Supply Chain Now
Episode 1275

I can't overemphasize the importance of clean data and accurate data, because we can do all kinds of work on AI and gen AI, but unless the data's right, we'll never get great answers and our businesses won't grow.

-Dave Wheeler

Episode Summary

The Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12 noon ET each week. This show focuses on some of the leading stories from global supply chain and global business, always with special guests – the most important of which is the live audience!

In this week’s Digital Transformers edition of The Buzz, hosts Scott Luton and Kevin L. Jackson were joined by Dave Wheeler, Chief Operating Officer at New Balance. The discussion focused on the importance of digital transformation in the supply chain industry. Wheeler emphasized the need for clean, accurate data to drive successful digital transformation. He also highlighted the importance of starting with business goals before implementing technology.

Listen in on the analysis of the top stories in supply chain, and also discussion on the role of generative AI in improving business processes and the importance of workforce in any type of transformation. Learn how New Balance is taking the company’s digital transformation to the next level, and more!

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from Those Making Global Business Happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey. Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be. Scott Luton and Kevin L. Jackson here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Kevin, how you doing today?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:43):

You know what, this is a great day actually, after yesterday, it was a gorgeous Mother’s Day here in the Washington DC area, and you know how when you live somewhere like DC, you always tour guide? Yes. Well, yesterday I took the opportunity to just enjoy the city with my wife and my daughter and my son-in-Law celebrating Mother’s Day. And it was fun just sitting back and being the tourist and then enjoying down by the White House in Lafayette Park. And so I’m still sort of rejuvenated today. It was very restful.

Scott Luton (01:21):

Love that and love you taking the time out, unplugging and doing those things. That’s the simple things is what makes this life worth living. And by the way, you mentioned Mother’s Day. Hey, very happy belated Mother’s Day to all of those mothers and wonderful, wonderful people out there that are nurturing all of us along in this journey. So hope y’all had a wonderful, wonderful weekend. But Kevin, moving right along. Today is all about the buzz, right where every Monday at 12 Eastern time, we discussed a variety of news and developments across global supply chain and business. And in particular, Kevin, you’re the star of the show. The second Tuesday of the month, it’s the digital Transformers edition of the Buzz where we tend to focus a lot more on technology. And folks, for the three of y’all out there that may not know, I’m always joined by the Rock and roll star, Kevin L. Jackson, host of our Digital Transformers series, which is available wherever you get your podcast from. And Kevin, we have got one other big guest here today as Dave Wheeler, the Chief operating officer at New Balance is going to be joining us talking digital transformation, supply chain innovation, and a whole bunch more. Kevin should be a great show, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (02:29):

Yeah, I really want to understand that new technology behind those new balance, right? I’m sure he is going to let loose of all the secrets.

Scott Luton (02:40):

That’s right. Stay tuned. But let’s make sure we’re keeping our nose clean with all the attorneys out there. We will not be releasing any secret sauce. No magic. I’m sorry Kevin, there are armies of attorneys out there. We want to keep it on the up and up. But folks, kidding aside, two quick things before we get going. First off, hey, give us your take in the comments, whether you’re tuned in via LinkedIn or YouTube x Facebook, Twitch to matter. Let us know what you think. And secondly, if you enjoy the show today, we’d love for you to share it with a friend and your network. They’ll be glad you did. Okay, so Kevin, we got a lot to get into before we welcome in, Dave, around 12:25 PM Eastern Time. Are you ready to go?

Kevin L. Jackson (03:21):

Yes, let’s go.

Scott Luton (03:23):

Alright, so let’s start with some resources. How’s that sound, Kevin? We love equipping people with resources here. First folks, we want you to check out the latest US Bank Freight Payment Index for first quarter 2024, released a few weeks ago. It offers up key insights across the domestic freight market. We’re going to drop a link to download it so you can spill coffee on it. Dog, gear it up, mark it up, Kevin, all that stuff, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (03:49):

Yes, absolutely. This gets used all the time. Now up to the minute information and data, we talk a lot about data and it’s getting even more important. So this is a real important resource for all of

Scott Luton (04:02):

Others. Well said Kevin. Well said. So y’all check it out. We’re also dropping the link in the chat, so you’re one click away from accessing this quarterly resource. Secondly, folks, let’s see, this morning we dropped the latest. With that said, our almost weekly newsletter, Kevin, we bake in a little wiggle room there, Kevin, our almost weekly newsletter. Let’s see. We dove into some key takeaways from the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium. We’ve got some upcoming events that we included in with that said, and an opportunity for all of you out there to contribute to research being led by our friend Kathy Mara Roberson and the Reverse Logistics Association. Kevin, reverse Logistics never gets enough attention these days.

Kevin L. Jackson (04:47):

Absolutely, it’s critical when you’re talking about the customers at the last end, that last mile and keeping them satisfied. I think reverse logistics has really picked up on its importance with respect to that customer experience aspect of just about every business

Scott Luton (05:05):

That is right. Well said, well said. All right, so folks check out with that said, our latest newsletter.

