Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 169

Episode Summary

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 Feran Gupton of Apprenticeship Carolina to Supply Chain Now Radio.

Episode Transcript

[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] Hey, good morning. Scott Luton here with you live on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show.

[00:00:33] We’re coming to you live today from the AIAG SCAC Supply chain and Quality Conference in North Charleston, South Carolina. AIG, the American International or the automotive? In the Automotive Industry Action Group and the SCAC is a South Carolina Automotive Council. May I ask you if you said it like two thousand times brains tired. Seventeen thousand two hundred fifteen time like Mick Jagger 3 1 in the words your own song. Well, great event here. This conference that this Supply chain quality conference in Charleston, South Carolina is dedicated to Ward Automotive. And we are meeting with an interview in many of the leading industry thought leaders that are participating. Big thanks to our conference broadcast sponsor the Effective syndicate for making our coverage possible. The EFFECTIVE SYNDICATE helps companies win by optimizing process and developing winning cultures. 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 on a variety of channels Apple, podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify and wherever else you get your podcasts. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe to almost anything. So let’s welcome in our co-host today. You heard just a second ago. Greg White, one of our co-host and her co-host Cose at Supply Chain Now Radio Supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor Greg. How you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you. It’s been great so far. Man, we are on a roll. We’ve had a series of solid interviews that begin with lots of passion at this conference thus far. And we’ve been able to kind of tap into there with our podcasts, Ambo Groove or founder and president of the Effective syndicate. And of course, co-host of our popular Leadership Matters series here in Supply Chain Now Radio. Bo, how you doing? If I was any better, I’d be twins, OK?

[00:02:24] That nut that is getting better. He’s getting better throughout the day. Just warm it up. You might be twins by the end of the day. Yes, man. I’d be a danger.

[00:02:33] I’d be a dangerous time. No, Greg. Greg and Bo, great to have you back here as we tackle an interesting conversation really focused on talent, which is such an important topic across in an supply chain. And we want to welcome in Fern Upton, apprenticeship consultant with Apprenticeship Carolina. You got it. A division of the South Keith Technical College System. Fern. How you doing? Different. Well. Well, we’d be here. We are excited to be here. We really enjoyed the warm up conversation prior to going live here and really admire what you do in this really critical area of our industry.

[00:03:09] Yeah, it’s absolutely a a hot topic right now. I mean, workforce is you know, it’s never really been that the prevalent part of. I guess the thing on everybody’s mind, you know, it’s something that always kind of took care of itself and now it’s just it is it is at the forefront.

[00:03:26] Well, we’re gonna do more of that in just a second. So thanks for carving some time out in what’s been a busy week for you and many of your colleagues. So for our listeners, tell us more about yourself and your journey to getting here to this point.

[00:03:39] Absolutely. So, you know, again, I’m apprenticeship consultant with Apprenticeship Carolina and I’m a South Carolina native. I grew up in Harts Ville, South Carolina. That’s home. Yes. Yes. Hearts Vegas. Hearts Vegas. Absolutely. And I went to Clemson University. And when I graduated from Clemson, I my first job was with C H Robinson worldwide. There is a key account manager mostly handling Class 8 automotive suppliers. So being at this conference, it’s a little like old home where it’s a little bit. Yeah. And I learned so much there, you know. And, you know, sometimes I’m managing 40, 50, 60 shipments a day. You know, as a third party logistics provider and learned so much about customer service, I had a wonderful mentor there. And he he’s a GM. I was in Columbia, South Carolina branch. And actually now I think he’s on there, Sato, Minnesota office. But, you know, did that for about six and a half years and then was looking for it. Well, actually, my family and Hartsfield reached out and asked me to move home and see if I would take over the family business. We used the hotel so complete complete 180 and I’ve done a couple of those in my career. I kind of joke that I’m a jack of all trades, master of none.

