Supply Chain Now
Episode 1001

I dare you to dream big. Don't limit yourself. Take the path that will get you closer to your purpose, even though it may look a little different, even though you may be the only person that may look like you in the room. Having the courage to stay on that path gets you closer to your purpose.

-Chrystal York

Episode Summary

What are the core qualities of a truly effective leader? As the new, youngest, and first African American President of the Southeastern Region of AME, Chrystal York knows a good bit about leadership and joins Scott to talk all about it. Listen as Chrystal shares her upbringing and early exposure to servant leadership, what she learned about leadership from her early career managers, her advice for young people, and so much more. Also listen as Chrystal shares her vision for the Southeastern region of AME, how a focus on diversity can improve business and industry, and how driving impact and creating opportunities for all is not just an AME goal, but can be an industry-wide objective.

Note: AME’s Southeastern Region includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico.

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 (00:31):

Hey, good morning everybody. Scott Luton with you here on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s show. Hey, today we’re talking with a repeat guest, one of our faves, and we’re focused on leadership, especially leaders that are out there, trailblazing new paths. So stay tuned for a wonderful conversation that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I do. So, no further ado, I’ll welcome in our guest today, Chrystal York, a business leader that also serves as a volunteer leader with the Nonprofit Association for Manufacturing Excellence. Chrystal, how are you doing?

Chrystal York (01:01):

I am doing well today, Scott. How are you?

Scott Luton (01:04):

I’m wonderful. I tell you, it’s been too long. Uh, I wanna say you’ve made three or four or five appearances with us, and while we’re not in person this time, we’ll make that happen next time. But it’s always, uh, uh, invigorating to sit down and chat with you.

Chrystal York (01:17):

Same here. I am. So thank you for the opportunity and always fun to be here.

Scott Luton (01:22):

It is. We have a lot, lot of fun, uh, together, going back all the way to your first appearance at, at an AME event. Who knows? Let me touch on that later. But for starters though, Crystal, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, cause it’s been a little while since we caught up last. Some of our listeners undoubtedly remember, uh, some of your, uh, previous interviews, but for a couple out there that may not, let’s get to know you a little better. Where did you grow up? Crystal York?

Chrystal York (01:43):

Um, so I had the privilege of growing up in the beautiful town of Thomaston, Georgia, uh, about 60 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia. Um, 10,000 residents, So small country town, uh, proud, uh, UPS and Lee, uh, night graduate. Okay. Um, actually, UPS and Lee School system is where, where I really found my love for math, science, and innovation. So they gave me a really great foundation.

Scott Luton (02:10):

Okay. All right. Uh, you know, I was not good at math, uh, Crystal. So, uh, who knows. You have to share some of that, uh, inte like with me later on. But let’s, um, so in Georgia, um, I, I, I’m pretty sure I’ve been through there. What is, uh, you know, we love talking about food here at So Blache. Now, what is one food dish or restaurant, uh, that growing up you look back and, and it was inseparable from your childhood?

Chrystal York (02:37):

Honestly, I would say inseparable. Inseparable from my childhood and my adulthood would be Big Chick. Big Chick, um, is one of my favorite restaurants. It has been in existence since before I was born. Okay. Um, they have their standard work down Pat Scott. I consistently get the best fried chicken in the world. I double down on bets when I bring people to my hometown. It’s the best fried chicken.

Scott Luton (03:03):

I love it. Big chick. All right, so next time we get together, we’ll do the interview in person, and then we’re eating that for lunch afterwards. Is that a deal?

Chrystal York (03:09):

That’s a

Scott Luton (03:10):

Deal. And I love how you, you know, you’re, you’re a, um, you, you love manufacturing and leadership cuz you, you snuck in their standard work. Uh, so, so <laugh>, so apropo for the rest of the stuff we’re gonna be talking about here today. Um, so speaking of manufacturing, so tell us level set. You know, many plenty of folks will know, uh, what AME is. In fact, one of our hosts here, Billy Ray Taylor, the dynamo that leads, uh, the winning link. Uh, he’s on the board with AME as you know, your colleagues. Um, but for the handful of folks that may not know about nonprofit Association for Manufacturing Excellence, what is it all about?

Chrystal York (03:46):

So AME is a organization, um, since 1985. So they have been around for a very long time. Um, of vibrant community of over 4,000 professionals, uh, seniors, mid-level managers, individuals just getting started, maybe on, possibly on their lean journey. But very, they focus on people-centric leadership, um, all things continuous improvement and all things enterprise excellence. So a E’S mission is to share, learn and grow best practices to really bridge those gaps that most industries are seeing.

