Supply Chain Now
Episode 770

The 'why' is knowing that if I continue doing this work, then I leave a better workplace than I inherited. And even the workplace that I inherited, there were people fighting so that I could experience it even better than they did. So I want people to be beneficiaries of my work - of my advocacy.

-Minda Harts

Episode Summary

Minda Harts has always been a fighter. These days, she’s fighting for equity in the workplace, particularly on behalf of Black and Brown women. Her invaluable insights are tools for everyone to improve how they show up to work in 2021 – whether that’s through being a better colleague, manager, ally, you name it. Luckily, you can get some of those insights directly from our conversation with Minda. Host Scott sat down with her to talk about her professional journey, the importance of asking for what you need and investing in yourself, and the story behind her forthcoming book, Right Within: How to Heal From Racial Trauma in the Workplace. Tune in to learn more about how to practice equity in everything you do – and leave the workplace better than you found it.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s very special show today’s episode. We’re finally interviewing one of our faves, a Titan and industry thought leader. More importantly, a doer that will inspire inform and entertain you and accomplished speaker author, educator, podcast, or consultant, a lot more passionately dedicated to helping women of color and others and all really reach their potential in the workplace she’s been featured on MSNBC’s morning, Joe fast company, the New York times time magazine and lots and lots of other big time publications. And now we’re featuring her right here on supply chain now. So join me in welcoming Minda, Harts, CEO, and owner of the memo, LLC, and author of the award-winning. Best-seller the memo. What women of color need to know to secure a seat at the table. Minda. How are we doing this morning?

Minda Harts (01:27):

Hey Scott. Good to be here. Thank you for having me. Well, Hey,

Scott Luton (01:29):

Thanks for carving some time out. I’ll tell you you’ve got a, you’ve been on the roll, which is so been so neat to see because there’s seven different aspects about your message beyond the importance of it that folks need to hear around the globe. So we’re great to have you here on supply chain. Now,

Minda Harts (01:46):

Listen, and I, you know, I talk about, I know we’ll get into it, but I talk about, you know, success partners having allies. And I just thank you for how you’ve shown up for me. So I just want to say thank you publicly.

Scott Luton (01:57):

Well, that means a ton and it really enjoyed the little bit of collaboration we had done previously. And I’ll tell you, I don’t know if your ears have been burning, uh, and we’ll probably touch on it a little bit later on, but you know, the quote you, you said about let’s make work work for everyone that was, we’ve shared that about a million times. So I probably owe you a royalty on that, but it’s, so it is such a perfect way of putting it. So let’s dive in more and let’s, let’s get some more quotes out of the one only Minda Harts.

Minda Harts (02:26):

Let’s do

Scott Luton (02:27):

It. All right. So before we get to our heavy lifting today, I want to get to know you a little better, and I want our, of course, our listeners to have the opportunity to get into, you know, get to know you a little bit better. So tell us first that, that always, that level-setting question is, Hey, where’d you grow up Minda?

Minda Harts (02:43):

Yeah, I believe origin stories are really important because it really sets the tone for, you know, where you’re headed when you understand where you started. And, you know, one thing that I don’t often share, but I’m going to share it here with you. Scott is that I was a premature baby, a three pounds, uh, when I was born and the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck three times. And so when I think about just being a fighter, right, and the work that I do now fighting for equity in the workplace, where I started is where I’m continuously on fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting for good. Right. And so I’m just so thankful that I was able to fight out of that situation to make it into my adulthood, um, to be able to fight for, for others and not just myself, but, you know, I grew up in Southern California for a portion.

Minda Harts (03:31):

And then my parents moved to Illinois, uh, where I went to college, um, undergrad. And I’ve had the pleasure of working in corporate America for 15 years before starting my own company, as you mentioned. And I think being kind of living out of a suitcase as a consultant has really allowed me to see the world and meet different people and realize that two things can be true at the same time. Some people experience one way of life and while others experience at a different way, even though we might all be living in the same place. Right.

Scott Luton (04:00):

Well, the gosh or someone’s asked you about right there. So you’ve been a fighter since the beginning of very, very earliest of your beginnings. I love that. Let’s talk about that. You know, moving, growing up in Southern California, if I heard you, right. And then moving to Illinois from a, a backdrop from a geographic, uh, what it was like, what, what, how big of a change was that for you?

Minda Harts (04:24):

It’s huge. Um, it was really a turning point because I grew up in a very diverse, in every sense of the imagination, um, going to school, seeing other people that look like me, you know, LA area out in the suburbs too, is very diverse. And so I didn’t even know that I was living diversity. Right. Scott, you don’t know that when you’re younger, you’re just like used to seeing, you know, a variety of people. And then when I moved to Illinois, we moved to a very small town where I was one of the only right. I could probably count how many, you know, people who look like me on one hand. And, uh, it was a different right, because that was the first time that I felt othered questioned if I belonged. And so I would feel that feeling for quite some time.

