Logistics with Purpose
Episode 95

My parents taught me that you can make a difference. When you see a problem that someone else is facing, and if you can step in and help, you should do it.

-Kaitlin Marian

Episode Summary

In the first new Logistics with Purpose podcast episode of 2024, hosts Monica Aurora Roesch and Noria Sierra welcome Kaitlin Marian to the show, with In Kind Direct, a charity focused on preventing surplus products from going to waste by distributing them to charities in need across the UK.

Kaitlin shares her journey from a corporate career to In Kind Direct, highlighting the charity’s mission to tackle hygiene poverty and its impact on individuals’ lives. Listen in and learn more about:

  • The importance of partnerships with corporate donors and the environmental benefits of diverting products from landfills.
  • The logistics of managing donations for over 5,000 charities and addressing challenges in meeting specific product needs.
  • The practical role of logistics in driving purpose-driven initiatives.

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.

Monica Aurora Roesch (00:36):

Hello and welcome to another episode of Logistics with Purpose. My name is Monica Raj, and today I’m co-hosting this episode with my amazing co-host, Noria Sierra. Welcome, Noria. How are you?

Nuria Sierra (00:49):

I’m good. Thank you, Monique. So good to be here and I’m really excited about this conversation we’ve had. We have an amazing guest today.

Monica Aurora Roesch (00:58):

Yeah, she’s great. We had the opportunity to meet her in London a few months ago and visit her offices. She’s amazing. And what she does is great. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Katelin Marion, corporate Partnerships manager at Inkin Direct. Welcome, Kailyn. Thanks for joining me. Us.

Kaitlin Marian (01:19):

Thanks, Lani. It’s great to be here. I’m so glad we are finally doing this. <laugh> <laugh>.

Nuria Sierra (01:26):

awesome. Kailyn, I know. Well, you, since you are the corporate partnership manager, uh, Inkin, I, I just wanted to give a bit of a, a context about Inkin Direct. Uh, eh is the UK’s leading product giving specialist, inspiring product giving for social good up and down the country. So that is a lot. You work with, uh, non-for-profit organizations and companies to help ensure that everyone has access to life’s essential, uh, and that, uh, no usable product goes to waste. So that is a lot. I, before digging a bit deeper in that, in that, tell us a bit more about your childhood, uh, where you grew up, your background. Well, uh, we, we want to know a little bit more about you.

Kaitlin Marian (02:24):

Of course. So, wow. Yes. I grew up in Malaysia, so yeah, I was born and raised there. Lived there for 18 years of my life and, uh, yeah, it was fantastic. We lived in a small town outside of the capital ur and I had a really, I guess, normal traditional Malaysian upbringing. And yeah, when I was 18, I moved to the uk. I did my A Levels and then I went on to do my degree and then my master’s before then, you know, working and starting my career here.

Monica Aurora Roesch (03:00):

That’s just great. And the difference between both countries must have been a lot when you first moved in. So.

Kaitlin Marian (03:08):

when I first moved, yes. <laugh> culture shock <laugh>.

Monica Aurora Roesch (03:12):

Yeah. So looking back maybe then, or even later, what’s a story from your early years that shaped who you are and what you do now? What inspired you?

Kaitlin Marian (03:23):

Oh, that’s a great question. And I think I really have to credit my parents for the upbringing that they gave me and my siblings. So my, both my parents actually, they themselves grew up in poverty and, you know, the upbringing that they had was very different to the upbringing that they were able to provide for me and my siblings. And so that we are really lucky. But the one thing that they did, which I’m so grateful that they did, was, you know, they often shared the reality of their life growing up and the challenges that they were facing. And I think they, I import imparted two very important things. And the first one was, you know, the value of education because, you know, that is how they were able to better, you know, their lives and get on a very, very different kind of, I guess, reality. And so they kind of always told us from a very young age, like, your education is probably one of the most important things that you can do for yourselves. And, you know, you always need to study hard, you know, make the asset because it’s just that important. And the second one was they taught me to be kind and to be caring.

Kaitlin Marian (04:34):

Um, and, and, and to be generous, um, in a lot of their stories amidst all the struggles that they face when they were growing up, they always had this kind of positive spin where they would say, yes, that happened, but you know what, this person helped us, you know, or this, or, or, we received help in this way. And isn’t that wonderful? And I think they’ve, not just through their words, but their actions, they’ve really taught me that you can make a difference. You can do something when you see something that someone else is facing or something where you, you can maybe step in and help you should do it. And I think that’s something that has really influenced me in how I view the world. And obviously, ’cause I started in the corporate sector, you know, that was fantastic. But as I became a bit more in tune with my own values and stuff, that is definitely one value that I think has been instilled since I was a very young girl.

Kaitlin Marian (05:29):

And I’m really glad, because I think it’s quite a, especially in the current context, and I, I know we’ll go on to talk about that in a little bit more detail after this, but in the current context of everything that’s happening in the world right now, I feel like, you know, that to be able to kind of see like, Amit, everything that’s going on, I can help. This is what I can do. And to be able to do it alongside other people who want to help is just, it’s just amazing.

