The military spouse unemployment rate has been at 24% for nearly a decade – but Monica Fullerton is on a mission to change all that. On this episode of Veteran Voices, host Scott Luton chats with Monica about Spouse-ly, a marketplace of goods and services she founded to create more flexible career opportunities for military spouses. A cross between Etsy and Angie’s List, Spouse-ly gives its shoppers the opportunity to purchase with purpose. Tune in to hear about the journey that led to Forbes Next 1000 status and the amazing sellers making Spouse-ly an enormous success. As an added bonus, Monica shares her advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs – so don’t miss out on this informative and inspirational episode!
Welcome to veteran voices, a podcast dedicated to giving a voice to those that have served in the United States. Armed forces on this series, jointly presented by supply chain. Now in bits to industry, we sit down with a wide variety of veterans and veteran advocates to gain their insights, perspective, and stories from serving. We talked with many individuals about their challenging transition from active duty to the private sector, and we discuss some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of veteran voices.
Scott Luton (00:48):
Hey, good afternoon. Good morning. Good evening. Wherever you are. Scott Luton, Monica Fullerton with you here on supply chain. Now, Hey, it’s veteran voices takeover day. Monica, how are you doing?
Monica Fullerton (01:00):
Hey Scott. I’m doing good. How are you?
Scott Luton (01:02):
Doing wonderful. Wonderful. And we sh, as we shared pre-show with you, Monica, your ears have been burning because we are team Monica here, team spouse Lee here at supply chain now, and veteran voices. A great to see you again. Yes,
Monica Fullerton (01:15):
You too. I love that. That’s what I always say. Me and the twins always say that team spouse li
Scott Luton (01:21):
Awesome. I’m going to get some t-shirts. Yeah, but so today, so in lieu of our traditional supply chain now lobstering that we typically do at 12 noon on Thursdays, we wanted to back things up a little bit and focus on a Monica story of entrepreneurship. The spouse’s story, we’re going to offer up some easy and valuable ways that you can support special entrepreneurial communities this holiday season. So stay tuned for that. And Monica has got an inspiring story. So you’re going to want to hear a lot of her key takeaways, experiences and Eureka moments. So Monica, I should give you a formal introduction. So Monica Fullerton, founder, and CEO of spouse lead special co-host of our veteran voices podcast series, and also a very proud and hardworking military spouse, right? Yes. Air force go air force. All right. So we’re going to dive into her journey here momentarily, but thanks for joining us here. Really appreciate folks tuning in and we want to hear from you. So you know, the comments or the sky boxes as we call them around here, drop in your questions, drop in your comments, drop in your experiences, your POV. That’s what we’re after here on all of our labs streams. So Monica, I’m looking forward to sharing your POV with us, our community here, but are you ready to dive in? Try another live stream here at supply chain. Now
Monica Fullerton (02:37):
I’m ready. I’m always ready. I can’t know the question. So I don’t know.
Scott Luton (02:42):
Well, you know, and that’s where we found that pre-show folks, we found out that Monica and I are, are a bit different when it comes to prep. Monica likes to go into conversations kind of blind so that she doesn’t know the questions ahead of time. Goodness gracious, Monica. I planned breakfast a week prior. We’re geared
Monica Fullerton (03:00):
To my house, please. We could use some of that because I’m not like a last minute person. It’s so weird. I’m very structured and organized. But I feel like when I know the questions or I do any prepping, I get like in my head, cause it’s only natural. I feel like with anything that you do, you get in your head about things, so, right,
Scott Luton (03:17):
Right. I’m going to, I’m going to try to take a page out of your book, but in the meantime, Hey, let’s do a couple of quick before we say a load of folks. Let’s share a couple of quick announcements here. Folks. These are great professional development market, Intel gathering, learning opportunities. Next week, we’re partnering up with a ups, Crocs and sun joy on the 26th of October. We’re all talking about getting through this supply chain, squeeze, not just in fourth quarter of 2021, but in the next year. So join us, support some wonderful best practices and expertise and some ideas I imagine for how you and your organization can get through it. So that link to join and sign up for free is in the show notes. And I’ve got one other I want to share with y’all on November 9th, similar topics. We’re talking about supply chain, resiliency and agility. And how can you build more of that into your global supply chains next year and beyond? And we’ve got the one and only Larissa Sarah joining me and Madoff as we partner with Kupa and supply chain insights there on November 9th. So join us for that. And link to sign up is in the show notes. Okay. So Monica, we also on the front end here. I see Bruce. Thompson’s where this Bruce. Great to see you. We want to give a big old hug, high five, lots of love to our friends at vets to industry, right?
Monica Fullerton (04:33):
Yep. That’s how we met.
Scott Luton (04:34):
That is how we met now. Monica, I’ve shared with our community countless times about vets to industry, but in a nutshell, what do they do?
Monica Fullerton (04:42):
Yeah, I am a huge fan of EDS to industry. I feel like I plugged them in whenever I can. I talk about them all the time, um, because it’s just such a great community filled with amazing people. I went to my first vets to industry networking event. Gosh, it’s been months and months ago now, but I just remember leaving that event. And I remember messaging, um, Leslie who invited me. I was in tears because I left that event with so many meaningful connections, just, you know, learning about other people, finding ways to help one another. And it was just a very powerful event. And there’s so many events out there. But what I will say is it’s a room full of great people looking to connect each other, bridging the gap, trying to find employment, diving into entrepreneurship. And it’s just run by the most amazing people to
Scott Luton (05:31):
I’m with ya. Monica echo, everything. You just shared folks, vets to industry, and you can learn email@example.com. They got your back. You know, if you’re a transitioning veteran, if you’re a military family, they vet hundreds of resources. So not only do you not have to do as much homework, perhaps, but it’s easier to find resources to fit your needs, especially if you’re transitioning because we all know who you know, and that networking factor is so important. So check out vets to industry.org and Hey, make sure you connect with Bruce Thompson who is owned there. I think in our senior leadership team also
Monica Fullerton (06:06):
Known as Batman.
