This Week in Business History
Episode 18

Episode Summary

“Have you ever heard of the “Razor and Blades Business Model”?…King Camp Gillette is widely credited as saying quote: “Give ‘em the razor, sell ‘em the blades”. Gillette would sell the razor itself at a very low cost; which would then ensure that the consumers that owned the razor would continuously buy the razor blades.”

-Scott Luton, Host, This Week in Business History

 

On this episode, Scott W. Luton dives into the story of Weight Watchers International Incorporated and its founders, including Jean Nidetch. He also touches on a variety of other historic business events, including Dictionary Day and the “Razor and Blades” business model, for the week of October 12th.

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 (01:10):

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 October 12th, a one quick programming up before we dive into today’s show big, thanks to our listeners in France. As this podcast recently hit the business news podcast, leadership charts and that country. In fact, we recently cracked the top 50 for podcast focused on business news in France. That’s wonderful news that we celebrate with you, our listeners, and as always, we invite you to join us by searching for this week in business history, wherever you get your podcasts and click to subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing. And for that, we are greatly appreciative. Thanks so much for listening in today’s episode, we’re focused on the backstory behind one, well known global brand WeightWatchers. So stay tuned.

Scott Luton (02:02):

You might just be surprised with a few aspects of the story behind the brand. Thank you for joining us today on this week in business history and powered by our team here at supply chain. Now, Jean Evelyn Slootsky was born on October 12th, 1923 in Brooklyn. She was the daughter of a cab driver and a manicurist Jean Slootsky would drop out of the city college in New York. When her father died in 1942, that’s when she’d began her professional journey. First, she spent time at Mullen furniture company in Jamaica, New York. Eventually she’d work at the internal revenue service where she’d meet her first husband, Marty night, Jean and Marty Nottage would spend time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Warren, Pennsylvania. Before settling back in Queens, New York, specifically, they lived in the little neck neighborhood, which is near little neck Bay, which is where the term little neck clams originated by the way, which has become a size category for all hard clams.

Scott Luton (03:07):

Regardless of origin, Marty would get a job as an airport driver and Jean would work raising funds for a variety of charitable groups, but it was her battle with one thing in particular that would change your life. Jean Nottage. And what started in her childhood was a compulsive eater. In the nineties, fifties, she tried a variety of solutions to control her weight, including pills, fad diets, even hypnosis, not had one particular food addiction that bedeviled her mallow, Mars, a chocolate coated marshmallow cookie. They are delicious she’d later, Wayne that to hide her addiction to the sweet treats, she’d literally had a box of the cookies in her clothes hamper or she’d Gorge on them in the middle of the night with no one looking in 1961, gene Nottage would take several steps that would help her get a better grasp on her weight. First, she invited six friends over to her home to have a serious and Frank conversation.

Scott Luton (04:09):

All six of her friends also were struggling in some way with their health and weight. After several hours of exchanging their secret struggles, they all resolve to go on a group diet and support each other through the rigors and temptations that every human has when trying to lose weight in the ensuing weeks, the group approach again, weight was being shed right and left. And the group of participants began to swell within two months. It grew from seven to more than 40 participants. By October, 1962, Jean nodded, she hit her target weight of 142 pounds, but just as important, she was determined to really help a ton of other people gain control of their weight and health. One of the couples that were or participating in the group weight loss approach was Al and Felice. Lippert Al Lippert was a business leader that was active in the garment industry.

Scott Luton (05:04):

He saw a business opportunity in the group’s collective success, and he suggested Jean Nottage. They seized the moment in May, 1963 in a loft apartment over a movie theater in that little neck neighborhood WeightWatchers international incorporated was formed. Jean Nottage would serve as president and chief spokesperson and trainer Al Lippert would be in charge of the business details and Felice Lippert would be in charge of recipe, development, nutrition, and food research. It was simple. Jean owl and Felice would rent a public venue. They would charge program attendees, $3 weekly meeting at the meeting. Recipes and ideas will be shared and emotional support offered the program and recommendations that were offered were based on information found via city obesity clinics. So thumbs up to lean meat, fish, skim milk fruits, veggies, thumbs down to alcohol sweets and fatty foods. Key components to the program were also food journaling, establishing realistic dietary goals and motivational communication with speakers, books, events, and more.

Scott Luton (06:16):

The first official meeting in May, 1963 drew 400 attendees. Interestingly enough, the first meeting was held in a venue that sat on top of a pizza joint. The owner of the pizza joint couldn’t figure out why folks were lined up outside, but they weren’t buying any pizza. Later. Jean Nottage would collaborate with that same pizza joint owner to create a weight Watchers milkshake that would go on to be a big seller, blessed be those ties that bond. And in 1964, just months after the first meeting above that pizza joint, a franchise approach was rolled out now for a quick sidebar. Have you ever heard of the razor and blades business model? The model is certainly older than the name, but the name originated with King camp Gillette. Yes. Gillette as in the huge brand of household goods, that is now part of the global Proctor and gamble enterprise King camp.