Kevin L. Jackson (05:11):

Hey, before you go, yeah, no, no, no. Before you go there, I just want to highlight to everyone, look at that jacket, man, I saw him looking so good on the video from Gardner. I said, wow. Oh gosh, Scott does have a jacket,

Scott Luton (05:31):

So, alright, thanks Kevin. Kevin’s always better dressed than I am. He’s pointing out that I actually have a dress jacket on. I’m sitting interviewing in this case. That’s Katie Fowler, a fellow founder entrepreneur who launched her firm Unchained Value and have a great conversation, one of many we had at Gartner. So y’all check it out. And yes, I’ll wear a jacket for most folks, especially my mom, Leah Luton, who is tuned via LinkedIn from Aiken, South Carolina. If she wanted me to wear a jacket, Kevin, I will throw on in a skinny minute, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (06:05):

Hey mom.

Scott Luton (06:07):

All right, one more thing, resources, folks. We’re here to deliver resources before we get into a couple stories and then before of course, we welcome in Dave Wheeler from New Balance here momentarily. Let’s share a great virtual event, our friends at Easy Post. This is coming up on May 15th at 12 noon Eastern time. It’s focused on unboxing sustainability strategies for a greener logistics future. Folks, you got to come join us for that. I’ve already had some outstanding conversations with some of the participants there, so y’all check it out. May 15th, 12 noon Eastern Time, we dropped the link to check out this free virtual event. And Kevin, if folks come join us, they better include packing their voice and their point of view. So bring your perspective to the event, Kevin, that’s really important to speak up and engage in these conversations that’s shaping our industry.

Kevin L. Jackson (06:57):

We talked a lot about the importance of communication and today we are communicating through so many different channels to people around the world and the meaning of collaboration is really the foundation of collaboration, is that communication. So please, and before we move on, I also want to sort of shout out to the live participants in today, not to short shift the on demand participants that will look at this, but it’s the live people that get it straight from the horse’s mouth. That’s

Scott Luton (07:30):

Right. Hey, just like Casey here, Casey’s watching from YouTube live so that I can be more interactive. Nothing more important they say in Web3 0.0 than community interaction from top to bottom. Well said, Casey. Looking forward to y’all’s take throughout our time together here today. Okay, so Kevin, we got to get to work. Yes, we got a lot to get into. I want to start with this, our first story here from our friends at CIO. Check this out and I don’t miss an opportunity to make a Star Trek reference. Okay. You’re

Kevin L. Jackson (07:59):

Space Gate.

Scott Luton (08:00):

I am admittedly. All right, so this comes from our friends at CIO where we’re talking about Industry 4.0, accelerating warp speed, and just what is Gen AI’s role there at the factory edge? So Kevin, tell us more if you would.

Kevin L. Jackson (08:16):

Going to warp speed in today’s world really is getting rid of your legacy silos and focusing and leveraging iot platforms to collect and consolidate operational data. So generative AI is really changing the game when it comes to the data. This with small language models that operate on iot devices. Everyone is hooed and odd about large language models, but it’s these small language models that are supporting those endpoint transactions that are really critical in supply chain. The other thing that this stuff does is it uses instrumentation diagrams and databases and schematics and photographs, computer vision in order to integrate the plant and processes across your operation. And it’s really another interesting aspect that people just shouldn’t forget. People are really the heart of any type of transformation. And that is really important when using artificial intelligence. Everyone wants to focus on the technological advancements, but a critical component of any advancement is the workforce.


And that workforce has to sort of be coddled and educated so that they can embrace change. And many people are afraid of AI and they’re afraid they’re going to lose their jobs, but really this is more likely to transform your job leaders in this warp speed transition really need to communicate so that everyone can understand the meaning of this change so that you can embrace the future together, both the management leaders and the workforce so that you leverage education and awareness so you can address all the needs of the employee. So manufacturers can really transform that apprehension that they may have into acceptance and the ability to leverage artificial intelligence, not just for operational efficiency, but as a catalyst for workforce empowerment.

Scott Luton (10:41):

Yes, man. All right. I love a lot of what you shared there. I got to go back, embrace the future together. I love that. I love that as you stated it, I love it even more in action, right? Because a ton of apprehension out there in all different parts of an organization, all levels. And one of our jobs as leaders is to acknowledge that and then work with our teams to navigate and alleviate that apprehension, even if it’s what we’re talking about here today is very complex, right? Digital transformation, very complex. These modern innovative technologies, gen AI or anything else, very complex, but we do it with our people, not to our people. And that helps address the apprehension. You really called out the human factor. We’ve talked a lot about that here, Kevin, over the years in particular, we had a great conversation with Jen McKean, which is a senior supply chain leader with Walmart, and they’ve got a mantra over there. Oh yeah, that mantra was human led technology powered. I think I’ve got that right, Kevin, does that sound familiar?

Kevin L. Jackson (11:39):

Yes. Yes, absolutely. I loved it.

Scott Luton (11:42):

Yes. Even if you’re not a supply chain pro, and if you’ve observed what Walmart’s done over the last two or three years, it is amazing how they are transforming the customer experience, the supply chain, the supplier experience, you name it. So really, I love your emphasis on the human factor, but couple last comments, Kevin, I’ll get your take on it. That is not to discount the power of the technology, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (12:05):

Oh no,

Scott Luton (12:06):

We’re not doing that. We’re lifting up though the importance of the human factor. Here’s this. So Airbus is using gen ai, Kevin, they’re baking into its design processes to make better aircraft. And Kevin, you’re a former military aviator. Would you agree with me? It’s pretty hard to say the Airbus isn’t winning the global aviation game right now. Would you agree?

