Supply Chain Now
Episode 1278

Our approach with our clients is to actually see the business as a whole and the location is just a piece of the whole business plan.

-Hilda Abbott

Episode Summary

The Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12 noon ET each week. This show focuses on some of the leading stories from global supply chain and global business, always with special guests – the most important of which is the live audience!

In this week’s episode of The Buzz, host Scott Luton introduces new Supply Chain co-host Marty Parker to the show, and they both welcome special guests Hilda Abbott, Founder & CEO, and Albert Sorto, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances, both with RudHil Companies. Listen in as together they discuss:

  • The impact of new China tariff expansions
  • The importance of workforce development in the supply chain industry
  • The current state of the industrial and commercial real estate environment
  • Insights on site selection for businesses
  • The importance of strategic planning and networking

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from Those Making Global Business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be. Scott Luton and Marty Parker here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Marty. How you doing today?

Marty Parker (00:42):

Wonderful day. It’s beautiful outside. Just excited to be here with you, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:47):

Same. I tell you your voice, you are made for this. I need to get a book on tape narrated by the one and only Marty Parker. It’s so serene, Marty.

Marty Parker (00:55):

Oh, that makes me feel good. Of course, I had a lot of practice over Covid, right, being an instructor.

Scott Luton (01:00):

Yes, yes. Well, speaking of this is your first time as co-host here on the Buzz. A lot of folks may not know, plenty of ’em do, but a lot of ’em may not know. You spent 30 years out there in the C-suite, especially in supply chain where you and I first met and now you’re doing some really cool things, a couple different places, including you’re one of the key leaders at University of Georgia’s supply chain program, which has been sprawling and burgeoning in recent years, huh?

Marty Parker (01:23):

Absolutely. What I like to say is we have the best students in the world. If you don’t think that just hire one of them. I just place them somewhere and the companies hire more. They’re extraordinary.

Scott Luton (01:34):

Oh, I love it. And all the ones that I’ve rubbed elbows with certainly can pass the Marty Parker challenge. So folks, if you don’t believe them, hire one and put ’em to work. I’ll tell you what, but hey folks, today it’s the buzz where every Monday at 12 New Eastern Time, we discuss a variety of news and developments across global supply chain and business. And today we’ve got a couple of wonderful guests joining us about 12:25 PM Eastern Time. That will be Hilda and Albert Soto of Root Hill Companies. We’re going to be talking industrial real estate, site selection, leadership, and a whole bunch more. Marty, I got two things for the audience before we go here. We’ve got some announcements and some resources. We’ve got a couple stories, but there’s two things here folks. First off, we’d love to get your take on these stories and these topics we’re talking about. So drop ’em the comments whether you may be tuned in via LinkedIn, YouTube X, Facebook, Twitch. I’ll figure out what that is one day, no matter, let us know what you think. And secondly, folks, if you enjoy the show today, we’d love for you to share it with a friend or your network. They’ll be better off if you do, Marty, if folks enjoy it. Share, share, share, like right?

Marty Parker (02:34):

Absolutely. We have to work together, collaborate in the supply chain, which we’re going to talk about a little bit. And LinkedIn is one of the best collaboration tools I’ve ever seen to share this kind of content.

Scott Luton (02:45):

That is right. That is right. Folks. Don’t sleep on YouTube though. We see more and more folks joining us there. It’s so easy to plug in, tune in, even comment, you name it. So check out wherever you get your supply chain now, programming. Hey, we dropped with that said over the weekend folks, and here this is our almost weekly newsletter, and Marty, we like to kind of couch it so in case we get really tied up, we can skip all weekend and not let anybody down. But here, kidding aside, we covered some hard hitting shine workforce allegations, so check that out from our friends at supply chain Dive. We talked about Walmart’s recently, really strong quarter and what’s driving that as well as Marty. Have you ever thought about spending 400 bucks on a pineapple?

Marty Parker (03:29):

I have to say I have none.

Scott Luton (03:32):

Me and you both, but it’s a thing, this luxury fruit, there’s a movement afoot, and one of them are these very special niche, $400 pineapples. And as I recall Marty, in that same piece, they talked about these really special strawberries and I think they were $50 for either half a dozen or like eight of them, Marty. Wow.

Marty Parker (03:52):

Yeah, you’re talking about a cheap young man that grew up in West Virginia. Happy to even have strawberries,

Scott Luton (03:59):

Man. I’m with you.

Marty Parker (04:01):

But we learn about scarcity in supply chain, and if you got something special like that, people are willing to pay a top dollar

Scott Luton (04:08):

For it. That is right. Just not maybe these two people here, Marty, would you say

Marty Parker (04:14):

It’s not going to happen? No, not

Scott Luton (04:15):

Going to happen. Okay, so one more resource before we jump into our first two new stories, folks. We continue this Whiteboard Wisdom series, which is one of our newest series. It’s only Found on YouTube. And I’m going to tell you, Marty Stella Jata is a rock and roll star, and she dove into three reasons why collaborations are key in supply chain and then also added some of her expertise in what creates and truly optimizes collaboration. So folks, check that out. We’re dropping that link in the chat, and again, it can only be found on YouTube and it’s really meant to be kind of short, practical, practitioner driven and tips that’s going to help you as you navigate your career. Marty collaboration that helps global supply chain happen, huh?

Marty Parker (04:57):

Yeah, listen to it. It’s fabulous, Scott. And a lot of people think of collaboration just within supply chain. The problem is you’ve got to collaborate with your marketing team, your sales team, your operations team, the folks on the floor that interface with the customer, that collaboration inside and outside your company. As we’ve discussed, I’m interested in the intersection of leadership and technology and supply chain, and we can have the best technology and terrible leaders and just die on the vines. So that’s right. Love that video and interview you did.

