myself together and then, uh, commute to work. So I usually, when I get to work, we at Walmart, we slip seat, which means at the end of my work week, I have to clean all of my personal belongings out of the truck.

April Coolidge (00:16:21):

So on Saturday, I’ll get there and, you know, I’ll, I’ll set up my truck cause that’s my home for the week. So I’ll make my bed and put my coffee maker, you know, all the things that I need for myself during the week, which coffee is very important because you know, getting up, you know, sometimes very early in the day I gotta have coffee, but so in, and then, you know, once I get my truck set up, then, you know, I usually drive the Southeastern portion of the United States. So wherever Walmart sends me or however, my route, uh, leads me, you know, I could be in Tennessee, Florida, Alabama. So, uh, I drive 11 hours a day and I have 14 hours a day that I can complete my 11 hour driving time. So I drive 11 hours a day and I work 70 hours a week. So we’ll think that, you know, I don’t know if people really understand the time and, uh, you know, the amount of hours that we work, but I do work a 70 hour work week and I drive 11 hours a day. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a pretty grueling schedule, but I absolutely love what I do. And I’m just very passionate about driving and, and, uh, you know, just, uh, supporting the community as best as I can.

Greg White (00:17:40):

So are you delivering to the stores or are you transferring between distribution centers or some of each of that? I’m curious.

April Coolidge (00:17:48):

I predominantly to the stores, I work out of a grocery distribution center, so, um, deliver a lot of their groceries, uh, you know, their frozen, fresh meat produce, things like that. So, uh, you know, we deliver to the stores and I also delivered to Sam’s clubs. And then we will bring back, we will go to different suppliers and we will pick up product that we utilize, you know, we’ll, we will pick up, uh, loads and, and product and bring it back to the distribution centers so that we can disperse it out to the stores.

Greg White (00:18:24):

So that’s a pretty common practice among people among chains or distributors with their own, with their own fleet is to back haul from the vendors back to the distribution center.

April Coolidge (00:18:35):

That’s exactly what we call it back haul. So I’ll deliver it to my stores and then I’ll get a back haul to bring that back into, uh, maybe a consolidation point where, you know, they, they divided up and send it out to different distribution centers and, uh, you know, bring in loads directly to the, the, um, Walmart distribution centers themselves.

Greg White (00:18:56):

So just out of curiosity, you might leave, say Nashville with a certain set of product on the truck, go to this consolidation center, wind up with a whole different set of product on the truck and then go back to, um, to Carolina.

April Coolidge (00:19:13):

Right, right. Or wherever they, wherever they need that product located. So yeah. And sometimes I’ll, I’ll have multiple stops. We’re all just pick up partial loads of, of different, uh, supplies that we need and, and, you know, take it to, um, Sam’s club or, you know, a Walmart distribution center. Love it.

Scott Luton (00:19:33):

Hey, really quick, Greg, if I could interject for a second, but we’ve got some questions, Jenny. I agree. We agree with you such a critically important person in supply chain supply chains would not move. They wouldn’t happen without awesome people like April and so many other folks across the world that do what she does. Um, C uh, back to our question, we posed to a Jamba. She is from Nigeria. W welcome. Kayvon is back with us. Good morning, good afternoon. Possibly good night, everyone. And then James, you’re touching home, uh, an issue or a topic we’re going to touch on later in the conversation. So, uh, thanks for asking. And we’re going to get to that here momentarily. And Cheryl says, backhaul must be cost-effective. I think it’s what she meant to say there. So, you know, I think, I think the leading supply chains are able to really optimize, uh, the back and forth, including the back halls, of course, and really maximize every mile they’re getting out of, um, uh, these, these passages. So I’m glad that came up in April you’re you’re probably given some folks, uh, new, uh, parts, new, new, new components of their vocabulary based on what you do day in and day out. And we love that here. All right. Yeah.

Greg White (00:20:43):

And it’s funny because having been in retail and distribution a long time, I’m familiar with this backhaul deadheading, Bob tailing, those last two, being the things you want to avoid at all costs, even April, even when I’m driving down the road on a family trip or whatever, whenever I see a semi down the road with no trailer behind it, I’m just thinking, oh my gosh, that is just wasted money. So just

Scott Luton (00:21:10):

To connect the dots there, cause there might be some folks that may not know that term, but that is Bob tailing. Is that correct? April well,

April Coolidge (00:21:18):

Tailing is when it’s just the tractor with no trailer. That’s what they called bobtail. And then delegating is the truck and trailer, but the trailer is empty. There’s no freight in that trailer. So that’s what they call deadhead.