Scott Luton (05:07):

Would you say that that that was an instrumental, uh, experience for what you’re doing now and, and you still draw on how those experiences as you help others?

Minda Harts (05:17):

Yeah, I do. But it’s so funny because sometimes you start to normalize it right when you’re in it, you’re like, oh, I guess this is just my plot in life. Right. But I’m just always going to be the only one. When I went into my first job, I was the only one. And so you just start to normalize, not seeing anyone who looks like you, but then I realized, you know, this isn’t normal. There are tons of people out here who have similar skillsets and we can create more diverse tables, but it takes intentionality. So I had to unlearn what I started to normalize.

Scott Luton (05:47):

Okay. There’s so much there. And we’re going to get, dive in head first into that, just a second while we’re still humanizing, who Minda Harts is. I want to talk about grits and rap lyrics. Yes. They go together. Hand-in-hand so you’re obsessed with both. So let’s take them one by one first off grits, we’ve already established pre-show you don’t put sugar in your grits, which I was so relieved. So tell us, how do you make your grits or where do you go get them? Or why are you so obsessed with grits?

Minda Harts (06:18):

I love grid. So I’m on my mom’s side. We’re from new Orleans. And so my grandmother she’s from new Orleans and, you know, she I’d always grew up eating grits and butter and salt. That was the only way I knew grits for a, for a mighty long time, But she made them, so she still makes them so good. Uh, Scott, that I, my mouth is like a watering up thinking about them. Um, and so then, you know, my mom, she makes them really good and it’s so in our household we eat them. I was literally just with my mom last weekend, Scott, and she made me grits, you know, that’s my love language. And so it’s, it’s not good for my waistline, but it’s, it’s a good luck.

Scott Luton (06:58):

Hey, I love it. Uh, and it’s just simple things in life, of course, not quick grits, but real grits made by folks know what they’re doing. It is a bowl of grits like that is, is absolutely a pleasure in life. Um, okay. So, uh, you know, I’ve got a friend that lives down in new Orleans. Now. She moved down there from Boston and she, she also spent time with me as I grew up in South Carolina. And she took a picture, I think, of the grits out in new Orleans. Uh, and it was like 20 different varieties and she was celebrating how growing up or living in new Orleans beans, lots and lots of selections versus a lot of other places might have quick grits, you know, four different varieties. And that’s all you get. So one of the many, many luxuries of living in new Orleans, I imagine.

Minda Harts (07:44):

Definitely. All

Scott Luton (07:46):

Right. So now that we’ve established grits, let’s talk about rap lyrics. So, and your obsession there. I can’t remember the name of it. There’s a, a lips. There’s a, um, there’s a popular show that I think is lip sinking to, uh, rap songs. That’s just blown up. And I can’t remember who hosts. I came here with the title, but tell me about your rap lyrics, obsession.

Minda Harts (08:09):

Yeah. You know, grits and rap lyrics, like you said, they just go get together, brings a good bowl of grits. And you know, when I was having really tough times in my career, I really relied on music, right. To get me through the day or what have you. And I’ve just really ever since I was young, just really during times of joy and a pain music has always been just like a soundtrack to my life. And my first book, the memo actually comes from a Drake line that said, did y’all boys not get the memo? And I took that there. My second book, right within comes from Lauren Hill, how are you going to win if you wait right within. And so I do use rap lyrics in my, in my work. And they’re just so powerful. They tell a different story that maybe sometimes we can’t just through regularly articulating it.

Scott Luton (08:55):

I love that. And also this is a see if we can get a shot here, the memo, which, uh, as I shared with men the earlier, you know, your there’s cat napping and there’s cat reading. So I’ve been, I’ve been cat reading this book quite a bit, and I love how you sprinkle in a lot of references to those artists and some other artists throughout the different chapters. And we’re going to, I’m going to ask you a few questions around that. Here’s a tip. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this Minda.

Minda Harts (09:18):

I was talking about this with some folks in our team here. So one of my first rap albums that I still love is a tribe called quest. I think the low end theory. And there’s a wonderful documentary on Hulu. I think it came out in 2017 and it really dives into their journey and just how impactful they were really across music. So are you your tribe, a tribe fan? Yes, I do appreciate it. I was a little, um, younger when they hit the scene, but I do appreciate the music and they inspire a lot of the artists that I listened to today.

