Supply Chain Now
Episode 1051

It has been quite a revelation for me to realize that we were not only setting women up for a skill and an occupation, but also changing the dynamic of their family. For many of them, they were the first woman in their family to have a driver's license.

- Nicci Scott, CEO of the Commercial Transport Academy

Episode Summary

Labor shortages are a challenge worldwide, often resulting from a disconnect between job openings and the skills available in un- or underemployed populations. In South Africa, the supply chain sector has led the way in closing this gap by training new drivers and working to bring more women into the industry.

Jenny Froome is the Chief Operating Officer at SAPICS, the professional body for Supply Chain Management in South Africa. She and host Scott Luton are joined by Nicci Scott, CEO of the Commercial Transport Academy, a unique organization that does not just provide skills training, it goes further to connect people with jobs.

In this session, part of the Supply Chain Across Africa series, Nikki, Jenny, and Scott discuss:

• The successes that have been achieved by the CTA and how they are replicating that around the world

• Unique transport and delivery channel requirements that need to be met in South Africa and how the CTA is adapting to address them

• The economic and social currents running through society in South Africa and how the CTA program has adjusted to handle them

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 everybody. Scott Luton and Jenny Froome here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s episode, Jenny. How you doing?

Jenny Froome (00:38):

Doing really well. Thanks, Scott. It’s exciting that it’s nearly the end of the year.

Scott Luton (00:45):

Um, I think it, it’s a, it’s a mixed bag. It’s exciting, but man, we gotta take a break from doing all this fun stuff. But hey, you know, regardless, it’s great to have you back. Really have enjoyed, um, uh, the series of this episode’s part of, as we’re continuing our supply chain leadership across Africa series, in conjunction with the one and only Jenny Froom and our friends at SAPs. Now, Jenny, you don’t ever talk about yourself. Um, you know, we’re big fans. I think I am, I’m still chairman of the Atlanta Jenny Frum fan club. I believe, uh, I’m up for reelection, I think in the new year. But, you know, you serve as COO of SAPs, which has been doing wonderful work from a professional stand, uh, professional development and networking standpoint for quite some time. Folks, you can learn All right, so Jenny, you have brought back one, um, a wonderful repeat guest. Uh, she blew our audience away, and which we’ll reference here in a minute, uh, a year and some change ago. How excited are you about this conversation we’re about to have?

Jenny Froome (01:49):

I just, I love, love, love listening to Nicci. I love getting updates on the work that, that she and her team are doing. And every conference that we’ve done since, I think we did the first episode when we first met Nikki properly, um, there’s something, there’s another nugget, there’s another little inspiring comment or, or something to take away. Um, so I’m hugely, hugely excited that Nicci’s with us today.

Scott Luton (02:14):

Wonderful. So folks, if y’all like, leaders that enjoy bucking the system, they don’t put up with any BS and they’re out to move mountains and change how work is done while creating opportunities for others, hey, you’re in luck. That’s what our conversation’s gonna really focus on a lot here today. So, with no further ado on a welcome in, Nicci Scott, c e o of the Commercial Transport Academy. Nicci, how you doing?

Nicci Scott (02:41):

I’m doing amazing. Thanks, guys. Thank you for inviting me onto the show. Again, I often listen in Scott, onto your shows, and you’ve really done some incredible work this year in the supply chain environment and really keep it engaging. So, thank you. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (02:55):

<affirmative>. Well, I really appreciate the high praise. Um, we have an incredible team here. We’re all dedicated to, you know, amplifying the voice of industry. And I’ll tell you, um, if, if all the shows were like this one, man, this would really be easy, <laugh>. So I’m looking forward to what we’re gonna be talking about here today. Um, so Jenny and Nikki, before we get to the really good stuff, I want a little start with a little fun warmup question. You know, as Jenny was referencing earlier, it’s, it’s hard to believe it’s December, uh, already. And, and we’ve got just a few weeks before the end of the year, we got Christmas, another ho holidays upon us, end of year, new Year’s, all that good stuff. So, Nikki, I’ll start with you. What is one, uh, tradition that you and your family may have this time of year each year?

Nicci Scott (03:39):

So, I live in Cape Town, and it is blistering hot. I mean, we, I, I can’t, I dunno, the Fahrenheit conversion, but it’s about 33, 35 degrees Celsius. So this doesn’t lend itself to a really big meal, but it is the one and only time of the year that I would insist that all my children join me in the kitchen and prepare a meal. We’re not big on Christmas and in, in gifts giving. Um, but certainly in that preparation. And my son is into all things Asian, um, and specifically Korean. My daughter loves Italian, and, uh, the race of us trying to go towards the North Irish marriage, conventional food. So it is quite a party of food that is prepared, but I think it’s the, the fact that I can actually have them all in the kitchen working with me and really not, um, being on their phones and not disconnected to something on their computer. Um, so yeah, one of our traditions, oh,

Scott Luton (04:38):

Nicki, I love that so much. Love how you describe it. Um, and also I, I loved your comment about, yeah, that’s why I like Thanksgiving here in the States, it’s all the good food and the camaraderie that you described, and no pressure on gift buying and the gift opening, all that stuff. But here’s a thought, Nikki, um, get a YouTube or a, um, a GoPro camera, put it in a corner of your kitchen and record this year’s, you know, uh, uh, cooking masterpiece is something that I, I bet, uh, years from now, you will savor and appreciate you did that. So I’m gonna challenge you, and when you do that, you guys share the, the, uh, the cooking process with us here. How about that

Nicci Scott (05:16):

And the banter that goes on. Oh, no, that’s <inaudible>. Thank you, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (05:20):

All right. So Jim, that’s gonna be tough to top. Uh, I think you and I both are ready to go join Nikki’s Kitchen and be a part of that process. But what’s, um, Jim, what’s one of your family’s favorite traditions this time of year?

