Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 178

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 Ashely Teasdel of the South Carolina Department of Commerce, to Supply Chain Now Radio.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] 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 technology’s 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 once again live on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. We’re just about to be wrapping up our coverage here.


[00:00:38] We’ve been covering the AIAG SCAC Supply chain and Quality Conference in beautiful North Charleston, South Carolina. This conference has been dedicated to the World Automotive. And we really enjoyed interviewing many of the leading industry thought leaders that have been participating. We’re quite 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 culture as you can learn more at the effective syndicate dot com. Well, a quick programming note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a wide variety of channels Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, wherever else you find your podcast. As always, we would love to have you subscribe so you don’t missing thing. So let’s welcome in my esteemed co-host here today, Mr. Greg White, a regular co-host here at Supply Chain Now Radio, a serial supply chain tech entrepreneur and a trusted advisor. Greg, how you doing?


[00:01:37] I’m doing very regular. Thank you, Scott.


[00:01:41] Great. Actually, this has been a great couple of days. This has been a wonderful boon.


[00:01:47] We’ve been talking to some really interesting folks. Topics, passionate, passionate folks. And we’re gonna continue with this.


[00:01:52] This episode here we take actually the wall to see what we can get out of somebody from the Department of Commerce.


[00:01:58] Well, you know, as we’re Gates just her in just a second. But they’re busy. They’re busy making things. That’s right. And there’s growing healthy state. We’ve got to get we got to hurry. We’ve got to get her home. That’s right. That’s right. Sorry.


[00:02:12] Maybe she has been set.


[00:02:15] But Gruver, real quick. Erle, co-host, founder, president of the Effective syndicate, co-host of our successful Leadership Matters series here on Supply Chain Now Radio. Bo, how you doing? Good morning. I’m doing just right. Fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed last couple days with you and Alex is also on the team. And we’re gonna be chopping up a lot of content as we hit home in the weeks come. So all that said, this was welcome in this episode featured guests. We are really excited to have Ashely Teasdel, director of business services with the Southland Department of Commerce. Ashley, how you doing? Doing great. Fantastic. Well, as you mentioned, you’ve been on the road all week. You know, there’s no shortage of activity taking place in this state. And you know, the of the numerous russe ingredients that go into that. Clearly, that the state teams in busy making it happen. Yeah. Oh, yeah. All the time. Now we’re gonna talk more about the South Carolina Department of Commerce and your role, what you do. But tell us first tell us about yourself and your journey to your current role.


[00:03:16] Absolutely. So I’m Ashely Teasdel as you say it, the director of business services for South Carolina Department of Commerce. A little bit of background about me. My journey started in the financial services industry, in banking, started out with BB&T and that was looking back on those years was really the building blocks for where I am now. So starting now in your local branch, really helping customers more on the retail side was able to and was blessed to go to the leadership development program that they have in Western Salem, North Carolina. And that’s where you really started learning more, not only about the retail side, but the commercial side, how to really help a client. What is it that businesses are looking for? And that was a six month program, came back to Columbia and started managing my first branch from there. That’s when I started my love for small business. Understanding their needs. Understand, understanding what are those right. Probing questions to ask and helping them on all areas of deposits, loans, investments, employee benefits, cash management, merchant services, all those things. And that’s where a lot of this skill set in that love of finding out what are the gaps, what’s keeping them up at night, how can we help you? How can we fill those those interests with the right resources to be able to help them? So I ended up being a small business advisor, which grew into a small business commercial loan officer. Still at the bank. Still at the bank. I was there for nine years. An opportunity with Department of Commerce came up, they were looking for small business manager to manage more to small business efforts on on a statewide level, taught them my husband taught my parents, prayed about it and lo and behold ended up getting their opportunity. And that started the journey in government, in economic development, which I really didn’t know what that was.


[00:05:23] That makes that makes me. Yeah.


[00:05:26] So I never asked again. Sorry. So from there it is just grown from small business to now supporting all of the business services efforts. So I oversee five programs that support our small business and assistant industry. I have program managers that manage the execution of these strategies, so I’m overseeing that. We have five programs. One is small business helping us small businesses start up and grow. We can I. Yes, absolutely. Sure.


[00:06:00] So I don’t know about y’all, but when I hear the passion you just share and in here heard what you love to do.


[00:06:08] We need a lot more Ashlee’s in working in our in our government at all levels. I mean, what do you hear what she talked about? I love small business. I love being a resource.


