In this week’s Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner wonders whether CEOs have to – or even can – love their customers. What does that require from executives and what happens if they are unable to muster such a personal emotion in the workplace?
In most B2C companies, but especially in retail, there are some key differences between the ‘typical’ CEO and his or her customers. From age to gender, annual salary to the place they call home, CEOs and the average middle American have very little in common. And while CEOs can’t make themselves like their customers, they can certainly understand what appeals to them about the company’s offerings and why… and give them more of that.
Using real life examples – both good and bad – we will see what CEO love looks like and what the opposite earns them. Building a community, even a community of one, based on value, respect, and communication, is a foundation. But as LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program member Nicky Saunders asked in a recent post, “Have you celebrated and talked to your people or are you too busy chasing more?”
Welcome to dial P for procurement, the show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates, the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement.
Kelly Barner (00:31):
Hi there, and thanks for joining me for dial P for procurement. Part of the supply chain. Now family of shows, I’m Kelly Barner, a career procurement practitioner with a love for business news, and most of all good ideas, no matter where they come from. In addition to video interviews and live streams, I’ll join you each Thursday to share my point of view on a current news story that presents an interesting twist for business leaders or a new way of looking at a common challenge. Before I dig into this week’s topic, we’re building out LPs independent following. So no matter where you encountered this podcast, I’d ask you to subscribe and please consider giving us a review. Thank you in advance for being an active part of our listening community. So here’s what I wanna talk to you about this week. What is the role of love in executive leadership?
Kelly Barner (01:21):
The idea for this came by a recent article that I read in the wall street journal. And it’s about the new CEO of JC Penney. The title of the article is JC Penney’s CEO is done chasing you customers. We are loving those who love us. Now, if you follow retail and maybe even if you don’t, you’re probably aware of the, the fact that JC Penney has had a rough few decades. They hit their peak as the top family retailer in the 1980s, but not very long after that, they lost their way. The fact of the matter is they lost touch with their core customers. And by the late 1990s, the brand and the chain were basically passe. So they’ve gone through a whole series of different CEOs trying to fix things, but actually what happened is every single CEO seems to have found a new way to make the situation worse.
Kelly Barner (02:15):
For instance, they decided to end discounts. They thought, okay, our customers are cost conscious. So instead of having these prices and constantly running, we’re just gonna promise every day, low prices or something to that effect. I know that’s the, the Walmart version, but the problem was they didn’t understand the psyche of the customer. The customer was attracted by even the perception of getting a good deal, even if it was a shorter term thing, they also did away with JC Penney’s private label brand St. John’s bay was very popular. Again, this perception that a store brand would be both quality and affordable, that it would present a good deal to their core customers. Now, if those two things seem like obvious mistakes, you’re gonna love the next three things. They did. These weren’t things where they took stuff away. These were things where they made the situation worse by adding things.
Kelly Barner (03:06):
What did they add? Fitness studios, video game lounges, and style classes. Now just sort of stereotyping when you think about sort of the core JC penny, family based cost conscious value oriented customer video game launches, really. So they were already on the rocks and like many other companies that situation plus the rise of e-commerce. And then finally COVID dealt them the final blow in 2020 JC Penney filed for of bankruptcy protection. So they’re doing a little bit better just as we sort of catch up with them, their 20, 22 revenue estimates put them up 10% from where they were in 2021, but they’re still down 16% from where they were in 2019. So even though they’re starting to move in the right direction, they have some ground to make up. Now enter mark Rosen. He’s the main character in the article from the wall street journal.
Kelly Barner (04:06):
He arrives as the new CEO at JC Penney with past experience working at Ernston young Walmart. And Levi’s. So the question we have to ask is whether he will be the CEO that finally may managers to turn this retailer around. Here’s a quote that was from him in the article that really got my brain to start turning. The biggest difference. This time is we are loving those who love us. We need to give them more opportunity to come back and find things they love. So he’s not trying to win over new customers with video game launches. He’s not trying to court younger hip buyers with yoga studios and things. Instead, mark Rosen wants to double down on the people that always wanted to shop at JC Penney and made it as successful as it was budget conscious American families. Now, I do think it’s funny that in the process of this, he says, okay, we’re going back to the people that love us.
Kelly Barner (05:10):
Don’t worry. We’re not looking for those young hip people anymore. Oh, that’s a little borderline. And we’re gonna come back around to that later. Uh, but clearly he’s working hard to get inside the minds of the, that made JC penny. What it was. He understands that it’s not just about affordability. It’s about the way that those customers perceive affordability. So bringing back the idea of discounts. So that’s his strategy, but we still have to pause and think about this word love. He’s not talking about, we need to like them. We need to spec them. We need to create a good consumer experience for them. We don’t need to focus on them or retain them. We need to love them. That’s an intensely personal feeling. And it’s, it’s not something that we often hear coming out of CEO’s mouth. So I start to think how many CEOs actually love their customers.