Scott Luton (04:26):

Love that. Uh, and it’s such a big need, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, to do just that. And am I correct in stating that the core of the organization is a manufacturing industry, but there’s folks from all sorts of industries that are involved in, Is that right?

Chrystal York (04:40):

That is right. A AME has evolved, evolved outside of just manufacturing into healthcare, um, into social impact. So supporting other nonprofits, utilizing those continuous improvement, enterprise excellence tools, um, and just overall industry.

Scott Luton (04:57):

Love it. Okay. Talking my language, continuous improvement. The journey is no finish line to the journey. No finish line. I know we’re kindred spirits in that regard. So is if, if that’s not good enough. And if have Chris having Crystal York back with us isn’t good enough. You, you bring some really big news in this latest visit. So, can I share it,

Chrystal York (05:16):


Scott Luton (05:18):

Okay. <laugh>. So you, Crystal York are the youngest and the first African American leader to serve as Southeast Regional President for ame. Congratulations.

Chrystal York (05:29):

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Scott Luton (05:32):

Wow. All right. So, um, I’m gonna ask you in a second what that means to you, but the, the role itself, the Southeast regional president, which I think officially takes route, uh, October 1st, uh, what does this, uh, what does this leader do?

Chrystal York (05:45):

So this leader has the opportunity to, um, cast the vision for our entire southeast region. Um, we have our board comprises of 25, uh, board members, um, ranging from, uh, about, what, seven different states.

Scott Luton (06:04):


Chrystal York (06:05):

Um, multiple industries. And like I said, it is vision casting. It is facilitating all of our board meetings and it’s driving impact and awareness to ame.

Scott Luton (06:16):

I love it. And making, and, and really serving them. I’m, I’m sure that seven state region, right. Uh, helping industry across helping connections, helping networking, the driving impact. I love that Crystal. Um, so let’s, let’s talk about this. Um, and I know you don’t like talking about yourself, but hey, with news like this, we gotta, we gotta put the focus on Crystal York. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what is this, you know, ]this, um, you know, breaking these firsts, right? Trailblazing being the pioneer that you are. What does this mean to you?

Chrystal York (06:48):

Um, honestly, I am humble that my peer, uh, board members in the strongest, largest region, uh, the southeast region, um, elected me, um, to serve. But quite honestly, I’ll say that it means responsibility. Mm. So when I go back to the mission of AME to share, learn, and grow, um, the enterprise excellence, the continuance improvement tools, um, these are thought leaders in the industry. So how do I cast the vision for, for us to have bigger impact? How can everyone, every industry in the southeast region know who AME is? That’s one thing. And then the second would be the responsibility to bridge gaps. How can I create the opportunity to drive more diversity within ame?

Scott Luton (07:43):

Yep. Um, so along those lines, you’re kind of sharing, that really speaks to my next question. You know, some of the impact and some of the ways you wanna put your stamp on the organization and industry. Anything else really stick out in terms of, you know, when you, and I’m not sure how long is the term, how, how long will you be serving?

Chrystal York (08:01):

Two years.

Scott Luton (08:02):

Okay. So whether it’s one term or whether it’s 10 terms mm-hmm. <affirmative> at the end of your time serving as southeast regional President. And when you look back mm-hmm. <affirmative>, describe the, you know, any, anything else related to the impact that you want to have made?

Chrystal York (08:16):

Ooh, that’s a good question. Um, I would definitely say my goal would be, um, at the end of my term, of those 4,000, um, plus members that we have, I want our board leadership to, to reflect that level of diversity, um, where individuals feel comfortable joining AME being their authentic self. And we’re truly embracing, um, the level of, I guess, different ideas, which drives higher collaboration, which drives better problem solving. So we’re, again, we’re supporting the industries in the Southeast. Um, but I guess most of all, di identifying that diverse talent, most of all young minds. Yeah. Um, yeah, AME has a great amount of very senior leaders. Um, but if we can engage the younger mind population, for me, I was able, um, starting in sixth grade, I did a STEM program every summer from sixth grade to 12th grade. Okay. That allowed me to learn more about stem, um, learn about leadership, and really get, um, exposure to the different possibilities of how you can use the foundation of STEM to do, to solve real world problems. Right. And we wanna do the same thing in AME to our young minds and young leaders.

