This Week in Business History
Episode 28

Episode Summary

“In 2009, Mary Barra would become Vice President of Global Human Resources. This would be one of her favorite leadership roles, as she was quoted as saying: “I loved that time, because you’re dealing with people. Sometimes people do the craziest things. You see everything in HR. But you also see the goodness of people and how to really help them achieve their goals.””

-Scott Luton, Host, This Week in Business History


On this episode of This Week in Business History, host Scott W. Luton dives into the story of the rise of Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors. She has worked at GM since she was 18 & now leads one of the largest companies in the world. Join us to find out some of her key leadership philosophies & experiences.

Special thanks to Deb Couey for research for this episode.

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 of 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’re focused on the week of December 21st. Hey, thanks so much for listening to the show before we get started. I want to share a highlight of mine here in recent days. So I served for about four years on active duty with the United States air force. For two of those years, I was stationed in Wichita, Kansas home to McConnell air force base Wichita, by the way, is a wonderful town to live and work in back in 1929, the aeronautical chamber of commerce called Wichita, the air capital of the world. The aviation industry has long had roots in the city, partially because of how nice and flat the area is. It naturally became home to many airfields and aviation pioneers for sure, Cessna, which is now part of Textron was founded in Wichita Beechcraft, which is also now part of Textron was also founded in Wichita, Boeing, Learjet, Airbus, all with a presence in Wichita, Kansas.

Scott Luton (02:12):

So back to my personal highlight this past week, I was able to reconnect with two of my fellow airmen that I served at McConnell air force base with Troy Boozer and Bruce Gillan, AKA booze and Guilbeau. These two leaders were incredible friends, advisors, and mentors to me, really in their own kind of way. And I’ll always be grateful for the role they played in my own personal journey. Being able to reconnect with these incredible people after years and years, and to laugh and share stories over the course of a couple of hours. Well, that was an early Christmas present for me. Folks. You got to hug them, those that have your back and better in your corner. I’m very thankful for one choy Boozer and Bruce Gillan. Okay. So back to this week in business history today, we’re going to dive into story of the first woman to serve as CEO of a major automaker.

Scott Luton (03:05):

We’re going to share the story of one Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of general motors. So stay tuned and thanks again for joining us here on this week in business history, PowerBar team here at supply chain. Now Mary Barra was born on December 24th, 1961 in Royal Oak, Michigan, born into a family of finished descent. Her grandfather had moved to the U S and settled in mountain iron, Minnesota decades earlier. Mary’s father Ray worked for 39 years as a tool and die maker at the Pontiac car factory in Detroit, having worked in the metal stamping industry. I can tell you that a tool and die maker is a trade and craft that requires extraordinary skill, and it’s a tough demanding job as well. I bet Ray and Mary have had a ton of intriguing discussions that through the years, Mary Barra would go on to attend and graduate from what was then called general motors Institute of technology.

Scott Luton (04:06):

It is located in Flint, Michigan, and has since been renamed the Kettering university once referred to as the West point of the automobile industry. The school was renamed in 1998 to honor legendary inventor and GM executive Charles Kettering. You’ve probably heard of Kettering as he really made his Mark as head of research at general motors. One of his quotes that I’ve long appreciated is focused on effective problem solving where so many folks don’t truly understand where the challenge or root cause lies. Kettering stated, quote a problem well stated is a problem half solved in quote, Mary Barra graduated in 1985, earning a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, but how does she pay for her education? You might ask? Well, at the age of 18, Barbara began working for general motors as a co-op. Her job was focused on quality checking fender panels and hoods much of a work was focused on the Pontiac grand Prix.