Kevin L. Jackson (12:28):

I hate to say it, but Boeing has been stumbling a little bit lately, right? That’s right. I mean, just recently the star liner got scrubbed over launch. Part of that, I think they’ve lost the importance of working with their entire workforce and not focusing on the bottom line. And yes, they need to sort of regain their game.

Scott Luton (12:55):

And you know what? With the stakes, as big as they are from passengers lives, obviously, but on the business side, the bottom line, they’ll get things turned around. It’s been fascinating to watch what Boeing has gone through in recent years. On a brighter note, Kevin, on a brighter note, Ford Motor Company leveraging gen AI to drive big quality gains, including being able to predict defects before they happen in newer vehicles and parts. That’s pretty cool. Now, one might say, if you think about what all Henry Ford would be thinking right now in terms of the possibilities of modern day technology, maybe just maybe he’d be willing to offer a few more vehicle color choices. Kevin, if you remember the old anecdote when something like this, Ford was asked, Hey, what color could model Ts come in? And he reportedly responded, Hey, customers can get their cars in any color they want as long as it’s black. So I’ll tell you, I think Henry Ford would have a incredible time with modern technology. Alright, so Kevin, when practical examples come to mind, especially when it comes to gen AI being deployed in industry, whether it’s manufacturing industry 4.0 or any other areas, the possibilities possibility’s already here. We’re not talking next generation stuff, we’re talking companies leveraging it for big gains today.

Kevin L. Jackson (14:09):

Yeah, it’s not a possibility, it’s a reality. I mean, you just look on your laptop and you have copilot sitting right there, and it’s reaching into large language models to help you find information, to write better, to communicate better. And really all of this technology is lifting society up. Don’t be afraid. I think it was an earlier show we were talking about, don’t be scared.

Scott Luton (14:40):

Now’s not the time for that.

Kevin L. Jackson (14:42):


Scott Luton (14:43):

Be frank in the possibilities, be frank in apprehension, be frank and be very focused when it comes to what business problems we’re looking to solve with modern, innovative technology. That’s really, really important. Right?

Kevin L. Jackson (14:57):

Right. Target your business goals and apply this technology to advance the attainment of those business

Scott Luton (15:04):

Goals. That’s right. But folks, don’t take our word for it. Check out the link to the article we were just referencing from our friends at CIO. We’ve got that link in the comments and let us know what you think there. Okay, Kevin, we’ve got one more story we want to get into before Dave joins us here about 12:25 PM Eastern time. And we’re talking Metaverse again, this is from the team over at Connected World and we are touching on the rise of the industrial metaverse and manufacturing and greater supply chains on a show just a couple weeks ago. Kevin, your thoughts here?

Kevin L. Jackson (15:36):

So I mean the industrial metaverse actually started like bullet 10 years ago and we’ve been talking about how the internet of things and manufacturing will be changing the future, but we are now an in the future and artificial intelligence and the industrial metaverse have actually are delivering new possibilities on new opportunities. And deep learning is really sharpening our skills and reducing these mundane tasks and in return improving business processes. And we are now sort of reached the next stage of our transformation where we can improve profitability in the business while becoming more efficient, delivering more broader variety of products and services faster. And this is happening because of the help of technology. I’m an engineer, right? I’m a technology, I’m not a creative so to speak, but I could go online, put a few prompts and chat GPT and create works of art to represent what I’m trying to relay to my custom because this data that’s at your fingertips is really enabling these capabilities.


And on a previous stroke we talked about how data is the supply chain of artificial intelligence, and right now that data is accessible at a few T strokes so we can get overloaded. I find myself having too much data trying to sift through everything that’s incoming, understand and interpret what’s good and what’s bad. And this whole concept of fake news and fake data is real, but you have to be exposed to this information so that you can exercise those muscles of filtering the information so you can understand the patterns of light when it comes to data and apply them appropriately to the challenges in your business and also in your life. So you have to be intentional about the data that you collect, where you get it from and how you structure it. And speaking about supply chains, supply chain itself is constantly flexing not just the physical supply chain, but the data supply chain as well.


The demand curve really is spike and it drops and it changes, and all of this unfortunately is out of our control. So if you take that data and you can interpret that data to create insight and drive intelligence about what’s happening in your environment, leveraging technologies like neural networks within artificial intelligence and machine learning, this gives you the opportunity to reduce downtime, eliminate bottlenecks in your business processes and do like you talked earlier about Henry Ford, this predictive maintenance just to name a few of the improvements that gen AI and this influx of data is really driving.