Scott Luton (09:52):

Absolutely. I’m with ya. All right. So we’ve established the grits and rap lyrics obsession, and what’s behind it and really how that continues to feel you here today, which I love, I love how you baked that into these, uh, these, uh, books that you’ve authored that folks just can’t get enough of. They’re like really good grips from what I can tell folks can not get enough of what you write. So we’re going to touch on that momentarily, but I want, I want to shift over now that we’ve kind of talked about your personal journey, where are you from? And kind of some of those part of it, what made you, who you are, let’s shift over to your professional journey and, and, you know, we don’t, won’t be able to give it justice in the brief time we have you here today. So I want to focus on prior to what you’re doing now, all the things you’re doing, when you think of that traditional professional journey, what were a couple of roles or experiences that really shaped who you are?

Minda Harts (10:39):

I, you know, I think about my first role Scott, uh, when I left college and went into corporate America, the one job that I was able to find was an administrative assistant at a fortune 500 company. And then it wasn’t the job that I always thought I’d have right out of college. But what it did teach me is soft skills, how important soft skills are, right? But paying attention to detail, communicating with people, um, being thoughtful, being empathetic, all those sorts of things that sometimes we don’t necessarily talk about out loud, but those soft skills really prepared me to do the work that I, that I would do after that first role. And so I’m glad that I had it at the time. I like hated every minute of it, but, but I realized that it, it cultivated something in me and it helps me be able to multitask. And again, a lot of those soft skills. Um, and I think we do need roles that push us and stretch us, and that aren’t always ideal, um, to help see what we can really do and produce.

Scott Luton (11:37):

Uh, let me ask you a quick follow-up there as someone that bus tables and waiting tables throughout college, and I had some other roles in my professional journey where you’re almost invisible and if you weren’t invisible folks just didn’t treat you very nice. Anything that was that part of your experience as an administrative assistant?

Minda Harts (11:58):

Yeah, I think partially the reason why I probably hated it so much is because people would treat us invisible or they would, you know, you’d be working with someone at the front desk and then somebody would just like, come in and just like throw stuff on your desk. Like they didn’t even treat you like a human being and, um, or they’d be like, oh, that’s just the admins. You know, I’m low on the totem pole. And I felt that in my, in my peers felt that as well. And I think that, you know, it’s so important that we realize that everybody has a role to play. And like you mentioned earlier, how do we make work work for everyone? We should be thinking about the janitor to the CEO. Right. And how everyone is experiencing that workplace and how people are treating them for doing that role.

Scott Luton (12:38):

Well, put very well put, we’re going to ask you about some Eureka moments in a minute, but any, any other role that really sticks out, uh, from your earlier aspect of your journey?

Minda Harts (12:48):

Yeah. You know, another role that I had for a very long time, uh, right. Really before I left and started my own, uh, because I was in it for so long was a consultant and I would travel to on-site with a client and I’d be on site from anywhere from six months to a year or more. And it really taught me to be flexible Scott, because, you know, I’d be having a meeting with you today and then tomorrow I’d be in, you know, Boston, right. It just, it just depended where I would go and being flexible, I think really helped me, um, not get so much in my head, not realize that there’s more to work than just the work I’m doing now, but how it might lend to other opportunities. And I think, again, it’s just nice to be able to know that you can experience different things.

Minda Harts (13:31):

And, you know, I had biases Scott that w there was one place that I was assigned to. I’m like, oh my God, they probably don’t even have anyone that looks like me in this, in this sound that I’m going to. And, and I would tell myself a story, but what I found is that once you, just because you may not see someone who looks like you are identified with you, you actually have more in common than you might think. And so I allowed myself to take those biases out and get to know people on a human level like we’re doing right now.

Scott Luton (13:59):

I love that. I think as humans, we all make assumptions. It kind of comes with the territory, but going back to what you shared about being flexible, I think that’s one of the toughest lessons to learn as a fellow entrepreneur. You know, one little wrinkle of overall flexibility I think is, is when you, when you lock a schedule in right using outlook and it’s there, it’s locked in, everybody’s accepted it. And then an hour before it has to get rescheduled and, and being able to, to not only make that adjustment, but then use, you know, make the best use of that time, that all of a sudden you’ve got. And then of course the ripple effects it has on the rest of the day or that week, or what have you. That is really, if you’re not geared that way. Uh, I don’t know if you were, I know I wasn’t, I had to really learn how to learn that component of flexibility, but it can, I can only imagine when you, when you, when you add travel, as you are speaking to to that, because then you’re kind of, you can find yourself stuck in a city for a little extra time, or, or, uh, and also, as you mentioned with out as many fans, as you put it, folks that look like me, you know, how was that when you found yourself in, in cities or companies where there weren’t as many, uh, there wasn’t as much diversity across the community or the, um, the organization.