Scott Luton (05:11):

Barbara has stated in recent interviews that quote, it was not a good time for GM quality in quote there in the early 1980s. And she’d run into a wide variety of defects, but she would continue her formal education using a general motors fellowship to attend Stanford’s graduate school of business. Upon graduation from Stanford general motors promoted her to serve as plant manager of the Detroit Hamtramck plant. Also known as factory zero. It’s an historic plant that was built on the original Dodge factory. Currently it serves as GM’s all electric vehicle assembly plant in her role as plant manager, Barbara would continue to demonstrate her exceptional ability to lead, get results in effectively engage her teams, driving improvement and innovation. As a result, GM would continue to promote Mary Barra in the new roles. In 2008, she became vice president of global manufacturing engineering. In 2009, Mary Barra would become vice president of global human resources.

Scott Luton (06:18):

This would be one of her favorite leadership roles as she was quoted as saying, I love that time because you’re dealing with people. Sometimes people do the craziest things. You see everything in HR, but you also see the goodness of people and how to really help them achieve their goals. In quote, during this point in time, as Barbara led HR for GM, the company was emerging from its financial restructuring. Barbara would say that the timing afforded leadership, the opportunity to quote, really define the culture that we wanted in quote, one of her most notable actions was to take the general motors, 10 page dress code policy, 10 pages at the time and trim it down to just two words dress appropriately. They have about that for empowering and trusting your workforce. But also it was about getting managers to own that policy and give them the responsibility of making adjustments for their own teams.

Scott Luton (07:22):

Mary Barra would say, quote, if managers can’t handle dress appropriately, what other judgments and decisions can’t they handle in quote in a separate interview about the dress code decision, which stirred somewhat of a controversy amongst management at general motors, Mary Barra would say, quote, it really became a window into the change that we needed to make. At general motors. I can trust you with $10 million of budget and supervising 20 people, but I can’t trust you to dress appropriately. It was kind of a step and empowering. So this really encouraged people to step up in quote, in February, 2011, she would become executive vice president of global product development. In this role, Barbara would have a significant impact on the design and quality of the vehicles that GM produced. And Mary Barra had a knack for leading with simplicity as head of global product development. She challenged her teams with a simple motto, no more crappy cars in an interview with fortune magazine, Mary Barra expounded on this philosophy saying that management placed too many boundaries on their workforce at GM.

Scott Luton (08:38):

She would say, quote. So now we’re saying no excuses. If it’s budget, if it’s resources, we have to do great cars, trucks, and crossovers. And it’s our job to enable you to do that. In quote, Mary Barra was so successful in this product development leadership role that in August, 2013, global purchasing and supply chain was added to her responsibility on January 15th, 2014, Mary Barra was named CEO of general motors becoming the first female leader of a major automotive company. Fortune magazine would say, quote, no woman on earth runs a bigger company in revenue terms than Barra in quote, but instantly her leadership ability will be tested by crisis. A long standing issue and ignition switch defect was identified as causing 13 deaths. In fact, it later be identified as causing over 100 deaths action had to be taken immediately. Instantly Mary Barra created a small team that was to meet every single day to guide the company’s response and corrective actions in a largely transparent and successful manner.

Scott Luton (09:52):

Millions of GM cars were recalled. Several company leaders were fired and GM paid $900 million in government funds. And Mary Barra found herself testifying in front of Congress by hiring their CEO from within though, meaning tapping a leader with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the company and its various functions. General motors was able to lean on Mary bar’s experience and unique understanding, which was critical to navigating the crisis effectively in what some saw as a reward for steady leadership through the ignition switch crisis. Mary Barra was named chairman of the GM board of directors on January 4th, 2016 as chairman and CEO of general motors. Barbara continued to deploy simplicity and communicating a sense of mission to the over 160,000 employees around the world. It comes in the form of the company motto zero crashes, zero emissions, one other motto and behavior that GM has put in place under Mary Barra is innovate.

Scott Luton (11:00):

Now it’s meant to encourage their workforce, not to see how things currently are, but rather see things as they should be focusing on the future state and how to get there. Mary Barra shared a few other key principles of her approach to leadership in a 2019 conference hosted by Wharton. A few of them were one, always asked for feedback from your team in meetings. Use a simple question. Hey, what’s your opinion too. As you were looking to drive sustainable change, keep in mind the benefits of the change must be greater than the effort required. It was a key lesson that bar learned as an engineer early in her career. And three, when your people’s hearts and minds Barra has pointed to a critical experience earlier in her career, working for a leader that really focused on developing genuine bond with their team on a couple of levels.

