Logistics with Purpose
Episode 80

We did research afterwards and we found that 80% of the players had changed their lives and were no longer homeless as a result of the games. We didn't believe the statistics, we thought ‘they're too high. That's not possible.’ But we checked and they were right. And so, we've kept on doing it ever since.

-Mel Young, President and Co-Founder of the Homeless World Cup

Episode Summary

Mel Young has worked as a social entrepreneur for most of his life, driven by his fervent belief that is it possible to end homelessness around the world. In this episode of Logistics with Purpose, Mel joins hosts Enrique Alvarez and Nuria Sierra to hear how he combined his desire to make a difference with the game of football (American soccer) to change 1.2 million lives to date.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:02):

Welcome to Logistics with Purpose presented by Vector Global Logistics in partnership with Supply chain. Now we spotlight and celebrate organizations who are dedicated to creating a positive impact. Join us for this behind the scenes glimpse of the origin stories change, making progress, and future plans of organizations who are actively making a difference. Our goal isn’t just to entertain you, but to inspire you to go out and change the world. And now here’s today’s episode of Logistics with Purpose.

Enrique Alvarez (00:34):

Good day and welcome back to another episode of Logistics with Purpose. Today we have a very, very interesting guest, and I know that we usually say this, but today, this particular guest talked about two of my greatest passions. One kind of making a positive tap in the world, and then soccer, so, or football. How, uh, how great is that? Hey, NOIA, how are you doing today? I’m

Nuria Sierra (00:57):

Really good. Thank you. How Enrique

Enrique Alvarez (00:59):

<laugh>. It’s great. And it is gonna be fun, isn’t it? Yeah, an incredibly, uh, insightful as well. And again, I’ll let you introduce our guests, but we have with us today so that our audience can capture the extent of his career and professional career is writer, blogger, speaker, social entrepreneur, chairman of Sports Scotland, and, uh, just a general change maker. I mean, a very inspiring leader. So go ahead, Noya doo, the owners to introduce our guest.

Nuria Sierra (01:29):

Oh, eh, I’m very excited for the conversation today, and I would like to introduce you to Mel Young. He’s the president at the Homeless World Cup sub pioneering social movement, which uses football to help homeless people change their own lives. So Mel, welcome, welcome to the show. I’m really excited to talk to you today.

Mel Young (01:52):

Yeah, thank you very much. It’s great to, it’s great to be here and great to speak to you both.

Enrique Alvarez (01:56):

Well, thank you for being here. And yeah, I forgot to mention the very cool accent, which is going to make this part, this particular episode even more successful. So, Mel, thanks again. I know that you’re, uh, uh, you’re in Scotland right now, aren’t you?

Mel Young (02:08):

Yeah, I’m in Scotland. I’m, I’m Scottish. I’m, I’m in the capital city of Edinburgh.

Enrique Alvarez (02:13):

Nice. Well, tell us, why don’t you start us off by telling us a bit more about you. Uh, where did you grow? A couple of stories about your childhood, how kind of, uh, started getting interested in what you’re doing now?

Mel Young (02:25):

Um, yeah. I, I’m, I’m was brought, brought up in Edmore in Scotland, kind of very typical un un unspectacular childhood. Um, like lots of other, uh, kids my age just got into sport. Uh, I, I, I really loved it. Um, enjoyed the team ping, playing, playing, playing football or soccer as you call it. Um, uh, but I was never particularly good. Uh, I, I dunno, it’s just the kind of way my, my muscles and bones are, I think. What,

Enrique Alvarez (02:52):

What position were you, what position were you trying back then? I

Mel Young (02:54):

Used to, I, I used to play a forward, um, mm-hmm. And, um, I think I missed too many open goals. Something, you know, <laugh>, but, but it did, it didn’t matter. It didn’t, I mean, it wasn’t, I wasn’t terrible below average kind of, you know, but I, but I kind of loved it and all, all sports and so on. And, um, I enjoyed playing it. And then, and then I kind of got into watching it. And so I’ve always been into sports and, and, and, and loved it. And it’s not just, of course, necessarily been good at sports, it’s about participating and all the camaraderie around it and, uh, you know, going to, going to see teams or participating and doing things. So I’ve always loved that. And then l laterally as I grew up after, after kids, I got into running. So then, then I started doing marathons, uh, running marathons. Oh. Which was great, because once again, I was kind of average, you know, but hey, you know, I got, I finished it and got in the medal the same as everybody else. So I was, you know, that was it. That was the moment. So. Wow. Um, I still go jogging. I really enjoy that. Well,

Enrique Alvarez (03:55):

Running and finishing marathons is nothing average for me, at least. I’ve never really even run one. So That’s, that’s amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Nuria Sierra (04:02):

Yeah. So Mel, looking back, what’s the story from your early years that shaped who you are and what you do now? Can you tell us a bit?

Mel Young (04:12):

Um, I, I, I, that, that’s an interesting question. I mean, I think there’s lots of kind of influences you have as children as a child, don’t you? And you probably don’t know. So, you know, I, I, I’ve kind of emerged as an entrepreneur as, as, as a creative thinker, but I don’t think I necessarily was as a kid. But I, you know, the, the, I was, I was influenced by my mother definitely, who, uh, was in some ways a typical Scott, which was about, you’ve always got to look after your neighbor. She said, you know, it’s, that that’s really important that you’ve got to understand that you’re part of a community and part of our neighborhood. And that’s always stayed with me, uh, uh, throughout tho tho those kind of values, which are Scottish values. We understand community and and fairness. And that’s always stayed, stayed with me.