[00:04:57] And when I moved home, ran the family business with the with the intent of selling it. And so when we did after about three years and got the opportunity to really get involved in the community and decided that, you know, being in the public sector is where I want to be. So I went and got my masters in public administration from the University of South Carolina. While I was doing that, I had the opportunity to start working as a corporate recruiter at Sunoco Products, which their headquarters are in Hartsfield. Big company. They are. They are. They make the packaging for all of your favorite junk food. Bring you all the Pringles cans. I was always all over the place to Oreo cookies, that flexible black packaging. And but and then they make automotive components, too. They have a protective division. So I learned a lot there and I learned about how fun it was to help people find jobs. And so going into this economic development and working in workforce development with the technical college system, it was an opportunity that just presented itself and has been so much fun.

[00:05:56] You know, I’ve always found it interesting when folks in entrepreneurial ventures then join forces and work in the public sector because it brings such a well-rounded view. Yes. To serving industry and serving our communities. What have you, sir. I love that portion of your background. All right. Let’s talk more about apprenticeship, Carolina. Absolutely. What does the organization do?

[00:06:19] So Apprenticeship Carolina, we started in 2007 as the brainchild of the State Chamber of Commerce and Business and industry leaders. They saw the predicament that we’re in now. They saw that that the workforce needed their skill set, needed to be increasingly technical and that, you know, we had a lot of retirements coming. And so they commissioned a study out of that study. It was determined that, you know, apprenticeship was the answer and that we were best suited within the technical college system because the mission of our technical colleges is to serve business and industry to help train individuals that live in their service areas for the jobs with that business and industry. So it’s just been a natural fit. And, you know, apprenticeship, Carolina, what I’m tasked with is is working with employers to help them to develop and maintain registered apprenticeship programs. If you want to register an apprenticeship program in the state of South Carolina, you go through my organization. I have five of our counterparts across the state. We are tied to the technical college, a service area. Me personally, I cover Trident Technical College.

[00:07:25] So those three counties, the third largest college also is.

[00:07:28] It is. Yeah, I was. I learned that too. I was surprised to learn that, too. It’s when I when I took over the service area and it’s and they do so much here and have such a great impact on the community. It’s an impressive campus. It is. It is. And then so many of our and what’s been so fine is seeing what all of our technical colleges do within their communities. I also work with three Georgetown Tech. So, you know, Grand Strand area. I cover Florence Darlington Tech, which that’s home. That’s fun. And also Northeastern Tech. So I’ve got the PDA kind of grand strand in the Lowcountry. So it’s big service area, but it’s fine. I love being able to work in like a big urban area and then also being able to work in some of the rural areas.

[00:08:09] You also have that is a minor league baseball team, minor league hockey team called the PD prod.

[00:08:14] Jerai. I ring a bell. So you’re asking the wrong. All right. So I do remember that I think I remember a long time ago like going to something at the Florence Civic Center. Yes, maybe. I always loved the always left high school, but I I don’t know.

[00:08:30] So I always loved that one. And now down in Savannah there, my team is called the Savannah Bananas. A marketing genius, I reckon. OK. So let’s talk if you FIFO Fanta. That’s right. You mentioned the predicament that we’re in in planning your last response.

[00:08:47] And you know, it’s interesting how this is such a common thread in all these conversations we’ve had. And I think we’ve published now over 160 podcasts and the predicament that you’re alluding to, this talent gap. This this war for talent, this this industry is fighting for talent and the type of talent unlike ever before, especially in this global business age where Supply chain has a see the table and is so important more so than ever before. You inaugural. So to put your spin, we say predicament that kind of is it. Tell us more.

[00:09:22] Yeah, it’s absolutely a a predicament that we’re in with with workforce. You know, we have a lot of retirements coming and a lot of this institutional knowledge that is if if employers don’t capture it. You know, they’re going to lose it. And so an apprenticeship is an effective way to to do that. You know, we work with employers to help them kind of figure out where the gaps are in their organization, where they either need to up skill or recruit new employees and then develop a plan of all the different areas. They would want someone to be fully competent and by the time they finish their apprenticeship program. And then, you know, we work with them to figure out what the best. You know, education, because every apprenticeship program, you know, you have the on the job training. But the second component is the job related education. And 60 percent of the employers that we work with utilize our technical colleges and as that education partner. So we work with them to figure out, you know, and lot of times bring our college and to help them figure out what that education is going to look like.