Scott Luton (05:30):

Oh, it was great. It was great. Whiteboard wisdom folks. Stella Chita, again, rock and roll star. The Rolling Stones will be opening for Stella at some point down the road, I can promise you. And by the way, speaking of the stones, and we’re dropping the link to this thing right there, your one click away folks from checking this out. I had lunch the other day Marty with Tony Sheroda who leads the Reverse Logistics Association and he goes to Jazz Fest in New Orleans every year, been going for years. And he saw the Stones perform yet again live. And Tony was talking about, I want to say Mick Jagger, he’s in his eighties if I’m not mistaken. And Tony said he was up there like he’s 22 years old. You couldn’t even tell. Just rocking and rolling. I’m jealous.

Marty Parker (06:11):

So when I’m at parties they say, Hey, what’s the one thing we don’t know about Marty Parker? And I’ll tell you, I’m the king of karaoke, my friend.

Scott Luton (06:18):

Oh, okay.

Marty Parker (06:19):

So singing and I’ll sing any of it, right? I’ll do George Strait followed up by Beyonce. I don’t care. So I agree singing and getting in front of people, that kind of stuff definitely keeps you young.

Scott Luton (06:30):

Oh, it does. Big

Marty Parker (06:31):

Jagger definitely has done that.

Scott Luton (06:32):

Oh, Marty. Okay. Alright. So Marty, I know exactly when we get together next. I know I’m going to be talking about music and performing. Look forward to breaking bread with you soon. Alright, so Marty, we got to get to work before our dear friends, Hilda and Albert join us. I want to get into our first story here today. We’re talking trade. I tell you the story that keeps on giving. Let’s see here. This comes from our friends at supply chain dive. There’s a lot of talk about the new China tariff expansions that were recently announced by the Biden administration. Now the new tariffs include rate increases on things like electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar sales, and plenty more. Now, industry leaders, as you might expect, are starting to weigh in here. I’m going to read a couple of these quotes and then Marty, we’re going to get your take.


See, the National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons says, US manufacturers are really concerned stating politicians and policymakers on both sides of the aisle need to understand we can’t instantly reshape supply chains that took decades to build. Now, national Retail Federation, EVP of government relations, David French. Well, he reminds us all of our ongoing inflation battles, man, we’ve got plenty of battle scars to prove that, right? And he says the last thing the administration should be doing is placing additional taxes on imported products that will be paid by US importers and eventually US consumers. Now in a counter prevailing direction, automotive industry leaders, at least a couple quoted in this article, seem to be generally supportive as there are real concerns, there are real concerns about China’s exploding EV industry, especially as it looks to get a foothold in Mexico, which is a vibrant market, and then of course expanding land and expand from there into North America. But Marty, man, I know it’s tough to talk about big topics like this in a couple of minutes, but what’s your take here, Marty?

Marty Parker (08:17):

Well, one, thanks for bringing me in for the first time. Talk about politics. It doesn’t matter if it’s President Trump or President Biden in general, tariffs aren’t great because they raise prices for everybody while protecting some jobs in some industries. I learned about this as a young chemical engineer touring a sugar plant. We’ve had sugar tariffs forever, and a lot of what we eat has fructose in it because we have these protectionary things. Now, it’s complicated because a lot of these countries subsidize and create unfair practices and lower prices cost, so we have to respond sometime. But when I teach my students, there are winners and losers. Whenever you do this, it makes sense that car companies would be excited, they want to keep the cars out, but the rest of us could have potentially been buying some fantastic EVs and seeing the price of EVs go lower and lower. So winners and losers,

Scott Luton (09:18):

Winners and losers, well said. Let’s see here. I’m trying to find a couple of notes from a show ago. Let’s see, speaking of automotive, right, because that’s kind of a line of demarcation between the supporters and the folks that aren’t a big fan of these tariff expansions. US auto sales overall grew 5.1% in first quarter, 2024, Marty, but EV sales grew only 3.3%, which is way below the massive growth in sales in 2023. And you can bet your bottom dollar that those folks are very, in fact, I read in Wall Street Journal, I can’t remember the number Marty, but what the Chinese industry can make an EV for is well below the total landed cost for US manufacturers and a lot of fear there. There’s always winners and losers with government policies. I wish we could find somewhere where everyone can win, but Marty, you’re last word before we move on to the second story.

Marty Parker (10:09):

So they’re actually quite good if you read articles, the cars they’re making are actually quite good. That’s right. We had this happen with the Japanese back in the eighties. Our car manufacturers weren’t the greatest and our cars didn’t last that long. They had a lot of problems. Japanese cars put a lot of pressure on them to get better. So eventually it’ll force us to make better and better products. That’s right. And we’ll all be winners because of it.

Scott Luton (10:34):

Well said Marty. I like that better products is definitely a great outcome. And by the way, folks out there that you may, all three of you that don’t know Marty because he’s got an incredible network and shares his expertise all the time, but y’all will see why he’s earned the nickname, the Bill Nye of Global Supply Chain. So Marta, good stuff there. I’m looking forward to the rest of the show. Speaking of, let’s see here. This is an interesting second news story here. Lemme tee this up a little bit. This is from the team over at Modern Material Handling. We’re talking about the supply chain workforce, which is critical. Raise your hand if you don’t have any workforce issues. No, no hands are up. We get this. Amazon has announced plans to invest some $700 million into developing its workforce, aiming to upskill its 100,000 US workers to be better prepared for new technologies and automation that, of course are transforming global supply chain.