Greg White (00:21:32):

That’s what companies are trying to avoid big time, right? That is so costly because you still spend the fuel and the driver labor and all of that and all of the regulatory compliance and whatnot, but with absolutely no revenue or no value of goods in the trailers. So yeah, it hurts

Scott Luton (00:21:51):

Really quick. I met someone not too long ago, the CEO of a company that you all know, the, uh, the trailers they use to ship new cars on. Right. And there’s are, there’s a term for that. But, um, after they drop off the cars, this company was like a marketplace for figuring out how, what else they could pick up non vehicles on those same trailers. Very fascinating to eliminate those empty miles. So, um, love it. And by the way, I agree with Jenny. Jenny says, I love that you always find people who are so passionate about what they do. And April’s got that in droves. Clay says, deadhead is what I call my hippie uncle clay

Greg White (00:22:29):

About the same value clay doesn’t matter.

Scott Luton (00:22:34):

All right. So Greg

Greg White (00:22:35):

April, there has to be a ton of other stuff. I think you’ve exposed. And we’ve just talked about a few things that the average consumer or American or individual doesn’t know about trucking. So what else can you share with our audience that is an interesting learning around what you do every day or about truck driving or transportation in general?

April Coolidge (00:22:57):

Well, what I want to impress upon, uh, the community and people out there is for them to realize that, you know, the importance of our industry, of the trucking industry, because without our industry, the trucking industry and truck drivers out there life, as they know it would not exist because they have to realize that everything that they touch in their daily day to day routine has been on a truck from the get up to the time they go to bed. Everything that they put their hands on has been delivered by a truck. So, you know, they just need to realize the importance of this industry and the sacrifice that the drivers make so that they can have all the things that make their life comfortable.

Greg White (00:23:45):

I think that’s a really good point. I think also, and I’ll confess this. They should not get irritated when climbing a hill and a truck swings out into the left-hand lane to pass a slower truck, which I confess I may have thrown a profanity or two out there. Cause I’m thinking I could have blown right by both of you. But I understand. So I, I have a buddy who drove trucks in Korea and he said, you are the biggest thing on the road. If you wait for an opening, you will never get it. So you have to kind of create it, right. So

April Coolidge (00:24:16):

That’s exactly it. Sometimes you just have to take it and you know, something, my loads can weigh, you know, in excess of 45,000. But you know, I can pull about, you know, 46,000 pounds of freight, which makes my truck and trailer 80,000 pounds. So if this vehicle, you know, up just even not being nodded, the steepest incline, you know, it just takes some effort for that trick tractor. And so people will just be patient slow down a little bit, you know, I’ll get out of their way. It’s not that I’m purposely trying to, you know, slow them down. It’s that, you know, I have time constraints that, you know, they’re imposed upon me to deliver this freight. And so I’m just doing the best that I can to provide product for people, you know? So when they go to these stores, you know, they have what they need

Greg White (00:25:06):

And inertia is an important thing. You take your foot off the throttle on something that weighs 80,000 pounds going uphill. You lose momentum really, really quick. Right. Okay. I’ll be much more Zen about it in the future. Thank you April. So, um, well, and you know, we’re talking to the right person about learning about driving because you have been named a Walmart and a PepsiCo everyday hero. Right. So tell us a little bit about that process. As you said, you protected your driving, your driving career very carefully. And what does that recognition mean to the industry? And, and honestly, what does it mean to you?

April Coolidge (00:25:54):

Well, from the very beginning, when I affiliate myself with the USA truck, you know, like I have said previously that my goal was always to be a Walmart driver. So I held myself to the highest caliber, you know, the, I gave myself a ceiling standard for myself and so in doing so it opened the door. When I drove for USA truck, I was the inaugural member of the Arkansas road team out in Arkansas. So, uh, what we did there is, you know, we, we promote the trucking industry and, uh, something that we really focused on was to teach people out there, how to safely navigate the highways when they’re on the road with, with, uh, a semi truck and trailer, especially these young, just getting out of driving school, you know, going to driving school and in high school, you know, the new drivers, you know, just getting out there on the road, you know, just things to think about in the do’s and the don’ts when they’re out there so that they can be safe and get home safely.

April Coolidge (00:26:58):

And I can even get home to my family. But, you know, with that being said, you know, it did open a lot of doors for me. And, uh, three years ago I was nominated for the America’s road team with the American trucking association. So that was a very grueling process to make that team, but out of 3,600 candidates that was initially, uh, proposed to make this team, they chose a panel of 18. So out of that 3,600, I would have my way down to be on the America’s road team, which is just, was another goal that I set for myself. And then at that same time, the opportunity to drive for Walmart presented itself. So that was just a blessing for me because my dad suffered, I lost my mom about four years ago to stomach cancer. So she was my best friend and I talked to her every day.

