“Everybody told me I was crazy. I just told them, ‘sit and watch me’.”
– Tania Allen, President and CEO at ItGresa Consulting Group, Inc.
SCNR’s Full Access podcast series focuses on providing diverse thought, leadership, and supply chain industry insights from female guests and leaders in the end-to-end global supply chain.
This episode of the series shines a light on Tania Allen, President and CEO at ItGresa Consulting Group, Inc. She immigrated to the United States from Venezuela in 1999. Shortly thereafter, she was accepted into Georgia Tech and selected for an internship with a technology company. Today she leads a team of consultants that specialize in addressing cyber-threats, increasing brand presence online and educating companies on security and IT.
In this interview, Tania shares her point of view with Supply Chain Now Radio co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton on:
[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting live 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 live on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. On this episode, we’re going to be continuing our full access series here on Supply Chain Now Radio where we are have been interviewing exceptional female leaders from across industry. Today, we’re gonna be spending time with a technology guru and repeat guest. So more on that in just a minute. Quick programing note, like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety channels, Apple podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube, wherever else you get your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe so you all thing. So let’s thank all of our sponsors real quick that allow us to bring these best practices and innovative ideas to you, our audience. The Effective syndicate, ProPurchaser.com, Supplychainrealestate.com and Talentstream. Many, many more. You can check out each of our sponsors on the show notes of the episode. So let’s say hello to my esteemed co-host here today. Mr. Greg White successful Supply chain technology entrepreneur, trusted advisor and Hall of Fame. Kinzie Chiefs fan. Hey, doing great.
[00:01:36] I’m doing great. I’m doing great.
[00:01:39] Even despite yesterday so well, I’m breaking out my crystal ball and I’ll see the chiefs have a very bright future ahead. So we’ll see how it plays out.
[00:01:49] There were some good signs from yesterday. There were some terrible signs, but we’ve got a lot of injuries. And so anyway. Hey, I know what this is, is being recorded and will be released also at a later date. But today is not only Singles Day, so people know the day this was recorded on, it’s not only Singles Day and they’ve already broken the record for previous singles days, but also Veterans Day. So I’d like to thank all the vets out there and our vet in here. Scott Luton. Many people probably don’t even know if they don’t listen to our Vetlanta Voice series that you’re a veteran. So anyway, thank you for your service.
[00:02:29] Appreciate that. And definitely big, big thanks to all the veterans that have served the country and defended what we enjoy here today. You know, being entrepreneurs, going out, being a make eleven, we can’t do that without the great service to our country that all of our veterans have provided. So appreciate that, Greg. Okay. Well, I’m really excited about who are repeat guests we’re having here today. MS. Tanya Allen, president and CEO at Agressor Consulting Group Inc. Hey, doing good.
[00:03:00] And thank you for being with Dacian. Happy to be here. Great to have you.
[00:03:03] We enjoyed our early awarded also. Absolutely. You said duly awarded. Hurley newly awarded. Well, we’ll get to that later. Okay. I’m a little bit slow on this Monday. So, Tanya, we really have enjoyed your perspective. You’re on the show back when we broadcast law from the George Hispanic Chamber of Commerce a few months back. And either prior to that or just after that, I can’t remember which you came out and gave a keynote at a regional apex event at Georgia Tech Hild Force. And we got a ton of feedback from both of those appearances beyond everything else you do. I think you’ve got an event you’re speaking at this week. So thanks for carving out some time to be back here.
[00:03:44] Thank you so much. Well, I’m glad that it went well.
[00:03:47] Yes, we. You know, as we talk, you always want good feedback.
[00:03:52] As we as we talk about, you know, you are a technology subcommander expert. And, you know, given that the world supply chain is our backdrop here at Supply Chain Now Radio, we can’t talk enough about technology in general, but in particular cyber security. And that was a big thrust of your presentation at the Apex regional event. I think that’s one of the things that really resonate with a lot of our attendees. So but with all that being said, let’s dove into your story. You know, one of the things we love most about this full access series is it gives us a chance beyond just a fifteen minute snippet into some some industry insights to get to know these fascinating leaders that are making things happen across industry. So are you ready? Yes. Buckled in. Yes. All right. Go get. So, for starters, let’s talk about what your firm does. And I think even before that, let’s talk about the story behind the name.
[00:04:47] So I nmc you down entrepreneur. Eighty eight degrees. I came out of the name of Venezuela. More lighting is coal.
[00:04:57] My pocketbook thegood is clean tigers’. So when you put them, they tie grass. Is that degress? Right. So when you put EITI caressa, that’s why we do this, who we are. We help we we kill tigers and we hunt tigers. And then we also help the business HAUNER owners hone their own tigers as well. So, Gary, we can relate.
[00:05:28] And we’re talking I won’t say metaphorically, but is that right?
[00:05:34] Yeah. Let’s say that we’re cool sports, guys. OK. If you’re the tie.
[00:05:40] I mean, clearly, tigers can refer to technology. Huge technology challenge of zoriah that that can barchester, you know, in the worst possible times. And know we’re also talking in the warm up just how much growth your organization is going through, which is probably attributed to many different things. But probably the chief amongst them is just how so many folks are looking for solutions from a technology standpoint these days, right?
[00:06:04] Yes, is correct. And they think of all hunting a tiger is not easy challenge. Right.
[00:06:11] So, yes, you go after you better know what you’re doing. And if you don’t know, at least you learn from this variance, why you need to do so. That is where I think it is a comps. And as our ninth or partner, you don’t you. It is a learning process from the very beginning. You know where we are and where we’re going in. And we see all the challenges that older prisoners and Beatson business owners are facing with all the tsunami of information and technology.
[00:06:48] You know, people faces now these days and a shortage even if you’re technologically savvy. Yes. Dealing with your I.T. issues is not what you want to do. I mean, you know, your business, whatever your business is, right. As an entrepreneur, you know that business you don’t want to be. I can tell you for certain we’ve experienced it here and I’ve experienced previous businesses. You just want that stuff handled. So it’s really valuable to an entrepreneur to be able to focus on your vision and not have to worry about all of the I.T. stuff. Good point.
[00:07:20] That’s right. So if you can them know that you are helping across a spectrum of different solutions and challenges. But if you were to think about a couple of technology projects or engagements or needs that you’re helping. Give us a couple examples of the types of projects that I’ll take.
[00:07:36] Ressa is involved in some of the projects. What we do help people when they come to us because we do cyber security, whether Bellomo and Network Security to social media and Cille. And we teach children robotics and we talk to groups like you of all, you know, entrepreneurship and how what it takes to be, you know, also said for end to end or when it comes to that people coms like social media Lu with a problem. I want to be more visible. OK. What do you have online that you not getting that visibility? OK. Is the information that you have there is helping your business always helping attract hackers to go after?
[00:08:22] Don’t be the latter. All right. So what do you think about that as a possibility? Exactly.
