Supply Chain Now
Episode 1007

The result is a company [Apple] less identified with visionary leaders and more of an operations juggernaut with rich profit margins it intends to keep. At the center of that effort is Mr. Blevins, a vice president of procurement, known as the Blevinator.

- ‘Jobs, Cook, Ive—Blevins? The Rise of Apple’s Cost Cutter’ (WSJ: January, 23, 2020)

Episode Summary

Procurement never makes the news, but when we do, we don’t hold anything back. Case in point: a viral video featuring (former) Apple Vice President of Procurement Tony Blevins. He recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The question is whether he was truly fired for what he said in that viral TikTok or whether it was an opportunity for the company to distance themselves for his ‘old school’ approach to procurement, carried out in grand style over the last 22 years.

In this Dial P crossover episode, Kelly Barner preserves the professional story of Tony Blevins before it is all pulled down off the Internet and considers:

• What we know about his role at Apple over the last two decades

• The real rationale behind his sudden and dramatic departure

• What this story tells us about Apple and their procurement function: past, present, and future…

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to Dial P for procurement. A show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders. Give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement.

Kelly Barner (00:31):

Procurement never makes news headlines. Unlike our cousins in supply chain, we’re a little more buried in the organization. Obviously, no one wants to promote something when a mistake has been made, but even when procurement does a good job, the company doesn’t want anyone to know because it could change customer pricing expectations. And so as a result, procurement is the most impactful corporate function that no one has ever heard of. So when I caught the word procurement in a news headline last month, I was pleasantly surprised. And then I read the article, a short, colorful piece about apple’s. Now, former vice president of procurement, Tony Blevins, who had gone viral for all the wrong reasons, I had to find out more, but it wasn’t an easy task. As I’ve said, no one ever writes about procurement and historical revision was already underway. As I started researching this episode, I noticed that a lot of the articles about Blevins predated the incident had been pulled down.

Kelly Barner (01:40):

I would find an article and click the link only to get a 4 0 4 error. This page is no longer available. Time and time again, let’s just say too many times for it to be a coincidence, which made me more determined than ever to tell the whole story. Oh, and for the record, I have PDFs of all of my source material. So even if people pull down more stories, I still have them. Nice try universe. You gotta get up earlier in the morning than that to get one on me. So in this episode of Dial P for procurement, I’ll review what did Tony Blevins do to raise eyebrows and make headlines leading to his very sudden departure from Apple? What do we know about his career and do we think his approach to procurement may have precipitated his fall? And if not, at least does it cast a different light on the successes reported during his tenure?

Kelly Barner (02:39):

Now, before I go any further, let me pause and introduce myself. I’m Kelly Barner. I’m the co-founder and managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point. I’m a partner at Art of Procurement and I’m your host for Dial P here on Supply Chain. Now, I’m constantly scanning the news for complex articles to discuss things that are interesting but may escape notice. I also follow these stories beyond the headlines, and I stay on top of a story until it goes cold or reaches a resolution. Dial P releases a new episode or interview every single Thursday. So be on the lookout for future episodes and don’t forget to go back and check out some past episodes as well. Now, before I get back to Mr. Blevins, I have a quick favor to ask. I genuinely hope you find value in the time we’re about to spend together. If you do find a way to let me know, we have listeners on all kinds of platforms.

Kelly Barner (03:40):

So you can reach out to me directly on LinkedIn. You can give us a review on iTunes or offer up some stars. You can also share or like a posting where you found this episode on LinkedIn or Twitter. I am grateful for your interest in attention, and as always, consider my door open if you have an idea for a future episode of Dial P. Now, let’s start with the juicy details of what happened to Mr. Blevins. In August, he was at a car show in California sitting in his Mercedes-Benz Sr McLaren. He was approached by Daniel Mac, a talker, known for approaching people driving fancy cars and asking them what they do for a living. So he approached Tony Blevins and asked him the question. I’m not going to tell you how he answered it. First of all, this is a family show, and second of all the answers very easy to find.

