Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 222

Episode Summary

Scott Luton and Greg White welcome Chris Lankford onto Supply Chain Now Radio at eft’s Logistics CIO Forum, a Reuter’s Event in Austin, Texas.

Episode Transcript

[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, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

[00:00:29] Good morning and Scott Luton here with you live again with Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. You can probably hear the buzz. NEWSROOM. We are broadcasting from our studios in Atlanta, Georgia today, but rather we’re broadcasting live from Austin, Texas, home of EAF TS Logistics CIO Forum, a Reuters event where we’ve been interviewing some of the most innovative thought leaders, the movers and shakers doing big things across the end end supply chain industry are Supply Chain Now Radio team has really been proud and excited to continue our partnership with Nick OSRF t_f_t_ and the whole Reuters event team to cover the event and the coveted thought leadership was coming out of this event. So welcome in my fearless co-host here today, my esteemed co-host. My legendary co-host, Greg White Hatoon Greg.

[00:01:17] Can you say Kronic disruptor just once. I just love that. Yes. What? You know, how did I not say so?

[00:01:22] So Greg is a serial supply chain tech entrepreneur. He is a chronic disruptor. He is a trusted advisor and he is a growth guru. Wow. All of those things. Yeah. And you’re. You make one heck of an interview. Yeah. Thanks. And with this backdrop we’ve had here, we’ve had the hits keep coming. Each interview we’ve we’ve talked about this a good bit. They’re saying this seems to be one of the most consistent events that we’ve covered where interview in an interview out there and some compelling stuff.

[00:01:49] Well, I think people come out of the sessions that they are in. I think they come out of the sessions right into these interviews. And they’re energized from the. I mean, we’ll be able to ask here in just a second. But they’re energized from what they’ve learned or what they’ve shared at this session.

[00:02:03] Yeah. Right. Agreed. And I think we’re going to continue that trend here with our featured guest for this segment, Chris Langford Vise, president of Engineer with Next Trucking. Chris. How you doing? Doing great this morning. Welcome aboard. We are to be here. No pun intended. Great to have you. And it’s been a busy day for you. You had a panel session, will touch a little later on. But any early key takeaways from the event? What have you enjoyed about so far?

[00:02:28] So this late first Logistics event, I’m really not from the Supply chain industry originally. So a lot to learn from a lot of great speakers, a lot of interesting topics, kind of keeping a technologist at heart. Being in the Soffer development industry for a long time and being able to see the intersection of this industry win or that with the supply chain industry and actually seeing it in the foreground versus sort of living in my bubble with the next trucking. Yeah, learning the stuff there. But being out here with other industry leaders has been super revealing.

[00:03:00] So so that we’re on that note. Yes. And the network has been good, too. And we’ve heard a lot about the sidebar conversation, how they structure things. But we want to before we talk next, trucking want learn more about Chris Langford? Yeah. So beyond the fact that you’re a diehard Steelers fan. Right. And we’ll cover that in the NFL hour here this afternoon. I’ll be the go to bring you back home. What did ExoMars but bullets get to know you better? So where do you grow up? You know, and you know what you do before being part of the next trucking team?

[00:03:30] Sure. Can I intervene for sheriff? I can before. So Chris shared with us that he doesn’t really like to talk about himself. He’s a humble guy. Right. Don’t look so. So the question the question I’d like to ask is tell us a little bit about yourself, man.

[00:03:43] Make it easy on me. Let’s do this. So I answer the question where I’m from. So, yeah, I was raised in California.

[00:03:50] California native lived there most of my life. No, I did get out for college. I went to the Midwest, Indiana University. I studied physics. Hoosiers. Yeah. Hoosiers is terrible football team. Great. Yeah. Not the years I went. My freshman year was the year Bobby Knight got fired. So that was right. Pretty interesting to be a part of that. If you throw a chair when you heard it.

[00:04:10] I think a lot of chairs were thrown that were not just in Indiana. Yeah.

[00:04:16] Yeah. So I studied physics, moved back to California and just drove into software development is something I was interested in. And then the rest is history. So it’s interesting. So I mentioned that this is you know, I’ve been with Max for a year and a half. OK. And prior to that, I was in the health care industry for 10 years. So whilst erupting like the serial disruptor here. We were I was focused on disrupting the health care industry for 10 years prior. And there’s a lot of similarities between health care and Logistics. And that’s a massive industry. Yes. I went to the Logistics industry is in desperate need of disruption. But there’s definitely opportunities to to disrupt.