Jenny Froome (05:31):

That’s such a cool idea with the GoPro camera? We, we do, we are very, very traditional, and we, despite the fact it’s mid-summer, we do still do Turkey and all this stuff, but this year particularly, I’m excited to share our traditions with my young, with my son’s, um, girlfriend. She’s joining us in South Africa. She’s, I don’t think she’s ever been to South Africa before, and she’s from Poland. And so they have the tradition on Christmas Eve, as I, as I recall, that they have to eat co the fish cop. Interesting. So she’s looking forward to not having to eat cop <laugh> for Christmas. So we shall, we shall be very happy to share our, our traditional, uh, Christmas meal with her,

Scott Luton (06:18):

You know, um, I would not blame her. I’m not sure if I’ve ever eaten carp. I’m not a big seafood fan. If I’m eaten seafood, I gotta be kinda like at the be beach where you, you gotta sense this, like really freshly caught and prepared and whatnot. So, um, kudos. So I’m looking forward to you hearing your stories of introducing your, uh, culinary, uh, traditions, uh, with your son’s girlfriend too. Um, okay, so Nicki and Jenny, now that we’ve got that, uh, we allall painted a wonderful picture, uh, here for the weeks ahead. We gotta get down to business. And I wanna start, Nicki, as I mentioned on the front end, we had quite a, uh, a lively live stream when he joined us. I want to say it was June, 2021. Uh, Jenny, Jenny and both Greg White both joined me as a co-host, and, and Nikki came in there and blew our audience away.

Scott Luton (07:10):

Um, it was episode listeners, it’s episode number 6 58. So if you wanna go back and listen to that, we’re gonna touch on a couple elements, but then really we’re gonna get an update on what Nikki and her group’s been up to ever since. So, Nikki, what, what’s shown, and Jenny, I’m gonna get your take here. If you recall what really came across to me, and, and I took a quick kind of pseudo listen this morning, bold, confident young person nicknamed the Ice Queen, you know, didn’t take the status quo, right? Uh, always asked the question why, uh, sold her first company at 19. So it wasn’t just all of that for the sake of being a rebel. It was all of that with purpose, and, and it really had business minded. And then, um, so fast forward, you started CTA largely as you said, quote, due to the absence of women in industry. And we’ll touch on that in a minute. But then, but, um, I want to get Nicki to share one of my, our favorite moments of that conversation. But before I prompt her to do that, Nicki, Jenny, anything else you recall? And, and you know, Nicki really well, anything else when, when we’re, as we’re trying to kind of profile who Nikki is, anything else you would add?

Jenny Froome (08:20):

Oh, no, she doesn’t. She won’t let anything stop her. Uh, that’s, that’s what I’ve witnessed is that where there’s a will, there’s a way. And, uh, Nikki is, is living example of that.

Scott Luton (08:32):

And, you know, we should also call out, uh, from that interview you’d mentioned Jenny, that Claire, dear Claire, uh, her last name is

Jenny Froome (08:40):


Scott Luton (08:42):

Finchem. Yes. Dear Claire Finchem, who’s a, who’s joined us here. I think Claire connected the two of y’all, which led to be a really big introduction. Is that right?

Jenny Froome (08:51):

Yep. Claire, does Claire read about, uh, cta contacted Nikki, struck up a relationship with her, and then we, we were introduced and we sort of haven’t looked back really. SAP has, has loved, um, having c t A involved and being able to provide a platform to, along with a lot, lot of other industry associations in, in, in our world here in South Africa. There’s a, there’s a huge amount of support for the work that CTA is doing, because it really is just genuinely amazing stuff.

Scott Luton (09:22):

That’s right. Uh, alright. Right. So, and by CTA a we’re we’re referring, uh, of course, Nikki’s organization, commercial Transport Academy. All right. So Nicki, um, there was a moment, you know, there was just something highlights from that last true appearance a year and some change ago. But there was a moment where, uh, you share this anecdote, which included, uh, I’m a paraphrase here, dude. Are you for real? So tell us about that. Uh, that story, again,

Nicci Scott (09:51):

Think since the beginning of term in my career, I have been challenging these norms, as you said. And once I, uh, sort of got fully engaged into driver development and the emergence of women into the transport sector, I have overhead to overcome the most unbelievably stupid comments and, um, ideologies and I mean unconscious bias that you just, you can see it, it’s so tangible. But in one of the things that, that came through was, but if we employ women, they’re gonna fall pregnant. What are we supposed to do with our business if these women are all falling pregnant? And the first time that came up, I think the look must have been on my face. No, we’re not. And the best I could do to suffer this was dude that really actually in 20 we’re having a conversation on 2021, having a conversation about pregnancy.