[00:10:20] And then third components, a wage progression. So say someone starts off as a forklift operator, operator at ballparks. But twelve dollars an hour. Yeah. Well, as they’re showing growth on the job and shove meeting those competencies, as they are completing whatever required education there is, they’re going to see some kind of increase in their pay. The employer determines what that looks like. And at the end, they have the opportunity to earn a national credential from the Department of Labor. There’s also a tax credit that’s available to employers here in South Carolina. It’s a thousand dollars per apprentice per year for up to four years. So that’s just a way that the state is trying to a lot of why the state is trying to say encourage employers to to invest in this way, because it’s it’s a proven effective way of retaining and growing your workforce. And I think the fact that so many of our German companies have been so supportive of this here in South Carolina, that’s been a big help and growing it even more good for all parties.

[00:11:19] These type of Lu programs. So you described a lot of what you’re doing. Anything else, really? So it sounds like to me that if you’re interested in going through any of those aspects, like solving the talent equation for your company, come out.

[00:11:34] Eleven hundred different apprentices, all occupations. So now if you have a need, I can I can work with you. I’ve done cybersecurity. You know, I’ve worked with some, you know, Logistics companies to develop programs. I worked with a trucking carrier here in the Charleston area that was wanting to recruit some, you know, CDL drivers. And it was tough. Yeah, it is that that’s definitely I would say the biggest what we’re hearing over and over again, we need more drivers. South Carolina Trucking Association, you know, we have a good partnership with them and we’re always hearing trying to figure out ways that we can help continuing to fund that. I know that Florence Darlington, tech in particular, you know, they’ve been working to try and find more CDL training. They have a program at their college.

[00:12:22] And, you know, you know, this event is taking place in motel in a truck driver appreciation week.

[00:12:29] I did not know that that this week. Siplon driver.

[00:12:32] Well, you know, unfortunately, I think a lot more of industry should know. Right. It is such a taken for granted role. I absolutely is. But going back to some you said an episode or two ago, despite all the changes in Supply chain, at the core of it, things still have to get from here to here in truck drivers. Big part of that. Big bring it. Big part of it. Yeah. All right. So literally. Yeah, but huge. So let’s talk about this. Let’s switch gears here, because you got a lot going on and a very hot component. Again, a the much needed is keeping folks up at night, keeping business leaders up at night about how to solve this town equation. Right. A. And not just solve it, but also as an industry get more folks in in the industry. Right. But let’s switch gears. Let’s talk about this event. So what brings you here to the AIG SCAC Supply chain Equality Conference?

[00:13:32] Well, later on today, I’ll be leading a panel discussion. I’m really excited about it. Tell us more of the three panelists. We’re going to have our representative from Bosch, our representative little sorry representative from it gets all of this from Scheffler. They are there and also a representative from VTR Precision. So all automotive suppliers and in particular, you know, retail, they have a wonderful they’re smaller, midsize, you know, manufacturer here in the Charleston area. But they have some really robust apprenticeship programs, both youth and adult. And, you know, Scheffler, you know, they. And Bosh, I’m always hearing kind of conflicting things about who’s had the longest standing apprenticeship program here in the state. But they here in South Carolina, they are the gold standard. And so I’m really excited about having the three of them on the panel discussion today. It’s it’s it’s it’s it’s really going to be able to have the brain of the jerai.

[00:14:34] Does it get it resolutely? Yeah.

[00:14:36] So Jeff, Matt and Betsy. Yeah. Yes, chef. Florida Jerai Homes. Matt Doll. Jeff Combs with Bosh, Matt Dahl with Scheffler Group and Betsy Cross with PTL.

[00:14:46] Terrific. So they’re going to they’re going to share some of their secret formulas. Yes. How these things have been working.

[00:14:51] Yes. Outstanding. And that’s the best way is to is to have these employers come and speak about their experiences. You know, they can tell that that story better than anybody else.

[00:15:01] Do you find that the sharing of ideas and best practices is more prevalent now versus, you know, not not too long ago where folks wanted to keep it within the four walls? Do you find it? Business leaders will are more willing to share some best practices these days?

