Concepts like corporate responsibility and volunteerism are table stakes now, but that wasn’t always the case. In this episode, Kristi chats with Engage for Good Founder David Hessekiel about the evolution of doing good and how companies are using cause marketing and corporate citizenship to build a better world AND bottom line.
Welcome to logistics with purpose presented by vector global logistics in partnership with supply chain. Now we spotlight and celebrate organizations who are dedicated to creating a positive impact. Join us for this behind the scenes glimpse of the origin stories, change making progress and future plans of organizations who are actively making a difference. Our goal isn’t just to entertain you, but to inspire you to go out and change the world. And now here’s today’s episode of logistics with purpose.
Kristi Porter (00:34):
Hi, I’m Kristi Porter with vector global logistics, and we are here for another fantastic episode of logistics with purpose. And today I am joined by David HEK president of engage for good, who I’ve known about for almost a couple of decades now. And so I’m excited to introduce more of our audience to engage for good as well. So good morning, David, how are you?
David Hessekiel (00:56):
Great to be with you, Christie.
Kristi Porter (00:58):
I’m delighted that you’re here. This is gonna be a great conversation, an eye opening conversation and something we’re both super passionate about as well. So let’s, let’s shed some light, but before we get into all of that, let’s start with a little bit about who you are, your background and how you ended up where you are today. So tell us about your childhood in early years.
David Hessekiel (01:17):
Well, I’d be glad to, um, I grew up in New York. I’m sitting in my, in
Kristi Porter (01:23):
Bunk before you go with that accent. Yes. <laugh>
David Hessekiel (01:26):
Sitting here in the bunker, uh, where I’ve been working from home for 20 plus years. Wow. Long before it was pandemic right required. Um, but I grew up on long island. Now, if you’re making fun of accents, I didn’t say
Kristi Porter (01:41):
No. I love
David Hessekiel (01:42):
It. I didn’t say long island,
Kristi Porter (01:44):
Long island. Yes.
David Hessekiel (01:45):
Long island, uh, was the, uh, son of, um, of a doctor, an OB GYN, uh, and a, um, a very loving mother who had been a teacher, but then dedicated herself to, to raising our family, uh, and volunteer work. And I was the oldest of three kids. Uh, in fact, we just got together for a, uh, pandemic delayed celebration of my 60th birthday two and a half years in the making in California.
Kristi Porter (02:14):
So you still get to count it. Yes.
David Hessekiel (02:17):
And, uh, and I grew up, I was, um, kind of a, I’m not so smart, but sort of a brainy kid. I wish I was a great athlete life. Would’ve been a lot easier cause God, when you’re a, a kid and a tween and a teen, you know, how many points you can put on the board seems to make a lot of a difference, but that wasn’t me. I was much more of a theater nerd, uh, and a journalist. And what have you. And I think that I was really one of the things that really influenced me was my father, as I mentioned, was a, was a doctor. Yeah. And he, um, was always dedicating time to, uh, to, to serving underprivileged people at a clinic. Uh, he was a very strong proponent of, and uh, leader within, uh, his area in, in, in, in Brooklyn of planned parenthood. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, uh, both my mother and my father were civically involved in our town, in our, in our synagogue. And I always felt, and I think by virtue just of being a doctor, it’s a giving back yeah. Uh, type of profession. And so I always felt that that a meaningful life had a portion of it. Yeah. That was involved with that. And I think that always influenced me.
Kristi Porter (03:40):
David Hessekiel (03:42):
I went to school at a, a liberal arts college called Wesleyan mm-hmm <affirmative> and, uh <laugh> and I spent, and perhaps we’ll talk about that in terms of my professional journey, but many, many, many, many years trying to figure out exactly what I would do. And there was always this, this nagging part in my mind. I probably would’ve been easier if I’ve just said, just show me the money <laugh>. Uh, but I always felt that I wanted to serve both masters in terms of commerce and cause yeah.
Kristi Porter (04:13):
I relate very heavily to a lot of what you said. Thank you for that. So I’m curious, you said your mom was also interested in giving back and volunteering as well as taking care of the family, your dad, obviously you talked about that as well and kind of talked about an overarching influence. Is there any specific instance that stands out in your mind as far as leading you one way or the other, or really pulling on that cause side versus the commerce side?
David Hessekiel (04:37):
Well, uh, as I said, I, I kind of, um, jumping ahead sort of to my professional journey, it, it was not always easy for me to figure out what was the right thing. Sure. Um, and I found a lot of satisfaction in, first of all, I’m not a Saint, nobody has ever compared me to mother TOA <laugh> and, uh, I, I, uh, fairly early on came to the realization that I, I wanted to have my cake and eat too. I wanted to have meaning yeah. Also wanted to be able to support myself and my family in a manner where, where we would be comfortable. Right. Um, and so, but those things were, were, were, were always pulling at me. And I always sort of played at the fringes of organizing. I, I had lived in Mexico for a while, for example. And I came back, there was a horrible earthquake.