Now, as part of the same article, they referenced this research from McKinsey Global Institute that shows according to their data, only 5% of jobs can be completely automated. Now, I’m not sure what if I had to pick a number. If you asked me that question, I’m not sure if I’d go too much higher, too much lower. That might be about right where we’re today, but 60% of the jobs out there, so 60% of all the jobs out there, if you look at all the tasks, about 30% of the tasks in that 60% of the job market could be completed with new technology. I think that’s supplementing the human factor, right? Y’all have heard the phrase cobots with a c cobots, right? Working alongside the human talent. But one thing that more and more companies are doing, Marty, is leveraging gamification to help drive workforce development.


Now, it’s not just about using games and competition, but gamification is also about leveraging tech that can be found in the popular video game realm. My son Ben, I bet he hears me every time I mention the word video games. I bet he’s pinging over in school somewhere because he’s a video game chant Marty. Now Walmart is using VR headsets to help train their associates on holiday season practices, right best practices. John Deere, shout out to Fred Mke. John Deere is rolling out new simulators to train employees on how to use its machine products. Now some companies are creating those competitive contests to help motivate team members and their learning. But Marty, I know you rub in elbows with all sorts of supply chain hiring managers and leaders. What are some of your takes here when it comes to developing the supply chain workforce?

Marty Parker (12:51):

There’s a great article at Harvard Business Review about interviewing CEOs about these kind of issues with workforces and essentially hourly workers. The bottom line is hourly workers want to be treated the same way that salary workers are treated and they’re not mercenaries, they’re not jumping for 50 cents an hour. It’s nonsense because they suffer if they pick a bad company in terms of gamification. I used to use arena simulations by Rockwell and their simulations would be great for modeling processes and you could show manufacturing operators those processes active in lives. So they’re there and you might as well use those tools. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s a great way to learn in addition to treating your employees well,

Scott Luton (13:39):

Well said Marty. And I think one of the things you’re implying is that the power of visualization, it helps, I mean I’m a big time visual learner. It’s tough for me to kind of fall along if folks are telling me, but you showed me a graph or an infographic or some kind of simulation and I become a much faster learner and I love these applications. I bet Marty as someone that you’re in front of young talent all the time and I bet you come across a variety of learning styles. Would you say visual learners are very prevalent out there in industry?

Marty Parker (14:07):

No, absolutely. And a couple of simulations I use the beer game of course is famous in this space. I just recently learned fish banks, which is really well known in sustainability and used it in a class. And so yeah, absolutely participating experiential as much as you can model it along with visual or fantastic ways.

Scott Luton (14:28):

Yeah. Folks, y’all reach out to Marty if you want to. I’m sure he’s willing to share some of those strategies. And I would just add an unsolicited editorial. The only losers here are the folks that don’t change training practices in like 50 years, right? Folks, don’t set it and forget it. Look for these ways that it’s going to make workforce development so much easier, more fun, more engaging for your teams. And with all the shifting generations I was reading about Marty, I was reading about Generation Alpha, I think that’s the latest generation, right? And I was reading some research that generation Alpha members are training their parents. Like 95% of new technologies that the parents come across, come from the kids. And it’s amazing this reverse mentoring that goes on. But folks back to training, lean into new ways. Your workforce will certainly appreciate it. Alright, so Marty, I am really excited. We’ve got a couple of outstanding guests joining us here in just a second. One is a long time friend that I’ve collaborated with, learned from for years and years and years. And the other one man has been moving mountains, breaking barriers, doing big things in the industry. So I’m really excited. I want to welcome in Hilda Abbott, founder and CEO of Root Hill Companies, and my dear friend, Albert Soto, vice president of business development and strategic alliances also at Root Hill. All right, Hilda, how you doing?

Hilda Abbott (15:49):


Scott Luton (15:50):

It is so great to see you. We had to go through your agent because you’re a rock and roll star as well. Hilda and Albert, my friend. Great, so great to see you once again.

Albert Sorto (16:01):

Great seeing you again.

Scott Luton (16:03):

I tell you, root Hill companies, y’all are on a tear, but before we get into talking industry, real estate and leadership, some other things, Hilda, Albert and Marty, I got a fun warmup question I want to pose to y’all. All three of you I believe travel a good bit. I’m trying to play catch up, but it’s the 20th of May, which is hard to believe here in 2024, June and the summer months and probably 127 degree temps right around the corner. A lot of folks will be taken to vacations and whatnot. Hilda, I think you’ve got a really cool trip coming up. Where are you going?

Hilda Abbott (16:31):

I do. I’m actually taking a cruise, a couple of islands in the Caribbean. Next piece.

Scott Luton (16:37):

Okay. Oh man, I am so jealous. What is one food dish, Hilda that you’re looking forward to, or adult beverage? Either one. Hilda,

Hilda Abbott (16:47):

I love the margaritas when I’m on the cruise.

Scott Luton (16:49):

Yes, I’m with you. I’m with you. For me on the rocks. No salt. Yes. Okay, well Hilda will be looking for pictures or it didn’t happen. Enjoy your cruise for sure. Albert, you’re going somewhere I think. Pretty cool soon. Where are you headed?

Albert Sorto (17:02):

Yes, actually my trip was not going to be until August. I’m heading to El Salvador to hang out by the beach. Enjoy some of the local fresh fruit that they very abundant, different type of fruits this time of year.

Scott Luton (17:15):

Love it. But no $400 pineapples, right?

Albert Sorto (17:18):

Absolutely not.

Scott Luton (17:22):

And kidding aside, Albert, I bet my hunch, it sounds like you’re going down there for pleasure, but I bet you’ll be rubbing elbows with some of the local supply chain leaders and trade delegations down there, huh?

Albert Sorto (17:33):

Actually, we are actually one of the gentlemen that’s going to be hanging out with us. He has a pharmaceutical company in Guatemala, so we all hanging out, we’re actually celebrating his birthday and he’s bringing some of his business partners and friends and we’re just getting together in El Salvador to celebrate for a couple days.