Mel Young (04:57):

And then I guess the other, the other little anecdotal story I tell us about is about sports. Cuz one time, and it always stayed with me, this I, I, I dunno how we ended up, but there was a whole crowd of us, uh, playing football in the park. And it was agreed that I would have the team with all the worst players, and we would play against the team with all the best players. So I took it upon myself then to organize the team of the worst players, including myself, and put them in different positions and said, look, if we stay in these positions and kick the ball to one another, we should do okay. And of course, the other team thought they were gonna win easily. So they were being doing all these wonderful tricks and just being themselves, trying to beat people. And what happened was we, we started to win and then they got all upset because we were winning. And then we started to win by more. So in the end we won by miles. And it, it is always, I dunno what’s always stayed with me, that is the fact that actually, you know, just, just becau just because you’re not necessarily the best at thing. If you do things together and work together in a different way, then actually you, you, you, you can try ’em. So it’s kind of one of my, one of my values that I learned as a kid. I think sport taught me that. That’s

Enrique Alvarez (06:06):

Awesome. That’s a, that’s a great, that’s a great thought as well, right? Because being the best doesn’t mean that you’ll be the best. Right. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of soccer professional football teams out there that have like the biggest cracks, the best players, and at the same time, they don’t work together as a team and they lose, they don’t win.

Mel Young (06:23):

Yeah. You know, e e exactly. I, I, I think that’s a bigger learning that you, you, you can have just, you can apply that to life, actually. Um, so you can, and, and there’s lots and lots of examples all over the world about football teams who have the most expensive players and so on and so forth who don’t win. Um, and that, you know, there’s great examples in England. One, one of the best I think was a manager called Brian Cl, who, who managed, uh, noting Forest and, um, uh, and Darby County. And they, he, he, he never had the best players, never, but actually he managed to mold them into a team and get ’em into play for each other. Then they won lots of things against all the odds. So, um, the, the, the, there’s lots in that, I think, uh, and that can apply to business, uh, and, and, and government and everywhere else about how we work together and work by working together and we can achieve a lot.

Enrique Alvarez (07:11):

Well, and it sounds like you’ve actually had, um, have used that thinking and that mentality and that strategy throughout your professional career to the point that you started the homeless World Cup. And for people that are out there that might not know what it is, I mean, it’s a very interesting name, and the World Cup just happened, so it’s something that’s probably very fresh in people’s minds. And, um, could you tell us a bit more, what is it, how did this idea start? Like 20 years ago? I believe it was,

Mel Young (07:39):

Yeah. I, I mean, I, I’ve been working with, uh, homeless people for, for a long time since the, the, the, the nineties. And we started up what was called a street paper in, in, in Scotland, which was basically the idea of getting homeless people to, to earn a living, uh, wa whilst on the street, which was basically by, uh, selling a, a magazine, which we created. And then they sold it and, and, and, and cook, uh, kept, uh, 60% of the cover price. And it, and, and it worked. And as a result of that, other, other street papers around the world, particularly around Europe started, and then we created a, a, a network of, of, of these street papers. And, um, once a year, I mean, we had very little resource, but we were able to get to meet somewhere, um, somewhere in the world and um, uh, uh, and then talk together.

Mel Young (08:28):

And it was always very inspiring when we’re talking together and we were learning from each other and, and saying, Hey, this is how this works. And so on. So at the end of one of these conferences, we were in Cape Town in South Africa in 2001. I was sitting with a colleague of mine, um, uh, Harold Schmidt from, he was from Austria, uh, having a beer after the conference. And we were said, um, th this, this is a really, really inspiring conference, but there’s no homeless people here. We’re, we’re either founders or editors or whatever, but, um, how, how could they experience what we are experiencing? Cause this is really quite inspiring, uh, in the way we’re talking to one another. And so, so, uh, over, over a beer, uh, we, we both agreed that, um, we both knew and, and talked about how much we loved football and what it was.

Mel Young (09:13):

And in fact, there were a team of some of our homeless guys in Scotland who kind of got together and kicked a ball around and said they were a team. And the same in, in Austria. So we agreed between us that there will be this game of football between Scotland versus Austria. We, we, we call ourselves and a and by the way, we’ll win. Um, we’ll never win, but we’ll beat you guys. So he said, but well, we, our neighbors are Germany and they always win. We don’t win, so we’ll beat you guys. So we were lucky, okay, <laugh>. And, um, so then we had another beer or two, and, and, and we, we, we, by the end of the evening, we’d created the homeless World Cup. So that, why, why shouldn’t every country come? Um, and not just Scotland and Austria. And we made up performance people and so on.

Mel Young (09:56):

And we call it the home smoke cup. So, so as you know, you can, you can have these creative discussions with it was, and it was good fun. And, and sometimes you just leave them there and they just kind of get left in the, the bar or whatever. Um, but the next morning we met again at, at breakfast in the hotel, and, and we said, Hey, that was a really good conversation. Will we do it? So that was the critical point. Sometimes people talk about it was that creative discussion, which was important. But the really important discussion was when we said, okay, let’s do this. And so basically what, what happens, we made it happen, uh, in 2003, so about 18 months later. And, um, it is very simple what we do. Um, our partners around the world just go into the street where homeless people are and say, W do you wanna play football?