[00:06:17] I think what’s really interesting is that that you recognize that passion and you are able to leverage it Lu from the bank to the state. Right. I mean, I think that’s really morphed somewhat. Yeah. Businesses can benefit. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Really.


[00:06:31] So now let’s talk about the fab programs. The first one, as you were saying before I rudely interrupted News-Wall.


[00:06:37] That’s fine. Yeah. Small business program that’s there to support your startups. And you know, your one, two, three year small businesses that maybe at the stage of I have an idea or they’re trying to get more business. How can I commit one thing that we realize with businesses across the state? They’re really, really good at what they do, but they really struggle with understanding the ecosystem in the state. And I know I have this issue, but I don’t know where to go to solve it. So we are there, problem solvers. The second program is our resistent industry program, where we support the existing manufacturers here in the State Department of Commerce. Of course, you know, we have a global development team that’s made up of our project managers, their recruiting industry here. But it is our job to help keep them here in this the same model. You know, how can we keep you here? What is going on? What can we connect to to solve some of those issues? Third program, we have a recycling market development program which helps our companies with their waste stream needs. Understanding the recycling supply chain to where you may have waste or product that’s just sitting there. How can we get that back into the supply chain? Get that over to some type of recycler or a supplier that can make that into another in product. Very robust recycling market development team. We hear all the time across the U.S. how our team at Commerce is the model for what’s going on to support recycling, recycling issues or opportunities going on in the state. We have a fourth program called Supplier Outreach, and our supplier outreach is there to support. Our existing supply chains are small and mid-size companies that are looking to do business with some of your larger your Volvos, your BMW, maybe your bowling.


[00:08:32] So we will put on B-to-B to where we will have these companies meeting with your larger OEMs into your ones to talk about what a mark. What am I capabilities? How can I solve some of the issues that you’re having? I would like to be a supplier, which you and I do, X, Y and Z innovatively. This can be janitorial. This can be events management. This can be a company that makes a widget that goes on a in product. But we do a lot of connecting through our supplier outreach and a lot of our OEM, the Tier 1s lean on Earth for support. And they will reach out and say, hey, we’re looking for it. Can you help us find a supplier or we’re looking for a supplier that’s a woman known or minority-owned. Can you help us find this? So we provide a lot of support on both ends. Lastly, the fifth program, which is evolving but is becoming something that we cannot ignore, is I Emergency Management program. A lot of people don’t know that we are responsible for the ESF 24 function whenever the state has a natural disaster. So we’re in charge of business response and recovery to help get our businesses back on their feet because you know, when we have a storm, it disrupts everything from moving product to our ports to Logistics to the interstates. Then they’re losing money, they’re getting flooded, they have damage. So how can we help support that and meet their needs? So as you can see, we we have a lot going on. In our division, yes, sir.


[00:10:02] Your third program we mentioned the recycling Maureen, I think a lot of our folks that listen are familiar with some of the changes made with some of the overseas countries and what they’re accepting. And that has had a serious ripple effect throughout Supply chain and caused a new sense of urgency. It seems like on how we can manage our waste and when we really have to figure out new ways. So are you all is that a busy, busy program?


[00:10:28] It is a very busy program because we are having to make that shift to have our companies think about regional more local suppliers. And we need to be preparing now on how to how to manage our own waste strength, because if we’re not able to send it to Thailand and to here and sit there, then we need to be able to manage that at home. Yeah. So how do we do that? Through local partners, the regional partners to other states. But that debt is a big piece of what they’re doing.


[00:10:59] And a big part of that, from what I understand and talk with some folks in the recycling industry, is is educating producers and manufacturers Ω Ω new ways of recycling, things that may didn’t exist just six months ago. That’s two years ago. And making them aware and aware of the folks that can take it and how that that facilitates, you know, because of these changes overseas. There was a city up in northeastern rudeness, one article about Greene Supply chain and without naming names, they for years were sending their waste overseas. And of course, that changed. So they began sending it to a domestic processor. And at the beginning of 2018, I want to say it was let’s just use round numbers. They were getting paid $5 or $10 per per ton of waste right by the processor. And as they were renegotiating that contract in the twenty nineteen, the rates were they were they were going to have to pay this up. The the taker one hundred one hundred twenty dollars per time. So not only had it shifted dramatically to where you know it’s not going to be a revenue stream but it was going to be a significant new burden, a burden on the business. So we’re going to have to get more creative. But I think one of the things that requires is we interviewed a car with Volvo Cars USA yesterday afternoon and they’ve got a big, big Harry iDesk audacious goal as relates to recycled plastics. Right. About 25 percent of all their plastics they’re gonna make recycled by just a few years from now. And that shit, while I’m sure that puts a big burden on finding suppliers and probably in automotive, making sure it meets specs, all this stuff. That’s some leadership, some ideas that it’s going to take. That’s right. And that’s that’s gonna.