Scott Luton (15:21):

How did you, um, how did you find yourself making connections with others and getting past that mindset that you kind of spoke to? How did you have any go-to practices there?

Minda Harts (15:33):

Yeah, that’s a great question. I, you know, so I kind of alluded to it for a while that I just thought, well, this is probably normal. I’m just always going to be the only, um, because the places I was working were being intentional about creating more opportunities for diversity. Uh, so when I be working with a company that wasn’t diverse, then I’d be placed at a client that wasn’t that diverse or none at all. And then I’d be in a, in a city or a state that wasn’t that diverse. It definitely felt, you know, suffocating at times, because you do want some pieces of your life to, to reflect, you know, who you are and those sorts of things. But what I did decide to do was say, you know, just because someone may not look like me, or we might not be around the same age, or we don’t listen to the same music, maybe they even put sugar in their grips. If I get a chance to get to know them. Right. Um, if I put myself out there a little bit, I might uncover that we have more in common than, than I might think in, same for them. Right. And so I put myself out there and I am a type a personality Scott. So these sorts of things are very, you know, difficult times, but I realized that flexibility, I needed that, and I was actually better for it when I stopped putting myself in a box.

Scott Luton (16:42):

Gosh, there’s so much in what you just shared there that I think are wonderful lessons learned that we can all embrace and be better leaders, better team members, better people. And I think one of those things that you shared there is putting yourself out there, you know, being, being a little bit vulnerable and understanding that to meet people and to build relationships, we got to put a little skin in the game and that’s not always going to be rewarded. Right? Some, some folks are not going to reciprocate. Is that what your experience was?

Minda Harts (17:09):

Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, some people may be thinking the same thing when they see me, right. Or they might look at us Scott and say, what, what, what could they possibly have in common? And, and we found that we both love grits, but we love business. Right? We hope we love a whole bunch of things, but if we walk past each other on the street, we might not know that if we don’t speak to each other. Right. And I think that just in the workplace, we have to give people that space and grace to get to know people, not just based off of like the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover. When we judge books by its cover, we never get to know what that story is really about.

Scott Luton (17:45):

Beautifully said, man, beautifully set. And who would have thunk that grits is the topic that keeps on giving. I mean, we’re going to reference that probably a thousand times. I want to shift over and you’ve already started to share some Eureka moments that, that probably still resonate with you today. And I’m sure it resonates with some of our, our listeners. And I want to make sure if folks go check out this and what’s already a bestseller, uh, always already has won a ton of awards. Uh, the memo, what women of color need to know to secure a seat at the table. You see, I’ve got my, some of my, uh, my, uh, dog ears on it. Cause I’m a reference that in a second. And of course you can find that anywhere, anywhere, and we’ll make sure we have some links in the show notes to help you one click away, find that. All right. So before we move on and talk about some of your projects and some of your, why anything else from our Eureka moment, especially from, well, you know, we’ve already kind of touched on earlier part of your journey, any other Eureka moment you’d like to share with us Minda?

Minda Harts (18:38):

Yeah. I think one last you Rica moment. And you know, as we get older, we find so many of them, right, Scott, but I think the one is that success is not a solo sport, you know, for so long, I thought that I could do things by myself. I could climb the ladder by myself, just work hard. Right. And yes, you do need work ethic, work ethic, but you also need, um, a network, right? Who are the people that are speaking your name in the rooms that you’re not in, who are thinking of you when, when you have projects or can connect you with things. And I realized that I did, I couldn’t do my career justice all by myself. I needed other people. Right. And I needed a diverse group of people to obtain that. And I still need that. And so I think I’m glad that that was one moment that I realized that no, I, and I don’t have to do this alone. There are people who want to help. Um, but they need to know how. And so I think again, kind of thinking about who can we help and who do we need help from? And it’s so much better when you have people who are invested in your success as well.

Scott Luton (19:35):

I love that Minda and folks. I know that here we talk about supply chain a lot, but I would argue that what Mendez sharing is universal, uh, there’s a lot of timeless truths and there’s also a lot of new truths that she’s sharing that we can all lean into and become better leaders and better practitioners, regardless of what sector you’re in. So, okay. I want to shift gears a, I bet you’ve got several clones because you have got a ton of projects going on and I don’t know how you get it done men. I really don’t. Especially at the level, you know, at, at, at, at level of, from a quality standpoint, from an impact standpoint, it really has been remarkable before I ask about your, why what’s been at, uh, out of all the different projects you’ve got cooking, what’s been one of your favorites.