Kelly Barner (06:03):
I don’t mean like token. Oh, we love you. We’re so glad you shop here. I mean like this really love their customers. This is especially critical in B to C industries, maybe taking that a step further, how many CEOs even understand their customers. So for that, I start to think in terms of numbers. So I went and did a little bit of research and I pulled some numbers. That’ll just give us a sense. These are all averages from specific sources, but let’s compare some demographics about CEOs to sort of a typical per from middle America. So according to the statistic site, Zia, the average CEO is 52 years old and male, the average American on the other hand, based on the most recent us census is between the ages of 30 and 34 and female. Okay. So we’ve got opposite genders and we’ve got about a 20 year age difference.
Kelly Barner (06:57):
That’s significant, but obviously affordability is important to JC Penney. So what about income? The average CEO salary is about $207,000 a year. Now we know there’s a lot of stock options and things that aren’t rolled into that, but let’s just think strictly in terms of what do you get paid a year? How does that compare to what the average American is paid a year $47,000, about a quarter of what the average CEO makes. And the average American has almost $90,000 in debt. Now, if we tie those general averages back to JC Penney, they know from their own research that the average customers salary is between 50,070 5,000. Now I suspect given how close 50,000 is to 47, that that 75 may include some two income households, right? So we’re basically talking about the same demographic of people. And then culturally, the vast majority of CEOs live in either New York city or Los Angeles.
Kelly Barner (08:02):
What percentage of Americans live in those two cities? 3.8%. So most people in the us are not living, not even close living in New York city or LA. So there’s a very different demographics. And we can think about those in terms of numbers, but that doesn’t really feed the love. So when somebody like mark Rosen is thinking about this core customer that he loves and wants to make sure they love his store. He has to go beyond the idea of demographics, personas, and target markets, and really think about people. He has to understand why they come to the store, why they spend, why they return, what makes them happy. Now, I also thought it would be fun. I have some stories of bad CEO, completely lack of love, swipe, left CEO stories. And, and this is where I kind of teased it earlier. Like, don’t worry.
Kelly Barner (09:01):
We don’t want young people. We don’t want hip people CEOs. Oh, you gotta be a little bit careful with that. So here are two stories that you may know of sort of the opposite of CEOs that love their customers. Abercrombie and fit. CEO might Jeffries, uh, said a few years ago that he only wanted his company to market to cool, good looking people. And he said, a lot of people don’t belong in their clothes. Now, given that Abercrombie and fit predominantly markets to high school and college kids, those are really cliquey, bullying oriented is. So when you’re starting to talk about, okay, we only want the cool kids to come shop here. Y it’s definitely not a way to increase your market share in response to that, customers actually started donating unborn Abercrombie clothes to homeless shelters, right? Take that mic Jeffries. Now here’s another example.
Kelly Barner (09:55):
And I feel like this is the quintessential talk about not loving your core consumer kind of a situation. Here’s the company. As soon as I say it, I have a feeling you’re gonna know where I’m going with this Lulu lemon. I’ll give you a second. Their founder chip Wilson said some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for our clothes, which became FA for our selling hundred dollar yoga pants now to make matters worse. Part of how he got himself into this bad situation was that Lululemon, there was a manufacturing error. The material was too thin. It didn’t stretch right. There was something off. And so even size twos when they put on their Lulu lemons, hands were stretching so far, they were becoming a bit translucent, not intending to. They were just displaying a little bit more of what was underneath than most people wanted.
Kelly Barner (10:46):
And so in response to this, he suggested, well, people are trying to cram themselves into pants that they don’t belong in. In other words, you know, women are too heavy for these pan answer, trying to wear. He went so far is to suggest that the material might be thinning because overweight women’s thighs were rubbing together. OMG, right? That’s not love for the customer. Even if you’re ideal customers, maybe size two, not a lot of people in America, right? Fit into that care. Ju people in America are all kinds of shapes and sizes show a little love. Now here’s a contrast. I wanna come back to JC Penney for a minute. There was a story that mark Rosen, you know, he regularly tours, stores all around the country. So a lot of different states and cities and demographic areas, he was in Kansas city, Missouri. When he noticed that the store that he was in was out of stock on shirts and pants that were very commonly worn by people working his weight staff, white shirts, black pants, heavier, more durable material, able to be cleaned an awful lot, able to kind of take a beating and go through the wash and come right back out.