April Coolidge (00:27:59):

So it was really tough to lose my mom. And then shortly after we lost my mom, my dad was diagnosed with dementia. So being that I was able to be home two days a week, you know, that allowed me to look after him. Cause, cause it was just me looking after the house, looking after my dad. So, uh, the opportunity to drive for Walmart was such a blessing because you know, it was a lot for me to be gone five days a week and then come home and cook and clean and take care of him and get him all set up. So I could go back out on the road. So over the years he wasn’t, he was a lot better back then. But as time went by, he really declined very quickly. And you know, this last couple months I had even decided that I was going to take a leave of absence to stay at home and care for him because his, uh, dementia declined to the point where he couldn’t take care of himself at all. And, and, uh, I’m sad to say that I did lose my dad. He did pass away on June 13th. So, um, I’d like to think that he’s up in heaven with my mom now looking down and the same at a girl,

Greg White (00:29:13):

I can guarantee you, yes, no doubt what

Scott Luton (00:29:17):

A huge legacy he’s left behind. And, and you’re doing big things and, and beyond helping your family, you’re, uh, you’re leading the awareness, um, that needs to take place, uh, that represents your profession and, and by extension global supply chain. And we all know the awareness gaps were closing during the pandemics when one of the silver linings here in the last 18 months. But I’m sorry. I’m very sorry for your father’s. Um, but I think it, in one of the things you mentioned, cause you mentioned sacrifice April. It’s not just our drivers that are sacrificed, so those families, right. And when those five days that you’re out doing what you gotta do, um, it’s, it’s a tremendous sacrifice, which is all the more reason we’ve got to be more empathetic and, and just, I think for so many consumers, they have to just better. We have to better understand, uh, with what you do day in and day out. So I want to share a couple of quick comments here from a lot of reaction to what you shared. Uh, Charles is back with us. Tillo Charles. He says, thank you for keeping the road safe for us. We all would echo that. Uh, Jenny’s talking about goosebumps and yes, Nicky Scott does. I would love for her to be hearing this. She’s a wonderful representative of, um, of global supply chain. She, uh, uh, Nicky Scott of the dude really Mo she had a dude really moment with this April. It was wonderful.

Greg White (00:30:32):

It was your own trucking company in Africa. That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:30:37):

Uh, I think this is co-write cozy. I think he’s back with us, uh, going back to appeal. He’ll no more road rage for Greg really

Greg White (00:30:45):

Rage. It was more like subdued, anger, but none the less inappropriate. So yeah.

Scott Luton (00:30:52):

William Shakespeare of supply chains with its Gregory. Great to have you back on LinkedIn from the Caribbean says hello, supply chain team, everyone else on this great platform, echoing April’s perspective. Hello, Rhonda. Great to have you back. You’re going to be in for a treat here with April and then, uh, let’s see here. Gary says that he echoes something. We talk about a lot here, right? Especially with the, as we lose your father in June and all of this, everything that goes into hitting a mark, like 4.2 million miles, that’s not a transactional thing. It’s a ton of problem solving and accident avoidance and, and being a smart business person. You name it. He says, just think of all the institutional knowledge we’re losing as over the road, truckers, baby boomers, and otherwise leave the workforce. And Jenny says he would be incredibly proud. We all echo that.

Scott Luton (00:31:39):

I mean, gosh, can you only imagine looking back to, as he, as he introduced you and helped you get into the industry, all the things you’ve done, you know, since entering in 2012. So I love this, um, w I could take these comments for next three hours and just hear everyone’s reaction, but April moving right along, I want to move to a, um, little, little different segment here, right? As we all know, and we’ll try and get into more comments here momentarily, but April, as we all know, um, organizations far and wide here in the states and everywhere else, they’re struggling to not just attract, um, drivers, but keep them, retain them, you know, create a fulfilling, um, position and career for them. Uh, so if you had the opportunity and you have it right here, you know, given this platform, if you were speaking to those organizations that were struggling, what are some best practices or some general observations you’d offer in terms of advice?

April Coolidge (00:32:31):

Well, Scott, we are experiencing a huge driver shortage in our industry, and it’s been that way for as long as I’ve been involved in the trucking industry. So what I would encourage and what is also going to be happening is because a lot of our drivers in the workforce now, you know, they’re getting to be at retirement level. So there’s going to be a lot of our drivers that are going to be retiring out of our industry. So something that we’ve really been thinking about and wondering what to do is how we can get some of our young people, you know, our younger people to think about the truck driving industry or the trucking industry in general, and what would encourage trucking companies to do to help retain their workforce is, you know, treat their driver, you know, like a person, not just a truck number or, you know, a driver number, you know, make that, you know, driver feel like they’re valued, that they’re appreciated.

April Coolidge (00:33:29):

And I think, you know, in all of my years, the number one reason that I see drivers leave a company is that they can never get them home on time. So their home time is just very important because we sacrifice a lot to be out here on the road. You know, we’re, we’re away from our families, our friends, you know, our life is subjected to being in that truck out on the highway for, you know, however long of a time that people choose to stay out. When I was at USA truck, I stayed out probably two and a half, three months at a time. So I only came home two or three times a year, but it was times, you know, just getting a driver home and respecting their home time, I think would be just, just basic square one to, you know, let that driver, you know, have their home time in to know that they can count on, you know, setting up time with family and friends and doing things. So I think, you know, respecting and drivers request for home time would be, I think just probably number one in importance for, to a driver. Wow.

