Dial P for Procurement
Episode 22

What I’ll tell you is that based on the analysis and the perception of risk, certainty, and value, the board unanimously decided the offer from Elon represented the best value for our shareholders.

- Bret Taylor, Chairman of Twitter, as reported by The New York Times

Episode Summary

In this week’s Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner answer the question so many of us have been thinking since the news broke on April 25th that Elon Musk and Twitter had come to an agreement to allow the company to be taken private: What happens now?

We’ll leave the social and journalistic implications to the pundits, but buying a company as big as Twitter is far more complicated that buying a Tesla. There are layers of review, votes, and a few unknowns before the deal is completely done.

By examining primary sources and recent news coverage, Kelly explains all of the business details and behind the scenes machinations that will have to come to pass before the world’s richest man becomes the outright owner of Twitter.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

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

Kelly Barner (00:32):

Hi there, and thanks for joining me for dial P for procurement. Part of the supply chain. Now family of shows, I’m Kelly Barner, a career procurement practi with a love for business news, and most of all good ideas, no matter where they come from. In addition to video interviews and live streams, I’ll join you each Thursday to share my point of view on a current news story, especially ones that present an interesting twist for business leaders, or in some cases, we’ll take a new way of looking at a common challenge. Before I dig into this week’s topic, we’re building out dial PS independent following. So no matter where you encountered this podcast, I’d ask you to please subscribe and even give us a review. Thank you. And for being an active part of our listening community, now, maybe you’re like me, but for the last few weeks, I have been absolutely fascinated watching the process of Elon Musk working to take Twitter, private.

Kelly Barner (01:38):

I don’t need fiction. I don’t need sitcoms. All I need is my daily update on what’s happening with Elon Musk and Twitter. Now, when the news finally broke on April 25th, that the deal was done. Wow. I mean that day, the news was absolutely fascinating and the responses started pouring in from all different sectors, all and perspectives all over the world. Most of those responses were in my opinion, very emotional. They were based on how we are expecting the role of the platform in society to change or who will have access to the platform to change or the type of dialogue, how the content on the platform is moderated we’re business people here. Right? So what I’m really curious about is the business process from this point forward, what about the financing? What about the regulations? What about the votes? This whole big process has no now been set in motion, buying a multi-billion dollar company is not the same thing as buying a Tesla.

Kelly Barner (02:53):

So my mind keeps coming back to this question, what happens now? Now I’m gonna begin with a quick overview of the deals details, because I think it’s important to have sort of the actual fundamental structure of what is being built to take Twitter private in our minds, as we talk about the process going forward. But there’s also an additional note that I think is event. And this is one of those moments where I’m already working on this topic to share with you. And I read another article and I say to myself, ah, that’s connected in this Saturday’s wall street journal. There was an article titled everyone’s a critic and it’s time to read the books written by Alan Porter. The main idea of his article was that we are all being so bombarded with content that we can’t possibly read it all. So instead, what we end up doing is we comment on others, coverage of news stories, or even worse.

Kelly Barner (03:55):

We comment on other people’s comments in response to other people’s news stories. And we never go back to the source material. We’re all guilty of this. How often do you respond to share like comment on a story based on the title, based on the image, I’m a writer, but I’m always honest with people about this. I, I know it’s the pictures people are looking at as they score role and where does that lead us? So here’s a quote from that article that I wanna share with you consider journalism. The norm nowadays is for one reporter to break a story, followed by dozens or hundreds of journalists recycling that content they may add spin of their own, but rarely look into the issue for themselves even when this would require, but a few clicks and a couple of minutes to read a judicial verdict or legislative text, some journalists, scroll Twitter to find the story of the day and rewrite it in their own words and quote.

Kelly Barner (04:59):

So, first of all, we have to observe the irony. We’re here today to talk about Twitter’s role in being the public square or facilitating the common discourse. And Alan Porter is talking about Twitter being the only primary source. Many journalists will bother to consult. I guess that’s why people feel so passionately at this deal, but I heard his challenge in this and after all we do strive to do better than the average here at dial P. So here’s what I did. Obviously I’ve been reading recent news stories. I Googled up specific details, but I also read the eight K the eight K is a securities and exchange commission filing that some people in the news are also referring to as the merger agreement between Elon Musk and Twitter. Just for you. I read the whole thing all 80 pages. Now, first of all, I’m not saying that means you don’t have to read it.

