Banned Books Week is an annual effort to call attention to censorship and intellectual freedom. This year it runs from September 18th through the 24th.
While Banned Books Week is mostly marked by libraries around the country, the drive behind it is something that all adults need to understand. Banned books are the physical representation of banned ideas. The idea of banning (or burning) a book, may send a chill up your spine, but are we taking the steps that are needed to protect the more abstract but just as important freedom of thought.
In this week’s Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner – who holds a Masters Degree in Library Science from Simmons College in Boston – extends the mission behind Banned Books Week to the free exchange of ideas that is REQUIRED to succeed in the face of today’s procurement and supply chain challenges:
• Having the stomach to participate in a world with diversity of thought
• Maximizing the ROI of ideas by letting them all crash around together… with the best coming out on top
• Giving the benefit of the doubt to a colleague who disagrees with you or who shares an opinion you find unpleasant
Welcome to dial P for procurement, a show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates, the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement
Kelly Barner (00:31):
In 2022 band books week takes place from September 18th through the 24th. This annual event is a primarily librarian driven effort that was started in 1982 by librarian Judith fru. Now, when you think about what books or band I’m sure everyone has different titles that come to mind, I’m a lifelong avid reader. And some of my favorite books commonly appear on band books lists. The first one that comes to mind instantly is to kill a Mockingbird, but those lists also include Lord of the flies, brave new world, the color purple beloved and 1984. These are important books with important ideas in them that challenge us. And in some cases they apparently challenge some of us so much that people will try to make sure that others don’t have the right to read them. Now, from my perspective, the right to read books is sort of like the mirror image of free speech, just like people have the right to speak and express themselves, albeit to own the consequences of what they say.
Kelly Barner (01:47):
Each of us also has the right to decide what ideas and information we expose ourselves to. In most cases, ideas should work like the free market system. More exchange of ideas, more access to ideas should generate more ideas and any constraints that we place on that save for legal considerations like libel and slander also threaten our ability to innovate the bigger the problem we have to solve. The more ideas and intellectual freedom will be required to find the best solution. So in this episode of dial P for procurement in honor of band books week, I’m going to review the role of intellectual curiosity and open exchange of ideas in the business world. We’ll look at some of the supply chain challenges we face today and how the ability to speak freely factors into our ability to solve those problems. And then finally, let’s consider how to listen for message and inspiration rather than perspective or bias and make the most of the best ideas no matter where they come from.
Kelly Barner (03:01):
But before I go any further, let me pause and introduce myself. If you’re new to dial P my name is Kelly Barner. I’m the co-founder and managing director of buyers meeting point. I’m a partner at art of procurement, and I’m your host for dial P here on supply chain. Now I am constantly scanning the news for complex articles that I think it’s worth our time to discuss. Many of these are interesting, and you may catch a headline, but in a lot of cases, we don’t have the time to dig deeper. I also follow these stories beyond those headlines, and I look for connections between nons supply chain related topics like band books week, and the important work we are doing for companies and organizations every single day dial P releases, a new podcast episode or interview every Thursday. So be on the lookout for future episodes.
Kelly Barner (03:58):
And don’t forget to take some time to check out our past episodes as well. Now, if you find value in the time that we’re about to spend together, please find a way to engage, click a reaction button on social media at a comment or some stars on a podcast platform, maybe most importantly comment or forward this episode to a colleague I’m incredibly grateful for everyone’s interest and attention. And I think these conversations and topics are important to all of us. All right, let me get back to band books week today. My professional focus is on procurement and supply chain, but like many people working in that field. That wasn’t my original plan. I also happened to have a master’s degree in library science from Simmons college in Boston. Now with a library background, the idea of band books week hits really close to home. According to the American library association, 607 books, films or newspapers were banned in 2019.
Kelly Barner (05:04):
That was a 14% increase year over year. And you might be surprised to know that dealing with challenging ideas is a standard part of professional library, science training. Where do you put books that refute the moon landing? Where do you put books that deny the Holocaust? These are incredibly sticky issues. I also happen to be a student of history and although I wasn’t there, I know the Holocaust happened. I wasn’t there, but I believe that we landed on the moon. Now that doesn’t mean that I get to take a book that objects to the moon landing, or says that the Holocaust didn’t happen and put them in fiction. It also doesn’t mean that I get to, to tag those books as potentially upsetting or damaging or wink, wink, nudge, nudge, we’ve put them in, uh, the nonfiction section, but we all know they actually belong in fiction.
Kelly Barner (06:09):
That would be considered professional malpractice within library science society has always, and always will struggle to deal with complex topics that push us outside of our comfort zone. And I think the thing that’s so important about this particular week is that band books are really the physical version of prohibited and silenced ideas. This is something that I experienced firsthand in a very real way. Earlier this year, as a member of the first class of LinkedIn’s creator accelerator program, I conducted 60 interviews over three month period about supplier diversity. And I heard one phrase more than any other. It was, I can’t say this publicly, but.dot. And there was always something different at the end of that phrase in the moment, it made me feel sick to hear that phrase. And yet in most cases I understood the apprehension of the person speaking. They weren’t looking to cause trouble.