[00:08:28] So, you know, when we were when people come to us, they come with a problem. But then when we started working with this person, you know, with this business owner, we see what is their position in the cyber security aspect. Right. Because all of services and products are we have our security in mind. All right. So we you know, that is that the niche that we have? That is the service, the yampa that we bring in.
[00:08:58] Ok. I like that.
[00:09:00] I like that that we bring in, you know, so. And some of the producers, like, for example, okay, we need a company, Supply chain company, that they have presence in many places in the country and all the countries. We need a phishing simulation to train their people and whatever. But when we start looking in there before they even give me the information, I already knew too much really. And I wasn’t physically and their infrastructure and distillations and their headquarters. So what does that tell me? And and that’s something that they they didn’t do that just to attract hackers. They didn’t do that. You know, all the mistakes. Try it because it’s lack of education or business owners and the executive.
[00:09:50] Sure. They don’t know what they don’t know inside arrest. That’s correct.
[00:09:52] And so part of us is part of what we do is. Okay. Right. And they said, look, this is. This is what we see online, which is no good. If I can see it from Georgia, somebody else can see it from the other side of the wall. Right. Right. So we we assess their physical their online presson first and we assess the physical presence. If I can see all this stuff online, I can imagine what you have, you know. Right. You know, and place. Yeah. So we ended up doing fishing simulations and training and customizing training for not only the employees, but for the seal.
[00:10:36] And the second in command as well. You know, with our fairly prominent social presence.
[00:10:44] It makes me immediately think we need help. Let me know what you like. Let’s just talk after the shoot. I can see the large throws me too much.
[00:10:54] Too much. I will tell you. OK, great. Yes. I’ll be glad to help.
[00:10:58] So what’s your favorite part about all this? I mean, you bring so much to the table and of course, be an entrepreneur. There’s a you know, I think a lot of folks really enjoy the you know, you don’t want this thing one hour, this thing the next hour. What’s your favorite part about the whole the whole shebang?
[00:11:16] Their favorite part of being an entrepreneur is that you can’t big the pro the project that you won, which have more challenging ones.
[00:11:27] And then you pass off the rest to somebody else. Right. Then pick pick my clients. Sorry. That’s true. Yeah. I get to control my agenda. Most of the time. My time. So.
[00:11:41] And the other thing is we get to try new technologies to apply for our own business. And with that, we put together processes, services that we can offer to clients as well, because we think, OK, well for us and make her life easier. Let offer it to our clients as well. So we always we have. I know. So make a shop. We buy everything. We’ll guide you. That comes to market. We kind of pretty much reverse engineer to see how we can use it and apply to our business. And then we you know, we offer it to to our clients. You know?
[00:12:15] Wow, that’s really cool. Yeah. You get to buy all the new gadgets.
[00:12:19] That’s right.
[00:12:22] So we tried to make money. So that is why we made that series of products and with those selling it. Well, that’s kind of important. Right. Yeah, that’s fun. Exactly.
[00:12:32] So let’s let’s move. Let’s change gears. And I want to move back in time a little bit. So to tell us more about where you grew up.
[00:12:41] And originally from Venezuela.
[00:12:44] I come from a city called Maracaibo, and I were just telling you guys early that supposedly we don’t speak proper Spanish because it was Figley that and the Lucien’s soon as Spain. Right. But that makos proud of who we are. We’re a little bit different. We we talk very sarcastically.
[00:13:05] You know, we make a lot of jokes and that’s great. So anyway.
[00:13:13] But yeah, that that is where I come from. I came here in 1999 because politically, Venezuela wasn’t looking. That was going in the right direction. So I’m glad I made the call to leave on time.
[00:13:29] It’s pretty brave. I mean, it was born that way. Yeah.
[00:13:33] Did you have any support system here when you came here?
[00:13:36] No, I came because in that time, my mom just die. And I thought that it was a good time to get out, just to move away. And I can’t just tell the English because my English was very limited. And even though I was in computer, in, you know, technology in my country. But I thought the opportunity to come and, you know, learn the language and, you know, make myself more valuable as a professional became another language. So when I came, I did that. I went to Georgia Tech, learn English. It wasn’t easy seeing as I and I was dyslexic, got no support to be OK with my native language. But I they have a great program and my learn and it took a lot of effort and, you know, it went well. So school in the meantime. Sorry.
[00:14:29] She came. In Atlanta first. Right. When you immigrated.
[00:14:32] Yeah. Dan Solla. Yes. Outstanding. And the reason that I know Atlanta. Because I saw the Olympic Games in 1996 and I thought it was beautiful, honestly. What a beautiful city. You know. Right.
[00:14:44] It is.
[00:14:46] If we move anywhere, we move anywhere. So I thought to leave by Georgia Tech and then some of those apartments by the. And it was chosen really convenient. And, you know, in the meantime that I was there, they did a job fair. And because I was at Georgia Tech student studying e._s._l. I apply and give résumés.
[00:15:09] And I got a call I got a phone call to do to get on the sponsorship and work for a technology company. Outstanding. So I was lucky.
[00:15:20] Big bit. I mean, that pick up and move into a brand new country and still learn kind of the dominant language. You know, that the market speaks while attending one of the most difficult schools or challenging schools, right? Right. I mean, you or you are feeding for the virus in terms of all things challenging at that time.
[00:15:41] He was challenging. And so what did you get your degree in?
[00:15:46] You know this for my first degrees as a nurse. OK. Yeah, that’s right. I am a nurse and a technologist these days. Right.
[00:15:58] So I graduated in ninety seven eighty seven and I think any seven as a nurse that was 70 years old or education system going to school, it’s a little different. And so you study extra years in high school, you you get a Technical degree. In this case I think the after years or I became a professional nurse. So the plan was to study medicine. That’s what my mom wanted.
[00:16:26] Every mother does. It seems like I’m actually I really liked it.
[00:16:32] I really liked it. And I thought that’s what I want to do. But then I just I learned so many things. As a nurse. Mark my life professionally and personally.
[00:16:46] Jack said I am PTSD because what you do, your husband Jack lists are checked out.
[00:16:54] He he think that because I am germ phobic.
[00:17:00] But also I learned that is your late patient die? Yes. And the other thing that I learned, I didn’t want to be a nurse makos. I did things like watch people die. Yeah. And so I quit. They still make that every day.
[00:17:16] You know, that’s I think that’s that’s that’s often an afterthought in this profession. You know, we’ve got film family members that served as nurses and then the medical profession. And, you know, it can’t be traumatizing because if you’re, you know, working in hospitals. Right. You know, the ICU and we’re folks are in really bad condition. If one doesn’t make it. There is a there an emotional rigor that it requires a B, especially to be there for years and years. Near so it can take a huge toll. Right?
[00:17:47] It does, it does. And, you know, maybe because I was very young. And I think if I will be all older, you know, a mature adult, I probably will have the differently. So not that experience. And one other thing, I felt so guilty because I really liked it. And I really like the service and, you know, the help and either below a lot of my soft skills, you know, of, you know, dealing with people. And so one other thing that I was always, you know, debating one when I was trying to figure it out. Do I stay here or what? Or do I move? I felt like I was betraying, you know, the fight that I took off to help in.
