This Week in Business History
Episode 16

Episode Summary

the store by day and study at night, but Jenkins’s fate would not be the engineering profession.”

-Scott Luton, Host of This Week in Business History, sharing about George Washington Jenkins, the Founder of Publix Grocery Stores

 

The ‘This Week in Business History’ Series on Supply Chain Now shares some of the most relevant business and global supply chain events from years past. It will shine a light on some of the most significant leaders, companies, innovations, and even lessons learned from our collective business history.

In this episode, we focus in on the birth of Publix – – and some of the key developments in the early years – – as well as some of the unique elements that can be found in the organization’s history and culture.

Episode Transcript

Scott Luton (00:12):

Good morning, Scott Luton here with you on this edition of this week in business history. Welcome to today’s show on this program, which is part of the supply chain. Now family of programming. We take a look back at the upcoming week, and then we share some of the most relevant events and milestones from years past, of course, mostly business focused with a little dab global supply chain. And occasionally we might just throw in a good story outside of our primary realm. So I invite you to join me on this. Look back in history to identify some of the most significant leaders, companies, innovations, and perhaps lessons learned in our collective business journey. Now let’s dive in to this week in business history.

Scott Luton (01:12):

Hello, and thanks for joining us. I’m your host Scott Luton. And today on this edition of this week in business history, we are focused on the week of September 28th. Hey, one quick programming note, before we dive into today’s show big thanks to our listeners in the United States. As this podcast recently hit the business podcast leadership charts, according to chartable. In fact, we recently cracked the top 100 for podcasts focused on business news in the U S that’s wonderful news that we celebrate with you, our listeners, you are our North star, and always, we invite you to join us by searching for this week in business history, wherever you get your podcasts from and click subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing. And for that, we are greatly appreciative. Thanks so much for listening. Hey, in today’s episode, we’re focused on the grocery industry. Talk about an industry that has been disrupted in recent years, and there’s also been a ton of innovation in the space.

Scott Luton (02:06):

Let’s dive into that story. We’ll also be sharing a slew of other milestones and accomplishments. Hey, it’s been a busy week, but thank you for joining us here today. On this week in business history, powered by our team here at supply chain. Now, did you know that the average us consumer spends about 53 hours per year in the grocery store? Now I imagine that figure has changed quite a bit in recent years, because if you’re like my family, we get a lot of our weekly groceries delivered, but regardless grocery stores, especially here in the States play a big role in our consumer labs. And we all probably have our favorites, stores, products, and even people that we get very accustomed to growing up. I took a closer look at the grocery store business. As I worked for Dwin Dixie, which had a much bigger footprint on the market back then for $4 and 35 cents an hour.

Scott Luton (03:01):

I bagged groceries, stocked shelves, unloaded trucks, shagged the floors at the end of the night, gathered shopping cards from the parking lot and had the time of my life. I really enjoyed my colleagues and particularly enjoyed the customer service component. That was a big part of the role. There always seemed to be a lot of easy problems or questions that were mostly easy to address. Fast forward to 2020 Kroger is a grocery store we visit the most. Now, in fact, Kroger has become the largest supermarket chain in the U S and the second largest overall retailer, only behind the retailing giant Walmart. But today we’re going to be diving into the story of Publix on September 29th, 1907, George Washington Jenkins was born in warm Springs, Georgia. Now warm Springs is an intriguing small Southern town situated in Western mid Georgia. Originally named bullet Ville. The town gained reputation for its mineral Springs, that many claim to be warm healing waters.

Scott Luton (04:06):

Franklin D Roosevelt famously had a cottage built in warm Springs that became known as the little white house given how much Tom FDR spent there about six miles North of warm Springs. George Jenkins family had a general store in the community of Harris city. Georgia Jenkins would later Quip that they sold everything in that store. Quote everything from coffins to collar buttons in the store, catered to farmers in an age 12, George Jenkins began working in his father’s store. A few short years later, the boll weevil would devastate the Jenkins general stores, primary customer base prompting George Jenkins father to move a store to Atlanta. George would stay behind and Harris city to finish selling off the inventory and to graduate from high school. He’d moved to Atlanta in 1924. At first, George Jenkins would enroll in Georgia tech to study electric engineering. He’d work in the store by day and study at night, but Jenkins fate would not be the engineering profession.

Scott Luton (05:12):

He tried his hand at a variety of odd jobs. George would spend exactly one night as a cab driver that evening he’d pick up a bunch of college students in Atlanta that evidently had consumed a few adult beverages. And as the cab arrived at their destination, George Jenkins would say, quote, every time one of them got out of the cab, he tell me good old Joe would take care of the fair. Finally, all of them had gotten out, but one, I guess it was good old joke. He was sound asleep and didn’t have a Dom on him in a quote, George Jenkins would quit his cab driving job the next morning. I don’t blame him to you. One of the jobs that Jenkins really liked at the time was working as a clerk at a Piggly wiggly store. Have you ever shopped at the pig as it’s affectionately known, perhaps it was here where George Jenkins passion for all things grocery began.

