When it comes to launching businesses and spearheading great company culture, Arnie Malham does it wrong until he gets it right. And now, he’s sharing his hard-earned wisdom with co-hosts Enrique and Nuria on this episode of Logistics With Purpose. Dive into the professional journey that led Arnie to create BetterBookClub, get actionable advice for measuring and improving your culture, and soak up Arnie’s many invaluable lessons learned.
Enrique Alvarez (00:19):
Good morning and welcome by to another episode of logistics with purpose. My name’s Enrique Alvarez and I’m delighted to be here today. I actually have, it’s gonna be a good day. I, uh, I’m not only participating in a great conference this week here in Austin, the, uh, conscious catalyst CEO summit, but I also have an amazing guest for today’s conversation. We’re gonna be tackling, uh, culture we’re tackling, uh, tackling how, uh, passion and purpose driven organizations can really change the world and make a possible impact in our communities. And those two topics are very, uh, interesting and, and, um, uh, and very, uh, important for us and for me in particular. And also I am super excited cuz I have NDIA with us today. NDIA. Good, good morning. How are you doing
Nuria Sierra (01:03):
Good morning. I’m really good. I’m very excited to be here today and having the opportunity to, uh, interview a and to learn more about better book club and all the things that he has been doing. So yeah, really excited.
Enrique Alvarez (01:20):
And you’re joining us from, uh, the UK, right?
Nuria Sierra (01:23):
Yes. Yes, actually. I’m, I’m located in, in Bristol, in UK. So we are all connected. Yeah. Well,
Enrique Alvarez (01:30):
And before we introduce or I let you introduce our guest of honor, AIE why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and briefly introduce yourself to me? Why not? Yes. Go ahead. Very briefly. You so that, uh, our audience knows, uh, who you are and
Nuria Sierra (01:45):
What you do well, I’m, I’m the sales and marketing manager for Beck. Um, my background is, uh, I’ve been working for many years in a consultancy firm and my background comes from brand agency and I’ve been living abroad for many years actually. And this is I think that my fourth country that I’ve been living in and well, uh, all my life working in marketing and brand. So I’m really excited. Well,
Enrique Alvarez (02:18):
Thank you so much. I’m super excited to have you as co-host and uh, without further ado, go ahead, please do the honor and, uh, welcome AIE to the show.
Nuria Sierra (02:27):
We are very excited to have a Moham from better book club with us today. A is an award winning CEO with more than 20 years business experience. He has written a best selling book called worth doing wrong, the quest to build a culture that rocks. And now he serves as a founder and CEO of the better book club, which helps companies, leaders, and individuals build a strong culture that both attracts the best people and rewards those who seek personal growth within that organization. So welcome AIE to the show. We are very excited to have you here with us today. I,
Arnie Malham (03:09):
I, I love the intros. It always makes me feel great about being me serves. My ego helps me, helps me get excited about being here. Thank you for the kind words and, and have me here today.
Enrique Alvarez (03:20):
Thank you for being here. A it’s a pleasure. And of course, we’re gonna be talking about a subject that is very, uh, it’s a passion for you. I’m sure. Culture and how culture kind of can shape not only companies, but, but hopefully the world. So, uh, thank you once again. How are, how are you doing and where are you today?
Arnie Malham (03:37):
Uh, Nashville, Tennessee, where it a, a beautiful, uh, fall day, the, the leaves are starting to turn, uh, we’re excited, uh, for the season. We’re excited to, to feel like we’re a li you know, Tennessee gets a bad rap. Uh, uh, Tennessee USA gets a bad rap for COVID, but we feel like we’re, we’re, we’re improving. Uh, and, uh, we’re excited to, to, to be at the beginning of, of what’s to
Enrique Alvarez (03:59):
Come well. And yeah, we can hardly wait for this pandemic to be over for sure. And everyone’s just wearing their masks and bringing them everywhere they are. But, uh, yeah, but no, I’m with you there. And again, thank you once again. And so before we kind of deep dive into the main, I guess, uh, agenda for today, which is culture, uh, tell us a bit more about you. I mean, what, where were you born? Some of the things kind of like to do while you were growing up, kind of help us understand the path that you have had, uh, to become such an, uh, amazing culture GU uh, today? Uh, uh,
Arnie Malham (04:29):
I, I, I would love to be an amazing culture GU I’m, I’m a, I have figured out culture, uh, by doing it wrong enough to finally get it right. And that, you know, it’s part of my whole theme is your willingness to do that. And, and we can go at least six or seven hours with my story, uh, which I will condense into just a few minutes for you, but, but born in a small town in Arkansas, uh, a, a move to a, a big small town called Nashville, Tennessee, uh, where I started my career and, and started like everyone else sort of in business, sort of working for someone else, learning the ropes, uh, and finally, uh, got fired and had to start my own business. And, and through that experienced, uh, uh, fault and fault and fault to figure out how to run my business.