Scott Luton (11:57):

Bar has stated, this is key to empowering your team and surpassing expectations. What lies ahead for Mary Barra and general motors? The big part of the path forward is the ramp up and development of electric vehicles in November, 2020 GM announced the hiring of 3000 employees across the fields of engineering design and it with a key objective in mind, as stated by Ken Morris with GM quote, we’re accelerating toward our Evie future. This will help us move faster. In quote, the company had previously announced a goal to develop 20 electric models by 2023. Additionally, Mary Barra sees an opportunity to reduce the 40,000 annual deaths per year that occur in traffic accidents in the U S data points to 90% of these accidents are due to human error. Bar sees a broader application of autonomous driving, which can address and cut into these losses significantly beyond electric cars and autonomous driving technology bar sees GM and its workforce striving to make riding cars safer and making it cleaner for the environment.

Scott Luton (13:10):

Hey, stay tuned as we’ll be watching for what’s next for Mary Barra and general motors and one other connected story on this episode of this week in business history, amongst other roles, Mary Barra serves on the board of directors for the Walt Disney company. So on a related note on December 21st, 1937, Walt Disney’s first color and sound feature length, animated film, snow white, and the seven dwarfs had its world premiere and Hollywood’s golden age movie palace, the Carthay circle theater in Los Angeles. Snow white is generally considered Walt Disney’s most significant achievement. Although he had been in business since 1923, he had primarily produced short cartoons, such as Mickey mouse and the three little pigs visionary. Walt Disney, since the early 1930s had wanted to expand his repertoire from short subjects to feature length animations. He later wrote that snow white and the seven dwarfs was an inevitable and necessary step forward in order to advance the studio short subjects, even successful ones like three little pigs still could not provide the studio with a significant profit.

Scott Luton (14:25):

He was anxious for an opportunity to work in an expanded format that would allow for more elaborate character development and more complex plot ideas. Then one day in 1934, Walt Disney gathered his animators and the studio soundstage where he told them the story acting out the scenes and characters himself. Although the animators were impressed with Walt’s idea, they were skeptical that a full length animated film could sustain the audience’s attention. There were other naysayers in Hollywood and even his wife tried to discourage him from the project Disney, even mortgaged his house to meet the initial 250,000 budget. The budget would later balloon to $1.5 million. The film’s premiere was wildly received even by the skeptics. It received a standing ovation and even had some theater goers crying. It grossed more money than any other film up until that time. And for Tom afterward for his achievement in the film, Walt Disney received a full-size Oscar statuette alongside seven miniature ones presented to him by Shirley temple.

Scott Luton (15:36):

The film was deemed a significant screen innovation, which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field. It was also nominated for best music score with such a memorable tunes, such as whistle while you work hi-ho. And someday my Prince will come the overall success and impact of snow white and the seven dwarfs would pave the way in the immediate years that followed it’s released for films, such as Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, and of course, many others. And the film is a big part of the immense Walt Disney legacy. Well that just about wraps up this edition of this week in business history. Those were some of the stories that stood out to us, but what do you think find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and share your comments there. We’re here to listen very special. Thanks to our recent guest, host Gary, a Smith and to Deb [inaudible] who has provided excellent research for the series on that note, thanks to you, our listener for tuning in to the show each week who wish you the happiest of how holiday seasons Merry Christmas and happy new year, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought and friendly reminder.

Scott Luton (16:57):

You can of course 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 Luton wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Hey, do good give forward and be the change as needed. And on that note, we’ll see next time here on this week in business history. Thanks for budding.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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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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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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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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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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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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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Kelly Barner

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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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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Kevin L. Jackson

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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & CMO, 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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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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