[00:15:19] Absolutely. I think they have to be and I know, you know, recently Volvo cars, you know, they’ve registered an apprenticeship program. And I know that Bosch was you know, they looked at the model that Bosch has in place and said, you know, we want to to model ourselves after that. And I know that Bosch was very open and helping. You know, so many of our employers are so willing to to help and want to implement this this program as much as they can, because honestly, you know, they they don’t want to see the poaching and the back and forth. You know, they want everybody to retain the employees within their organization, build that culture, and and everyone succeed. I love that you love it.

[00:16:00] All right. So what are you. I know you’re clearly you’re excited about the panel. Sounds like you’ve got a great panel teed up for later today. Later today, right? Yes, three o’clock. Three o’clock. But what else are you looking most forward to about this event this week?

[00:16:14] I just always love the networking opportunities. I’m just meeting people and learning more about what they do. I think that’s kind of when I get into these these kind of events, I have my old recruiter hat comes on and I’m like, what do you do? You know, tell me about your organization. You know, I just I’m very curious. And so and there’s so many times where, especially in my role working, I work not just with manufacturers, but with hospitality, health care. And there’s so many times where I’ll meet an employer. And just in my discovery process of figuring out their needs, they will say, you know, they’ll just share. And then if if I have a solution, I can bring to them it based upon networking that I do here. Then, you know, that just works to build that relationship. And that’s that’s so much of what I do is relationship building.

[00:17:01] Absolutely. So first along those lines, what are one or two of the trends that you’re aware of or that you’re watching across the industries that you’re involved with?

[00:17:12] I would say, you know, again, we are definitely working to to target and want to grow apprenticeships within the Logistics. You know, and transportation supply chain industry, you know, trying to develop more forklift operator, you know, warehouse manager, apprenticeships, more CDL apprenticeships. You know, it’s it’s something that’s not going away. You know, we’re going to see more retirements on, you know, the data, you know, is saying that. And so really, it’s trying to get our message out there about what we do and how we can be how we can assist these employers with with developing these these ways to train and build a pipeline of employees. So I don’t see I don’t see that going away. I also see cash kind of in the hole, transportation. I mean, diesel mechanics, you know, like you know, that that’s that’s a tremendous need, you know, to make sure this this equipment is is moving and. There’s there’s so much potential and supply chain, you know, area and quality technicians, too, you know, that’s a part of. You know, I’ve a lot of employers that I speak with, you know, they want to develop quality technician apprenticeship programs and said that’s I’m gonna see our bread and butter is really been maintenance. A lot of maintenance, you know. You know, healthcare, apprenticeships. But I definitely see supply chain that continuing to grow. And, you know, my organization, we want to be prepared to kind of have the have everything ready to go from when that employer meets with us, because typically what we’ll do is we’ll have these sample outlines. So we’ve already put together for an employer that they’ll be able to customize to fit their needs. So and I know that’s something I did recently and I put together kind of a broker. A broker. Atwan. Really? Yeah. You know, we have a CDL out on, you know, that week and then then an employer that just gets you started and then they can customize it to fit their culture, their needs.

[00:19:19] A production engineer outline. We’re currently recruiting. We we are currently. Oh, yeah. When you say production to you. Yeah. Well I don’t video. I’m just kidding. I don’t know that I do, but I certainly can. Well, you strike me as someone that if you don’t have it, you can find it. Yeah, fine. I’m going to put myself into a deep hole and I will work on it. So, yeah, I admire that.

[00:19:41] We need folks and leaders like that that are solving one of the most critical challenges to the industry, which is talent.

[00:19:47] So I appreciate that. And it’s such a fun, happy job. Like there’s no negative. And you know it coming in here, like I am working with employers to help them develop pipelines or to figure out and Lu work with employers to help them figure out a way to develop their employees and help them to make the more money and move on and stay in their jobs and or increase their attention like it’s it’s a win win across the board. Love it.

[00:20:13] So the reason that your job is so fun and so important is because we are in the middle, literally. I think if you’re looking at it technically in the middle of the greatest generational change of our time, possibly in the history of the planet. Right. Baby boomers are are leaving the workforce at ten thousand per day. So we we have to backfill or otherwise fill. Otherwise fill those types of jobs. Right. Technology is a big part of it, obviously. And you have to upscale people to deal with data and technology. And I mean, it doesn’t matter what job you do these days, it is impacted by by some sort of new technology. So with that as a backdrop.