Nicci Scott (10:49):

But its so true. It’s still, as of a week ago, it was the exact same conversation. I’m still having the misunderstanding and the misguided, um, information that the more, um, educated, the more skilled and the more involved a woman isn’t in, in a job or a career. The less children she wants, the less, you know, she’s just, she wants to develop and invest in herself. So it’s, it’s just a poverty often drives, um, a high, uh, uh, population. But I, I’m not, I’m still, God, I just, it kills me. And I try not repeat what you’re saying, cuz I realize how condescending, when you said it back to me, that must have come across very condescending to the matter.

Scott Luton (11:33):

Well, it, you know, we all have these eureka moments. We all have these blind spots. And I think, um, you know, I, I wonder how many, um, folks listening have that blind spot that, that folks are having those conversations as you’re describing them. I mean, it really just speaks to so much more work we still have to do. Jenny, wanna get your comments there on the anecdote that Nikki just shared?

Jenny Froome (11:55):

Well, I just, cuz I’ve, I flashback on that, um, interview as well. And it was the comments from everybody else, like you say in the cheek seats. But how many women commented that they were, had they, it brought back memories. They’d been in exactly the same position, et cetera, et cetera. And, you know, for Nikki now to say, as, as long ago, as a week ago, the same thing has happened. You know, it’s just, it’s staggering.

Scott Luton (12:22):

It it is. And, and Jan, I’m, I’m glad you referenced those comments. Cause um, you know, when we, when we do a live stream, we’ll, we’ll bring those in regularly. And a couple of comments struck me. Uh, one of them in particular, Nikki and Jenny, um, and I’m gonna paraphrase this. I think Brandy back in that last room, said this. She said, it’s time to, um, to do away with the stereotype that, uh, a a strong man is a great leader and a strong woman is not a great leader. Uh, and I can’t remember the exact terminologist used on the ladder end of that, but, but generally speaking, I think that, I mean, what, what’s y’all’s take on that comment? Uh, Nikki,

Nicci Scott (13:00):

That is definitely a per percept and strong leadership, you know, skills, and we go back to the military, you know, that mindset that you needed to be a really strong character, strong convictions in order to lead people. But that same strength from a woman is seen as a threat. It’s seen as a woman that is, um, doesn’t have people skills. Um, so it’s seen as a woman who, who is not challenging norm, but more challenging. Um, sure, it’s hard to say, but she’s, she would actually, but the fact that she would lead in that way, she would be challenging the mindset of the individual. She’s, and whether they could be accepting and open enough to the way that she’s leading. And it’s, it’s very unfortunate, but it is very much still the case in corporate South Africa where, um, we struggle with strong female leaders, uh, the mavericks.

Scott Luton (14:00):

Well, and, and you know, I’ll get your comments, but I, I would venture to say that we struggle with that, uh, here in the States. And it might, it may be a global, uh, challenge. But Jenny, your thoughts.

Jenny Froome (14:09):

Yeah, I think it’s also, I think as women often we are, we are guilty of not lifting up other women. And I think that that’s something that is changing. And I think these, you know, these movements and, um, but I do think that there’s more that can be done because it goes back to that that thing about a strong female leader is seen as a threat. And I think that we’ve got to try to, I don’t, we’ve got to try to abolish that, that thought process, because I, I, I go back to, to, I think, I’m sure it was, um, I think it was Claire Bloom who was asked about how she felt about being a, a really successful and supply of female supply chain leader and one of the best in her field. And she replied by saying, I think it was Carol Patak actually, she replied by saying, um, I never set out to do be the best female anything I set out just simply to be the best. And I think, you know, that that’s something that I’m constantly reminded of.

Scott Luton (15:14):

Yeah, I love that. Um, so let’s shift gears here. Um, I, I really appreciate both of y’all, uh, sharing some of these critical leadership thoughts on the front end. Um, so Jenny, I know one of the things we wanna do here is kind of get an update, right, Jenny?

Jenny Froome (15:29):

Absolutely. Um, I can’t believe it was June, 2021 actually that we did this interview. It’s just, uh, it’s crazy how time has gone and even despite the challenges of Covid, um, the Commercial Transport Academy and the work that you’ve done, Nikki, um, has just continued to grow. And, um, it really is just every time I I switch on LinkedIn or something, there is another, another innovation, there’s another advancement, there’s another investment. And it just, um, it’s just really something that I feel we need to keep on updating people. So thanks Scott, for giving us this opportunity. So Nikki, go ahead and tell us all the exciting things that, that you, you and your team have been doing.

Nicci Scott (16:17):

So when I, um, yeah, it’s crazy. I was actually sitting at Claire’s home in that first interview. Um, and it was a lot chillier than it is here today, as you can see with my sleeves. Uh, well like thereof. But, um, <laugh>, it, you know, we were right at the start of a journey that I could never have anticipated, uh, which was the woman inspiring woman in transport activity. And at that point, the activity was around developing 495, um, female truck drivers, of which 5% would be men, uh, 300 entrepreneurs and 120 women in leadership positions as female professionals in supply chain. And I initially spent, you know, the first couple of months really setting up the foundation of the business in this new environment and trying to work within the, the, the requirements of U S A as our primary sponsor. I was very aware of the fact that the funding we received from, um, U S A I D is basically, uh, from the American people.

