This Week in Business History
Episode 30

Episode Summary

“But more than mere marketing slogans were the elements of the Gibbs School culture: “Stand above the crowd”; “Excellence in all you do” & “Hold to your purpose”. All were the standards set by Katharine Gibbs and her institution.”

“In 1978, Fred Gregory applied for and was chosen as a member of the first class of Space Shuttle astronauts – – and he served in launch support for the first two Shuttle missions. Gregory became the first African-American to pilot a space craft, the orbiter Challenger on mission STS-51B in 1985.”

-Scott Luton, Host, This Week in Business History


In this episode of This Week in Business History, host Scott W. Luton offers a double feature, as he shares the story behind Katharine Ryan Gibbs, who founded one of the most successful educational institutions in the U.S. during the early 20th Century. Scott also discusses a space pioneer in Fred Gregory, a member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame and member of a family that has more than made its mark in service to our country & global community.

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 (01:11):

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 January 4th. Thanks so much for listening to the show today, we’re offering a double feature that’s right. We’re diving into the backstory of two business and industry leaders that made their marks in different ways. Each paving the way for others to follow in their successful footsteps. Stay tuned and thanks again for joining us here on this week in business history, PowerBar team here at splotchy. Now, Catherine Ryan Gibbs was born January 10th, 1863 in Galena, Illinois, the daughter of a prosperous meat, packer, and granddaughter of Irish Catholic immigrants. Catherine’s father was adamant about our education and sent her to new England for both a formal and a cultural education in 1882. She graduated from the Academy of the sacred heart in New York city, which is now known as Manhattanville college.

Scott Luton (02:16):

Catherine married William Gibbs in New York city in 1896 and the couple moved to Cranston. And then on the provenance, both in Rhode Island, the Gibbs loved to sail together, but unfortunately that would lead to tragedy in 1909. William Gibbs died in a boating accident at Edgewood yacht club. When a sailing mast would fall on his head, thus Catherine became a widow with two sons to raise a high school education and no income, but even worse. Her late husband died without a will, which would prevent Catherine Gibbs from accessing his estate. Catherine’s first documented employment was a at a business school in Providence in 1911. Evidently Catherine really enjoyed the work as she and her sister, Mary Ryan pooled their resources and borrowed a thousand bucks from friends to buy the Providence school for secretaries where she worked, Mary would teach and Catherine would manage the operation and it was promptly renamed Gibbs, private school for secretaries, and it accepted both men and women.

Scott Luton (03:27):

But consider this at that time, the early 20th century men were more often, secretaries women mostly worked as domestic or factory workers in an interesting factoid women who were hired for office work were themselves called typewriters. However, the role of the secretary had begun to change due to a few factors during the civil war, the us treasury had hired 1500 women as secretaries in the last of the 19th century. The technology that secretaries operated began to advance think of the telephone, the commercial typewriter, the key operated calculator, all of these devices were introduced and began mass adoption in the late 19th century and secretaries needed training to operate these devices. And in fact, by 1930, about 95% of secretaries would be women. These dynamics created a nice window of entrepreneurial opportunity, but when surveying the business landscape of that era, there were very few female entrepreneurs.

Scott Luton (04:35):

In fact, women were discouraged from leading business ventures. Catherine Gibbs would say in a 1924, that quote a woman’s career is blocked by lack of openings by prejudice, by the fact that businesses outside of a woman’s natural sphere. And finally that she seldom is granted adjust reward by way of salary recognition or responsibility in quote, Katherine Gibbs ignored all of that nonsense and forged her own path. As she worked to grow the Gibbs private school for secretaries, Catherine proved to be shrewd at marketing and she catered to an exclusive clientele. Catherine would innovate her offerings and develop a creative program in a new savvy revenue stream correspondence classes that required no space or Tom expense world war one would break out in 1914. Of course, that would lead to less men in schools and colleges across the country. So the enterprising Catherine Gibbs decided to focus on women’s education.