Minda Harts (20:25):

You know, I think probably my first book, the memo that you referenced, because, uh, I realized that the workplace could work for everybody, but everybody doesn’t know how others are experiencing the workplace. Right. And so for me to use my voice and stories and share those, that of women that I’ve interviewed was really important to me because I realized that we can be intentional about creating equitable workplaces. And so I think, you know, your first child’s got is always special, right? So my first, my first job, um, but it was really where I found my voice in a way, because I used to think I didn’t have one, but we all have a voice. We just have to decide how we want to use it. And, and I’m glad that I used it because if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be doing the other projects I’m doing today.

Scott Luton (21:09):

I love that. And I love how Frank it is and practical and real, you know, if we’re not having some of the challenging conversations, some of the uncomfortable conversations, we’re really not doing what we need to be doing it. Would you agree with that?

Minda Harts (21:26):

I agree. I hope that we can normalize what we’re calling courageous conversations and they just become conversations, right. That we’re just used to having that they don’t have to be shrouded in fear or, you know, somebody’s calling me, you know, a name or they’re not seeing me. No, actually we’re talking about this because we need to get to a resolution, right? Not because you’re a bad person or I’m a bad person, but because we want to make the workplace better than we found it.

Scott Luton (21:51):

So own that it’s a perfect segue. I can assume a lot of what you’ve shared already and assume what your why is for what you do. Right. You know, at the core, but you know, fighting a workplace inequality and serving as a strong advocate, I would argue for everyone, but especially women of color in the workplace. But those are just my words. What is your, why, what at the heart of it? What forces you out of bed every morning, forces you through those tough days where, you know, they’re 14, 16 hour days keeps you going, what is that?

Minda Harts (22:25):

Yeah. I love this question so much, Scott, because I think that’s what keeps us going, is constantly reminding us of our why. And even when I’m tired after those days, or, you know, currently I’m on book tour, I am tired, but it’s the why that gets me up. And the why is knowing that if I continue doing this work, then I leave a better workplace than I inherited. Right. And even the workplace that I inherited, there were people fighting so that I could experience it even better than they did. Right. So I want people to be beneficiaries of my work of my advocacy. And so that is my why, knowing that we can make, I can leave a better workplace than I found it. And somebody else can experience it much better and have managers who are invested in their success,

Scott Luton (23:06):

What an incredible legacy. I love that answer, but really there’s gonna be folks that benefit in all aspects of these times, we’re living, we’re working through whether it’s workplace related or societal, uh, related or anything else. And, and really they’re all related together. But it’s such a beautiful answer because there can be lots of folks that have other opportunities or, you know, just having a conversation with the dad references a couple of times now. But, uh, I, I was meeting with several manufacturing practitioners and they had gone to the women in manufacturing summit. That was a recent event. And one of their key takeaways, one of the panelists told me that big message she wanted to share with the listeners is you don’t need a, I’m going to put it in my words. It was basically, you don’t need a permission slip. You don’t need permission from anybody. If you want to take a right turn and do something else for a career or whatever it is, you don’t need permission. And that really to see her share that and how she has recently as she put it own that. And now that she wants to have other folks that have that same epiphany is there seems to be lots of parallels between that and some of what you’re doing.

Minda Harts (24:09):

Absolutely. I agree with that. And I think when we wait for permission slips, we never get the work done, right. Because we’re waiting for somebody to say, yeah, it’s your turn to do this. And I realized that that’s not how we, if we just wait, it may happen, but it’s going to take a lot longer than if we are intentional. And also when people see that you’re moving in your purpose or are taking a left or right turn, then it also shows them what could be for them as well, role modeling that practice.

Scott Luton (24:36):

So let’s talk about, you know, we all have a blind spot and it’s part of being human. Others are that, uh, I’m a little bit slower than some, my blind spot might be a lot bigger than, than other folks. But you know, when it comes to specifically workplace inequality, if you think about your experiences or data, uh, other observations, you know, that, that all have come via your journey, what are some of those things that might surprise some of our listeners that, that, uh, you know, have assumptions like a real human?

Minda Harts (25:06):

Yeah. You know, I think that’s an important thing to notice that, you know, sometimes we’ll say, well, no, that, that can’t be, but we have to also know that we don’t show up as that person every day. Right. So some of the things that they’re experiencing may not be the same things that someone like yourself might experience. Right. Scott. And so I think also understanding, again, that two things can be true at the same time. I may never experience, you know, you may never experience racism, but I might. Right. Um, and when I do bring that to you, hoping that you’ll have a courageous ear to hear what I have to say in my experience, but what I think is most important that people may not understand is recently there was a report that came out and because I do a lot of work around black and brown women, this statistic really has stuck with me is they interviewed, um, black employees as they’re getting ready to return back to, um, you know, in person working or hybrid models.