David Hessekiel (05:32):
I created, I was dating my wife. We were living in new, in new Haven as newspaper reporters. At the time I created margaritas from Mexico, love it, going to a Mexican restaurant and saying, Hey, how about if we had created a happy hour in which the price of the drinks was, uh, given to, to charity to help help these sorts of people. Awesome. So there were a lot of littles as opposed to one sort of Bango moment in which yeah. Uh, I, I, I, I saw that, but I, it, it was a, it was a constant refrain of trying to find some meaning.
Kristi Porter (06:05):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah. I completely agree with that. And I would have shown up to that fundraiser. That is amazing.
David Hessekiel (06:10):
<laugh> well, we’ll have the drinks at some time, perhaps at the next
Kristi Porter (06:13):
Yes. Next time you stop by Atlanta. For sure. Um, so I’m curious also, because you said much, like many of us, uh, you’re struggling to figure out what to do. Things are pulling you in different directions. That’s a constant refrain for many of us growing up in those formative years, young adult years, while you’re studying and everything. What would you say to David at that point in your life now, looking back, what kind of advice would you give him to say, just hang in there, hold with it. It’s gonna work out.
David Hessekiel (06:40):
Yeah. Well, the, because, because there is at that time in your life, um, if you are wrestling with these issues, God, sometimes I went, oh my God, life would be so much, there are careers in which you say, okay, I’m gonna be a lawyer. Yeah. I’m gonna good grades. I’m gonna go to law school. I’m gonna work for a firm. I’m gonna chase the brass ring and become a partner mm-hmm <affirmative> and it’s much more laid out. If you gonna be a doctor. I have unbelievable respect for the, I mean, the years and years and years of study, not to be, uh, uh, uh, uh, integrated or, or, or, or, or, or minimized. Right. But there is a much clearer path. Sure. And, um, that wasn’t the case for me, cuz I didn’t know what that thing was. And so I dabbled in a lot of things. I was a journalist. I was, uh, I actually then went and got an MBA. I then worked in the magazine publishing industry, which at the time was a very strong industry and yeah. Is practically nonexistent. Now. Um, I worked for a, uh, consumer marketing agency. I worked for a, um, uh, a.com in the first.com booth.
Kristi Porter (07:54):
David Hessekiel (07:55):
And, and so all throughout those, uh, uh, things I was picking up experience mm-hmm <affirmative> uh, which in the end, this amazing collection, this hodgepodge of experiences led me to have the sort of Eureka moment where I said, oh, I could create this because I had studied acting. And I wasn’t afraid of getting up in front of a crowd. I had been a salesperson. And so I wasn’t afraid to go out and talk with people about being sponsors. Right. I had worked in the magazine industry where you focus a lot on what is called circulation in terms of getting people to sign up for things. And that is certainly the case in terms of, of registration. I had been a journalist and so I could write all of the copy that we needed some better than wor and some worse. So I guess the, the, the, the younger person, uh, if I was talking to myself at that time, I would say a couple of things.
David Hessekiel (08:59):
One is that, uh, really be a sponge and really apply yourself to learn. Yeah. Cause you will be shocked at what some of those experiences will turn out to be in terms of valuable experiences right later on. And then the other thing is life, even, you know, it’s easy to, to make it sound like all the people that we know that have more conventional careers, it, it was almost preordained. Right. And the more I talk to those people, or the more I, I learn about other people who’ve had success. The more I learned that it was a up and down curvy, uh, road yeah. To there. And I found that a lot of the things where I took more of a chance, um, paid off a lot. I, I left college and I spent a year and a half living in Mexico, working as a freelance writer, made a very small number of dollars if you counted it in dollars.
David Hessekiel (10:01):
But I was living in a country that was undergoing an economic crisis. And so every dollar blossomed into UN unfortunately for the Mexican people, a fist full of pesos and being a young, single guy, I didn’t really need a lot. And I would never in a million years to have traded that experience. Um, and other things, when I started the business that we’ll, we’ll, we’ll talk about some people, I, I had two kids, I had a mortgage. I had had a successful career in a number of different ways. And some people would say, oh, you are taking such a huge risk. And yet, by that time in my life, I saw that many people who had followed, especially the corporate role mm-hmm <affirmative> route, where once upon a time there was sort of a social contract that said, you’ll work for 30 years. You’ll get the gold watch. You’ll get the, and you can move on. I found a lot of those people had been left by the, by the side of the road by companies that said goodbye. Yeah. So that risk true. If you have faith in yourself and you’re fortunate, mm-hmm <affirmative>, you have to have a bunch of luck as much as the hard work is absolutely key. There is an element of luck. It, it, it, it really can, can pay great dividends and, and also psychic dividends. I love running my own small company.