[00:21:00] Nice, huh?

[00:21:03] So think about, you know, bold predictions for the future.

[00:21:09] Bold. What do you think? You know, my bold prediction would be that this situation, this workforce situation we’re in, it’s not going to get any better. You know, it’s something that if you know those, you know, economies, they go up and they go down. But but based upon, you know, just the numbers of retirements, you know, employers need maintenance professionals and they need they’re in need. Truck drivers, you know, and this is something that regardless I mean, it’s it’s just not going to get better. And so and the employers that are proactive and developing these apprenticeships and working to develop these pipelines are going to be the ones that are ahead of the game. And the employers that are developing relationships with their local technical colleges are going to be the ones that are ahead of the game, telling them, you know, all the colleges have advisory committees that that they can sit on so that they can tell them what their needs are or where what training that they foresee. You know, if and if the colleges don’t get that feedback, then they’re not going to have the programs in place. So and they they’re there to serve the call to serve those employers. But if employers aren’t engaged, then, you know, then then they’re not they’re not going to have what’s there that’s needed.

[00:22:21] Right. And the boys aren’t engaged. They’re not going have engaged employees. Exactly. And Bo, I know you’ve talked about that a lot, because if you look at any study, the vast majority of the at least the American workforce populace is is disengaged jerai.

[00:22:37] It is according to Gallup. And this is 16 years in a row, I think now that over 70 percent of the American workforce is either disengaged or actively disengaged. And I heard a great quote. I’m sorry, can you repeat that?

[00:22:49] I wasn’t listening because you’re disengaged. Greg, turn off his microphone.

[00:22:56] A great quote the other day that said your customers experience will never exceed your employees experience. And so there’s such a crucial it’s not just finding recruiting and retaining talent, but what kind of situation are they in and get people in the building to do the job. But if they’re miserable, my customers are going to feel that. And so it’s not just get people in and keep them in the. Workplace, it’s create an environment that they like to do the job.

[00:23:21] Yes, it’s crucial. It’s culture. It’s all about culture and building a culture where people feel a part of the organization and it’s more than a paycheck. You know, they they’re invested and that’s what you want to build. And that’s that’s, you know, because then you’re able to invest. You’re not constantly spending money on on retraining and, you know, recruiting and, you know, you can spend it. And in ways and advanced training and marketing in different areas. You’d want to add another prediction I would make about one.

[00:23:52] Yes. Wrong move.

[00:23:55] You know, we have three three major OEMs here in South Carolina. And, you know, that is that’s incredible. You know, we’ve got Mercedes. We’ve got BMW. We have all that now, right? Yes.

[00:24:08] And Volvo is the first automotive manufacturing site in the U.S., the one right here act.

[00:24:15] Yeah, it’s pretty neat. It is. It’s it’s incredible. And so, you know, there’s going to be additional suppliers and coming here to the area. I would imagine, you know, that that’s a prediction of mine. And so, you know, being the current, you know, existing industry here, you know, needs to build these pipelines to retain employees. They have nowhere else they’re going. There’s gonna be more competition.

[00:24:37] Yeah. So we do. Just like in aerospace, when lots of clustering taking place in automotive, that’s what drives at the top tiers. And we also know that despite how close the global age is, you’re still trying to get close to your customers. Right. And be able to eliminate the unforced errors just by being, you know, so far away. So I think that’s a very shrewd prediction. So thanks for bringing your crystal ball today. Some folks don’t want to weigh in on own on what what’s to come. But it’s been really interesting to watch. I grew up in Aiken County. It’s been really interesting to watch after being in Georgia for so long and seeing a lot things that Georgia’s getting right when it comes to inspiring development and growth and expansion. South Carolina has not taken a back seat. Anybody there? They’re making it happen as well. But by putting resources in like Apprentice Up Apprenticeship Carolina to address talent and doing everything else, you know, from the ports to infrastructure to you name it, they’re getting serious or have been serious for quite some time about driving more expansion. Yeah, absolutely. See? All right. So let’s make sure. I mean, you’ve laid out a lot of different things you can do for employers in this state. So let’s make sure that anyone listening can get in touch with you. Fern should tell us how. How can folks learn more? Absolutely.