Mel Young (10:40):

And here’s a ball. And the beauty of football, or, or, or soccers it’s called in the US is, is is it’s just really simple. You just kick a ball and you can be really rubbish at it, or you can be brilliant at it, and you can put in the same team and you can be two aside or 20 aside. You can play anywhere. Um, and so it’s a very, very simple game to get people involved in. And it’s not expensive and can play anywhere. So for, for us as an entry point for our homeless people, whatever state they were in, we’d get them playing football. And then they more or less generally, we said, you wanna play this? Said, oh yeah, let, let’s, let’s, let’s play. Why not? We’re not doing anything else. And so then, then the incentive was, okay, um, you know, you can, you can get to represent your country.

Mel Young (11:21):

Um, and so we had our first event, um, in 2003 in the middle of Gras in Austria, where Harold was from. We play on small pictures. So we don’t, we deliberately don’t go to where the big pictures are cuz they’re a long way away, right. Playing small pictures. We always go to the center of towns, which is where homeless people are, and we play short games. There, there, there are seven minutes each way with a minute in between. Um, and, um, so we took it to, to, to Gras. We didn’t know what was gonna happen. Okay. Um, and, um, uh, it was just an outstanding success. I, I mean beyond anything that we could imagine. Um, so that what we saw was over a week, homeless people changing out of all recognition, standing up, representing their country in their, in their, in their football tops and so on.

Mel Young (12:09):

So proud to be part of their country. We saw, um, people in the stem. We, we, we built Tribunes, which were full up of people cheering them. So this was people who would normally walk past homeless people or spit at them or whatever. They’re now cheering them. And then the world’s media turned up and, and, and was positive about what was happening. And normally they were negative. So, wow. It, it was a success for us. And then just in the final point of this, the final, we, we, we did research afterwards, um, about what had happened and we found that 80% of the players had changed their lives, had gone, uh, uh, or, and were no longer homeless as a result of this. Oh. So as a, because of that, we, we didn’t, I didn’t believe the, the statistics to begin with us. And no, they’re too highs. That’s not possible. I don’t believe that. And, but we checked and checked it was right. And so we’ve kept on doing it ever since.

Enrique Alvarez (12:59):

That’s, uh, such an inspiring story. And uh, and it’s amazing that something so simple, as you said, like a game really, cuz it is, that is what it is. Uh, uh, football or soccer, it’s a game and something, uh, like a game can change so many lives and has done amazing positive impact in many communities around the world. So thank you for sharing. Before I let Nuco, I think she has a couple of very interesting questions, but, uh, I wanted to have a quick follow up if you mind, if you don’t mind. Um mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you started working with the homeless magazine you mentioned, and the newspapers and all that. What’s your kind of, uh, there’s tons of really good causes out there. What’s your connection with the homeless community and why, why do you personally kind of are so invested in it?

Mel Young (13:40):

Yeah, that, that, that, that’s a good question. I I, I, I mean, I haven’t experienced any homelessness myself other than a couple of stupid days when I was a student or something. So I, I can’t say that I, I, I’ve come from that community. Um, you know, as a, as I was saying earlier, in terms of my childhood, some of the values I have is, is, is, is about you. You need to have fairness. And I could never understand how you had, uh, young people, particularly in, in, in, in the street. I thought it was appalling. Um, and so my background was a, a as a journalist and I’d, uh, I’d seen, um, a similar magazine in London and, um, I thought I could bring it to Scotland using my skill as a journalist and got together with, with a, a friend of mine who is more a social background, more business background.

Mel Young (14:24):

And, and, you know, I thought, well, look, my, what I could contribute here would be, um, my journalism or, or, uh, ability to, to, to publish. And that would be my contribution. I didn’t really know where it was gonna go. Again, this was back in 1993. Um, but it was, it was a, a, a big success. Um, lots of people bought the magazines. We had a lot of homeless people there. And at, at that point, I really got much more into, um, what was going on in terms of the, of, of homelessness, um, how, uh, debilitating it was, how difficult people found it to get back into society once they’ve fallen off the edge. Getting back in was really difficult. So yeah, for the magazine we were pro providing a, a step. Um, uh, I, I wasn’t necessarily going to do this forever, but, but, uh, you know, I’ve been there forever if I <laugh> right, I stayed in there, but, you know, and then I was in other countries and I was in Russia, for example, for a while, helping them, uh, set up another paper and, and I was appalled, uh, uh, uh, well was going on there.

Mel Young (15:31):

The number of people that were on the street who were just dying on the street actually. It, it, it, and it started to, I started to kind of understand that actually this whole issue was a, uh, a global issue and, um, a systemic issue. And what we were trying to do then was replicate the idea of the papers, um, to try and make as bigger impact as we could by sh by, by working together across, across borders. Um, and, and hence then the, the, the, the, the, the football was was born. So that’s a bit of a connector back to the beginning governments. Well,

Enrique Alvarez (16:07):

No, that’s great. And, and you point a couple of things there that are very clear and of course real. And it’s, uh, it’s a systemic problem. Like it’s not, and a lot of people have, uh, I think we need a little bit more awareness, a little more education. A lot of people have a completely different view of homelessness, and it’s a flawed view of why we have homelessness. So you’re, you’re absolutely right about that. But I know, uh, Nuy has itching to kind of ask a couple her questions as well. So I’ll, uh, I’ll shut up and let you speak now. Noia. Go ahead,

Nuria Sierra (16:36):

<laugh>. Thank you. Thank you. Wow, that’s such an inspiring story. So Mel, just in the, in the US there are over half a million people experiencing homelessness. So talking on a worldwide level, the number increases daily. So how many lives are currently being impacted by the homeless World Cup movement? Can you tell us?