Kelly Barner (11:57):
And he understood. It’s not just that we’re out of black pants and white shirts. He understood, ah, it’s a lot of restaurants in this city. Clearly the weight staff are drawn to JC Penney for the cost and quality of the garments we that fit their dress code. And he instantly changed the policy. The inventory strategy reached into the supply chain and he prioritized these garments so that they would be in stock. He understood. It’s not just this rack is empty. He understood right? Who is among our core constituents. People who work restaurants, that’s really getting it. Now, one of the techniques I’ve read about that CEOs will use to sort of advocate that their team truly understands customers because this does need to go beyond the CEO. Uh, one way of putting it is eating your own dog food, right? And another way of putting it is just playing dog fooding.
Kelly Barner (12:53):
So the idea is eat your own dog food, be your own customer, use your own product, experience your own service. It’s a way to see things in a whole new light. And you may remember a few years ago, there was a show called undercover boss, where they would take the CEO of random companies. And they would stick at various levels in, in the hierarchy. You know, they might be in some kind of a, a regional manager type of position, but more often they were working the bottom of the rung entry level position. Sometimes these people saw managers that were amazing advocates for their teams. Other times they saw managers that were disruptive, abusive bullies, and, and they had an opportunity at the end of each episode to confront the good and the bad. But I think most importantly, they saw how hard people had to work in order to make their organization function.
Kelly Barner (13:52):
A CEO only has something to run. If you have a massive base of employees at the entry level, willing to work hard. And as we’re seeing now with talent shortages, willing to stay in place, when you think about what happens to your company, if you lose the loyalty of those employees, your costs go up, your productivity goes down, you lose efficiency. This was something that, that Henry Ford understood. He wanted to make sure that every single one of his employees in the factory could afford to buy the model T that they worked to produce. It was a novel idea because at the time so much manufacturing was done by relatively low income people. And most manufactured goods were so unbelievably expensive because they were created by a very small demographic that had disposable income. He completely changed that around and created an enormous market share for himself.
Kelly Barner (14:52):
Something tells me that he wouldn’t have been able to realize both the opportunity for let’s face it, his top line, but also his company as a whole and his employee base. If he wasn’t able to see the excitement of the next model T rolling off the line through the guy that tightened the last wheel on the car, maybe that’s not love, but I think it’s a seed that, that starts with that. So part of this love is understanding the people that are your core demographic, even if you are different from them. But part of it is being able to see the difference between the collective and the individual. You have to be able to see, okay, it’s not just, you know, two income households with 2.5 children, probably a dog. Somebody works in restaurants. Somebody works in a factory. No, you have to be able to understand it down.
Kelly Barner (15:45):
And you’re like, you know what? This is, this is restaurant workers. You understand the individuals coming into your store and that’s complicated it because there’s a lot of them and it’s already not easy to be a CEO. Now, as I wrap, I actually saw something else go by on LinkedIn the other day from one of my fellow LinkedIn creator accelerators, Nikki Saunders shared a, a video where she put together this idea and I’ll link to her video from today’s episode page. You that you can hear this in her own words, but here’s what she said. And I thought it was interesting how this connected to the mark Rosen story at JC Penney, she brings an important word into this community, okay? Communities, those are based on love, right? And affiliation and common and understanding. And she talks about the importance of celebrating. Even if your community is just one person other than yourself.
Kelly Barner (16:42):
So here’s what she said in the text that accompanied her video here is how you grow a larger community. Celebrate having just that one person, that one person believed in your vision and is now going to help you mold your community in a way that more people will come in and feel like home. That one person will give you data that you didn’t have before. Don’t get discouraged. That one or a few people joined, subscribed, followed purchase, et cetera. You are attracting quality people that can help you further your brand. Have you celebrated and talked to your people or are you too busy chasing more now? Doesn’t that sound exactly what mark Rosen said, right? He said, we are loving those who love us and giving them what they love about coming into our stores. Sounds to me like Nikki Saunders gets something that many former JC Penney CEOs did not understand, love the one you’re with, even if it really just is one that is a foundation you can build on the more unlike you, your core customer is the more important this becomes. That’s my point of view. Anyway, thank you for listening to this audio episode of dial P for procurement, but please don’t just listen, join the conversation and let me know what you think on this topic or others. I can take it. Let’s work together and figure out the best solution until next time. This is Kelly Barner for dial P for procurement on supply chain. Now have a great rest of your day.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of dial P for procurement and for being an active, a part of the supply chain. Now community, please check out all of our shows and email@example.com. Make sure you follow dial P four procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of dial P four procurement.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
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.
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.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. 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.
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.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
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.
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.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
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.
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).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.