Kelly Barner (07:18):
They just knew that their question, their idea was going to challenge sort of the conventional discussion on the topic. But every single one of those things that quote could not be said was a question that wasn’t being answered. It was a concern that wasn’t being addressed and there may be other people participating in the conversation that also held back. There is fear in going against the tide and asking the big questions, but given all of the things that were up against in business today now is not the time to lose courage. And freedom of ideas is not just an academic consideration. Intellectual freedom plays a critical role in innovation. It’s so important that it’s in the us constitution. The framers made protection for inventors and authors, absolutely explicit article one, section eight clause, eight of the constitution states that Congress has the power to enact laws, to quote, promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times, to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
Kelly Barner (08:35):
And this notion that they had a right to own these ideas and discoveries for a certain period of time, confers value onto them. We don’t want a situation where a scientist, for instance, I always think about Galileo with this is put under house arrest because he or she, she challenges status quo thinking. And it’s okay for us to laugh at this idea. Now. I mean, he was effectively put under house arrest because he challenged church teachings that said, no, the sun rotates around the earth. Well, we all know now the earth rotates around the sun. And so it seems silly to look back 400 years and say, oh, they didn’t know any better. Well, I won’t be around to collect on this bed, but I would be willing to wager that 400 years from now, people just like you and me are going to look back at something we did today and laugh and think about how archaic and closed-minded we were.
Kelly Barner (09:40):
They’re going to see us as backwards too. Now ideas can make us uncomfortable and I’m sorry, but in the grown up world that we live in, that is just too bad. We have to have a way to deal with them, but we can’t have people policing thoughts. Although I will say for the sake of this episode of dial P I’m confining all of my comments to adults, I’m not waiting into the mind field of who gets to teach what to other people’s children. At what age, my expertise is grown up idea exchange. I’m not qualified to comment on anything for people under the age of what would be working in a corporate setting. One of the visuals that always comes to mind for me on this is that scene from the movie Apollo 13, the astronauts are all stuck up there and they’re worrying about getting them back.
Kelly Barner (10:32):
And, you know, I can picture the look on Tom Hank’s face as they’re all a little concerned about it. So back on earth, the engineers have this whole bucket of parts that they just dump out on the table. They say, okay, this is what they have access to. And they start using all of those pieces to see what they can R together to build up a solution. To me, this is a representation of having access to all ideas. Now, imagine if those engineers were given all of the parts except the hoses or all of the parts except adjustable filters, and they were trying to come up with a solution, but there was something that those astronauts had up there that they didn’t know, they could factor into their solution. That’s what banning some ideas does. It handcuffs every single one of us, as we attempt to solve problems, we need everyone to dump all of their ideas on the table.
Kelly Barner (11:31):
And that doesn’t mean that all of those parts are gonna end up in the final solution. Being exposed to ideas does not mean that we have to agree with them. It does not mean we have to adopt them. We don’t even have to like them, but you never know when one piece of information or an idea will spark another. We need to, to see every combination, especially when the going gets tough. And where has the going been tough recently? Oh, I don’t know how about supply chain? We can’t even discuss basic elements of our jobs anymore without running into huge instances of disruption and instability and even sensitive geopolitics. So let’s talk about some recent supply chain issues that are going to take courage to address. We’ve covered it. No numerous times here on dial P the human rights abuses in places like China, are we willing to do what needs to be done to eradicate force labor from the supply chain?
Kelly Barner (12:37):
And in this I’m referring specifically to the Uighurs living in Xinjiang. What about the Olympics that took place in China? There are companies with large consumer bases or manufacturing capabilities in China that also loudly proclaim the virtues of their ESG programs. I’m specifically thinking about Coca-Cola in this case, they sponsored the Olympics, but only marketed that fact in China. They weren’t sure how that was gonna be received at home. What responsibility do we have as supply chain professionals, and even as consumers to challenge how that system works. And some of this brings into question the involvement of international organizations like the world trade organization, the United nations. We’ve also covered here, the issue of the UNS decision to waive the COVID vaccine patent. And excuse me, that’s the world trade organization. The world trade organization all voted including the United States to waive patents on COVID vaccines.
Kelly Barner (13:45):
The United nations has gotten involved more recently around the condition of the Uighurs. So they’ve released this report, which they don’t consider an official action. It does agree with what’s been reported by Western countries and companies, as well as by human rights, watchdog groups, but will any action be taken in the sustainability movement? People are called out for greenwash where you pretend to be more sustainable than you actually are in practice. People have to have the courage to be whistle blowers. And in order to do that, they have to know they’re going to be given the benefit of the doubt. If it could make a difference for people living under bad conditions in China, or if something is brought into question that challenges, basic fairness and investment in ownership of ideas, shouldn’t someone be able to raise that point. Even if longer term, we make the decision, that’s not the way to go, or we got more information and it changed our perspective.