Scott Luton (06:07):
Oh, I didn’t know that.
Monica Fullerton (06:09):
Yeah, he’s gotten, he’s just a super connector and a superhero. So very grateful for Bruce and his wife. They’re amazing.
Scott Luton (06:16):
Awesome. Well, Hey, connect with Bruce connect with vets to industry.org, a slew events coming up again. If you’re a transitioning veteran in particular, make sure you connect with vents to industry.org. All right. So speaking of we got Batman, we have, we have super heroes in, in our, uh, sky boxes here. Let’s say low Crisanta. I’ll say that right. Monica. Perhaps.
Monica Fullerton (06:37):
I always mess it up when I say it, Chris, Anthony. Right? Krisann see. Cause
Scott Luton (06:42):
Monica Fullerton (06:44):
We’d just chat. She’s amazing. She’s doing so many wonderful things. Have you had a chance to talk to her yet? Not yet. You have to. She’s awesome.
Scott Luton (06:53):
I we’ll add that to our to-do list. Great to have you here, Chris, Anthony we’ll look forward to your perspective. Of course Bruce’s also team Monica team. Spousely I agree with you there. Larry Klein is with us. He is a, I believe he’s an army veteran. He’s also in supply chain. Uh, he just took on a new role. So Larry, great to see you. I hope this finds you well and folks, Monica folks may not know here. I know that, uh, you’ve been on several shows with us, but folks may not know or remember that you’ve got a bit of a supply chain background, right?
Monica Fullerton (07:21):
No, I was just thinking that when I saw ups on there, yeah, I was in logistics for a long time prior to this. And it’s just has what allowed me to get where I’m at today. Just kind of learning the industry that ends and outs, love supply chain logistics, always talking about 53 foot dry vans. Oop,
Scott Luton (07:40):
We love it. We’ll have to set up another episode. Talk about that in particular. Hey Peter bow lay all night and all day is with us a huge, um, maybe not a military veteran, but a 25 year veteran, especially of air cargo and that portion and procurement and that portion of supply chain. So Peter hope this finds you well, Hey, let us know, drop in if you can. And hopefully I’m not getting in trouble here, but Peter’s got a new venture. He’s gonna be helping lots of organizations, a drop that news in the chats. We want to share that with folks there as well. All right. And one more call out here. Bruce mentioned the next big event that vets to industry.org has got come up, uh, coming up and he’s he’s on top of it. He’s already added a link to the comments. So you’re one click away. So yes.
Monica Fullerton (08:23):
Make sure you attend at least one of those because you’ll be coming back for more
Scott Luton (08:28):
Wonderful. And by the way, don’t don’t you like validation, Monica, you nailed it. So Chris Santhi,
Monica Fullerton (08:34):
I mean, my husband makes fun of me because I’m so bad at names. It’s like, I could be like best friends with someone forever. And I still like second guess myself with names. That’s like the one thing for some reason that I have a hard time with so good. I’m glad I did that because I’m a huge fan. So
Scott Luton (08:49):
It is important. Yeah. Okay. So with no further ado and welcome everybody and we couldn’t hit everybody looking forward to hearing your comments and sharing your perspectives and questions with the conversation today, we have a wonderful conversation teed up with Monica Fullerton, who I’ve been pleased and honored to collaborate with on a variety of things around here, but Monica, for a handful of folks that may not know, or to get to know you better. And I’m going to start with some fun, warm up questions that you have no idea what I’m going to ask you about. Right? Let’s do it as life is very interestingly enough, it really kind of relates to our pre-show conversation that we were having with Amanda and Jada who were behind the scenes. Thank you, Amanda and Jayda for all that. Your production good work. All right. So yesterday, uh, Monica, we’re talking about wonderful, incredible people that man and Chris Santhi and others, I was talking with Minda Harts yesterday. Now Minda should have had our books handy. She is author of the memo, a bestseller award-winning book called the memo. And then her next release is right within. Now at the beginning of our conversation with men and will be published in that a couple of weeks, we were talking about a couple of fun things that she’s been known to be obsessed about. And for her it was grits and rap lyrics. Now, first question for you, Monica, is, are you a grits fan? And more importantly, you don’t put sugar in your grits, do you?
Monica Fullerton (10:10):
So I will say, I don’t think I’ve had grits since I was like at cracker barrel last time. And that’s like my Grammy’s favorite place to go. So I can’t really say I’m a fan. It’s good. I like to do what I love food. So I’ll pretty much eat anything.
Scott Luton (10:24):
All right. So
Monica Fullerton (10:25):
Just to put the, what did you say? Butter,
Scott Luton (10:28):
Sugar. Some folks put sugar in grits. Why
Monica Fullerton (10:31):
Is it supposed to be like,
Scott Luton (10:34):
Okay. Yes. She’s grits of course, reign Supreme around around this part, this part of the world. Our kids love it. And of course Amanda’s mother not take anything away from man is cooking. She’s a, she’s a chef, but Bammy as it were, she makes the best cheese grits. Monica, the only problem is she small portions or managing our portions around here, I could eat a whole crock pot of this. Absolutely what we’re going to arrange for that. All right. So the compelling, hard hitting questions on the front end of our time with Monica Fulton here today. All right. So beyond grits, there’s a couple things you, you shed some light on that. You’re obsessed about what else in a fun way. What’s a one or two things that you’re obsessed about that maybe some folks may not know Monica.