Scott Luton (05:43):

She opened a school in Boston in 1917, putting out a quote, a war Thom call for college women with business education and quote, Catherine would follow that up by opening a school in New York in 1918 Gibbs began advertising in alumni journals, believing college educated women who could not find jobs were her perfect clients, a message that centered on female empowerment was embraced in the school’s marketing tactics, but more than mere marketing slogans were the elements of the Gibbs school culture stand above the crowd excellence in all you do hold to your purpose. All of these and others were standards set by Katherine Gibbs and her institution. The students at Gibbs private school for secretaries were required to wear business suits, high heels and white gloves and carry briefcases a school. All of which set them apart from other women of the day, the strong culture of the institution was undeniable and it helped develop a strong reputation for its graduates.

Scott Luton (06:53):

These graduates would become known in the market as Gibbs girls, and they were well-known to be highly professional and polished punctual and organized uncompromising. When it came to business protocol, the school was incorporated in the 1920s. The alumni association began and the first alumni magazine was all published. Enrollment reached about 1000 students, Catherine and her family lived on park Avenue in New York and enjoyed a rather prosperous lifestyle. Then came the great depression in 1929 globally gross domestic product. AKA GDP collapsed by an estimated 15%. Consider that by contrast global GDP fell by less than 1% during the great recession that took place in 2008 and 2009, the great depression calls the Gibbs school to suffer a severe loss of enrollment, but the school would adapt by systematizing the requirements and qualifications for an executive secretary all while promoting its excellent reputation. These adjustments would help the school mitigate the impact of the great depression, but sadly, the economic turmoil would cost to Gibbs family dearly.

Scott Luton (08:14):

Catherine Gibbs, oldest son Howard would commit suicide in 1934 by jumping out of a building that loss as well as the stress of the times was certainly take a toll on Catherine Gibbs would pass away on May 9th, 1934, just about two months after the loss of her son. After her passing Catherine son, Gordon became president and along with his wife ran the school and soon enough Gibbs school graduates were in high demand back to filling a wait list and commanding higher salaries. Following his mother’s tradition of adaptability, Gordon established an unprecedented revenue stream, a winter campus Bermuda long before college study abroad was common because of the great need for office workers during world war two, the Chicago business community requested in 1943 that I Gibbs campus be established there. The school continued to grow with its first suburban campus in Montclair, New Jersey in 1952, followed by Huntington New York in 1972.

Scott Luton (09:19):

And campuses later were added in Norwalk in Farmington, Connecticut, Philadelphia Valley forge and Norristown, Pennsylvania Piscataway in Livingston, New Jersey by Ana, Virginia, and Rockville, Maryland. The Sterling reputation for its graduates and all of this geographic growth made Gibbs deleting secretarial school for many decades. Alumni included Pat Ryan, who later became managing editor of people, magazine, New Jersey superior court, judge Joyce E mung, Kasey, Doris Taran, first woman, president of the multimillion dollar United Jersey bank, North us ambassador, Joan M. Clark Mary West Higgins. The first woman elected speaker of the New Jersey assembly. Mary Slattery Stoltz, a Newbury honor author Karen Curry, senior vice president of corporate fragrance development at Estee Lauder and Karen Eddie Kent. The first female in the country, the head a trade association, the Gibbs family sold the school in 1968, but the school continued with its excellent reputation intact until 2011. By then women thankfully had all sorts of options for education training and careers.

Scott Luton (10:38):

In 1983, Catherine Gibbs was inducted into the Rhode Island heritage hall of fame. In 2014, Rose Daughtery wrote a popular book entitled Catherine Gibbs beyond white gloves. And that seemed to really capture who the lead character was and what Catherine Gibbs and our institution represented. I’ve also read countless remarks by Gibbs graduates that heat prays onto the institution for how it prepared them for successful careers. Catherine Gibbs said, quote, young women have to be trained beyond the technical to act as a personal representative to display initiative and to assume larger responsibilities in quote for a hundred years, the savvy entrepreneurship started by Catherine Gibbs offered women a viable vocational option that set them on the path to even greater successes marking a very important place in business history. All right, moving right along to our second topic of today’s podcast on this week in business history, Frederick drew Gregory was born January 7th, 1941 in Washington, DC, and grew up there in an integrated neighborhood.