Nicci Scott (17:30):

So we, I, I felt that I had a responsibility to do something with that and to really do good and not just to create another skills program, because South Africa is really good at that. We have so much money thrown into skills development, but they don’t materialize into jobs. They don’t go to the next stage. So this program has been incredibly fluid. And as I have worked in each area of the program, I have added and added and added. And about a month ago, I had the ambassador, the US Ambassador to South Africa visit us in Cape Town, um, uh, ambassador Britty. What an incredible man. Uh, and totally, totally cool dude. Uh, very knowledgeable. And he stood in front of these ladies. I mean, they were, they were so nervous. And so was I actually, because I wasn’t too sure, you know, of that sort of not only, um, academic, but in terms of political connections, how they’re able to in individual would connect with us

Scott Luton (18:31):

And those Nicki, those, those types of exchanges. Um, with the diploma, you know, the diplomacy and the traditions, it’s, it makes me nervous too. It’s kinda like being at a formal dinner and trying to figure out what spoon or fork you’re supposed to be using. Right. <laugh>, I mean, I think everyone would be anxious. Uh, but it sounds like it was quite a special meeting.

Nicci Scott (18:51):

It was, and it was really last minute. I mean, the u the U Embassy in Cape Town phone me at seven o’clock the night before the ambassador was due to come and see me to say, Nikki, could you put something on, because there’s been a cancellation in the diary. And we were always on the waiting list, but we didn’t expect less than 12 hours notice to have this hierarchy and the <inaudible> beforehand to brief me on what I needed to say and how to, you know, when I step forward and put my hand out, and then how I would introduce myself to him and how I would talk to him. But the moment I introduced him to, um, my students, I had to go through his full name, including his middle name. And the fact there’s a really on the end of that, and well, like I asked you in the beginning to remind me what I said a year ago, um, I still suffered terribly with memory as a result of the, the treatment have been on with this cancer for the last couple of years.

Nicci Scott (19:51):

So it took me seconds to forget this man’s name. And I’m standing in front of him, I’m like, he’s assistant like, somebody, please just remind me what his name is. I could have written it on my hammer. And he in, and he took over the conversation. But we have had the second parliamentary speaker of Sweden come out. We’ve had the vast president of Volvo Global. We’ve had dignitaries from Washington. Many of them come see us. Um, it has been a program that has been recognized abroad as, as, as much as it has in South Africa before. The impact is just having in wo on woman in transport.

Scott Luton (20:30):

So, Nicki, let’s talk about that for a second because, uh, and general I wanna bring you in here. Uh, outcomes based, outcomes focused, outcomes based. That’s what I heard when, when earlier in your, um, answer, you didn’t set out to create another, you know, skills building program, but you wanted to give folks, uh, an opportunity and, and create jobs, right? And cha really change lives. Not to be dramatic, but that’s what, that’s really what you’re doing. Um, is that, is that element and that successful ELE element of, uh, cta, is that one of the things that’s driving so much global interest in what you’re doing?

Nicci Scott (21:06):

I think it’s a mix. Um, because number one, I mean, just in the US I think you still sort of teetering on about 7% female representation in truck driving positions, but you’s still very low in terms of your representation of female entrepreneurs and female in supply chain, um, specifically in leadership roles. Um, so likewise in South Africa, we still have the same scenario. And I think the world is looking at us because it’s not just the us. We’ve got Australia, and now more recently, Morocco has come on board saying, how can we replicate what you have done? How can we fast track the learnings that you have, um, gained through this program? So there’s definitely this curiosity factor of this is really interesting. Um, secondly, our very high unemployment rate is also driving this conversation is that, you know, your program is because we’ve chosen area the way a woman are not only marginalized, but they are also, um, they, they haven’t, they weren’t the obvious choice in terms of the, the solution to the industry, right? So we know that in currently in South Africa, we, we, we probably needing about 16,000 skilled drivers that’s coming from government. We have a lot of drivers, but we don’t have enough skilled drivers. Three years ago, the US was reporting about 55,000. So it’s very similar situation. So building on all of that, it was a case of how do we not replicate what’s happened in the first world country, um, and create this massive deficit and aging driver population.

Scott Luton (22:50):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. All right. I wanna, Jenny, uh, before we go any further, some of your thoughts here around what Nikki has shared already,

Jenny Froome (22:58):

I think that just that comment about an aging driver population is something that is really relevant in, in the reverse from a South African, um, perspective because it, Africa is a young continent, and, and to be able to develop these skills to provide the pipeline that is required is such a great vision. You know, it’s such a great vision for your profession that you are passionate about, and is to be able to, to nurture that, that young, um, community and give them the skills to be able to then get a job and then provide for their family, but to do it right at the beginning of their career. I think it’s, uh, I think it’s just the, the greatest vision. Um, and, and you know, I, I really admire the, the fact that, that you’ve put it in place, it’s not just talked about. Because a lot of these, um, conferences and events that, that we go to, everybody talks a good talk and there’s lots of great ideas, but it’s, it takes a very, uh, special individual who can actually take the talk and make it happen. You know, I always say the ideas are the easy part. It’s actually executing those ideas, and it does take a village, you know, and Nikki has been able to, to build that village and, and lots of support from lots of different areas, private sector, public sector, internationally, et cetera. So it’s, it’s that accumulation of, of individuals who have been inspired by one individual to work together to, to the common goal.

