In this interview from the SCAC AIAG Supply Chain & Quality Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, Scott, Greg, and Beau Groover of The Effective Syndicate welcomed Kyle Hooper of Volvo Cars, to Supply Chain Now Radio.
[00:00:00] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] All right. Good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you live on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. So once again, we’re coming to you today from the AIAG SCAC Supply chain and Quality Conference in beautiful North Charleston, South Carolina. This conference is dedicated to the world of automotive and we have been meeting with a wide variety of the leading industry thought leaders that are here participating. Big thanks to our conference broadcast sponsor the Effective syndicate for making our coverage possible. Effective syndicate helps companies win by optimizing process and developing winning culture. You can learn more at the effective syndicate dot com. Quick programming note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays of radio channels Apple podcast, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, wherever else you find your podcasts. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe, so don’t miss anything. But you thought I was going to leave that one out for for Greene just for a minute. I was what I was watching out for Greg, though. So that’s Bo Gruber, my co-host for this session, founder and president of the Effective syndicate and co-host of our Leadership Matters series here in Supply Chain Now Radio. Beau, how are you doing? I’m doing just right.
[00:01:41] So we’ve got a really interesting story. I think we’ve been on quite a tear with the interviews we’ve had here at the event. And we’ve got a really interesting story to feature on this episode, the story of Volvo Car USA, which has made a huge splash into the U.S. market right here locally. Their first plant here in the states. And we’re now let’s introduce our featured guest for the segment, Kyle Hooper, manager of procurement and rescue him, excellence at Volvo Cars USA. Kyle, how are you doing? Well, how are you? We are doing fantastic in it for us. It’s energizing to sit here and here. You know, last session was on own trade with someone. I was very passionate about trade policy that the previous one was on talent. We’ve met with folks with AIG, which are great ambassadors for the automotive industry globally. So, hey, this is what we’d love to do and we’re looking forward to kind of dive more into your story here momentarily. All right. On that note, com before we talk about Volvo and the neat story I’ve been building there. Let’s get no the. So tell us more about yourself.
[00:02:44] Originally from Oklahoma, I went to the Oklahoma State University. Go Cowboys. That’s right. Yeah. After Oklahoma State, I went to work for a aerospace company dealing with high reliability, electronics and space applications, defense applications. I worked in the Spar quality area there. After that, I moved on to a Tier 1 automotive supplier in Tulsa, Oklahoma, specializing in natural gas fuel systems and also on an off road instrumentation to space in and automotive.
[00:03:17] I mean, you’ve got considerable experience. And two of the the mainline manufacturing industries driving the economy here at home.
[00:03:24] Lots. Yeah, lots of experience in that. Lots of testing experience. Looking at space applications. There’s really no room for error and really trying to focus in on who the right suppliers are, the right level of quality, and how we can deliver to our customers in a good way.
[00:03:39] Love that. And so and it probably just touched on a little bit there. But tell us about your role, specifically Volvo.
[00:03:45] So my role of Volvo is predominantly process management, looking at how we utilize and focused our people in the right areas. Sustainability is also another area of my responsibility. Looking at, you know, how we utilize our natural resources, carbon footprint with our supply base and also looking at digitalization, how do we how we use our systems in a right way to communicate and collaborate with our suppliers.
[00:04:14] And so heard three big huge buckets have three big plates. I mean, just the sustainability piece alone, especially out of an automotive organization, that’s a that’s a full time job. And then some, right?
[00:04:26] Yes, it is. We have lots of initiatives going on currently with sustainability, looking at our carbon footprint from our suppliers. How do we go about reducing that, introducing 25 percent of our plastics made from recycled material, about 20, 25. And I’m also looking at it from a from a material standpoint for cobalt sourcing and having full traceability of that by the end of this year.
[00:04:51] Outstanding. Of 25 percent of all the plastics going into vehicles to be reduced by 2025. I hear that right. 25 percent of. Recycle plastic. Gotcha, gotcha. Sorry. Those are big, lofty goals. Be hags, love that. Yeah. All right. Big, hairy all day shit. All right. So continuing with the Volvo Cars USA story here, so you’re part of the first U.S. plant that Volvo has ever had. So tell us more about what brought that decision for the company.