Mel Young (17:00):

Yeah, um, I mean we, we, I mean, first of all, just on the statistics you gave, I mean, to me it’s, it’s absolutely shocking that the US which is, is still the richest country in the world. Okay? And you have the people are homeless, mean, that’s pointing to the, the, the, the systemic problem. That, that there’s hardly anybody I’ve met ever who, who wants to be homeless. Nobody wants to be homeless. And interestingly, if you, you know, I, I’ve done a lot of talks to, to, to school children, to students, to, um, business leaders, to rich people, to, you name it. And I’ve asked anybody think homelessness is a good idea? Nobody thinks it’s a good idea. So here, the homeless people don’t wanna be homeless. Nobody thinks it’s a good idea, but we have it. And that’s why it’s a systemic problem. The numbers are really difficult to, to, to, to count always.

Mel Young (17:47):

But, you know, the US is a, a, a significant problem, but so does everywhere else. Um, what we, what we’ve done, the numbers that we, uh, uh, uh, uh, are involved in our programs this year will be a approximately a hundred thousand. So since we’ve started, you know, our estimate is that we’ve impacted the lives of 1.2 million people. Wow. And, um, my view is, you know, it, and we’ve got lots and lots of stories, hundreds of stories of people who’ve changed their lives completely just by starting to kick a football around and, and getting, um, you know, that that feeling of of of self-worth and self-respect back. And then as of was helping being able to climb out on their situation. Um, but my, my, my worry really all, all the time is people can say, we’ve done a good job. And I think we have.

Mel Young (18:33):

And we, there’s lots, it’s, it’s not just me. There’s lots of people involved in this around the world, um, what we’ve created. But, but, but my concern is as soon as we move one person, somebody else comes in to take a place. And so whilst we are making an impact, we’re not, we’re not connecting in with governments and others to say, right, how are we changing the system to stop people coming in the first place? We can do what we can do and it’s impactful, but hey, really we’re, it’s just a kind of a tiny dot on, on what is a massive problem.

Enrique Alvarez (19:05):

You’re absolutely, uh, absolutely right. And, uh, it is a big problem and it requires a lot of people to come together. And I think that’s why it’s so brilliant to kind of pair this particular cost or this particular challenge that by the way, we all have, right? It’s not like a problem that only a certain, uh, people are, are living. I mean, it’s not only up to the homeless, it’s really something that is up to all of us that are citizens of the world to take ownership and try to make it better for everyone. So football is, uh, a great kind of thing to join things together. It’s a great sport, it’s a worldwide sport. It’s growing fast and that’s definitely, uh, the first step to make the change here. Um, what do you think the long impact of, of the homeless World Cup in particular will have? And where do you see this going? Which of course is an amazing movement and a hundred, 1.2 million people. I mean, that’s, those numbers are significant for sure.

Mel Young (20:03):

I, I mean, we, we just want to, to, to grow it, to be quite honest, because we know it’s impactful. Everywhere we go, we get the change. So we want to be in more countries, we want to be in more cities, in cities that we’re currently in. We want to be connected to more neighborhoods. So really anywhere there’s, there’s, there’s homeless people or there’s an issue we want to be, and, um, we want to be impactful. So we want to be telling a story about not just homeless people are playing football, but how they’re no longer homeless. That’s what, that’s what our objective is. The, the beauty of the football is, is it’s just simple and people can relate to it. Um, and so, you know, people look, look at people at homeless and then they see them play football. They never look at them in the same way again.

Mel Young (20:46):

So we’re destroying this stereotypical view. And you know, I’m always saying, look, a actually, it’s not about necessarily thinking about the alleged 1 billion homeless people that the United Nations say there are. Cuz you can’t, we can’t comprehend that as an in one human being, but you can’t do something small to create change. So the story I sometimes ask is that, you know, how can a football referee end homelessness and no idea. And what we have at the homeless World Cup, whole quarter of international referees now who volunteer, who come every year, uh, to our, to our annual events, referee the game, very important. We have a referees cause they keep order and they, you know, keep, make sure the rules are, are held very, very important. Um, and that’s what they do. That’s their contribution, which is actually a major contribution in point of fact.

Mel Young (21:40):

And people never think what a refer how a referee could impact something. And if you start thinking about all of that, if we all do something right, a little, even if it’s just a tiny thing that’s constructive and we join all that up, then that’s how you create the change. And I think that that’s what we’re doing. All sorts of people are starting to go, Hey, you know, that works. How can we join in with them? Then we all go, okay, this is, this is what you could do for us. This, this is how this could make a difference. And we, we, we build it up from there and then, then that’s how we’ll create change.

Enrique Alvarez (22:12):

Well, that’s, uh, incredible. And ndia, I Mel’s an incredibly humble person as well when he is telling all the stories. But I think Baron, I went to the website and I, correct me if I’m wrong, Mel, but I think they’re in 75 countries. Isn’t, isn’t that amazing Ndia, what’s your, what’s your take on, on, on this particular point, like the amount, the worldwide organization that they have built in such a small period of time?