Scott Luton (19:02):

Yep. Couple comments Kevin, a minute ago when you were talking about fake data,


Folks, I know all of us probably remember the time, it was just last week, maybe everybody had their own spreadsheet and there’s always a couple people whose data was really off. So fake data is a threat that’s just evolving. It’s always been there, right? I think it’s a massive opportunity. I think secondly too, we were talking about that last show we did, we probably published that a week or so ago or a month or so ago. Amanda and Catherine, first off, thanks for what you do. Really appreciate all the things behind the scenes. If y’all could drop the link to this industrial Metaverse show that Kevin and I did. One of the things we talked about, Kevin, was the cool things that Caterpillar is doing. Now, most folks would know that Caterpillar is a Fortune 100 company, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial equipment engines, turbines, and a whole bunch more stuff.


Caterpillar, Kevin, if you remember, they’re leveraging the industrial metaverse to power a virtual reality lab, which is helping take their product development approaches to an entirely new level. And then you touched on a couple of things more broadly beyond Caterpillar, but more broadly in the industry, remote equipment operation and maintenance. Think of some of the remote sites, whether you’re a mining operation, like some of where Caterpillar’s equipment is used and remote locations around the globe. Think of how challenging the operation and the maintenance can be at those sites. Well, industrial Metaverse is helping to make that easier, more effective, and I think you may have touched on it a second ago, training and simulations. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had really bad corporate training. I’m going to raise my hand really high. I know we’ve all had that. Well, that’s where the industrial Metaverse, I think can unlock all sorts of new ways to make training more effective rather than going through 300 pages of workbooks, something that’s real and much more practical and applicable to what’s being required on the job, so to speak. Kevin, your thoughts really quick before we move on.

Kevin L. Jackson (20:51):

The most important aspect of that training is the experiential training. When you’re using augmented reality and virtual reality, you can imprint knowledge into the brain, into the human, that’s fast, much easier, much more efficient, and it’s that experiential training that sticks with us and it allows us to integrate all of this data quicker and better.

Scott Luton (21:19):

That’s right, well said folks. We dropped the link to that last full show that Kevin and I did more focus on the industrial Metaverse powered by our friends at Microsoft. Y’all check that out. Okay, Kevin, I’m really excited about this next segment. We’ve got a great guest joining us here today. Are you ready for me to introduce our speaker? I’m

Kevin L. Jackson (21:36):

Ready to get some new balance.

Scott Luton (21:40):

Well, hey, who knows, but buckle up. We’ve got a great appearance here. So let me introduce our guest that’s joining us here momentarily. First off, he is certainly a digital transformer in all definitions of that phrase. In fact, folks, he brings more, we’re breaking our rules here, brings more than 30 years of operations and engineering success to the table. Since 2017, our guest has served in senior leadership roles at New Balance. As Kevin mentioned, one of the world’s leading sportswear brands. I’ve got a pair of five twenties on as we speak here today. In his free time, our guest gives forward by serving on the advisory boards of organizations such as Women in Supply Chain and zero 100. Please join me in welcoming Dave Wheeler, chief operating officer with New Balance. Dave doing.

Dave Wheeler (22:27):

Hi Scott. Hi Kevin. Thanks for having me.

Kevin L. Jackson (22:30):

Oh, absolutely.

Scott Luton (22:32):

I didn’t notice this in the green room earlier, pre-show Dave, but Kevin, I love that picture back there. Unleash. It’s like he’s unleashing the human factor there, Dave. I love it.

Dave Wheeler (22:42):

It’s a good message, that’s for sure. Yep. And we have the Warrior Hockey stick back there. That’s all part of the New Balance family.

Scott Luton (22:48):

Oh man. Okay. We’re going to have to talk a lot more hockey next time you join us. But before we dive into all things digital transformation and supply chain innovation, you grew up in the Boston area and after a career journey took you a number of different places. You’re back in Boston. I’ve visited there a couple of times, Kevin’s been there a thousand times. What’s one of your favorite things about living in Boston?

Dave Wheeler (23:09):

It’s hard to pick one, to be honest. I think maybe trailing off of Kevin’s earlier comments that gets about four Seasons. We have four real seat in Boston and I get excited when we get an nor’easter that’s 20, 25 inches of snow. I love it. Outside today it’s springtime and it’s about 65 degrees. Perfect. Summer gets up to a hundred and follows. Awesome as well. So four distinct seasons I think would be my top pick.

Scott Luton (23:38):

Yes, yes. You painted a pretty picture and Kevin, just like you were describing over the weekend, what DC was like. Sounds like they’ve got a beautiful day in today, huh?

Kevin L. Jackson (23:46):

Oh yeah, absolutely. But whenever I go to Boston, sorry, but why does food always come to the conversation? I love, I love New England Clam Charter. I’m always testing the different types and flavors and consistency. Some of them you can take your spoon and it’s stands up and others it’s different and it’s just so amazing how good I went to school in Rhode Island at the Navy War College in Newport and I would go up to Boston quite a bit, but it’s always about food, right? And clam base right there on a beach out there and oh shoot. I love it.

Scott Luton (24:33):

I’ll talk food with you any hour of the day. Kevin and Dave, one quick follow-up question for our promise we get into supply chain. Dave, for you clam chowder, is it white or red?

Dave Wheeler (24:44):

It’s got to be white from me.