Greg White (00:34:36):

That sounds so basic. It’s a little surprising that that’s the number one thing that comes to your mind. I would think that that would be, would be part of it. Um,

April Coolidge (00:34:46):

Yes. I talked to a lot of drivers and, you know, I’ll ask, well, why did you leave your company? And they said, well, because they could never get me home. One time I put in my home time request, you know, well in advance and they just never could meet their commitment to get me home. So, you know, that’s the number one thing that I hear from drivers, you know, when they leave a company is, you know, that they’re their own time that they couldn’t get them home.

Scott Luton (00:35:11):

So lots of comments here, like Jose’s, uh, now I know why April is award winning truck driver. Thank you dude, for doing what you do. Thank you for your professionalism, uh, from Steve Harrell via LinkedIn. Great. And see that, uh, Rhonda echoes all of that. Thank you for bringing your story here today. Respect your priorities and voice for truckers health and wellness is so important. Um, so follow-up question April for you. We talk a lot about kind of the TX, a trucker experience and this era of all these different things. Yeah. Um, and you know, there’s all kinds of what I liked. Some of the awareness that social media has created to help fill in the gaps of the awareness. And, uh, we’ve seen a variety of different stories and whatnot. Is it, you know, when you, when you arrive at a facility here in recent years, has it gotten better in terms of, of, of, uh, how they’re treating truckers? Is it about the same? Has it gotten worse? What, what’s your observations there?

April Coolidge (00:36:06):

I think that it’s getting better. Uh, you know, we’re, they’re, they’re respecting us and they know that they, that we play an important part in, you know, moving their goods and their products, you know, from their facility to, uh, you know, the retailers and things that are needing those, but a challenge that we had, you know, over the past couple of years, you know, with the COVID, you know, it was just really tough at these different facilities. And I’m not talking about Walmart, I’m just talking about shippers and receivers because, you know, you couldn’t go into their warehouses, you couldn’t use their restrooms. So, you know, it was very strict as far as being able to access these different places and, you know, over and above that, you know, just being able to get a meal out on the road was just very tough. So, you know, we just all had to work together to, to, to overcome this pandemic and, you know, and we’re coming out of it, even though that I do see that we’re having spikes in different areas, but, you know, a shipper and certain receivers are starting to, you know, lessen their restrictions and, you know, be more open to us using their facilities that in working with them.

April Coolidge (00:37:18):

I

Scott Luton (00:37:18):

Appreciate you sharing that. I’m going to go back. Uh, so when we started talking back, how earlier, um, that generated a ton of discussion and by the way, Cheryl must be in the transportation industry cause she’s, she is, uh, sharing some great POV out there. She says, congrats trucks are the most flexible mode of transportation accounts for approximately 80%, uh, transportation expenditures by us firms, preferred mode for organizations operating under the, just in Tom systems. Cheryl, thank you for sharing, man. It’s wonderful. I want to go back though. Greg Allie on our team had a great question about these backhauls uh, so kind of moving sometimes we’ll go back in time, April [inaudible] stick with us here. She says, how often are your back halls dedicated or how often do you reach out to brokerages or, or other, uh, resources to arrange your back hauls any commentary there?

April Coolidge (00:38:13):

I personally am not involved in that part because we have management. We have divisions within our company and not only Walmart, but all companies have that, where they set up appointments and they work with these, uh, manufacturers to, you know, move their product. So, um, you know, I’m not involved in the scheduling of that, but you know, I do, I do pick up a lot. I make it happen.

Greg White (00:38:40):

Yeah. And that’s a really good question because that’s really a more strategic decision to whether you just back haul your own vendors or you just back haul what’s whatever’s available out there. Um, in, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina is MBM, uh, distributors, uh, April a company that we worked with a long time, literally a trucking company, well, uh, a food distributor and trucking company that started in the backyard of the founder’s house. Wow. Um, and then, and it still is in the backyard of the founder’s house, except it’s like a three story office building and warehouse and the HOA had a hell of a backyard, let me, um, but you know, that’s, they chose to only back haul their vendors, but with other companies with their own fleets, they, you know, they might go to the brokerage market or they might, you know, they might have a, uh, internal brokerage that handles that for themselves. So it can, there are a lot of ways that it can go. Uh, and it really just depends on how, how far a field your trucks get and how important it is for you to optimize every single mile to the maximum using all 53 feet.

Scott Luton (00:39:54):

Right. Excellent point. I appreciate that background and Allie, great question. I love that. A lot of great questions and comments here. Um, all right. So, uh, before we switch gears and, and kind of figure, you know, find out who else, um, that you want to maybe thank for getting you in this position here, obviously your father and your family played a big role, but April, is there anything else that, um, you think would be really helpful for folks to just know about the trucking profession, the industry or your experiences?