Nuria Sierra (22:35):

Well, that is, uh, that’s an incredible, uh, mission. And I think that, uh, well you are not only impacting and and giving hope, eh, to those people, I think that you are giving them purpose, a purpose in their lives. And, uh, well, I I I, I would like to ask you lots of things about, I I’m very curious about to know how does it work? How, how is the dynamic within the, the, the, well the process, since one person joined the, the homeless World Cup, how, how does it work? How, how is it, uh, the, the process, uh, during that year that they, they are part of the homeless World Cup and uh, then they, they they come to play with you and represent their country? Yeah,

Mel Young (23:29):

I, I I I, I can answer that. I mean, I just answer in kind of general terms. Cause every country’s just a little different mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But, but, but we, we will go to where homeless people are, or homeless, homeless people will put a notice somewhere to say that there’s some soccer or football going on. And we, in, in the initial phase, we never comment on, on the homeless person. We just said, you wanna have some place in football and have some fun for an hour. Okay. And so everybody’s running around and it, um, it’s important that the, the, the, the, the, the psychological interventions at this point, cause people self-esteem is, is zero. You, everything is gone. You don’t believe anything is possible. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So we’re just kinda creating a space where people can be, and then we try encourage ’em to come back to the next day or the day after and say, Hey, come back.

Mel Young (24:17):

It’s quite important actually, cuz you’re the goalkeeper and we need you or the blah blah, whoever it is is part of the team. And so we’re trying to build, uh, and we are building a kind of family atmosphere where they kind of feel, feel, uh, valued and feel part of. And, and, and then over time we start working with them and build, building it up. And so there’ll be different issues that are maybe affecting ’em. They might be about obviously housing. They might be about employment, they might be about drugs, they might be about alcohol, they might be about family issues, might be about the whole lot put together. And we’ll start saying to, well, there’s pathways in which we can build and help you. Um, uh, trying to sort out some of these issues. Some can react quite quickly to that. Others are much slower.

Mel Young (24:59):

We don’t really care actually. Um, we always use the football as the center point. Um, a big objective for them is to try and get on the team, uh, to, to represent their country. Now not all of them can get on the team, but you know, they, they kind of understand that most of the players who selected are, are at the end of a process. So, you know, they’re, they’re about to move into a house or a job or whatever. So it’s, the players selected for the country aren’t, we haven’t got them from the street the day before. They’ve been going through the, our programs and they’re only allowed to come to our event once because it’s the, it is, you know, it’s the end. It’s like you’re moving on. And so the, the whole story, it within this is about change is about moving on and we celebrate the guys who move on in a way so that this is the way, the correct pathway for others to follow.

Mel Young (25:48):

You know, we, we correct that and a lot of our former players, the former homeless players now have come, come back as volunteer coaches when they have jobs and houses. They come back, they volunteer, some of them even run the pro programs now, actually manage the whole programs. And of course they’re able to say to, to people say, oh, you dunno what it’s like being where I am. And they’re able to say, yep, I used to be right there and now I’m here so you can do the same. And that’s very, very uh, uh, impactful and inspiring that. So I mean, I mean that’s a very general answer I’m giving you about kind of what’s happening. It’s obviously a bit more complicated that not quite so straightforward, but hey, that’s the process and it works.

Nuria Sierra (26:29):

No, that’s amazing. Sounds incredible. So, eh, jumping on a solid pillar that also supports a homeless World Cup ideology, um, which is the new I s M. So can you tell us a bit more about it and what does, does it stands for?

Mel Young (26:47):

Uh, yeah. Well this is something I I, I started up just prior to Covid, um, with, with, with a friend of mine called Alex Matthews. And we, what basically where that comes from is that, again, it re relates very much to my experience in terms of homelessness. It’s about the kind of system fair we are and the, the, the, the new comes from the, from a perspective of, um, we need to have a look at the way that we’re all working together and kind of systems. Cuz nothing, nothing appears to be actually working. And so it’s, it’s not an issue between an economics issue of capitalism on the island versus socialism. It’s, it’s not that at all. It’s basically saying, actually I don’t, we don’t think these work anymore in the modern world. Have we got an economic system that actually is fit for the modern world?

Mel Young (27:37):

So leaving the politics and everything aside, what, how can you create a system which is fair, which allows everybody to participate, uh, because so many people are, are falling off the edge. So we then talk to talk about issues like, and we try to be constructive about it. So if I, we don’t know what theism is. Okay, well what is it? Dunno. But hey, look, let’s look at some of the elements that are around it we might like to have in there. So, you know, we, we’ve talked to people who, who run fair trade for example. So we say, Hey, is the, the basis of fair trade is, is that the way we should do all trade? Not just some, all of it is, uh, microfinance, uh, which is, you know, microfinance banking is, is that a way we should be doing banking in the future?

Mel Young (28:24):

Uh, environmental, um, uh, labeling, et cetera, et cetera. And you start to build up something which becomes the basis of a, of a new economic system. So that’s where the new comes. And we, we, we, we’ve got a lot of people to come and contribute, I don’t think anywhere near yet being able to, to have this aha moment. This is what this looks like. But there are certain elements in there, and I’m quite sure if people start to connect into this and a lot of people who want to do it to talk about it. So people from the business world get this, they get it. They say, you know, we agree with this actually, cuz you can’t, you can’t keep on growing, uh, in a finite planet. So, uh, if if the whole basis of of an economy’s growth and you’re living in a finite place, it’s not gonna work in the end.