[00:04:53] You would not be wrong by saying desperate. You might it might be a little inflammatory. Right. It’s not also not dissimilar to. Health care exac. When I when I started one of my companies, it was in Supply chain for a major health care company. That was where our first customer. And when you see that intersection of those two industries, each each with and and in some cases with good reason for why they have their have held onto their old ways. It is it’s a fascinating juxtaposition. And coming from one to the other has to be fascinating.

[00:05:27] Let me intervene. Why? So grown up in California. What took you to Indiana for college?

[00:05:33] So I get asked that all the time. And my go to answer is I wanted the traditional college experience. And what my friends in high school went to local university interested in California. But Indiana had that quintessential campus, sort of quintessential away from home college experience. Yeah, I really enjoyed that. Wouldn’t change it for anything. Do you still have the sweatshirt?

[00:05:53] You have big block letters entity. Oh yeah. I thought that was a requirement that can’t grad is reality in the Midwest. Yeah. Yeah, I get it.

[00:06:01] Give a big shout out to Jeff Smith back home in the Atlanta area. The biggest Indiana fan I know. Well, maybe, maybe the second now. But and this is this is the time of year you celebrate. Be an Indiana fan, right. College basketball season or go home. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So let’s add one last question about that physics. Yeah. So how did you. I’m not sure.

[00:06:21] What do most folks do when they graduate with a physics degree, usually not become physics people. So usually they would go on to graduate school and get a p._h._d and be a professor or research. Oftentimes they’ll go into industry also. Many more have been going in to sort of quantitative economics or quantitative trading on Wall Street or go into research and development for like aerospace or things like that. And I I took a computer, a couple of computer science classes in college and then really liked it and then graduate and picked up a book, read something sort of playing for jobs. Now here I am. Wow. Tastic.

[00:06:55] So that’s why you don’t want to share too much about yourself, because you don’t want everyone to realize you are smarter than them.

[00:07:01] Everyone that creates a really a fluffs social dynamic can bring you back on talk about called quantum computing. Let’s do it. All right.

[00:07:12] So what is so talk to us about the time from the time you graduated to your early professional career before you joined next year.

[00:07:20] Rucking what you did? Yeah. So I mentioned before I was in health care tech. So I started off as a software engineer working for a startup in Southern California that built software that facilitates clinical trial research. So basically it helps people conducting clinical trials to capture the data from the results of the trial. And then we got acquired by a British clinical research organization. And then that company got acquired again by a United States based clinical research firm. Wow. So I was there for four for six years. And then it was time for me to move on. And I were there for six years. And what? I wired twice, four years. I apologize for you of what happened right when I joined. So that didn’t really account while it did, but it was pretty early. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. I was there for four years. Then I moved into an adjacent healthcare space at a very young startup and in Irvine, California, focused on building software that helps small doctors’ offices stay independent. Hmm. Now this is actually interesting. I’ll tie it back to my time. Sheer next.

[00:08:19] But so over time, doctors’ offices have slowly been getting subsumed in these larger medical groups and the independent doctor is kind of a staple of communities and it’s really important. Lots of people prefer going to independent practices. So we built suffered to help doctors stay independent, to help run a good business, to help with the medical billing insurance claims and practice marketing, et cetera. So I was there during some major growth of the company from about 10 million to almost 80 million revenue. And then this opportunity next, Sherkin came knocking and I couldn’t pass it up. Wow, that’s fantastic. Well, what? So why could you pass it up? What appealed to you? So I felt like at that point I had my share of the healthcare industry and that’s starting my conversations with next sucking. I didn’t know much about Supply chain Logistics and the opportunities there. I didn’t even know how big the trucking industry is. And you hear people throw around and say 800 billion dollar a year industry in the US. That was all news to me and it piqued my interest.