Kristi Porter (11:26):
Yeah. Oh, that’s fantastic. I love, um, the advice of just soaking it up, being a sponge, learning as much as you can and moving it on. That’s what, um, I tell my team as well, there are a lot of skills you can teach, but I can’t teach somebody to love the company to love what we do to love, to learn and to want to grow. And so those skills just take you so many places in life. So I, 100% agree. I love that. And it sounds like,
David Hessekiel (11:51):
And one coded to that one coded to that, which cuz like you, I think I end up speaking with a lot of people who are trying to find what, what a, me, a meaningful career don’t diminish the importance of actually having skills. Mm-hmm <affirmative> because having a good heart and wanting to do cause work is fantastic, but a wonderful attitude and a love of your fellow human being is not enough for you to be asset to whatever entity you’re in. You have to know how to sell or market or code or what have you that plus that element of attitude make you a, a very valuable part
Kristi Porter (12:38):
Of it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah, I think so. And probably, uh, much like you, the PA even just the ability to write, um, has carried me decades <laugh> in my career. Just that one skill I can always lean on or when I watch, you know, multimillion dollar TV commercials and I’m like, oh, didn’t they have somebody proofread that <laugh>,
David Hessekiel (12:58):
Kristi Porter (13:00):
There’s always something to fall back on. For sure. So yes, that’s a great point as well. So we’ve hinted at what you’re doing now. So let’s talk a little bit about the history of it. You’ve changed names. It’s pivoted a little bit. You’ve certainly grown. Um, since I first became aware of you, um, a couple of decades ago, so tell people what engage for good is where the idea came from and what you’re up to
David Hessekiel (13:21):
Super well. So when we were together and we were so happy that you were with us yeah. In Atlanta, in may of this year, we celebrated our 20th conference. Amazing. Which absolutely blows my mind. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and when you go back to the very origins of what we do, um, which is bring together, uh, people from the corporate side, as well as from the non-profit side, all of whom are dedicated to the idea that companies can do well by doing good, there are a million catch phrases and yeah. Uh, and, and, and, and, and short hands for what we’re talking about. But the basic belief is, um, that you can, uh, create positive social impact while at the same time being a responsible, uh, manager of your enterprise. And there are many different ways in which this work can generate, uh, benefits for you as a company, whether it be on the employee side, in terms of attracting, retaining, motivating employees.
David Hessekiel (14:38):
Yeah. Or on the consumer side, whether it be developing a positive, uh, reputation, uh, interesting people in a particular promotional activity that you’re doing, uh, in a defensive way, sort of inoculating you so that if, because when with large enterprises of inevitably something goes wrong, you have some, some deposits in the trust bank so that people will perhaps look at you and go, okay, let’s look into this a little bit better as opposed to saying cynically, oh, these guys were just trying to get away with it. And they were, they’ve been doing miserable, terrible stuff all, all of the time. So originally, uh, I had done a number of the things that I described earlier. And I, I was, uh, the last, my last position was I was the CMO of a.com in the, uh, in the year 2000 at a time where free money.
David Hessekiel (15:39):
Yeah. Crazy money was chased being spent on anything that ended in.com, but we kind of raised our money for a site that would help small businesses. Uh, just as that window of insanity was closing <laugh> and you really had to actually show how you would make money doing this. Yeah. We struggled for about nine months to come up with a plan. And I think being, I was very proud of our small management team. We said, you know what? We really have not cracked the code. And we haven’t spent through all the money that the investors, uh, gave us let’s return some of that money and say, it’s it’s time to move on. So at that time, I, I didn’t wanna go back to the magazine industry. I’d been in the consumer promotion industry that I’d been in. So I, as so many people do hung out a shingle was a consultant.
David Hessekiel (16:33):
And I happened to get a lot of assignments from companies that were exploring what at the time was largely referred to as cause marketing or cause related marketing mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, this was the heyday of the breast cancer movement. Okay. If anything stood still long enough, there was a pink ribbon attached to it and unbelievable major programs were created. And there were other things that were created as well. And I started doing position papers and research for clients to say, what is this? What are best practices? And all of a sudden I went, oh my gosh. Yeah, there’s no place that pulls all of this information together online, which, although now it’s a part of our lives. It’s in our phone every moment of the day, but widespread availability of access to fast internet information was relatively new at that time. Yeah. There was a very easy way to amass an audience if you created a niche product.
David Hessekiel (17:38):
And so I knew that there were people out there who were interested on the corporate side, on the nonprofit side and someone on the supplier side as well in terms of PR agencies and others in how do you do this? Right? And so I to use a New York term used a, got a lot of SBA <laugh> and I said, I’m gonna start a company that produces a conference. And that produces, we used to call them teleclasses. Now we call them webinars. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, produces online information that has newsletters that has an awards program called the ha awards to bring together this community. And, uh, working out of my unfinished basement mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, uh, working with a designer who created a little logo for us. I went out and convinced a number of people, a number of players to sponsor us, to work with us. And we had our first, uh, gathering of what was then called the cause marketing forum in Manhattan at the Princeton club in 2003. Okay. And miraculously, in spite of all the rookie mistakes, I had never thrown a conference in my life. I’d never even printed a brochure. Um, 240 people from all across America came and they, at the end of the day, thanked me for bringing together this community.
Kristi Porter (19:04):
Yeah. Initial proof of concept. Yeah.
David Hessekiel (19:06):
And, and it was one, I mean, neck and neck with my wedding day, honestly, in how excited I was. Yeah. At doing something that people appreciated that I felt good about that was making a small contribution because my feeling has always been, if we’re pro harassing along good information, we’re helping people make connections, then they will do good work that will make a positive impact on, on the world. And so the cause marketing forum was born and we,
Kristi Porter (19:37):
So can we drop the name of, uh, some of those early adopters?