[00:25:55] So you can go to our Web site, which is W WW dot apprenticeship, Carolina, dot com. You can also Google apprenticeship, Carolina. I’m pretty sure if you Google just apprenticeship, we’re gonna be one of the top couple of items that the marketing team. We do. We have a great communications department. And, you know, we the model that we’ve established here in South Carolina is, you know, leading the nation, you know, where recognized by the Department of Labor as the fastest growing apprenticeship model. So, you know, it’s where we’re really proud of ourselves. And and a lot of that has to come from our flexibility and our will and working with employers. And we’re very industry industry driven. So yeah, I would just recommend that. W W W dot apprenticeship, Carolina dot com. You can Google us and and yeah we’re on Facebook or on Instagram. We’re on Twitter. We’re all over the place. Mm hmm.

[00:26:53] Well and you know, you’re not going to have robust economic development, expansion and growth without having a strong solution for addressing the talent gap. So I appreciate what you’re doing. Froome Upton, apprenticeship consultant with Apprenticeship Carolina Division of South Carolina Technical College System. We’re looking forward to the panel session this afternoon at 3:00 o’clock, right? Yes. All right.

[00:27:17] Thanks so much for carving some time out of the studio so much. This was fun.

[00:27:20] You bet. So hang out for a second here. We’re gonna wrap up today’s episode, this episode on some of the upcoming events we’ve got. We always invite our audience, come out, check us out in person. Now we talk about the last couple episodes, how in this digital age you’ve got all this and all this digital information at your fingertips, but gathered together and exchanging ideas and best practices. On a personal basis is still so important. Yeah. And on that note, Bo, you’ve got a really cool vet coming up on September 20th, which provides senior business leaders the opportunity to do just that.

[00:27:53] We do. And we’re excited about it. If anybody’s interested, I hope they will reach out to myself for you. But I’m partnered up with a Emory professor named Robert Keith engine. And together, we’re going to be talking about the elements of strategy and execution. So get those two engines working together in your business and you’ll be doing really, really well.

[00:28:14] Absolutely. You’ll be moving at light speed, like freeing up Upton. Salute. So if you want more information on that event or some others, we’re gonna mention that here in a second. Feel free shoes. Note to connect connect at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. OK, so Greg, we’ve got something else coming up on October 9th. What is it, Scott? The Georgia Manufacturing Summit. That’s right. And who are you? What are you gonna be doing there?

[00:28:38] So I’ll be broadcasting live there and speaking with a couple of foreign trade ministers yet to be named. Will you be negotiating tariffs? I will. I think I’ve got some answers. It depends on which countries show up.

[00:28:51] I’ve got it covered.

[00:28:53] You know that for some crazy reason. I trust Greg. No good. She absolutely. On our behalf so loosely. Oh, yeah. Maybe we should. That’s what needs to happen. Yeah. Well, nevertheless, great event. I’ve got enough jobs. Yes. Kidding aside. Great event coming up. Yeah. It’s the place to be if you love Georgia manufacturing and supporting those 10000 manufacturers. You want to be at the Cobb Galleria on October 9th. Full day keynotes from Keith and PSG. And just to have a panel session. Yeah, we do. We’re gonna be leading a panel trains a track across Supply chain. We’ve got folks from Mitsubishi Electric Train, HBC Point A the Center for Supply chain Innovation, HMTX Industries and of course, U.P.S. tender. Ray Bellamy is going to join us. So we’ve got a heavy hitting panel, both leading a panel on continuous improvement. And those are just the breakouts. That’s right. Plus the keynote from from Keith. And if you didn’t know with Keith, life’s good. You know the Telluride fern. Remember the Super Bowl commercial featuring the Telluride? Way back when it was like a West Point, Georgia story.

[00:30:03] You don’t remember it? Maybe. Maybe I’m too young for that one.