Scott Luton (11:55):

His father Francis was an educator who served as assistant superintendent of the DC public school system and the first black president of the library board of trustees Gregory’s mother Nora was a lifelong educator and public library advocate. Many of Gregory’s family were accomplished public servants. In fact, his mother’s brother was the highly distinguished physician surgeon and researcher, Dr. Charles drew, whose efforts in the field of blood storage have been celebrated for saving perhaps millions of lives. As a child, Fred Gregory developed a keen interest in speed and would race small boats off Columbia beach in Maryland. He told Fox news in 2020, that quote, I guess I would have to go back to when I was a very young kid, probably when I was five or six. And one of the groups of friends that my parents had was a group of pilots. I remember sitting at their feet, listening to them, talk about flying in quote Gregory, graduated from Anacostia high school and then attended the United States air force Academy where he received his undergraduate degree in military engineering and his air force commission.

Scott Luton (13:10):

During his time at the air force Academy, he was the only African-American in his class. Fred Gregory earned his wings after helicopter school. He flew in Vietnam, transitioned to fighter aircraft, attended the Navy test pilot school and then conducted testing as an engineering test pilot for both the air force and NASA during his time in the air force, Gregory logged more than 7,000 hours in more than 50 types of aircraft as a helicopter fighter and test pilot, he flew over 500 combat rescue missions and Vietnam Gregory also received a master’s degree from George Washington university in information systems in 1978, Fred Gregory applied for and was chosen as a member of the first class of space shuttle astronauts. And he served in launch support for the first two shuttle missions. Gregory became the first African-American to pilot, a spacecraft, which was the orbiter challenger on mission STS 51 B in 1985, less than two years later, Fred Gregory was serving as a flight controller on January 28th, 1986, the fateful day of the challenger disaster, which cost the lives of all seven astronauts aboard on a side note, I was in fourth grade on that day in 1986 and like most anyone else we’ll never forget it, such a terrible day of loss for all those at NASA, the astronauts families, and our country.

Scott Luton (14:42):

However, I’d like to point out that out of all of that tragedy, I believe it influenced a generation’s renewed interest in space exploration. I know that it certainly sparked for me what has become a lifetime fascination, not only with NASA, but also space exploration in general. So now back to our story, as Fred Gregory would become the first African-American to command any space mission with the launch of STS 33 in 1989 on the orbiter discovery, which carried a classified payload in his career, Gregory logged more than a 450 hours in space. He wants told Ebony magazine that quote from our vantage in space, we couldn’t help, but redefine the world where we all are part of a whole global entity based on the absence of political and arbitrary boundaries on planet earth. In a quote, after he left the astronaut office, he assumed the roles of associate administrator for safety and mission assurance from 1992 to 2001.

Scott Luton (15:48):

And as the associate administrator for space flight from 2001 to 2002, before becoming the NASA deputy administrator from 2002 to 2005, he also briefly served as NASA acting administrator in 2005. Now Gregory serves on numerous prestigious boards, fraternities, societies, and associations. He has received countless distinguished honors, including being named to the astronaut hall of fame, being recognized with three distinguished flying cross metals, air force, meritorious service medal national society of black engineers, distinguished national scientists award in so many others. Gregory resigned from NASA in October, 2005, having flown everything from helicopters to jet fighters, to space shuttles in a monumental career of broken records and service to the country, Fred Gregory’s long and distinguished and highly successful career is certainly a model of inspiration and leadership to all in the business world. Well, that just about wraps up this edition of this week in business history.

Scott Luton (16:57):

Those were a couple of stories that stood out to us, but what do you think find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and share your comments there. We’re here to listen very special. Thanks also to Deb Kui who has been providing excellent research for the series on that note, thanks to you. Our listener, of course, for tuning into the show each week, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought series such as tequila, sunrise tech talk, digital supply chain, podcast, digital transformers, and much, much more. Hey, friendly reminder. Of course 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 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 do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on this week in business history. Thanks everybody.


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.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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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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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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Principal, Supply Chain Now
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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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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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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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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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Host, Veteran Voices

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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 reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris


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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