David Hessekiel (19:41):
Oh my God.
Kristi Porter (19:42):
Right. Thank them for getting the ball rolling.
David Hessekiel (19:44):
Well, I mean, back in the day it’s, it’s, it’s so interesting. Sure. I mean, back in the day, um, we it’s so much has changed. Yeah. The, the players are, are still in, in many cases doing wonderful work. But, um, so for example, at that first one we have, every year, we honor somebody with the golden Haer award. The first honoree was general mills.
Kristi Porter (20:10):
David Hessekiel (20:10):
The general mills does a lot of really good work, especially on sustainable agriculture fighting hunger, but in those days, some of their, they had, do you remember Boxtops for education?
Kristi Porter (20:22):
David Hessekiel (20:23):
You know, practic
Kristi Porter (20:24):
Seal on top of the cereal box. Yeah,
David Hessekiel (20:26):
Exactly. And they would raise tens of millions of dollars each year. Uh, through that corporate wide effort, they had yo play save lives to save lives and they raised millions being a premier sponsor for come and fighting breast cancer. Well, those programs and
Kristi Porter (20:43):
I still run that campaign don’t they?
David Hessekiel (20:45):
Kristi Porter (20:45):
David Hessekiel (20:46):
Long, I guess I just remember it one, uh, they had a Cheerio’s literacy campaign. They a number of, of other, other things. Um, most of which don’t exist anymore. Uh, but they were a super example of bringing those types of programs to life. Fantastic. And I believe in the first year, I believe that we actually honored Coleman cause they were so much at the forefront of forming corporate, uh, partnerships. Yeah. So, I mean, there, there were many, many, but those were, uh, those were two examples of a company and a cause that was involved early on over the years, we found that this field morphed and much, uh, very, very positively. Yeah. Because at the time that we got started, this was sort of a nice to do.
Kristi Porter (21:41):
David Hessekiel (21:42):
But a lot of people on both the corporate and nonprofit side felt like it’s not that serious, then they we’ll talk maybe a little bit about some of their, their, their hangups about it. Um, and so, uh, it, and it was also very, very much, uh, pro predominated almost exclusively to consumer facing programs. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> over the years, the focus of the people who work within our, uh, industry on the business side, they have been mandated to, to give a lot of attention to employees. Mm-hmm <affirmative> how do you engage employees? And so we eventually were changing the things that we were talking about at the conference adding to, I would say, right. Um, and so we, on our 15th anniversary rebranded as engaged for good mm-hmm <affirmative> to be a broader, more inclusive, um, uh, exploration of how companies can be a positive, uh, impact on society as well as, uh, running in a responsible, sustainable fashion.
Kristi Porter (22:53):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> yes. And it, yeah, it certainly evolved a lot. And as you said for the better, so you talked about your evolution. We take danced a little around the topic of cause marketing. And we were talking about this before we jumped on as well. So let’s talk about what cause marketing is social impact. If you would give a better perspective, because as I said, it surprises me sometimes when we still talk, use words like social impact or use phrases like that, people are like automatically nonprofit. Like, oh, if it’s a company, it’s just, they have, they must have a foundation. They must have something like that. But to be impact related, it must be nonprofit, which in 2022 is certainly not the case, but I’m, I’m curious, I wanna get your perspective because obviously you did some name change and some rebranding and all of that kind of stuff. So would you further define some of those topics for us and maybe give us some more modern illustrations as well?
David Hessekiel (23:46):
Sure. Um, so when you look at this field, um, and this endeavor, I think a big part of what is it, uh, illustrates the point that you’re making mm-hmm <affirmative> is how much has changed mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and it was starting to allude to this. It used to be, I mean, way back at the time, I cannot tell you how many times I had to discuss Milton Friedman. And I don’t know how familiar you are with and your a is with his work, but this was a very, uh, conservative economist who was quoted in a Sunday, New York times article back in the eighties, I guess saying the business of basically the business of business is business mm-hmm <affirmative> that the management is only responsible for creating shareholder value, right? And that any attention that they were giving to causes was really taking their eyes off of the ball and business leaders for years like the business round table, their manifesto, or whatever they call it in terms of their guiding principles.
David Hessekiel (25:06):
That would be prince. That would be the principle. And so early on, it was a bit more of a Renegade movement. Say, no, companies are judged by far more than shareholder value. Mm-hmm <affirmative> they have responsibilities to the communities in which they operate to the people that they employ to the people that they serve as their customers. And that it is important for us to have a healthy society, uh, to, to, to take care of that multi-stakeholder group. And that is the very core of what we’re about, which is to say being good is not enough. Yeah. But being good should be a prerequisite for being a successful, uh, player. You can’t as a business that rents cars, sales, boats produces chips, uh, what have you tackle every problem of the world? Uh, but having a consciousness mm-hmm <affirmative> and taking positive action, uh, to operate in a responsible matter and move the ball forward in terms of making positive impact is, is central.