April Coolidge (00:40:24):

Well, like I said earlier, I just, you know, would like to impress and just let people realize that without our industry, you know, they just wouldn’t have the goods, you know, food, clothing, you know, anything that they have in their day-to-day life is dependent upon our industry. So I just would like to impress upon, you know, the importance of the trucking industry as a whole, you know, and the drivers, you know, to get this product to the shelves for the people, because just like, you know, another person commented, you know, trucks are the most flexible mode of transportation because you can’t fly an airplane into a, into a distribution center. You know, we don’t have rail track railroads, you know, that go to this. So, you know, that freight that comes into these different modes, you know, ships, planes, trains is transported by a truck. So just know the importance of, of what we do and the sacrifices that we make, you know, so that people can enjoy their lives and have the things that they need.

Scott Luton (00:41:27):

Well said that that’s the, um, that’s the biggest, uh, point made I think in today’s conversation, you know? So, uh, I appreciate you coming on and, and sharing that message. I gotta ask you, this is going to be a stupid question, but it just dawned on me. It’s about time

Speaker 5 (00:41:44):

As a kid, I loved,

Scott Luton (00:41:46):

You know, getting truck drivers to, to lay on their air horn as we’re driving, as my parents were driving down the road and I was in the back. I’m not sure if I’ve taught that to my kids. I’m probably a bad dad because I hadn’t. Does that still happen? You still see kids that to ask you for some of the air horn.

April Coolidge (00:42:02):

I do. And to be honest with you, that just lights up my day. That just thrills me when, when I have a young kid that in the back and does the little air pump, because, you know, I’ll give him a little fancy, you know, pull out of my more, but that’s just, you know, I really love to see that. And, and, you know, not only, not only do I love to see that when little kids do that, but you know, a lot of times when I’m on the highway, I’ll have, uh, people that will lean over in their truck and they’ll give me the thumbs up, you know, because I’m out here on the road. And I don’t know if, if that’s just because I’m a trucker out here or I’m a woman driving that truck out here on the road. I think it might be a little combination.

Greg White (00:42:39):

Yeah, probably both. I mean, it’s, you’re a rare sight on the roadway. I right. And, um, I think people really appreciate that. You know, they appreciate what you’re doing. That you’re kind of breaking barriers to do it. I have to, I have to amend Scott’s question. How does it make you feel when an adult does it? Because sometimes I do that. So is it not as fun as when a kid does it? Cause I, I still do it. I love it. You know, another thing I learned as a kid was, you know, the light flashing thing when, when you’re passing or when they’re passing. Right. Um, just so our audience knows when you pass a semi, you should always flash your lights before you go out around them. And you should always flash your tail lights, which takes one hand off the wheel, admittedly, but flash your tail lights. And they’ll let you know that you are clear of them in the front. So it’s safe for you to get it back over into their lanes. So do you still see, uh, everyday drivers? I know your fellow drivers do that pretty religiously, but do you still see just regular automobiles do that

April Coolidge (00:43:49):

On occasion? I will. And just yesterday I didn’t have, uh, it was, uh, an SUV, you know, and he gave me the flash, the lights just let me know it was safe to come back over and he asked me and I let him go. And he flashed his brake lights to thank me for, for letting him back over. So I do on occasion, see, uh, passenger cars do that. And I just know that it’s somebody who drives a truck or has a family member in the trucking industry. Otherwise, you know, people really don’t know what that means, but, um, you know, that is how, because you know, our trucks are very long. So you have to have that peripheral vision to know that back there, that 53 foot trailer, you have enough room, you know, to, to navigate back over in, into the lane after you pass a vehicle. So that’s what we, as drivers will do for each other is we’ll flash our lights to let them know that, you know, they’re, they’re clear and it’s safe for them to come back over into the, into the, uh, right lane into the driving lane.

Greg White (00:44:50):

Yeah. And I think that sign that’s on so many trailers. If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you. I hope people are reading that and recognizing that. And even so I think even when you’re beside a truck that you’ve only got that one little convex mirror that helps you see a vehicle that’s pro that’s about seven feet below the level you’re driving at, right. And somewhere behind you. So it’s hard to gauge. I mean, I’ve, I’ve sat in cabs and, and tried to gauge it sitting still. And it’s really hard to gauge exactly where that vehicle is.

April Coolidge (00:45:24):

Yep. And you know, that’s one, that’s probably the thing that excites me the most about being affiliated, you know, first with the Arkansas road team and now with the America’s road team, because we have a program it’s called share the road. And so what we do is we go to these high schools and we take our truck and trailer and we take cars and we’ll put them in our blind spots. And we talk about these different things about being safe. And, you know, that’s what you just said, Greg, about. If you can’t see the driver’s face in that mirror, then we can’t see you. You know, a lot of people think that because we’re so big and we set up so high and we have, you know, our big windows that gives us an opportunity to see so much going around, you know, happening around us.