[00:18:31] And I just didn’t think I could do it. I was okay. Is there something wrong with me? It’s why I cry all the time. Is no right? Right. Because I wasn’t. I was looking at a mirror. See, people cry. You know, the nurses. So I talked to one of my teachers and I said, how are you?
[00:18:50] How did you do it? How how is this important to you, you know? And she’s like, what do you think? Are you a teacher? Yeah. Good point. And then it came to my realization that, like, I have auctions. Yeah. I have auctions. You know, I like it, but I don’t think I got your back. Exactly. No, my things, not my path.
[00:19:18] So, you know, a minute or two ago, I talked about how nurses these days are technologies, you know. I was in Columbia, South Carolina, meeting with the founder and leader of audiology, Lonnie Aimard, with who spent a lifetime with blue blueshield. And they found this this neat nonprofit group to help empower and engage and educate, create awareness for all things technology. He told me one time he’s like Scott nurses. So a huge demand for nurses. But nurses aren’t traditional nurses these days. They’re there. They’re working with systems and technology and databases and and McMaster time. And that really when it went. That was a few years back when it dawned on me that can be expanded out across industry regardless professions or almost required to be a technologist. So you’re making that bridge from from your early your first career to what you’re doing now. It’s not a bridge too far, right?
[00:20:20] No, it’s not universal pride that all the knowledge that I had as a nurse, it helped me to transition into I.T. because I remember when I told my mom, I want to I want to do I.T. I don’t want to be a nurse anymore. And she thought, well, I think your next path is to be a doctor.
[00:20:39] That makes more sense. That makes it more logic and does it well to you, but not to me.
[00:20:46] So I think I can’t choose if I’m going to be a doctor or had to study I three books. Why can I do it as a person? I’m going to be studying. I’m going to be, you know, eating books. I had to sign on the university and whatever. And so there was no such a thing as a I got a woman in my country that it will be in the I.T. because is a male dominated field.
[00:21:12] Malcolm did a country and female in a male dominated industry that I was trying to look, you know, to work.
[00:21:19] And so my mom was she didn’t think I could do it. No, because she thought I was an intelligent. She she thought I was gonna be her. Yeah. Because of the because of the societal.
[00:21:34] Yeah. And I said, mom, it was all an emotional thing. It was no logic. Right. And I said do don’t worry about me. I can’t take it. I know what I’m getting into it. I know that if I’m going to be doing this, I need to show what I can do.
[00:21:51] If your mom just see you now. Yeah. Holy cow. Yeah. Yes.
[00:21:56] So. And, you know, it wasn’t easy, but I I I did it. So in time because I was working as a nurse. I will go to school in the evening. I was working a full time job.
[00:22:09] And I will go to a school and they in the afternoon, the evening, quit my uniform and were like, what is the nurse doing here?
[00:22:21] And they will. My phone. Yeah. Could you stand out anymore?
[00:22:25] And I was like, the first. First I feel out of place, but then I actually felt proud of myself.
[00:22:32] Yeah. Because I would join. Then why are you tagging me? Yeah. I can do this whether I am a nurse or not. The way I am a won’t or not, you know, I can do this. And so actually, I got a lot of respect from teachers.
[00:22:49] And you know, that that they actually supported me, you know, that making that transition. They knew it wasn’t gonna be easy, but I had the low, you know.
[00:23:00] Were you motivated by that doubt or calling out or whatever you want to call it, that adversity? Yeah. Adversity that you experienced there. I mean.
[00:23:11] Yes. I. I. Everybody that told me that I was crazy. I just told them. See, you don’t watch me.
[00:23:18] You said it’s all right. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:23:21] See, that was me. I’m not doing what you think I am able to do. You know who I am.
[00:23:28] Fantastic. So let’s talk about so so clearly you had plenty of folks challenging your path and then you had some some early believers. I even though if you’re talking about your mother, she didn’t doubt your intelligence. She was, as Greg put it, was shaped by the societal norms. Right. So really, she’s trying to protect your marriage like most mothers. But any other early role models that really influenced you and impacted your your path?
[00:23:57] You can make. My mom was my role model because she was very intelligent. She didn’t have all the opportunities we had. For her to finish her high school, she put herself in the school. She believed in education and we didn’t have money.
[00:24:18] There were many times debate with her and my father, whether buyers uniforms and books or sending oh, given us food.
[00:24:27] So I knew education was a big deal.
[00:24:30] And then I thought, yes, I know you are doing sacrifices in in. Why not what you want? On one, I’m gonna take it for granted. We’re you know, we’re gonna do our best for you to be proud of us. And also you sacrifice. It won’t be and. Right. So and with all of that, we are five siblings. We all went to college and most of us have more than one degree. OK. Wow.
[00:24:58] And where are your your four other siblings right now? Are they. Some here. Some. Still back in South America.
[00:25:04] Yeah. I have a brother here. He’s in Texas and he works in the oil industry. They have. He’s a mechanical engineer, have a master in local certifications and whatever you would think.
[00:25:18] Smart guy.
[00:25:19] Yeah. He’s very smart. And I have other saved lives. Two in Panama and one in Charlotte. Okay. Oh, it goes, as you all know. But it’s always unliveable. Brian. Yeah. So, um. But yeah. So she. She was a role model. A.. I Hawaiian.
[00:25:37] And actually the last conversation that I had called we heard before she die was you you should leave the country. Mm hmm. You you to go and learn English. And that was her last conversation. So I thought you passed. I was thinking, okay, what I’m gonna do now? Mm hmm. And I remember that conversation. Yeah, I do what mother says. Exactly. And how how how she knew that was that was my path to take. I don’t know. I just I just listen. Um. It was good.
[00:26:07] Yeah. So looking back, SME. You’re early age. You made so many bright and bold decisions. I ask this question regardless. If you were to give your 21 year old 21 year old version of yourself any advice? Looking back, what would that be?
[00:26:24] Yeah. When I was 20 years old, I just got my first degree in I.T. I got another degree as a computer engineering had got a 90 set. I got it in 96. Yes.
[00:26:35] And so by then, I was worried that I made a mistake about wanting to. i._t. i-. I love it. And I knew what I was doing, but I was thinking, well, how do I need to behave to be able to fit in? How do I need to change the message that I and I and it’s ma uncapable and I in a good professional that I am a good programmer because I had an I.D. degree.
[00:27:05] But they were like, I don’t think you know how to program. Oh. Oh, hey. How she can be able to do this?
[00:27:14] Why did they why did they have that feeling? Do you think it was because you’re a female?
[00:27:17] Because I was a female. Well, soon with all of your certifications and degrees bhasker. Right.
[00:27:24] So I nutbars. But the thing was by then I was. One other thing I can tell myself then is, you know.
[00:27:36] Follow, follow. Why you, you know, follow your dream. This is what I want. You know, don’t let people tell you otherwise.
[00:27:45] And the only thing is don’t try to feed it to somebody else.