Nuria Sierra (05:58):

That’s so important, eh, as you say, eh, the times that we are living, it’s so important that we, eh, educate, eh, in kindness, our children. I love that. Let’s talk about a little bit about your professional journey. You have a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bruno University and a Master’s in Law and Economics from Queen Mary University, both well-respected institutions in London. So please tell us a bit more about your experience at that time and um, what spurs you, uh, to choose that particular path?

Kaitlin Marian (06:37):

Oh, it’s a great question. Brings me way back, <laugh>. Well, interestingly enough, before I did my bachelor’s in economics, I was convinced that I wanted to do law because I was like, you know what? That’s where I can help people. That was, I was very good at arguing <laugh> also, I was told. So I was like, yes, I’m gonna go do law and I’m going to like, support all these people who need help. And that’s the change that I’m going to make in the world. And luckily for me, I managed to do some internships before I started my degree. And I had, you know, I had the harsh, uh, awakening of actually what I thought in my head what law was.

Kaitlin Marian (07:18):

And the reality was quite different. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing profession, but it just, again, what I thought it was and what I thought I would be able to do was, um, yeah, that just wasn’t how it worked. And so at the very last moment, I changed from doing a degree in law to a degree in economics ’cause I’d done it during A-levels. And something that I did cover was developmental development, sorry, economics, looking about how countries basically can progress from developing to developed and all the kind of challenges and the opportunities that, uh, arose with that. And so that was an area of interest. And I went, well, maybe that’s something that I can do. And no regrets. I think that was one of the best choices that I made because I loved it. I, you know, I loved kind of deepening into just, I guess that kind of analysis aspect, uh, of things.

Kaitlin Marian (08:10):

And I think that really it gave me a really strong understanding of not just how the economy works, but how businesses works and how they operate as well. And after, after I’d finished my bachelor’s, I, I worked for a summer and again, had an incredible kind of experience number crunching and doing a lot of analysis and that sort of things. And I went, that’s amazing. But I, I, I wanted to go a little bit more. I wanted to kind of go a little bit more holistic, um, think a little bit more, I guess, uh, bigger picture from a policy level, et cetera, et cetera, and how that kind of impacts well economies and businesses, um, et cetera. And so that kind of let me down. Um, the part to my master’s, which was combining Law and economics. And I must say that was one of my favorite years of my entire life.

Kaitlin Marian (09:05):

It was intense, as most master programs are, but I learned so much and I had a great time doing it. Like I was challenged in all the right ways. And it gave me this really, i, I guess, sound understanding of how intersectional, I suppose a lot of these areas are, no matter whether it’s on a large scale to a, to a very small scale. And after that ex that experience, I think I kind of went, you know, I love, I love that kind of, I love the analysis bit, I love the consultancy kind of bit. I, I, I love drawing different, different elements of all, all the various factors that might affect something and kind of digging into it and finding solutions. Uh, and that led me to my first, I guess, proper, uh, job in my career, which was joining the graduate program at K P M G.

Kaitlin Marian (10:02):

And I joined the financial due diligence team. Yes, a lot of numbers. It was very number focus. And I spent a few years there, it was incredible. It was very intense. But I worked with some brilliant people and I got a really sound understand, not just understanding, but experience in, you know, everything, not everything, but a lot of things in the, in the finance world and, and how things work. And I was very lucky I was able to do two secondments. One, I did it in, uh, data analytics. Brilliant. Learned so much. But very honestly, I learned that probably wasn’t my strong suit. I could do it, but I was like, well, okay. But my second secondment was one I did with the deal origination team. So that’s like business development. It was the pre-deal aspect where there was a lot of relationship building. There was a lot of market reading, a lot of understanding of a lot of what’s going on in the market in order to kind of position ourselves accordingly, to build the right relationships and partnerships.

Kaitlin Marian (11:08):

And I love that. And I was like, oh, this is it. This is an area that I think brings together a lot of my interests. And I was like, oh, I, I think I found something that I would really like to, you know, continue building my career on. And around the same time when all of this was happening, you know, I was having, having a great time at K P N G and they actually gave us an opportunity to volunteer. And one of their charity partners at that time was the N S D C C. So that’s the children’s charity based in the uk. And I decided to, oh my gosh, amazing. It’s a course I care about. It’s something that’s support my company. Let me go and look into it. And cut the long story short, basically the N SS P C C have this unit called childline, which is, it’s a counseling service that they provide that is provided by volunteers to young children across the UK who might need someone to talk to.

Kaitlin Marian (12:09):

So it’s a listening service. And then you kind of have, you know, you learn how to build relationships with the children, you listen to what they’re going through, try to provide guidance when necessary. I think there’s a lot of safeguarding involved as well. And it’s just basically just supporting and listening young people and being there for them when they need someone to talk to. And it was quite an, i, I had to go for training. There was like a test at the end of it to make sure that I was ready to actually do it. And after all of that, you know, I kind of like graduated from their program and I was able to be a volunteer childline counselor. And I must say, sometimes it was hard listening to what some of the kid, what some kids had to go through and, and what they were experiencing was just heartbreaking.