Mel Young (29:13):

So how, how, how do you, how do you deal with this? See, if you look at the Adam Smith, who is the creator of, of capitalism wrote The Wealth of Nation, he says, Scott, but if you look at that, he, when he was kind of talking about money, he said, the role of money must be for, for for for the good of the people, for good of society. Okay. But, but of course it’s, and his his view was how you circulate money, which was the basis of capitalism. But, but I think if he was alive now, he would be appalled by what’s happening because, because the, the gap between the rich and the poor is getting so big and, and people can’t connect to one another. So how, how, how do we sort this fundamentally without kind of tinkering at the edges of everything. Okay, how do you, how do, how do you really change it? So that’s what the new a debate with a view to trying to come up with ideas about how how we might all live and all have all all have a fair share.

Enrique Alvarez (30:09):

That’s uh, yeah. And, and then you’re, it’s a good problem. It’s a problem that we definitely need to resolve. Um, that’s why I said it’s a good problem that the wrong word choice there, but it’s really something that’s critical for us to kind of figure out. And there’s a lot of organizations that are doing this conscious capitalism go beyond profit. There’s a lot of people that are already thinking very similarly to, to you Mel, when it comes to this. So, uh, definitely encourage the dialogue and this is another way to, uh, raise awareness, uh, that, that this is not working right. We have to find a better way. We have to find a way to actually improve what we’re doing cuz it’s clearly not for everyone.

Mel Young (30:50):

Yeah. A a absolutely. That’s what I think, and I think business actually has a central role to this. I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m a great believer in, in, in, in, in, in business. I’m, I’m, there’s a lot of talent and brains in business and you know, in discussion with some business owners and and CEOs, they’ll, they’ll start to talk about, okay, you know, how how do we allocate shares? How do we distribute wealth? How do we share? But at the same time, how are we innovative and smart and make sure that our, our businesses are, are, are something of, of, of, of real value. And so you get into really good, good discussions there, I think about, about how everything is, how everything is structured. Um, absolutely. So I think this, this a real lead in business and, and I know you guys are a vector are doing that, and you’re, you’re doing that Rikki.

Mel Young (31:38):

So, um, it’s, it’s really good to have a, um, a good, you know, discussion about that and think these things through. I’m not, I’m not somebody who, you know, sits some protests outside, if you like. I mean, okay, maybe the protestors have a point, maybe they don’t, but actually I’m gonna go, yeah, okay, well what are we doing about this? How, how does one move forward here? And most people in the world aren’t bad at all, actually, they’re goodies. It’s just that we’ve created a system that’s making so many people poor and so many people excluded. So how do we sort that out? And surely we can do that.

Enrique Alvarez (32:14):

It’s, it’s, it’s incredible how everything kind of comes back to the one thing that you thought was actually a good catalyst to change it, which is let’s come together and have a, a fun game of soccer or a football, right? And so it’s, it’s homeless. Uh, the homeless World Cup actually I think is a good way to take all the politics and all this other things out of the equation, which is something you mentioned a couple, couple of times. It’s like a game. Everyone in the world enjoys it and most people are growing into it. So, uh, so this is a great way of doing it. Now I wanted to change gears a little bit here and I just wanted to ask you, I mean you’ve been doing this very successfully for 20 years with this particular organization, but of course you told us a little bit about the homeless magazine and some of the other things.

Enrique Alvarez (32:57):

So you did before that. And it sounds like you’ve been doing this ever since your mom told you that you have to pay attention of neighbors. So, uh, what have you, what have you learned? I mean, what would you, again, there’s tons of organizations out there trying to do something very similar when it comes to, um, making a positive impact in the world and helping people that are not as, um, lucky really, that have not had the same opportunities. Uh, what would you kind of, um, recommend to, to these organizations out there? What have you learned? What are some of the key insights after all this years?

Mel Young (33:31):

I, I I, I think in, in, in the sector we are in, if you like call it the NGO sector or non non non-private, non-public sector, one, one of the things that we are not good at is working together. Um, there’s actually quite a lot of us out there, um, and doing a lot of good stuff actually. Um, and with little resources, but, but, but coming together to do things we we’re not good at and we need to get much better at it and we need to understand it’s about the systems. Um, and there’s something there about the kind of passion that, that, that founders put in and then they’re reluctant to share it, I think is something about this kind of human, uh, aspect to it. And it’s interesting if you compare that sector with say the private sector. So if the private sector, there might be real, real competitors, um, but if there was some kind of barrier in front of them, then they would start talking to one another or, or create trade associations or different associations.

Mel Young (34:30):

They’d work out a way in which they could work together but still remain independent. Whereas I, I think our sector’s very poor at that actually, and we need to be smarter at it. I think that the, the discussion and that’s happening as a great organization called Catalyst 2030, which is having a look at systems and, and getting people to work together. It’s relatively new and, and, and it’s growing. Um, some, some fabulous, fabulous people in it. So it’s changing a bit. But that, that’s one thing I think that I take away. We’d have the, the, the, the other one would be that, um, one of the parts of the values I have is you can, you learn something every day from whoever you can learn from a professor, but you can learn from a homeless person actually, um, or learn from a bus driver or whatever. Um, and um, I think we don’t listen enough to people who are in, in the situation act on it. So there, there, there are almost too many academics and researchers around, you know, disrespect to them. And actually it’s the people at the front who experience the problem that actually we should be paying a bit more attention to. Cuz actually they know what some solutions are and they’re sitting there and they’re talking about what they are and, and sometimes they’re completely missed.

Nuria Sierra (35:45):

Wow. Well Mel, you have written, uh, a few books and uh, to learn more about your, about you and, and your mission. I’m curious about something. So from the back cover of your, of the book, eh, home Game, A Ball Can Change the World. There is a premise of how can such a simple game like football tackle such a complex problem. So, and it makes me, that makes me think that for her problems is great to find simple solutions. So what other things can people learn from the story you detailed here?