[00:12:48] That’s what it’s gonna take to sustain us, to sustain the market, to help support companies to go more Greene. Yeah. And the more we able to make those shifts more domestically, then hopefully we’ll have other companies, you know, starting up and popping up that’s doing this to support that market, which is in turn creating more jobs, creating more opportunity. So it all plays hand-in-hand. Absolutely.


[00:13:11] And that was Malcolm just shot my note. It was 25 percent of all all plastics at Volvo Cars USA by 2025. Yeah. So that I saw dead on a slab yesterday. Yes. Six years. Right. And just six years away. All right. So let’s let’s talk about your role. So obviously you’re you’re leading PRB on but the five core programs in and overseeing those efforts. What else where else do you spend your time?


[00:13:38] Mostly, you know, trying to come to events such as this.


[00:13:42] Ecma is a huge partner of ours, and that’s the South Carolina Manufacturing Alliance, a great partner of ours, but is really important to spend time at platforms such as this so we can keep up what was going on from companies so we can continue to hear about trends, what’s happened and what are the concerns. So we can take that information back and continue to have those conversations internally to say what can we do to support that is really important to get out and hear that message, sit in an office all the time. You stay in a bubble, but you have to get out and to really understand what are their needs and what are some things that we can implement internally within our programs to really help support that. Our resistant industry program is just such a big piece of what we do because as this the industry touches everything. At one point I really wanted to make to is, you know, with commerce, our mission, you know, with the state’s lead business agency mission is economic development and improving the lives of our citizens through more opportunities. And we do this through the recruitment of new industry. But we also do it through support advisors to industry in helping them stay here. How do we. dem- grow and be sustainable. So what is this the industry program? I would be remiss if I didn’t add our partnership with South Carolina manufacturers tension partnership. We have a very strong alliance with them to where we do joint visits and we help companies with specific projects that they may have. And that can be around organizational issues.


[00:15:26] It can be systems, it can be workforce that can be sustainability. But we’re seeing a lot of great results from this partnership because, you know, we see ourselves as the ultimate competitor. And when they have this issue, they may need to be connected to a consultant that can help them with something on this Supply chain RMI internal system issue. We’re very proud that last fiscal year we had two hundred and forty joint visits and we MEP along with our is this the industry managers that are strategically placed throughout the state? One hundred and ninety completed projects through this partnership, through the work, two thousand two hundred and sixty nine jobs were created or retained and the statewide impact was six hundred and fourteen million. So the work that we’re doing out there is making a difference, is helping companies continue to move to move forward and really thinking about that connection from where I came from to now. You know, it’s so interesting how when I mentioned the building blocks, you know, I’m not having that conversation about deposits and investments in Treasury management, employee benefits. Now I’m having that conversation on different things business. Think about it. Think about recycling day, thinking about workforce, that making about supply chain, that thinking about how can I invest in new equipment to advance my company forward and oh my gosh, now I have this new equipment. My people aren’t trying to actually use this equipment. So how can we, you know, get them committed to maybe some income, a worker training programs so that so is is ultimately an act? Absolutely. We are the out.


[00:17:05] This is something about you mentioned the SC MEP. Yeah. And some our listeners may not be aware there is a MEP in every state. Right. And I’m not sure where the South Carolina won in Georgia. It goes to Georgia Tech in Alabama. They’ve got a where there in Birmingham and they’ve got a society that lit that house MEP. But regardless, great resources. And I love how you put it, where you you see your effort as as a connector, whether it’s programs you are leading in this. Right. Or other other programs. What about when you come out here and I also love how you put the you gotta come out and hear the voice, the customer and see what’s going on and connect with folks and get their feedback and take it back to the department. Commerce, what’s been talk about any key takeaways or what have been so the conversations you’ve had here so far.