Arnie Malham (05:10):
Uh, uh, and after 10 years of, of getting it just, just almost successful, I found EO, which is entrepreneurs organization. Uh, they started introducing me to people and books that changed my life and changed how I approach business. And the second, the next 10 years of my business is when we grew it, uh, when we, when we found our culture, when we found our passion, uh, and where we, and, and then eventually I exited, uh, two, the two businesses I had created, uh, and am now pursuing, uh, the difference I can make with a better book club in the world and, and how we can and get others to find the answers that are all in the books that we read. Uh, and of course the people we meet and apply them to their lives. And so that’s a, that’s a very condensed version, small town, big, small town, uh, uh, uh, fired, started my business, learned through others here now with you.
Enrique Alvarez (06:00):
Well, thank you so much for that quick, uh, summary of your life. And for you, uh, being fired has been like a very important catalyst of everything else that has come. So most people sometimes are a bit ashamed that they’re, I mean, just, but you kind of not only embrace it, but you feel that that’s a very important turning point in, in your career. Can you tell us a little bit more why, and kind of how you took that? How do you, how do you take that attitude? Cause it’s something that’s usually fun.
Arnie Malham (06:25):
Yeah. It’s and, and so as a, um, as, as many entrepreneurs say we’re unemployable anyway. And so we kind of find, we’ll find our way to, to being fired if we’re not. But in my case, I was running, uh, a business us on this side. I was moonlighting. Uh, I was, it was the gig economy before the gig economy, uh, and in that day and time, which was the year of mid nineties, that, that just wasn’t, uh, smiled upon much. And, and, and my employer said, look, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re unfocused. You’re not with us. Uh, we’re gonna set you afloat. And, and I hated that. I, I, at the time it was, it was a very scary thing. Uh, but it like most things in life really scary and early turns out to be really great later and sometimes really great early turns out to be really bad later. So we learned from these lessons, um, and at the time I was, again doing things I shouldn’t have been doing at the time working on the side, got, got busted. Uh, and, and the, the price I paid was freedom from at that point, a job that it wasn’t great for me anyway. Uh, and the introduction to what could be nice.
Enrique Alvarez (07:25):
Well, could you tell us a little, uh, couple of things that you, what, what, what have you learned the most, uh, along the way, uh, culture related or not? I mean, you could, yeah. Give us a little bit of a better sense on the top three, four things that have you I’ve learned throughout the
Arnie Malham (07:40):
Career. This is, this is probably, uh, the biggest thing I’ll summarize by saying, and this is, again, everything I say is stolen from someone, you know, I, I R and D I rip off and duplicate, uh, so many things that are out there, but, but the phrase is fast alone, far together. And I think, think over my experience as of 25, 30 years of being in the business community is, is that we often try to go fast alone, but we, but more often find that we’re way better off going far together. And to go far together, we have to have a culture that allows that otherwise it’s, it’s, it’s, short-lived, it’s problematic, it’s dramatic. It comes with, with, with fraud and concern and rumors. And, and all of a sudden we find that we’re not with the tribe we want to be with. We’re not where we need to be. We’re not, we’re not, we’re not waking up every day saying I can’t wait to get involved, uh, with my team, with my purpose, with, of values and move, move this thing forward. And so that, that’s, that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned over time is that, uh, I, I can go, I can go fast alone, or I can, or I can go far together. And, and that’s what I’m driving towards.
Nuria Sierra (08:54):
Okay. So AR AIE just stop telling your own people what to read and instead encouraged you recognize them and rewarded. Yeah. Eh, to read whatever they wanted, observing content and making them a better team. So now better book club is a software that companies can use, but you looking back. So what is the story behind?
Arnie Malham (09:18):
Yeah. Well, just like every owner leader, group, team leader, entrepreneur, we all believe that our last book is our team’s next book. And, and that’s just not true. It’s, it’s myth from a, it’s a myth that we all leave, but it’s not true. We, we, whether we go to a conference and come back with an idea and just, can’t wait to tell everybody, but the same thing happens when we read a book and it’s like, oh my God, this is great. Everyone. We go write 20 copies and we hand it out and we tell everyone to read it, and we’re gonna talk about it next month. And they look at us like, dude, I don’t, let’s not, I don’t, that’s not my next book, but we don’t see that. We just see our path to what we think we’re trying to get there alone. And we think everybody else just needs to follow us.
Arnie Malham (10:00):
Right. So, so we don’t recognize that every team member we have is on their own path. They have their own path of learning what their next book is, is not your last book. But took me a while. I, I tried this for years, I would read, I finally brought a bunch of books from, in my home and I put ’em on the shelves at my office. And I, and I said, guys, just read what I’ve read. So we all can be on the same page, didn’t work. Right? Because, because they, they were on different paths, they have different backgrounds, they had a different journey. They, they, their next book was different than my last book. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so finally out of, just out of just wanting it to work again, I’ll do it wrong until I get it right. I wrote numbers inside the cover of the books.
Arnie Malham (10:40):
I would put 25, 50, 75 or a hundred. And I told everyone, Hey, if whatever you read anything on this shelf, if you read it, I’ll pay you. And that began the journey of better book club that began one or two people from a 26 person organization to pull a book and say, I’ll read this. Like, like, I didn’t like the book you just told me to read, but I like this book. It’s it’s, it makes sense to me. And so we slowly started, they slowly started reading. I slowly started paying and that was the Genesis of better book club. It’s sort of like man bys dog. We paid people to read. And, and, and as we grew that it had to, we had to get organ that first it was with Excel and we sort of kept up with worksheets, but we turned that into a program that allowed us to see who was reading, what allowed us to reward them for, for the reading and thus encourage them to do it more.
