This Week in Business History
Episode 24

Episode Summary

“Macy and one of his brothers would first open a dry goods store in California – – at the height of the gold rush. The store failed. As did the next 4 stores that R.H. Macy would open. All failures. But Macy would gather his critical lessons learned from each of the disappointments. And he’d apply those to his newest venture: R.H. Macy Dry Goods in New York City.”

-Scott Luton, Host, This Week in Business History


In this episode, Scott W. Luton dives into the story behind the story of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and how it got started. He also sheds a little little on Macy’s genesis – – as well as the challenging set of circumstances that the company finds itself in now.

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’ll 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 (01:13):


Scott Luton (01:14):

Hello and thanks for joining us. I’m your host Scott Luton. And today on this edition of this week in business history, we’re focusing on the week of November 23rd. Thanks so much for listening to the show before we get started, I want to share a story. I came across this past week. One of our newest podcasts here at supply chain now is led by the immensely talented Caryn bursa it’s entitled tech talk, digital supply chain podcast. On the most recent episode, Kerryn interviews, a leading global figure, especially in the world of supply chain. Laura Seseri. Laura gave a fascinating interview on her background. What really stood out to me is where she got her start. Laura chose to major in chemical engineering and was discouraged by many of her academic advisors and professors. In fact, after Laura had received a poor grade on a class assignment, one of her engineering professors held the grade up in front of the class and announced, this is why women should not be engineers, but that attempt to belittle Laura’s potential would only fuel her motivation and perseverance.

Scott Luton (02:19):

Eventually Laura sincerely would not only graduate college with a chemical engineering degree with honors module, but it would launch her career where she’d go on to do huge things in industry. Now in 2020, when big news breaks in global supply chain and manufacturing, uh, promise you that one of the first calls that folks in media make to get analysis and the real story. Well, many of those first calls go to Laura. Seseri here’s the big lesson learned folks. If you want to do something in this life, do it. Don’t listen to those who discourage you and doubt your abilities. Use that as fuel chase your passions, dream big and do it just like Laura said a great story. I’ll include a link to the podcast and show notes of this episode back to today’s episode of this week in business history though, today we’re diving into the backstory of a big annual tradition right here, here in the States, the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade.

Scott Luton (03:21):

We’ll be sharing a few things that I bet you didn’t know. I know I didn’t. So stay tuned and thanks again for joining us here on this week in business history, powered by our team here at supply chain. Now since 1924, one of regular traditions during Thanksgiving week has been the grand parade, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. Let’s make a plate leftovers and dive into various aspects of this tradition. For starters, let’s learn a little bit more about the department store behind the event. Rollin Hussey Macy was born on Nantucket Island and met Massachusetts in 1822. In fact, the Macy family were amongst the earliest settlers in Nantucket. They were part of the group of non-English family that bought the Island in 1659. It’s been said that the price was exactly 30 pounds Sterling and precisely to Beaver hats, a water deal at the end page 15 R H Macy would join the crew of a whaling vessel.

Scott Luton (04:27):

He’d serve on just one whaling expedition, just enough to determine that whaling was not for him. Hey, I don’t blame him also just long enough as the legend goes to get a red star tattooed on his arm. That’s where the red star and the Macy’s logo and branding is reported to have come from Macy. And one of his brothers would first open a dry goods store in California at the height of the gold rush that store failed as did the next four stores that are H Macy would open all failures. Macy would gather his critical lessons learned from each of the disappointments and need to apply those to his newest venture. R H Macy dry goods in New York city. First day of business was October 28th, 1858, sales totaled $11. There’s an 8 cents. That’s about 325 bucks today, or she or saw about 85,000 in sales and the business expanded to occupy 11 adjacent buildings, as well as a few new stores.

Scott Luton (05:33):

And just like that, the modern department store was launched in RH. May he had a ton of innovative tricks up his sleeve too. [inaudible] and stand out such as having an in-store Santa to draw kids and their parents with purchasing power creative window displays that caused the buzz. These Macy’s displays eventually created a new term window shopping. Macy’s also did away with a common practice in the late 19th century bargaining and haggling for goods, R H Macy would set the price, advertise that price and kept true to that one price in the stores. The customer experience at Macy’s stood out as well, especially with money back guarantees and in-house customized clothing options for both men and women, but sadly rollin Hussey Macy would die at the early age of 54 in 1877, due to kidney disease. The Macy family would maintain ownership until 1895. When the Strauss brothers is adore and Nathan would buy the company in 1902, the flagship Macy’s store would move to its well-known location and where it is today, Herald square in New York city in 1911 Macy’s would be added to the New York stock exchange under the ticker symbol M which is still today by 1924, as a company had continued to just about acquire the entire block border by seventh Avenue, Broadway, 34th street and 35th street in New York city Macy’s Herald square location became the largest store in the world.

Scott Luton (07:14):

It was only Thanksgiving day, November 27th, 1924, that the very first Macy’s Christmas parade would be held. Yep. Initially it was called a Christmas parade in an effort at boosting holiday sales Macy’s employees would organize a parade. It wasn’t a new idea. In fact, the Macy’s team may have gotten inspiration from the city of Philadelphia who still has the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving day parade, which started in 1920. But back in 1924, the Macy’s Christmas parade had some competition. Did you know that Thanksgiving here in the us once resembled Halloween, get this back in the early and mid 20th century on Thanksgiving day, people young and old would dress up in costumes. Papier-mache masks were really popular in particular so much so that manufacturers of the mass had a hard time keeping up with demand. Hey, does that sound familiar? In New York city, it became a tradition for children to dress in rags, Charlie chaplains, beggar character from the movie, the tramp was inspiration for many and just like Halloween.