Monica Fullerton (11:18):
Let’s see, what am I obsessed about? I love decorating like interior design and decorating that’s honestly. So I, I’m not a big workout person. I really don’t have like an outlet where I can unwind and distress. So for me, it’s decorating, which is kind of interesting. I don’t like sitting down on the couch very often. So if I’m doing something and trying to unwind, I’m moving around the house, like rearranging things or decorating and putting things in places that my husband can never find again. And he always yells at me. So, yeah.
Scott Luton (11:51):
Alright. So obsessed getting stuff done in a particular way and decoration around the house. Okay. Fair enough. One final question for you. We’ve got a for some folks, the, one of the biggest holidays of the year is Halloween. Okay. I’m not one of those folks. It’s one of my least favorite holiday. If we’re being honest and keeping it real, it’s one of my least favorite holidays, but Hey, my kids love it. And that makes it very important to us. Any big Halloween traditions there at the Fullerton household,
Monica Fullerton (12:20):
Not really any traditions, I’m trying to get better into like dressing up with the twins because now they’re at the age where they’re like, why are you not dressing up to? So I think this year we probably should start that tradition for as long as they’ll allow us to dress up and go with them. But I would say we’re kind of at that peak age. Oh, we do. Like we actually, I have one, it’s not really Halloween. It’s more kind of like Thanksgiving, but we make sauerkraut balls in our family and nobody really has heard of those, but it’s a whole day event and you just make this year, we want to make 5,000 of them. Wow. Yeah. Everybody has like a different part of the job, like dipping in the egg, breading it, rolling it. And if you roll a bit, the balls too big, you get in trouble. So that, that is a tradition that we’ve had.
Scott Luton (13:05):
I can feel my heartburn coming on with just you, you sharing, uh,
Monica Fullerton (13:08):
Good watching football, eating sauerkraut balls, the fall pumpkin candle going. It’s amazing.
Scott Luton (13:14):
Well, we’re going to have to drop the recipe in the comments. Okay. Okay. Really quick. I want to share this from an as I think this is Amanda or Jadah. Never heard of sauerkraut balls, but I’m intrigued. We’ll we’ll track down that, uh, recipe definitely put butter and grits, but no sugar. We agree with that. All right. So Peter bullae says, thanks Scotland for the call-out. After 25 years of working at air Canada, just having come off a 10 month consulting contract. And he’s just decided to hang his own shingle on the door as H PB strategic solutions. And he also in a, in a subsequent comment, kind of lays out loud things he’ll be doing there. So y’all check that out at a very, at a minimum, make sure you connect with Peter he’s one heck of a great guy and an incredible supply chain guru. So, all right. So Monica, speaking of gurus, let’s get to know you a little better here. So tell us, tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up or a little about your professional background or just what you love to do. Tell us
Monica Fullerton (14:10):
So born and raised in a small town in Ohio, it’s called Medina, Ohio. There’s always Ohio fans out there somewhere. So I always, it depends on who you’re talking to you to say the town or to say, you know, the nearest biggest city. So we’re from Medina, Ohio. My husband’s actually from there as well. So all of our family’s in the same place. We are high school sweethearts. He moved away to go to college in Colorado and I moved to south Florida. We broke up. We never thought in a million years, we’d get back together. Just stayed friends. And here we are today. We are back together and live in this military life. And just amazing to see how small town, two folks can turn everything around. So
Scott Luton (14:52):
Would that make y’all Ohio state Buckeye fans?
Monica Fullerton (14:55):
Yes, we are. We are. We love making Buckeyes too. That’s another great recipe.
Scott Luton (15:00):
Okay. We’re going to have to, so we do a supply chain, chow channel Facebook, and we have a lot of fun with that. So Monica, we’re gonna have to have you join so you can drop some of those recipes in there. Okay. And really quick, Monica, we, we missed a shout out and she’s not with us here today, but Kelly Barner and buyer’s meeting point are tremendous supporters of the veteran, really the veteran community, the military community. And of course they’ve sponsored several of our episodes of veteran voices. So a huge shout out to Kelly Barner and buyers, meaning point and Amanda or Jaida or Allie, if we can drop a link to buyer’s meeting point in the comments, that’d be great. All right. So Monica, now that we’ve got a little note clearly you’re you got some culinary leanings, and we’ve also speaking of, we’ve also established pre-show that especially black licorice, thumbs down, not fans, not going to be in Halloween trick or treat bags this year, right. Danny corn might according to you and Amanda with peanuts with peanuts. Okay. All right. So I want to dive into, you know, the main, the main topic we’re gonna talk about here today is the business that you’ve built, right? The, the platform, the community you’ve built called spousely. So for starters, just to level set folks, I may not have heard some of your earlier appearances with us. Tell us about spousal.
Monica Fullerton (16:17):
Yeah. Spousely is an online marketplace where you can shop a wide variety of handmade products and services all created by military and first responder families. I like to call it at sea meets Angie’s list, but with a focus on shopping for social good and supporting our nation’s heroes.