[00:09:16] And then starting to learn about the problems in the space, the opportunities where software specifically can come in and start to help improve the lives of drivers. And now that’s an important aspect of next that really resonated with me. And this is time back to my my previous company where your next mission is to basically allow the drivers to work how they want when they want to basically empower drivers. And that’s a great tie in to your previous company. And that really resonated. We want to help independent owner operators be able to work more effectively. Yeah. And keep that independence. Whereas a previous company was the same thing. We wanted help. Doctors can be independent. So that resonated. Now here I am, so listless. Keep talking about next trucking. Yeah, yeah, is that you? You’ve kind of just mentioned a little bit at a high level what you do. But tell us more about what the organization does. Sure. So fundamentally, next is a two sided freight marketplace. Digital native and we work with very large shippers. So six, the top 10 shippers in United States, we work with them, put their loads in our marketplace and connect with over 16000 drivers across Southern California, just across southern California. Wow. So but there’s a plan to expand it short. Yeah. So we principally focus on Drage loads today as we found that Drage is an opportunity for us to drive Vetlanta called density and relevancy into our marketplace. So let me interrupt. Yeah. You know what I’m asked to. Yeah. For some of our listeners that may not know what Drage is, Shawn. What is that? So trades in the context that I’m using. It is specifically port loads, so moving containers from a port terminal to a local warehouse. Perfect. Thank you. Please continue. So we focus on Drage and that is interesting to us because independent owner operators have a plethora of apps they could potentially use like uber freight or combo.

[00:11:04] So they want to use us because we have a deep, a deep amount of local loads that are available for them.

[00:11:11] So they know when they wake up each morning they can pop up in our app and there will be loads available for that. They can they can do within a day and they can do multiple turns per day with the wow. And that we feel like resonates and also aligns their messaging of allowing these these and representing the penalties we can provide them consistent, reliable work.

[00:11:29] Yeah. And that’s the key. I mean that’s really the key. You get from from being part of a bigger organization is that is the sales organization that brings you customer.

[00:11:39] Exactly. And working with large shippers allows us to get access to a large amount of loads. And then we sort of have that choke point of the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, which is a huge volume. Floats come in every day. Right. And having access to that gives us that that depth ability lets our audience can probably hear.

[00:11:56] Chris Langford, you’re bringing the bus, man eat board, get a live audience as we continue our interview here. The EMT Logistics CIO Forum, which is a Reuters event, talking with Chris Langford, Vise president, engineering with next trucking. So, Chris, in your role as V.P. of engineering, where do you spend your time? And secondly, what’s your favorite activity where you spend your time?

[00:12:18] Yeah. So next, trucking builds. We build all our own software, so we don’t really use any off the shelf software outside of accounting software and things like that. But we build all of our own technologies. We’ve got a pretty robust suffered developing organization and product organization that helps us do that. So I spend most of my time is in the direction and design of our platform architectures. So the systems that underpin the product that we present to the customers and where I like to spend most my time is doing that stuff. So working with the engineers to help come up with the right solutions. Hiring, I love I love hiring great people. That’s something that I enjoy. And so that’s really important to us to build, attract and retain great talent. It’s actually been a theme here today, trying to understand and learn from each other how companies in the supply chain industry attract and retain great talent. So that’s another area that I enjoy a lot. I’m building the team, developing the culture. But really, I think that it’s about building great technology that supports our end user experience.

[00:13:16] Love that. Let’s go back to town for a second. I want to ask you your take it and see if you agree with this or if you disagree with this. So we had a great guest come on a month or two ago from a manufacturer in Georgia. She leads talent acquisition for this this very large employer. And she was the first person to come on and say this war for talent you hear about, that’s a fable.

[00:13:38] If you really intentionally diversify your approach and get creative and don’t adhere to the traditional talent paths, there’s plenty of town out there. Disagree, agree. And what’s your take? That’s an interesting comment. So I think on one dimension, there is a war for talent. So if you’re going for a traditional like in my world, we’re hiring software engineers. Right. We have to compete with Google, that Google, the Facebooks, the Herald, the air being beats the world and those are attractive companies to work for. So we try to position ourselves well within that market to attract them. And we’ve been able to do so, fortunately. But then, you know, the previous guest of yours raises interesting point, which is something that I’ve had to learn in my career, which is, you know, just because they’ve worked for these big companies, just because they’re able to work with big companies doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to be the best talent. Good talent. Great talent comes from lots of different places. Yes. And you need to be as a hiring manager, as a leader, you need to be softened to those other potential sources of talent and be creative and look for them and and be, you know, be scrappy and how you find them.