Minda Harts (26:01):

And 53% of black employees said that they felt like they belonged at their companies for the first time Scott working from home during the pandemic. And that if I’m a leader hearing that I would take a strong look and say, Hmm, I wonder if some of my employees who, you know, are black or brown feel similarly. And if that is the case, what am I doing to make a, make the return back to not normal, but better. Right. And, and again, and I think sometimes we’ll say, well, no, that can’t be here, but again, how would you know that if you’re not a black employee? So sometimes we like to make generalized statements for what’s not happening here or what is, but knowing that we can be working at the same place and experience that workplace different. So knowing that it’s not saying we’re bad people, it’s saying, how can we make it more equitable? And I think if we all look through that lens, that humanized lens, then we’re solving problems for everyone, not just a select few

Scott Luton (26:57):

Completely agree with you completely agree with you. And I think part of that is, um, is being honest with ourselves, you know, that, that unconscious bias, I dropped something about that on LinkedIn, uh, or one of the socials it’s been probably a year or so now. And holy cow, Minda folks were coming out of places and making comments that I never expected. There was a big passion agreement. And then there were some really passionate disagreement, ah, goodness gracious, but we’ll save that topic for another time.

Minda Harts (27:30):

But my life is

Scott Luton (27:32):

Really, really well, Amanda, the courage that it takes to do it, you do, because I bet my, my assumption is as you hear from a variety of people and, and they’re not always very nice constructive messages and that’s probably putting it very, very nicely. Huh?

Minda Harts (27:53):

Yeah. So it’s not, not, it’s not always fanfare.

Scott Luton (27:58):

Well, you know, I hope that’s just more fuel for what you did. All right. So, so really quick. So I’m gonna shift over to your new book, but man, there’s so much in this one, uh, the memo, you’ve got a chapter here, no money Mo problems. And you, you, you kind of start near, near the front, your wonder years, my wonder years, as you say, you talk about, I think I can mention dairy queen, and I think it was your, your a bank applying for your first job, which we can all, we’ve all been there. Right. You know, and I can base the pay rates you use. I think we’re really close in age. Mine was at a grocery store. I where my first job was at 4 35 an hour, I believe. But if you can share a little bit of that story and then the negotiating lesson learned there, if you would.

Minda Harts (28:42):

Yeah. You know, I think asking for what you want, I think regardless of race, gender, it’s a scary thing, you know, to be able to do that. But some of us don’t know that we even can ask for more. Right. And so I was talking about, and then this particular chapter that I was advocating for myself, even when I didn’t know that that’s what I was doing. I just knew that I’m not making enough money. And the part of the equation that I can solve is what I asked for. And I take that principle into everything that I do Scott. And I tell as many people as I can, like, I can’t, I can’t predict what you’re going to say to me is yes or no, or maybe, but what I can do is asking for what I need. Right. And then if you make a decision not to, that’s fine, but I still win because I asked.

Minda Harts (29:26):

Right. So I think that, um, part of that is understanding part of equity, right? No, one’s going to know how to help you in the workplace if you don’t communicate what you need. And, and I, I’m glad I learned that lesson early on with money because as entrepreneurs, you know, Scott or you’re closing deals or putting together contracts, it’s very important that we’re clear on what our deliverables are and what we’re asking for. And, um, and I think that’s very important. And when we’re thinking about equity also as managers, making sure that we’re also being equitable to our employees, et cetera. So, you know, no money, more problems, it’s a problem with we all don’t get what we need.

Scott Luton (30:04):

Agreed, agreed. And, and there’s so much more there. If you look at a lot of different wage reports and research on there’s so much more, we’ve got to move the needle a lot faster globally in a variety of sectors. One other quick question, because I want to own up to protect your time too. I think the following chapter is invest in yourself and what that is such a, I think a universal lesson learned and you know, some of us, some of us don’t learn it until later in our careers. Some folks, uh, uh, thankfully have that Eureka moment early in their careers. Hey, no, one’s gonna take care of me better than me. So speak to really quick, the, um, the power that is investing in yourself.

Minda Harts (30:47):

Yes. I’m so glad you mentioned this. And also too, I’m glad that, you know, thank you for reading the memo, Scott, because we write books like this, not just for women of color, but for everyone, because again, how will, you know how to be a good manager, colleague, friend, ally, et cetera, if you don’t know the experiences of other people. Right. And so I think it’s so important that we educate ourselves on, especially people who may not identify the way we do. And one of the, like you said, universal points of investing in ourselves is so important. Because for me, I realized when I was in corporate America, that I wanted a seat at the table and I started to look around the room and say, what are the skills that they have that I need? Right. So when my, my time does come, I’m prepared.