Scott Luton (16:35):
Wow. I love that. Shopping for social good shopping with a purpose. Uh, have you seen, um, Shaq, you know, is now a spokesperson and I think he’s also an investor perhaps in Papa John’s pizza, and we all love shack, right? They’ve baked in these commercials because I think a dollar per pizza goes to a nonprofit. And so they’re all talking about pizza with purpose and what a, what a beautiful tagline. And so there’s a lot of parallels with spousely right? Shopping, spinning those, those e-commerce dollars, those holiday gift dollars and putting them towards, you know, the special entrepreneur community veteran entrepreneurs are what’s
Monica Fullerton (17:15):
That purchase with purpose
Scott Luton (17:17):
Purchase with purpose veteran entrepreneurs, military spouse, entrepreneurs, first responders, military families, you know, folks that have a wide degree of responsibilities that go beyond, you know, maybe a traditional nine to five, right. And I’ve done good things for society and for the globe and supporting their businesses that at the core is what spouse’s all about, right?
Monica Fullerton (17:41):
Yes. And for us and for our community, it’s so much more than a marketplace it’s providing that flexibility and stability, living a life on the go, especially, you know, I’m a military spouse myself. So I know firsthand the different struggles that we face and we’re moving around about every two to three years, it makes it hard to hold a traditional career that kind of fits into our lifestyle.
Scott Luton (18:03):
All right. And, and a lot of folks may not know that that might be in the blind spot in terms of, of some of the challenges out there for, for military spouses of military families, right?
Monica Fullerton (18:12):
Yeah. The military spouse unemployment rate has actually been at 24% for nearly a decade. And it’s because of those challenges, you know, frequent cross-country moves spouses deploying. The spouse has to take on a lot of the responsibility at home trying to hold down the Fort, juggle everything that sometimes it’s just not possible to work in a traditional nine to five jobs. So many spouses are turning to entrepreneurship, which is what inspired me to create spousely.
Scott Luton (18:42):
And that’s where we’re going next really quick. Before we ask about your why 24%, holy cow, we’ve got, we’ve got to do something about that, but the put, you know, we’re really practical folks around here at supply chain. Now, at least I know I am. I want to show y’all one of the products I got from spousely, this was a five pound bag of delicious coffee, Nicaraguan citrus from, I don’t know, the person. Yeah.
Monica Fullerton (19:06):
And sassy. And she, the owner is Melissa. She is a veteran herself as well. And she has started this amazing coffee business. And she actually does so many fun things. She has a podcast where she’s bringing people together, enjoying a cup of coffee, making fun recipes. And we’re just excited to have her on spousal,
Scott Luton (19:28):
Love that. And you know what I loved even more than this coffee is how you knew. You knew the story behind this, this product that is a, and that it really illustrates the community that you’re building. Right. And your passion for doing it. I want to sh before we talk about your why yes. I want to bring in Christina. Kay. Rod is with us here today. Now we need to interview Christina. Cause I can get know her background a little better, but she loves the
Monica Fullerton (19:55):
Yeah. Mate, cammo your cause. Uh, we partnered with us vets, uh, for they’re doing make camel your cause right now in honor of veterans day, us vets is trying to do everything they can to help end veteran homelessness. So what we did is we partnered up with some of our vendors who created specific cammo products on spousely and then spousely is donating our proceeds to us vets. And then we also have a donate button on the site right now, too, as well. And it’s exciting because you know, I’ve wanted to do things like that, partner up with a nonprofit, find ways to just continue supporting our community. And it’s cool to see how the vendors on spousely came together and made these special products
Scott Luton (20:38):
That, uh, and by the way, Christine, let me know if you’re a veteran. I know that you’re leading the veterans associate group. I’ll call it. There’s another word for that at Colliers international, uh, Monica, Christina was just promoted to a big regional operations role. And I think she’s also, uh, leading that, that veterans, uh, affinity group within, you know, the really big organization that, that, that Colliers is. So, Hey, Christina, let us know if you’re a veteran and thanks for being here as part of live stream, we love the cammo our calls, tagline and initiative as well. ERG. Yes. Thank you. Amanda. Employee resource group. That’s right. All right. So again, circling back to a second ago, I love how you knew the story behind Southern sweet and sassy the brand. Let’s just coffee we have. And tell us, what was your wife for establishing spouse? I bet I can guess it, it like it exudes pay it just, it, you exude the passion and the purpose, but tell us what prompted you. What’s your why?
Monica Fullerton (21:36):
Yeah, so I was very lucky to have a full-time corporate career. Like we were talking about and logistics. Um, I was working remote. I was traveling, but then as I started to meet more people and other fellow military spouses, I started to learn that not everybody had as easy of a time finding something like I did where it can kind of piece into our lifestyle. Like we talked about. And these are just so many amazing spouses. They’re talented, they’re creative, they’re educated, they just have this, this just something about them in our community. It’s that super power to want to support one another. And I started looking into it more and just becoming familiar with the community that I was a part of and realize that there is just so much talent within our military community alone, that I wanted to bring everyone together in one easy place for people to shop small and make a big impact. And all of our vendors are, um, approved in the military and first responder community from our partnership with gov X and then anyone can come onto the platform to support our nation’s heroes.
Scott Luton (22:43):
It’s such a beautiful thing. And you all have seen tremendous growth this year, right? Monica.
Monica Fullerton (22:48):
Yeah. We’ve seen a lot of growth. So we launched right before the pandemic. I was still working. My full-time corporate career was getting spousely off the ground. So the first year of spousely, I was juggling both working full-time and running a business and quickly learned that our mission is not only powerful, it’s viable, and it’s making such a big impact that I made the full leap into entrepreneurship. And since making that leap, we’ve just had a ton of great growth. Um, we just partnered up with USA, small business insurance, uh, we’re over 350 vendors now adding more on a daily basis and just continuing to spread the spouse. They love.