[00:14:43] Yeah. That allows you to almost sidestep the war on talent.

[00:14:48] I think you’re right. I think a lot of companies look, they they published the traditional job description, whatever it is. And and if you publish it in a sterile way. You’re going to get sterile candidate and you’re gonna get fewer candidates. I think one of the things that I’ve seen companies do very effectively I feel like we have done very effectively at companies I’ve been with is to identify why. Why next trucking, right. Why Blue Ridge, why Supply Chain Now Radio and and hiring?

[00:15:20] Yes, we have. And we are hiring, as a matter of fact. You’d look for a gig.

[00:15:25] We do need a CTO, but you could also be a host. I think we. But I think you know, I think you have to identify those things that make the business attractive to use it as as a as a fellow associate of the company.

[00:15:43] Right. And and when you do that, and especially the way that people look at jobs now, they want to be inspired. They want to have a purpose. Right. They want they want to understand that there is a fit. Then I think you do at least have a leg up in the war for talent if if not completely sidestep it. Agreed. Right. I like that.

[00:16:04] I love your answer there. I think a case can be made on both sides. Yeah.

[00:16:11] All right. So let’s talk about before we get your some your your observations on what’s taking place across in in Supply chain. What brings you here? Yeah. So I was a panelist on a digital freight matching panel with some other wonderful folks. We had a great time sharing our insights and experiences and building up digital freight organizations to some of the the phenomenon we’re seeing in the market. Also enjoying the all the other talks. Yeah, sure. And I bet you can get lots more invites. And I think you mentioned this is your first def Logistics conference, is that right? Some attending a Logistics.

[00:16:44] Oh, boy. We need to introduce you to Scott Auslin. Have you met him yet? I don’t think so.

[00:16:50] So he is the C.O.O. at golf relo freely by some speak.

[00:16:55] So he took an eight week, eight week intensive course in Supply chain, like so many of us. Yeah, he didn’t grow up saying, wow, I really want to be in Supply chain. Right. But when he did like you, he committed and and and dedicated himself to learning a lot and the skills and particularly his passion for talent. I think you two would share a lot of.

[00:17:19] Agreed. Agreed. All right. To shifting gears again, this has been a great event. And I hate to I missed your panel. But it was a fast. Any talk on that? How do you put it?

[00:17:28] The phenomenon that we’re seeing, man, we’re talking to love that guy. Right. I love that. I love the match.

[00:17:37] Other thing they can talk about to be way over my pay grade. All right. So let’s get some of your observations. And there’s so much going on. You know, we’re living in a business environment, global business environment where changes taking place. Second, the second, really. And there’s no shortage of hot topics and trends and developments. But what what are a couple that are more on your radar more than others right now?

[00:18:00] Yeah, it’s a great question. And there’s so many things that see at this event. You’ve heard people share blockchain, IATA. It’s like a golden corral. They change all sorts of cool things, you know. So when the big jump is, of course, cutting through that, what matters most to each organization for us and for me right now, what are the things I think is most important? It’s not one of the big sexy things like blockchain or IAG. It’s APICS interoperability in VDI. So I think people are generally familiar with FDI and the relationship it has with the industry. It’s mostly necessary evil in terms of requiring IDBI to get good interoperability between trading partners in software systems. And we of course offer an API solution, but where we need to get to is a much more standard way of interrobang. And I’d set out with that goal where VDI has a canonical schema that can be adhered to. But everyone’s diverge from when everyone has their own flavor. All right. And that makes interacting with each other from a software perspective very difficult.

[00:19:02] If you just spend a ton of time implementing the unique flavor VDI that you’re trading partner has. Right. And that eats up valuable time. So for us, we want to explore ways and push ways to build standard. Will one get rid of the EEI protocol? It’s archaic. We want to use modern practices, not even that modern, but it’s like standard API is chasten over HDTV. I would really appreciate if you would get rid of VDI does that.

[00:19:28] Eric and I had us at a conference about fifteen years ago. I made that bold statement and boy did I get some nasty looks at some.

[00:19:37] So I’m sure no one’s o’shanassy looks. Now when you say no. Because I think that serial disruptor. Right. Serial does have chronic this Rod chronic disruptor. Yes, please. I didn’t.

