This Week in Business History
Episode 41

Episode Summary

“Ethel Stuckey suggested that her husband expand his offerings and include her homemade candies for purchase. This was an important moment that perhaps the Stuckey family didn’t realize at the time. And it was made even more important due to W.S. Stuckey’s willingness to run with and embrace Ethel’s suggestion. It would certainly be a gamechanger.”

-Scott Luton, Host

 

In this episode of This Week in Business History, host Scott W. Luton shares the interesting ups & downs of the popular Stuckey’s enterprise, where “every traveler is a friend”. The 80+ year old company has visionary & passionate new leadership & is headed in exciting new directions. Scott also dives into the remarkable story behind Liquid Paper…including just how Liquid Paper, The Monkees & MTV are all connected.

Episode Transcript

Scott Luton (00:12):

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

Scott Luton (01:10):

Hello, and thanks for joining us. I’m your host Scott Luton, and welcome to this edition of this week in business history for March 22nd. Thanks so much for listening to the show on a side note, before we get started, we’re going to be celebrating a great milestone over at supply chain now, which is the mothership for this week in business history. We began podcasting in May, 2017, which frankly feels like 50 years ago at this moment. I wasn’t exactly sure what we talk about or how often we’d publish our initial cadence was two podcasts a month. I bet we’ve published over 300 episodes alone in 2020, but what I was sure about was our mission. We wanted to give voice to the global supply chain community recognized in the people and issues of the day, the people and issues that never got enough attention or visibility that was, and still is our North star.

Scott Luton (02:06):

In fact, we’ll be publishing episode number 600 on supply chain. Now this coming week, while I reflect on all of our teams, enormous investment of blood, sweat, and tears that went into each of those 600 episodes, I’m also tremendously grateful for you, our listeners step by step on this storytelling venture, both at supply chain now and here at this week in business history where we’re getting close to 50 episodes. Thanks so much. And of course keep your feedback coming. We always enjoy your ideas, constructive criticism, and of course your reviews on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from and now onward and upward. Let’s get back to this week in business history today, we’re going to be sharing the stories of two incredible innovative pioneering business, Williamson Stucky, senior, and Bette Nesmith Graham stay tuned. As I hope you’ll enjoy the surprising backstory on both of these leaders and will be surprised by a few things along the way.

Scott Luton (03:13):

Thanks again for joining us on this episode of this week in business history, powered by our team here at supply chain. Now let’s begin our look back in business history today by revisiting what may be an icon for many drivers and travelers here in the United States on March 26th, 1909, Williamson Sylvester Stuckey, senior AKA Ws Stuckey was born in Eastman, Georgia. The town sits in South central Georgia. Savannah is about 140 miles East of Eastman in Macon. Georgia sits about 60 miles Northwest let’s fast forward from 1909 to the 1930s. It’s a decade of course, of extraordinary economic term wall for so many, the great depression which had begun 1929 was roaring in the early thirties and lasted for some into the latter years of the decade. But back in Eastman, Georgia, the roots of what would become an iconic roadside empire were being formed. Ws Stuckey senior had a banner peak and year in the mid thirties and thought he’d share some of the harvest with the roadside travelers coming through town for two at Tousley us highway 23 runs through Eastman, a main thoroughfare that extends from Jacksonville, Florida on the South end through Atlanta and ends at Mackinaw city, Michigan on the North end.

Scott Luton (04:42):

Really a perfect place to set up a peak can stand as proven when the highway travelers bought all of Ws duckies pecans. This outcome didn’t just delight Mr. Stuckey, but it also called the eye of miss Ethel Stuckey. His wife, Ethel Stuckey was a masterful cook and candy maker. And she had developed quite the reputation in her family for a variety of homemade candy, such as pecan divinity, pecan brittle, and perhaps her most famous of all the P can log roll. Ethel Stuckey suggested that her husband expand his offerings and include her homemade candies for purchase. Now, this was an important moment that perhaps the Stuckey family didn’t realize at the time and it was made even more important due to Ws. Stuckey’s willingness to run and embrace Ethel’s suggestion. It would certainly be a game changer by 1937, the business which had become known as Stuckey’s was thriving.

Scott Luton (05:43):

In fact, a small candy kitchen was added to the store in Eastman. So that Ethel Stuckey and her sister Pearl Landers could more easily deliver on the high demand for the candies, their best-selling product you ask. Well, it was the famous Stuckey’s peak can log roll, but the Stuckey’s saw other ways they could serve their travelers with other food supplies, a restaurant, and even gasoline pumps. One other big addition was made perhaps one that you are already familiar with. The sloping teal blue roof in 1941 Stuckey’s would expand outside the state of Georgia for the first time and build a store and Hilliard, Florida world war II would bring sugar rationing, which would slow Stuckey’s growth a bit, but only temporarily. And after world war II, Americans would buy automobiles in droves and hit the road for adventure across the country. All of these travelers would need to stop somewhere for fuel and food.