Kaitlin Marian (12:58):

But also regardless of what I know is happening, they are experiencing those things, right? And knowing that I am actually by being there, I’m actually hopefully just helping just in a tiny bit. That meant a lot to me. And that led me down the path of really thinking about what was important to me as an individual. What values do I want to kind of incorporate more into my life, and how can I bring that into my career? Because we spent so much time doing what we do. And it took a while. It was not an instantaneous decision, but I kind of went, I, I think I want to bring that more into my career and, and to create something that’s really meaningful, something where day in, day out I am doing something in service of other people. And yeah, so that’s kind of made me have a career switch, I suppose, from the corporate sector to the charity sector.

Kaitlin Marian (13:55):

And you know, I’ve been really lucky because I started off, my first thing in the charity sector was this amazing charity called Pilot Light. And it basically, it brought together charities in other charities in the UK with business leaders from various companies, um, uh, in the UK as well. And it did it through a skills transfer program. So they have these various programs where business professionals will share their experience, their skills, their whatever that they have and the charity needs. They’ll be sharing it through them to kind of bridge the gap between that kind of skills aspect between the charity sector and the business sector. Yeah. And yeah, so I mean, so that’s a bit long-winded, but yeah, that’s like where I started off and where I’ve ended up basically <laugh>.

Monica Aurora Roesch (14:43):

Yeah. And that’s amazing because like a person who studied a bachelor’s in international business and then an M B A I can relate a lot to say, well, I love the business world, the corporate world, but what else can I do with that knowledge? Like, how can I put it into help to other people? And there’s a lot of business people that think that for profits are just for profits or businesses or only businesses, but then you get to meet other people who think alike as, as we do in the Korea past years. And we believe that, well, yeah, we can do a lot of economics and law and business development and see how to improve the company with marketing or networking, et cetera. But then council, we put all of that into something good for others, like just because we want to help. So it’s great to learn a little bit about how you shaped that change your career. And that was actually my next question, but you already answered it. So, uh, I am curious about during all of this process about changing from J P M G to, to the charity sector, was there like a specific moment when you say this sit, I think I need to, I mean, ’cause probably you were like thinking about, well, I want to keep combining it, but there, at some point there must have been something that you said, this is it, this is my sign. I need to change my path. Like, what was the moment like?

Kaitlin Marian (16:20):

Oh, it was actually, again, there were so many factors going on and I had a, I have a really kind of supportive partner as well, who’s always listen to your heart, don’t you? Got it? You can do whatever you want to do. So in that kind of supportive space, I think one moment that I do remember, uh, as kind of going, gosh, Caitlyn, I think the answer to this was after a particularly challenging day, I, I suppose in the office when I then had to go on my shift for Dryline, and I remember before the shift, I, I was like, oh, I’m so tired. It’s been a long day, it’s gonna be a long day tomorrow, and I’ve gotta spend the entire night basically doing the shift as well. Still went for it.

Kaitlin Marian (17:07):

I was like, no, this is important. You gotta go for it. And the shift itself was quite challenging as well. It really required, you know, it requires a lot of you emotionally as well, because you want to be really present for the children as well. But at the end of that day, and I went home and it was close to midnight already. I went, even though the last five hours, that’s how long the shift was. Even though the shift was tiring, I didn’t feel drained. I felt more energized at that point of time than I did leaving work. And it was quite curious, right? Because I’m like, I’m even more tired. I’ve not had time to actually like, you know, relax or, or anything. But it was almost like this moment where it’s like, you know, when you do the things that’s really important to you and your purpose, it’s almost like you get like these extra bouts of energy, these extra bouts of motivation and it keeps you going.

Kaitlin Marian (18:03):

And I remember thinking, I don’t mind working hard, hard work has never scared me, but to, to have that sense of, you know, okay, fulfillment, I suppose in, in what I have done that day. It was such a strong feeling that I honestly went like, think you know the answer <laugh>. And um, I did. Yeah.

Nuria Sierra (18:24):

That’s amazing. Well, your journey and how you have been shaping well, your life have been shaping you and you ended up, eh, from being raised in kinds and then, eh, you studied economics and everything and then you find that purpose. Well now, eh, digging a bit more in into in Kind Direct, it’s a well known UK charity and established in 1986 by when, well, but his Majesty King Charleston, I third, he was a Prince, but still might be some people that are not that familiar with that. So could you provide some, like an overview and your role in there?

Kaitlin Marian (19:13):

Of course. Yeah, of course. I think the easiest way as a tagline to kind of describe what in Kind Direct is, is that it’s like, it’s a charity for other charities. So, you know, as you kind of mentioned earlier, Maria, you know, we as a charity in Kind Direct, we believe that everyone deserves access to life’s essentials and that no usable product goes to base. So when we were first, when we first started all those years ago, there was this, there’s this deep focus on that kind of base element. I think at that point of time, four in Kind Direct was incorporated companies because they didn’t have any other viable option, were kind of, you know, sending things to the landfill. And you are talking about products that were perfectly usable, perfectly good, but maybe they’ve, they’ve had to clear their warehouse or they have had to have a different season and you know, they had to clear it out and stuff.

Kaitlin Marian (20:09):

It was just going to the landfill. And it was that kind of recognition of, well actually we need to provide a solution for, you know, a different solution to take this products. And we have so many people in the country who actually really need it, so why are we throwing it away? And it was true that principle that Inkin Direct was born and we have really grown over the years. I think, you know, thinking about how we started, where it was primarily like kind of surplus donations that we received to avoid, uh, products from being sent to the landfill to where we operate now, which is a little bit more strategic actually, where we do the same thing, exactly the same thing, but we are actually able to kind of be a little bit more directive in terms of, you know, what we provide to the charity sector.