Scott Luton (17:51):

I love it, Albert. I love it and appreciate your good work there, bringing the world together, right? And man, there is so much going on in Central and South America. Very cool. Look forward for a full rundown when you get back, Albert. Now Marty, you’ve already mentioned in June one of your daughters is getting married. That’s a big news in and of itself, but you’ve got some travel coming up too.

Marty Parker (18:09):

Yeah, my niece Sydney is getting married in Oahu. So bucket list, taking the whole family, we’re going to Maui and then Oahu and finishing up at the big island. So very excited about three weeks in Hawaii. I never been just heard wonderful things. I keep threatening to be dancing in the luau and drinking whatever they drink in Hawaii, but I think the girls would murder me.

Scott Luton (18:33):

Oh, you know what? There’s going to be some pictures coming out Marty, I see it in your future, especially Hawaii beverages and karaoke. Oh man, it’s going to have a great time. Alright, and by the way, our family is headed to Alaska with my dear in-laws of mid gifts coming up in July. So really looking forward to that, especially getting a break from the Georgia heat and all four of us are very familiar with that. Alright, so Hilda, switching gears. You and your team have decades of real estate experience, including you’ve been doing a lot of good work in the industrial real estate. Now our homework that we’ve done, labora told us you’ve been involved in over $800 million in real estate transactions. You’re going to be part of the billion dollar club soon. So I’ve got this interesting article here. We’re going to be talking industrial real estate.


I’m going to pop this graphic up from our friends at Prologis, right? So y’all check this out, we’re going to drop the link in the chat as well. So according to their data, again from our friends at Prologis, April, 2024 showed that industrial activity is still generally expanding. And I’ll take that. Anything expanding right now I think I’ll take. But new warehouse and logistics site construction starts mouthful. Well that decreased according to their data in Q1 2024 to some 33% below pre covid levels. Facility rents also fell in April. But according to their data overall, rose about 0.2% on average across the US in Q1 2024. Y’all check out that article for more. But Hilda, what do you see out there in the marketplace?

Hilda Abbott (19:59):

We do a lot of work with small businesses firsthand looking for space for rent. We work very closely with Prologis. We do a lot of tenant representation at Root Hill commercial. And one of the changes has been that businesses are now looking towards buying versus renting once they reach a certain milestone in their business. So that new construction of the industrial space is actually becoming, when it’s actually first generation becoming second generation for businesses that want to expand because they’re looking to build their wealth within their own real estate.

Scott Luton (20:39):

I like that. And so it sounds like y’all are helping companies and business leaders take advantage of those more creative options. And right now folks are buying than they’re renting. Albert, what else would you add to that? What y’all seeing out in the marketplace?

Albert Sorto (20:51):

We are seeing a lot of small businesses that they have been renting for quite some time and now they see some opportunities to be on their own commercial properties, but they’re also seeing increase in business. Currently we’re working with a client who’s been subleasing about two 3000 square feet within a warehouse. Now his volumes, his demand for his products is in an increase. So now he’s looking to purchase his own warehousing facilities for distribution here in the southeast.

Scott Luton (21:18):

Love it. So Marty, when you’re hearing what Hilda and Albert and their teams are up to and some of the opportunities that are out there in the market conditions, going back to what they shared as well as those Prologis data, you’ve been on both sides of the table, right? You’ve been out there getting space and then helping folks find space. What are you seeing out in the marketplace, Marty?

Marty Parker (21:36):

It’s definitely slowing and you can look at the architectural buildings index, the A BI, and it’s been below 50 for a while and it looks out about nine months because architects are doing the design and build for this kind of work. So companies got too much inventory during and after Covid because the bull whip effect, they’re working those inventories down. So we just had record levels that now I think are getting back to a more normal pace, which feels like a big slowdown. But if you look back before Covid, it’s actually in some cases a growth. It’s just not the craziness that we saw during Covid, but it’s definitely slowing

Scott Luton (22:16):

Normalization is what I’m hearing. And one of the points and more generally what you’re alluding to Marty, is it’s important to look at the big picture when it comes to these trends and data points. Don’t look at just the last three or six months, right? It is a big normalization for sure. And Hilda, I see you’re nodding your head, you’re seeing that normalization, y’all been in business for a long time. You’re seeing that kind of that normalization taking place as well. Hilda,

Hilda Abbott (22:40):

We are looking at historical data and how the market was pre covid. I think that in all industries, all businesses are talking about pre covid post covid to actually prove to the clients that this is something normal. What we went through that period was because of the pandemic, but now we’re going back to what pre covid numbers look like in the normalization of the cycle.

Scott Luton (23:07):

Yep. Good stuff there. Hilda. So Marty, we’re all talking about that normalization. Some trends show a little bit of expansion, but there’s a lot of other troubling trends. I want to point this out. We all are familiar probably with the Institute for Supply Management. They put out a manufacturing index monthly and we’re all waiting. Albert, Hilda and Marty, we’re all waiting for manufacturing to take back off. Of course, a lot of folks in manufacturing are waiting for those interest rate decreases, which have been postponed and postponed time and time again. But manufacturing index, according Im manufacturing according to their numbers, contracted in January and February, expanded slightly in March just to contract again in April. So of course manufacturing has such a big bearing on many other things, industry and we’re all I’m sure hoping and praying for a return to a nice growth and expansion in the months to come. Okay, let’s do this. Speaking of manufacturers, Hilda, Albert and Marty, let’s talk about site selection, right? So as business leaders out there, the ones that are adding to their footprint and whatnot, the due diligence they put into those decision-making processes. So when it comes to site selection, Hilda, what’s a good key piece of advice that you’d offer? Supply chain leaders out there looking at new facilities.