David Hessekiel (26:36):
Yeah. So that’s sort of the, the, the, the basic ethos of what we’re talking about right. There is now, you know, there’s CSR and ESG and corporate philanthropy and strategic philanthropy. And, uh, it, it can get confusing there’s purpose. Uh, but all of these things ESG, I would say is really much more of a man of a measurement regime. Mm-hmm <affirmative> for some of the other things we’re talking about, but all of these are dancing around this concept that you have this responsibility, mm-hmm, <affirmative> to be a, uh, a positive player, uh, in the way you do business. And, and that is, that is the conversation that we’ve been having for, for years and years. Yeah.
Kristi Porter (27:22):
So let’s, well, first of all, do you wanna give a couple, um, oh, so many questions. Do you have a couple examples that you wanna give of people you think are doing it really well right now?
David Hessekiel (27:32):
So I think that really illustrative of how this field has changed, uh, would be taking and yet how some of it is similar. Sure. Uh, would, would be to look at the two folks, the two organizations that we honored mm-hmm <affirmative> at with the golden hill award at this year’s conference. Yeah. So starting on the nonprofit side, we have the Trevor project mm-hmm <affirmative> and, uh, for some of your listeners who may not be familiar with this organization, they have crisis intervention services, largely phone and text mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, that are dealing with, uh, uh, suicide prevention and mental health counseling for LGBTQ plus you mm-hmm <affirmative> and they, their rise and the amazing work that they’re doing, uh, really are stand out in my mind, especially looking at this 20 year swath of yeah. History that we’ve had for two reasons. One in the beginning of our journey, the, the rule of thump was that as a company who embraced causes, you would find the most UN non threatening, non divisive issues.
David Hessekiel (29:01):
Mm-hmm, <affirmative> fighting hunger who can be against fighting hunger, right. Fighting disease, uh, perhaps helping support education. And you, there were certain things that you just said, oh my God, this will turn off. So many people let’s just not go there. Okay. So issues of sexuality mm-hmm <affirmative> and sexual practice. Oh my gosh. Just wasn’t done. Sure. Um, and then secondly, issues of mental health. Yeah. We we’re, we’ve never been in our history, more conscious of this is a problem, especially because of the awful, awful impact that the pandemic has had on so many people’s mental health, but it just wasn’t talked about yeah. It was one of those things it’s important, but we don’t talk about it. Yeah. And here is an organization that takes those two on square on. And so it shows the enormous broadening of our fields. Right. The second thing is that in the early days there, we don’t have to preach this so much cuz I think PE non-profit organizations get it.
David Hessekiel (30:19):
But once upon a time, some nonprofits wanted to have their cake and eat too. They really didn’t want to do a lot of work to partner with companies. They would just say, yeah, you can use our name and, and make sure that you spell it right when you send us the check and that is not partnering, right. Those are not deep, meaningful relationships that should grow. And last for a long time, those are basically, uh, uh, promotional or yeah. Or just Phil philanthropic and philanthropy is great. Sure. But we’re talking about the field of working together. The Trevor project does two things. First of all, it realizes that even in the year 2022, uh, working on these two related these two issues, there’s a lot of education that needs to be done. And so they see their role as part of their forming of relationships with business is to be, uh, a, a, a partner in educating them and helping them understand how to, uh, relate to these topics.
David Hessekiel (31:29):
Right. And then secondly, some of their partnerships are so deep and fascinating in terms of really developing, um, assets and campaigns that can really help address the issue as opposed to simply being a check presentation ceremony mm-hmm <affirmative>. So for example, they worked with Google mm-hmm <affirmative> and they, uh, Google has an unbelievable volunteerism program where they will literally provide people six months leave, paid, leave to embed themselves in a nonprofit organization and, and attack that. And they, they worked on a massive overhaul of many of their internal systems at, at, at the Trevor project, which made huge, huge improvements in their ability to service their population. Sure. So that would, that would be an, an example of, of, of, of, you know, a much something that involved, uh, previously taboo subjects involved, a major well known organization, but working with them in a way to educate them and involved.
David Hessekiel (32:50):
Yes. Google also has given substantial money to the Trevor project, but has really found a to use their expertise and their, uh, and their assets yeah. To add to the equation. Yeah. Other honoree this year is a very different type of organization. It was ACE hardware and ACE hardware has been working for a couple of decades now on a number of fronts, but they’re best known for, uh, they are, they are, they are a, an organization, a col collaborative of thousands and thousands of, of retail hardware stores. And they have worked with children’s miracle network hospitals, which is a network of, uh, of children’s hospitals over a hundred around the country. And they work both nationally with them and then have all of their stores that are in a particular hospital’s footprint work, work directly with them. They’re very well known for very successful point of sale fundraising programs where you literally pick up your screwdriver or your grout or whatever.