Kaitlin Marian (21:05):

And I realize that sounds a bit fluffy. So I guess what I also want to mention is what we do really well is we partner with all the right corporates and all the right brands in the uk. We form really strong relationships with them and we try to understand what their needs are, what is their, what drives them. So for some organizations that could be, you know, actually they have a lot of surplus stock that they would like to donate and they would like to see reach, they would like it, they would like to see it to reach people who could actually use it so that it doesn’t go to waste. We also have some corporates who go, well actually we want to go a bit above and beyond, right? It’s in our C S R strategy to donate a bit more. And so they’ll kind of make a strategic commitment to say, I will donate, you know, 1 million period products to you over the year for you to then distribute out.

Kaitlin Marian (22:00):

So we make and form all of those corporate, uh, partnership relationships and that’s where I sit. But what in kind directors is, so we, after forming all those relationships, we take the products that are being donated and we have a warehouse, this, the warehouse is based in SUD and we have an amazing team who operates out of the warehouse itself and deals with all the logistic elements in the warehouse. And it’s there where we then sort store and then distribute the products out to a network of over 5,000 charities in our charitable network. So we are basically a connector. We sit in the middle, we get product from corporates, we saw it, we sort it, and then we distribute it out to charities in the uk. So we basically facilitate, I guess this entire process of product nations at scale. So I think that’s one for strong points, right?

Kaitlin Marian (23:00):

Because I think a lot of companies are, can donate and a lot of other charities can accept donations of course. But what we do quite uniquely is accept and operate at scale. And we are able to kind of facilitate, you know, truckloads of products every single day. And we have the infrastructure in place in that Telford warehouse to be able to kind of sort it out, you know, put it, we have a system where we, after we sort it out, we have, we have a catalog, what we call a catalog, which is like this online brochure where we load all the, um, items and products that we have received. And charities are, that’s how charities access it and they’re able to order the products that they need. And of course, what we do as we are a charity ourselves, so we, we don’t operate for profit.

Kaitlin Marian (23:51):

We are not doing this to make money. But what we do is we, we do, uh, charge a very small percentage of the value of the products that we are distributing just to help us cover our costs. Again, we are, ’cause we are charity that we have to somehow find a way to be viable and to operate. So essentially what, you know, what we do is just kind of facilitate that kind of product donation process and we make it really easy for the corporates and we also make it really easy for charities to access, uh, products that they need. And we kind of accept and operate in numerous, I guess, product categories. It ranges from hygiene products. So when it’s things like your toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, sheoo, period products, nappies to things like washing liquid, you know, laundry detergents, et cetera, et cetera. And we even, ’cause we work with so many brilliant companies as well, this, we also kind of are able, able to offer things like tech products to appliances to I guess sort of a lot of other things.

Monica Aurora Roesch (24:57):

So it, it’s amazing to see like how you distribute and how you connect all of these journey with other people that has the, the opportunity and the means to distribute the products. But you were telling us about what products did you give to them to distribute?

Kaitlin Marian (25:15):

Yeah, that’s a great question. So we have a very, very large focus on hygiene products because we are very interested in the hygiene, poverty kind of area. So the products that, that fall under that category will range from things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, sh shampoos, period products, nappies for babies, baby wipes. And then we also go to, you know, things like cleaning products, wash, laundry detergents, et cetera. But because we work with so many amazing and different types of companies, we are able to also much more than that, uh, kind of non hygiene products as well. So it ranges from things like tech products to appliances, thinking about your kettles, your toasters, et cetera.

Kaitlin Marian (26:03):

We also, we work with companies who create things like different types of kits for us. So for, for example, over the summer we worked with Amazon who created, uh, back to school kits. So you had backpacks, water bottles, notepads and everything that we were able to distribute to all the communities in the UK to help children go back to school. And likewise, over the winter as well, we’ll be working on things like winter packs to help with all the challenges that winter brings for a lot of individuals. So we’ll have things like blended hot water, bottle coats, shoes, socks, things like that. So a real wide variety of products that we are able to offer. If we have, if we receive an offer and we know that it’s something that our network needs and will use, then absolutely that will be something that we choose to accept in order to then pass on to the network that we serve.

Monica Aurora Roesch (27:01):

That’s just amazing because it’s a ton of products, a lot of companies involved, and you’re helping a lot of people, but you’re missionally involved supporting these organizations through product donations, but also it plays a very important role in preventing surplus products from ending up in landfills. So you’re also at the same time contributing to environmental preservation, well, social wellbeing. So can you tell us more about the efforts that you do while donating these products and also helping to make a positive impact in both the environment and society?

Kaitlin Marian (27:38):

Absolutely, and that’s a, I I guess a very brilliant summary of, of what we do. We have this large focus on social impact called serving communities, but there’s also a huge environmental piece that, especially right now, a lot of conversations that are happening in the UK is centered around both these issues. And we know from our research as well as other experts in the areas, how connected these areas are with each other, the social impact as well as the environmental impact.