Hilda Abbott (24:13):

When we work with our clients, it depends on are they a destination, a business in which they actually need a lot of access to the major highways that impacts what their rate per square foot is going to be. Or are they looking for industrial space, warehouse space, flex space that they’re willing to drive or commute a bit and then get a better rate for them to have price per square foot. So we look at what their business model is, how they have their drivers, their deliveries, the trucks having to come in and look at where they could be strategically placed that if they do need to be closer to major highways, they are having to increase also their sales to be able to then cover the difference in rest. So that is one of the key components that we work with our clients is on the site selection is looking at the accessibility that they need to the roads.

Scott Luton (25:09):

Yes, yes. And Hilda, I would add, I’m sure you’d agree with me, Georgia, between the major interstate systems, the world’s busiest airport, most of the time, depending on how we measure it, and of course the vibrant Georgia ports have been adding volume, there’s all kinds of great access here in the state of Georgia. Hilda for companies expanding here,

Hilda Abbott (25:26):

There is, I was actually in Savannah this weekend and I have a good friend of mine, she was a past partner previous to me, founding on Brute Hill and the mega plants of the Hyundai is there and there’s so much construction going on around the area on residential as well. So the expansion of the railroads and expansion of the highways and the expansion of actually growing these cities, this is actually in cooler. I’m here at Georgia. It for me was astounding. I have not been to Savannah probably within the last year or so and what I’ve seen of the expansion in the industrial space there as well has been astronomical.

Scott Luton (26:06):

I’m with you and you mentioned pool, Georgia, everything is cooler and cooler. I think that’s their town motto. I’ve always loved that. And folks, if you haven’t been to Savannah yet, no matter where you’re listening or tuned in from, I’m telling you it’s so unique. Every city’s unique. But to see those big container ships where they’re passing so close, you feel like you can just reach out and touch one. It is fascinating, especially if you’re a big supply chain nerd like I am. But Hill, that’s a great call out the Savannah market and that Hyundai plant is Marty. I know you’re shaking your head as well, if I’m not mistaken, Marty, of course you got the rivian plant that’s on Paul’s right now in Georgia that also is a mega plant. And Hyundai I think is going to be 35, 4,000 jobs, something like that. And that’s supposed to make as big of an impact as the Kia plant in West Point has made in Georgia. Marty, have you heard the same things?

Marty Parker (26:52):

Yeah, I took my students to the port and it’s just growing like crazy. And that’s one thing people forget that even if things are slowing down, it doesn’t mean that it’s slowing down necessarily in a state like Georgia that is coordinating these kinds of things and really attracting big employers to build factories and warehouses and things like that. That’s right. And I also love, we talked about politics earlier, the two parties seem to really get along here in Georgia to work on those things and both show up to support them. So I think even those things might overall be down. I’m very optimistic about Georgia,

Scott Luton (27:28):

Marty, I am too. And anything that can build more kindred spirits in this fractured world we live in, especially when it comes to politics, Hey, create opportunities for all. I think those are good vibes there. Albert, going back to site selection, right? I know you’ve been active in industry for a long time. What’s a piece of advice you’d offer up supply chain leaders out there looking at new facilities?

Albert Sorto (27:48):

The main data I see time and time again and what I would recommend is give yourself time when you need to find a new location because the more time you have, the better we can negotiate and that you can negotiate and you don’t have to either renew your current lease or having to take less favorable turns just because you run out of time.

Scott Luton (28:07):

Yes, I like that. Albert, you don’t want to add pressure to making quick decisions. Hilda, Albert and Marty, whether you’re making one of those mega plan decisions, which probably takes years as they evaluate spots around the globe, remember that a couple years back, do y’all remember when Amazon had almost that PR contest about where they’re placed in their second quarter? Remember that? And Marty, I thought Atlanta had a shot. I thought I had a shot, but I think they got more press out of anything else out of the whole process. But back to Albert’s point, Marty Tom planning, imagine this a supply chain group talking about planning, ensuring you’ve got plenty of time to work through a good natural, deliberate process. Your thoughts, Marty, when it comes to site selection,

Marty Parker (28:48):

Now both comments were outstanding and as a consumer of IT, architects call it programming where you figure out what your needs really are and then as Hilda mentioned, having some flexibility in terms of your location and the type of thing that you’re doing. And then lastly, as Albert said, negotiate because your landlord will do a lot of improvements and you don’t have to do that yourself. And then lastly, think about the future because what you need right now is not what you’re going to need in five to 10 years. So make sure your space or spaces are expandable in some way.

Scott Luton (29:22):

Well said Marty. Oh, MP bringing it. I love a good checklist. Marty and Hilda, one of the things Marty said there, which is part of your response, I think it’s a really important thing to maybe double down on it. I love Hilda, how you were talking and making it really a holistic review, right? Let’s look at your business model. Let’s look at not just the infrastructure side, but to people access to talent. And Hilda, it sounds like those aren’t narrow discussions. You’re really, that’s a big picture and you’re really learning about all the business needs now and in the future as y’all help companies with that. Hilda,

Hilda Abbott (29:52):

We do. We look at the site selection of the business as the business as a whole, not only on the representation of having them acquire space either it’s either for lease or for purchase, but what are your exact plans in your business? Why are we looking in Gwinnett County versus the cab count, the demographics of who you’re servicing. And that works very well with our clients because they think of things that they haven’t thought about before. They just see what if’s right in front of them. Oh, I want to be in this location because I do business with this company. Well what about if we expand and you’re in the middle now, you could do business in both counties. Why don’t we look at certain things like that? So we work in 65 cities and we focus on the commercial atmosphere not only in industrial, but our approach with our clients is to actually see the business as a whole and the location is a piece of the whole business plan.