Kelly Barner (04:38):

It’s a quick Google search away, but I will tell you he did not say, I am the Vice President of procurement at Apple. Instead, he quoted the 1981 movie Arthur featuring Dudley Moore. Now, I should also add that movie was rated pg, meaning some parental guidance suggested, but still just one step above a G movie. Once the video went viral, multiple Apple employees contacted human resources. And according to Bloomberg, Apple, Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Williams relieved blevins of managing his six direct reports, hundreds of employees, and terminated him. Blevins did apologize publicly, but the damage had been done, as my dad would’ve said, The clear message was J G O just get out. Most of the stories about the incident included details about how Mr. Blevins ran Apple’s procurement organization, and they’re enlightening for multiple reasons. We learn a lot about how he worked, but also about Apple procurement.

Kelly Barner (05:48):

Now, given that so many of these articles are being pulled down, I wanna share with you all the details that I was able to find starting at the beginning of Tony Blevins story. Tony Blevins was born in 1968 and grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. His mother was a school teacher and his dad was a factory worker. One Wall Street Journal article that will talk about in a moment, quoted high school classmate Tracy GOs. He remembers Mr. Blevins as someone who could quote, knew that he was smarter than whoever he was talking to and could always control the conversation if he wanted to end. And isn’t that charming. Tony Blevins got a degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina State and worked at IBM in engineering. Then finance and then procurement, which is where he apparently met Tim Cook. Tim Cook joined Apple in 1998 and brought Blevins to Apple in 2000.

Kelly Barner (06:52):

Blevins started outsourcing in directs. In fact, more than one of the articles mentioned the fact that he had been responsible for sourcing toilet paper, but over time he was effective enough that he became responsible for direct materials as well, the components that would go into iPhones and other Apple devices. He reported to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams. Although I will acknowledge some of the more recent articles say he reported directly to Tim Cook, My guess the COO is a more likely scenario. Now, I just shared in that one article, which was a general media piece, it referenced the fact that he had six direct employees who had hundreds of people reporting to them. That’s a detail that Apple procurement wouldn’t typically have released. So we’re getting the opportunity to learn some additional things simply because this story isn’t being covered by procurement. Now, Tony Levin’s approach to procurement itself, I think we can describe it as take no prisoners.

Kelly Barner (07:57):

His nickname internally was the ator, and he had a reputation for loving to negotiate. His mantra was there isn’t anything you should ever pay full price for. And we have a couple of colorful stories that sort of capture his approach to spend management. One comes from a negotiation that he was doing in parallel with both UPS and FedEx. He decided to reject the UPS proposal and did it by having FedEx hand deliver the rejection letter just to make his point. He also rotated his staff every couple of years to prevent them from forming relationships with the suppliers that they managed. And he was also responsible for enforcing the non-disclosure agreements or NDAs in Apple supplier contracts. These harshly enforced terms were accompanied by penalties of up to 50 million per violation. And some of these contracts included the right to review supplier emails and the calendars of their executives.

Kelly Barner (09:07):

So why was so much pressure being placed on Apple’s supply chain? After all, Apple devices are very expensive and the company is a lifestyle brand. So you might think they would have large margins. You might think they were very concerned about their public brand image and you probably wouldn’t typically associate them with the cutthroat tactics we expect in retail and other low margin, high volume industries. But consumer electronic devices are a very competitive market, and what we can see with other phone manufacturers is that when their margins started to decline, it ultimately marked the end of their dominant era. Apple is one company that has managed to defy this trend and they have preserved some of the highest margins in the industry, and I think for that, we do have to give some credit to Tony Blevins, and yet nothing remains the same. This is a challenge that has to be overcome again and again and again.