[00:05:23] Well, I think I think if you look at our our product strategy, since we were acquired by Geely in 2012 I’m sorry, 2010, that we really wanted a presence here in the U.S. and around 2015, we really saw a big turnaround in the U.S. market. And we we came to the realization that we need to have a presence in North America. And Charleston was the area for that. That really kicked off the project in 2015. And here we are four years later with full scale production going for one year now and already looking at sourcing for our second car.
[00:05:56] Fantastic. How many cars per day roll off the line? Around one hundred eighty two every day at the mall. And I wonder what we were talking before we went live. The styling of Volvo is just off the charts right now. That to me, is one of the best looking styling language. Design language, I think, is what they call it across all of the the areas. Did that change as far as, you know, into in 2015 when they came here?
[00:06:22] Was that part of the same like transformation, part of that part of the same transformation and really looking to how we can create a more stylish car that built to our customers in a better way? I think we really see that now with our cars that we have on the road with with the latest with a 60 sedan that we make here in Charleston. And it even go back to the the first vehicle in our SBA product line, that XY 90 right now, which is the second vehicle which we will be producing here in Charleston. It’s two thousand twenty two and twenty three. Awesome. And that’s just fantastic. What?
[00:06:54] The growth expansion.
[00:06:56] Good to hear.
[00:06:57] All right.
[00:06:58] So you are you’ve kind of just touched on what, Volvo mix here in South Carolina, but where they get their shit all over the globe, they roll out to the port here in Charleston and they’re shipped to China, to Europe all over the world.
[00:07:11] So we had someone on with a line port started this morning. Mike said Senate, I bet you’ll have a pretty tight working relationship with the ports.
[00:07:21] We have a good relationship with the port. We depend on them a lot as we have material coming in from our suppliers and also to are completed cars going out.
[00:07:30] So when we think about all the growth that you’ve been describing, what are and maybe, maybe, Bill, you’ve already nailed it. The exceptional styling, you know, maybe the design is ahead of its time. But what else is driving the growth? What’s this? This this this incredible levels of interest in the Volvo products.
[00:07:49] I think one thing, it goes back to safety. Volvo is known for their safe vehicles developing the seatbelt and allowing other automakers to utilize that technology without any royalties dating back to the 40s and 50s when they did that. I think also the stylish designs, they’re really good looking cars. Incredible. 60 that I have is awesome. I love to drive it. So, yeah, I think I think it’s the design and just the the practicality.
[00:08:18] Maybe. All right.
[00:08:19] The simplicity. I think no matter how complex cars get, at some point people buy them because the way they look. Right. I mean, not saying is the main reason, but when you take everything else away, somewhere in there, people think, man, that’s a good looking car. And again, I think it’s the styling, certainly the safety reputation that model has. And I think you guys have a really good quality, reliability, reputation as well. We do. So that’s a winning combo. So you’re saying there’s still an emotional attachment to humans and automobiles? I’m worried about the upcoming generation because it just didn’t seem to be there. But for I think those of us over 30, yes, we still love our cars and we love the way they look.
[00:08:59] All right. So let’s switch gears for a second. No pun intended about that. The Volvo Cars USA story. And let’s go a little bit more agnostic. I know Bo has been one of his interests, have been kind of seeing what industry trends have been on on our interviewees radar.
[00:09:17] Yeah. So, I mean, as you’re thinking about things, Kyle, what are one or two trends that you’re aware of? You’re watching maybe you’re worried about when you look at it, your horizon, you’ve got multiple hats that you’re wearing. What are the things that you kind of keep an eye on or you’re aware of?
[00:09:34] I would say probably one of the biggest ones right now is electric electrification moving in towards a maybe a fully electric vehicle and even hybrids here in the U.S. with all of our cars having an electric option in the future. Big focus on that right now within Volvo. Also, sustainability, how we take care of our natural resources. I mentioned CO2 footprint, recycle plastics. Really a. Some of the to do big initiatives that we have ongoing with Volvo cars and additionally with autonomous drive as well. Mm hmm.
[00:10:06] And I like again, going back to the plastic side to have 25 percent of all the plastic gel used to be recycled by 2025. Yes. That, you know, I think those types of big visionary goals is what it’s going to take to really change some of the things that we’ve seen from a sustainability standpoint. So all of these the story that you described, that Volvo is really building here is having a big impact on the local economy.