Kelly Barner (06:01):

Primary sources are always better, but at least I’m telling you I’m pulling from a primary source to put together. These thoughts certainly doesn’t make me an expert, but I will say it changed my point of view, going back to the source material rather than just depending on others’ interpretations. The most important thing about it is that if you’ve never read an S E filing, I’m sure this comes as no surprise. It’s absolutely unemotional. Just the facts, little bit of legal leaves, but mostly just the facts. Now that said, let’s cover the basics of this deal. On April 25th, Elon Musk agreed to pay $54 and 20 cents a share for all of the outstanding shares of Twitter. Overall, that deal is worth about $44 billion. So where is the money coming from? It’s coming from two places, not quite an even split, but pretty close 25 and a half billion is coming in debt and margin loan financing.

Kelly Barner (07:10):

So they have Morgan, Stan Stanley, senior funding, and then bank of America and Barclays serving as financial advisors, 13 billion worth of loans have been secured against the value of Twitter, sort of like a home equity loan. Then 12.5 is a margin loan tied to 62 million shares of Tesla stock, which are currently trading at about $870 a piece. So that’s the bank backing that really kind of tipped the scales towards making this possible without this additional funding. There’s no way Elon was going to be able to come up with the capital to take Twitter private on his own, but he does have skin in this game. 21 billion is in equity or a cash contribution from Elon Musk himself. So if you’ve been watching, you know, that last week he sold off some of his Tesla stock about 5% of his holdings, which was worth about eight and a half billion dollars.

Kelly Barner (08:13):

It hasn’t been publicly stated yet where the rest is coming from. But piece of information, just for contact in 2021, inland mosque will pay about 11 billion in taxes. So the scale of the dollars that we’re playing with here are enormous, but relative to his overall worth and access to resources, it’s not out of this world, no space upon intended. So the interesting thing is what the eight K or the merger agreement also outlines about what happens between the signing and the actual closing. So the first word that caught my attention was merger agreement, because I think most of us are thinking of this as an acquisition. Hold that thought for a minute, because we’re gonna come back to that. Now, either party Elon Musk or Twitter can walk away from this whole thing for a billion dollar settlement fee. And if the shareholders fail to approve the sale, which isn’t expect, but you never know Twitter owes Elon a billion dollars for his trouble.

Kelly Barner (09:19):

Now, here are a couple of interesting other little details, especially since we know this is a hostile takeover. This is not something that Twitter’s board or officers were looking for. The eight case spells out that the board and officers will all stay in place until they don’t. So they can quit at any point. Once he’s in position, Elon Musks can fire them. But if nothing happens by default, they all carry over to the new company’s ownership. The existing board is also not allowed to encourage holders to reject the deal. They have to stay out of the vote. They unanimously approved the decision, but now they need to actually stay out of the vote other than authorizing a taking place. Now here’s the other interesting thing. The news is all Elon Musk buys Twitter, but people, individual people don’t buy companies of this scale companies by companies.

Kelly Barner (10:20):

So a week before making and having the official offer accepted Elon Musk created three holding companies that will play different roles in this deal going forward. Musk owns all three of them outright. They are very creatively named ex holdings. One. This is the parent company that will own all the others ex holdings two. This is the organization that will actually merge with Twitter. So I said, we would come back to merger. This isn’t an acquisition. This is Twitter, actually merging with ex holdings two, which will be a holding on subsidiary of ex holdings one. And then finding finally, ex holdings three, which will be used to move around some of the cash and capital associated with funding, the transaction. One little fund fact that may be part of the origin of these ex holdings companies. Elon Musk owns the domain rights to x.com. It was originally owned by PayPal.

Kelly Barner (11:18):

And then at some point along the way, Elon Musk bought it back. So there’s a little bit of speculation happening on the side about what he’s planning to do with x.com. There’s not really anything up on that site right now, but now that he’s naming these three holding companies after it, people are wondering if there’s some bigger plan of foot. Now, the hard part, especially for anybody like me, who’s excited about this deal is that now we’re going into sort of a gray time. Now we have to wait. It’s going to take some time for regulatory reviews and shareholder votes. And Elon Musk now gets an opportunity to look at Twitter’s books. He gets to look at everything beyond what was actually released because they’re a publicly traded company. He may find something in those books that changes his mind about what he wants to do.

Kelly Barner (12:10):

That is his right. We’re expecting a proxy statement within a few weeks. And then after that, all of the shareholder vote materials will be mailed out. Now, in terms of the timeline Twitter’s annual meeting is scheduled for May 25th. That may be too fast. That’s probably not when it’s going to happen, but you can imagine there’s gonna be a lot of attention on Twitter that day. If a majority of the shareholders vote to approve the deal, whenever it takes place, all of them have to sell. So this is a majority takes all kind of vote. Then they move on to the securities and exchange commission approval. Uh, now interestingly Twitter had 5 billion in revenue and 2021 to 0.8 billion of that was in the us 2.2 is abroad. So not only does the S E have to approve any countries where Twitter does business that 2.2 billion that happened abroad.

