Dial P for Procurement
Episode 16

In order for minority business development to be effective over the next 50 years, it has to become a BUSINESS diversity problem and not just supplier diversity. These programs have to get out of procurement and get into the different lines of business. Decision-makers need to stop seeing minority-owned businesses as suppliers and start seeing them as partners.

-Constance Jones, Senior Director of Network Delivery Services at NMSDC

Episode Summary

In this week’s Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner shares a special interview with Constance Jones, Senior Director of Network Delivery Services at NMSDC. NMSDC is the National Minority Supplier Development Council. They are responsible for certifying minority-owned business so that they can strengthen their partnerships with corporate supplier diversity programs.

Kelly conducted this interview as part of the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator program she was selected to participate in as a member of the first creator group. Listen in as Constance shares her passion and ability to present a business case in equal measure.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to dial P for procurement, the 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):

Hi there, and thanks for joining me for dial P for procurement. Part of the supply chain. Now family of shows, I’m Kelly Barner, a career procurement practitioner with love for business news, and most of all good ideas, no matter where they come from. In addition to video interviews and live streams, I’ll join you each Thursday to share my point of view on a current news story that presents an interesting twist for business leaders or a new way of looking at a common challenge. Before I share this week interview, we’re building out dial P’s independent following. So no matter where you encountered this podcast, I’d ask you to subscribe and even give us a review. Thank you in advance for being an active part of our listening community. You hear all kinds of things on dial P. Trust me if you happen to be new here.

Kelly Barner (01:22):

And this will week, I have a really special interview to share from January 10th through March 18th, I was one of the first 100 people in the United States to go through LinkedIn’s creator accelerator program. When I applied for the program back in September, I had to provide information about myself, but I also had to propose a project and I selected supplier diversity. One interview I really wanted to have throughout the entire project was with a representative of NM S D C the national minority supplier development council. They are responsible for certifying minority on businesses so that they can strengthen their partnerships with corporate supplier diversity programs. The conversation was amazing. And luckily for you, I got their permission to share the audio from the entire interview here on dial P Constance Jones, who you’ll meet in just a moment is the senior director of network delivery services at N D. I started our conversation by asking if she would share a little bit more about her role, and that is where we’ll pick up the conversation now.

Constance Jones (02:34):

So I am, um, my name is Constance Jones, and I’ve been a part of the N M S D C ecosystem now for, um, almost 25 years. Um, my first initial introduction into N M S D C was at one of its regional affiliates in the Houston area. So I was with the Houston minority supplier development council. Since then I’ve been a corporate member with a national corporate organization. I’ve been an B myself that was certified, um, but always went back to, um, the N M S D C branch. Um, because, cause I just found it to be my home and really be able to help and support minority businesses as they are on this journey to gain access to, um, you know, America’s free enterprise. I joined N M S D C in August of 2020 in the pandemic to be able to provide some continuity and, um, some support for our minority businesses and our, uh, regional councils.

Constance Jones (03:52):

So typically today in my role and the field operations department of N M S D C, I am responsible for all 23 regional councils and their affiliation with the national organization. Um, my department is responsible for the certification policy, um, and how that is a ministered through each of our regional councils. Uh, we work closely with our minority business enterprise input committee, which is the committee that was created at each of our regions and at the national office to provide input into the workings of the organization to ensure that we are beneficial for them, as well as to just ensuring that the regional councils are having a great mixture of program services and activities that’s adding value to our corporate members.

Kelly Barner (04:49):

So you are definitely focused on a daily basis on really making active progress towards making sure companies learn and benefit and take advantage of the opportu associated with this kind of a certification.

Constance Jones (05:03):

Absolutely. And how to do that. And, and, um, ensuring that at a, at a regional level, that our boots on the ground are providing those types of resources and avenues for ours and, and corporate members.