[00:30:05] Well, so last Super Bowl, one of the how. Number one, ranked commercials from the Super Bowl was all about this Telluride new vehicle. And it really kind of showcased the fabric of the community and made, what, West Point, Georgia. And it clearly between that and the vehicle, it’s working because every Telluride runoff line is already spoken for. So demand is good. Dan in West Point, Georgia But but come out, learn from their keynote, from their CEO and PSG on October 9th at the Cobb Galleria. You can learn more at Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com. One more thing to touch on is Austin, Texas. What’s going on in November, Greg?

[00:30:43] Yeah. So November 7th and 8th will be at the FTE global Logistics C I O summit 300 Logistics. CEOs and service providers and technology providers are gonna meet to share some ideas.

[00:30:59] And it’s in Austin. Yeah. Which is weird. So fun. Yeah. Kind of weird in the best way. Yes. Yeah. That’s right. Child has not experienced the weirdness yet, so I can’t let it go to the Continental Club. Oh, OK. There you go. Yeah, I know. Right. Amazing live music. Yeah. Yeah. And all the tacos and the barbecue. I’m sold. Yes. You had a lot of fun for. Come on. Yeah. We take a convoy to Austin. There you go. A lot of fun. That’s right.

[00:31:29] And I will say that I am actually going to be speaking at the South Carolina Manufacturers Manufacturing Operations Summit. That is going to be on set in October. It is September 26 at the marina in Myrtle Beach. And I will think I’m an eight 15. I am on the agenda. So I’m there to be here at this this event to hear my presentation. You will be able to come and see it in person.

[00:31:56] Yeah. Next. Impressive. So important. September 17, Tampa, September 26, Myrtle Beach and the marina in Marina in eggs.

[00:32:05] And eye opening commentary from Fern Gupta. All right. All right. So that kind of wraps up. We’re working well, a couple other events through the end of the year. But then in 2020, we’re going to reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo out in Vegas. And then, of course, Moto X 2020 is back in Atlanta in March, which is one of the largest supply chain trade shows in North America. Thirty five thousand people are coming out for Mode X for now. We need to have you there as well. And free to free to attend Mode X show dot com is where you go to learn more. And of course, we’re really thankful that they are hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards, which is going to be a an event not to be missed as well. OK. I missed something, gentlemen. Imagine that you did. I hope not, man. But this is you know, I think we talking talent and this could be a five hour a five week episode. Yeah, well, every every five hour. Every five week. Yes. You know, you’re right. And but I appreciate what firms doing. And if you can’t tell. Sure. Brings a little passion to the table, which never hurt lately.

[00:33:09] You know, and I saw an agenda. There’s going to be a great presentation by Bob Walker. He’s the. He’s over that continuing education department here at Trident Technical College and he’s gonna be talking a little bit about what they do and some initiatives they have here in place. I’m excited to hear about that.

[00:33:28] Forty five p.m. today. Yes. Eastern Time. I’ll be sticking around for that. A big thanks to Fern Gunton with Apprenticeship Carolina, which is a division of the South Carolina technical college system. Big thanks to Beau Gruber and the Effective syndicate Greg White. We. The drumbeat continues, right? We’ve got a long day of interviews with thought leaders like Fern lined up and day to the more. Yeah. Appreciate your camaraderie and joining us here today. So to our listeners, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can find us some Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, all the leading sites where podcasts can be found. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss 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. Thanks, everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott, Greg, and Beau as they interview Fearn Gupton for SCNR Episode 169 at the AIAG SCAC Supply Chain & Quality Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

Featured Guests

Fearn Gupton is an apprenticeship consultant with Apprenticeship Carolina, a division of the SC Technical College System. As a member of the Apprenticeship Carolina team, she works with employers to help them develop and maintain registered apprenticeship programs. She works with employers within the 11 counties served by Northeastern Technical College, Florence-Darlington Technical College, Horry-Georgetown Technical College and Trident Technical College. Before joining the Apprenticeship Carolina team, Gupton worked as a Talent Acquisition Business Partner with Sonoco Products Company. She was also a Key Account Manager of several Class 8 truck manufacturers and suppliers for C.H. Robinson Worldwide. Gupton is a native of Hartsville, SC. She holds a B.A. in History from Clemson University and an M.P.A. from the University of South Carolina. Learn more about Apprenticeship Carolina:

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:


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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