April Coolidge (00:46:07):

But that is that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Because the thing that I enjoy the most, when I go and do these, share the road, things is we’ll put cars in our blind spots and there’ll be a car right out my driver’s side window that, you know, I could run down, it’d be there. But to have these teachers and young people get up in the canvas truck, because the only mirror that is required by the DLT is the long rectangular mirror that we have. Right. That’s the only mirror that is required by the department of transportation to have on these trucks. Right. So we’ll cover up all of our other mirrors and we’ll ask these people when they get up on our truck, can you see that car? That’s just sitting right there next to us. And they’re just amazed that they can’t see that.

April Coolidge (00:46:53):

So, you know, that is the thing that I really enjoy the most about being involved, you know, with the America’s road team, is that the opportunity that I have to go out and teach the community about different things that they need to know about a tractor trailer and what they can do to be safe out on the highway to navigate around us, because there’s a lot of trucks out there on the highway. So if they know what it takes for us to be safe on the highway, that’s just getting them safer and our highway safer,

Scott Luton (00:47:24):

Hey, uh, Gary is kindred spirits here. He says, we used to get truckers, a honk their horns. When I was growing up in the sixties, I did it once when driving with my dad and it scared the

Speaker 5 (00:47:34):

Crap out, your

Scott Luton (00:47:36):

Driver’s got to know you’re riding with it, what you’re doing. So thanks for sharing Gary. Hey, um, uh, if you could touch on one final thing and then we’ll, we’ll, we’ll start to wrap here. You know, I know that here in the Atlanta area, the powers that be have been for the last couple of years, uh, conducting a study to help alleviate some of the parking issues that that truck drivers have when, when navigating through, uh, the Metro Atlanta area, uh, just how hard it’s been. It is to find a nice, safe, well lit place. Um, and, and when the state and the local authorities are trying to figure out how they can help provide solutions, especially given all the traffic that comes through here, which you may or may not have alluded to, uh, appreciate it, but April more seriously, speak to, you know, parking in general. I mean, how, how challenging is that, uh, when you’re trying to get a little bit of rest, you know, get a bite to eat, you know, speak to that a bit, if you would,

April Coolidge (00:48:26):

It’s very challenging for us drivers out here on the road. And that’s been something that, you know, I’ve thought about from the very beginning of getting involved in, in the trucking industry, because, you know, that’s our home when we’re out here on the road. So we need to find a safe place to park and to be able to go in and get a meal and to take a shower. So we are at a big disadvantage because, you know, we’re at a shortage now with trucks. So just think what it would be like if we did hit the capacity that we need in the industry. Right. Kind of impact that would make on the parking situation. And I think, you know, there’s only so much land out there to acquire, to put these truck stops and in different, uh, places available to us. But, um, you know, that is a huge challenge.

April Coolidge (00:49:17):

And that’s why you’ll see a lot of drivers, you know, when they shut down. And I see it a lot, you know, through the Atlanta area, cause it’s really tough. There’s, there’s not a lot of places to park in the Atlanta area and you know, the truck stops, you know, it might be questionable as far as how safe are those areas, you know, for us, you know, because, you know, they don’t have a lot of security, you know, a lot of kinds of patrols the parking lot. So, um, you know, that’s why you’ll see a lot of drivers, you know, there’ll be parking on the shoulders of the road and the on and off ramps, because so limited on, you know, availability of us to find a place to park. And, you know, drivers are finding that there, they have to shut down earlier in the day to even be able to find a parking space, because if you drive, you know, say, you know, past five o’clock in the afternoon, your chances of finding a parking spot at a truck stop are few or even non-existent in that time. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:50:16):

I think a couple of years ago, according to research chair put in, I think that the truck drivers, they were surveying, we’re talking hundreds, if not thousands 90 minutes a day on average is, is the time that that took them to find a suitable parking. Um, so, so folks, if you’re, whether you’re overseas or whether you’re here in the states, uh, and maybe your, a local authority isn’t as savvy, um, as the folks in Atlanta trying to, uh, proactively or reactively what most importantly to try and to address these challenges, Hey, uh, another awareness opportunity here. We gotta, we gotta take care of our truck driving professionals and April huge. Thanks for you. What, you know, what you’ve shared here today. So with all that said, uh, you know, beyond your father who played a pivotal role, go ahead. Great.