David Hessekiel (34:02):
And then you go to the checkout and in the old days it was simply a employee asking you if you’d like to give sure. But now that field and ACE has been a real leader in, this has been, has integrated into the electronic point of sale, um, uh, apparatus that stand at the store. So that every time you, you look, it says, okay, you owe $5 and 47 cents. And would you like to give a dollar? Yeah. There are all sorts of techniques that they have helped, uh, to, uh, implement and that others have learned from along the way to make, uh, huge strides in terms of point of self fundraising. Plus although children’s miracle network hustles is by far, in a way, their number one, uh, charity, they too, uh, have built a culture that celebrates many different forms of giving back. Right. And one of the videos that we saw, you may remember this, uh, at the conference, which every year at the conference is at least one moment in which I’ve got tears running down my face 500%.
David Hessekiel (35:16):
And this was an example of a, uh, a franchise owner in Washington DC area who had a couple of different stores. And they have what is commonly called second chance hiring practices a lot in, in many, many cases, if you have a, a jail term on your, your record, uh, conviction, you’ll never get to square one on even getting an interview because it’s, you’re just knocked out. And this company, uh, had decided that they would allow, they would give people a chance who had this on their record. And then they were illustrating with this video, how some of those people had turned out to be very valuable employees. Uh, and that, that change on the very grassroots level, um, made a big difference. So a much more traditional player, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative>, but even they are in some ways, uh, dealing with issues that are very common and current right now, as we’re trying to create a more just society.
Kristi Porter (36:22):
Yeah. ACE was particularly interesting to me. I mean, I knew they were the helpful hardware store. Right. I know the jingle. Um, but, and I have certainly driven by them, but I didn’t. Yeah. I had no idea the scope of, uh, I am not handy in anyway, so I have not stopped in except maybe I think one year to get a key or something. But the, um, so I didn’t know much about them otherwise. And one of the things, especially working for logistics and supply chain company, couple of the other things that struck me, besides just all the great, you know, work that they’re doing was that they also, um, it’s not a franchise model. I think she said it was a co-op model or something like that, but to, you know, be involved with one of their stores, you also, you know, if you’re gonna open one of their stores, you have to commit to a certain amount of charitable giving, which I thought was phenomenal and fantastic.
Kristi Porter (37:06):
And then the fact that they also have, uh, like it’s a requirement for their suppliers, which I never heard of anything like that either. And so I really hope that that also takes off just from that industry perspective, because I thought, wow, that is really not only changing things, um, you know, inside their store and outside their store with their, their charity partner, but changing it on a basic supply chain level and, you know, really involving stakeholders that haven’t really been involved other than like human trafficking laws and, you know, workers’ rights and things like that. But to be able to bring them into impact and being able to grow their base of stakeholders, I thought was just really, uh, fantastic. And I hope something that continues to grow.
David Hessekiel (37:49):
Oh yeah, no. And also interesting to be honoring a retailer, a, a brick and mortar retailer at a time. Yes. Retail is in such turmoil. Yeah. And I think I know that the people at ACE would say we do this for all sorts of social reasons. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, this is really good business for us. It helps us have a culture that attracts terrific people and to be a part of the neighborhoods in which we operate mm-hmm <affirmative> um, so that people still feel an affinity to going to the ACE yeah. Uh, store it’s worked very well for them. Yeah.
Kristi Porter (38:38):
So from that perspective, I’m curious, you, you talked about the shift in it being a nice to do from a need to do it’s more than just a check ceremony. Now, people at all levels of companies are involved. What is that? You know, if somebody asks you point blank, what is the business case for? What if it’s not just doing nice it’s if it’s not doing good to do good, if it’s not simply altruism, what is the business case for jumping into this social impact world?
David Hessekiel (39:05):
Well, so this is where things, you know, I’m, I’m blessed or cursed <laugh> of mind that doesn’t simplify as much as I could <laugh>. But because when you ask of doing this, mm-hmm
Kristi Porter (39:20):
David Hessekiel (39:21):
There are so many different elements of ways in which, uh, this, this type of thinking can be integrated into your business. And it really depends on what business you are in. Sure. Uh, what I would argue is, um, that a a, a, a first step in this journey is to, to really take a look at your business and set some objectives in terms of what you want you want to achieve. Yeah. I mean, there’s certain, you know, uh, corporate social engagement is not, uh, there’s, there’s a base belief that your pass, you, you are subscribing to all of the federally and locally mandated, uh, laws and regulations in terms of how you operate, then it’s going above and beyond. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you cannot as a business, do everything. Uh, so, um, what makes sense is to look at various challenges that your business has and see, which would be a good starting point sure.
David Hessekiel (40:36):
For you to tackle. Yeah. In terms of, uh, considering taking a social impact, uh, uh, uh, point of view mm-hmm <affirmative> and applying it to the program and, you know, our site engaged for good.com and others are replete with examples. We have, uh, we’ve been running the halo awards for 20 years, and we have writeups of every single winning program that describes some of the objectives. But, uh, it, it, it varies very, very, very, very widely, yeah. From, from the example that I gave, uh, at ACE, but we had a, another winning, uh, uh, example this year of a, a company called frontier co-op because we also, it’s not only that we give awards to those that are the absolute biggest in terms of dollars raised, but they’re sometimes just really creative approaches. Yeah, absolutely. So in terms of frontier co-op, they are based in Norway, Iowa.