[00:19:49] Yeah. So that’s I think where we need to get to is the industry needs to to to buck up and and start making the hard decisions to homogenised the way that they communicate with each other. And we would also make sure we don’t make the same mistake with API as where if if we have every organization builds their own API and it’s thrown out there, it’s a little bit easier to build integrations with that. But you still can over time run of the point where everyone’s got their own and you can build adapters and middleware platforms to be able to translate between all of them. So we have to find a way to build industry standards, especially with the goal. You hear this all the time, probably end end supply chain. Visibility is like what Sipper wants, everyone wants. And right now it’s hard because every league with supply chain data is siloed up. So being able to have a sort of an API standard out there will allow for us to more readily achieve that visibility more realistically, more easily.

[00:20:43] And that’s a real that’s a really interesting perspective, because one of the things that we’ve talked about on some of our past shows is how everybody has got their silo of the supply chain we really dialed. But there are huge gaps in data where even in some cases it still goes back to a manual pen and paper or whatever type of spreadsheet.

[00:21:03] Carrier pigeons, Sunny Express still in Yacht’s. I’ve heard a history book. Yeah, fax machines, I believe. But but you know, the data is in and out of of kind of the core flow.

[00:21:19] Right. And every opportunity is an opportunity for it to get lost or mishandled or or or mangled. Right. And then go back into the next stage incorrectly. So this is a really important thing. And you being a technologist, you have recognized, I’m sure, from integrating technologies together that this ship has already sailed on on a kind of canonical standard in Europe.

[00:21:44] And I can’t even use the words he uses, man. I just had just went a lowly waste on a good basketball team. Yeah. Yeah. Good. Good hoops.

[00:21:55] But so. So you have seen the error of our ways and in other way, other areas of manipulating and creating and connecting through API. So having seen that, will will serve you well as you try to help with that standardization. Yep.

[00:22:15] So don’t get your take. As I picked up my phone to take couple snapshots of you and Omid. I hope I look good. Great. Awesome. So I’ll get five D service. How do you see it to you? Is that a big deal or is that is that going to bring some big opportunities to supply chain and to next trucking and to the industry or yet to be seen?

[00:22:38] To me, it’s yet to be seen. I’m a natural skeptic and I’m olean on life as expected. Yeah, without being a scientist, you quote. You know, I’m a I’m a blockchain skeptic also.

[00:22:50] So these things I blockchains have a solution looking for a problem. 5G feels a bit more practical given it’s just you know, it’s just more bandwidth whereas speed. Right. So really what? But I think 5G will do more than anything. That’s just generate a lot more signal. Right. So when IATA, more or more devices can communicate more, more information faster. Right. And with that, just more volumes of data, which then needs to be shared more effectively and used more effectively. Some will affect next Sherkin directly, not immediately. I think it will just give, you know, more get more people online, more data flowing, which will be good. So we can maybe capture more rich datasets from our end users via our marketplace. Yep. And then as we’re looking to expand our capabilities in yard spaces, as we move into 002, that will also mean plan as well, especially as your continued growth to you. And then they get a big emphasis on the West Coast right now, but you are going coast-to-coast and beyond. The goal is to. Yeah. So growing right now in Southern California, working with the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, we’d love to expand to other port facilities throughout the country and hopefully eventually around the world.

[00:23:57] Outstanding. You know, we’ve had the opportunity to sit down with the the ports of Charleston, our Satellite Ports Authority and the Georgia Ports Authority. And it is just amazing that we’ve toured the some of the terminals down there in the Savannah area. It is it is amazing what they do. And at the same time, we hear this a lot. It’s not my opinion, but we hear this a lot. A lot of folks go in there and and they think of a government operation or they think of maybe bureaucracy or what have you. It cannot be further a unique kind of a public private sector. Most his ports have have a unique structure to them. But, man, they operate at a world class operational efficiency, particularly South Carolina.

[00:24:43] Now, I mean, their their leadership there is unbelievable. And you know that the growth of those ports is directly attributable to the to what you talked about with with Long Beach. Right. Because Long Beach has reached capacity, maybe even exceeded ATDC than. And and because it’s a long drive across America, people are coming in droves to Savannah and to Charleston predominantly. And there there are issues with the ports up more up north as well.