Arnie Malham (11:31):
What’s rewarded. What’s, what’s measured and rewarded is often repeated. And that’s what we found with better book club. And so I had to understand also that that management and marketing and, uh, hiring and leadership are all great books and great things to read about. But what really comes first for most of our had come first for most of our team members was books that helped them be better spouses, better parents, better with their finances, have less stress be healthier. It helped them improve themselves so that they could help improve the business. And, and we, as leaders have to get out of the way of that. We, we want everybody to come to work and be a hundred percent focused on us. What we don’t understand is that it’s hard for our team to be focused on us until they can be comfortable and successful with themselves.
Arnie Malham (12:18):
I went a long ways. I went a long ways on that, but it all started with me trying to get ’em to read what I read until I figured out that they just weren’t gonna do it. And sometimes they would tell me they did. And didn’t like the typical book club is you, you hand out books to 10 people, three, you read it because they’re, they’re gonna do whatever you say, three. Absolutely don’t because they’re not gonna do what you say. And the, and the four left sort of skim the book, lie about it. Say they read it. But didn’t all of this leads to a meeting that is very uncomfortable for them. It’s it’s typically the leader talking the entire time and it lasts one or two or maybe three months or quarters. If the company’s lucky, it, it like, it only lasts that long. Your team wait for you to come back with ideas that will fade away. And the key to culture I found is to put in programs that stick, give them time to take root root, and we can get all into all the things you have to do to make that happen. But better book club is what, we’ve the best thing about better book club? Is it sticks because, because it develops roots, there’s a reward recognition and reward system. And ultimately it’s good for your people, which means it’s good for your business. That’s
Enrique Alvarez (13:33):
Uh, absolutely true. And, um, thanks for sharing that. And let’s just get right into it, right? I mean, you mentioned culture. Um, how would you, how would you define culture? What’s culture for you and
Arnie Malham (13:43):
Yeah. Well, culture for me is do I enjoy coming to work? And, and guess what folks that’s exactly what culture is for your people, your team members, when they come into work, do they enjoy, are they looking forward to their team, their purpose, their values, their mission, their like, are they looking forward to it or are they sitting in their car or now, you know, presumed. However, the, the, the, and thinking, I, I, this is the, like, I would do anything, but this, like the, do we want people coming to work, wanting to get out of work or do we want people excited about the way they can work, but the same to us as leaders. So if you’re listening to this as a leader, how do you feel about coming to work day? If you’re coming to work, if every day you’re going, I can’t believe I gotta lead these people.
Arnie Malham (14:23):
I can’t believe I gotta put up with their stuff. I can’t believe they’re not following the, the rules or guidelines. I can’t believe, I can’t believe you got a culture problem. And it’s just as bad as if your teammates or team members, if you’re a team member or thinking, I don’t want to go work for that person. I don’t believe in what we’re doing. That’s a culture problem. How you feel about coming to work, defines your culture. Now that’s just a, like a little nibble on this big, big conversation about how to, how to make it right. What’s good. What’s bad, but it starts there. How do you feel? And, and, and so let me Blab a little more. It was 10 years into my business that I thought I was building something that I realized I’ve gotten almost nowhere. I’m not happy here. My people aren’t happy here. And, and, and I gotta blame someone. And I was looking for every everyone to blame, guess whose fault it was. Wow, my, yeah,
Enrique Alvarez (15:15):
<laugh> culture. It always starts with us. Right. And so
Arnie Malham (15:18):
Culture reflects leadership. And you can’t get around that if your culture’s not what you want, it’s because your leadership is failing. Whether it’s you or the people you work for. Leadership’s the key culture reflects leadership, always.
Nuria Sierra (15:33):
So now that you mentioned about leadership, we will talk about, eh, about it more, eh, later, but how do you define good leadership in your own experience?
Arnie Malham (15:45):
Well, good leadership. Wow. That’s, that’s a, that’s a, you know, sometimes that can be, uh, hard to define, but, uh, I, I almost, here’s how I define it. Good leadership is when leaders do what they say they’re going to do, whether, whether that’s good or bad, like if, if you’ve got, if, if bad leadership is when we say one thing and do another, it is kind it’s, it’s where we park as leaders do we do, we park in the front row, into everyone else to park behind us. Do, do we participate in the programs that we’ve set up to work for our purpose or our business? Do, are we, are we enthusiastic about the things that are going on in our company? Or is it, are they in the way, uh, like, do we do what we say? Do we eat what we cook? That’s good leadership. And, and you can be you, I can disagree with you on a hundred out of a hundred things, but if you’re doing what you say you do, I think that’s good leadership, good leadership doesn’t always mean, right. It just means good leadership. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that’s
Enrique Alvarez (16:52):
The, that’s very interesting, right? I mean, let’s explore a little bit more on that, because at the end of the day, you’re saying it’s just consistency, right? I mean, you have to be integrity. You have to be someone that really walks the talk and, and, and puts the, yeah,
Arnie Malham (17:07):
Here’s a great, the mouth is right. Here’s a great example of that. I, I have one of our, uh, clubs. We, we have clubs, we have better book clubs all over the world globally. There there’s, there’s almost no continent that doesn’t have a better book club on it. And I was talking to one of the owners and he was, they were struggling for the better book club to take the, the, uh, uh, to have the significance that we thought it would have in the company. So I took a look at, at what they were doing. And I looked at the owner and said, is this important to you? Owner said, absolutely. And I said, well, I couldn’t tell by looking at your profile because you’ve not tagged your books. You’re not participating in the program. There’s you, you have, you have a account and it there’s zero activity. You haven’t even logged in in nine months. So it’s not important to you, right? So therefore it’s not important to your people, right?