Scott Luton (06:06):

He was doing really well as a clerk at Piggly wiggly. So well, in fact that a couple of months later Jenkins was asked to fill in for a manager that had become ill. And then over the next several months, George Jenkins began to fill in for a variety of managers at a variety of stores throughout Atlanta. But fate would intervene shortly into his grocery career, real estate King Colin George Jenkins was hired to make calls to people, to either list their home or buy a home. He was paid $30 a week. His boss had the Florida real estate boom on his mind, and he convinced George Jenkins that they both could make a ton of money by moving to the sunshine state and conducting their real estate business there. George was ready. In fact, he’d already bought a cardboard suitcase at the pawn store for two bucks, but at the very last minute, his boss decided not to go as his entire family wasn’t bought in on the decision, but George Washington Jenkins had the bug.

Scott Luton (07:04):

So he went, ultimately he’d arrive in Tampa with non dollars in his pocket. Now without a plan, a job or much of anything, serendipity would step in George would meet through friends of friends, a man who owned a chain of 14 Piggly Wigglys stores in the Tampa, Florida area. That man upon learning of George Jenkins experience at the pig in Atlanta, well, he taught George into working for his chain of stores. The year was 1924, and millions of people were moving into Florida. Many were trying their hand at the real estate game while that was Jenkins original plan, he made the adjustment and for $15 a week, he’d push brooms and serve as a clerk at the Piggly wiggly. But George would truly throw himself into the new job. He would say years later, that quote, if you want to make an impression on someone actions speak louder than words in quote Jenkins would earn a promotion where he’d be managing a small store in st.

Scott Luton (08:07):

Petersburg, Florida within just eight months, Tom Jenkins would lead that store to increase gross sales, five fold. Of course, that type of success would earn him another promotion. The operator of the chain of Piggly wiggly stores would promote George Jenkins to manage their biggest store, which was located in winter Haven, Florida. George would run that store for four years from 1926 to 1930. Now this was a transformational period for Florida for many, probably the real estate boom would go bust Florida and its economy would be hammered by the 1926 Miami hurricane, the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. And of course like everyone else, the wall street crash of 1929, the onset of the depression, which triggered the sale of the chain of Piggly wiggly stores to an owner in Atlanta, some 450 miles away from winter Haven, having not met the owner, George Jenkins took it upon himself to drive to Atlanta, to meet his new boss upon arrival.

Scott Luton (09:11):

George was told that the owner was taught up with important phone calls, important business phone calls. George Jenkins would later say that he could hear through the thin office walls. What his new boss was tied up with. He was on the phone talking about his weekend golf game instead of electing to meet with one of his new acquisitions, most capable leaders. The refusal of the owner to connect with George would infuriate him. Jenkins would drive all the way back to winter Haven, Florida with his hair on fire, upon his return. George Jenkins not only quit his job, but he decided to open his own store and compete directly with his former employer. Publix food stores inc was born with 30 shares of stock valued at $100. Each George Jenkins would keep 13 of those shares. He sold four of the shares to the meat market manager, Hugh Brownell, who left the pig to follow George to the new venture.

Scott Luton (10:12):

Nick Ellison was the former assistant manager at Piggly wiggly who also bought four shares and followed George. Ultimately Publix food stores incorporated would have $2,500 to start operations with of the $1,300 that George put in that came from his own savings that he was putting aside towards buying a new car. He say later, quote had to walk, but I was the proud owner of the first Publix market in quote, have you ever wondered about the name Publix and where that came from? George Jenkins would say that there was a chain of theaters in Florida at the time called Publix. He liked the name and decided to, in his words, borrow it three years later, Jenkins former employer, the Piggly wiggly next door. Well, it would close Publix was holding its own and they made it through the great depression, key to the store’s operation, where two things, an immense focus on customer service and George Jenkins belief that employees should share in the profit in store ownership.

Scott Luton (11:18):

In fact, George would find a way to ensure that all eight of his employees at the time would become company stockholders. George Jenkins, generous spirit wouldn’t stop. There has been said that in those tough times, the country was going through shoplifting was common. George would regularly catch shoplifters only to send them home with a bag of groceries. Publix would grow to two stores, but George Jenkins was looking at regional and national trends and wanted to change and improve the customer shopping experience. The supermarket concept was being born and Publix would become one of the pioneers in the new market. George Jenkins would sell his two stores, bundle a variety of resources, including an orange Grove that he owned all to invest into his first supermarket or as his bankers called it. George is marble glass and stucco food palace. So in 1940, the first contemporary public supermarket would open and it looked different to shoppers.