Kelly Barner (14:49):
Now, one of the key areas, especially for procurement, where intellectual freedom comes up is in the supplier diversity movement. And I mentioned this earlier, people will often hold back making comments because they’re not sure which words the person they’re talking to expects to hear around things like gender, race, and ethnicity. So they self censor. Those conversations don’t happen. Stakeholders who are ultimately the ones who make contract award decisions, they might have questions and want to make sure that certified diverse businesses aren’t just being considered because they’re certified diverse. They may want to know more about how those businesses operate. Do they feel that they can challenge a supplier’s performance without being accused of bias? Are we creating a space where people can ask those questions and then even beyond the traditional categories of diversity, there’s the very important idea of intellectual diversity. You and I are together in this episode right now, but we walked very different paths to get to this point.
Kelly Barner (16:03):
We even walk different paths today to get here. We each see the world differently, and if we can merge those images together, we’re gonna have a much more robust understanding of what’s going on in the world around us. And we’re gonna have the opportunity to broaden our perspectives through candid discussions, by bringing in more ideas, we potentially get more potential solutions to consider, and therefore, hopefully better selected outcomes. We can’t overlook the importance of being able to constructively disagree. I think it’s important to read books. You don’t like I was an English major in high school and, and in college. And I remember being told you don’t have to like the book, but you have to learn to understand and appreciate it for what it is. Doesn’t have to be a book that you pull off the shelf and reread every year. And the corresponding idea with an intellectual freedom of that is learning to listen to under and understand the perspective of people you disagree with freedom of speech.
Kelly Barner (17:10):
And then by extension, I would say the right to read books does not exist to protect the majority opinion. It doesn’t need to. That’s already the majority it’s accepted. It exists to protect minority opinions. As hard as that is freedom of speech also acts sort of like a safety valve systems that don’t have, it may boil over or just plain fail because there’s no other outlet for diverse opinions. They’re self constraining. I would be willing to bet that there are all kinds of situations where a project or a business fails. And gosh, everybody just sits around the table afterwards and says, why did this fail? And every single person probably has a different answer in their head, but it is so much safer to just sit there and shrug and say, geez, who knows? We did everything we could. We tried as hard as we could.
Kelly Barner (18:10):
We worked long hours, but if people aren’t being honest, you don’t get the opportunity to head off failures or to learn from them once they’ve happened. The last thing, and this is one that I can never get past. Whether we’re talking about books or ideas is if some content is not okay, whether it’s thoughts or writing or books or films or newsletters, it means someone has to be the arbiter of that. Someone has to be the master curator, who do we want to be? The boss of which ideas are okay. I’ll tell you right up front. I don’t wanna be that person, but I also don’t want someone telling me what ideas I can and can’t expose myself to. So many of us are self censoring in the workplace. And that is not the same thing as expressing complex ideas and opinions with respect supported by data in a constructive way.
Kelly Barner (19:13):
Although we can ban books, nobody yet, thankfully has figured out a way to ban thought. So the ideas are there. They aren’t going away. They’re just not being brought into our solution process. So those ideas are there and they’re influencing people’s choices, whether they remain silent or whether they’re expressed out loud, I’ll just speak for me on this. If you ban a book, I wanna know why, and I’m also going to want to read it because if it’s so powerful that you think we shouldn’t read it, I need to know what’s inside that cover. If you tell me an opinion, can’t be voiced. I wanna know why I wanna know more about the perspective behind that opinion. And I’m certainly not going to trust anyone that positions themselves as qualified to become the arbiter or curator of others’ ideas. But as I always tell you, that’s my point of view.
Kelly Barner (20:17):
And in keeping with the spirit of that episode, I welcome constructive disagreement. Tell me I’m wrong. Add a different thought here. Let’s make this a discussion. I want you to join the conversation in whatever channel or avenue is easiest for you. And let me know what you think. Do you have the stomach and the commitment to participate in a world with a wide range of conflicting ideas? Can you think of a time that you held back an idea or a question because you weren’t sure how it would be received or you weren’t sure about the right language to use, or you weren’t sure how people were going to think of you after you said it? How can we maximize the ROI of our ideas by letting them all crash around on that Apollo 13 table with the best ideas coming out on top? And are you willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a colleague who disagrees with you or who shares an opinion that you don’t like and instead find any piece of truth or value in what they said? This is a tough one, but it’s one that we have to work together to figure out. Maybe more importantly, we should go find a band book and discover just why it was taken off a shelf somewhere let’s work together to figure out the best solution, happy band books week. I think I can say that. Thank you for listening. And until next time, I’m Kelly Barner on behalf of dial P and supply chain. Now have a great rest of your day.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of dial P for procurement and for being an active part of the supply chain. Now community, please check out all of our shows and firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you follow dial P for procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of dial P for procurement.
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.
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.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
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.
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
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.
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.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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.
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 reading.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
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.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.