Scott Luton (24:38):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, uh, it what you some what you shared there. Not, not, uh, to take too much away from it, but one of my, one of my favorite quotes from the Andy Griffiths show growing up was, uh, Andy and, and Floyd, the barber sitting there on a bench, uh, enjoying the typical southern heat, Nikki, kind of what you partied are describing there in Cape Town, really hot southern summers. And I think Floyd says, everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it, <laugh>. And, you know, it, it is such a, it is such a, a simple observation, but to your point, Jenny, the idea, I, the ideas are the easy part, right? The conversation lip, the lip service, all that is the easy part. Nicki, you are the, you are doing and you’re driving the outcomes. So, uh, all right. So Nick, I hear we hear that us, A i d which is one of the groups that you had mentioned earlier, they’ve recently maybe made a further investment into, uh, the, your tremendous work. Uh, tell us about that and what, what is the impact that that’s gonna drive?

Nicci Scott (25:38):

So the initial investment from, uh, US A I d and as mentioned earlier with some of you noticed US aid, um, was 2 million US dollars, uh, and to develop 915, uh, uh, women in supply chain across those three sectors. And we were blown away. I mean, literally a year on our anniversary of this program, um, USAID came back and they spoke about the fact that this has been one of the most impactful programs that they have run. Uh, and the, and bearing in mind, you know, it is one of the most challenging organizations to work for, not only in terms of its reporting, which is continuous, but the due diligence that they do to make sure that everything that you have said is in place, is indeed in place. So, um, they travel continually and they meet with the beneficiaries continually as well as the stakeholders.

Nicci Scott (26:36):

And the feedback they got from that prompted them to give us a further 1 million US dollars, which starts on the 1st of January, 2023. Now that’ll take us to, um, 1,200, um, people that will be able to develop, uh, and which is totally exciting. So not only do we have an extension on the three categories, we’ve now added a fourth category, which is motorbike drivers with the whole e-commerce buzz, um, there is a massive demand for motor back drivers. It’s a area that is highly dominated by foreign nationals, um, from the African continent, not many women. Um, and I think short of one big, um, food chain, or is it, it’s a groceries. Um, all the others have a 60 minute delivery turnaround service. So we want to capitalize on that and get the youth involved, because one of my realizations that was that when we were drawing women into this program, while in some province and province in South Africa, we would find women that had a license, uh, of some sort, either a small commercial or a, um, a passenger, uh, license.

Nicci Scott (27:52):

So maybe they drove a small bus or taxi or a car of some sort. Um, most of the women from the Western Cape have never had the opportunity to get a license. It’s an absolute luxury down here in terms of the cost. And it’s not actually a requirement for women to go get a license in terms of the, the communities they come from. Um, there is some level of public transport, but it’s more around the cost. And women actually just not feeling deserving that I can justify that expense out of the family budget. So they, uh, does, has been quite a revelation for me to realize that we were not only, uh, setting them up for a, a skill and an occupation, but also to change the dynamic of their family. Because for many of them, they were the first woman in their family to have a driver’s license.

Nicci Scott (28:40):

I think we just take for granted. Definitely. So I also discovered that many of the ladies, you know, because they’ve never had a driver’s license, I wasn’t comfortable taking them into the extra heavy truck driving environment because they don’t have the observation skills, they don’t have the experience and the confidence to navigate in, uh, serious traffic situations. So we’ve kept them into sort of the eight ton environment. Um, and I thought, well, how am I going to circumvent this has been a la uh, problem that’ll come up on year on year. And the motorbike environment was, for me, a way to tackle the youth, the 18 to the 23 year old. If I can get those ladies driving a motorbike, become aware of the surroundings, and actually driving and participating in the industry, understanding warehousing, supply chain, customer service, it’s a wonderful transition straight into truck driving.

Nicci Scott (29:34):

Um, but not just that. We also, you know, Scott, I think, which was shocking to see Covid, and as we’ve worked with the entrepreneurs that we’ve been developing, covid literally wiped up about 70% of these young businesses. I don’t think the data of what we’ve been seeing of the impact has been totally true. Um, and within the cohorts of the, the groups of women that come onto the program, it’s been devastating. And many of them are sitting with resources and assets which are not generating money. Many of them have got deep debt to banks. Um, so there is a lot of work to be done in terms of the recovery that this program is not enabling these women to do.

Scott Luton (30:14):

So, um, first off, Jenny, are you, why don’t you and I volunteer to be on part of this motorbike program? Are you game <laugh>? Can you imagine?

Jenny Froome (30:24):

Not on these roads. Thank you very much,

Scott Luton (30:27):

<laugh>. Uh, alright. Kidding aside, um, you know, Nicki, your, um, the holistic aspect, uh, of your program is fast. I’ve never, Jenny, I can tell you, uh, I’ve never stopped to think for one second about the needs for motorbike drivers, and it really just speaks to this holistic vision that Nikki and her group has. Huh?