Kaitlin Marian (28:10):

And from a social impact, we go out to the charities that we serve fairly regularly, one, to understand their needs. So that’s how we are able to kind of know basically what products they need. And that drives the ask that we make from our corporate partners. But besides understanding their needs, you know, we kind of understand from them, I suppose, the impact of, of what we do of the donations that we receive. And so they share with us, you know, we have those large numbers of like, you know, this type, this donation was able to serve X number of charities and therefore X number of people have been supported by it. But more importantly, we kind of look at the social impact in the form of stories because behind every number that is a person, a family, a child, a parent that is benefiting from this, and that is the set real life examples that we find are really important, not just for us as a charity, but for, um, the corporates that we work with.

Kaitlin Marian (29:10):

You know, they love hearing that kind of stories because it, it brings to life the, the impact that the donations have had on, on our communities. A very recent example that I, I’ve had, when I went out to visit a charity that we, we support recently, and they were telling me how they had a young mom come in and she has two kids. And up until that point, she was having to make the choice between buying food for her children and buying things like nappies and, and baby products for her youngest child. And when they gave her this big pack of like, uh, products as well as mother products, she burst out into tears because she goes for the first time in a very long time that week, she did not have to make a choice between choosing to put food on the table for our kids and, and having some essential items to support her family.

Kaitlin Marian (30:07):

And we hear this time and time again, and people are having to make those kind of devastating choices, and that is the impact of what we do and what we have on society. And I, it’s stories like this are quite powerful. I think, you know, it, it goes beyond the numbers. And I think as much as I, you know, the numbers are very important. I think for me personally, I always go drill down deeper to go, these are the real lives that we are impacting. And that’s something that’s really, really great. And from the environmental perspective, I think quite simply, every truck or every pallet of product that we receive is another pallet or truck of product that is not being sent to the landfill, right? We are extending the life of these products. We are helping, uh, companies who often have their own, you know, e s G objectives, and that includes the environmental impact on, on, on a lot of things.

Kaitlin Marian (31:08):

And we are able to basically help them achieve some of their goals by providing a different but viable solution that drives a big part of, I guess, our environmental impact. I think so far we have been able to divert 36,000 tons of product from waste so far, which is a lot like, I can’t even imagine the scale <laugh>, it’s just, it’s huge. On top of that, we are a logistics operation ourselves. Like I said, we have a warehouse in Telford where all the magic happens, right? That’s where we deal with the products and we send it out. So that means that as a charity, we have a logistic, uh, footprint as well that we are very mindful about, and it’s something that we take quite seriously. And it’s something that over the past few years we’ve been trying to get better and, and we have, we have trialed things like carbon neutral couriers, you know, I think we’ve trialed using recycled boxes as well because we, you know, we send out truckloads of product to charities every single day.

Kaitlin Marian (32:20):

So, you know, we have I guess an environment footprint as well. And so, you know, we are still, in terms of an internal perspective, we’re still at the, I wouldn’t say beginning stages, but it’s something that we are constantly learning, trying, and applying, uh, as we grow and, and become, uh, a bigger, uh, charity. Um, and another thing that we’ve actually just introduced earlier this year was refurbished laptops. So I, I think we all know tech right now, it makes the world go round. Everyone needs access to, to tech products. And we know that digital poverty in the UK is something that unfortunately, uh, exists. And so we’ve, we actually partner with some, a brilliant organization called Global Resale, where we are able to source refurb laptops and we are able to offer that to our charities, uh, as well. And it’s had a really positive uptake.

Monica Aurora Roesch (33:18):

I think charities in the UK as well. E everyone’s really conscious about that kind of concept of circular economy and how the, how and the different ways that we can help the environment and what small things can be all do to actually help that. I hope that on answers your question. I guess there’s like a lot of different aspects that go into that kind of environment aspect, both internally as what we do as a charity, but as well as us helping other organizations in the UK to basically have a more positive impact come the environment. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm.

Monica Aurora Roesch (33:54):

Something that got my attention, um, uh, recently you, you’ve been talking about, uh, especially in one of your posts on LinkedIn about hygiene poverty. So, uh, and I think it has a lot of relation, it has a lot to do with what you, uh, the story that you mentioned about the, the mom with the child that has to decide, eh, eh, what to do if put food on the table or so. But tell us a bit, a bit more, eh, about this issue and how in kind direct is working to support this cause this.

Kaitlin Marian (34:32):

Absolutely. So quite simply put hygiene, poverty is not being able to afford everyday personal hygiene products that many of us take for granted. And many people who experience hygiene poverty, they face the impossible choice as I, you know, kind of shared that story earlier. They face this impossible choice between, you know, heating, eating or keeping clean. And quite frankly, you know, if you had to eat or keep clean, what choice are you likely to make? You know, you would rather forgo maybe brushing your teeth than not eating for an entire week. But, you know, I guess hygiene, poverty bring to life the kind of impossible choices that individuals sometimes have to make. And we did a, uh, research recently and we found that actually there are 9 million UK adults who are currently experiencing hygiene poverty.

Nuria Sierra (35:33):

Wow.