Enrique Alvarez (17:52):
People see it right away. I mean, there’s no way of fooling
Arnie Malham (17:55):
Them, right? You can tell me your priorities, or I can look at your calendar and I can tell you what your priority like those are. Those can be two very different things is what you tell me your priorities are and what your calendar used to. We used to say your checkbook, cause we actually have a register in our checkbook. We would record things. We don’t anymore. Tell me how you spend your money and tell me how you spend your time. And I’ll tell you what’s important to you. And so the same thing goes for, for, for how you lead. If you do the things that you say are important to you for in your company and your leadership, that’s good leadership.
Enrique Alvarez (18:29):
That, and that’s sounds simple, right? I mean, it sounds very straightforward and simple and people should be able to understand it yet. We are humans and still don’t do it. Right. Um, we,
Arnie Malham (18:39):
We, we lie to ourselves and the people closest to us all the time. And so we have to develop systems and this is everything I develop in my companies. Wasn’t about what I could mentally keep in my head. It was what could I develop a system for, you know, sort of like checklist manifesto for a program to work, whether it’s cultural or sales or, or, uh, uh, leader, anything you put in your company, if you don’t have a checklist, a champion, and, and that champion doesn’t feel like compelled to, to improve the program. It’s hard to get a program to stick. And so we have to develop, we have to develop habits that are systems that make that drive our, our processes forward. And, and, and on this podcast, I think that’s, that’s understood as much as anything, right. It’s logistics and getting things right. And doing things consistently over and over again, we do that through putting in a system, not just wanting it to be, but making sure we take the steps to make it be
Enrique Alvarez (19:37):
Two questions. Is there something like, uh, the wrong business culture and, and, and of course, how do you, how do you know? Cause one thing is, well, can I be, do I have a bad culture? Right? It’s one. And then the other is like, well, I love my company. I’m super, fully invested in my company. I feel that I have a great culture, but how do I identify that? I don’t.
Arnie Malham (19:58):
Right. Well, so here’s the test. Number one, this is easy for everybody. And some people, some people think they know the answer to this, but what’s the answer is what’s your turnover. If you have high turnover, you probably don’t have the culture. You think you do, you, you, you make excuses about it and you say, oh, it’s the industry. Oh, it’s the people. Oh, it’s where I am. Oh, it’s the, if you have high turnover, you probably don’t have an ideal culture because good culture promotes low turnover. And by the way, I, I, I always, I can’t believe that turnover was our secret to success. If we could keep our people who were trained, motivated, and happy to be there, we were successful as a company. If we were constantly having to replenish that energy with, with falsehoods or new people, it made us weaker.
Arnie Malham (20:42):
So the first test is what’s your turnover. And, and the, the, if you’re answering from the top of your head, you’re probably wrong. If you’re measuring from reports that actually that actually measure it, then, then I’ll believe you. And then when you’re, and when you’re willing to put that report on the wall, on the used to be wall where you worked, but now proverbial right wall, wherever you collect your data so that everyone can see when you’re willing to make transparent, you’re true turnover, then you’re heading in the right direction, right? It it’s because you’re account, you’re holding yourself and your team and your company accountable to being the culture that we’re turnover is, is better than the industry. Like if you’re with the industry, not good enough. If you’re below the industry, you got a lot of problems. You have to be ahead of the industry.
Arnie Malham (21:24):
Now, number two, let’s say that you, oh, AIE my turnover’s good. We’re half of the industry. I feel good about that. I still wanna measure my culture. Great. Here’s a novel idea. Ask them, ask them how the culture is. We ran a survey every month by our entire team that said on a scale from one to 10, with 10 being the best place you can imagine working in Warren, beat one, being the worst. How do you feel about our culture today? And we did that monthly and we got all the answers along with one more question, not a hundred questions, two questions, one to 10. How do you feel about culture today? Question number two, tell us something we’re doing right. Or tell us something we’re doing wrong. We took in all that information, we posted the score publicly to everyone. So that those that felt good about the culture could see how, how their perception rated with everyone.