David Hessekiel (41:48):
I don’t know why that sticks in my mind, but they’re off the beaten track. We don’t get a lot of entries from Norway, Iowa. They are a co-op that sells packages and sells spices. And, uh, that, that type of product, um, being where they are, they have some challenges in hiring mm-hmm <affirmative> and they decided that they would adopt a local homeless services, um, organization and work with them to implement at their warehouse level, uh, a, a, a, an open hiring program. Okay. But not only that, that they would create the social safety net, so to speak that would enable people to succeed. Yeah. So it was a very, uh, much business driven program in terms of they needed employees. Um, but also a very well thought out social program in terms of saying, if you open the doors, we now know that that is not enough.
David Hessekiel (42:59):
Yeah. If people poor people in particular, they are one car breakdown. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> from not being able to make it to work and then losing their jobs. Right. They built in transportation childcare. If you’re don’t have the coverage for your kid, and it’s not affordable, then again, you’re going to lose that, that, that opportunity. And so it was a beautiful, beautiful example of, of how, uh, they’ve done it. So it could be on the employee, uh, front. It could be that you want to, uh, make changes in terms of how you operate in terms of your carbon footprint. And so you give greater attention to that. It could be that you, uh, want to make changes in how consumers perceive your company. And so you do campaigning against that. So my answer is, I am not, the kind of person says, says that, whatever the problem you have, the answer is you implement a, a cause based program.
David Hessekiel (44:09):
Yeah. But that, there are a lot of great examples about this orientation and how it can be applied successfully. I think that the other element of this, and I’m sure you’ve met people across the way, if this is done well, it can be a, uh, a, a, a, a, a strategy that yields real results. Yeah. And for a lot of people being involved in such an effort has just tremendous sort of psychic benefits. Yeah. They have a tremendous pride in the fact that they were able to, to crack the code on how the company could do well by doing good. And they not just were successful because they sold another set of encyclopedias as we, yeah. Oh my God. There probably isn’t any, there probably isn’t an encyclopedia business left anymore, but you know what I mean? Yes. But that they did that. And, you know, they’re, uh, they provided a hundred school lunches for kids at their local
Kristi Porter (45:18):
School. Yeah, absolutely. And you, uh, some of the examples you’ve given, and you mentioned this earlier in my mind and correct me if I’m wrong, but B2C business to consumer does typically lead the way, um, and has been further ahead of the, the curve on this. Why do you think that is, and what can B2B business business do to catch up?
David Hessekiel (45:39):
I think it’s a, it’s a, I, I, I would agree with you with a caveat. Okay. The caveat would be, especially, um, since you, we’ve both been watching this field for a long time, uh, consumer oriented campaigns are the ones that we hear about yeah’s true. So that we have it’s, it’s perhaps over the, the distinction is even overemphasized, because these are the ones that we hear about, we don’t hear about mining companies or, uh, you know, uh, a widget producers in the same way. Um, so that would be, uh, the first, the first element of it. And I would say that, and, and a lot of the efforts that business to business organizations do are probably a lot more employee focused. Mm-hmm <affirmative> in terms, because in many cases, uh, you know, it’s, it’s a, it’s a, it’s, it’s an old saying, but you know, their, their employees are their most important yes. Assets. Uh, and I, and I’ve seen amazing work in terms of consulting firms, accounting firms, law firms, um, that actually are involved in, in this way. So you really it’s, again, finding those opportunities, uh, that are appropriate to your business. Mm-hmm
Kristi Porter (47:08):
<affirmative> yeah. Makes sense. 100%. So let’s do a little fortune telling before we wrap up, you’ve been in this for 20 years, we hope to continue. It’s grown phenomenally, um, this impact movement over the years, where do you think we’re headed? What do you think are some of the trends that we’ll see?
David Hessekiel (47:27):
Well, I think that we will continue to see a tremendous broadening, uh, of the types and numbers of causes that are embraced by, by, by, by companies. And I, and I think that’s all, all, all for the good, it, it enables more firms to distinguish themselves because they’re not all jumping into the exact same pool. Right. Um, and, uh, there are so many causes that are in need. And of course it’s crazy too, because a lot of this work is very well thought out and planned. Yeah. But look at the last two years who saw the pandemic coming, right. It completely turned things around. Yeah. Um, very disruptive, but thank goodness for, uh, a lot of corporate America, they did tremendous work. Yeah. Especially in the hunger space, especially in that digital access space. Um, and then things like there’s a war in Ukraine. Yeah. You know, and, and, and, and the, a laity with which, uh, companies can sometimes turn things around and make things happen is, is, is impressive in that way as well. So I think we’ll, we will continue to see it expansion right. Of the causes. Um, I would say that, uh, I, this is a hope more than a prediction.
Kristi Porter (49:00):
I’ll take it.
David Hessekiel (49:01):
I just, in fact, finished reading a book. I haven’t taken, I’m going to my book group tonight.