Mel Young (36:21):

Well, I mean, I think important, the point I was making there, and, and maybe the thing sometimes people can learn is that it it, in some some ways the solutions are very straightforward, okay? And sometimes what happens is we, there’s not any particular sector, we tie ourselves in knots trying to get to solutions and spend a lot of money trying to get to those solutions when in point of fact it’s about connecting with the people in, in our case we talk with the homeless people and listen to them and, and deliver something that, that they want. And we’re using the football as a communication tool to the outside world and and, and to people in the football authorities and so on. So I think, I think, um, a lot of these things we can apply, uh, to, um, other issues that are out there. Uh, I mean, you know, I think we have to be careful about how we, um, again, think about systemically, okay, so we, we, we get into, into diff difference.

Mel Young (37:22):

Here’s another example. So we, we overproduced food and we have these, um, uh, uh, in supermarkets. So we have these sell by dates and we have to get rid of the food cuz we can’t push it past the sell by dates. So, so we, we, we, we, we, we put them in the rubbish and yet the another bit of the world can’t feed itself. So then somebody kind of comes up and, and, and, and we, we, we create food banks. So the, the supermarkets can rid of the food into the food banks and then it gives the people who can’t afford to eat, but, but the, the, the problem we then get into. So it’s almost like that’s your emergency. Okay. But, but, but people, the food banks stay there forever and they get bigger and bigger and bigger and, and, and then that starts to become, become the, the way of life.

Mel Young (38:07):

Whereas I think, hey, no, there’s got to be a simple solution under which people have enough money to buy their own food. Because actually that would call jobs that would stimulate your economy act as a multiplier or a thing. So I would be seeing it right in that space. We ought to be trying to get rid of food banks, not from a bad point of view, rid of food banks, getting rid of that culture, which is a kind of handout culture into a way in which people, uh, can make decisions for, for themselves. And it’s got to be a simple way to do that. So, uh, it’s, it’s a question of kind of sitting down maybe like, like me and Harold did originally who came up the football and just throwing some ideas around and then you need the entrepreneur to go or the leader to go, right, this is what we’re doing.

Enrique Alvarez (38:49):

Yeah, that’s, uh, absolutely true. And um, I, uh, I think someone I heard or read somewhere that, uh, hunger, uh, it’s really more a logistics problem than a food scarcity problem cuz there is more than enough food in the world to feed people that are starving and there’s some food that we’re throwing away. So it’s, you’re absolutely right about this. And, um, moving back a little bit to the homeless World Cup events, I know that you have been hosting quite a few, some, uh, could you tell us a little bit of the cities that have been hosting this event in the past? I mean, who was the last one? And maybe an announcement as of which will be the next one, which we’re all thrilled about.

Mel Young (39:31):

Yeah, yeah. So we, we we, we’ve been all around the world in, in, in everywhere we’ve been, every city we’ve been, it’s been just great. So we’ve been in, in Melbourne, uh, in, in, in Australia. And that was a kind of special moment because, uh, we paid in the middle of Federation Square and the final was between Afghanistan and Russia. And, um, Russia had a chance to, to equalize in the last second and missed in Afghanistan one. And the placement went crazy and it was <laugh> it was amazing. And then we’ve been in uh, uh, Rio Koana Beach. We’ve been in Mexico City in solo Wow. Where we had, over the week we play over a week. We had 160,000 people came. So I can say that’s 160,000 people came to watch homeless people play football. By the way, that’s, and

Enrique Alvarez (40:14):

By the way, speaking of Mexico in particular, that’s the Azteca Stadium. I mean, that’s about the same capacity of what the Azteca Stadium would hold.

Mel Young (40:21):

Yeah, yeah. It was, it was amazing. Mexican, uh, people just kind of loved it. <laugh> also Mexico, men and women, we have men and women’s competitions. They’re now, they’re, they’re now ver they’re the, they’re top in the world. Um, they’re, they’re the champions. They’re the team everybody wants to be. Um, and then we were in Santiago, in Chile, we’ve been in Paris under the, uh, Eiffel Tower, Amsterdam, Cape Town in, in, in, uh, South Africa. And then, um, we, we, we’ve been trying to get, uh, to, to the US for, for for a while and we, we will be in Sacramento in July. Um, and we are very, very excited to be in the us. Um, and um, we think it’s gonna be a fantastic event. Our, our partners there that we’re working with Street Soccer, usa, um, uh, you know, wanna make it the best ever and I’m sure it will be.

Mel Young (41:10):

Uh, so we we’re, we’re we’re excited about that. Everyone’s excited about coming and, um, that’s gonna be in July. I, I I, I, I’d urge people to come and watch cuz it’s so interesting. Um, people kind of, they, they listen to maybe what I’m talking about, other people talking about, they don’t really get it. And then when they, they come, they go, wow, this is, this is, this is amazing. What’s going on here? <laugh> and even people, uh, nui who, who don’t like football, okay, um, they kind of go, I don’t like football, but I like what’s going on here? <laugh> and uh, cause the players, um, if you think about it, they, after being homeless and all that, now they represent their country, everyone’s cheering and it’s their moment of their life you can imagine. And so they just give off this kind of just positive vine. Yeah. That there’s, there’s no red cards. There’re there’s, they’re people are competitive, they wanna win the game, okay. But, but, but it is just played in an app in, in a fantastic spirit, um, where the players are connecting with one another, connecting with the audience, and it becomes a special atmosphere.