Arnie Malham (22:15):
Else’s we also published and responded to every comment, good or bad. We said, thank you for the good. And we address the bad because it’s our responsibilities of as leaders to take all those issues away from the water cooler, put sunlight on them. Take action, where necessary, explain things where they haven’t been explained. Well, so the, the answer is we try to keep our culture in our culture score at eight or above, right? It tend, tends almost in possible three is a problem, but if we could keep it, and if it started blowing far below eight, we had to start really looking at ourselves and saying, what are we not telling them? What are we not explaining? What are we not sharing? What are we not cheering for? What are we doing as leaders? That’s driving that number down. What we use, what I would do have done in my first 10 years is start com complaining about them. I would complain about my team. I would complain about the industry. I would complain about my clients. I would complain about all the things that I thought were hurting my culture before I realized that it’s me. When I say me, I mean the leader and the leadership team. And so long answer, short question turnover is number one, ask them how we’re doing. Number two. Why is it
Nuria Sierra (23:33):
So difficult? Uh, for many companies and leaders to get it
Arnie Malham (23:37):
Straight? Well, well, because, well, because we, we as leaders, I, I heard two weeks ago, I was talking to a group and I heard this shouldn’t we get our people right before we start working on culture. Shouldn’t we be more profitable before we start investing in culture. Oh, once, once I get this done, I’ll start working on culture. It’s it’s backwards. It’s, it’s exactly what I used to think. In the first 10 years of running my business while I was doing it wrong, I was trying to get something right before I worked on my culture. It’s kinda like saying, as soon as I get this project done, I’m gonna pay more attention to my family. As soon as I get this project done, I’m gonna start paying more attention to my own health. As soon as I do this, I will do that. When really it’s the opposite.
Arnie Malham (24:24):
If we were on our, if we work on our culture, it’s shocking what we will attract in terms of people. It’s shocking, what we will attract in terms of clients, it’s attacking what we’ll attract in terms of vendors, wanting to be a part of our solution, as opposed to just have, you know, having another transaction. When we work on culture first, then everything else gets easier. When we work on everything else, culture becomes the rainbow that we can never quite get to because we’re not willing to invest the time in it. And most leaders and leadership teams get it wrong because they don’t put it first. They don’t think of what can we do first to get the hearts and of our people all rowing the boat in the same direction. They start, they start, we they’d rather argue about which direction who the best rowers are. What kind of OS are we gonna use? Uh, which ways the wind blowing, they start worrying about all the things that they actually don’t have control of as opposed to the one thing they do, which is setting up a framework where P enjoy the work they’re
Enrique Alvarez (25:29):
Doing. No. And, uh, so we’ve had a couple of rough years and, and it seems that it’s gonna be a little bit, uh, challenging for the, for the, for a couple more, for a little bit longer, I guess, uh, change. How do you incorporate change into all this? Right? Cause you have the culture, you’re trying to set it up and is change a good thing, has changed a bad thing. Should you adjust to change? Should the culture be the same? Do you have to set it up in such a way that it’s a bit more absolute in general so that, how do you factor change? And of course this day change being great. So it’s, it’s Apress uh, so you could a tell us a bit more about how you think about change and the, and also your company. How was your company impacted through the pandemic? Right? I mean, yeah. How, how, how did you kind of, as a leader navigate as a leader, how do you navigate through
Arnie Malham (26:17):
That? Well, it let’s, let’s talk about change for you. Like, I like the phrase, if you don’t like change you’ll, uh, if you don’t like change, you’ll like your relevance, even less, like it <laugh> change is gonna happen. Like the only thing that’s constant has changed and you, we can’t avoid sometimes it’s big change, like what COVID created for us. And it, it accelerated so many industries, uh, and it, and it, and it increased the deceleration of other industries. Like it, it amplified a lot of things, uh, both good and bad. Uh, but, but that’s a big change. What, what’s more, well, typically more feel fearful of is slow change. It’s harder to see slow change. It’s actually harder to react, to slow change than fast. Like when COVID hit, you had to do something, you had to swim like your life depended on it because it did because it did right, but, but slow change is harder.
Arnie Malham (27:10):
It’s it’s when, when I first got into, in the advertising business, the number one place my clients spent their money was the yellow pages. What’s that many of your viewers, many of your listeners may ask, what are the yellow ages? It was this book directory that came out once a year with everyone’s name and phone number. And like, what is, what a year? What is that’s crazy? That slowly became irrelevant, right? But it didn’t happen in a year. It happened over like 10 years, 15 years where it became irrelevant broadcast TV, which was the other big industry I was in. It’s facing that same thing. Now, like what broadcast TV used to be? The is still the number one place. So many people spend their advertising dollars, but it’s eroding a way to other ways to reach people. And it’s a slow change. It’s harder for people to react to that.
Arnie Malham (28:00):
Those are just, those are slow changes. In my experience, there are slow changes, half everywhere that we have to deal with identify. And, and that’s where you pull your team together and you start identifying on a matrix. What’s changing on the pathway that we can’t see yet. What’s already started. What are the trends? Where are things going, having a culture that’s willing to come together and share their experience, share what they see, be looking around, down and through the, the, the corners and Hills. Those that creates the resilience that you need to overcome change. Otherwise, everyone comes to work and says what we do now, what do we do now? And you alone have to figure that out. It’s, it’s so much easier when a team comes together, finds those opportunities and works the strategies out together. By the way, you don’t even have to get it right.