[00:27:52] Choose. You know? So you just just be. You know, sure. That sometimes when people doubt you is not because of you is because of them. Yeah. And the sad thing sometime is what?
[00:28:11] What people. Many times people told me you’re no good. It was not because my witness. Oh, because what I slack off. It was because what I excel at.
[00:28:24] Because what I was excelling at. Oh, you know, because I got I got no degree. I was preparing myself to be good. You know, to be good in this field. And a lot of people felt like, oh, well, I know you got they got to do these. And in bravery and whatever. But you’re still no good. So. And that that looking bad and that. Now, I don’t have a problem. But looking back, I was I felt like, you know, I wish I didn’t pay attention. And I listen to wash over the negativity. Right. That you know, that we’re trying to step in my way. Right. It’s basically my male coworkers. And, you know, even people that’s on Rod myself, friends. And, you know, even family relative. Right. So I look back and I’m like, I’m so glad and so stubborn. And I didn’t listen to any of this.
[00:29:22] Okay. You know, negativity will find you. And, you know, unless you’re a robot, we all get impacted by, you know, some of the it’s a rose negative.
[00:29:31] Right. I mean, it hasn’t erosive effect. Yeah. Even if I feel convicted in your in your chosen field or your vision or mission in life or whatever, that can have an erosive effect. Yeah. Right. And it takes a lot of strength to fight through that resolve.
[00:29:48] And resilience is what I’m picking up here. And even though you say that you you listen too much that early on. Clearly, you were full speed ahead regardless, even if it did impact your confidence or your sense of self. Early on. You know, I think I’ll think leaders and successful leaders, despite that, that the human element that we all are impact with those things. Big goal. Goal. And keep on going.
[00:30:16] Right. And and that’s that’s one. It was a problem when I had to get promoted, cause I would. I was doing engineer job, you know, and things like that. And I wasn’t getting promoted. And I said, why? I’m not getting promoted if I’m doing this job.
[00:30:31] Well, we call you honoring your engineer. Oh, okay. That’s what I need, a piece of paper. No problem.
[00:30:40] So. Let’s talk about your first your first of your early promotions.
[00:30:46] What? When are your first big win or your first big recognition within your career?
[00:30:52] What was that when I became an engineer? Okay. So I went to school, put myself back in school, and I say, OK, why are you gonna tell me now? I have a piece of paper, you know, and then we’re like, oh, okay. By weight, I mean, how can you be a good engineer?
[00:31:11] And I say, here we are again in point zero. And I was like, okay, how I can differentiate myself and send the message that how you look is no matter or your gender. How can I do this? So. And but but guess what? I did? What? Because of my training as a nurse. Remember when I said. What alert? Mark me for life. Yes. You should not be late because your patient die. Right. So in my country and you are for Argentina, huh? You was no me like you. OK, yeah. Manana tomorrow. Yeah. So do you want a project done just today? I was the junior you to call. I was a junior. You should be talking to to get your project done on time or hit. Hmm. And that is how I differentiate myself. And by the way, I was that engineer that you had a headache and you were worried about your blood pressure. You come to me.
[00:32:22] Who else could do that? That’s a really good one. Yeah.
[00:32:27] I mean, you were like, oh, my gosh. I think a short overbite, I mean. Yes. OK. My God.
[00:32:34] You come into my office. Do you know? So, yes, I didn’t need to pretend to be somebody else.
[00:32:43] I didn’t pretend to be a man. I didn’t pretend to model after anybody else. I just use my skills that I learned. Yeah. You know, and differentiate myself and find my niche. Yeah. And that is how as a business owner now, that is how I became entrepreneur. I thought of looking for niche.
[00:33:06] Well, so we’re gonna. Now we’re gonna fit in that. We started in the present. We went back and now we’re going to fast forward back to the present. You were recognized at an event? We were both at the the yearly gala at the Georgia Senate Chamber Commerce, which is an organization on the move. By the way, JCC, dot org. It’s amazing what they’re doing there to grow the organization and serve a growing segment, the population here in Georgia and beyond. They’re there for all. So you are the, I think, the 2018 businesswoman of the year, right? Yes. What an incredible honor. I saw you accept it. And and you were beaming. Which you should have been. Tell us about it. Just tell us about the whole process. You know, when you first realize you were nominated and then kind of some of the reasons why you’re nominated, maybe. And then what it meant to win.
[00:33:57] Well, it was a great surprise. And I know a great honor. It was like I said, as you heard my story bag, so many challenges and so many ups and downs. And it was a Sinti I warn his team on JCC, EFT recognized. I’m kind of beat of UNICOR. I am the only one interpreter that owns a technology cyber security company. And I’m Latina. Yeah. So and the other thing is one other thing that I learned is people do business with you because you inspire trust. And you can give long yampa. So there’s something that isn’t better. What was that line? Yapa is good être. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You know, you you gave a little more than they ask you. Yes. And so you keep people happy that way. But also we always trying to help the business owner, even when they ask us to do our Web site for then sometimes people don’t know how they’re going to sell, you know, how they’re going to sell this business, how they’re going to solve this problem.
[00:35:16] And we kind of mentor because we’ve already been there so many times. We mentor people and say, well, after you get these Web site, why you won the forcing people to do call you, email you. And then what is you response. So I think we help a lot of of that were clients. Norley We gave them a discount for Visa JCC members, but also we help them mentoring and pretty much hold them by the hand along the way. And I think also we help a lot of business owners to avoid cyber, you know, to get to get compromised with cyber attacks and creating a warrant as in and things like that. And that is something that JCC realized that people and business owners can showcase their business and also educate other business owners and things that you’re not supposed to not be good. That is not what you do business. Right. Also, by sharing with each other while we you know what we do and how we do it in. In saying that, you should know. I think we created a great value for all the business owners in Canberra. Oh, sorry. What was it?
[00:36:31] Now we’re talking about your job. Here’s what the question was. Was.
[00:36:37] There’s a thousand people in the room, and to see good people, you’d be recognized. Smart business people in a growing business in a niche that is underserved. You know, we’ve talked about that despite all the challenges and the pains and the threats for obstacles.
[00:36:53] Right. Was there anybody in particular that you wanted to show that award to and just Kisha? You don’t have to name names, but I have a feeling there might have been one or two people that you wanted to show that award to. All the naysayers say earlier.
[00:37:09] And trust me, that is. You’ll be surprised that still we have. I encounter, you know, because Jackson. He’s in technology. He’s he worked for Cisco. They think he’s the one who knows. I don’t know anything.
[00:37:25] And so from Whitman. Oh, my best disability. Yeah, it is. And I like. Look, I am train. I got my first Greene ATDC 1991. So I do know what I’m doing.
[00:37:42] Oh, my God. I love that.
[00:37:44] He’s very talented over there. Our listeners and professionals at work here to our list.