Scott Luton (23:29):
I love that. Okay. I want to circle back. Christina is a veteran of the U S army K rot as she’s affectionately known. She was military police and it is the call years veterans employee resource group that she leads now. So Christina, we’re gonna have to get you own veteran voices, and we’re going to dive into your story. Thanks for being here today. Okay. So Monica, if I heard you right, 350 or so vendors that make up the spousal, the community today, what’s your, can you share if you can, if you can’t, that’s fine. What’s your target say by the end of 2022, what, how big do you think that community is going to be?
Monica Fullerton (24:07):
Yeah, I will say, um, everything has been done up to this point in a bootstrapping. I’ve done everything myself. And so now it’s time to take spouse to the next level. So obviously with more funds, more help and support, we’re hoping to see those numbers continue to grow. I would, I would say that they should at least triple with the right funding and help a behind spouse lead because up until this point, you know, I’ve been kind of holding up everything as a solo manure and just, I feel like the wall right now. So it’s exciting to just knock that wall down, continue expanding and growing, improving our tech, our marketing, and just being there for one another.
Scott Luton (24:47):
Monica. I love it. And I’ve got full faith. I think you said triple. I think, I think through that, I think you’re going to triple. Yeah, you’re going to blow it up. A undoubtedly
Monica Fullerton (24:58):
The most amazing part is, and you know, that number might not seem very big right now going from 30 to over 350 vendors and pretty much a year is the fact that we haven’t done any marketing to get those vendors on the platform. It’s all been word of mouth. And to me, every time I talk about it, it really does give me full body chills because it just shows that something like spousely was needed for our community. And it’s so much more like I talked about than a marketplace. It’s just bridging that gap and bringing us all together.
Scott Luton (25:28):
We’re going to make a purchase today. And I don’t want to challenge the folks are listening to this. Hey, we all use a variety of sources for, uh, you know, end of year, the holiday gift buying. Of course, the big a goodness gracious. I wonder if we can really do some research what that percentage would be there, but there’s a number of coffees. Just one example of numerous products at spousely, as it’s grown and you’ve got different vendors, different products, you name it. Hey, check out. Spousely the URL Monica for spousely.
Monica Fullerton (25:58):
We just purchased spousely.com without the dash as well. So you can do spouse lee.com or spouse dash L y.com. And you will get there or just type it in Google and it will come up. Well, that was a big purchase. So I’m still kind of like unwinding from that, but it was very much needed because you know, people were having a hard time if they didn’t quite catch the dash and spousely so yes, redirecting now.
Scott Luton (26:23):
Okay. So spousal.com. It’s just that easy spouse. L y.com. Yep. All right. So Larry Klein was also an army military police and a supply NCO non-commissioned officer Larry. I love that. We need to circle back. Eric is with us here today. Clearly Eric is a star Trek fan Trekkie. Great to see you there, Eric and Bruce says, and I agree, word of mouth is an amazing thing. And our military and veteran community spot on Bruce. And it’s so important. Yeah. I think one of my favorite things about this community is we, collaboration comes, can come oftentimes natural, you know, we support each other, we lift each other up, you know, tough days. Uh, and then the days where you’re at the top of the mountain, right, you’re, you’re blowing up from, from 30 to three 50. And with, with plans to go even bigger, to take over the world in 2022.
Scott Luton (27:13):
And it’s important to celebrate that as a community. So, all right. So I’m checking my, my checklist here. We’ve reminded folks use spousely for the holiday season. And again, this is a veteran voices take over of supply chain now on our traditional Thursday live stream. So, all right. So Monica switched shifting gears from spousely and all the cool things going on there too, again, that military spouse, their journey, and some of the blind spots that we all may have. What else should folks know about, you know, the challenge and, and the journey that is being a military spouse?
Monica Fullerton (27:49):
Yeah, I think a lot of it boils down to identity and that’s something that I struggled with. I had my own hopes and dreams, you know, when I went to college and had, I’m a checklist kind of person, when it comes to goals and quickly learn that you have to pivot, we are really great at pivoting, but it’s so important as a military spouse that you also still do what you love while supporting your spouse and their journey in the military. So it’s an identity and really zoning in on how to make sure you’re always staying true to what you want to do and finding the ways to really make it happen.
Scott Luton (28:26):
That pivoting, if I’ll tell you, if all of us collectively have learned one thing at the last two years, it’s the importance of having a backup plan to your backup plan, to your backup plan, right?
Monica Fullerton (28:39):
Always a backup plan, always
Scott Luton (28:40):
A backup plan, and is also part of the challenge, Monica, that, you know, you mentioned the moving around a lot, right? Because you’re when I was in the military, you get the orders and you go where the orders take in it. And you might be there for, you know, a good chunk of your career. Kasia only rarely you see folks that have one permanent duty station, their entire careers, but for the most part, folks can move around a lot based on where the mission takes them in that Monica can make it challenging to grow roots that give you the support to do big things in life, right?
Monica Fullerton (29:13):
Yeah. And that’s where I, my passion truly lies is providing that extra income generating opportunity, no matter where the military life sends our families. And especially as a military spouse, finding ways to continue bridging that gap and doing what you love, keeping your identity, um, still being able to hold down the Fort, but also, you know, having what you like to do the most kind of up there at the top lines as well.
Scott Luton (29:39):
Love that. Okay. One final question. Then I want to switch over to veteran voices. Some of the guests we’ve had on our collaborative shows. Yeah. You have twins, right?
Monica Fullerton (29:48):
Yes. Five, five years old.