Kelly Barner (05:18):

Now, one of the things that, so I saw it on the corporate side, I’ve also heard it from pretty much everyone that I spoke to is that dating from 2020, there’s been an enormous surge of corporations starting new supplier diversity programs. I mean, it’s not that they didn’t exist prior to that. They certainly did, but it’s sort of been this expectation in the, in the couple of years since that anybody, it does not have one really needs to actively be thinking about starting it. Did you see that? Did you feel the, the impact of that surge from your perspective?

Constance Jones (05:51):

Absolutely so, and, and we are constantly, uh, seeing that continuing to happen as corporations are continuing to make pledges. So with the issues that happened over the last, um, you know, couple years, so you had the murder of George Floyd, you had the campaign, the stop Asian hate, you had political unrest that was happening. It gave people the opportunity to have a safe space to come out and start having the real discussion around the effectiveness and the creation and the real reason for supplier diversity programs. And so, like you mentioned, yes, we’ve always had programs, but now this was really a rallying cry and call to action of, um, generations of standing up and making a real strong commitment to reduce the economic parity that’s happening in communities of color. And so that’s where we’re seeing an increased effort, um, from our corporate members to be able to support those communities, as well as we are just saying a better platform to start really having a difficult conversation, um, to understand the real value behind, um, economic parity for communities of color.

Kelly Barner (07:20):

And I think it’s interesting that you, you bring up having difficult conversations, um, because I do think that there’s a certain amount of discomfort when it gets into the details. You know, it’s very easy to say, you know, we believe in equal opportunity or we wanna make sure that all communities are represented. That’s sort of the happy externally facing message that a CEO or, or someone a board member gets to deliver. But when it actually comes to the day to day, what do we need to do to deliver against that kind of a message. It gets a lot messier, um, from your perspective, are today’s corporate supplier diversity programs as effective as they could be.

Constance Jones (08:02):

I definitely think you have some that are effective, but there’s always room for improvement, right? We, we have several corporate members that do a phenomenal job at growing minority businesses, but we just, uh, embark on a journey. One of our regional councils, the Michigan minority supplier development council actually did a study with at the time an called supplier IO. And they did a study that, that determined that it would take 333 years. If we continued on this same path for, um, minorities to reach economic parity, I don’t foresee myself being around in 333 years.

Kelly Barner (08:50):

Not even with more vacation time.

Constance Jones (08:52):

That’s what even my children, I, I, I don’t, I don’t see that realization. Um, but with the addition of making a 1% year to year pledge to do more business in the communities of color, we can drastically that to 15 years. That’s a call to action that any corporation, no matter where they are today, have the ability to truly, truly make an impact and strong commitment to do better to, and, and further the development of what we’re here to accomplish. And so where we say our there, you know, is supply diversity effective AB absolutely. It can be an effective tool within the major corporations to be able to garner a lot of success for that corporation, but is there room for us to be able to do more in order to slash that real, that economic that we’re all fighting to, to promote? Absolutely it is. And that study was just one example of op of opportunity that we saw come to light that will be able to, to allow us to do that.

Kelly Barner (10:09):

And it’s funny that you, you mentioned that study, I do actually work with supplier IO and I’ve read that study. It’s unbeliev. Interesting. Yes. And I will tell you, it’s funny hearing, you sort of share back with me the information from that, because I think, you know, you take that number 333 years. I mean, that’s just mind blowing, right? It’s such an unbelievably long time, but when you instead focus on the 1% investment and the 15 years, it completely changes how you feel about the 333, because it puts the power in our hands as individuals to say, well, which one do I want? Because I’m the 1% right? My decisions are that 1%. So through the work that I do on a daily basis and procurement, I get to decide, is it going to be 15, or is it going to be 333? And I think that’s an empowering message. If we can put it in front of the right people and give them the tools and the time and the talent that they need to actually act on it.