Kristi Porter (49:05):
David Hessekiel (49:06):
The book was called the great experiment, why diverse democracies fall apart and how they can endure
Kristi Porter (49:14):
Wow. A lot hope there
David Hessekiel (49:18):
We’re, we’re living in a very, very divisive time. And I just hope that this movement can play some role in helping us come together. I I’ve been noting it, um, whether it’s coming from a, a proactive state or a somewhat defensive state. Yeah. Every once in a while, I see a rise in campaigns that are talking about local heroes that are talking about acts of kindness. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, in some ways they’re very fluffy mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so I don’t know how effective they are. On the other hand, I have seen studies, there were, there were studies recently that we’re talking about how some of our social ills, uh, the most, uh, efforts are those in which P people who actually know people who look or think differently from them. Yeah. That can be the most persuasive element in terms of bringing some unity mm-hmm <affirmative> to our society. So it’s my hope yeah. That this, uh, will be an avenue in which, uh, in which the corporate social impact movement, um, it, it makes very positive contributions
Kristi Porter (50:43):
For sure. Well, and we have seen time and time again, that constraints do breed creativity, and that is definitely where the social impact movement shines. I, that is one of my favorite things of my job. I’m sure it is for you and was reiterated at the event that people are solving such big problems in such creative ways. And it’s always just so excited to see how, you know, whatever resources they’ll have, that they can find a way to turn it into. Good. So, yeah, I think you’re right. I think we’ll see just that, that continued broadening, which is, um, fantastic. Well, for those who wanna learn more about engaged for good, which I highly recommend, um, what offerings do you guys have available? We’ve talked about a few of them already, but why don’t you spell them out? So we’re clear
David Hessekiel (51:25):
You absolutely. Well, everything is to be email@example.com. Um, we have monthly, if not every two week webinars, some of which are free, some of which are, uh, there’s a nominal fee to, to attend. Um, we have a monthly free newsletter and anybody who goes and signs up who is interested in this field can, uh, sign up on our site and, and, and get, uh, a field for the pulse of what’s going on in our upcoming programs. Uh, we are just at the very beginning of planning, our 2023 event, it will be back in Atlanta, May 14th to 16th, and you are all personally invited.
Kristi Porter (52:08):
I’ll be there,
David Hessekiel (52:09):
Uh, and with no, that’s great. And, and we are very active on, uh, social media, especially on LinkedIn. So if you want to connect with others who share some of your interests and can, uh, converse with you in terms of the challenges you’re facing or the, uh, the, the, the, the wins that you put on the gold, uh, scoreboard sign up for our LinkedIn group as well.
Kristi Porter (52:32):
Yeah. And you have a podcast
David Hessekiel (52:34):
And we have a podcast that engage for good podcast. Yes. Hosted by my, uh, colleague Ali Murphy, this bails and comes out pretty much every week.
Kristi Porter (52:43):
Yes. So let’s give a final plug for joining us besides the fact that they would get to hang out with us in person next to may. What’s the other, you know, gimme a couple other reasons people should be there.
David Hessekiel (52:55):
Well, it is, uh, it’s been, it’s interesting, you know, we, we just reconvened in may after a three year hiatus, because we were knocked out for so long by the pandemic. Um, even though literally thousands of people have gathered together for these conferences since we are held our first one, 20 years ago, there is such an energy and such an opportunity to connect and make connections with others, uh, to learn from one another, to develop, uh, alliances with one another, uh, to, to even, you know, set the future Sage for jobs or partnerships or whatever that literally being in the same place at the same time with this very wonderful group of people is, is, is absolutely terrific. And we are very dedicated at creating content that is practical mm-hmm <affirmative> so that you actually will learn something that you can bring back to the office, uh, as well as inspiring, because heck we all need yeah. Uh, some positive affirmation to keep on, uh, coming. So it’s, yeah, it’s a good time. And, and we would love to see you there.
Kristi Porter (54:10):
Yes. In a very friendly group, because we had the lanyards for our name tags. People could choose their social distance preferences, you know, good with hugs, still thinking about it, you know, six feet please, or handshakes only things like that. And we continually kept running out of the I’m ready for hugs. Give me my hugs, stand up, tell me who you are. I don’t care who you are. Shake my hand, hug me. Um, so yeah, that group was definitely ready re to reconnect after a long couple of years. So it was a lot of fun. Definitely, please. Um, join everybody again there next year. It’ll be great. It was a lot of learning opportunities and a lot of, uh, a lot of great connections. And, um, I’ve already been able to follow up with a few people I met and hopefully we’ll have some more of them on the podcast as well, but it’s a good time. And thank you so much for your time this morning. I really,
David Hessekiel (54:58):
This opportunity was a great way to start the day.
Kristi Porter (55:00):
Yes, it absolutely was. And, um, I love reconnecting with you. I’m big fan of everything that you guys have done and have SWA followed you for so long as well, and hope other people will jump into this movement as well. But thanks again for your time, David. I appreciate it. And thanks to everybody listening.
David Hessekiel, A veteran journalist and marketing executive, David Hessekiel is the founder and president of Engage for Good (www.engageforgood.com) and the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. (www.peertopeerforum.com). Engage for Good produces an annual conference, awards program and year-round content on corporate social impact while the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum focuses on how nonprofits can move millions to raise billions by inspiring supporters to take actions that lead their contacts to contribute. Connect with David on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
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.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.