Scott Luton (29:50):
Okay. Sons or daughters. Again, I forgot
Monica Fullerton (29:54):
That. Where the eminent family,
Scott Luton (29:57):
What have they, based on your time as entrepreneur and a founder and that journey, what have they noticed and, and what have they picked up on that you’re really proud of?
Monica Fullerton (30:07):
Yeah. I think just them seeing me following my dreams, cause it’s so easy to talk about and tell our kids, follow your dreams, you know, anything is possible. And that’s really what we talk about with our children. Right. But there’s nothing better than actually showing them firsthand. And so it’s funny because the twins will be at school and they’ll be talking to their teachers about spousely or something will come in the mail. And they’re like, is that from spousely? And I mean, they’re only five. So the fact that they just know what’s going on, they see me live in action. Following my dreams, um, has been the most rewarding piece from the home front, just showing them firsthand what it takes to actually follow your dreams.
Scott Luton (30:47):
I love it. Modeling, modeling that behavior for them. And I know their team spousely as we are here. Yeah. Okay. So we had a, I’ve had a blast thus far on just a handful of episodes with veteran voices. And I’m really, I love the guests that you’ve brought to the table, very frankly, and transparently. It really dawned on me that we haven’t put that spotlight on enough military spouses that we’ve really focused on the, on the veterans themselves and, and Monica as you and I have agreed. And we said it numerous times, really the whole family serves, you know, the veteran may be the one putting the uniform on, but the family serves. Right.
Monica Fullerton (31:23):
Yep. It just, sometimes you don’t see the uniform, but there’s still a lot going on behind the scenes. And I think anybody who, um, has a spouse that’s in the military will always say everything’s possible because of their spouse, because they’re the ones kind of helping make all the behind the scenes happen.
Scott Luton (31:40):
Yep. I completely agree. Okay. Which is one, which is just one of the thousands of reasons why we got that attack that 24% unemployment number and make sure we make it easier for spouses and families to succeed. All right. So I want to, so a couple shows we’ve had, uh, graphics are ready to go. So Katie, Katie is the prod of Butler, Wisconsin. I love some of her stories around that. That’s just outside of Milwaukee, her and her family, if you recall, and I’m sure you do Monica, because it sounds like, you know, these folks like, you know, family,
Monica Fullerton (32:13):
My biggest things is getting to know the vendors because it’s amazing learning about them and their stories. Cause they’re a true inspiration.
Scott Luton (32:20):
So her family extended family are ingrained in the community. They’re in Butler. And she tell us about what Katie does as part of her spousely. Uh,
Monica Fullerton (32:32):
So Katie owns a company called Levin lettering by Katie. And basically she is just so amazing at like calligraphy and designing, um, different like signs and mugs. This is one of her mugs. I use it all the time. Cause it’s my favorite mug. It says everyday I’m hustling. So she just has a wonderful shop with just great handmade products that are perfect for gifts. But the thing that I love about Katie is that she’s also a nurse and she is a mom and she’s a military spouse. And that’s a lot of times the emo for everybody that’s in the spouse community. We have a lot of different titles. We wear a lot of different hats, but what brings us together is that creative outlet and just having something that can take our mind off of the ups and downs of the military lifestyle. So her, her shop is, is incredible. She has so many great things. And I just love the fact that she is also a nurse and she’s has this amazing creative outlet. I agree.
Scott Luton (33:30):
I read and loved their interview there. And of course you can find that folks at veteran voices, or you can go to supply chain now.com. You can click on the library for any of our shows, elaborate a tab and you can search based on the keyword or guests or you name it. Okay. And by the way, Bruce says thout Nala, which I think is his wife, his wife. He says I would never have made the level. I did. Mil spouses are incredible people. I agree with you Bruce. And let us know what branch and what you did if you, if you, if you don’t mind, but I’d be interested to hear that. Alright. And then, so that was just the first episode. I think, where we collaborated the second go round was with Eric Gates who founded and leads a devil dog coffee company. He’s also a Marine and Eric had a remarkable story of coming back from some pretty, some tough places in life. Huh?
Monica Fullerton (34:26):
Yeah. He also is a pastor. He also is a police officer, a veteran. And like I said, that’s, that’s truly what the spouse like community is filled up of just such inspiring people. But yeah, Eric, um, went through a hard time after he transitioned from being a veteran at well, he is a veteran, but you know, from his time in service and then also going into, um, being a police officer, he went through some struggles and the power of coffee is what really kept him pushing forward. It was those meaningful connections that you have with others over a cup of coffee. And so he started his own coffee business and we’ve been a huge fan of Eric since day one. He’s actually been one of our first vendors on the platform. Uh, so he’s been a part of the spouse lead journey for, for a while now. And just so grateful for his transparency and sharing his story and being an inspiration to our community,
Scott Luton (35:20):
An absolute inspiration and only episode he talked about, um, they’ve got a new,
Monica Fullerton (35:26):
We have a van, a coffee, um, is it a bus or a van? I don’t really know what the right word is to call it, but it’s amazing. So he’s having so much fun doing that because before he was actually doing, you know, deliveries and stuff in the Austin area out of his car. And so he went and he purchased a van, it was one of his big wishlist items and totally painted, painted it, branded it, everything. And now he’s getting so much business from just, you know, driving around, stopping at places and having that great cup of coffee with people. Okay.
Scott Luton (35:55):
I love it. I love it. And, and he is having the time of his life is alright. So I wanna, uh, kind of put you on the spot a little bit, if you wouldn’t really, it hadn’t dawned on me until now, and it should have given some of our past conversations of just how, how well, you know, the folks that make up a spousal community. So when you think about some of the folks maybe that have joined, uh, in recent months, right? Some of the newest members of the community, what are some of your favorite people or products or stories there?