[00:37:57] Jack is in the room with us, actually. We’ve got a podcast this afternoon. So we’re having a good time here. But I can see how going back to how you started the interview. You get to pick and choose who you do business with. Right. Yeah. And even though sometimes we do take business along with naysayers and I’m proven wrong. Other times it may not be worth the battle. Right. But anyway, let’s say I want to shift gears a little bit. So. So, again, huge honor with the JCC Businesswoman of the Year award for 2018. Let’s let’s talk about getting some your industry trends and insights. Right. What are some of the industry issues or topics or developments that are on your radar more than others here lately?
[00:38:42] One other thing we follow is the giant in technology, all the best company been eBay. Everybody’s trying to innovate faster than others. Right.
[00:38:53] And one other thing that they did a survey not too long ago is how many people how many companies at these big companies are engaging with to buy what kind of put all those in services? And well, we had notices this would raise say is people are trying to get less vendors. They’re trying to they they’re trying not to deal with so many vendors. They’re trying to say, yes, it’s very nice all day long, some of them. Exactly. So what these big giants and technologies are doing is creating services. And Prado’s where I and you only been there because I will give you the technology and the integrations and architectures. APL installs that process and get this, an Olympics. They want to know right away how their business is doing. Instead of waiting for the quarter to wait for the submit six months, instead of waiting for the end of the year and see they lose money or not.
[00:39:54] So it’s very interesting to watch how these big companies are brilliant, a big garage beat they orders and to create services and put all those that gives everything that a business owner needs.
[00:40:11] And in, you know, just said we have everything that you need growing your business. And by the way, to be profitable and and to expand and to grow. And we will hold you by the hand.
[00:40:27] Do you think specialization gets lost in that? And then that big trend where, you know, it seems like what I’m hearing you say, some of these giants are trying to be the one stop shop for everything you need, right? Yeah. But do you think that specialization, which is so important, was can get lost in the shuffle with this trend and changes?
[00:40:48] I see. I worry about few things.
[00:40:52] But what I see is a bit opportunity.
[00:40:57] Of course you do. To do business, I always. What else? What else would you see? But opportunity to.
[00:41:04] Because one day I’m not going to be able to do it on their own. Yeah. So what they’re trying to do is engage older small businesses to partner with. So we are Cisco partners.
[00:41:17] Cisco is training us. We’re in a constant training with them. And not only their training those and how that technology work, but how to sell them.
[00:41:27] Ok, so is that that is changing. Because before you work on OK, well, you’re a partner. You’re on your own. So figured it out. You’ll make money. No, no. The.
[00:41:35] Make sure you make money because what what is a relationship? They make money is where you make money. They make money, right? That’s correct. All right. So, you know, and in that sense, in that we that I see the opportunities to partner, which is good for us as a small business and also well with new innovations. What creates a big gap in talent? We can fill this gap. Right. OK.
[00:42:06] And and as we all know, we have a deficit of engineers and cyber security. You know, people with all these on, you know, new innovations. Right. But the thing is, if we watch it where the trend goes and we watch the industry, what is going.
[00:42:24] They are creating new jobs and new opportunities for new professionals. Where? OK, well, maybe we, though, need to many network engineers as we used to, because now everything’s deploy in the cloud. One dashboard you can deploy Crowder’s and Swiegers no matter where you are globally.
[00:42:45] But you can use the you can use the people and to the work. Hanaa, out of mortar and for autonomous vehicles.
[00:42:56] Yeah. And the new technologies. The drones. Yeah. OK. How we now with cyber security moving into how we can protect these autonomous vehicle, how we can target those drones that U.P.S. and Amazon are deploying.
[00:43:12] Right. Right. You know, want those hacked is actually we don’t write those hack. We want to protect them. So to me, is this a SEAL opportunities?
[00:43:23] I think the way that people are deploying the sort of one stop shop is a lot differently. Look, IBM had this idea decades ago. I mean, IBM started, first of all, with typewriters. But obviously a hardware company. They they included software.
[00:43:41] Then they and they included implementation and technology and business process optimization. They acquired PricewaterhouseCoopers and did business process consulting and that sort of thing. But I think what a lot of companies like Cisco and Google and other companies have discovered is that at IBM, when they would acquire something, it got lost into this vast black hole. And I never saw hide nor hair of that company again. And it really became junior sized is what you’re talking about, Scott.
[00:44:12] And I think what today’s companies are doing is they are leveraging the relationships with specialists to deliver that appropriate level, I guess, or a appropriate level of it of engagement and the appropriate level of company for the appropriate level of customer without covering it up and burying it in their infrastructure.
[00:44:37] And and I think that’s what is create what creates the opportunities for companies like yours and others is is you have a value to a certain certain niche, as you describe it, your niche in the marketplace. Right.
[00:44:50] An engineering company that can also give you a vitamin shot that I find incredibly valuable.
[00:44:59] Cyber security, cyber health that.
[00:45:03] No, but I mean, you know, in all seriousness, you have the ability to deliver to a certain segment of the population that Cisco or Google or IBM can’t even really reach because people know that they can’t do business with those companies. But you create that bridge between these big companies and these smaller companies that need those kind of services. So it’s a change in the model.
[00:45:28] Jerai. Yes. And we had to embrace changes. Got to. Yeah, we got to. It’s good.
[00:45:34] Yeah. You know, it just because you don’t embrace it doesn’t mean the change is going to stop. Right.
[00:45:38] Right. And if you if you don’t embrace it, sooner or later you’re one, you’re going to be the next Tower Records.
[00:45:44] You get hit by the bus. Yes, that’s right. To me that you know.
[00:45:49] So let’s in this speaking, a change is rapidly changing world where information is king, right? Content, information, ideas is the latest economy that we’re in. Where do you what resources do you turn to to keep abreast of the latest innovations and developments and products and and technologies?
[00:46:11] Yeah. As a cyber security professional, I like to go to Def Con and Black Hat.
[00:46:17] Oh, we talk. Yes, we talked about this last time. This is really cool. Yeah. The good and the bad and the betweens. Yes. So you got it.
[00:46:25] Let’s let’s make sure our listeners may not be familiar with these events. So in a nutshell, what are these events? These are where technology and program. Professionals come together to share best practices, but also identify some of the big threats, right? Yeah, I have that right.
[00:46:42] Yeah. So like Blackhat is more corporate. So you see the big companies, Cisco and, you know, IBM, Google, everybody, Cherri, what they know and why they have fakes and whatever. You see all the bandos with all the problems and services that you know that you can have.
[00:46:58] And also, you have these villages where they show you. They is how we hack a car. These are how we have robots. Yeah. So it’s very fascinating because this is it.
[00:47:12] You know, you can also take trainings before the conference start. So you got it all. I mean, you get his pose and they have even a library. You can go and buy the latest books and technology, you know, and cyber security and I.D. and Web and BEP operations and all this stuff.
[00:47:32] And and then you have def gone, which is no is not so much corporate. And you have to keep you your cell phone in the house.
[00:47:42] And that’s why I remember doing these Sheer this term. When your previous appearances is that right. When you walk in unlike everyone else. Yep. What do you do?