[00:10:40] So speak to that. The more so the plant in itself was a one point one billion dollar economic input or impact to this to the area of Charleston, South Carolina. Point one billion of the B is B and the impact from around for, you know, our suppliers and other people. Is it over four billion dollars? Mm hmm.
[00:11:03] That goes a long way.
[00:11:05] And how many people currently we’re approximately fifteen hundred people. And with the launch of our second car, we aim to be around 4000. Fantastic. Yeah.
[00:11:16] And that’s just is all of that direct for with Volvo and it doesn’t include the regional jobs that may be created as well. That’s purely Volvo. Yeah, man. OK. All right. So what? So we’re here again at the AIG, the Automotive Industry Action Group and the S.E.C. South Carolina Automotive Council. They team up. This is the third year I think they’ve posted this event on supply chain in quality. So what does what value do you see in Volvo seeing getting involved with this event and in particular, particularly SAIC?
[00:11:54] I think it’s a good, good opportunity for us to identify new potential vendors for being one thing. But it’s also a good partnership with the state of South Carolina. When we look at developing workforce, moving more into the future with a competitive marketplace out there right now, how can we have we can how can we get people in this community with relevant manufacturing experience where we think they can come in directly and work for us and plant?
[00:12:18] Fantastic. And we’ve seen a lot of that. I think deals have been made since we’ve been here that I have a collect. There’s been some deals made. So you y’all had a earlier keynote, right? Yes, I did. And what would you like to speak to?
[00:12:37] We spoke about the the growth of Volvo, kind of the ambitions that we have with sustainability, with autonomous drive, electrification. Also talked a little bit about the status of the plant at the moment. And I wonder what our future ambitions are with that, with launching the second vehicle. And I’ll also gave some information with for how how to become a sofar what that process looks or looks like around that.
[00:13:01] I’m surprised we got time. I bet folks for work were cornering you after you also got the breakout. You’re kidding out there. You and your colleague Kevin. Right.
[00:13:11] Kevin was actually unable to join us today, but we have several other people from Volvo here from our purchasing department. Logistics speaking with all the folks here and really trying to form some partnerships.
[00:13:22] I bet. And I fuck I bet plenty of folks are trying to form partnerships, which our building. Okay. So final question for you is how can. I mean, it’s really neat to hear. And we’re all looking we’ve touched on the need for good news. Right. And more good news. This is a good news story. So how can folks hurt something that they can resonate with? Maybe they are looking to do business with Volvo or whatever something you’ve said. How can folks learn more?
[00:13:49] They can go to our website, Volvo cars dot com and there’s instructions on how to register to become a supplier. You’re also welcome to reach out to me directly on LinkedIn. Kyle Hooper, HBO PR and I’ll be happy to try to punch you in the right direction.
[00:14:04] Fantastic. Kyle, it’s a pleasure. Appreciate it. Again, as busy as it sounds like you all clearly are the car some time out with us here today. We really appreciated your perspective and congrats or our best of luck on continued success as you’ll continue to rapidly grow left and right. All right. Appreciate it. Thank you. You bet. All right. We’ve been speaking with Kyle Hooper, manager, procurement and Execute Excellence with Volvo Cars USA. So, Kyle, hang on one second here. We’re going to wrap up on a couple of upcoming events and maybe some that you have an interest in. I don’t know. So that one of the next events that we’re going to be at is the September 20th event in Atlanta. Both were an executive roundtable where you’re going to be tackling some some growth strategies, right?
[00:14:47] Absolutely. So we’ve partnered up with Emory professor named Robert Keith engine. And we’re going to be talking about the elements of a good strategy as well as the elements of good execution. So we. We believe and we teach that companies that get both of those pieces working well together. Good things are gonna happen.
[00:15:05] Good things are gonna happen, indeed. And then moving past that feet, a few weeks later, we’re gonna be at the Georgia manufacturing alliance is Georgia Manufacturing Summit, right? October 9.
[00:15:17] We’re gonna be all over that. Your colleague Greg is gonna be broadcasting from there with a couple love foreign trade ministers, trade ministers. We’re excited to learn about that car. We haven’t been able to let those names out of the bag just yet. Bo is testing me to see if he’s gonna let our secrets out, but we’re looking forward. Your Bo’s leading a pack. This is it.
