Scott Luton welcomes Linda Eshiwani-Nate and Donna Mullins into the SCNR Studio in Atlanta, GA for the latest episode in our popular Full Access podcast series.
[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting Life Supply chain Capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] Hey, good EFT new Scott Luton here with you live on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. On this episode, we’re excited to be continuing our Full Access series where we gain insights and perspective from exceptional female leaders across industry. So stay tuned for what promises to be a frank and outstanding conversation. A quick programing note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels Apple podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, wherever else you get your podcasts from. As always, we love to have you subscribe to your messy thing. Let’s think some of our sponsors for allowing us to bring our best practices and innovative ideas to you, our audience. They range from the Effective syndicate to ProPurchaser.com, Talentstream, Vector Global Logistics and many more. You can check out each of our sponsors on the show notes of this episode. So I’m really excited about this series and will welcome each of our featured guests here today. First off, Linda aswani, Nate, Air Service Development officer overseeing the cargo business development at the world’s busiest and best airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Linda, how are you doing? I’m good. How are you doing, Scott? We are so glad to have you here. We were so thankful to have you in the airport behind our twenty nineteen Atlanta Supply chain awards. We are recognized. Yeah. For a lot of excellence that you are driving. And in aviation supply chain.
[00:01:55] And I’m really looking forward to you being here today and sharing your story along with one of your best friends and compadres. Donna Mullins Absolutely. President and CEO Mullin’s International Solutions, which is an operational compliance training and consulting firm for international trade and Logistics. Donna, how you doing? Great Scott. How are you today? Fantastic. And you know, we’ve been on the hit list. Sit down and catch up. And so to have Donna and Linda same room and us to sit down and have a meaningful conversation, I think this is going to be an outstanding podcast and great day for me. So and last time we chatted, it was at the Freight Task Force, which is part of the Atlanta Regional Commission, right? Yes. I know you’re deeply involved and really both of your thought leaders in your own regard, but you’re really active with a lot of the freight planning that goes on across the metro Atlanta area. So, okay. So with no further ado, let’s give our audience opportunity to kind of get to know both of you all that I know that they’re going to enjoy. So, Linda, we’ll start with you. So I guess before we get to talking shop and talking about our professional journey, let’s get to know you a little bit from a personal standpoint. So where’d you grow up? And give us some some of your favorite memories from that early on, who I am.
[00:03:10] I originally born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and I like to say, well, Canada, so I am wickenden. I grew up in a family of six girls. And the third, well, the tomboy, the family. And early on, I wanted to be a tomboy. Sorry, I was a tomboy. So I wanted to be a pilot. I never saw myself doing anything else in my life. And I think I was five years old when I died. You came to me that I ought to be a pilot. And I always say that growing up, I never, ever had a Plan B. It was one thing. And one thing on it was to be a pilot. And I came to the U.S. I was in Daytona Beach, Florida. I went to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University study to be a pilot.
[00:04:00] Very well regarded. Yes. One of the leading Liebestod, the best. Yes. Airforce Gates LA Town officers out of there.
[00:04:07] I believe it does, actually. Right before I came. 9/11 happened right when I was supposed to come to the U.S. So my point is it absolutely not. So the only way I eventually came, it was a lot of negotiation and a great standoff. And I came eventually and I started. And you won.
[00:04:27] You won the stand. I did. I did. I did. You know, I my father down like the toughest man on the planet.
[00:04:33] And, you know, so I did I made it here and I flew and I was doing really well. And I fell in love and I had a baby. And I do want to be a pilot. So I owe my dad a lot of money. We’re still in negotiations about how I’m going to pay him back. So, yeah, so. But moving forward once, that was no longer what I really wanted to be aviation was. Bill, at the very heart and soul of everything I wanted to me, and it was just miraculous how it was a whole lot of mistakes that led me to A.M today. I was a lot of internships and a bump here and a chance meeting there and I ended up where I am today.
[00:05:16] So it outstanding very, you know. So before we we posed same question. Donna, what what do you think created that that strong passion around aviation and that, you know, that that longing to be part of it? What was it what early on? What what what triggered that early on for you?
[00:05:34] Early trouble. We traveled quite a bit. And believe it or not, it was the pilots uniforms.
[00:05:43] Yeah. It’s very deep, right? It was the pilot’s uniform that I loved. They look really good.