Jenny Froome (30:51):

For me, one of the very first, sort of what you don’t think about was when Nikki gave the statistic of the number of petrol stations or facilities on the roads in, in South Africa that actually have services for women drivers. And it’s, what is it’s North 0.5% or something? It is whatever it was. And that was just something, yeah,

Scott Luton (31:18):


Nicci Scott (31:19):

That is only three fuel stations across the whole country

Jenny Froome (31:21):

In the, of the country. And, and wow. And that for me was just like a, we always talk about things that we take for granted, but there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes of getting stuff from A to B, which is, you know, the whole thing that we, we are all talking about keeping the world turning. Um, we don’t think about often the people who are making that happen. And, and this is really where these sorts of conversations give you those. Jesus, I never even thought about that, and we should all be thinking about these sorts of things, really.

Scott Luton (31:57):

Yeah. This so true. All right, so backing up a second, just so I, I’m clear on this, and our listeners are, and all the petro stations, as y’all say, gas stations here in us, uh, the state’s parlance, only three of these gas stations have facilities that accommodate females. Is that right?

Nicci Scott (32:17):

In terms

Jenny Froome (32:18):

Of the drivers?

Scott Luton (32:19):

Yeah. Females. Oh, that accommodate female drivers. The

Jenny Froome (32:23):

Truck stops

Scott Luton (32:23):

That, that is unbelievable. When you hear stuff like that, no wonder we’ve got this tremendous challenge. Right. Um, okay, so let’s talk, let’s shift gears a bit here. Um, PWC evidently recently reported that by 2030 South Africa’s unemployment rate is gonna be sitting at some 40%. Holy cow. That is needless to say, a dire prediction, dire predicament if that does come to fruition. So Nicki, speak to that and speak to, you know, the whole outcomes aspect of what you’re doing. How easy is it to find work for your graduates?

Nicci Scott (33:04):

Well, in terms of the fact that, uh, we have a growing road transport sector, our rail sector in South Africa has failed us. It hasn’t been maintained. So very little is actually transported by road, mean by rail. And so we’ve seen a massive increase in road transportation. We’ve also seen a boom in the South African economy in commodities as a result of the Ukraine war, where there is a commodities moving. Um, and none of this can be moved by tr uh, um, trained because there aren’t facilities that happen to be moved by truck. So there is definitely a need for more skilled drivers. The challenge we face, uh, started the conversation right the beginning is this unconscious bias that women don’t belong in this environment that I’m really struggling with. Um, we have, uh, in Johannesburg probably I think we still see with the latest numbers, we still sitting it in the region, about 70% uptake of the ladies into employment in various, um, fixed term and permanent employment.

Nicci Scott (34:07):

But in the Western Cape, we, and Case in positive intel, we are really struggling in these two provinces to get women into the industry. Uh, so a lot of work has to be done in convincing them. And a recent situation emerged where a company had a need for drivers, but then they decided that they wouldn’t take our qualified babies because they came from an area that’s known to have had or be associated with gangsters. And they also felt that because many are, uh, a residents live in shacks, you know, it’s not bricks and mortar, it’s metal and wood. Um, they didn’t wanna take people from that area either because they don’t have a fixed address. And you look at these sort of challenges and you think, well, how do we ever get people out of a situation of poverty if we can’t take these basic steps to get them into the workplace?

Nicci Scott (35:02):

So I I I worry about, um, our economy. I mean, we are only looking at a, if we are hopeful as a minute increase, um, in the new year, one point something percent that they’ve, they’ve budgeted on. But I think that there are areas in the sector, various sectors, and we’ll see growth. And what we’ve tried to do is broaden our focus and not just focus on transport, but look at the, uh, agriculture sector as well as the, um, construction and then our ports, which are so inefficient, um, and actually get more women into the ports and start working on the big cranes, the overhead cranes that load the ships and so forth. So really trying to diversify the areas that they will be, uh, working within.

Scott Luton (35:49):

Um, Jenny, um, man, there’s so much work to be done. Your thoughts,

Jenny Froome (35:55):

Nikki, how, how do you think that the private sector can actually, I know everybody, especially in South Africa, it seems everybody is looking to the private sector to solve the economic problems of the country. And it’s wrong. We shouldn’t continually be having to do this, but there is a respon not responsibility, but they have the demand, they need the resources. How can we improve that and educate to get them to understand that the resources that you are, are developing want to be in this, in this industry?

Nicci Scott (36:32):

So it’s in three area, well, let me talk to, it’ll be three areas. Ones who bring the motor bank drivers on board as well. Um, we need more entrepreneurs participating in the public and in private sector, right? We need them to be given more opportunities. So the entrepreneurs that we have been chatting to are really struggling to get opportunities to supply chain, to be able to the professionals just say, right, those are the services I offer. Can you, um, allow me to, you know, whatever the service product solution is, can we be a supplier to your organization? I believe if we can start doing that, we can also start to drive employment from the other categories of people we are developing because a lot of business, excessive amounts of business go to the same suppliers. So it’s a case of just sort of sharing that art and building up more smaller organizations, um, with regards to the drivers, whether they are a light commercial vehicle driver or a heavy commercial dr, open up the opportunity.