Constance Jones (11:12):

Absolutely. I can’t agree with you more. I think that’s just about telling the, a story and that’s what I think the power lies over the last couple years that this, that, that, unfortunately those moments allowed us to change the momentum of having this discussion. And right now, minority business development and supplier development and business development is a real conversation that you’re seeing a lot of people rallying around and starting to have in order to really face some of these hard conversations, but also some of these hard realities and start saying, yes, now, which one do I wanna be a part of? Do I really wanna make an impact and, and a movement, um, in the next 15 years? Or do I just wanna continue to say, yeah, I understand it’s importance, but I’m gonna leave it for, or the next few generations to have to deal with. And so that’s the decision and the dilemma that, um, we’re being forced to address.

Kelly Barner (12:22):

Yeah. Well, and it’s, and it’s interesting too, because it’s not even necessarily one challenge. I mean, addressing supplier diversity on the business to consumer side is a enormously different from addressing it on the business to business side. And there are so many different stakeholder groups. In fact, I was trying to list out, you know, who are all of the different people that might care and have a voice and be able to sort of speak out and lead this. I mean, certainly CEOs don’t wanna be the only one with a company that doesn’t have an effect active program, but consumers, I feel like really have the loudest microphone right now to get, uh, company attention. But we’ve also seen input from regulators. We’ve seen certainly around federal contracts and in some cases, state contracts, you know, you, you have to include and address these businesses in your spend, but investors are, are getting more activists. Um, do you see varying levels of inability to drive impact? You know, would you say for instance, that it’s individual consumers when they combine their voices that have the greatest ability to drive change or does that fall to a CEO or an investor group? Um, do all of those different people pushing for diversity in slightly different ways sort of come together to lead that change?

Constance Jones (13:40):

Yeah, I, I think that’s an awesome question and it’s an awesome realization because all of it matters, right. And we are definitely seeing it from all of those different perspectives because that’s really what makes the in turn. And if you look at ’em collectively as a whole, that’s how decisions are made. So I’ll start, I’ll just break down each of those groups that, that you’re, that you’re talking about. So, you know, recently we, we are seeing the gen X and I mean, the gen Z and the populations really are, um, taking a stronger, uh, hold on the notion of diversity and supply diversity and actually leading efforts with their votes and their money, right? So they are saying, Hey, we wanna, we want to focus on these causes because they are important to us. So they’re very cause driven. And that cause driven is allowing them to speak out more freely than ever before, as it related to things that were, customly not customarily, wouldn’t be discussed in a business environment.

Constance Jones (14:59):

So they’re just coming into the workplace, they are really driving some of that from a workforce perspective, then you have invest and you’re seeing a lot more investment companies yes. That are creating and, or looking at ways to have a greater impact than communities of color. So now some of your larger, um, private equity firms are creating opportunities and, and, or creating part partnerships in order to look at ways to invest in minority firms, to grow them to scale and capacity, to compete for business with their major corporations. Traditionally, you’ve not had those type of scalable business who could compete in corporate supply chains. So there are, they’re looking at this now, as it’s no longer just an option in order to invest in non-minority companies, investing in minority companies and growing them to scale, there is some leverage and opportunity there that allows these firms to be scalable.

Constance Jones (16:09):

And I would say that, you know, I recognize and applaud N S D for the work that they’re doing in that space, because we actually created the first of its kind program. That’s allowing investment firms to invest in minority businesses, scaled to that size and continue their certification. And so we currently have a few companies that are actually trading on the NASDAQ that is still a certified business within SDC. That’s awesome. Right. That’s interesting. That’s huge. Yeah. Um, and so we’re, we’re working on ways that we can do more of that to, to be able to exhibit and show that minority businesses mean great business, not just big businesses, but great businesses that have a, a real major impact. And then you have, of course, the CEO who has a board and shareholders that they have to be responsive to. And so what we’re seeing is that when they make that pledge to, to say, we’re gonna focus, not just on supplier diversity, but, um, not just on business diversity within the organization, meaning from an employment standpoint, but we’re really gonna focus on supplier diversity. What they’re seeing is that the agility, the innovation of our minority businesses at actually allows them to increase market, share, have a dedicated, um, customer, you know, expand their customer base and also be a lot more competitive in the market. And so when we begin to have those discussions and, and be able to exhibit these types of things, they could really understand how those, how that impact really plays a huge value in everything that they’re focused on as well as still providing that good touch and feel, um, message out into the communities.