Kelly Barner (10:13):

People continue to hold onto their iPhones longer and longer. New features feel incremental, and sales are always at risk of slowing down. So as these devices become more complex, it puts more pressure on profit margin because there’s only so much more Apple can charge for a phone. Now, if you ever worked in procurement and maybe even not by now, it’s probably dawning on you that if at any point Apple loses their dominant position, there is a real chance of retribution from these suppliers that they’ve dealt with so harshly for so many years. Now, in addition to toilet paper and iPhone components, there are a few other really interesting stories involving Tony Blevins that I came across. One involves his role in the negotiation for the contract that would allow the glass to be placed around that round building based in Cupertino, California. Some articles said he was involved directly at the request of Tim Cook and that he managed to save the company hundreds of millions of dollars on this expense.

Kelly Barner (11:27):

The question of course, is how did he do that? So the story goes like this. Tony Blevins brought together a number of different potential suppliers for this glass. He brought them to the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong and he put each supplier in a different room and then he simply went room to room suggesting that he didn’t like the current number, suggesting what he wanted their number to be, and telling them what some of the other suppliers had quoted him reportedly, often bluffing as he went. And that is how he saved those hundreds of millions of dollars, and that wasn’t the only damaging story in his background. There’s also project antique. Qualcomm had apple over a barrel because they were the sole provider of apple’s modem chips, and that’s not a disadvantaged situation that Apple wanted to find themselves in. So in 2014, Blevins went to tier two of the supply chain.

Kelly Barner (12:33):

They reached out directly to Qualcomm manufacturers and told those companies they no longer needed to pay Qualcomm licensing fees anymore because Apple was planning to stop paying Qualcomm. This cost Qualcomm $8 billion in withheld payments. The company lost a quarter of their market value and it triggered both layoffs and diminished investments in r and d that continued to affect the company longer term. This all came to a head in 2019 with a court settlement. Apple was ordered to pay an undisclosed amount of money to Qualcomm estimates ranged somewhere between four and a half to 6 billion. So in the end, Qualcomm won and got the money, but their operation had been materially damaged at that point. Now the timing of that may actually be what precipitated a major article in the Wall Street Journal covering Blevins. This was actually the piece that many of the articles about the incident recently in California referred back to for their facts.

Kelly Barner (13:45):

It was published in 2020 and described him as a true negotiator. They talked about the importance of the supply chain to Apple and therefore the importance of Blevins to the company. In fact, they suggested that he might be at the same level of importance as Steve Jobs and Tim Cook themselves. Now the good news is you’re probably still going to be able to read that article because I trust the Wall Street Journal not to pull it down at the same time. What you might not take the time to do is to read the comments. And so that’s what I did. That was extremely interesting. I read all 112 comments and here are a few of the more ironic ones. Now keep in mind the comments section for this post was shut down a long time ago. So none of these were offered because of what happened at the car show in August, but here are a few I picked out to share.

Kelly Barner (14:46):

Watch out. Apple Leverage is a wonderful tool to use, but it’s amazing how fast leverage can change hands. Here’s another Once Upon a time in a kingdom far away, I worked for a mouse. The mouse loved to bully his suppliers and demanded that he always win. In the end, winning ran many of his suppliers out of business. Sometimes winning can be losing when that valuable business partner cannot sustain operations at those deeply discounted prices. Everyone loses in the end, and unlike some of the mouse movies, everyone does not live happily ever after a couple that seemed particularly poignant given what’s just happened. No king rules forever and a time will come when their behavior will be done unto them. And finally, this article does not provide a single example of Blevins helping Apple create value through their supplier relationships. Now, I don’t know if any of those commenters worked in procurement, but they all seem to be plugged into a change that has been underway in procurement for a long time.

Kelly Barner (16:00):

The transition from old school to new school. So old school procurement is about getting the lowest price at all costs. Contracts are based on leveraged volume and extreme supplier rationalization. The ultimate goal is to pull all of your demand together and sign fewer contracts with fewer suppliers. You end up having maximum negotiating leverage and also correspondingly very transactional relationships within companies. Old school procurement performance was measured through savings only. Remember Tony Blevins mantra about never paying full price. That’s exactly the line of thought. He was also, remember anti supplier relationship building. He was willing to burn a bridge because he never expected to be forced to retreat, including those situations where he was willing to pit suppliers against each other or use bluffing as a way of getting suppliers to lower their prices. New procurement strives to be very different. It’s a much more mature, well rounded approach, and it’s usually oriented around value creation.