Scott Luton (30:49):

Love it. Love it. Hilda. No wonder you’ve been a part of $800 million in real estate transactions. Goodness gracious. All right, so let’s get back to, so we were kind of talking about industry real estate trends, some things going on out there. We’ve shifted over to site selection, whether it’s a small site or one of these big mega plants and Hilda and Albert and Marty all chimed in on that. I want to shift gears one more time. So one of my favorite things to do is learn from those leaders out there that are breaking barriers and changing how business gets done. Now make sure I got this right, Hilda, I believe you are the first Hispanic female owned minority certified brokerage in commercial real estate in the state of Georgia. Is that right, Hilda?

Hilda Abbott (31:27):

That is correct. And I was the first Hispanic male or female to sit on the board of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors last year.

Scott Luton (31:37):

That’s remarkable. Hilda, I tell you what it really is when the full hour devoted to your journey there, but for our audience members out there, Hilda, that want to move mountains like you and Trailblaze certain parts of industry reach a c-suite and beyond, what’s some of your advice you’d offer them? Hilda?

Hilda Abbott (31:54):

I was actually in Savannah for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Latina conference and I got asked a question very similar to this, and I say three approaches. The first one, we have to have a checklist of what we want our business to look like. The second one is actually have a plan of what your competitors are for you to know where you want your company to go. And there is something that I work here with our realtors and our team members, our staff that is called the 1 3 5 model. So that is one is your goal, three are three priorities to get to that goal and then five strategies of each those priorities to get to your goal. So planning out the whole business, and it has worked with me very well. I work on checklists, I work on businesses not only in the commercial aspect of site selection and location, but also looking for our businesses to expand and ultimately open up multiple locations, purchase their own, become investors. So those will be the three main key points that I would say for any business, not only in the supply chain as a leader in the community, is having your business plan and a checklist of where exactly you want to go to have a roadmap.

Scott Luton (33:06):

I love it. The 1 3 5 plan. It sounds great to me. It sounds very practical too and proven that, and I would just add, Albert, I’m coming to you next, but when you said checklist and being at an event and getting asked questions like this for some reason it took me to a moment I had at an event forever ago, and when I share this quote, y’all know how long ago it was, and the speaker said, Hey, if you ever want to know what’s really important to you, look at your checkbook and your calendar, right? Because wherever you’re spending time and money, don’t fool yourself. That’s what’s important to you. Albert, what would you add there for folks that really want to do business differently and lead and do big things, move mountains out there, what would your advice be? Albert?

Albert Sorto (33:45):

I always felt that learning never stops. One of the approaches that has worked very well for me and I recommend it, is always network. The intentional where you network and here we practice what we preach. We not only do business here in Georgia, but we also try to give back to those communities that we serve. So Hilda and I serve in a lot of boards and committees, but when we join a board or committee, we make sure that, do we bring any value to them and will they also bring some value to us? If it’s only one way it doesn’t work, even if it’s the value just to me, then I’ll pass on that opportunity because I think it always has to be a win-win situation. So I got to be able to bring value and also receive value to make it make sense.

Scott Luton (34:28):

Yes. Going back to the first part of your response there, Albert, if there’s anything I know about Albert, having known him for a long time, it’s how much give forward programming he’s involved in. Albert, you remember we went to the veteran nonprofit to give shelters to veterans way back in the day and you even brought your son out, Joshua.

Albert Sorto (34:44):

I know we didn’t want to leave.

Scott Luton (34:47):

We worked hard that day. I tell you, Hilda and Marty, you should see the pictures because we were cleaning out this basement that accumulated stuff for 60 years and I think I slept for three days after we got back. But Albert, I really appreciate not just your commitment but how you act on that. And clearly that’s part of what y’all do at Root Hill. Marty, you heard Hilda and Albert offer up their advice from all of their success. What would you add, Marty, for folks out there looking to do what they’re doing?

Marty Parker (35:12):

Well first, congratulations, Hilda. That’s just outstanding. I serve on the supplier diversity round table at UGA and what we found is there are a lot of barriers to entry Scott, folks in the supply chain frankly look like me and you. And so companies like Southern Company have programs to help folks like Hilda figure out how do you do business with these giant companies? How do you make it through their bureaucracy? So I try to be an advocate on the UGA supply chain board, trying to find folks like Hilda to be on that board and break down barriers, whether intentional or unintentional they exist and be an advocate for folks like Hilda.

Scott Luton (35:53):

Excellent. Marty, speaking of which, you mentioned some of those big companies out there we were interviewing, he admitted to it on the interview, but I’m not going to double down and mention the company name. I’ll let them say stuff like this, but this was a supply chain leader of a really big organization and this interview we’re having. He’s like, look, I know a, b, C company. It’s really tough to do business with. We got to get better at that. And Marty, that’s kind of what you’re speaking to because they’re not just tougher to do business with the big, long a hundred year old companies out there. They’re tough to do business for everyone. And we got to put some elbow grease and some time into refining those processes, right? That should create opportunities for a variety of folks, for sure. Do businesses, current suppliers, new suppliers, Hilda and Albert and Marnie. Good stuff there. And Hilda. So what’s the next barrier? I’m going to go off road a little bit, but you’ve been breaking down all these barriers left and right, changing business. What’s the next thing you got your target on? Because that goal is about to be crossed off the list. This is what I’m leaving this conversation thinking.

Hilda Abbott (36:51):

Thank you. For me, previous to founding Root Hill companies, I was actually part of another investment firm. I was the COO of that investment firm and we grew that portfolio from 2 million to 450 before I departed to open up Root Hill companies. And one of the reasons why was because of the representation in the black and brown community, especially in the commercial sector, there’s not many of us advocating for our small businesses. So in my journey of going on three years with Root Hill, one of the biggest barriers that I’ve seen with our small businesses is the issue of the financials. Getting everything ready. That’s why I believe in checklists. And my next barrier that I want to break is actually creating a loan program or access to capital for small businesses that can have a reporting requirement. I talk about it almost daily that could give a chance to our businesses that do very well, but the education component is lacking primarily because of language barriers. So that is my next barrier that I would want to achieve. So we can compete and we have successful businesses and our Latina women are one of the entrepreneurs growing businesses daily, but the education is not there. The enthusiasm and the resilience is there, but there’s a lot more than that to be able to have a successful business.