Enrique Alvarez (42:09):

The energy sounds unbelievable. And of course I encourage everyone that’s listening to us right now to mark your calendars, uh, for the US Homeless World Cup, which I’m sure will be a big, big success as a country. I’m American and everyone that’s here in the US we’ll definitely do whatever it takes to, to make it the best one, right? We’re competitive and by nature and, and we are fully supportive as well. This is an amazing cause And of course this is an amazing country to host this in and I think there’s a lot of things that can, uh, come out of that World Cup. So we’ll put all those comments, all those links, everything you’ve said in the notes. Uh, but this is amazing. Uh, Nodia, any, any thoughts on that? And I know that you have another question, so go ahead.

Nuria Sierra (42:58):

Well, uh, I I believe that, uh, with the homeless World Cup events, uh, there might be implemented logistics in the process. So what would you, what means to you, uh, logistics with pool, post

Mel Young (43:17):

Logistics with football? I mean, logistics is, uh, is obviously a really, really important part of what we’re we’re doing. Cause we are in a sense mo moving people around the world and, and, and you know, some of them don’t even have passports or identity and so they have to get to get that. And then we have to kind of move them. We have to move the, the bits around the event. And so, and then putting on the event is really a logistical exercise to be quite honest. So logistics is a very, very important part. And having Vector here as, as our new logistics partner, which we are, we are, we’re thrilled about, um, you know, we can, we can always, um, come to you for advice and help and support which you, which you, you’re giving us, which is, is, is fabulous. Um, just back onto the us coming to the US again.

Mel Young (43:59):

See, we, we we’re excited about coming to us because there’s a, an issue here, but we, we also know that US is a country which, which problem solves a and is also incredibly generous and kind. And you put these together and say, Hey look, can we, can we build on this? Can we actually start a, start a real energy around here based on these homeless guys who’ve changed their lives that we’re gonna make this, this really, really impactful. Um, and I, that’s what’s exciting is I’m it’s gonna be a great event. I’m, I’m sure and the people that come to watch Will, will, will just get into it big time.

Enrique Alvarez (44:35):

No, this is the first time in the US too, right, Mel?

Mel Young (44:37):

It’s the first time we’ve been in the US the first time. Yeah. We’ve wanted to come for a long time. So this is the first time. So we are excited about it.

Enrique Alvarez (44:43):

Very excited. Well, Mel, thank you so much. Um, we have, I mean, we could be talking about this for, for a couple more hours and we’ll probably invite you over a couple more times, uh, as this whole thing progresses as you host the successful homeless World Cup in California and Sacramento, we’ll put all the links so that people can not only go and watch, but can also support you. Um, what would you tell our listeners, what’s the call of action when it comes to not only supporting the homeless World Cup, but in general, what would you, what would you tell to everyone that’s listening to us right now?

Mel Young (45:17):

Well, if in, in the US certainly come along the range July in Sacramento, if you could make it come along, I promise you, you, you’ll, you’ll love it. Um, that would be my call. The other thing that would be come, come and support us, we there, our websites on the world cup.org, but o other than that, um, it’s about we all have to take kind of an intervention. As I said earlier, it’s all about doing a little something. So it, you know, if we all do that something, we will make the change. So it’s, it, we don’t have to do huge things. Um, and think about something small that you might be able to do in your neighborhood, your street or wherever and, and, and just do it. And sometimes that’s even just speaking to a homeless person, you know, cuz they, they’re totally isolated and, and they’re just gonna say, hello, how are you doing?

Mel Young (46:00):

And um, what do you like, do you like soccer? Do you like blah, blah, blah, and you like this music or what? Whatever it is. Um, and, and, and, and because, because homeless people are, are so excluded and, and, and so lucky in self-esteem, it just is really, really helpful. But just trying to think through, okay, what could we do that’s not only impactful in terms of that emergency that I’m talking about. So somebody’s on the street and they’re hungry, so we give them food, of course we do. But actually how do we get them off the street altogether so that we don’t have to give them things? How is it that we move people on completely back into society, in the society which we live in? So that will be the, my call to action. We all do something. We’ll change the world.

Enrique Alvarez (46:37):

Mel, thank you very, very much. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. For everyone else that’s listening to us, if you like and enjoy conversations like the one we just had with Mel Young from the Homeless World Cup, um, please join us, uh, subscribe and thank you very much. I’ll see you next time.

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Featured Guests

Mel Young is a social entrepreneur and has been for most of his life. He is a change-maker and believes passionately that homelessness around the world can be ended. Mel is President of the Homeless World Cup, which he co-founded in 2003. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded all over the world and now has partners in over 75 countries, touching the lives of over 100,000 homeless people every year – more than one million people in the last decade. Connect with Mel on LinkedIn.

Nuria Sierra is a growth marketer with 20+ years experience developing and managing inbound content marketing strategies to empower brands to tell their story with clarity and connect with their audiences in the US, UK, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and Portugal. Nuria is deeply passionate about digital marketing, branding, and making a positive social impact.  
She believes that our life is changing the world every day. If we choose to live positive values and do good in those around us, we are changing the world for the better.
Currently, she is changing the world as Sales & Marketing Manager at Vector Global Logistics.  Connect with Nuria on Linkedin.


Enrique Alvarez

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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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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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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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

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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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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

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

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

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

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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

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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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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

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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 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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Allison Giddens


Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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