Arnie Malham (28:53):
You just have to do it wrong enough to finally get it right. And that’s, that’s the other perspectives. If you think we have to have the perfect reaction to every change, we just have to be willing to try things, to test change, change those us a curve ball. We gotta take a swing. So we know how far off we are, but we also have to measure how far we are. We have to re-watch the video. We have to work on the mechanics of our swing. We have to figure out how to hit the ball, by the way, as soon as you figure it out, a change ups coming next, like it’s gonna be a different pitch, but if we’re not doing that, which just swing, we get hits because the ball happens to hit our bat rather than us swinging and hitting the pitch. Wow.
Nuria Sierra (29:33):
So leadership and and culture are intrinsically related. So is it leadership that shapes the culture of an organization or
Arnie Malham (29:44):
Vice versa? Yeah. It, it I’ve, it’s absolutely. You could have an organization where the culture by default is the right culture. It’s possible right now, it, the truth is it’s because leaders within the organization, unnamed, untitled people have stepped up and their personality have become the leadership leadership by default. Again, it’s the, it’s the ball hitting the bat rather than the bat hitting the ball culture. That is by design. That takes, that is always takes on the personality of the leader. It’s hard not to. Right. And, and, and a, and a leader will say, oh, I’ve got a, I’ve got Azar of culture. The, it takes care of culture. Well, you can do that, but you hired the za of culture. Correct? And so whatever your culture is still is your responsibility, right? If you want to, if you wanna delegate it, uh, or just just know that you’re abdicating it rather than delegating it.
Arnie Malham (30:34):
Now, what I would encourage leaders to do is decide what is the culture I want do? How, how do I want, what is the are really values and purpose? What, what, what are the values and purpose of this business? What are the things, what are, how are we gonna make hiring decisions, firing decisions, recognition, decisions, promotion decisions. How are we going to play the game? According to the, to the culture I see by design in my head, and now I’m gonna put the pieces in place to make that happen. And for a big organiz, that’s a lot of pieces and it gets harder and harder. And for a smaller organization, uh, it’s not necessarily easier, but you, you have, you can reach all the pieces, right? You can move ’em faster. So it, it a, a, a culture by default, you can get lucky, but a culture by design will always out in my experience will always outperform.
Arnie Malham (31:23):
And by the way, getting it right today, doesn’t mean you’re getting it right tomorrow. Like there, there are companies that we worship that they go, oh my God, look how great they are at culture. And one new cycle, one person doing something wrong. One sort of outlier can create a whole different mindset, but those companies have the resilience to recover. That’s the difference is that, is that when we have a, we did the morale surveys, we called them, well, we asked 200 and fif 225 people to tell us on a scale from one to 10, what’s the what’s, what is, is this the best culture or the worst culture that you could experience? They tell us a number. We post that number. They tell us a comment. We didn’t get all beautiful comments. We got negative comments, but most of them, as we improved and improved, the culture were outliers.
Arnie Malham (32:13):
And we were able to deal with that comment as a not deal with, as in go fire the person by the way, but deal with and say, Hey, what did we miss? What did we not explain, do or put in place to prevent this from happening? Or if we, if we think we did all those things, it’s a chance for us to retell that story to make sure everyone knows. So it’s, it’s about having a system in place. That’s resilient to create the culture you want and not a, a, a, just throwing it on the wall and seeing feels stick. So
Enrique Alvarez (32:43):
For, for all the entrepreneurs out there, a, and I know you are one, a serial one. I also part of, uh, the EO organization, Atlanta. And could you tell us a little more about just the better book club? Uh, you were considering the idea how you set it up. How do you incorporate it? Why? I mean, from like our, the, the entrepreneur standpoint, as opposed to
Arnie Malham (33:04):
My two, my two businesses, one was an ad agency had about 75 people. Uh, after 20 years, we, I sold that business to our largest client at the time they are, they are five years into that journey, and they’re still successfully running the largest ad agency, personal injury lawyers in the country right here in Nashville. They, they are following the culture. We set, they, they actually, we helped them grow their business. And then they got so big. They ended up buying our business, but we, but we shared the mindset of what culture looks like, very successful. I loved running that business, forming it, running it, being a part of it. Uh, but it was, it was time for a change. After the time I spent there, the second business was called legal intake professionals. They were a call center that we answered phones for lawyers across the country.
Arnie Malham (33:48):
We had 300 law firms across north America that we answered their phones for. We had 125 people, 24, 7, 365. Wow. These two businesses operated out of one building all together. One big community, a lot of different, a lot of demographics, education levels, everything, but the culture is what tied us together. And so I tell that story to say, better book club was how we grew our team members, right? If you’re not, you gotta really, we have to add to learn. As I all do is you can’t grow your team without, or, or your business without growing your team members. And so there’s lots of ways to grow your team members. One of the ways was better book club. One of the ways was getting them to read books that made them better people. Again, better parents, better spouses, better with their finances, all those things first, and then marketing management, hiring strategy, all the things that that help them contribute to business.