Scott Luton (06:43):

In 1948 Stuckey’s candy plant would be opened in Eastman to help keep up with sales, but I bet Ethal Stuckey’s presence was palpable across those production lines. All told Stuckey’s business would boom for decades during its heyday. By the 1970s, over 350 Stuckey’s locations could be found across the United States. Some would say that a sloping till blue roof was just as common as McDonald’s golden arches, every Stuckey’s team member, and many of their customers would become very familiar with Ws, Stuckey, seniors, legendary motto. Every traveler is a friend. It would become a key aspect to the company culture, but as they always do times would change and would certainly bring change. A series of mergers and takeovers would lead to the Stuckey’s empire being owned and controlled by pet dairy corporation and pet dairy corporation will be acquired. Some say it was an unfriendly takeover by RC industries incorporated, a Chicago based conglomerate with roots in the railroad industry.

Scott Luton (07:52):

The U S interstate system construction would also grow extensively, especially in the 1960s and seventies. The Stuckey’s footprint was much more focused on the national highway system, which has served the American traveler so well for much of the 20th century, none of these developments will be good for the Stuckey’s enterprise in 1977, Wes Stuckey, the founder and Ethel’s dear husband and partner would pass away by the early 1980s. The new ownership of Stuckey’s had allowed the enterprise to crumble in decline, hundreds of locations have been lost, but new leadership would step in as Wes Stuckey Jr. Fresh off five terms of service in the us house of representatives was determined to reclaim his family’s business. In 1984, he would team up with a group of investors, acquire the company and get to work rebuilding the Stuckey’s enterprise Ws ducky Jr. Would introduce new offerings and business concepts as well as strengthen business relationships across the country is team’s work result in expansion back up to 115 franchise locations in 17 States, Ws ducky Jr.

Scott Luton (09:05):

Retired in 2014 and in November, 2019, his daughter Ethel, Stephanie Stuckey would acquire the company becoming its president and CEO, Greg white. And I were fortunate to be introduced to Stephanie Stuckey by our friend, Gary Smith. Who’s also served as guest host here at this week in business history. We interviewed Stephanie Stuckey back in late 2020, where she shared quote, even though Stuckey’s has been around since 1937, I joke that we’re an 80 plus year old startup because I’m reviving the brand and I’m really starting it back up again. In quote, we’ll include a link to the interview in the show notes while a member of the Stuckey’s family, Stephanie brings fresh non retail perspective, which includes work in politics and law. But when she first took the reins, Stephanie Stuckey wanted to get reacquainted with the company’s roots and beginnings. She had acquired six boxes of her grandfather, Ws, ducky, seniors, papers and belongings, all which had been in storage since his passing in 1977, Stephanie would comb through every single item and would condense the key takeaways into just three pages of notes, which would become a key aspect to the nucleus at the heart of our mission to rebuild a new golden era for the Stuckey’s organization.

Scott Luton (10:28):

And early on there have been plenty of successes, Stephanie Stuckey in her small, but robust management team have added new locations and hundreds of new retail partners, and they’ve launched into the e-commerce space. So now you can find Stuckey’s products at Stuckey’s dot com that’s S T U C K E Y s.com. And of course Amazon, and in February, 2021, the company announced the purchase of a manufacturing plant in wrens, Georgia, where they’d make some of their products for the first time in decades. The 80 plus year old startup is certainly entering a new era. So look for their products and perhaps more famous sloping, teal blue roofs in your neck of the woods. Soon up next today on this week in business history, how was liquid paper, the monkeys and MTV all related? Well, let’s find out on March 23rd, 1924, Bette Nesmith Graham was born Betty, Claire McMurry in Dallas, Texas raised in San Antonio.

Scott Luton (11:34):

She would eventually drop out of high school. And Mary Warren, Audrey Nesmith young couple would have a son that they would name Robert Michael Nesmith, Warren and Betty would divorce in 1946. And Betty as a single mother would have to find a way to make ends meet. Betty would find work as a secretary at Texas bank and trust. She was talented and earned her way to the role of executive secretary. Unfortunately though, there was a lot more of upward mobility beyond that for women in the banking industry in the 1950s, Bette Nesmith Graham would make extra money by painting holiday windows at the bank. In fact, painting would become a passion in life for bedding. More importantly, this sod job would prove critical to what great fortune was in store for Betty in her family. Back at Texas bank and trust the offices had embraced the new electronic typewriters typing was something that Betty never could master like so many of the rest of us, a key aspect of the executive secretary role was typing large contracts, memos, and the like sometimes errors not easily and legibly corrected could lead to a massive waste of time and resources.