[00:47:51] What do you do? You do do not turn on your phone. You had to ring a flip phone with all contacts. Yes. No contacts, no pictures, nothing. Wow. Because they like the TSA. That is people walking it out with fake companies. And you know which one is the real AT&T? This is Tonya’s approach. This is what they require.
[00:48:14] This is Tania’s approach so that she doesn’t open the door to be taken advantage of.
[00:48:20] Right. And they they hack you, they put you on a screen there and the wall sheet. Really? Yes. And they said every scene that they got out of shame. So with the flip phone. That’s right. Your pack, your hacker roof. Yes, exactly. So it what about a brick phone?
[00:48:39] Would you be like, say about a bell? Yeah. c_d_m_a_ is work.
[00:48:46] So real quick to our listeners, Black Hat 20:20 and Def Con 20 both take place in Vegas this coming year, in late July, early August. So it’s open for folks to attend, right?
[00:48:59] Yes. Hoppin. And last year there was like more than 80 countries.
[00:49:05] Ok. We’re represented at these events.
[00:49:08] Yes. And they were close to 50, 60000 people. So, yes, there’s a very profitable business.
[00:49:14] So you put people right and you’re bringing it up because it’s a great source of information, ATDC practices and then threats.
[00:49:22] And you learn what is happening and what people who’s working on the pre-packed ought to have. Yeah. So you see it all. They all do the things their local conferences, like the Cyber Summit and Georgia Tech and they hucker halt it. And also we will where members of our users say the Information System Security Association. Right. And ISAC. And also, we’re very proud members. So I’m for Gore.
[00:49:52] We choose our private, public and FBI. You know, organization. Yes. And they they they train us and the ladies of the online and temporaries and hacking that is happening not only in the U.S. but globally. Wow.
[00:50:14] Ok. You don’t waste any time you. Yeah. But you’ve got an information pipeline just attached to somewhere. You again using your nursing knowledge.
[00:50:24] Yeah. And also goes where she’s couponer. We get trained all the time. We have to. And also where I’m working currently my UPS here. Yes. S.P. certification. OK. Yeah.
[00:50:35] Because you don’t have enough degrees. Flourish. There’s no there’s no arrival.
[00:50:42] But it’s like I do know what I like about I.T. and technology and cyber security is like medicine. I go back to a game to when I was a nurse. You have to learn what’s going on. Yeah. And there’s a limit to you have to stay current. You can all for not to know.
[00:51:00] Yeah. You have to be learning constantly. Yeah. Well he’s good. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:51:05] As soon as we’re moving towards concluding this interview here, what do we have.
[00:51:10] Alan, I’d like to talk till the more stuff we haven’t been able to ascertain.
[00:51:17] So Tanya, with this next question. It’s a Leitman question, Lighton answer. And then we’re going to talk about some of the really neat things you are doing in the robotics stem arena. I love this question. So I wanted to give you a quick up to an answer from a leadership standpoint. You know, what traits or attributes do you see? You’re putting together a top three list or top one list or whatever. What’s the most important for extraordinary leaders?
[00:51:42] Well, to me, since I was a Neuse trust, people trust you.
[00:51:49] You’ll do the best that you can for that. Also learn from so says and failures.
[00:51:58] One other thing that I always think is. Be the best you can be. Every day, every time you can always. And power people. NOVICK Because people don’t know that doesn’t mean that is why they choose. I think, fine, they’ll put unity to all whiskey back and empowering people by locating biased by exposing people. Why? You know, splaining.
[00:52:27] And, you know, you had to do a little holding hands from time to time. Why not? You know, it won’t kill you. Yeah, it will kill you. And also talk to groups like you. And we do it all the time. The tall order. Interpretor, entrepreneurs and women and all young boys.
[00:52:47] Don’t be a scare. You know, things are not gonna be easy. But isn’t that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You know, you just know that if you’re gonna be doing it, just play the game and play good and win it like that.
[00:53:03] And suddenly I’m scared. DYRS yeah. Tires here with. No. No.
[00:53:12] So let’s talk about it. Certainly I’ve noticed the social media and our interaction is we’re able to kind of catch it from time to time. You got to Gresser continues to ramp up its involvement of and support of and resource resource that you’re providing to this the STEM and robotics space. Love it. I think we talked about right forwent love here about some of the this robotics competition. I was volunteered as a judge back in Newton County probably three years ago. I think it was these kids talk about getting out your get getting above your pay grade. Yeah. Or these kids are incredibly sharp, intelligent, engaged, you know, in the in the judging as we’re able to kind of Q&A during that process thinking on our feet. Right. I mean, just so sharp. And they’re such a rewarding experience. This is the world that you all live in regularly. Tell us more about that and then tell us more about what you’re doing to support this this this really important component of a call. There’s a workforce development aspect to it. There’s a engagement of the next generation component to it. There’s just that being a STEM advocate component to it, it serves lots different purposes. But tell us tell us about the space first.
[00:54:36] Yeah. What are you up to?
[00:54:38] Rosa, that takes a sleep away is we want to build its legacy.
[00:54:47] While I love so much technology and I thing for all to make it, my kids to understand that is not difficult. And you by it reaching kids and I don’t age. They are going to be more likely to pick when they get to be in college.
[00:55:11] Science, technology, mathematics. And so I think one of the things that we really wore very ha first was Tarter seven years ago with all kids, because how many children we all have.
[00:55:27] We had three kids. Kids? Yeah. So when I was in my engineering degree in my last semester, I took this class robotics and I burned myself so much and I burned things and things didn’t work that I had so much fun. Yes. Seriously? Yeah. And all my friends said and I say, I’m gonna take this selective because this is the future. And they were like. There is no industry in Venezuela. Why? This is a waste of time. I said, you do your thing. I do my thing. So I did. And I had so much fun.
[00:56:06] And I remember telling Jack the school where my kids and that were and that time they did them. They didn’t build these programs in robotics. And I could tell them that an engineer can be able to do this pr0n. I will not run it for the kids in the school. BLA bla bla bla. And they didn’t listen. And I said, well, you don’t lose him, but I still gonna do it.
[00:56:23] You know, I’m the kind of person I know. I don’t let him. But, you know, I move on. So I move on. We start doing it in our house.
[00:56:30] First door kids and their friends and a classmate and the neighbors, and then they grow up. So seven years later, when we think we’re so busy that we won’t be able to do it. We get a phone call. I do that. Or what? The lady. Where is she? Class is gonna star us. Awesome. And I like Jack. I’m sorry. I don’t see how we can stop this. Right. And then the friends home, all kids that are being with us since seven years ago, we have provided them letters of recommendations. And saying these kids have these these these talent to be able to go to a programs and charters and magnet schools and to be honest them. And they had been getting accepted. That’s all. And we see it with on children’s. They already know they are going to go to Georgia Tech. Now that I’m biased. No, not of course not.
[00:57:26] Know that I know other one. Engineers. So beyond that, doubt that you’re bias go far beyond the academic, the formal academic channels and journeys that that this is impacting the work you are doing.
[00:57:41] Speak to just the more the awareness. And oh, I can do that type of, you know, the informal learning that you are driving.