Kelly Barner (18:06):

Know what I like about what you’re pointing at out is that I think, and I’ll, and again, this is sort of my, like my bad in procurement. You know, we think so often that the most important way to help, uh, diverse businesses of all kinds is simply to award them with contracts and money is great. I mean, everybody wants more contracts and more money. It, it feels growth, but there is also a very different type of investment. And that is knowledge. It’s helping them scale as they get bigger, it’s helping them serve a large client. I mean, it’s a very different thing going from serving companies that are, they’re about to the same size as you to getting a really large enterprise customer and companies should go in expecting that if they really do wanna make a difference, it may require more than just the contract. What are the types of things that corporations can do to ensure that they go beyond signing the contract, paying the contract on time, all of those table stakes things to actually build a meaningful relationship with minority owned, diverse owned businesses so that they get the maximum value out of that partnership.

Constance Jones (19:19):

Yeah, that, that, that is a great question because that’s a change in mindset. That’s actually the stop looking at the firm as a supplier, but as a partner. And that’s the very first key into allowing and having sustainable relationships within corporations. So you’re right. It’s not just about that contract, but it’s actually about growing the capacity of these firms so that as they have that contract they’re in other areas of their business, that’s allowing them to become a real sustainable partner for that particular corporation. Um, it, it, it also allows our minority businesses to look at non-traditional areas that within the corporation may be of complex them, but they have partnered with this B E firm. That’s allowing them to show that they have the capability to be able to do work in those nontraditional areas. And so we’re finding a lot of that and, and it was very, um, we, we saw most of it during the height of COVID right.

Constance Jones (20:32):

You saw firms that started to pivot and, you know, we had, we had minority firms that was actually a distillery. Now they start, uh, creating that’s right hand sanitizer. Right. And so never in a million years, would they thought that they would be doing hand sanitizer, but they were able to leverage the knowledge that they had gained the capacity of work that they were doing with consumers to now be able to change and fit into a supply chain where there was having a lot of difficulties at the moment. And so it’s those types of, um, relationship building and partnerships that our corporations can seek out with these firms in order to help them do get business. A lot of that too, Kelly is when you look at a smaller firm, right. We hear all the time that corporations say, you know, it’s really difficult for me to do business with like a class one or a class two, especially in some of these high intensive capital market businesses.

Constance Jones (21:46):

Yeah. But it’s okay. Hey, to form, uh, an Alliance or create a joint venture type relationship with these firms to say, okay, we recognize that you may not have the capacity today, but if we partner you with one of our primes, and while you’re working on the business, you’re also in the business to grow your insurance requirements, bonding requirements, um, your infras, your back office infrastructure, your capacity and capability. Then one day you ultimately could be the prime. And, and so it’s really that out of the box, thinking that’s gonna get us at me slope.

Kelly Barner (22:29):

Now, one of the things, and I’ll admit, I, you know, I try to be positive. This particular thing is a worry for me. I see sort of two things happening at the corporate level that concern me about where supplier diversity may be going. Next one is that some companies are sort of folding supplier diversity up into larger ESG initiatives, where it’s competing for attention and resources and regulatory oversight with things like environmental sustainability, right? It’s a, it’s a very different kind of program than sustainability, but sometimes they’re getting concerned. And I worry that that takes our eye off the ball a little bit. When it, you know, again, back to that 333 or 15, I, I worry about not having dedicated attention on diversity. And the other is the undeniable challenge that companies and individual people are all facing right now, which is sort of the combination of inflation, fuel prices, uh, you know, shortages of labor. There are so many economic challenge is that we’re facing in parallel. How can we keep our eye on the ball? I mean, we can’t keep things the same things are never gonna stay the same, but with all of this competition for attention and emotion and energy and effort, how can we, we make sure we stay fixated on the pledges and commitments that we made, but also the work that needs to be done.