Kelly Barner (17:19):

Exactly what was pointed out in that last comment I shared, It’s about collaborating with suppliers instead of bullying them, building relationships. If you had a relationship with the supplier that was ethically solid but was strong, that was the kind of thing that actually would help you through the pandemic, you would never rotate your staff to break that up because new school procurement is about creating value, but it’s also about managing risk. And some of those, those old school tactics actually created risk that nobody was thinking about at the time. This is all especially true in today’s tight economy. You can’t just keep beating on your suppliers. They are under too much pressure as it is, and many of the factors affecting their costs are outside of their control. Think about chip shortages, labor shortages, inflation, and shifts in consumer demand from products to experiences. The reality is that Tony Blevins may not have been the man to lead Apple through this moment.

Kelly Barner (18:29):

So this is where I pause and think to myself, and I ask you this as well, Was Tony Blevins really fired for a viral video or was he fired for everything he did in the 22 years leading up to it? I have my opinion, but as always, I try to provide you with both sides. And I think it’s fair to discuss whether this video merited termination. I’ll start with some of the arguments in favor. Now, I don’t personally think the quote was that bad, and I feel compelled to remind you that it was a line from a PG rated movie, and yet it’s an old movie. It doesn’t align with today’s sensibilities about respect and language and gender inclusion in the workplace. And that’s especially true. I’ll note, if you work for a company based in California, clearly all of those employees com complaining to hr, oh, they had their opinions and they’re entitled to those opinions, maybe more public.

Kelly Barner (19:36):

And more importantly, his quote really doesn’t align well with some statements. Tim Cook recently made in a BBC interview. He said, There are still quote, not enough women at the table end quote at the world’s top tech firms, and that there are quote, no good excuses for the lack of women working in the sector. And those are fair comments. So clearly there’s a cultural disconnect. But in terms of arguments against, I would offer up the facts that he was on his own time and the fact that the matter is he didn’t associate himself with Apple. So this is where I start wondering about whether Apple has changed their mind about the tone of their procurement organization, and maybe this was an opportunity that they felt had landed in their lab. There’s somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place on this. On the one hand, all companies, especially large consumer facing companies, are moving towards a more value oriented collaborative tone of working with their suppliers.

Kelly Barner (20:47):

But at the same time, today’s cost pressures and supply chain disruptions are very real. There’s also the possibility of fatigue. People may just have been tired of dealing with him, and that is absolutely a known price of old school procurement folks like myself, and I’ll include certainly Philip Eidson in this. We work very hard to have good relationships with stakeholders, executive leadership suppliers. We work to be collaborative. We work to make sure that our contributions align with what the company as a whole wants and needs. Now in the short term, the COO at Apple has decided that Tony Blevins has to go and he will personally oversee the procurement team until they can select a replacement. So I am very eagerly awaiting the information about who the replacement is. Will it be someone from inside? Will they bring in someone from outside? What will that person’s tone and philosophy about procurement signal within Apple as well as to the market?

Kelly Barner (21:59):

Now, that’s what I’m watching for, but what do you think? This is where you join the conversation. Have you ever worked with a procurement leader or a procurement team like the one Tony Blevins is associated with? Do you think it’s worth the measurable bottom line impact to take a cutthroat approach to supplier negotiations? How about as a consumer, are you willing to have a person like Tony Blevins on that wall in order to keep the price of your iPhone low? And of course, do you think he should have been fired? So I’m very much looking forward to hearing what everybody thinks about this story. I will continue to follow it as I do with all of my episodes, and I will let you know about updates. But that’s it for now. Until next time, I’m Kelly Barner, your host for Dial P for procurement here on Supply Chain now. As always, thank you for listening and have a great rest of your day.

Intro/Outro (23:04):

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Dial P for procurement and for being an active part of the supply chain Now community. Please check out all of our shows and Make sure you follow Dial P four procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of Dial P four, Procurement.


Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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