[00:17:56] So I think for me, one of the biggest key takeaways is the whole cyber security room. And I don’t think a lot about companies. A truly understand how severe this is. M.B., there may be that they may not be quite ready for what they need to do to make changes internally, to be more compliant and to keep the intellectual property and patents, all of that protected. It was a very interesting session with the cyber security piece and we’ve been keeping an eye on that because there are also some D.O.D changes that’s coming down the pipeline for us Supply chain, which they’re gonna be requiring a new cybersecurity certification start in summer that’s now going to be implemented into their RFP. So, you know, more of your your OEM to was maybe a little bit more prepared for that one. But when you start talking two to three, the 4s are smaller businesses. They may not truly understand what it is that they need to do. How do we start engaging with them now to start thinking about this? Because this new CMC NCC, which stands for cyber security maturity model certification is around the corner. So we need to be thinking about that. So stay in a hit and understand and was coming down the pipeline and what can we do to provide to outreach? So you’re aware and then partnering with entities experts to help them, you know? Now doodah assessment. Now what can I put in place? So what type of security process would I need to be to put in place and then now help them with implementation so they can get ready for market changes that’s coming down the road? That’s what’s so important about platforms like this, going to conferences, going out and talking to companies, continue what to talk to our allies and our partners. That way we can help bita forward thinking for our companies here in the state.


[00:19:55] Love it. Malcolm to shop. A quick note, the Alabama Technology Network. Is who was part owner? Well, we weren’t in Birmingham broadcasting live there. That’s the local. State. What houses the MEP there? Okay. So.


[00:20:08] Oh yeah. Soaking of what’s on radars. Yeah. You got your finger on the pulse and love hearing you talk about how the state is interacting with the small business. Just fantastic. What are some of the trends that you’re aware of or watching or looking out for or maybe even worried about and you’re looking at the landscape.


[00:20:27] So some of the trends that we’re seeing last fiscal year, we did about 560 plus visits to companies across the state in the top three see areas of interest and trends that we are seeing is always centered around workforce, how to continue to be more competitive with the workforce, training opportunities, market development. How can we get more business? How can we commit to more business and help ourselves be a little bit more competitive? And then from there, trade is always a top issue is front and center. You know, it cannot be ignored, but it is a concern from imports to exports, which we do very well as a state with it’s poised and we have a very robust export trade department internally at Commerce. But those are the three areas that we’re seeing. And of course, to talked about cyber. It’s a big deal.


[00:21:28] He will do a great speaker here this week. Charles Mawson, CEO, Inc. You see that spoke around some of the cyber security challenges. And if you’re a manufacturer, if you’re in Supply chain, regardless of what sector and you don’t have some folks figuring out the landscape that’s going on in cybersecurity, do it. Do it today. Know, don’t wait till Monday. All right. So 560 visits in twenty nineteen, is that right? Fiscal year twenty eighteen. Twenty nineteen. Yeah. I thought I’ve done something by being a part. I’ve done well. I keep a worksheet in front of about 335 plant visits in my career and I thought I was doing something. The elf knocked out over 500 in less than a full year. And you going back you said 240 joint visits where you’re taken mepa. So you’ve got more resources, more brainstorming. That’s right. That’s really impressive. Okay. So how can our listeners tap into some of these things you’re doing? Right.


[00:22:26] So the best way to tap into us is w w w dot sc commerce dot com. And when you’re on site, click on at the top doing business here and it will list out all of the programs that I just mentioned as well as connect with us and you will be directly connected to someone on a team and we are looking forward to helping as much as we can.


[00:22:49] I believe it. Yeah. I will leave it. Love it. So we’ve been speaking with Ashely Teasdel director, business services with the South Carolina Department of Commerce. Thanks. What you do. Absolutely. Thanks for being in that opportunity. You bet. The ultimate connector that you the championship belt must come with the championship belt out to ya.


[00:23:06] Do I need to mention it when I go back at all? Yeah. Hey, good luck with jewelry.


[00:23:13] No, but getting a saw. I really appreciate what y’all do. And it’s no. We’ll come back South Carolina from the Atlanta area and tap in with what’s going on here. No wonder so many things. We good things are happening and so much team South Carolina approach. Yes, absolutely. Okay. Ashley, thanks so much. Have a wonderful weekend. And now we’re gonna finish a wrap up on just a couple upcoming events we’ve got coming up. Beau, 9:20, September 20th. We’ve got a executive roundtable. What would all we’re talking about?


[00:23:41] Yes. So myself and a Emory professor named Robert CCA’s engine are going to be talking about the elements of a good strategy and the elements of World-Class execution.