Constance Jones (23:50):

Yeah, I think that’s, I, I think, um, you hit the, you hit the prob you identified the problem, um, correctly. And I would say that we keep our focus by producing a scorecard, right? And so oftentimes we do get easily diverted from what the main goal of what it is we are trying to accomplish. But if you continue to publish a scorecard, then that’s going to drive the focus, right? Because no one wants to be embarrassed or no one wants to not honor the commitment that they’ve made to these types of programs. So even if it is under ESG or if they are, you know, having to switch their focus on other larger issues, if they know at the end of that fiscal year, they’ll have to produce a scorecard. That’s attached to the behavior specifically in this particular area, they, they will not lose the focus on that. And so that is again, partially the accountability role that we’re asking of our corporate members to be able to hold them accountable for making sure that they don’t lose sight of why we’re really here.

Kelly Barner (25:15):

And that’s such important advice because obviously the idea of accountability is something that everybody wants to work towards. But when you can get a specific, as, you know, you have a scorecard with different Cape APIs or goals, or however you’re managing your metrics and it’s associated with a behavior, I think that makes it easier for people to understand what they need to change about the way they work and think to also see the numbers on that scorecard shift, which is sort of the evidence of the effort that we’re putting in.

Constance Jones (25:44):

Absolutely. And, and when you start thinking of the, about it, like, think about the messaging a as you just said, and, and highlight it, you know, take some personal ownership in that. How, how would, how good is it, um, and how would you feel if you are saying that, oh my God, I’ve made such a impact in moving the needle on here, making a real commitment and adhering to that commitment in the 15 years that it will take to reach economic parity versus still just talking about it. That’s a warm and fuzzy story that anybody could get behind. And so it really allows the individual to take some ownership and how we, um, our minority businesses. So, yeah, I think, I think what you said is, is definitely spot on that. Being able to see that inside of your organization and understand your role, that it takes all of us to make a true commitment is, is really powerful.

Kelly Barner (26:45):

And once that mindset shift starts to happen, I think all of the communities that traditionally get covered by supplier diversity programs will see the benefit. But one of the things that I’ve also tried to understand better is, you know, we talk about supplier diversity. Like it’s one big program, but it’s, it’s really not. I mean, what it requires to move the noodle needle for disabled business owners, right. Is different than what it takes for veterans and what it takes to change. The, I don’t know, progress we’re making with women owned businesses is different than what it takes with minority owned or LGBTQ owned businesses. It’s all, you know, everybody sort of has strengths in different places and is trying to make progress and get representation for different reasons. What would you say is unique about minority owned businesses when compared to women LGBTQ veteran, disabled individuals, what is unique about the minority business community?

Constance Jones (27:48):

I would say that we cover all of them, right? That that’s what make us unique. I can be a minority woman, LGBTQ disabled vet, right. I fit all five of those criteria. So, so that’s the value in focusing on a certification that does ethnicity and covers all of those. When you look at the opportunity that a disabled vet or woman owned or LGBTQ plus, they focus on those individual things. But as a minority, I can focus on them all. And I, I, I think that provides a lot of value. And when we talk about representing different communities, we are representing all of them, right. It, it just happens to be a, our predominantly focus is on ethnicity. And so I think there’s room for everyone, right. I think, and that’s why we’ve made a concentrated effort under, uh, our new CEO and president’s leadership to partner with all of those agents. Because when we all come together, we really do identify and understand that, that there are a, a lot more similarities than they are differences. And, but each of our differences bring something wonderful to the table that really could help create some value in our corporate, in corporate America supply chain.