Greg White (00:50:59):

I have one more question I have to ask. I have to ask this, you drive all over the Southeast, right? You’ve already addressed some of the parking issues. We’ve talked a little bit about your fellow drivers, who you share the roadway with. Who would you identify as the worst community or state or whatever drivers that you face on a day to day basis? Well,

April Coolidge (00:51:23):

Greg, I hate to, uh, pinpoint, you know, a city or an area, but if I had to give you an honest answer, I would have to say of all the places that I’ve traveled and I’ve traveled all over the United States. I know I only traveled in the Southeastern part of the country now, but I’ve traveled the whole United States. And by far hands down, no competition, the worst drivers that I have ever experienced is in Atlanta, Georgia. Thank you.

Speaker 5 (00:51:56):

Thank you so much. I feel so vindicated for you to stay well.

Scott Luton (00:52:06):

They love us. They really love us, but Greg, I would say April’s right. April is

Greg White (00:52:12):

Volume. I mean, if you’re not going 80 miles an hour in Atlanta, you’re going to get run over and, and it, and if you don’t get run over, there are alternative punishments because of where we are. So, I mean, it is, um, I I’ve driven all over the country as well, not as semi, but I mean places like Chicago and New York and Los Angeles, which are the ones even still, I would have expected to come towards the top of your list. But unquestionably Atlanta is, uh, you know, that’s a indictment, damning indictment of, of our driving culture. Well, if I’m a bit of a studier of driving cultures to April, I mean, you know, there are certain things that only happen in certain cities, like, you know, the excessive speeding that happens here in Atlanta at the refusal to signal, to change lanes, which happens in Chicago a lot because people in Chicago will speed up to block you off. If you’re trying to change lanes and you signal, you they’ll do that with cars, not even semis. So,

April Coolidge (00:53:12):

Right. And you know, I think another challenge that Atlanta has is because there’s so many roadways that come into that city and it’s just kind of like a hub or a center location, you know, to get on 85, 20, 75. And so, you know, there’s so much traffic and so many bottlenecks to get around to that city. I’ve easily taken two hours or more just to get 85 coming into Atlanta to 85 coming out of Atlanta. So it’s just unbelievable, the amount of people in the amount of traffic that’s in Atlanta, but something that I see so much in that city and I, and I can’t for the life of me understand how and why they do it because not in a million years would I ever even think about is they’ll stay in the hammer lane and they’ll cruise that fast lane. And then there are exit will come up and they make up traffic all at once just to get over there. And it’s just, oh, I just cringe when I see that, because what a dangerous situation that they’re putting themselves.

Scott Luton (00:54:19):

So we got to love on our truck. Drivers respect them when they’re out on the roads, make sure you’re, you’re, you’re pulling for the air horn, especially if you drive past or drive by, uh, April, um, and be aware, be aware of the sacrifices are making, be aware of, uh, some of the issues and challenges they face. Uh, but also most importantly, perhaps be aware that they are the backbone of global supply chain. So it, if the truckers, um, you know, truck fleets came to a halt, everything else would come to a halt. So April really appreciate and admire what you do. But Hey, um, really quick as we start to wrap up, I want to ask you, you know, who else you would like to thank, and then we’ll make sure folks on the, how to connect with you. Who else beyond the father, your father, would you like to, um, you know, give a shout out to, and thanks for the help to get you where you are.

April Coolidge (00:55:05):

I really owe a lot of my, uh, of who I am and how I’ve become, you know, to this point in my life, to my parents, because my parents always raised me, not as a girl, but that if there’s anything in life that I ever wanted to accomplish, whatever it is, I can just set my goals and I can accomplish that. So it, it was never, you know, stereotypical Europe girl, you gotta go in this direction. They raised me with, uh, the beliefs that whatever that I want to accomplish in my life, I can accomplish that. So I owe a lot just about everything of who I am to my parents for bringing me up that way. But I had a lot of great mentors in my driving career, you know, drivers that, that were with me on the Arkansas road team. And that I met, you know, at my driving companies at USA, you know, people that I looked up to and admired. And so, you know, it’s, it’s those different individuals that made me realize what was possible for me in the driving industry. Not only just getting into Walmart, but I’m a heavy competitor in truck driving championships. My goal someday is to be grand champion of the national truck driving championship. So having a lot, these drivers who have accomplished that just gives me a higher level of the shoot for in, in something that, that, you know, I can strive to accomplish someday. Wow.

Scott Luton (00:56:33):

I love that. Uh, those are called rodeo. It’s currently a proteome. Yeah. All right. Well,

Greg White (00:56:38):

Um, perfect for somebody from Montana, she’s already got an advantage.

Scott Luton (00:56:45):

Well, April, and it’s such a pleasure to connect with you. Um, we, our whole team on behalf of our whole team, we admire what you do. We appreciate what you do. We, we wish I had w we had hours on end. Uh, they get to learn a lot more, uh, there’s so many other issues and challenges that are, um, uh, shaping the not only global supply chain, but certainly the trucking professional. We’ll have to have you back and we’ll dive a little deeper, but big thanks. How can folks connect with you April?