Scott Luton (07:11):

Gillette is wildly credited as saying, quote, give them the razor, sell them the blades. Gillette would sell the razor itself at a very low cost, which would then ensure that the consumers that own the razor would continuously buy the razorblades. So back to weight Watchers, international incorporated, Jean Al and Felice decided to franchise via the razor and blades model graduates of the weight Watchers program could pay a very inexpensive franchise fee, which would then allow them to access various aspects of the programming by which they could lead their own groups in their own hometowns with only 10% of gross earnings being due to weight Watchers, international inc, as a royalty. And boy did it sell like hotcakes just three years after rolling out the franchise opportunity, there were 102 franchises internationally. The first WeightWatchers cookbook, which was published in 1966, it sold a whopping 1.5 million copies by 1968, just some five years after the company had been formed.

Scott Luton (08:18):

There were over 1 million WeightWatchers members worldwide. So what next WeightWatchers international inc would go public, which would turn gene and Marty Nottage and Al and Felice Lippert all into millionaires. And the company would also roll out a variety of prepared foods and other products by 1973, Jean nodded, she wanted to focus more on the PR side of the business, traveling interviews, keynotes. So she resigned as president also in 1973, the company held a huge party at Madison square garden to celebrate its 10th anniversary, 16,000 people attended, including Bob hope and Roberta Peters. It was a who’s who of stars and personalities at the time the company was owned the move. And by the late 1970s, WeightWatchers international inc would grow into quite the global enterprise, which was becoming tougher and tougher for Al Lippert to manage. So H J Heinz company would come calling. The company would acquire weight Watchers in 1978 for about $72 million.

Scott Luton (09:28):

Al Lippert would remain as chairman and CEO, at least for a few years. And Jean Nottage would serve as a paid consultant and spokesperson WeightWatchers would thrive throughout the fitness craze, 1980s, but things started to change in 1990, as new competitors were making gains. Jenny Craig Nutrisystem slim fast in 1998, weight Watchers would introduce its infamous points system where foods were assigned a points value. And two years later, a more personalized version of the point system was introduced hands would sell the organization to a private equity group. In 2001, the PE firm, our tall Luxembourg would take WeightWatchers public. Again that same year later a website will be launched. And in 2009, WeightWatchers rolled out its first app. All the while Jean Nottage was still preaching the gospel of WeightWatchers throughout the decades. She’d say quote, when you’re trying to lose weight, one of the most important things you can do is eat three decent meals a day, so that you’re not so hungry that you can’t get your food off your mind.

Scott Luton (10:37):

Habit and hunger have long been the basic insidious enemies of the overweight. We can’t fight hunger, but we can fight habit and quote Jean Nottage, the incredible savvy business leader, founder and passionate spokesperson would pass away at her home in Parkland, Florida of natural causes on April 29th, 2015, a few months later, Oprah Winfrey would famously invest in weight Watchers in October, 2015 becoming a 10% owner in spokesperson. Also in 2015, Johns Hopkins reviewed thousands of studies on a wide variety of weight loss programs. And that prestigious organization found that the weight Watchers approach was one of the few that really had a scientific basis. In 2018. WeightWatchers made a shift. Now it’s rebranded as WW. The company shifted to a broader message of overall health and wellness, and it came with a new tagline wellness that works. Now, the company’s comprise of some 4.6 million members worldwide. And at the heart of WW, you’ll find Jean Nottage’s strong sense of empathy, tenacity, compassion, zest for life and immensely strong appreciation for community support.

Scott Luton (12:00):

A few other items to note on this week in business history for the week of October 12th on October 18th, 1648, the Boston shoemakers form, the first American labor organization on October 16th, 1758, American teacher and journalists know Webster was born in West Hartford, Connecticut. He would also become known for compiling the first American dictionary of the English language. And now dictionary day is celebrated on October 16th each and every year on October 18th, 1836, Frederick August Otto Schwartz was born in Germany. He would found the company FAO Schwartz in 1862 in Baltimore, Maryland later opening a location at seven 45 fifth Avenue in New York city where it has operated for 55 years on October 13th, 1872, Leon Leo would being, was born in Greenwood Maine. He’d go on to launch the company L L bean in 1912 in Freeport, Maine, and on October 14th, 1964, Martin Luther King jr. Would be recognized with the Nobel peace prize for battling racial inequalities through nonviolent means that wraps up this edition of this week in business history.

Scott Luton (13:24):

Those were some of the stories that stood out to us, but Hey, what do you think? What stands out to you? Tell us about it. Shoot us a note to amanda@supplychainnow.com or find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and share your comments there. We’re here to listen. Thanks so much for listening to our podcast. I 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@supplychainnow.com friendly reminder. You can find this week in business history, wherever you get your podcasts from and be sure to tell us what you think we’d love to earn your review. Hey, be sure to check out the entire family of supply chain now programming, including tequila sunrise with Greg white supply chain is boring with Chris Barnes tech talk digital supply chain podcast with Corinne bursa, veteran voices in a lot more. You can search for them wherever you get your podcasts on behalf of the entire team here at this week in business history and supply chain. Now, Hey, this is Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Thanks so much for listening. We’re grateful for your support. Hey, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed an old that note. We’ll see. Next time here on this week in business history. Thanks.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

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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Vicki White

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Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal, 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.

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Principal, Supply Chain Now
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Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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