Scott Luton (12:22):

It had electric doors that would open automatically fluorescent lighting, which was not common at the time. Air conditioning, wide Isles, specially designed frozen food and dairy cases in which George would help design and a nice even paved parking lot. Hey, don’t laugh. But George Jenkins even wanted to offer his customers a water fountain that featured get this cold water, a nice respite from the hot Florida heat. So George would figure out a way to run copper tubing through his refrigerator case, leading to the water fountain, all told this new store had the wow factor, illustrating George Jenkins commitment to the ultimate shopping experience, but perhaps what caught the attention of shoppers the most were those automated doors that swooshed open and shut. George Jenkins had seen electric eye opening doors in New York on an earlier visit. And he was determined to incorporate a similar door in his new store.

Scott Luton (13:22):

He did and believe it or not folks would come from all around Florida just to get a peek at those automated doors. And yet many would make their way through those automated doors and spend money at the new Publix supermarket. Mr. George, as his employees known as associates would call George Washington, Jenkins was very proud of this new store, but Jenkins also knew that the go big he’d have to expand and add locations. World war II made business expansion very difficult, especially the construction resources alone. So Jenkins would shit, his strategy over to acquisition. And he began negotiations to acquire a 19 store grocery chain that accompany in Lakeland, Florida was operating Publix would close the deal and acquire at 19 all American stores from Lakeland grocery company. And one of the first things George Jenkins did after the acquisition was to upgrade each of those stores to the new list. [inaudible]

Scott Luton (14:30):

public’s standard. Now with 20 stores to nucleus had been formed for what would eventually grow into one of the world’s leading grocers, looking back, George Jenkins said the acquisition of those 19, all American stores was the turning point, but it was the turning point. He said because of the incredibly talented people that were now part of the public’s team Jenkins said, quote, I sure didn’t get much in the way of stores and equipment, but I got some wonderful people after all. How often do you get four vice presidents in one day in quote Jenkins would travel a great deal, always looking for ideas, innovation, and inspiration. Those travels would lead to a variety of new things in the stores. Bakeries and floral products were added in the 1950s. Delis came online in the 1960s. Electronic scanners were owned the scene in the 1970s. The eighties brought a variety of innovations, no fee at TMS in the grocery stores, debit card transactions and pharmacies at the supermarkets in 1983, a critical development took place.

Scott Luton (15:42):

Carol Jenkins Barnett would join the board of directors at Publix. Now Carol was one of George Jenkins, six children. Her leadership was one of the driving forces in growth and expansion she’d serve on the board until 2016, during her tenure, Publix would grow into five States. The company would also open its 1000th store becoming one of only five U S grocery store retailers that could make that claim. In 2016, Todd Jones would become CEO. Jones is a 36 year public’s associate who began his career at Publix as a bagger or in-company vernacular a front service clerk. He is the first member outside of the Jenkins family to serve a CEO, despite all the change. What hasn’t changed is a company’s focus on service and its own associates as to service, Publix has been rated by a variety of sources for its customer satisfaction and overall experience. With regard to its army of associates, Publix has been named by fortune magazine as one of its hundred best companies to work for for a remarkable long period. From 1998 to 2020, it was also named by Forbes magazine in 2018 as one of America’s best employers. It was also ranked number four by indeed.com in 2018 for best job security. So what lessons can we learn here with this history in a nutshell of George Washington, Jenkins and Publix, Hey, some easy ones come to mind, treat your employees as well as you treat the customer. Never compromise quality. Do good. Do lots of good and probably

Speaker 3 (17:27):

One other big one. Don’t put off

Scott Luton (17:29):

A meeting with one of your team members so that you can analyze your weekend golf game. They might just quit and launch quality competition. A few other items to note on this week in business history for the week of September 28th. Well, not Tobar third, 1904, Mary McLeod Bethune opened her first school for African American students in Daytona beach, Florida on October 2nd, 1915, Chuck Williams founded Williams Sonoma owned September 28th, 1928. Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming completely by accident on October 1st, 1931, the George Washington bridge opened in the U S linking New Jersey and New York, whether they liked it or not on October 3rd, 1949, w E R D or word would open in Atlanta as the first black owned radio station on October 2nd, 1959, the Twilight zone and rod Serling would premiere on CBS on October 2nd, 1967. Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first African American justice on the United States Supreme court. And on September 29th, 1975 WGPR becomes the first black owned and operated television station in the U S that wraps up this edition of this week in business history.

Scott Luton (18:59):

Those were some of the stories that really stood out to us, but Hey, what do you think? What stands out to you? Tell us, shoot us a note to Amanda at supply chain. Now radio.com or you can find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, even Instagram, share your comments there. We’re here to listen to you. Hope you’ve enjoyed our latest edition of this week in business history. Hey, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership at supply chain. Now radio.com. Other series like tequila, sunrise supply chain is boring. And one of our newest series called tech talk led by Karin bursa. Stay tuned for all of that, and you can learn more at supply chain now, radio.com. Hey, friendly reminder. You can find this week in business history, wherever you get your podcasts from. We drop a new episode every Monday on behalf of the entire team here at this week in business history and supply chain. Now this is Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Thank you so much. We’re very grateful for your support. Do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see next time here on this week in business history. Thanks for budding.

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Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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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 reading.

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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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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

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.

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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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