Scott Luton (09:44):

I love that. And, and what I’m hearing you say, Crystal is not only driving impact and creating opportunities for all within the AME ecosystem, I’ll call it, but by extension, you, you’re really doing the same thing across industry, right? AME becomes a vehicle to creating opportunities for all, uh, and, and affording opportunities for all in, in leadership positions in industry and professional development, uh, positions, you know, helping, uh, as you said earlier, helping nonprofits and some of those other really important initiatives have become more effective and, and serve more. I mean, really it’s, it’s such a, a big ripple effect. So mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, I’m excited. I can tell you’re excited. Uh, you gotta, But here’s the deal, Crystal, we gotta make this deal here. You gotta give us the first post presidency interview after your term’s up. Okay. <laugh>

Chrystal York (10:36):

That, that’s a bit

Scott Luton (10:38):

<laugh>. We’ll have to go through your agent, probably know that down by then. But, um, alright. So you just just mentioned young people there. You know, there’s so much work we’ve gotta do to make sure they, um, see the art of the possible for themselves and, uh, find how they wanna make their impact and drive the change in their journeys. So young people are gonna see you creating this first or first plural, and you undoubtedly were gonna be inspiring them to do big things. Kinda like that, that mantra we’ve heard and have seen time and time again, you know, see it to be it. Right. Right. So for any of our younger listeners or folks maybe earlier in their journey that are listening to this, what message would you like to share with them?

Chrystal York (11:20):

Oh, wow. I would definitely say to our young listeners, um, I dare you to dream big. Don’t limit yourself. Um, part of being a first is knowing that, um, it’s gonna require you to be uncomfortable. Um, it may look different than what your friends are doing. Um, as I shared before, I had a love for math and science and growing up, hey, not all of my friends had a love for math and science, but taking that path got me closer to what my purpose is. So taking the path will get you closer to your purpose, even though it may look a little different, even though you may be the only person that may look like you in the room. Mm. But having the courage to stay on it gets you closer to your purpose.

Scott Luton (12:08):

I love that. I love where you started with that. I dare you. I dare you. I challenge you. That’s so that, you know, once you’re, you get outta that comfort zone because you accept the challenge. You know, that’s where you, you grow so much and you find so many opportunities. Um, so along these lines, Yeah. I want, I wanna pose a a a really important question. You know, if you were, uh, consulting all of industry beyond even the seven states and the Southeast regional, but if you really, you know, if you had the captive attention of, of industry, you know, sea level leaders, how can organizations enable more firsts like yours to happen more often?

Chrystal York (12:48):

Ooh. I would say that you have to make a commitment to recognize first and to seek to develop individuals that are diverse. Um, and, and it’s a commitment, cuz it’s easily said than done. But with intentionality, again, we’re bridging gaps. Um, because with diversity, there are so many studies that have been done that says diversity drives higher, collaboration encourages better problem solving, and you’re getting results. Yep. So with that being said, it’s, it’s with an organization making a commitment to really develop and to recognize those individuals

Scott Luton (13:36):

Deeds, not words. It’s one phrase that comes to my mind, one of our favorite phrases around here, but also you’re talking about all the different studies have been done about the, the power and advantages of, of a more diverse workforce and leadership structure. Profitability Yes. Uh, has been shown to be impacted very positively. Um, so even if you don’t wanna do it for all the right reasons that you laid out there, hey, do it to drive profit, you know, but just do it. Right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I dare you just do

Chrystal York (14:02):

It. I dare you.

Scott Luton (14:04):

<laugh>. Um, alright. So I wanna, um, a lot of times our interviews, we’ll start front of our interview and take a look back here. We kind of shared some of the current state news, exciting news mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And now I wanna look back. So you were talking earlier about growing up in Thomason, Georgia, uh, home in a legendary big chick where we’re gonna have to eat sometime. Um, talk about on your own, you know, in those formative years or maybe recently and what mentors or role models really inspires you to big, you know, who, who dared you Right. And to do big things and be a better leader.

Chrystal York (14:40):

Um, for me, I would say leadership started at home. Um, I’m blessed to have parents that, hey, they dared me. They seen a light inside of me, um, with their love, with their support. It pretty much, I grew up to be a fearless woman and I’m grateful for them showing me what leadership looks like. So outside of taking the best care of me, um, and, and, and getting me to and throw, they were leaders in their jobs. Um, my mom went on to not only, uh, be a full-time mom, have a full-time job, she started a business leading a team. Okay. Um, my dad served 22 years, um, in the military leading his team. So I was blessed to be able to see what does leadership look like, And not just leadership, but servant leadership.

Scott Luton (15:34):

Mm. And what are their names? Your parents names?

Chrystal York (15:37):

Oh, my mother, Rita Car Smith and my dad John Thomas York Jr.

Scott Luton (15:43):

Mm. I bet they are extremely proud and and I trust you’ve already shared the news with them and you’ve had a chance to celebrate with your parents, right?