Kelly Barner (29:31):

Yeah. And, and it ends up being an interesting conversation because I think of the business owners that I’ve spoken to, and I’m just doing like a quick scan in my head. I think maybe only a couple of them did not belong to multiple categories, especially when you bring sort of the small angle into it. I mean, almost everybody cuz small doesn’t really mean sort of small in the neighborhood sense. So almost everybody fits into that, but then there are women, then there are veterans, then there are minorities, right? There’s, there’s such a cross section of representation within that group. I love the fact, I know there’s this sort of cross cause council that all of the different groups have come together and are working in, are there associated changes that we may be moving towards around how the certifications are managed? So that for instance, I, I don’t need to make the decision. Okay. I have to get a certification for being a woman and I have to get a certification for being disabled. So first I’m gonna get woman cuz more people seem interested in that and then secondarily I’ll get disabled. What order do I list them in? Um, should it be as separate as it is today or does their need to be some sort of a broader, more overarching? Yes. I am certified by a reputable organization as fitting into one or more of these categories to lower the administrative burden on suppliers.

Constance Jones (30:53):

Yeah. I think that’s always the goal. Right. I, I don’t, if, if I had a magic wand, I unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to, to figure out what that looks like yeah. For the future. But I would say that the ultimate goal of all of our organizations is to mitigate the duplicity of having to do the same things over and over again. So if I am a ethnic woman, LGBTQ disabled veteran, all of us ask for the same information from the standpoint of my, who I am and my business true. So if there was a way that all of that information could be captured so that I’m not having to put all that information in multiple databases and then whatever makes it particular for me to be able to certify that would, that would be helpful. Right. But we just don’t know the answer to that.

Constance Jones (31:57):

I can say that we are definitely looking at ways to streamline that process, not just at N M S D C, but um, with those other partners to see if there’s a way that we could actually help mitigate that. And um, you know, I always tell firms when, um, I was at the local level and they would ask me, does it make sense to get all these certifications? The first thing I would tell ’em is that’s a business decision, right? You have to understand what all those certifications are meant to do and how will they support your business and then understand how they work with your customer is your customer or your potential customer engaged within these organizations. And they want to see you there, if that’s the case then absolutely. Um, if that’s not the case, then look and see, are you really a advantage of all of the opportunities these different organizations have to offer? You know, it doesn’t help that. And I would always use the analogy of the gym. I could go out and give five gym memberships to all the largest gym locations. But if I never walk through the door, what good are the membership?

Kelly Barner (33:14):


Constance Jones (33:15):

Right. So it’s the same with these organizations. I can go out and get every certification that I’m eligible for. But if I’m really not utilizing the certifications to the best of my ability and effectiveness, that’s really gonna support my organization. Then what could are they?

Kelly Barner (33:35):

Yeah. And I will say, um, and I’ve said this to each of the businesses as well, the diverse owned businesses certified diverse owned businesses that are doing an excellent job leveraging their certifications would have been rock stars. If it didn’t exist, you know what I’m saying? It’s like, you’re either successful or you’re not successful. People work hard. People have great creative idea is, and you can see why the companies that are so effective at leveraging their certifications are just so well rounded, successful as, as business owners. But there has to be like you’re saying there has to be that business case there, right. Where they can connect in ability to get a specific customer or go government con contracts or charge a premium or demonstrate some kind of specific expertise. There does have to be a value proposition beyond simply the identity connection.

Constance Jones (34:30):

Right. I agree.

Kelly Barner (34:33):

Now, can I ask you, what advice would you give if I could bring you all of the chief procurement officers and are diversity officers for major corporations and make them sit and listen until you were done sharing your thoughts, what advice would you give them?