Scott Luton (38:20):

Yeah, Hilda, man, it’s just a matter of time. Marty and Albert before Hilda makes that happen. And did you hear those numbers? I think you said 2 million to over 400 million in that venture? Yes. Wow. Growth focused and I bet it was good, successful growth. So Hilda, look forward to having you back and give us an update on that next big audacious, what did Jim Collins call it? A big hairy, audacious goal. Marty, did I get that right? Right. The BAG,

Hilda Abbott (38:46):

I think Scott, I talk about it so much on a daily basis that it doesn’t sound as crazy to me right now, but we talk about it all the time.

Scott Luton (38:56):

Oh, and you act on it all the time, right? There’s no doubt. So that goal is going to come into reality soon. Alright, so let’s do this. I wish we had a couple more hours with both of y’all. Really have enjoyed our chat here today. For the sake of time, I just want to clarify folks out there, root Hill companies offers a variety of commercial real estate solutions from retail space to industrial warehouses, office space, even land development. And you heard some of the things on the horizon next from Hilda and Albert for sure. So Hilda, how can folks connect with you whether they’re looking to do business or maybe they’re looking to pick your brain and kind of talk shop with you, you name it. How can folks connect with you? Hilda,

Hilda Abbott (39:33):

Our headquarters is in Duluth, Georgia. We are next to the Sansa Hotel, close to Bahama Breeze. These are the reference points that I use. If you like Caribbean food, then they know where Bahama Breeze is. So if you go to several conferences, they’re done right next door at the Esta Help Hotel. Our corporate number is 6 7 8 8 7 8 3 8 8 8. And our website is ru

Scott Luton (39:58):

Love that ru and folks just know e in ru R-U-D-H-I, right, Hilda, I get that right. Yes. That stretch of Duluth Pleasant Hill Road I’ve lived on that stretch feels like for 25 years. I know exactly what you’re talking about with Bob a breeze. I love that. Alright, Albert Hilda kind of laid out how folks can connect with her whenever folks can catch you from all of your travels making stuff happen. How can they connect with the one and only Albert Soto?

Albert Sorto (40:25):

Well, they can connect with me and I know a lot of the supply chain radio audience. It’s very active on LinkedIn, so feel free to connect with me via LinkedIn, but you can also just shoot me an email. It’s a Soto SORT

Scott Luton (40:39):

Awesome. And y’all have got an upcoming event. I know we want to mention really quick about creating Wealth, I believe, right?

Albert Sorto (40:45):

Yes. We do have an event coming up on the June 15th about creating wealth. It’s going to be held at the 18 club here in Duluth. So if you want more information, I’ll be posting additional information on that on my LinkedIn profile. So you guys, I’ll provide the link so you guys can register from there. And I’ll also share with Supply Chain radio.

Scott Luton (41:06):

Awesome. Thank you Albert. Thank you Hilda. Marty, we’re going to get your patented key takeaway here in just a second and as well as make sure folks know how to catch up with Marty Parker, who’s also on the move. But Hilda Abbott, founder and CEO Root Hill Companies admire all that you’re doing. And we talked earlier about blessed are those that create opportunities for others, and I can only imagine the futures you are building through a lot of your awesome work, changing the status quo. So Hilda Abbott, thanks so much for joining us here today. Thank you

Marty Parker (41:34):

For having

Scott Luton (41:34):

Us. You bet. We’ll have you back soon. Tell you what, there’s too much good news here to cover in a single episode of the Buzz Albert, thank you for being here. Thanks for connecting us with Hilda. Appreciate y’all both sharing your perspective here on the Buzz. Thank you, Scott. Thank you Marty. You bet. All right. Albert Soto, Hilda Abbott, both with Root Hill companies. We’ll talk with y’all very soon. All right, man, Marty, I’m ready to run through the wall behind sitting here behind me here, Hilda and Albert talk, I tell you. But of all that we covered throughout that whole segment there, Marty, what was your one favorite key takeaway from what they were sharing and talking to?

Marty Parker (42:11):

I think the biggest thing was how Hilda described working out the entire strategy of the company as you are thinking about space and really understanding that because supply chain’s about optimizations. And so I love that she really is going after understanding your client or client’s needs in a lot of detail and helping ’em with that. And I love that they’re specializing in this space.

Scott Luton (42:35):

Yes, I’m with you. Alright, so I got to make sure folks know how to connect with you as we established on the front end. Marty, now you’re one of the big leaders at the University of Georgia, the supply chain program. You already established the Marty Parker challenge. So folks, if you don’t think they’ve got the best talent, hire ’em and they’ll prove you wrong. The patented Marty Parker challenge. And then of course you’re doing big things with your startup, I guess I’ll call it. Yes. Quick blurb there. What are you doing there, Marty? So

Marty Parker (43:00):

It’s called Adapt Advising. A-D-A-E-P-T. Companies need to adapt to changing times, but they also need to be adept at what they’re doing. And it’s essentially matchmaking. I do matchmaking for my students and now I go in and assess what a company needs. I have affiliates and it doesn’t matter what their need is, if it’s supply chain, leadership, marketing, sales, whatever, having been in the C-suite. And I just match them up with the right people because a lot of times they don’t know where to start to find me. I’m easy Google, Marty Parker, UGA or Marty Parker, LinkedIn. I’ll pop right up and I help students and companies grow and succeed and just would love to continue helping anybody out there in your audience.