Kaitlin Marian (35:34):

9 million. That’s a lot of people. And what we have found is the demographics of individuals and families who are experiencing hygiene poverty have changed. So you now have two working class families who previously would’ve been completely fine being pushed into hygiene poverty because of the cross cost of living crisis. And what we’ve also found is hygiene poverty is often a precursor to other forms of poverty. So it’s a really, really big, a really, really important issue that we are facing in the UK right now. And alongside the obvious devastating impact of, you know, individuals not having, you know, access to hygiene products, there’s actually a knock on effect because this can often lead to feelings of shame and it can really affect an individual’s, you know, self-esteem and how they part participate in society. And this is often not talked about. And there’s a lot of stigma attached to this.

Kaitlin Marian (36:45):

And so, you know, in kind direct of course, we’ve been hearing firsthand all of this happening and we kind of went, we need to do something about it. We need to step up our game almost. And something, a campaign that we launched this year is called Not a Choice. It does a few things. One, it aims to bring attention to this concept of hygiene, poverty and the impossible choices that individuals and families are facing right now. But more importantly, it also aims to break the stigma attached to this because it is not someone’s fault that they are pushing into hygiene poverty. We are trying to take away the blame. We’re trying to take away the shame, take away the stigma that stops people from reaching out for help because they feel like they shouldn’t be in this position and they have nowhere to turn to.

Kaitlin Marian (37:39):

So there’s a big educational piece around that. And of course the second piece is around what we do day in, day out, which is forming the right partnerships, getting the right product in so that we can distribute it out to charities who are on the front lines supporting these individuals and families and giving them access to hygiene pro, uh, products that they otherwise cannot, um, access. So it’s a big one. It’s a big one. And it’s quite devastating because I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had to make that choice ever. In fact, I can go into the Tescos or Sainsbury’s and I can choose which one I want. I’m not constantly kind of going, ah, I can choose either sandwich versus was as toothpaste, for example. So the fact that in this day and age we have families having to make that choice and not just a few families, you know, 9 million adults in the UK are facing that choice.

Kaitlin Marian (38:37):

It’s just, it’s devastating. So it’s fantastic because we are providing one solution to it. But uh, we have this year, just this year, it has been our biggest year on record on in from Direct and as a charity that is not good news. <laugh> like, you know, the reason why we’ve had such a big year is because more and more people need support. Yeah. And we are supporting more charities in the UK than ever before. And we are supporting more individuals mm-hmm. through our charitable network than ever before. We have had, we have broken our record a few times just this year. January was your biggest month on record. Amazing. A few months later we broke that record again in terms of how much of product that we’ve had to distribute out our, to our network. And you know, I love a good K p I, you know, I, that’s how I started my career, but oh, it’s not the K p I, you, you know, when you actually think about it and what means, it’s like, oh, this is bad.

Monica Aurora Roesch (39:49):

Wow. And in kind direct partners with companies like Proctor and Gamble or Andex. So how can, how can other companies join and, and what products are the most needed?

Kaitlin Marian (40:01):

Great question. So, you know, as you mentioned, we work with some amazing brands out there. And the really nice thing is that there are different ways to get involved. The first one is very much around surplus donations. So if you are a company kind of going, oh, we have a product that’s end of line, it’s not expired, but you know it, we have four months and we have a new product line coming in, what do we do with it? Then that’s something you absolutely can donate. So, you know, surplus products is definitely one very large avenue that will help both from a social perspective but also from an environmental perspective if companies want to get involved in that.

Kaitlin Marian (40:39):

And the second way to get involved is through planned donations. So what I mean by that is, you know, for ex you mentioned Andex. So we work very closely with Kimberly Clark on andex donations, uh, as well as t you know, they give us body form <inaudible> product donations as well as toilet roll donations. And we’ve actually, because we work so closely with them and they understand what we do, they have gone and they have their own internal strategy where they go, you know, these are the pillars that we want to support as part of our strategy. So we are committing to generate, you know, 1 million toilet roll to you each year. And so, you know, we have that kind of planned aspect and that actually really helps us as a charity because you know, as I mentioned, we go out to our charity network quite regularly and we understand from them, what do you need?

Kaitlin Marian (41:37):

How much do you need? And so they will tell us, oh actually we really need toilet roll. Now there’s a running joke at in Kind Direct that toilet roll is this gateway product. We always need toilet row. Like, you know, so we find that charities, you know, they that like one of the number one things that they tell us that we want toilet Row and based on the list of things that they’ve told us, we’ve been able to kind of develop what we call our big 17 lists of essential hygiene products that, uh, they need that we are always looking to receive from anyone who would like to donate. So again, it ranges from things, uh, like oral cap products to soap shampoo, uh, to period products, to nappy products to cleaning products. So, you know, think about your brands like uh, fairy for example, you know, or and laundry products.

Kaitlin Marian (42:32):

So we have that big 17 list. Anything that is, that fits in that kind of hygiene category is something that we absolutely want. But we’ve also developed based on what the charities have told us, what we call internally our laundry Big 17 list. And that again ranges from all the perhaps or seasonal things like, you know, support of robinton that could be warm clothing, socks, tech products to things over the summer, like toys for children to help in their development. So this is real range of products and what I always tell, you know, companies or anyone who’s interested, I can sit down and list everything and probably it won’t be the full list. Like if that is something that you have, just get in touch and have a conversation with us because there’s, there’s no strings attached. Like, you know, we are always out for having a conversation and finding a solution that works for the US an organization as well as something that works as for us as a charity.