Arnie Malham (34:42):
But it wasn’t about any one book. It was about creating the habit of reading for every team member that worked for us over the years. If we had a chance to create a habit of reading, we changed that person and thus our business forever because, because they ate the apple, they got nutrition. And then they, they, that nutrition became part of them. That nutrition became part of the company. I like to believe that we impacted other companies as people move on and change jobs. They, they take that knowledge with them. Better book club allowed us to recognize and reward reading so that reading habits would be created so that, um, so that, that knowledge would be a part of them and our company. I tell you that story to set a, when I exited the company, uh, it, you know, financial, there was a financial model for me exiting, which made sense for me at the time.
Arnie Malham (35:29):
Uh, there were, there were, uh, models for the companies to be successful at the time. But the one thing I thought made the biggest difference of everything I did was better book club. And so I, I pulled better book club out of this, made it instead of a program we did within our business. And I want that I wanted that program to be something that’s a part of businesses around the globe. And so the, um, um, uh, my passion job purpose right now is to get better book club, a place in as many businesses as I can so that, so that we can take this concept of read what I read and turn it into read what makes you better and affect people all over the globe. And we’re doing that. Like, it’s an amazing feeling. Whenever I, whenever I see a, a company jump on board, people build their bookshelves, uh, and tell us what they’ve read, and then they start reading forward. And as you, you can never extract the knowledge that that is learned. The people we meet and the books we read make the biggest difference in who we become as people and better book club gets, gets, gives people a chance to move forward.
Enrique Alvarez (36:33):
And, um, so quick question. When did you start the company when, when was better book club, like a, a, a standalone entity and a, and a company on its own,
Arnie Malham (36:42):
Technically 2018, uh, which was by a year after I left, uh, exit, uh, the companies. Um, and so we’ve been, we’ve been massaging it, working with it, tweaking it, trying to get it right. Learning things about it. There’s, you know, there’s a, there’s a technical side of a SaaS company. There’s a, there’s a, um, side of the, you know, sort of a strategic side of a, a SaaS company. Um, so we’re, we’re, we’re doing exactly what I did with culture. I’m doing it wrong. I’m finding ways to do it wrong so I can finally get it right. And we can impact the most people.
Enrique Alvarez (37:12):
I love, um, the way you approach mistakes. And, and that’s something that I actually wanted to, to talk to you about and ask you, cuz I feel that mistakes are very important. And I also feel that at least new generations ju judging not only by my experience with people that I work with, but with my own children and schools in general, they they’re afraid of making mistakes. And I think that it’s important that we celebrate mistakes. I mean, it’s important that they grow up thinking that the GPA doesn’t mean anything if you don’t make takes along the way, because that’s, what’s really important. But I feel like we have a society that doesn’t really appreciate making mistakes, which, which will potentially impact our future success as a, as a country. I think,
Arnie Malham (37:53):
Yeah, I can go, like, I want to go so many places with this story. Like I, I alone this topic, go, go ahead. The, uh, like I, I’m gonna start with every time I hear a news story and, and they go, you know, general professor, captain, uh, uh, CEO so-and-so did this wrong and they’re asking for his, his or her resignation. And I’m thinking resign, hell, that’s a gr like they just learned a tremendous lesson. Like, why would they, like, why would I want someone else? They, that lesson’s worth way more right than, than swallowing someone’s pride and saying, I made a mistake. So that’s at a, at a, at a, a huge big level. Uh, the same goes on. Like we, each of us have a tendency to forgive ourselves and to, and to let ourselves off the hook for mistakes, way faster than we let other people and part of our job as leaders.
Arnie Malham (38:41):
And when I say leader, I don’t mean by title. I mean, by having influence over the people around you, part of our responsibility of that influence is, is to welcome praise and, and, and applaud mistakes of others. It’s, it’s very hard to do when you have a team member who you want to do something right. And, and, and we only tell them what they’re doing wrong. Like it is, it is just like when your kid gets a 97 on a test and we wanna know the problem they missed, like, it doesn’t matter. Let’s focus on the 24 problems. We got wrong a right, and not the one it’s the same with our team. And if we, and, and the worst part is if we don’t allow our kids or our team to make mistakes, they never truly learn. They never truly learn. It’s, it’s just like before GPS, I could, I would travel to the city and the fastest way to learn my way around the city was to get lost in the, then find my way back.
Arnie Malham (39:36):
And I would, and even today I can go back to those cities that I visited in the, in the nineties pre GPS. And I know my way around any city, I visited post GPS. I have no idea where I’m going, because I’m just following the map. I’m not learning. And it’s the same with our kids and our, in our people. If we don’t allow them to learn from their mistakes and apply odd them learning from those mistakes, then they just follow the GPS. They just do what they’re told. And the last thing we want is leaders as a team that does, what they’re told is to it’s like, there’re always, there’s times for that. Like, if you’re your platoons in war, do what your, to follow orders. We, you know, use morality, but follow orders with our teams. The last thing we want is them to do or told we want them to think and do what’s right. And so it’s the same, it’s the same process. And so we have for telling ourselves, we’re gonna get things wrong, telling folks, oh, that’s okay with me. The true test of a leader is to allow others to get it wrong, to, to help them find their way and to help them learn once they learn, we never have to, we never have to preach again. So
Nuria Sierra (40:36):
What do you essence, did you learn along the way by running many successful businesses and developing cultures where people, uh, could do their best work?