Scott Luton (24:46):



I’m with you. I’m with you. Alright. So Dave, most of our audience knows New Balance. As I mentioned, I’ve been a long time customer I think since I think I try to triangulate it think since about 1996. Great. So before we get into supply chain stuff, one of the cool things, I have done some homework around you and the New Balance team. Some of the cool things you’re doing is getting involved with the Paris Olympics and making sure all the Paris Olympics athletes are ready to compete. Touch on some of the cool things you’re doing there with those games are just around the corner.

Dave Wheeler (25:17):

Yeah, for sure. I think originally, I think you either called me an old man or a seasoned veteran. I’m not sure what I’ve been around for a little while.


Yeah, so the Olympics super exciting for us to get some of our athletes out there on the world stage. We have some pretty good brand ambassadors that have joined the New Balance family, Sidney McLaughlin, Coco Golf, and making sure that they’re outfitted in the best possible product is one of our goals. Obviously we always make sure that they show up in competition with a product that’s also available to the general public and the innovation that we baked into it we’re really proud of. And that’s for them to show up this summer, that innovation started two to three years ago actually in the Covid. So that brings up a lot of interesting memories of doing creative things like having samples sent into our mail room and having a set period of time where our developers could stop and get their samples in their cars to take back home with them to evaluate and give feedback and did a lot of creative things back in the covid days to get us to today. But yeah, making sure they have, whether that’s fresh foam fuel cell, making sure that their carbon fiber plates are perfect for them. We’ve just generated a lot of new innovative products for them to be great on the field or the pitch. And we also are super proud that we support seven other countries as not commissioned countries with their uniforms that they can perform in. And so that’s another good way for us to give back through the World Federation of Sporting Goods and the International Olympic Committee. So really proud of that.

Scott Luton (26:56):

Dave, I would be too, as remarkable, really, Kevin, to help seven countries and all of their athletes because as we know, everyone’s not on a level playing field, no pun intended. You got different folks with different access to resources. So I love to hear what New Balance is doing in investing in those seven countries that may not have the same access to what they need to compete on the highest level. Kevin, your thoughts?

Kevin L. Jackson (27:18):

So the thing that comes to me when someone may say, well, what does it matter what you wear when you’re doing athletic? It’s all about your body, the strength, the training. But remember when the shark skin swimming suits came in and I think they were actually banned because they were so good. So think about the importance of the shoes. I mean, you must are critical to these athletes and there’s so many rules and regulations you probably have to follow so that you don’t get banned in any future Olympics. It’s almost as bad as doping, right? You got to make sure your clothes aren’t illegal. I mean, at a COO of New Balance, I’m sure you’re in the thick of that.

Dave Wheeler (28:08):

Yeah, there’s a lot to navigate for sure. And we tend to be conservative here. We’re independently owned. We’ve been around since 1906, so we’ve seen a lot of change and we actually started out as a shoe insert company, not even a running shoe company.

Kevin L. Jackson (28:23):

Not even a whole shoe.

Dave Wheeler (28:24):

Not even a whole shoe, right? Yeah. The founder, the original innovator, William j Row, he looked out his back window, saw chicken standing on one foot and fashioned an insert after a chicken’s foot. And so his patient,

Kevin L. Jackson (28:39):


Dave Wheeler (28:40):

His clients at first were out of balance, put in the insert new balance, and so that’s where Wow, okay. Yeah, innovation forms in fashion, doesn’t it?

Scott Luton (28:53):

I love that. Dave. Hey, really quick before you share a little more context on the supply chain footprint there at New Balance, and I love, now that I know where the company name came from, I got to give a shout out. Dave creates your foundation much like you’re investing in athletes. This nonprofit that we’ve been supporting, Dave helps equip kids with the equipment and funds to pay all the organization fees that have gone up dramatically in the metro Atlanta area. So big shout out to the Dave Chee Foundation. Y’all check that out. But one other thing I want to level set with folks, and I stole this image, please don’t tell on me from the New Balance team. So this is the 9 93. Now, I wore the nine 90 threes and the nine nineties again since those mid nineties because I’m an old dude, Dave, as you were alluding to earlier, but I was a big fan of the nine nineties and 9 93 running, playing basketball. I’ve done everything, those shoes, and I think you are, if I heard you correctly, on the sixth version, sixth edition of the nine 90. Is that right Dave?

Dave Wheeler (29:49):

That’s correct. Yeah. We just came out with that last year, the sixth version of that. So it’s gone through a lot of iterations. We try to keep the heritage in mind, but inject some technology as we make kind of incremental changes.

Scott Luton (30:01):

Yeah, love

Dave Wheeler (30:02):

It. That’s what we call a dead shoot, which are not popular.

Kevin L. Jackson (30:05):

Dead shoot.

Scott Luton (30:07):

I’m finally cool, Dave and Kevin. I’m finally cool. Okay. All right. Really quick before we get into some other cool things that y’all have been up to at New Balance, can you briefly, especially for context, shed some light on your role in the supply chain footprint organization at the company?