[00:57:52] Yes. And this is the good thing about us now that we’re really good. We are. But one other thing that we do is what is the trend and what are the necessities?
[00:58:06] You know, I think kids that are ringing or class. And I said they need to learn how to Southwire. They need to learn more Atlantics. And we put a class together.
[00:58:18] I want them to learn how a computer war, because you ask them, how are you? How are you? A public works. Oh, I need a Wi-Fi. And I said, no. That’s how you connect. And we we ran a class of Roseberry pie. Let’s build this computer. This is the brain.
[00:58:36] Ok. And by the way, these howsoever this is, Howard, this is over and this is what you do to be able to make those games that you’re running and those tablets.
[00:58:46] And this is how things work. The net channels we prall we now were teaching combat robotics because they are kids.
[00:58:56] They’re not because they don’t like programing. They’re mean. They not material to be engineers because they are key. They’re more drive to get things done right away, especially with kids with spectrum’s. Right. And they are more likely to be doers to build things. OK. But that doesn’t mean they are not going to be good programing.
[00:59:16] So what we do is with these kids is star start building this missile and done. Okay. How you bring it to life? Do you know how to bring it to life? No, I don’t know. I’ll tell you how we program it. Yes, I want to do it. Mm hmm. And then this is how you introduce radio programing because they want to bring their model to life. Well. And they love it. That’s a very creative way of t.j.’s, right?
[00:59:44] But you have to see and cater and be able to see how you reach your children’s right to their learning style correctly. How you how do you bring their attention, how you must debate it. And let me tell you this. You’ll be surprised to know this.
[00:59:59] Like my mom. That she was worried about me getting hurt.
[01:00:05] And for our children that we love so much. And we’re trying to protect them. Sometimes we just clip their wings, right? And we had the cap. I mean, it’s sad when Tom Pym’s department, the parents bringing the kids, the boy. And I see the little girl go directly to the to the materials and she’s building. And I say, I think she likes this. And she’s like, I know what she heard gymnastics.
[01:00:32] And I said, you know what lever. Let’s give it a try. And I think right now we give them a try.
[01:00:38] You don’t have to pay me when I ask you to leave her and go and get your nails done. You leave the child right when the mom come back. Geez, I want to do robotics in the next week.
[01:00:54] I want to be an engineer. Yeah, I love this. And so there’s nothing wrong about girls and kids having their Harveys. Yeah, but you find their true love, you find the true motivation. Yeah. Work kids, sometimes they go X.O. And do well in school is not because they are annoying. More is because you haven’t reached in. What motivates you? Why are you. Why you really like. And one other thing that we do in our class is Paolo’s. What? Take your dreams away at night. What? That’s a tough question. Yeah.
[01:01:31] In in. And then I got. Well, I.
[01:01:34] What? What do you want to be when you when you get older? No. Professionally. But what do you want to do? Mm hmm. What do you want, a bill? Where do you see yourself assessing?
[01:01:44] Auditing. Kind of. I didn’t get the identifying the constraints. In many ways.
[01:01:50] Exactly. So like a lot of kids. But that’s why we started the comeback biopics, because a lot of kids that were not into programing and we’re like a we have scene.
[01:02:01] Do you like boys? I’m so competitive. Yeah. So you want to compete? Let’s do it. Let’s go to daggone cold Momoko. You build you you come romantic, by the way. You have to be fast. Learn how to fix these things fast because you’re going to have rounds on ground and you can be brutal. You had to be tough. Do you would you always get bought to so many?
[01:02:25] Yes. I have a niece who did that was into robotics competition. It’s pretty awesome. It is awesome. Yeah.
[01:02:36] Our studio and were there studios improving activities are back to back off. So hatless. We’ll make sure folks can make the connection to grass. How can they learn more plug in with any of the things you described from your consulting work to some of the you know, the industry support that robotics work you’re doing? How can folks learn?
[01:02:54] Where can they draw?
[01:02:55] Yeah, where can they drop their kids off to learn robotics?
[01:03:01] Well, they can find those and and in social media. And I think it is a consulting group and Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We also have a YouTube channel that can find those in Google. They can Google Coney Island and they find me at Georgia Tech Web site and they can find me on our Web site also and at degress about.com.
[01:03:27] Yeah. Dotti G r e s a dot com.
[01:03:32] And also you can e-mail us E-4 at degress dot com. And all you’re gonna find there or business phone number. And the best way to help your child is given their opportunity.
[01:03:47] Don, don’t think that they can do it because you don’t know or because you think that is too complicated or that is on your mind, that is in your head. Just gave the child a paternity. Either it tirawi bringing it to one or four classes or in their own school or in their summer camp. There are so many ways to exploit that, to expose their child online. There’s so many online classes. You can start by doing that.
[01:04:14] But Josias Post is child, okay?
[01:04:18] And because we need more engineers and we want to fieldstone of those gaps with these newgeneration, there are very technology savvy. We just need to engage Angaston and and put it in the past where they know. Why did the technology on a man to do. Yeah. Yeah.
[01:04:42] You know, we’ll put really enjoyed this this latest conversation with Tony Allen, president and CEO of Optic RSA Consulting Group Inc. Learn more at Otti Gresser dot com.
[01:04:54] Gross I just want to tell her, no, I can’t do it one more time. Nick, you’re trying. You can’t do it. I’m going to tell you. Just watch me. That’s what I want to say.
[01:05:05] I want to see what that what that thing is. Yes, I should be t shirts. Yeah. Go get some tea. Just watch.
[01:05:11] Big thanks to Tanya. And we’re so we’re gonna wrap up this episode of our Full Access series here in Supply Chain Now Radio on a few final announcements. And again, we encourage you to reach out to Tanya. She’s a pleasure to collaborate with and learn from. And hopefully you’ve enjoyed the conversation and are you as much as we have? First off, if there’s anything if you can’t find anything about that you’ve heard already in this interview or that you’re about to hear. Shoot us a note to connect at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we’ll work do our best to serve as a resource for you. Had a couple interesting questions submitted this morning. Greg, that we’re going to feature in some upcoming podcasts, including Po’Boy, a gentleman that did not get his formal degree in Supply chain but is highly interested now and wants to know how to build that bridge, you know? So that’s us. We’re going to tackle that. An upcoming episode. Very cool. All right. But come check it out in person to our audience. Our next event we just got back from Boston as part of the EMT Logistics Forum, which is now a Reuters event. He EFT he’s going through some growth. They were acquired by the rorters organization, had two days of farseeing interviews with a variety of technology leaders. Clearly, the trends continued today. Yeah, right.
[01:06:22] And then you had a two day to day drive home, which we will vote.
[01:06:28] Later, later, fighters stop to watch a football game.
[01:06:30] Holy cow, we sure do. So our next event, we’re going to be studio bound for the next month and a half. We’ve got a ton of content that will not only we’re producing, but we’re going to be entering some recording sessions with next event in January. We’re partnering with the CSC Tempe Atlanta roundtable for a January launch event where they have got us a leader from Narced Track coming out to talk about some of the regulations in transportation and what it means for your business. So you can learn more at Atlanta, CSC, M-P, dot org. It’s open to the public, by the way. We’re going to be conducting lab interviews there and then something on that. But Tonya and her husband Jack are both aware and involved in the reverse Logistics Associates right conference next boat Rod, I guess. Yes, absolutely.