Nicci Scott (37:35):

Just simply invite one or two women into your business and start to do the, let them do job shadowing. Let them be mentored and let them be developed. We have access to funding to even pay those women for a year in those organizations to work and be, um, developed. But it’s a case of safety. You know, we, some of the companies have told us categorically that they don’t have driver’s rooms for women that would have to go and develop that infrastructure. Some have discussed the fact that they don’t have policies or HR policies to accommodate female truck drivers. So what happens at night, what happens with certain commod?

Scott Luton (38:12):

Nick, Nick, is this like 1982? Is this like 1972 <laugh>? You know, this is crazy, isn’t

Nicci Scott (38:19):

It? Actually, actually come in, I still have this conversation, but these are the reality that we are still struggling with. So a little bit more effort, I think that’s all. It’s baby steps, more things that need to be done to make it possible to invite women in. And then, um, just, just interview them, test them, and you will see that they’re capable. One of the big, um, groups, a listed JC group in South Africa took 15 women from us. The data that came back was that those women, um, in terms of the scoring had 72% less coachable incidences than the men of the same, um, age group and skill level. You know, coachable comes down to fuel consumption, driving abilities, and so on. Um, something else Jenny though, is that one of the other areas that we’ll be spending this new budget on is an association called Safest Stop.

Nicci Scott (39:16):

And Safest Stops is actually going to be looking at changing legislation to, and that’s a big one. I mean, I know I’m really pushing, um, to start looking at what constitutes a professional driver, because at the moment, South Africa is facing some of the most serious accidents, road carnage, death and damage to infrastructure. So can we start to categorize, uh, uh, the requirements? And I will be looking to first the sort of first all countries that have achieved a lot of this in terms of high safety standards on the roads as to what they have done to be able to create, um, these safety mechanisms. Um, whether it be driver development, but standardized and regulated, uh, processes and systems that we can implement. We will also be looking at the oil companies. What are they doing around the truck stops to push to create more infrastructure? And there’ll be quite a few of, I think a lot of corporates, um, the government on board as well. But I think that will be able to challenge a number of projects through the association, and that might be the game changer changer that we are looking for, because we will start to align that to the various legislation that we have in South Africa at the moment.

Scott Luton (40:29):

So lots of opportunities for our listeners. Uh, I mean, going back to the first part of your answer, um, you know, allowing folks to come in, um, and job shadow. It sounds like there’s funds there that, that, that, that jobs and, and compensation can be created. There’s a number of different ways that, uh, any of our listeners or organizations can, um, help join in your efforts. Nikki, um, Jenny, it’s, it is really exploring the, um, potential impact that any company can have on the change that’s gotta happen here, right, Jenny?

Jenny Froome (41:04):

And, and isn’t that the, you know, that’s the rub for so many youngsters getting into, regardless of the profession, it’s that whole experience. You don’t have the right experience. How are you gonna get the right experience if no one gives you that chance? And I think that, you know, this is where it, it can’t just be up to the entrepreneurs to take the risk. Small, large businesses have to take the risk as well. Um, and they’re actually better able perhaps to, to cope with the ramifications of something going wrong. But I think when you’ve got a situation where you’ve got an organization who’ve got skilled, developed individuals who are looking to job shadow, who are looking to experience, and they’re saying, you know, we can actually assist with stipends and payments of expenses or whatever, then to me it’s a total no-brainer.

Scott Luton (41:56):

Agreed. Um, alright, so Nikki, um, man, this is, um, uh, I really appreciate you joining us. Again, I’ll tell you, it makes you wanna leave this interview and just go do something, you know, take action. Uh, there’s so much that needs to be done, so many opportunities that need to be afforded these individuals, and I love to hear how well they’re doing after they go through the program and they get into various jobs, how they’re just knocking outta the park that is really uplifting. Um, okay, so let’s make sure Nikki, uh, we’re gonna have you back maybe next time, uh, Jenny, maybe me and you grab, um, uh, uh, a live stream or maybe even a webinar with Nikki and some of her graduates. How cool would that be? That would be sick and hear their experiences, right? Lot to work on that in the new year. Uh, but how can Nikki, in the meantime, whether folks want to connect with you, maybe have you come in and speak to what they’re doing and wherever they are in the world, if they want to help, maybe invest in what you’re doing and, and sponsor some of your work. But regardless, how can folks connect with you and cta?

Nicci Scott (42:59):

So, um, guys, I did share on one of your documents all our contact details. So, um, LinkedIn is a great one. Um, but my email address, if you could, um, send that out to make that available, I’d really appreciate that. Just in terms of feedback, what, you know, what we were really wanting to hear is not just help, but in just as, um, ideas on how organizations, um, of that the listeners might be coming from or be part of how they may have integrated more women, some, um, into the organization. Something that maybe might be of use to us that we could go back and recommend. So that would be fantastic. And, you know, to really push this, I will be speaking in Sweden in February at the leadership summit. I have over 400 vast presidents from various organizations. And it really will be again, how investing in a skills program that has the impact and how does the ability to actually put bums in seats of com with companies and get jobs, what the difference that can make compared to just in throwing NGO funding, um, into areas where there isn’t a tangible outcome.

Nicci Scott (44:08):

These women, some of our ladies have gone from unemployment to a sustainable salary within six months of the program. And, you know, it’s just, it’s an incredible outcome. So any which way that they can reach us, if you can share with them, I’d be very grateful.