Monica Fullerton (36:27):
Yeah, so we, um, you know, we have families of all different sizes, people with different backgrounds and things like that. We actually have a new vendor. Her name is Mel. She is a widow. Um, it, and just her strength has truly inspired me. She, her husband passed away about three years ago and she has found the strength encouraged to write a book. And her book is coming out on veterans day. It’s available on spouse leave, but just getting to know her as a person, as a friend, read it, I got the privilege of reading her book before it actually has come out. And it just really keeps me pushing forward, knowing the strengths that our community truly has. And so she’s a new vendor on spousely, I’m a gold star family. We’ve got, I was actually just on a call yesterday with an amazing new vendor.
Monica Fullerton (37:18):
She’s in Hawaii. We have a lot of vendors in Hawaii, which is awesome. And she has these beautiful scarfs that she’s designing herself. So it’s all hand drawn, scarfs her prints, and she’s getting them put on to, you know, products that you can wear and take with you. And she also is like me, she comes from a corporate background, was making the salary she always wanted, but that passion was missing. Right. And now she’s pursuing it. So there’s just a lot of great stories I could go on and on because I do know that that’s where my passion lies is getting to know the vendors. And I cannot wait for the day that I’m kind of out of the backend, the trenches of the tech side of it. And I can just focus on that.
Scott Luton (38:00):
Well, you read my mind, uh, you really all read my mind. I, I sat down with a couple of what I’ll call a FinTech gurus. You know, we live in the era of financial technology because of all these transactions that e-commerce in particular requires, uh, and secure transactions. Right. And, and it was, uh, so Theo was one, uh, fail. And I cannot remember, uh, so Amanda, if you can drop that episode in the comments they O and Bradley were the two, and they had just written a book tech for good and it in there, it was fascinating. I mean, they’re much smarter than they have prior forgotten things. I’ve never, we’ll never cracked the code on, but let’s talk for a second. You mentioned about your role and, and kind of, you know, in any startup, the founders are wearing all kinds of hats, right. And given the focus on FinTech, even by extension supply chain tech in this era, hot, hot space, any lessons learned other than your you’re looking forward to stepping out, but what might surprise folks or what were some things that you had to learn about that aspect of the business spousal? Yeah.
Monica Fullerton (39:07):
Well, I feel like with any entrepreneur you’re faced with quickly having to learn different areas that you just are not the expert in, because you don’t have enough funds or resources to be able to outsource it or bring people into your team. So just being able to know the basics of different areas, I will say is one of the biggest takeaways that I’ve learned, but then you quickly have to sit back and evaluate your time on, you know, if I bring somebody in that knows this better, we could get there a lot faster. So just knowing where to put your effort and where to put the funds that you do have into powering what you’re doing. I have quickly learned that I am not an expert in a lot of different areas, but it’s gotten us this far. So we have to always be grateful for the foundation that we pour. But now when it comes to building and building that company, you have to make sure that you’re letting others in, who are experts in those areas.
Scott Luton (40:08):
And those are some, some lessons are easier, more easily learn than others in this entrepreneurial journey in that right amount of,
Monica Fullerton (40:16):
Yes. So true. And I feel like, you know, any failure that we might see on our journey has been one of the best ways to learn, to keep you pushing forward. Because if you read about anybody’s startup journey, you kind of can see that it’s just up, down, up, down, but where we learn the most is actually in those down moments that you never thought you’d be able to get something out of
Scott Luton (40:38):
Love that. All right. I want to say, Bruce came back with us Marine Corps, 23 years with the Marine Corps, communications, electronics, maintenance manager, and senior enlisted advisor. And that’s a really important role. I mean, this in, in a, in a positive way, it’s kinda almost like a staff psychologist, cheerleader, helping our enlisted folks get through challenges, whether it’s them or their family, uh, you know, they’re protectors of a spree decor in many ways. So Bruce man, but we could, we could learn a lot from your experience over those 23 years. So thanks for sharing. And then Amanda or the team it dropped in this. Um, I talked about the FinTech gurus pros with a purpose and tech for good. You’ll check that out with Theo and Bradley there. All right. So you don’t like to brag on yourself. I know, but I’m going to do it for you because you were recognized with a big award from Forbes, right? The big global behemoth. Tell us about that.
Monica Fullerton (41:37):
Yeah. So recently named on the Forbes next 1000 list, um, which was just such a huge, um, I don’t even know it was an accomplishment, but it was, I can’t even explain it. It honestly chokes me up every time because when you’re in the trenches and you’re doing so much, it’s hard to kind of come up and see the work that’s being done. So that just really was able to seal the deal on spousely is, uh, impactful. It’s making a difference and that it’s truly providing our community with something new. So yes, the Forbes next 1000 list, we also did just win the startup Nevada pitch competition as well. So that was fun.
Scott Luton (42:16):
Wow. You’re on a roll. So own that note and, and, and just a heads up to the production team. We may finish up a smidge earlier here today, but Monica, there’s already some tips and some advice and learnings just in this interview thus far for other founders or potential entrepreneurs. But if you had to think for a second, you know, some things that you wish you really knew, you know, back way back before the pandemic way before you started spousely what would be some of those things, or maybe even some advice for potential founders.