Chrystal York (15:50):

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (15:52):

<laugh>. All right. Uh, so a quick follow up question. When you think about, uh, industry, right, maybe some of those non-family mentors or friends or folks that push you on those toughest of days, any names come to mind?

Chrystal York (16:06):

Oh man.

Scott Luton (16:07):

It’s tough to pick one, but if you had to pick one, it’s tough.

Chrystal York (16:10):

Um, I’m gonna go back to my first job out of college. Um, I was working for, um, Acuity Brands lighting, and, um, I was assembly supervisor. Uh, they were just starting their lean journey and my manager, uh, Mr. Danny Rael, hi Danny. Um, Danny pushed me again. I was, what, 22 years old? I was leading almost, what, 50 to 75 people.

Scott Luton (16:41):

Wow. You wanna

Chrystal York (16:43):

At, at, and there were many of days, if I’m being totally of just not understanding that respect for people, again, yields results. Yeah. I was terrified to communicate old to my parents, but pulled me in. And what he shared was, when you take care and listened to the people who are doing the work, that’s when things get done. Mm

Scott Luton (17:13):

Mm I love that. What great advice we’re gonna have to interview Danny at some point. So Danny, if you’re listening, <laugh> big high five and thank you for playing a critical role. I mean, heck, look at what folks like Danny that invested in you, Crystal, You know, they’re celebrating, I’m sure right here with you as you going and do big things and move mountains. Um, so along these lines, you know, you basically kind of were sharing some leadership lessons there, really. So if you had to think of two or three traits that truly extraordinary, uh, successful results getting leaders have mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what would be a couple of those, those must have traits you think, in your opinion?

Chrystal York (17:53):

Um, I mentioned earlier, um, servant leadership. So it’s something about when you flip your theoretical top down approach and your, you’re focusing on people first. Um, and my day to day job, uh, at Ecolab, I have the opportunity of, I tell ’em, you have to walk it like you talk <laugh> of really listening, um, going to the gemba, listening, taking action, following up and showing respect. And, and again, it comes down to the power of collaboration. It ends in great results.

Scott Luton (18:29):


Chrystal York (18:30):

Um, passion, I know it sounds super, super cliche, but as a leader you have to have passion. Uh, for me, I have passion for AME because it has, I, I joined AME in 2 20 18. Um, the power of development and relationships that I built it, I mean, their core value, One of the core values is just welcoming and engaging. And there was no one that really even looked like me during my first interaction with ame. And everyone was so welcoming, engaging in the sharing of best practices, it fueled me. It grew me personally and professionally. Um, and then last but not least, I would say you have to be a problem solver. It’s all about where do you wanna go Casting that vision and as a leader, um, really showing your team that I’m gonna remove those barriers or get you the support and resources needed to achieve that mission.

Scott Luton (19:30):

Love that. Uh, really love that. Go. I’m going back to pick up on something you said, cuz some of our listeners may have heard going to the gemba before and they may not have really understood what that means. Now, from where I sit, uh, you know, going to the gemba can also mean, you know, going to the plant for going to the production line, meeting with the people that are creating the value. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, would you agree with that definition or, or how would you make it your own?

Chrystal York (19:55):

Um, I do agree with your definition, but if I had to add the crystal remix to it, I would say going to where the work is done and listening with respect, ah,

Scott Luton (20:07):

That’s better. That’s much better. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Cause it production’s taking place throughout a proverbial plant or enterprise or you name it. Um, a lot of times I think of, uh, that value on the production floor, but to your point, offices, uh, all, all sorts of sites, uh, values being created. And, and I love your second part in the Crystal York remix of going to the gemba is listening with respect. We don’t do that enough, do we?

Chrystal York (20:34):

No, No. And, and hey, the individuals who’s adding value, whether it’s healthcare, um, whether it’s supporting a nu another nonprofit in their mission, they’re the subject matter experts. And as leaders is saying, How can I provide support? How can I help you win?

Scott Luton (20:52):

Mm, absolutely. Right. I love that. And again, I love the expanding mission of AME manufacturing, healthcare, and nonprofits. Really greater industry. Uh, so exciting, exciting times coming up these next two years as you serve in your role as Southeast Regional President. We’re gonna have to get some updates. And, um, yes, we look forward to kind of watching the impact unfold in front of our eyes. So, back to Amy. Speaking of Amy, the annual conference coming up. I think we were talking pre-show about one of our, or maybe on the beginning of this podcast. They’re all, they’re all mixed a little bit. Crystal Billy Ray Taylor, right? Yes. The author of, I think I’ve got his book right here, Author of the winning link.