[00:25:12] So those two areas are growing really, really rapidly as we look to expand what we’re really thinking deeply about the the maturity of the port facilities. And we want to expand into we don’t want Los Angeles. Long Beach can be a challenge for lots of reasons. And we’ve we’ve taken a long, hard look set like the ports of Savannah and Charleston because of the quality of the facilities, the efficiencies they run out of those efficiencies directly impact the truck drivers and directly impact our ability to effectively service those truck numbers being choice full time Liegghio. Yes. That is not the word we’re supposed to use, but we can use long queue times. Yeah, it’s terrible. Yeah. So we want to we want to keep that in mind as we look at. And also know Charleston or something. Was it Savannah? They’re two of the fastest growing ports. Yes. Jerai now. So what better place to look for. Yeah. Next.

[00:26:04] That’s true. So many things coming in and out. And then the other component about the ports that I find pretty fascinating are the inland ports that both states are building out for a variety of reasons. But chief amongst them is the power, e-commerce and the power. There’s those soon to be one day delivery time frames. Right.

[00:26:24] Well, and also to break the you know, to break the deadlock in the in the port itself, it allows them to move some of that processing outside the physical constraints of a sea port. Right.

[00:26:35] Good point. OK. So Chris really have enjoyed sit down with you. Learn more about the really cool things next. Trucking. Congrats on all the growth and the innovative things that you are doing. How can folks tune in to learn more? How can a, you know, learn more about the organization or compare notes with you?

[00:26:54] Yeah. So of course you can reach us that next trucking dot com or Web site or info at next trucking dot com. Talk to some folks on our side, but also reach out to me on LinkedIn. Christopher Langford, you’ll be able to find me. I’m going to do that, right? Always able to connect. Yeah. Lovely.

[00:27:10] Well, we should also say hello and give big thanks to Mike Bush. We stumble across Michael on social media love. You know, you’ve got a really neat story and he’s great at telling it. He really he really is. And I’ll be really curious to kind of observe y’all in the coming months and years as you do begin to expand and you have in these different ports. And of course, when you come to Georgia, we’ll have to go get a break. Bread together. We’ll do. All right. So big thanks to Chris Langford Vise, president of engineering with Next Trucking. You can learn more at next trucking dot com, right? Yep. I’m sure they’re hiring my aunt. We are hiring. We’ll put that out there. But different types of positions. So take a look. Careers big. And it seems like they’re passionate about bringing good people and providing plenty of opportunities for the people to come on board. Thanks for joining us. Sit tight. One second as we wrap up today’s episode. Man, another. Another good one.

[00:28:06] Yeah. I don’t know how we do it. We’re just that good. We extract sand radiates out of no heat. Again, it’s our extensive screening process. Rod gives us people with physics degrees that get over our head that quick. That’s right.

[00:28:20] Oh, really? I’ve enjoyed speaking with Chris Langford here. Next, trucking to our listeners. Stay tuned as we continue our coverage of the EMT Logistics CIO Forum, which is now Gregg. It is now. And a Reuters event. That’s right. Can you believe that? Congrats. CFT team entering a big growth phase here. To our audience, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays or interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com.

[00:28:46] You can find us where, Greg, wherever you get your podcasts. Your job was done on YouTube. I see how comfortable I am. So I’m back in my chair. Scott’s got it from here. Don’t forget. Don’t forget YouTube. That’s right. Apple podcast. I heart radio. No, forget Spotify. Coming on strong.

[00:29:05] They really are on behalf the entire team here. Scott Luton. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. And we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks, everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott and Greg as they interview Chris Lankford for SCNR Episode 222.

Featured Guests

Chris Lankford is VP of Software Engineering at NEXT Trucking, a well-funded FreightTech company that is reshaping the $800B trucking and shipping industry. He is a seasoned leader with a track record of building high-performance engineering teams for SaaS product companies. His core competencies include scaling agile and lean product development practices and building cultures around experimentation where engineers are empowered to do their best work. Prior to NEXT Trucking, Chris served as the VP of Software Engineering at Kareo, and he holds a B.S. in Physics from Indiana University Bloomington. Learn more about NEXT Trucking here: https://www.nexttrucking.com/

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

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.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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.

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Amanda Luton

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 singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

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.

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Page Siplon

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).

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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We’re always looking for new talent to work with us. Apply below if you are interested in joining the Supply Chain Now team.

Click here to download the Current Openings PDF
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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. 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).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

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.

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