[00:23:52] Pen tastic hosts of our friends are all Golden Gregory LLP in Atlanta. Gorgeous view buildings got a test. Twenty five use up over the connector in Atlanta, shouts Atlanta. Looking forward to the event. If you need information or details, you can shoot us. Note to connect at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com.


[00:24:12] And one other touch on, Greg is the Georgia Manufacturing Summit on October 9 at the Cobb Galleria. So we’re gonna have about a thousand attendees. Is it? Is it at a thousand yet?


[00:24:23] Alex a thousand attendees browsing about ten thousand, representing about ten thousand Georgia manufacturers and the companies that do business with them.


[00:24:34] So it’s going to be a great session. Bo and Scott both have panel sessions there. They’re having a contest to see who’s who’s better. There is no contest. Now, there’s no contest because minorly better because I’m doing a live broadcast and I’m going to have a couple of trade ministers from. Yeah, some from a couple countries that are near us.


[00:24:56] What’s so cool about that, as Ashley mentioned, after five. Sixty visits, that short list of things are top, front and center for business leaders. You know, workforce market development and trade. Know, I’m really curious to see from kind of other perspectives we know what some some key takeaways, art and science.


[00:25:14] Well, it’s also interesting how much we talked about those issues in almost every single interview that we did at this show. The workforce certainly trade definitely impactful in a number of them. So, yeah, great point.


[00:25:28] Great point. And one other quick note about the Georgia manufacturing alliance and the Jordan manufacturing summit. October night is Jason Maule, CEO of the GMH has freed up 50 seats. Free and clear to our veterans. No strings attached. Well, we know we’ve talk about we’re passionate about serving that community. So if you’ve heard about any of our show. If you’re in any of our shows, we all talk about about the transition. You know, veterans have a challenge. Tom, transitioning into the private sector as well as once, sir, they’re developing that network. Right. And events like this, events like we’ve been at the last couple days are great opportunities. So if you’re a veteran listening and you’re interested, you can go to Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com and you can use the Code USA, a vet for one of the 50 seats if they’re still available. So great. Great job, Jason. And my team. OK. So Austin, Texas, November, Vegas and February. And then what? I guess maybe.


[00:26:22] Were you waiting for me to say what goes on there stays or what?


[00:26:26] But in March, Marc Jenny and Maureen, in which I biotech’s I bet is going to plenty of South Carolina business leaders at this event coming up then.


[00:26:33] Yeah, it’s amazing. Display of materials handling equipment there. I mean, they basically set up factories well and and warehouses right there in the facility. Thirty five thousand of your closest friends motor show dot com. Yeah. Right. March free to a twenty twenty. Oh okay. Oh what a great what a great show today. Actually, one more thing. Yeah. Please. Atlanta Supply chain Awards also on Tuesday, March 10th. Right. During mutex. Yeah, right. About moting Joy brought to you by Supply chain Supply chain. Now radio.


[00:27:07] Man Nice. Very nice. You working on that? No kidding aside, there’s so much going on. We love covering dummied just like what you heard today from Ashely Teasdel. There’s so many folks that are doing such critical work across and then supply chain and we’ll take it as our mission and get that get that information out, get those insights out, get those resources out. So I really have enjoyed this 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 again on Apple podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube, all the leading sites where podcast can be found. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything on behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team, including Greg and Beau. This is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead. Weekend ahead. We’ll see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks for watching.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott, Greg, and Beau as they interview Ashely Teasdel for SCNR Episode 178 at the AIAG SCAC Supply Chain and Quality Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

Featured Guests

Ashely Teasdel joined the SC Department of Commerce in 2015. She currently serves as the director of the Business Services division, which focuses its efforts on small business development, existing industry support, supplier outreach and recycling market development. With the belief that every business, large or small, deserves every benefit it can get, Ashely has dedicated her time to working with statewide partners and allies to develop services that local businesses and global enterprises can leverage to be successful.  Prior to this role, Ashely spent almost a decade working in the banking sector, focusing on small business advisory support and development within South Carolina. She served in a variety of roles, including financial center management, small business advisor and small commercial lending. Ashely is an active member of the SC Small Business Advisory Council and serves on the board for the SC Small Business Development Centers and Junior Achievement of Greater SC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Charleston Southern University and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Wesleyan University. She is a graduate of the BB&T Leadership Development Institute in Winston-Salem, NC and participated in the South Carolina Economic Development Institute where she received a certificate of completion. Learn more about the SC Department of Commerce here:

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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Kim Reuter

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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