Chrystal York (21:34):

The winning link. Yes, that’s

Scott Luton (21:36):

Right. Uh, did you know that they’ve already moved into, uh, a second printing this book has been flying off the shelves. I was looking to get a few copies. Um, he’s on the board of ame, along with you and many, uh, Mark Preston, one of my dear friends. Mm. Um, uh, active in AME and, uh, rungs of leadership there. So this annual conference that’s coming up, I think you’re speaking at it, Billy speaking at it, a lot of great keynotes. What, why should folks check out the annual conference and, and when is it and how can folks learn more?

Chrystal York (22:07):

So the, our International Conference will be held October 17th through the 20th in Dallas, Texas. Um, please check out for more information now. Why you should come. I, um, fell in love literally with, uh, I, well, my first interaction with with AME was through an international conference. Ok. It is the largest lean conference in the world. So all things continuous improvement, the largest, but more importantly than that, you’re able to get a firsthand experience of the best, of the best of operational excellence. So you’ll have your eco labs there, you’ll have ge, you’ll have organizations that have truly invested in their people and the time of sharing their journey. Um, and then you get to actually do tours. It’s not every day someone lets you into their world. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (23:07):

True. Very true.

Chrystal York (23:08):

And I learned, I actually learned the most from the tours and the networking is phenomenal. Like I said, AME is a network of share learning and growing. So you’re gonna walk away from with a, from a personal development and professional development with things you can actually take back.

Scott Luton (23:24):

Love that. How about the food crystal? Is it food pretty good?

Chrystal York (23:27):

The food is always good. <laugh>, the food is always

Scott Luton (23:30):

Good. All right. So learning, networking, uh, plant tours, good food. I mean, why not attend? And, and, and this year it is again in, is it in Dallas? It’s

Chrystal York (23:43):

In Dallas, Texas.

Scott Luton (23:44):

Dallas, Texas. Okay. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, and those dates one more time for folks.

Chrystal York (23:49):

October 17th through the 20th.

Scott Luton (23:51):

Okay. 17th through the 20th. Great. And we will include a link to that for more information. I think the overall link is what is that right?

Chrystal York (24:00):

Scott Luton (24:01):

Okay. So check that out folks. We’ll also, uh, put a link to the conference in the, uh, show notes. So you one click away from checking out and hopefully signing up for what, uh, sounds like an outstanding conference. Um, okay, Crystal, we’ve run the gamut here today. Uh, I can’t tell you on behalf of our entire supply chain now, team, congratulations, Uh, well deserved. We’re looking forward to seeing what you do in this new role and, and making your impact and really serving so many others and helping them in their journeys, including organizations that are trying to find, uh, how to solve problems old and new. So this is really exciting. Crystal,

Chrystal York (24:37):

Thank you so much for the opportunity, Scott. Always a pleasure. And I’m gonna hold you to eating at Big Chick

Scott Luton (24:45):

Out. We’re gonna do it. No doubt. Hey, but I, One last question. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if folks wanna connect with you, if they wanna compare notes, if they wanna get involved as a volunteer for AME or, or you name it, maybe they wanna interview you. Um, how can folks connect with you? Crystal,

Chrystal York (24:59):

You can always find me on LinkedIn. I am pretty active. Um, and otherwise, if you go to, you can also reach me there.

Scott Luton (25:08):

It’s just that easy. So you’ll all make sure you connect with Crystal York and soon enough you’ll have an agent I’m sure that you can go through to get her booked, uh, for keynotes. Uh, but Crystal, this is exciting. Again, congratulations. Uh, I look forward to, to having you back, uh, down once, uh, once again kind maybe putting our finger back on the pulse of all the change you’re driving, uh, for the great, uh, organization at ame. So thank you Crystal York.

Chrystal York (25:32):

Thank you. Thank you, Scott.

Scott Luton (25:34):

You bet. And to our listeners, I told y’all it was gonna be great. I tell you, if Crystal York doesn’t get your blood going and, and especially her perspective and, and the change that she wants or the impacts she wants to, uh, create on, on greater industry, I tell you, gotta check your pulse. Um, so, but on behalf of our entire team here, Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners nothing but the best challenging you. Hey, remember deed’s, not words. It’s challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. Hey, be like Crystal, you work. And with that said, was he next time? Right back here. That Pacha now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (26:08):

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

Chrystal York is the President of AME’s Southeastern Region and a results-oriented leader with industry experience in business wide program implementation, cross-functional team leadership and delivering strategic initiatives with sustainable gains. She is a certified Project Manager (PMP), Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Professional adept at building leaders, managing programs and transforming culture that enhance business practices, reduce operational costs and drive profitable growth. Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

Host, The Freight Insider

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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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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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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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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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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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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 & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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

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

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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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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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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

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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