Monica Fullerton (42:47):
Yeah. I actually just posted about this on LinkedIn before we hopped on. Um, I will say my biggest lesson that I’ve learned is perfection is not the key to success. I think a lot of us spend so much time, um, thinking everything has to be perfect right out of the gates. It has to look good. It has to function good, but you quickly learn that it’s, it’s not reality when you are building something from the ground up. It’s only natural for it to go through different changes in pivots and growth and change and everything. Um, and that was my biggest takeaway that I learned because when I launched Owsley, I wanted it to be so perfect looking. I wanted it to feel like it had already been around for years. And then I had to dial that back in. Cause we were still needing vendors. We were still eating customers. And once I kind of opened up that door a little bit to showing people the behind the scenes and what really is going on and, and where we are at that’s when I feel like we had the most growth was because people want to be a part of the ride and the journey
Scott Luton (43:50):
Love that. All right. So kind of one of my final questions before we make sure folks are, want to connect with Monica Fullerton, you’ve kind of given us a couple of, uh, appetizer for what lies ahead for spousely and Monica Fullerton. Anything else you’d like to add when you think about that future state, whether it’s 20, 22 or whether it’s, you know, 20, 30, or any point in between what else coming attractions, what else comes to mind?
Monica Fullerton (44:16):
Yeah, so we’re going to be launching spousal university very soon, probably at some point next month. Um, and spousal university will allow us to provide more tools and resources to our community on small businesses getting started, everything that they, there are so many great organizations already out there that provide tools and resources. So we don’t want to recreate the wheel. We want to simply highlight and share those companies in spousal university. So that way we can all continue to grow and thrive together. And then I’m bringing on the help and support getting over the hump of do bootstrapping and doing everything on my own. So remarketing is going to be ramping up. We’ll be improving tech and app down the road. Just a lot of, a lot of great things in the works.
Scott Luton (45:03):
That is wonderful. And I bet you must have several clones because of everything that is on your plate right now, and you’re making progress and growing and growing well. So it’s so great to hear. All right. So Monica, I imagine you get a lot of requests for public speaking, you know, beyond the core business, you know, keynotes, public speaking, you name it that, and anything else, how can folks connect with Monica, Florida?
Monica Fullerton (45:26):
Yeah. Connect with me on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is great. Um, you can email me. My email, I believe is on LinkedIn as well, or we can share it here, reaching out on spousely finding us on social media and just being a part of the ride, because we were talking about this earlier, Scott, you know, the support is what truly keeps entrepreneurs pushing forward. Um, people always see the shiny and the highlights and all of the features, but we don’t really share much of what’s going on behind the scenes, the tears, the heartache, everything that’s going into it. So just simple support would, would be amazing. And I’m so grateful for how much we’ve received, um, on our journey.
Scott Luton (46:04):
Love that, make sure you connect with Monica, Florida and across social, Hey folks, make sure at least venture over to spousely take a PR peruse through all the different products and the stories behind them. And see if you can factor that into your holiday gift buying. There’s, there’s something for everybody spousal and gosh, if when you blink it, uh, it’s gonna be a lot more. So Monica, I love, um, I love the story. I love how you are empowering all these, these folks from the special segment of our entrepreneurial global community. And of course the passion that you do it with is truly inspiring. So thanks so much for your time here today.
Monica Fullerton (46:44):
Thanks for having me again, Scott, I love being able to sit down and chat with you. It always gives me that energy to keep pushing forward. So
Scott Luton (46:52):
Well, you know, we’re going to knock out some more veteran voices podcast episodes, where we need to grab a few folks that were here, Batman and K rod, and, and maybe even LK Larry Klein. Our job is not done. We will try to publish a new episode every other Friday. We may have to step that cadence up in a new year. We’ll see, but Monica we’ll have to collaborate on that quick heads up to everybody before we sign off here today, join us tomorrow at 12 Eastern time, as we’re going to be reconnecting with our friends at us bank that produces the freight payment index. So Monica, you’re talking about drive ans uh, it sounds like there’s some logistics and transportation in your background or this truck will love it, man. Monica, we’re going to have to dive in deep in the supply chain, but you know, there’s this freight payment index they put out that helps folks and business leaders get it, get it, put their finger on the pulse of what’s going on.
Scott Luton (47:46):
Especially when it comes to the U S freight market, you know, volume and pricing is chock full of learnings. We’ve got a supply chain leader from Mondelez international. We try to pair up Bobby Holland who’s with us bank. He’s the, he’s the, um, the lead analyst that puts the freight payment index together. We try to pair up him with a senior voice from industry on the practitioner side, and, uh, we get a lot of feedback around those. So join us tomorrow. Folks on a traditional live stream of supply chain now at 12 noon Eastern time. And we’ll look forward to that. Okay. So folks, thanks so much for tuning in today. Monica Fullerton, the spouse Lee’s story. What a home run story. Thanks so much, Monica. Thank you. Thanks again for having me. You bet. And folks, we be sure to reach out and find veteran voices wherever you get your podcasts from. Uh, if you’re interested, if you’re a veteran that have, haven’t been able to share your story yet, reach out. We’ll see if we can get you into the recording and production schedule and own that note folks on behalf of our entire team here at supply chain. Now Scott Luton signing off for now. Hey, challenging you to do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed. Be like Monica Fullerton, or to be a much better place. And we’ll see you next time, own veteran voices or supply chain now. Thanks for budding.
Military life often requires wearing lots of hats, and that’s especially true for Monica Fullerton. She was recently named a Trailblazer in Tech by Military Spouse Magazine and is an ambitious entrepreneur, twin mom, and Air Force spouse. She has long dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, but she wanted her efforts to support a greater purpose than just starting a business. In an effort to provide highly transient military families, as well as those that have previously served, a space to market their products and services regardless of their duty station, Monica launched Spouse-ly. Connect with Monica on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
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.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, 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.
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.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
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!
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.
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.
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.