Scott Luton (43:42):

Love that. And folks check out, especially on LinkedIn where I interact with Marty the most, check out his videos, who knows? Maybe he’ll be publishing some of that karaoke success.

Marty Parker (43:52):

Take that as a challenge.

Scott Luton (43:55):

New challenge, Marty. One last comment here before we get out of here today. Jared says, I had written down this quote last year and it’s always stuck with me. Success comes down to a simple choice. Decide exactly what you want, determine the price you have to pay and choose if you’re willing to pay it. Well said Jared. Great to have you here today. Always a pleasure. Alright, so Marty, you’ve mentioned how folks can connect with you. I also highly recommend, especially LinkedIn folks connect with Marty. You’ll enjoy the content he shares regularly. It’d be a great addition to your network as well. We’re pleased to have Marty, Marty Parker, the one only join us as one of our newest co-hosts here at Supply Chain now. So stay tuned for a lot more of Bill N, the supply chain guy. I guess I got to complete the rhyme there, Marty. Is that right?

Marty Parker (44:38):

Yeah. And also supply chain dog, DAWG. You can find me that way on Twitter and on Instagram reels. That’s right. But UGA loves to call me supply chain dog, so I’ve just kind of picked that one up too.

Scott Luton (44:50):

Well shout out to Fred Tolbert, who’s doing great work mentoring.

Marty Parker (44:54):


Scott Luton (44:55):

Alright folks, that does it for the buzz. Big thanks again to Hilda and Albert with Rudy Hill Companies for joining us. Marty, always a pleasure to knock out shows like this with you. Hey, big thanks to Catherine and Amanda behind the scenes, helping to make production happen. As always, one programming note. So this is live, so it’s the 20th of May here today. So of course next Monday is Memorial Day. We won’t have programming on Memorial Day as we all want to take some time and reflect on those that gave it all in service to our country, right? And I’d encourage you to do the same. Memorial Day parades are some of the most consequential events y’all will be at. We go to Little Town in Georgia. Amanda, if you could help me out and drop that in the chat. Marty, this little town in Georgia used to host the biggest Memorial Day parade, I think in the state.


Let’s see here. The cool, yes, the Cula Marty won of the most powerful parts of that parade is they have folks walking with pictures of lost loved ones. And it’s just an army of people and it keeps going. And just the context and just kind of personalizing this massive loss that we all benefit from, it really takes some time. And so folks, if you haven’t taken in a parade or any kind of act that really helps you kind of wrap your head around Memorial Day in a different way, I would highly encourage it. Marty, same for you.

Marty Parker (46:11):

Absolutely. I have veterans that are in my classes, my MBA classes and just god bless them for what they do. And thank you so much for serving our country the way you do.

Scott Luton (46:21):

Alright folks, thanks for being here. Here’s a challenge though, as we start to close here, take something. It’s one thing from the brilliance that Hilda Albert Marty dropped on here today. There’s lots of different options, but take one, put it into action. Make things better at your organization, on your team, you name it, deeds dot words, make it happen, right? And with all of that said, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change, be like Hilda Abbott, and I tell you, the world will be a much better place. We’ll see you next time right here on Supply Chain now.

Intro/Outro (46:55):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now community. Check out all of our and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain now, anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain. Now.


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Featured Guests

Hilda Abbott is driven to create exceptional value and seize opportunities within the dynamic real estate market. Her journey spans over two decades, holding various roles and sectors of the industry, including brokerage, development, property management, and investment. In 2021, she embarked on a passionate pursuit by establishing RudHil, fulfilling her purpose of identifying profitable properties for her clients, fostering robust partnerships, and delivering unparalleled service to their cherished clients and investors. Throughout her career, she has meticulously honed her expertise in executive-level management, effective team building, adept negotiation, and powerful communication. At RudHil Companies, they have a dual purpose: to revolutionize the real estate industry for realtors while embracing the diverse communities they serve, promoting and empowering their unique differences. She has been fortunate to facilitate, manage, and contribute to real estate transactions worth over $800 million, a testament to the trust and confidence our partners and clients place in us. As a proud Latina, she is passionate about the continued growth and success of RudHil Companies and RudHil Commercial, and she welcomes the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, collaborators, and visionaries. Connect with Hilda on LinkedIn. 

Albert Sorto is a dynamic and innovative sales executive with over twenty years of progressive experience in business development, sales, marketing, customer service, and operations management. Throughout his career, Albert has demonstrated strong influence and negotiation talent, building lasting relationships and fostering trust with partners and clients alike. Currently serving as the Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances at RudHil Companies, Albert advocates for homeownership programs to help our minority communities achieve the American dream and educates small businesses in the commercial real estate market. In this role, he plays a pivotal role in driving growth and fostering partnerships within the real estate industry. Prior to joining RudHil Companies, Albert held various leadership positions in both the nonprofit and corporate sectors. As the Vice President of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, he focused on business formation, growth, and civic engagement, impacting the Hispanic business community through consultations, workshops, and seminars. Albert’s contributions extend beyond the nonprofit sector, with experience in founding and co-founding organizations such as the International Business Exchange (IBEx) and Truck Dispatch Services, LLC. He has also held key roles in companies like the Atlanta Gladiators and the National Minority Trucking Association, where he played instrumental roles in driving business growth and fostering industry partnerships. Albert’s dedication to community involvement and his passion for empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds make him a respected leader in Georgia’s business landscape. His commitment to excellence and his ability to forge meaningful connections have earned him recognition, including being named among the “Top 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia” in 2021, and 2023 by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. With a proven track record of success and a steadfast commitment to driving positive change, Albert Sorto continues to make a significant impact in both the nonprofit sector and the business community at large. Connect with Albert on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Marty Parker


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Allison Giddens


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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Billy Taylor


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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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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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 & Host

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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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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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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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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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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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

Director, Customer Experience

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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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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