Kaitlin Marian (43:29):

So those are the numerous ways in which, you know, companies can get involved, uh, from a product organization perspective. Um, and something that we offer our corporate partners because we understand how important I guess social impact is to them once you are a corporate partner, we are able to kind of facilitate with kind of volunteering opportunities for them as well. So we bring them to our network, uh, sorry, we bring them to our warehouse in where they are able to actually get their hands dirty, you know, kind of, uh, sort some product out, really understand the process behind it and and, and see where it goes to the communities and see kind of like that end-to-end process of what happens behind the scenes. So yeah, lots of ways to get, uh, involved all around products and of course if you’re an individual or a company who cannot support with product giving, that’s completely fine.

Kaitlin Marian (44:25):

What I would say is, you know, if you follow us on LinkedIn or other forms of social media, again that kind of raising awareness is such a big piece and, and something that we’re really focusing on this year. So share our pause, engage with it. I think the more people we can get talking about hygiene, poverty, uh, I think the better because then more people will support and more people will understand what’s going on. And hopefully that would just put us in a better position as a society to be able to tackle this once and for all..

Monica Aurora Roesch (44:56):

Awesome. And can you just to start by going to the lessons learned, ’cause we’ve learned a lot of stuff during this conversation, but I think that there’s quite some stuff that we can still summarize. I noticed on your website that you’re currently impacting the lives of approximately 250,000 people every week and well we’ve mentioned quite a few numbers, like the 9 million people with the hygiene poverty and now these people weekly. So this has a substantial reach and the logistics of delivering all of the supplies to all of these people must be quite complex. So you already mentioned that all of the magic happens at your warehouse, but it has a process like from the beginning when you engage with partners until you deliver the supplies to organizations and finally to the individuals.

Kaitlin Marian (45:55):

Great question. And a very small note on that. So in the time that that first survey of the number of people help was done, that has actually increased now. So we are currently it, the survey that just went out over the summer, so it’s probably not updated yet, done all our uh, webpages, but it’s 345 people helped each week, which you know, is what I was saying earlier, it is really increased this year. But yeah, I think the process, especially if you are a corporate coming wanting to know how it works is mentally really, really easy for you.

Kaitlin Marian (46:31):

Right? We are the one-stop shop almost kind of coordinate and facilitate, uh, product donations. So if you are a company and you have a list of products that you want to donate, what you would do is reach out to one of the corporate partnership team and you kind of share that list. And we might have some follow up questions like, are the products expired? How are they packaged? Just some basic questions to understand. And once we have all that information, we will check internally, can we accept these products? When can we accept it? The answer’s always yes, but it’s just a gig to make sure that everything is kind of organized and done properly. And then we say, we give you a G code and delivery instructions and we say, okay, everything is great. You, you just need to book in a day for you to kind of send the products to our warehouse and then we will deal with everything for you.

Kaitlin Marian (47:27):

And we give them a code. So that helps us track the donations that come in, but more importantly, that code is that magic number where the magic happens internally when that delivery comes in, you know, we will scan that code and we know, okay, so this is where it’s come from and this is all the products that we’ve received and as I mentioned, we have this catalog where we list all the products that we have received as well. But through that code tracking, what we are able to do behind the scenes is actually track where each product has gone. So that’s one of the magic almost that we are able to kind of provide for our corporate partners at the end of the day saying, you give us X amount of product and this is where it’s went, these are the types of charities you have supported, these are and possibly know where it’s reached.

Kaitlin Marian (48:20):

So we are able to ask the charities, can you tell us some stories? So we’re able to collect all of this and give it back to them in the form of an impact report to say this is what your Doni has done. So from a corporate perspective that’s really easy. You just go, Hey, we have something to give you. They give it to us, they deliver it to us. And we do that magic behind the scenes and then we are able to share back with them to say, this is the impact of your donation. So I guess it’s quite easy. I, I suppose from a corporate or a brand perspective in terms of what happens. And as I mentioned behind the scenes, of course we have the, once it’s in the warehouse, it goes into our catalog and then we distribute the product out to over 5,000 charities in the uk, which then they help either distribute to communities that they serve or it helps them run their services as a charity and allows them to do what they do.

Kaitlin Marian (49:20):

So in a nutshell, that’s what it does. It’s really easy, it’s a very easy solution. It hopefully, it feels like a no-brainer <laugh> for board charities who want to join our network and who want to receive support because you get access to basically free product, uh, but also to operates who want to donate and actually see their product making a difference in the life of individuals in the uk.

Monica Aurora Roesch (49:45):

Yeah, that’s amazing. ’cause I mean, for these companies being able to know exactly where their product went, I think that must be one of the things they love the most to finally see the result of what they’re doing. Like in real life. And during all of these shipping and magic, what has been one of the biggest challenges that you have faced as a corporate partnerships manager and how do you overcome it?