Scott Luton (12:49):

After making a mess of several big contracts, Betty would find inspiration in her painting. It was Christmas embedded Nesmith Graham was at work, staring out the window, watching a worker paint, a bank sign. The painter made an error to and Betty would watch him simply paint over it and start over. She instantly thought of her own painting experience where when Betty made an error, she did the same thing. Just paint over it. Talk about your Eureka moments right away, but he would return to the office the next day, armed with a bottle of her temporary paint, which she made at home in her kitchen, blender, as Betty made typing mistakes. She’d cover them up with the tempera paint, which dried quickly, and then Betty would type over them. It worked like a charm so much so that her colleagues and fellow secretaries wanted a bottle of their own Betty happily obliged and would call the product mistake out for five years.

Scott Luton (13:51):

Betty wouldn’t think about selling the product, but would instead focus on making her and her associates lives easier at work. Finally, after the umpteenth, urging from friends and colleagues, Betty would attempt to produce batches of the product with the help of her son, Michael Nesmith, and sell bottles out of her garage. They worked tirelessly have the office by day and in the garage by night, but could never perfect the model enough to make money. And unfortunately the endless hours would impact buddy’s performance at the office, the banking executives didn’t like how the errors were painted over, even though they didn’t catch them very often. And in what was even a bigger problem, word of her entrepreneurial activity would leak her bosses found out and didn’t like it at all. They would fire the enterprising single mother after Betty mistakenly typed her company name, the mistake out company on a banking memo.

Scott Luton (14:50):

Betty was frustrated, broke, and jobless, but also determined and inspired to build a business. And now she could focus all of her time and energy into making that happen. Thus 1956, Betty would assemble an advisory team to help figure out a more productive and successful path forward. It would include several friends and professionals, including her son Michael’s chemistry teacher. One of the remedies that came out of the team’s work, they changed the name of the product to liquid paper, not to be confused with its competitor whiteout, which was launched in 1966 and trademarked in 1974. But back to the newly renamed liquid paper sales would soon follow the new game plan sales that Betty and the team ensured that they could deliver on by 1968, the liquid paper business was making 10,000 bottles a day, 11 years later, Bette Nesmith Graham would sell liquid paper to Gillette corporation for almost $50 million.

Scott Luton (15:58):

Before her passing in 1980, Betty would establish the Betty Claire McMurry foundation and the Guian foundation, which were both focused on supporting female entrepreneurs and artists, her son, Michael, when he wasn’t helping out with the family business where he was an aspiring musical artist in his own, right. You might have heard of the group. He was part of in the 1960s and seventies. Yup. The monkeys, the same band of musical and television fame and Michael Nesmith was a guitarist that wore the patented wool hat or toboggan Nesmith would lead the monkeys in the 1970s and start his own label. But in innovative fashion, much like his mother, Betty Nesmith would focus on combining audio music with videos. Nesmith had a hit in 1977 called Rio, which was released with one of the first ever music videos. The popular Rio video would lead to Michael Nesmith, launching a TV program on Nickelodeon.

Scott Luton (17:02):

Remember that channel, the program is known as pop clips. It was a TV show dedicated to music videos. Does that sound familiar? Pop clips would run for one season from 1980 to 1981, the show would lead Nickelodeon’s owners at the time Warner cable to launch music, television MTV for short and on Saturday, August 1st, 1981 at 1201 Eastern time. MTV programming would begin with the words ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll. While the words were spoken by John lack video of the space shuttle, Columbia launch would play in the background along with the launch of Apollo 11 and the iconic shot of the moon. So to bring it full circle, MTV may well have developed and launched on its own, but thanks to the brilliance, determination and success of one Bette Nesmith Graham, which allowed Michael Nesmith to chase his artistic passions. My thought is we got our MTV a lot sooner.

Scott Luton (18:09):

Blessed be the ties that bond well, that just about wraps up this edition of this week in business history. Big thanks to you, our listener for tuning into the show each week. Be sure to let us know how we’re doing. We’d love to earn your review on Apple podcast or any other podcast channels, which of course will help us get the word out better 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 that’s needed in on that note. We’ll see you next time here on this week in business history.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Patch Reilly

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

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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

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

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Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Host of Dial P for Procurement

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Jamin Alvidrez

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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