Kelly Barner (13:05):

They have to approve as well. And of course the federal trade commission and the department of justice have to review, but those are not expected to be a problem because their reviews are largely focused around antitrust concerns and neither Tesla nor SpaceX play in the same area as Twitter. So that’s more of a formal review. It’s not expected to be an issue. The one that people are more concerned about are potential challenges that could come from the S E C. Now Elon Mount has had a somewhat troubled relationship with them in the past, but there have even been a few questions that have been raised specific to this deal. Here are a few things that people are wondering if the S E is going to push back on prior to the official April 25th offer and acceptance, Elon had acquired 9.2% of the company by buying up shares, but there are filings that go with that size of investment.

Kelly Barner (14:04):

And there’s a question of whether some of those filings happened in a timely enough manner by March 11th, before most of us were even watching this story. Elon Musks owned 5% of the company’s stock, but he didn’t file around that until April 4th. So there’s a little bit of a question there. The other filing is that when he did finally fill out his paperwork, he opted to complete the short form, which is intended for passive investors rather than an active, and which is clearly now his intent. There’s a chance that this could delay the approval, but it’s unlikely to actually stop it. And some people are also saying that he may have broken the merger agreement terms, or at the very least the spirit of them, by some of the comments that he’s made that seem to disparage the way the company operates or its leadership. He probably should be staying away from some of that.

Kelly Barner (15:03):

But again, if the shareholders vote to approve, that is unlikely to actually stop the deal from going ahead. So we’re probably going to have to wait about three to six months for this deal to completely close, although it is expected to happen in this calendar year, the current merger agreement says that it should be completed by October 24th, but there’s built the built in provision for a six month extension. Now, we talked earlier about what happens to the board and the company officers, CEO per Agrawal, has committed that he will remain in place until the deal closes. I think everyone’s expectation would be that the day the company officially becomes private. He is going to begin some form of vacation, but he has committed for the sake of his employees and, and investors that he is going to stay in place until it’s finalized. Now, it is possible that there could be a higher bidder during this window of time.

Kelly Barner (16:01):

Although again, buried in the details of the a K they can’t shop themselves around. So they can’t say we really don’t want Elon Musk to come by us. And so we’re gonna go we’re and try to find a new friend. It would have to be spontaneously offered from some other quarter and come with equally competitive terms, as well as financial backing. Now, in terms of the timing, there are a few other interesting details here on April 28th. So just three days after this offer was accepted, we already knew that Twitter was going to report their Q1 earnings. They ended up not holding a call because the acquisition was already underway, or I should correct myself. Merger. Twitter knew they were likely to miss analyst revenue estimates. They ended up reporting 1.2 billion versus the 1.2 analysts were expecting, but they did beat estimates for earnings per share.

Kelly Barner (16:59):

They showed up with 4 cents instead of the 3 cents that were expected. All of those details put into play. There was certainly speculation that Twitter closed the deal with Elon on Monday, because it knew it was going to report disappointing or on Thursday, assuming this deal goes through, what will it mean for the operations of the company? So once they’ve been taken private, there will be fewer regulatory requirements placed on them as a company. And that includes less reporting documentation publicly available. They will no longer be answer to public shareholders, which in some ways also frees up the time required to make decisions. And then finally, they will have more time to focus on growing and altering the business. Instead of worrying about these rather regular earnings, reportings, and analyst review calls. Now I’ll leave. What happens once Elon Musk actually owns Twitter or his ex holdings one, two and three owns Twitter to the pundits, but those of us in business have to be able to follow the business side of this story.

Kelly Barner (18:07):

Even as we may be sort of interested by the drama of the general commentary. This story is an excellent opportunity for all of us to get to understand the merger process better. If possible, by going back to those original documents, they may not be easy to read, but it is well worth our effort, even if it only spares us from the emotion. That’s my point of view, though. Thank you for listening to this audio episode of dial P for procurement, but please don’t just listen, join the conversation and let me know what you think on this topic or others. I can take it. Let’s work together to figure out the best solution until next time. This is Kelly Barner for dial P for procurement on supply chain. Now have a great rest of your day.

Intro/Outro (18:59):

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

Hosts

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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Patch Reilly

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Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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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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Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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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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Host, Veteran Voices

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Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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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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Administrative Assistant

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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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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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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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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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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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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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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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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. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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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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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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