Dave Wheeler (30:21):

Sure thing. Yeah, so I think I view it as I have three major inputs. I kind of have marketing design and merchandising that are input into my organization. So that group really sets the stage, they create the conceptual briefs. I pick it up from there in development. So my job is to convert those concepts into an actual spec that can then be produced. That’s both apparel and footwear. And so we’re at about six and a half billion in revenue right now. There’s a lot going on as far as not only heritage carry over models, but a lot of new that’s happening. So they’re keeping us busy, which is a great thing. I have the umbrella of global planning, so that’s supply planning and demand planning, demand planning, meaning forecasting, that’s all fed into either contract sourcing or our own manufacturing. So we’re super proud to have five factories here in New England that make that 9 9 3 that you just showed there, plus a bunch of other models. And so we have both sourcing and manufacturing organizations within sourcing, as I mentioned, it’s contract sourcing as well as indirect spend, indirect procurement, that organization. And then that’s all shipped into our distribution network on a global scale that finally gets to our end consumer either wholesale into our retail stores or e-com. And then there’s some other functions like all of our construction loss prevention, few things like that that kind of fit for my umbrella. And then we have matrixed in hr, IT finance costing. Okay.

Scott Luton (31:52):

Alright. So Kevin, out of all of that, that’s on one of Dave’s three plates I’ll call it. What’s most intriguing to you, Kevin, in terms of what Dave leads?

Kevin L. Jackson (32:01):

Well, the thing about apparel is how culture affects what’s people. And when you’re operating a large multinational company like Rebalance, I wonder how as the chief operating officer do you take balance what people like what they need and the introduction of new technology into your model? There’s a lot like I guess a automobile manufacturer, right?

Scott Luton (32:29):

Steady stream of inputs is what I’m hearing you ask about Kevin, is that right, Dave? Yeah,

Dave Wheeler (32:34):

Yeah, for sure. And I would say we’re pretty good at that, but there’s a lot of room for growth and that’s where we’re headed actually with some digital transformation efforts. When you think about even on the footwear side of things, same for apparel. It’s really hard as COO to predict if Taylor Swift is going to walk out with a red and white pair of with and then our inventory is gone immediately from the swifties, that’s pretty hard to do. But there are other things that we can get better signals on. We do that, like I say, pretty well right now, but we have coming down the pike this year, a new ERP and supply chain planning suite that I’m super excited about that’ll give us the ability to take better inputs.

Kevin L. Jackson (33:19):

I’m thinking that the importance of data and the ability to translate that data into action that addresses the needs of your end customers, that’s a huge shot.

Dave Wheeler (33:31):


Scott Luton (33:32):

So Dave, we’re going to keep going down that path of some of the cool new things y’all are doing from a supply chain and digital transformation standpoint. I want to bring this comment really quick. In T squared holds down fort for over on YouTube and he says the 5 74 will never die. I love that T squared, he’s a big fan as well. And then LK was, we asked him about some things. He’s using technology in his site there and he uses chat GPT when he gets stuck running that SaaS code. Don’t we all, Larry? Don’t we all? Alright, so you were just touched on date behind some outstanding years and all the success recently. New Balance is this supply chain transformation, agility, performance, and you were just talking about new ERP system that’s going to allow you to bring even more inputs and signals from the customer and the markets into the overall equation. And these new initiatives and new approaches to leveraging modern day technology has enabled some of the financial success right, of recent years, which of course impacts y’all’s ability to do what you were talking about a minute ago, which is create these very generous, give forward programs, whether you’re supporting the Olympics or many other things. So Dave, tell us a little more about this new ERP system and any other initiatives that y’all have been rolling out to enhance your transformation approach.

Dave Wheeler (34:43):

I would probably narrow it down to a couple of different areas. One would be as many companies have a lot of legacy systems that are tied together in various ways. They’ve been around for a long time and I see many of those don’t even know the internet exists right now. It’s a spaghetti map to be honest. And so we recognize that about five years ago as we headed off on this digital transformation that we’re not going to get an ERP in supply chain planning suite in one year. It takes a while. So we had to do something in the interim and we put in this middleware and created maybe two steps. First off, we had to get the data right, one version of the truth. So data quality, call it master data, there are a lot of different terms for it, but spread around the company, certainly on a global basis.


We had different versions of the truth. We went to one version so that we all trust it using that one version of the truth through this middleware, we use Snowflake, which then takes all this data and makes it accessible and then we can access it through programs like Spotfire reporting to give us a translation of data and into information that we can make good business decisions. So that was a big step for us to be able to say, especially through Covid and given the disruptions that took place around the world, we had to have good information on a real time basis. So that really made a big difference for us. So that really helped. I’ll pause there.

Kevin L. Jackson (36:14):

I may have missed what you said, but what I heard was a huge integrated cloud environment to support your operations. I picked up that cloud stuff quickly.

Scott Luton (36:25):

That’s right. Always


Really quick, Dave and Kevin, I’ll get you to comment on this too. There’s different versions of the truth that Dave just called out such a big barrier to, we hear a lot these days, whether you like the word orchestration or harmonization or synchronization, when you got different parts of any size company, I all have their own versions of the truth. It’s next to impossible to reach any of that stuff. And Dave, I love how that’s been one of your priority items to reach so you can create that real powerful operational leadership and even technology alignment that allows you to reach new heights when it comes to supply chain performance or the company performance for that matter. Kevin, does that make sense to you? I mean, we got to reach this single source of truth, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (37:11):

Yeah. Well clean data, you mentioned clean data earlier is an important aspect of that, the stepping stone to actually getting normalization or normalize data across your entire environment. So you have to clean your data, you have to normalize your data and then distribute the data and then you have to have systems that can actually interpret the data into insights that humans can use and leverage.