Constance Jones (34:49):

I would definitely say that so that minority business development in order to be effective for the next in the next 50 years has to become a business diversity problem and not just supplier diversity from the perspective of it has to get out of procurement and get into different lines of business within the organizations for them to stop thinking, even if it’s centralized or decentralized purchasing minority businesses is, are just suppliers, right? That that’s right. That we have to start looking at other areas within our corporations in order to be able to do business with those corporations. So we have people in professional services, we have lawyers, we have, you know, we have expertise and, and other nontraditional areas that, um, have the cap capacity to do business. And even if we don’t, we have the opportunity to start investing and those areas to create opportunities.

Constance Jones (35:55):

Forbes, think about it. If I’ve tra traditionally not had the opportunity to do business in a certain area and it’s capital intensive, why would that be the business that I want to start? Right. Right. It has high barrier entry, but it also has high return. But if I’m not even eligible to start looking at a contract opportunity, that wouldn’t be the best route outtake versus it’s easier for us to start businesses that are in very saturated markets, but then that’s when competition is extremely high. And so we have to start looking at some of these areas where there’s no minorities or little to no minorities start opening that up and having a discussion of why, and then what needs to happen in order for more minorities to, to, to be able to do their business. That takes, that takes even a, a bigger commitment because not only now are you’re looking at supply diversity teams to help you in, um, areas, you know, in general market areas. Now you’re saying let’s really look at technology and marketing and, um, finance in, in all of these other pieces. And, and that’s what I would share with them would be where do we go from here?

Kelly Barner (37:22):

Yeah. And it’s, it’s, it’s an excellent two excellent things that, that you point out there that it has to be beyond procurement. I, 100% agree with you. I think we have the, the tools and the process in insight and the opportunity to make it happen. But it, it has to be owned by everyone. It has to be bigger than, than just us. But I think, you know, and no one has said this to me so far. So I, you know, I love the access to new ideas is that we’re currently only looking for diverse own businesses where we can find them or be moaning areas where they don’t exist. We’re not stopping to ask structurally or systematically, why do they not exist in these areas? And what do we need to change? Because if skills and opportunity are truly equally distributed, then we should have sort of a complete scattering of where our tech CEOs come from and where our financial bind and right. But if we’re not seeing that more representative distribution, then there is something wrong in the system that can potentially be addressed.

Constance Jones (38:31):

Right? Yep. That’s, that’s spot on.

Kelly Barner (38:33):

Hopefully you agree with me that in this conversation, constant excelled at something that I’ve noticed as a trend among people and organizations who are successful in the supplier diversity movement, she is able to effectively combine her passion for diversity and minority-owned businesses with a solid grasp of the associated economics. And you can explain both well enough to win over even the toughest skeptics. That’s my point of view. Anyway, thank you for listening to this audio episode of dial P for procurement, but don’t just listen, join the conversation and let me know what you think on this topic or others. I can take it. Let’s work together to figure out the solution until next time. This is Kelly Barner for dial P for procurement on supply chain. Now have a great rest of your day.

Intro/Outro (39:23):

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 events@supplychainnow.com. Make sure you follow dial P four 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 four procurement.

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Constance Y. Jones is living her passion every day as the Senior Director of Field Services for the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). Headquartered in New York, NMSDC is the country’s leading business development organization focused on creating economic parity for systematically excluded communities of color. The vast network of 23 affiliate regional councils across the country, five international partners located in Australia, Canada, China, South Africa and the United Kingdom and buying entities looking to do business with minority suppliers share a common mission to advance business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) and connect them to corporate members. Constance devotes a significant amount of her time focusing on creating efficiencies and the effectiveness within the network to support our corporate member’s ability to create growth opportunities for MBEs. NMSDC is celebrating 50 years of supporting programming and growth opportunities for African American, Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Hispanic and Native American communities and has more than 15,000 MBEs and 1,500 corporate members in its network. Connect with Constance on LinkedIn.


Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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.

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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Vicki White


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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Allison Giddens


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.

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Billy Taylor


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.

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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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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 & Host

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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Tyler Ward

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!

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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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Mary Kate Soliva

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.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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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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Chantel King

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.

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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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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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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.

Donna Krache

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.

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