Scott Luton (08:22):

It became a tradition for the children to go to their neighbors and ask for treats. Ragamuffin day became a thing on Thanksgiving day. That’s right. They called it ragamuffin day. And ragamuffin parades became all the rage, especially in New York city. So that first Macy’s Christmas parade had to compete with ragamuffin day, which by the way, thankfully faded into obscurity in the 1930s and forties, the Macy employees would assemble quite an entourage. Three floats all pulled by horses for bands, even zoo animals from central park zoo, which would include camels, donkeys, elephants, even goats got in on the action in that very first parade, Santa Claus would be at the end of the line, the caboose, if you will, a tradition that continues on to this day and parades across the country. The 1924 parade was a hit. It had an audience in attendance of about 10,000 people in 1927.

Scott Luton (09:23):

The parade was renamed. What we all know now as the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade, but even a bigger change that year was the introduction of balloons. Yes, those iconic signature balloons that come to mind. When you think of the Macy’s parade, many point to one Tony Sarge for coming up with the balloon idea, he was a marionette maker that came to the States from London. The zoo animals have become a bit unwieldy for the parade organizers and they were scaring the kids too. So balloons were thought of, and they replaced the contingent from the zoo. The very first balloon you ask. Well, that honor went to Felix, the cat, a cartoon character that had been invented during the silent film era, but organizers had one small problem with balloons. There was no way to deflate them. So at the conclusion of the parade, they were released into the air and eventually all popped, but the release of the balloons would cause all sorts of problems.

Scott Luton (10:19):

And it was discontinued in 1932, 1934 was a big year for the parade as a Mickey mouse balloon appeared for the first time. But just who made all of these balloons? Well, as some might expect, Goodyear tire and rubber company was instrumental. In fact, Goodyear would make the balloons from 1927. The very first year to 1980 Kemp balloons would make them from 1981 to 1983. And from 1984 through last year, Sioux falls, South Dakota based Aerostar would make the balloons Aerostar is a division of Raven industries. I manufactured. It was founded in 1956 by four men who left general mills after receiving startup capital to launch operations. But in those early years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade was largely and solely a New York event then came the 1947 film the classic miracle on 34th street, where Macy’s in the parade plays a big role. In fact, footage from the 1946 parade appears in the film, R H Macy also appears in the film portrayed by Harry antrum.

Scott Luton (11:33):

Although Macy had officially passed away, of course, decades prior, regardless the parade would gain more of a national following. Thanks to the film. Also in 1947, NBC would televise the parade across the country for the first time. Over the years, the parade would appear in a wide variety of Americana pop culture. Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine wins a spot in the parade for her boss to hold the Woody woodpecker balloon friends, the sitcom would feature a parade tie-in related to the underdog balloon in its first Thanksgiving episode. Even a 2016, reboot of Ghostbusters would also feature a storyline. That includes the parade. The 2020 parade will certainly be different, unfortunately, as it’s being produced in a four TV only approach, but what are the company behind the parade? Like all other retailers, the pandemic has deeply impacted Macy’s for the quarter that ended October 31st, the company’s revenue was off 23% relatively speaking.

Scott Luton (12:39):

That was significantly worse than other retailers like Kohls, TJ Maxx, Walmart target, of course, Walmart and target also offer groceries. And they were also allowed to stay open during the pandemic. In fact Macy’s and some retail lobbying groups are on the offensive, reaching out to governments here in the States, lobbying leaders to allow retail stores to stay open. Given the productive measures that have been implemented, strategic moves that Macy’s has made in recent months include closing unproductive stores and experimenting with discounted clothing lines. However, one big challenge that Macy’s has the deteriorating mall landscape in the U S that’s right? Shopping malls. You and I probably remembered those very well from our childhoods. Even prior to the pandemic, the most successful us malls were indeed losing foot traffic. COVID-19 simply accelerated the traffic laws and the path ahead, certainly doesn’t look promising for malls. So Macy’s CEO, Jeff Jeannette has his work cut out for him.

Scott Luton (13:46):

According to CoStar Macy’s is the biggest tenant in us malls. Can the company pull off a transformation in light of major consumer buying and preference shifts? Lots of shifts there. We’ll see. It reminds me of the quote from Amelia Earhart. The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. Hey, on a separate note, if you like a good documentary, let my wife, Amanda and I do. And if you’re fascinated in the decline of the mall scene in the U S then check out the documentary Jasper mall, which focuses on a dying mall in the small town of Jasper, Alabama, it was released at the beginning of 2020, and the story is intriguing. You’re going to love the people that it features good, hardworking people, all dealing with the hand that they’ve been dealt. Finally, as we start to wrap up this episode, I want to wish each and every listener, a very happy Thanksgiving with you and your families.

Scott Luton (14:45):

You don’t need me to tell you that 2020 has been historically challenging on so many levels, but it certainly does make me want to be even more grateful for what we do have and enjoy. I hope each and everyone listening will enjoy a successful close to the end, thankfully of 2020. Well, that wraps up this edition of this week in business history. Those were some of the stories that stood out to us, but Hey, what do you think? 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. Hey, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought friendly reminder. You can now 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 on behalf of the entire team here at this week in business history and supply chain. Now this is Scott and wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Hey, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on this week in business history. Thanks for much

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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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Patch Reilly

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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 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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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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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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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

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Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
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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


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


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., 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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