[00:15:38] This is about a thousand folks are in. Come out to celebrate Georgia manufacturing alliance October 9th. We’ve got a variety keynotes, including from PSG, some great panelists. And it is gonna be the cop gallery in Atlanta. And the coolest thing. Well, that’s great. But but one of the things I really admire the most is the GMAT. It’s freed up 50 seats for free for our veterans. And, you know, we talk about some of the challenges veterans have when they transition or just in general. You know, networking and having that private sector network and being in places where they can gather market intelligence, whether they’re looking for their next job or their next contract or what. What have you. This event is featured a lot of that throughout the day. So if you’re a veteran listening to this podcast, you can go to Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com and use the promo code USA VIT to sign up for your free seat as long as they last. A big thanks to Jason Moss, the CEO of the GSA, for making that happen. We’ve got a variety of other upcoming events from Austin to Vegas to back to Atlanta with Moto X 2020 ever, ever been out to Moto X, never been there. So Moto X is one of the largest supply chain trade shows North America. Thirty five thousand people to there is how many folks are expecting in Atlanta in March 2020, where they are hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain awards and we’re broadcasting throughout the four days to our listeners. Check out that conference at Moto X show dot.com free to register. Can’t beat it. And we hope to see there.
[00:17:14] But what would we miss? I think you’ve covered it all. Yeah, we’ve tried to. If you want or more information or any of these events we could be at. You can go to our events tab at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and learn more. Or if you’re interested, whether it is HBO’s event he described or in any of his other ideas that we’ve mentioned or events or resources, you can shoot us a note to connect at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we will try to track information down for you. So big thanks once again to our guests today, Carl Hooper, manager, procurement and Eskew, an excellent Volvo Cars USA. We look forward to checking back in. As you all move from from how many employees to 4000 right around the corner, 4000, man. Fifteen hundred today, 4000 around the corner. Those are great, great stories to hear about. Great, great growth stories you hear about. Thanks for joining us. You bet. Gruber. Always a pleasure. Don’t go too far. We’ve kind of couple more sessions throughout the day. Appreciate the Effective syndicate support as we cover this conference. To our listeners. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Again, you can find us an Apple podcast, soundcloud. All the leading sites were podcasts can be found. Be sure to subscribe to almost anything on behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team. This is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio.
W. Kyle Hooper, MBA, CQE, CQA, LSSGB is the Manager of Procurement and SQM Excellence for Volvo Cars in North and South America. His responsibilities include: Procurement Sustainability, Digitalization, Process Management, and Training. Kyle brings over 15 years of experience working with complex supply chains and supplier development in the automotive and aerospace industries. Prior to joining Volvo, Kyle was the Manager of Supplier Development and Quality Systems at Enovation Controls who is a tier one automotive supplier producing on and off road electronic instrumentation in Tulsa, OK. In this role he was responsible for supplier development in North America, TS 16949 certification, and the deployment of a product lifecycle management system at five global locations. Additionally, Kyle has worked as a Supplier Quality Manager at Frontier Electronic Systems in the aerospace sector that provided high reliability electronic assemblies to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and NASA. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Oklahoma State University. He also received a Master’s of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma Christian University. Kyle holds several quality certifications from the American Society of Quality (ASQ) which includes: Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Quality Auditor, and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Learn more about Volvo Cars here: https://www.volvocars.com/us
Beau Groover is Founder and President of The Effective Syndicate. He has been working with manufacturing and operations-focused organizations for over 20 years, primarily focused on developing bullet-proof processes and teams that are built to win. Beau has helped organizations save millions of dollars while also improving those companies’ customer experiences and building high-performing teams that continue to drive the business forward. He has developed his approach and strategy over years of working with some of the biggest companies in multiple levels within the organizations, including The Coca-Cola Company, Nordson Corporation, and Westrock (formerly RockTenn). Just prior to launching The Effective Syndicate in 2015, Beau served as the Director of Lean Supply Chain at Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC. Connect with Beau Groover on LinkedIn and learn more about The Effective Syndicate here: https://www.theeffectivesyndicate.com/
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.
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.
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.
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.
Principal, 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.
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.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
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.
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 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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, 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.
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, 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.
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
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.
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.