Arnie Malham (40:47):
I, I would say that I’ve mentioned a couple of things, you know, far, far, uh, fast alone, far together, I’ve, I’ve mentioned, uh, being willing to get it wrong on your way to getting it right. Allowing others, we’ve talked about those things. Um, uh, I’ll, I’ll give you this. If, if you don’t grow your team, you can’t grow your business. Like that’s, that is a huge opportunity, sort of a backbone of any, of any strong culture is the concept of, of growing team. At the same time, if you don’t care about your team members, they have far reason to care about you. And so, and so systems that allow you to grow your team, make them smarter, make them better, uh, on their terms, systems that show you care for them. And their families are important to create an environment where they can and are willing to help the business grow.
Arnie Malham (41:39):
And, and what I had to, what I didn’t know in my first 10 years of business is that, that I thought I would set the course. I would tell everybody what to do. And we would magically get there. What I learned over my second two years of business is that if I grow my team, they will figure out how to get where we’re going. If I care about them, they will care about the direction of the business. Uh, and, and if I’m willing to design a culture that rewards those behaviors, I get more of it. So that that’s, that’s a long answer, but it’s about, for me, it was, it was the lessons were grow your, grow, your team members, so they can grow. You care about your team members, so they can care about the business in my book worth doing wrong. There are dozens of examples of, of just in those two categories. And there’s several other categories of things, processes, checklist programs you can put in place in your company that will push on those two boundaries. That’ll allow you to make a process out of growing, caring for your people and driving your culture forward. And so lots of thin book pictures, easy to read. Cause cause cause I write, I write simple, uh, uh, you can listen to it. You can read it. Uh, I’m always, I always love helping people talk about their cultures, happy to have conversations with anyone across the globe.
Enrique Alvarez (43:01):
So tell us again, the title of the book and then also, where can people get it also a little bit more about your company and where can people get in touch with you? I’m pretty sure that a lot of our listeners will love to hear a little bit more about you and by the way, you’re an incredible speaker too. So if, uh, both Nuri and me have actually watched some of your, uh, podcast and YouTube videos and I would recommend everyone that’s listening to us right now to do the same cause uh, lots of things you can, you can learn from, uh, listening to our
Arnie Malham (43:28):
Ahe. Well, the I’ll answer. I’ll try to answer all those questions worth doing wrong is the book, uh, Amazon audible, uh, all those normal places to, to find it. It’s it’s thin again, pictures, easy read lots of information. It’s a, how to book it’s got. So that’s that better book club.com uh, is where you can learn about better book club. Like if you believe you want a book club so that people will read what you tell ’em to read, don’t go to better book club.com. That’s not gonna work. If, if you believe book club that that, that better book club can help your team grow as individuals so they can help you grow as a business, better book, club.com in terms of reaching me, uh, uh, their, um, uh, uh, I have a unique name R Mahe I’m number one in Google, under R Moham.
Arnie Malham (44:12):
And you’ll find my, my, uh, web, my email address. Uh, my, I think my mobile number’s out there. It’s on the it’s on the website. Uh, we’re doing wrong.com. There’s some resources there. Uh, examples of things in the book about how to grow your business. You can literally schedule a coffee with B with one click of a button. Uh, not for, not because I’m charging you to have coffee, because I just love talking about culture and about driving, driving people forward. So happy to do that. Uh, happy to be a part of your solution. If you’re willing to do one thing, look in the mirror and realize it’s not your team’s fault. It’s not your industry. It’s not your company. It’s not where you live. It’s you, it, you want the culture you want, look in the mirror, make a decision, start doing what you say. You’ll do drive your culture forward.
Enrique Alvarez (44:58):
AIE thank you so much. Thank you so much for everyone listening to this amazing episode of logistics with purpose I’m Andre, Ava. This was a great conversation. And if you enjoy conversations like the one that we had today with, with AIE and some of the other, uh, leaders in our industries today, please just feel free to, uh, join us at supply chain. Now, once again, Ines and thank you very much.
Arnie Malham is an award-winning CEO/founder, 8-figure entrepreneur and best-selling author who helps progressive leaders create engaging and sustainable cultures within their organizations. With more than 20 years as a successful entrepreneur, Arnie has founded and sold multiple businesses, including his most recent sale of a prominent advertising firm producing more than $60M in annual revenue. Through employing thousands of team members across three different companies, he has implemented simple, yet effective methods to create remarkable and sustainable cultures. Arnie is an international speaker who has spoken to more than 10,000 executives, CEOs, and entrepreneurs worldwide on the topic of culture and team member engagement and has also been featured in leading media such as CBS and Forbes. Arnie was awarded Most Admired CEO, ranked in Nashville’s Best Places to Work, and was an Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist. Today, Arnie is the founder and CEO of BetterBookClub where he helps companies, leaders, and individuals build a strong culture that both attracts the best people and rewards those who seek personal growth within the organization. Connect with Arnie on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
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!
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.