[01:07:20] And Felicia PRZYBYLA, right? Yes. She’s a big fan of our outtakes.
[01:07:26] Well, given her plenty to work with, we’re big fans of RLA biggest hands of what they’re doing in that and a portion of the Indian supply chain globally that continues to be much more important and it should be important for years and years. But e-commerce really is changing the game in terms of how folks perceive reverse Logistics returns and for that matter, sustainability. They’ve got their big event conference expo out in Vegas in February 2020. We’ll be there throughout. You can learn more at RLA dot org. Finally, tell us about Madox 2020.
[01:07:58] Wow. So March motets show dot com no-tax is alternate years or even years in Atlanta. Thirty five thousand of your closest friends material handling. They build factories and and warehouses inside this. The amazing Giorgia World worldto World Congress Center newly re re invented the facility.
[01:08:25] I don’t even know how many square feet this thing is, but every hundred and forty seven thousand. You have six down, Kevin. Yeah. Yeah, I think it’s more than that. But you’re right.
[01:08:34] But also on March 10th is the Vetlanta Supply chain Awards. So motets is is helping us host that and I appreciate them help, you know, giving us a place to land that because last year we ran out of space and we’re trying to fit more people into the session this year. And the response has been significant already. And it’s an opportunity to award companies in Atlanta or with presence in Atlanta for their excellence in Supply chain.
[01:09:04] Yes. It takes a lot leadership to come together to. You know, we try to serve and recognize and spotlight the Indian supply chain in a city the size of metro Atlanta, which is now 47 counties or some somewhere. It’s a huge and carved out space. It takes a while. Leaders come together. We’re really honored to have Tonya Allen join our executive committee where we’ve got about I think 14 current leaders were about to be expanding that to about 20 is where it will end up right from across different walks of life, different sectors. These folks come through. But two quick points. Yes. John Fisher. Yes, our cenote speaker, which is really important. Georgia-Pacific is a big supporter of the first year Atlanta Supply chain Awards, and they are continuing to support that with the presence C.O.D. Organization Christian Fisher and serving their keynote.
[01:09:54] Take the next one. Please. You do. SHANN Cooper. So she’s gonna be our emcee, right? I can’t wait. She could do Akino. We could swap out the title. Maybe we should make him share the stage to keynote. I wouldn’t. I would be now pushing.
[01:10:09] Cooper So she’s got. It’s always neat to get participants that come from speaking and leaving a legit legacy. She served as the siege senior executive leader of the Lockheed plant here for a number of years. And then she went on to serve as chief transformation officer at WesTrac. So she knows. And then siplon Sheer and how they are a lot better than me. Great speaker. Great speaker. So she’s only m.c Christian Fisher B keynote. And so two glass things here. So Moto X is free to attend, by the way. Moto X sho dot com. Right.
[01:10:44] I’m joined 34000 of your bring your kids neighbors if you want to inspire them towards towards Technical adventures.
[01:10:53] Absolutely. And lionised Tonka trucks to learn more about the awards. Atlanta Supply chain Awards dot com. And again this March 10th launch event. And appreciate your leadership and all the folks that are supporting that effort as we spotlight the best across and then Supply chain in metro Atlanta. And we should mention that we were partnering with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, CSC, M-P, Atlanta and Apex Lento to make that happen once again. Okay. Wow. Big thanks to our featured guest today. We can easily make it.
[01:11:28] We’re gonna have lunch after this. You guys don’t get to listen in.
[01:11:31] But we’re gonna continue this conversation over some delicious empanada round that you can’t Tacy that to our listeners. Check it out. Check us out of Atlanta. TONYA ALLEN, PRESIDENT CEO Take Gresser Consulting Group Inc. To our listeners, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio AdCom. Greg, where can they find us?
[01:11:54] They can find us on Apple podcast, Google Pod Cast Stitcher I Heart Radio, SoundCloud, Spotify.
[01:12:02] And let me think where else? Scott YouTube or wherever else you might get your podcast.
[01:12:09] Be sure to subscribe. So don’t miss a thing. That’s right. Half of the entire team here. This is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks for writing.
Tania Allen serves as President and CEO of ItGresa Consulting Group, Inc. Tania is originally from Venezuela. She has degrees in Nursing, Information Technology, and Digital Engineering. She also received a certification from The Georgia Institute of Technology in Cybersecurity. Ms. Allen has 10 years of experience with the State Oil Company of Venezuela (PDVSA). At PDVSA, she worked in a number of IT roles, including technology development, network administration, and as a project leader in Telecommunications. Her team was tasked with updating network infrastructure in PDVSA’s buildings in the capital and around the country. Ms. Allen has been involved in creating cutting edge technology and state of the art networks since 1989. She relocated to the US in 1999 to escape a repressive and dangerous government in Venezuela. She became a US Citizen in 2008. Ms. Allen is a serial entrepreneur. In Venezuela, she started both a retail company in fashion and accessories, and an IT consulting company doing IT upgrades and infrastructure. She currently serves as CEO and President of ItGresa Consulting Group, Inc., an IT consulting company specializing in providing IT services in Cybersecurity, Web Development, Network Security, Social Media, SEO and Robotics for kids. ItGresa became certified as Minority Business Enterprise, Woman Business Enterprise, Women Owned Small Business, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise this year. In 2018, she was awarded Businesswoman of The Year from The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC).
The ItGresa team is able to create the best IT solutions for small to mid-size business. They:
• Conduct cybersecurity threat assessments;
• Educate employees to prepare them for cybersecurity threats, since cybersecurity failures are often caused by the human element;
• Design, build, and optimize systems and networks;
• Design websites and optimize them for search engines;
• Create a Digital presence on the web and social media;
• All with cybersecurity in mind.
ItGresa’s target market is to help the business owner who wants to focus on their business instead of IT, and allow them to conduct business online safely and securely. A particular passion for Ms. Allen and ItGresa is STEM education. Her company has run robotics courses for children from ages 4 to 15 for several years, and is now branching out into coding and computer assembly courses using Internet of Things. ItGresa gives back to the community by coaching, teaching and helping students and adults with STEM, Robotics, Cybersecurity, and Social Media awareness and education.
ItGresa is named after a Venezuelan expression: there, they call entrepreneuring “Matando Tigres” – hunting tigers. ItGresa was named after this concept: the combination of “IT” + “Tigresa” (a female tiger), creating the name “ItGresa”. Ms. Allen has a passion for helping entrepreneurs hunt their own tigers by providing them full IT support at a great price. Ms. Allen is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. She lives in Decatur and enjoys spending time with her husband and boys and playing with robotics, when she’s not building her business or her client’s businesses. Learn more about ItGresa here: https://www.itgresa.com
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.