April Coolidge (00:57:09):

They can connect with me. I’m on social media, I’m on Facebook, so they can just type in my name, April coolish. And I do have a Twitter account, and I’m not that first I drive a truck, so I’m not, you know, I’ve stepped away from the tech after getting out of real estate. I’ve really tech stepped away from the technology. And so I don’t know how, how they can go search for me on Twitter, but I am I’m on Twitter and I’m on Facebook. And I do get an email that if somebody sends me a message or a friends request or something on Facebook, it will certainly come to me. Cause you know, I worked so much that, uh, I don’t always have time to, to look at those different things because at the end of my day, when I’m done driving my 11 working my 14 hours, I go to bed. So, but if they do want to connect with me, I do, I am on Facebook, April Coolidge, and I am on Twitter, April Coolidge.

Scott Luton (00:58:05):

Well, you are an absolute delight to interview in robo elbows with there’s a, there’s a passion about what you do and enthusiasm, uh, that is just contagious. So huge. Thanks April Coolidge and award-winning truck driver recently named Walmart and PepsiCo every day hero. Thanks so much. Thank you. Thank you, man. I echo and I’m sure you do too. The whole team, Rhonda and Jenny both were speaking about just, um, you know, what April brings to the table, Tony. I think that’s a wonderful question. We’ll have to bring her back, uh, to find out. He says via Facebook, how do you become a grand champion trucking driver? We’ll have to, as if any

Greg White (00:58:48):

Of us need another YouTube distraction, there are channels that focus on that. And it is truly impressive. What some of these drivers can do tight spaces. I mean, it is. It’s unbelievable. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:59:03):

Agreed. I want to go back one final comment here. Cause I, I wanna, uh, Rhonda had shared some things about her husband. We were talking about the other day. She says my husband’s considering getting a CDL and driving locally with a logistics company. He likes working solo and a super safety conscious. We’ve been talking about the potential disruptions to our personal lives, but he’s got about seven years before retirement. So it might be a fit for him. Rhonda says, he’s looking at a distribution center in forklift positions right now. And they asked him about his willingness to get his CDL. So, uh, some conversion conversations going on, he’s open to the idea. We’ll see, respect she says is important. Yeah. So excellent point there, Rhonda. And we’ll see if we can’t maybe a bit April could share shed a lot of light on maybe some of the decisions and, um, uh, choices that y’all are considering.

Greg White (00:59:51):

I think if you’re thinking about getting into trucking right now, you probably have a lot of leverage in terms of saying, I want to do this and I don’t want to do that. So, you know, if you need to be home like April two days a week or whatever, I bet there’s an opportunity for you to do that

Scott Luton (01:00:10):

Greed. And one more, uh, I wish I had said this before April departed, but Rhonda says, go get them April. No doubt. You’re going to hit your pro your goals. Thank you for your service and keep America moving. Excellent point. Okay. That unfortunately, uh, Greg is going to bring this conversation to a close is April was all that. And then some of what we thought she might.

Greg White (01:00:35):

Yeah, yeah, no doubt. I mean, I think a couple things that, that stand out there is her recognition of the importance and her advocacy for the importance of what drivers do. And I think another, you know, that strikes home with me and I’m sure my wife is that the way that she was raised to believe that she can do anything. And I think it’s important. It’s important. How for any young parents out there, it’s important, how you phrase that it’s not, you can do anything a man can do it’s you can do anything. You need not qualify and you need not make males or, you know, whatever other categorization, a qualifier for that, you can do anything. And if you just treat it, you just treat someone, uh, as this is what your potential could make you live up to. That’s sufficient. You don’t have to compare them to anyone else. And I think that’s something we have actively done as parents. And it’s built some pretty strong young ladies in our family. Yes. Early in hers.

Scott Luton (01:01:38):

Absolutely. And, uh, that’s a great learn. That’s a great point. A really important point that April brought to the table. Uh, so if you’re listening, Brantley, Gracie and Ben, whatever you want to do, that’s it. So folks, thanks for all the great comments. And I know we couldn’t get to all the comments and questions. What an outstanding conversation, April Coolidge is a dynamo big thanks to Jayda and Amanda and Allie and clay back behind the scenes for helping us with the production. Big, thanks to Matt and Anna also behind the scenes helping to facilitate the interview. Uh, but folks, most importantly, you heard a bunch of good stuff from April here today. I appreciate Greg’s key takeaways. A do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed to be just like April Coolidge. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right here at supply chain. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:02:29):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.

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Featured Guests

April Coolidge, After a successful career in real estate, April decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and go to trucking school. To date, she has more than one million safe miles, and she’s proud to represent Walmart as a trucker. April also takes pride in being a woman in trucking and sees herself as an example of how women can thrive in the industry. She often visits schools and job fairs to talk to young people about careers in trucking because of how rewarding the industry can be and how essential it is for the U.S economy. In 2021, April was named a Walmart Every Day Hero for being a positive force in her community during challenging times.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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