Kaitlin Marian (50:13):

That’s a great question, and I think the biggest challenge is getting the right product at the right time. So, you know, through our network surveys with the charities, we understand what they need and we are able, we have been able to develop a quantified need for these products as well. So for example, we know we need three and a half million period products every year in order to serve our network. And we have a number for all of the items that we basically wish to provide for our network. And so while surplus donations are absolutely fantastic and we, you know, we, we do accept them and we do love them and they make such a difference, that’s why it, the challenge for us is to kind of develop that strategy partnerships to get something that’s planned so that we have enough for all the different categories. And it is an ongoing challenge. It’s one of those things, we are quite a small charity ourselves and we have four to five of us in the team and we are managing all these different relationships.

Kaitlin Marian (51:18):

So I think the challenge is of course, having the right conversations at the right time with the right individuals and trying to make sure that we get that product in. And it has worked though by being really strategic and really clear with our us and actually having a number of like, this is not a number we’ve made up. This is a number that charities have told us, like how much they need, why they need it, et cetera. And sharing this to have this almost win kind of perspective, rather than telling corporates, you just have to help us or you know, we’re saying actually this is a mutually beneficial kind of solution because you may want to do some good, you may have product to, to donate. We are able to facilitate that this is the strategic objective we are trying to achieve. What can we do together?

Kaitlin Marian (52:05):

I think that has really helped the conversation and we, you know, we have more than 2 million product, uh, period, for example, period products. We have more than 2 million products committed in any one year, which is just fantastic because we know that we have to look for another 1 million period products, but we already have 2 million coming in, uh, and that we are able to give that to our network. So that’s an ongoing challenge, but it’s what it makes what, uh, I do I suppose, fun and, and interesting in having those conversations and trying to find the right partnerships.

Nuria Sierra (52:43):

Yeah, I need a little bit of spice over there to see, well I can plan this ahead, but still like, how am I gonna get this other product? Awesome. So Caitlin, I think kind direct you leverage logistics to empower both for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations to make a bigger impact. So we are curious about, uh, uh, what does the phrase logistics with Pul Post mean to you?

Kaitlin Marian (53:13):

Oh, it’s a great question. I think for me, logistics with purpose is it’s just about having a really practical solution to facilitate companies and organizations doing their bit to do good in their, in, in the world right now. I think, you know, what we do in the logistics space is a crucial component in actually in what in kind directors. And I think what you guys do as well is getting products to where it needs to be. And I think it’s so powerful, isn’t it, that everything that we facilitate True Love Logistics is ensuring that these products are getting to the people who need it the most. So whether it’s the form of a paid customer or whether in the, in the charity sector, it’s to people who just maybe can’t afford it, but having it delivered to them and making sure that it reaches its audiences. Yeah, it’s, it’s what it means to me. So it’s something really powerful and something that should not be taken for granted.

Monica Aurora Roesch (54:12):

Well, Katelyn, thanks a lot for sharing all of this with us. It was an amazing conversation. We’ve learned a lot for sure about you and in Kind direct, so just to wrap this up, how can our listeners connect with you and of course, support in Kind Direct?

Kaitlin Marian (54:30):

Yeah, so join that, follow us on LinkedIn or other forms of social media. You, our tag is in kind direct across all social media platforms, so feel free to follow us, find out what we are doing, all the various campaigns that we are running and you know, you can hear us talk about, you know, the impact it has, uh, on the charities in the UK that we support. But you can also just reach out to me on LinkedIn or if you would like my contact details and you’re watching this podcast, then you can just reach out to the lovely money or, and I’m more than happy for my email address to shared as well. So yeah, always up for a conversation. So even if you’re not sure what conversation you want to have with me, please do just reach out and yeah, just happy to take it from there.

Monica Aurora Roesch (55:14):

Amazing. Thanks a lot, Caitlin, for being here today. Thanks Noria for being an excellent co-host as always. And thanks to you guys for being here today. Stay tuned for the next one. Bye. You so much. Bye.

 

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Featured Guests

Kaitlin Marian is a Corporate Partnership Manager at In Kind Direct, a charity that believes everyone deserves access to life’s essentials. She has a degree in BSc Economics and Business Finance from Brunel University and a LLM Law and Economics degree from Queen Mary University in London. She started her career as an analyst in the Financial Services team at KPMG and spent a few years working in financial due diligence before pivoting to Deal Origination/ Business Development which she really enjoyed. Around that point in her career, she also started actively volunteering for Childline (NSPCC) as a Childline Counsellor where she supported young people who were in need of someone to talk to. Volunteering throughout the pandemic, her volunteer work drove her to make a career shift and she had her first role in the charity sector as Charity Partnerships Manager at Pilotlight. Kaitlin remains a staunch supporter of the charity sector and aims to use her career as a driving force in making the world a slightly better place out there. Connect with Kaitlin 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.

Monica Aurora Roesch Davila has a Bachelor’s degree in Management and International Business from Universidad Panamericana in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She has work experience in purchasing, logistics, and sales for automotive companies, and is currently working at Vector handling some non-profit accounts and helping them achieve their goals. She also develops new accounts and plans with them the better routes and strategies for them to have efficient and cost-effective operations.

Monica believes that everything we do matters and that we can make a difference and impact the world in a positive way with our daily actions, so she tries to do her best every day.

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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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Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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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 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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Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki 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 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 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

Host

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

Host

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

Host

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

Host

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

Host

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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