Minda Harts (31:29):

And, and I was very much an introvert and I still am. A lot of people may not know that about me, but I was very nervous. You know, I’m the person who would walk into a meeting and like sit in the back, right? Like, I don’t want anyone asking me any questions or anything, you know, I’m just happy to be here. But what I realized was, again, I need to use my voice. How do I shape a room? If, if people, if I don’t speak right, I’m in the room for a reason. So I need to activate that. So long story short, I invested in public speaking because I realized that if I’m going to be in these meetings in the future, I need to be able to gain, buy in. I need to be able to do presentations. I need to feel comfortable using my voice. And I’m so glad Scott, that I invested in myself because I had no idea, you know, 10 plus years later, I would be being paid to speak, you know, for a living, but I’m glad I had those early tools. And so, you know, always bet on you

Scott Luton (32:23):

What a wonderful message that is. And I’ll tell you, gosh, if you’re an introvert in, in our, you know, handful of experiences, cool, calm, collected, and deliver a sound that’s worthy of, of Hollywood or a bestseller or whatever, I mean, you would never have guessed. And when I heard you say some, there are some, there is, is, you know, pushing yourself while investing yourself. You’re also pushing yourself out of that comfort zone because you wanted to do more. And gosh, I’m, so we’re also glad that you did so. So folks, if you’re listening to that, you know, uh, there’s so much to be learned from this conversation. And while, you know, some of these Eureka Eureka moments and lessons learned are easier than others, you know, don’t be, you know, what we’ve learned here as well is, uh, you know, we all have head trash, right?

Scott Luton (33:12):

Some of us had more of it than, than others. And sometimes that can be the biggest, the sandbags you put around your, your own ankles could be the biggest barriers to moving forward that you can have. So I love your message, uh, Minda. And I really appreciate your time here today. I want to talk as we start to wrap, I want to talk about right within your latest, soon to be bestseller and chart climber. So tell us if you could T two, two questions, con com compare and contrast is a bit to your first baby, uh, the memo, which has gone over so well. And then secondly, what are the core messages that you really want folks to pick up from the second book?

Minda Harts (33:50):

Yeah. Thank you for asking. So the memo was really important to say, Hey, we don’t all experience the workplace the same in here’s what it’s like for black and brown women want to give you an insight to that. But also if you are a woman of color to feel seen, right? Because we don’t always have books that talk about our experiences. So that was really important to share that narrative right within. I realized Scott, after being in my former life for 15 years, I had a lot of scars from toxic workplace environments. And I was taking that trauma from being in toxic workplaces, into every other aspect of my life. And it was starting to distort who my authentic self was, because again, I was normalizing that type of behavior and treatment, and I realized that I needed to address that. And I wanted to also let those who identify similarly, as I do to say, Hey, you deserve better, right?

Minda Harts (34:46):

You deserve a table where you don’t have to experience any type of trauma, but also let’s talk about managers. How do we create psychological safety back to how do we make work, work for everyone? And I think, you know, having those courageous conversations, we don’t create psychological safety just because we say it three times, fast pace, it takes intentionality. And so, you know, I’m asking there’s a manager’s pledge in this book, I’m asking managers to be thoughtful about what it’s like to practice equity in everything we do, right. Committing to that. Even when you make a mistake, you’re committing to be a better manager, right? We don’t want to return back to, you know, being our firmer version. We can be better managers, right. With additional tools in our toolkit. And so this book is just a holistic view of how to heal broken relationships in the workplace.

Scott Luton (35:37):

Is it sounds like this is really also a very Frank where you’re sharing a lot of your, you know, the, those not so great moments that, that scarred you for the, you know, the rest of your career. And how, how do you recover from that sounds like a pretty personal expression where you’re sharing quite a bit. Huh?

Minda Harts (35:54):

Yes. I would say that, you know, for some, as you said, they think the memo was Frank, but we actually dive into the deep end of the pool for right. With,

Scott Luton (36:03):

You know, and how are we gonna, how are we gonna move forward? You know, because as you, as you said, I think one of the great truths here is there can be, uh, I’ll just take two. Things can be true, you know, because of how we perceive things because of how we’re experiencing things. And, uh, if so, how can we lean into how, how other people’s truth so that we can actually make some progress? So I look forward to, uh, working my way as I finish up the memo, working through right within, and folks can get both of these books everywhere, right?

Minda Harts (36:36):

Everywhere, wherever you like to buy your books. I even read the audible, uh, both books. So if you want more of my voice where it’s not, so scratchy go to go to audible.