Scott Luton (37:40):

Well said Dave. Doesn’t Kevin just make it? Actually y’all both make it sound so easy. Dave, your comments there and any other initiative you want to kind of share with us as well?

Dave Wheeler (37:49):

Yeah, I can’t probably overemphasize the importance of clean data, accurate data because we can do all kinds of work on AI and gen AI and bring it all, but unless the data’s right, we’ll never get great answers and our businesses won’t grow. So yeah, I do think that is so foundational, which is why we tackled it first. So that was the first put in middleware to get us by in the meantime before we actually put in place a new ERP and supply chain planning suite. And so we’re right on the cusp of that. We’ve been at that for about four years now, a little over three years trying to make sure it’s right because there are so many stories out there of going live within the s not successful. You jump into it and you have a meltdown and customers are unsatisfied and we have so much momentum right now.


We certainly don’t want to kill that by giving an opportunity to a competitor to jump in our place. So we’re right there sometime this year, second half of this year we’ll go live and then we’ll start to spread that around the globe. So very excited. And that’ll take us to a new level that supply chain planning suite in particular has machine learning and AI embedded in it. We just have to turn it on and get that right data in. And that’s multifaceted from a feed perspective, that could be marketing campaigns, it could be responses on eComm. All that is helpful to really form that forecast to get us to become more responsive and get those signals sent into the factories to make the right product rather than just have inventory on the shelf.

Scott Luton (39:23):

Love it, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (39:24):

Singing to the choir, right? Data is the supply chain for artificial intelligence and machine learning. So you are working from the foundation up and that’s the right way to build a mansion. So I appreciate and I applaud what you guys are doing over there.

Dave Wheeler (39:43):

It takes a lot of bit of patience,

Kevin L. Jackson (39:45):

A lot of patience,

Scott Luton (39:47):

Which is in historically always been in short supply across global supply chain as patients. Right. All right. Fascinating stuff. Dave, I know we only have a few minutes with you here, but I really appreciate you sharing some of the ways that you’re acknowledging ways of doing business better and doing business different and leaning into the path forward. And we were talking Kevin earlier about warp speed, right? Yeah. And it sounds like to me that if Dave Wheeler and the new balance supply chain organization, if they aren’t already at, I don’t know, warp speed 8.0, right? They may be at warp speed 12.0 sounds like in a few months from now we’ll see Kevin. Hey Dave, really quick. Are you a Star Trek fan or no?

Dave Wheeler (40:28):

I am aware of it. I’m not like a fanatic. All

Scott Luton (40:34):

Right, fair enough

Kevin L. Jackson (40:35):


Dave Wheeler (40:37):

I apologize.

Scott Luton (40:38):

I’m the only nerd here, I guess. And I say that with all the Do love out to our audience out there You’all, know my fondness of all things Star Trek. Alright, I’m going to pose this question to both of y’all. Dave, you’re leading an incredible digital transformation. I think a lot of our audience members can certainly relate to that as they lead and are going through their own digital transformations. For those supply chain leaders that are tuned in, whether the live show here or the podcast replay, what’s one piece of advice, Dave, that you would offer when it comes to driving real successful digital transformation?

Dave Wheeler (41:07):

It’s hard to have just one, but

Scott Luton (41:09):

I know if

Dave Wheeler (41:09):

I were to pick one, it would be start with the business goals. Don’t follow the shiny penny and implement technology first. That’s why

Scott Luton (41:20):

If you’re going to pick just one that in my view, Dave would be the one to pick. And Kevin, I’ll get your take here as well. I think all of us can probably relate to, not within our organizations maybe, but certainly out in the marketplace, leaders that want, they hear all the good things about a new technology, they go out and spend the money to procure it and they throw it over the fence and let the team figure out where to use it and what outcomes, what business objectives are we after? Kevin, what would be one of your pieces of advice when it comes to folks driving digital transformation?

Kevin L. Jackson (41:50):

You have your pencil

Dave Wheeler (41:51):


Scott Luton (41:52):

I got it ready to go.

Kevin L. Jackson (41:55):

Attaining warp speed requires confident, patience,

Dave Wheeler (42:02):

Words of point.

Kevin L. Jackson (42:03):

Yeah, I think that’s what Dave is talking about right now. They knew where they wanted to go, they wanted to get there fast, but you have to start with that confident patience to understand your business goals and the reason behind the business goals and the patience to get the data right, integrate that data. That’s the only way that they can attain the warp speed, that digital transformation to deliver.

Scott Luton (42:29):

Yeah, good stuff there, Kevin. Well said, right? Dave, your thoughts there? You agree with that?