Scott Luton (44:22):

Love that. Well, of course, on the episode notes you’ll find all the different ways of connecting with Nikki and, um, uh, we would suggest that you do. Right, right, Jenny?

Jenny Froome (44:31):

Oh, totally. And, and I also think it’s going back to what Nikki was talking about with the statistics and the, the, the lack of, of development really here is something that you might think is insignificant in work that you’ve done. Probably won’t be, you know, some sort of development that happened in 1972. Maybe we haven’t even caught up that far yet, <laugh>. So, so don’t think that, oh, they won’t want to hear that idea because I think that it’s, it’s those, it’s those sort of inspiring learnings from what other people have done and achieved that gives the catalyst for the next set of, of, of ideas and actions.

Scott Luton (45:14):

Yeah. Agreed. Agreed. Um, well, Nikki Scott, really appreciate you joining us here today, CEO of the Commercial Transport Academy. Such a great and impactful story, um, vision and bottom line of results. Uh, so we’ll have to have you back really again, uh, really soon, Nikki,

Nicci Scott (45:32):

Thank you so much, Scott, really appreciate it. And Jenny, thank you so much for everything you do for us. I, we, we all appreciate it.

Scott Luton (45:39):

We all do. That’s right. We all do. Nikki. Uh, well, you know, Jenny, I bet you can meet movers and shakers like Nicki and, and other business leaders at the next Cix annual conference. When is that coming up and, and how can folks learn more?

Jenny Froome (45:54):

Oh, thank you. It’s the, um, 11th to the 14th of June, and it’s gonna be in Cape Town again at Century City, which is a great destination. Um, Nikki’s got a Nikki’s excited because she lives in Cape Town. Um, and so there are also a load of fantastic supply chain professionals who are going to be there to share. And it’s the, actually the 25th anniversary of me managing this event. So I’m really very old.

Scott Luton (46:26):

<laugh>, I thought you were gonna finish that a different way. You threw us for a loop, Jenny <laugh>. Um, well, congrats, uh, all the work now. I I can, I bet, I bet when you say 25 years, all the, a flood of memories and stories come to your mind. But, uh, but hey, uh, really appreciate the platform that you, uh, and your team have built for, um, uh, really purpose-driven missions like Nikki and CTA and, and how you, uh, facilitate that ability to network and learn more and spread knowledge and, and mission and, and a lot more. Um, okay, so Jenny Froom, how can folks connect with you?

Jenny Froome (47:04):

Uh, LinkedIn’s definitely the best, or the SAP PEX website, and it’s s sap i c s and it’s dot org. Uh, but LinkedIn really is the, is the easy way.

Scott Luton (47:15):

All right. Well, Jenny, uh, always a pleasure. I I really enjoy these conversations we have. Thank you for your time as well.

Jenny Froome (47:22):

No, thank, thank you always for the opportunity.

Scott Luton (47:25):

You bet. Uh, Jenny, fr the one and only Jenny fr one and only Nikki Scott, take one heck of a one-two punch here today on this episode of Supply Chain, now as part of our supply chain leadership across Africa Series. Folks, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have, uh, gets you ready to run through the walls. All right. And break through brick walls with the mission that Nikki and Jenny both are on. Uh, but folks, it’s about deeds, not words, right? Take action. Hey, reach out to Nick or Jenny, get involved, help support the mission, and if you can’t do that, um, help support someone in your neck of the woods. But whatever you do, on behalf of our team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging you all to do good, to give forward and to be the change, hey, be like Nikki and be like Jenny, and we’ll see you next time, right back here as a Ponche now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (48:12):

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

Nicci Scott is considered a pioneer, defining new frontiers in the field of Transport and Logistics. As an experienced serial entrepreneur, she boasts six business awards, a MBA and she is a mentor for the Cheri Blair foundation. Nicci is a passionate advocate for Women in Transport and Logistics and seeks to inspire women to engage and work together to drive transformation and inclusion. She is currently the CEO of the Commercial Transport Academy which specializes in the development of commercial drivers with a focus on females, the development of female professionals in the supply chain, transport operations, logistics and warehousing environment. One of Nicci’s many contributions is the support and assistance she provides through specialized programs to entrepreneurs to scale their businesses by establishing solid foundations whilst following the best industry practices. She is also the founder of Zolabix (Pty) Ltd, a business that focuses on compliance and road safety through self-regulation. She has a demonstrated history of working in the Transport and Logistics industry displaying top skills in Leadership, Negotiation, Operations Management, Freight and Road Transportation. As a strong business development professional, she successfully negotiated the sale of two highly successful businesses, of which one was to a JSE listed organization. Connect with Nicci on LinkedIn.

Jenny Froome is passionate about how supply chain management affects our lives on every level.  Her original and now current profession is event management – the epitome of a well-honed supply chain.  After many years working as COO of SAPICS – the professional body of supply chain management in South Africa she realized the importance of shining the light on the supply chains of Africa.  Managing events such as the SAPICS annual conference, the People that Deliver Global Indaba, and the Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards have truly allowed Jenny to combine her skills, knowledge, and community.  Jenny’s lived all over the world and has settled in South Africa with her husband and many 4 legged friends while her sons are scattered around the world. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn. 



Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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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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

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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.