Scott Luton (36:46):

Well, and I think we, as we established pre-show, I think that you and I both are kind of on the tail end of a little bit of a head cold because of all the weather changes this time of year. So I’m going to ask you, I hope you don’t kill me for asking this question, but your sense of humor is, as I’ve learned from when I first met you and you know, our laughs range did, were pretty buttoned down, right. And then as, as I follow you on social, especially on Twitter, I see your sense of humor, just shine through. And I love it. There was one moment, and hopefully you don’t mind me sharing this, or you got to kick out of it and it’s public, so I’m gonna share, but there was a moment not too long ago where you shared on Twitter that someone had as part of a fundraiser, they had offered up a date with you. And then let you know, after the fact and then asked, tell us, how did that go down?

Minda Harts (37:39):

Yeah. You know, Scott, I’m sure you get a lot of, uh, interesting requests that come through your inbox, but, um, they wanted to raffle off, uh, um, a date with me, uh, for a fundraiser they were doing, which I thought was really funny. Um, but they didn’t ask me like, are you single? Are you married? You know, like none of that, it’s just like, we want to do this. Will you say yes. And so it just is really funny, the things that, but it’s, you know, it’s flattering as, as I’m getting older, right. Scott, that people would want that. But, um, but it was, it reminded me not to definitely take myself so seriously, but as someone said in the comments, they’re like, why didn’t they just say lunch with you? I mean, that, that would have been better. Right,

Scott Luton (38:20):

Right. Oh gosh. I can only imagine some of, some of what you get from all around the globe as they consume your thought leadership and your experiences. Okay. And by the way, that reminds me of Groundhog day, that bill Murray movie, I think, I think that towards the end of that, he’s raffling off his date, a date with him or something. I can’t remember exactly. Funny movie. Funny movie. Okay. So Amanda, I wish we had two hours with you. I really, I think folks can learn so much and, and we can do so much more by leaning into, even if it’s uncomfortable, even if you can’t, it takes some time to wrap your head around that. And if you have a tough time identifying with it, whatever, whatever the, I don’t want to call it an excuse, but whatever that challenge is, I really believe what you’re doing is, is not only as helping us get through these, these, these really tough times, but as you’ve said earlier, it’s going to help, but, uh, folks get through it in advance and find themselves in better sets of circumstances in the years ahead. So really appreciate what you do. How can folks connect with the one and only Minda Harts?

Minda Harts (39:27):

Well, again, Scott, thank you so much for sharing the mic with me. I appreciate, uh, appreciate you as a thought leader in businessman. I find me go to Minda, harts.com and then engage with me wherever your favorite platform is. So look forward to hearing from

Scott Luton (39:42):

Awesome. Hey, be sure to check out these, these are just two of the projects, the memo, and right within wherever you get your books from. And thank you so much for your time here today. Minda Harts, one of a con uh, appreciate what you do. We look forward to re to, um, rubbing elbows again soon. Maybe, maybe exchanging some more grits stories down the road a little bit.

Minda Harts (40:04):

Well, hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy bullet grids together in the future. Scott.

Scott Luton (40:09):

Hey, I’m I’m with ya. Absolutely. Thank you so much. Minda and safe travels and hope. Hopefully we’ll we’ll connect in person soon. Folks. I told you it was going to be a special episode. Having seen men in action and hearing her stories, hearing her thought leadership, um, is it’s really special to sit down with her. One-on-one here today and learn firsthand. Hopefully you enjoy this episode as much as I have. Hey, be sure to check us out wherever you get your podcasts from supply chain now subscribe. So you don’t miss heavy hitting conversations. Just like this one. As I mentioned, make sure you connect with Minda, Harts, uh, find her or podcasts or books, her interviews, or keynotes you name it, uh, really around the world. Uh, be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter with all of that said, though, most importantly as we sign off here today, Scott Luton on behalf of our entire team. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed. Be just like me in the hearts. This place be the world. Be a lot better place. And with that said, we see you next time, right back here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (41:11):

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

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Featured Guests

Minda Harts is the CEO of The Memo LLC and an award- winning and best-selling author of The Memo: What Women of Color Need To Know To Secure A Seat At The Table. Minda is a Professor at NYU Wagner and hosts a live weekly podcast called Secure The Seat. In 2020, Minda was named the #1 Top Voice for Equity in the workplace by Linkedin. She is an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar and has been featured on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Fast Company, The NY Times, and Time Magazine. Minda frequently speaks at companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Nike, and Bloomberg on topics such as Managing Diverse Teams, Courageous Leadership, and Advancing women of color in the workplace. Connect with Minda on LinkedIn.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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.

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

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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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Principal, Supply Chain Now
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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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Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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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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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

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Administrative Assistant

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Billy Taylor

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.

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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