Dave Wheeler (42:35):

Well said. Yeah. Certainly reinforces and ties into my belief. It is hard to have patients think it does help us out a little bit that we’re independently owned, so we see the mid to long term and we can stick with it rather maybe shift a little bit there. I also think if I were to say one thing a little bit broader in a culture perspective, I know Kevin talked about people a lot. That’s number one for us. We can have long technology and process, but if we don’t have the right people and we’re built on integrity, teamwork and total customer satisfaction with those first two, integrity and teamwork, making that happen. I mean, you have to have those two or else all this that we just talked about isn’t going to happen successfully, right? So a lot of our culture,

Scott Luton (43:21):

Well said. Well said. Alright, so I’m going to be heading to Boston in the coming months. Dave, I know y’all have got five sites up there. I’m a big old nerd when it comes to plant tours. Oh, perfect. I’d love to step in there. We’ll have to see if we can’t make that happen. But in the meantime, to protect your time, Kevin, you and I are going to wrap in just a second. If folks want to connect with you, I know obviously you do a lot of keynote when you’re not driving transformation and incredible success and most importantly my favorite part here, how you bake that, give forward, significant, give forward into the business model. I think it’s inseparable. So really appreciate what y’all do at New Balance there. How can folks connect with you in New Balance team, Dave?

Dave Wheeler (43:59):

Yeah, first I’ll say we had an advertisement about five years ago that said Worn by Supermodels in Paris and by dads in Ohio. So you are right in that fashion category. Oh, love it. So people can certainly get ahold of me on LinkedIn. Feel free to email me as well. It’s just and we are all about that philanthropy. We’ve given back about 140 million since we’ve started up our new

Kevin L. Jackson (44:27):

Balance. Balance. Wow, awesome.

Dave Wheeler (44:29):

Give back to the communities where we do business and where our consumers live. So it’s a real passion of ours for sure.

Scott Luton (44:36):

Well, I love not only the passion, but I love the real outcomes that you are making happen with your commitment to act on that passion and that aspect of your culture. So Kevin, one of my favorite things to do, and Dave’s got to go here in a second, is to get and meet the supply chain and the other leaders behind some of the brands that we know and love. And this, I’ll tell you, Dave, you have jumped, you have flipped over the high bar here today, so I really appreciate what y’all do. Dave Wheeler, chief Operating Officer with New Balance, big thanks for you joining us here today, and we’re looking to having you back soon.

Dave Wheeler (45:05):

Thanks for having me, guys. Appreciate

Kevin L. Jackson (45:07):

It. Thanks Dave. Take

Scott Luton (45:08):

Care. Okay, Kevin, your favorite thing that we heard from Dave Wheeler from New Balance here today?

Kevin L. Jackson (45:15):

Yes. The importance of patience and getting the data right at the beginning. Those are critical to any organization and the lay out foundations for digital transformation. And like I said before, that patient confidence will lead to attainment of that warp speed in business.

Scott Luton (45:36):

Yeah, well said Kevin. Great stuff from Dave Wheeler and I love the beat of Dead Horse. I love how they’re getting involved in the markets they serve and really giving forward to folks in need, whether it be the athletes from countries going to compete at the Olympics or other different ways. Kevin, before we wrap up here today, how can folks connect with all the cool things you’ve got going on? Of course, they can find digital transformers wherever they get their podcasts. How else can folks connect with you?

Kevin L. Jackson (46:02):

Oh yeah, always on LinkedIn, and I’m on the X as well, actually, I just finished covering the RSA convention out in San Francisco and coming up in a couple of weeks, the next digital Transformers edition, we’re going to talk about how digital assets are being used to save the coral in the Pacific with Alan C. He’s one of the most important voices on the ecological use of digital assets across the Pacific. He’s from Halal. Don’t miss it.

Scott Luton (46:39):

We can’t miss that. Mark marking my calendar as you speak, I’m going to do it right over here. Make sure I don’t miss that next edition of Digital Transformers. Kevin, always a pleasure to knock out the digital Transformers edition of the Buzz on the second Monday of each and every month. Thanks for being here, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (46:59):

Oh no, this is a great show. That spectrum that they was talking about from runway models to dads in Ohio.

Scott Luton (47:10):

So true man. We wish you had about 60 more hours with Dave to jump into the digital transformation. They’re leading there across the business. But Kevin, great to have you here.

Kevin L. Jackson (47:19):

No, thank you.

Scott Luton (47:20):

Yeah, I know we couldn’t hit everybody’s comments here today, but really do appreciate the comments and questions. Thanks for being here. As always. Big thanks to and Amanda behind the scenes helping to make it happen each and every show. But folks, here’s the deal, right? Here’s the owners, here’s the challenge. You got to take something that Dave or Kevin shared here today or something in the comments and put it into action. Deeds, not words. That’s the name of the game. Your workforce is ready to change how business has done and drive new powerful outcomes so the owners is on you. So with all that said, on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenge. You do good, give forward, be the change, and we’ll see you next time. Right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (48:03):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain now, anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain. Now.


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Featured Guests

Dave Wheeler, Chief Operating Officer at New Balance Athletics, began his tenure in 2017 adding to his 33 years of operations and engineering career. Since then, he’s enhanced his reputation as an action-oriented operations thought leader in sportswear’s fast-paced world. While his direct responsibilities include eleven interconnected functions from product development, global planning, sourcing, manufacturing, and logistics through to final delivery, he has a common thread of broader company ambitions including sustainable solutions for the global environment, deeper understanding of consumer insights, and fueling overall brand excitement. Connect with Dave on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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