[00:05:48] And I just I loved machines and they loved how they work. And what better than a plane, you know? So, yeah, that was that was what it was.
[00:05:57] And I believe speaking of Kenya, I believe you’re at. You had an opportunity to go back and visit family over the summer.
[00:06:06] I actually my kids are here. Okay. But because most of my family is in Kenya. We do this exchange thing where I take my kids to Kenya every once in a while for a DP Mushin, which means they go to school in Kenya. They go to school with their cousins. They live with the aunts. My dad is still in Kenya. So that’s the second time we did it. So last year they went I think it was in July. Yeah. And I went back a bunch of times, you know, I can’t live without them. So I went back a lot to a lot of time. So they it was it’s a really good experience for them. Yes, they’re here. But I want them to know or experience a little bit of what it was for me growing up. So I think, you know, which is their experience growing on a lot.
[00:06:48] Mm hmm. Yeah, I love that. What to bring you back? Well, it’s another episode to dove deep into them. What that means. That’s fascinating. Okay. Sudano same question. I want to pose that the give our audience an opportunity to get to know. Donna Mullins all the better to tell us about yourself, where you’re from and in some of your favorite memories about grown up.
[00:07:07] Well, since this podcast is taking place in Atlanta, yeah, Atlanta office, your Atlanta audience will know this. I’m a Grady baby. Okay. I actually was born in Atlanta, raised in Atlanta and still live here. I’m one of the few that does international Logistics and never really left the farm so special.
[00:07:25] In fact, that Amila farm girl. That’s where I raised that ECFA in Clayton County. Down in Ellenwood, my grandmother and granddaddy had a farm and as a kid that was I wanted to grow up on Walton’s Mountain. You know, I wanted to have my own farm. So. So aviation Logistics international trade was the furthest thing from my mind until I graduated high school. And my aunt and her name’s Janet Jenkins. She worked for an importer. And I went to work working for the importer, worked with them for a while. And then we went over to work with our broker. And so I’ve I’ve been on both sides of the supply chain coin, so to speak. And my my my grandparents would just probably roll over in their graves if they knew that I was doing international business instead of farm and farm.
[00:08:11] It’s so grown up on that on the farm in Clayton County, which is south of the city. Right? Right.
[00:08:17] Yeah, right up by the airport. Our last part of the airport sits at Clayton County. Yeah.
[00:08:21] So trying to paint our picture for our listeners to grow up on that farm. What what was your favorite? And we’ve talked on this show about snap and peas and okra and corn, you name it. What what was one food that you just can’t get like you can get when you were growing up with your grandparents?
[00:08:39] Fresh pig in a way that we slaughtered our own hogs. We had our own cows. We had our own chickens. So. Yeah. And it being is it’s the time of year right now when that would normally happen.
[00:08:51] That was one of the funniest things I’ve enjoyed doing as a kid, as an adult, I’m not quite sure I could spot a pig, but as a child, it was really neat to be out there and just smell the that the cooking of the of the back and and just being entrenched in like I said, you know, just little farm farm family and little farm life. And I really enjoyed it.
[00:09:12] True farm to table fruit farming. That’s right. That’s a huge movement these days. Ask me on farm to table. Yes. And now do the international Logistics and assault after resource for making that happen. All right. So now let’s shift from your your couch, your personal roots, so to speak, to what you know, your fear, your journey and your both have kind of alluded to that already. But, Linda, come back over to you. So from the time you were. EMBREY Brutal, right? EMBREY Brutal. Real, real sorry. Yes. To joining the airport. What, from a professional standpoint, what does that that look like?
[00:09:53] Well, it’s it’s very interesting because like I said before I came to the U.S.. 9/11 happened.
[00:09:59] And in that interim period, the great negotiation of the night. Yes. Yes. My dad was working on a little company that was setting up a little company that was working on a Logistics project where whether we’re going to be bringing a lot of cattle in Froome, a lot of the Horn of Africa, bring it into the Middle East. And the war is setting up the standards around which thought umbrella was going to happen. It did not happen, but I came to the US. And funny enough that I ended up doing the same kind of work. So that was really my first career was, you know, setting up that little corporation. And then I came to school and I remember right before I graduated the Great Recession hit. And one of my college consulate said to me, don’t graduate your internships. Do as many internships as it takes. And so that’s what I started to do. I started taking a lot of internships because the job market really dried up. I’m right about a time when no graduating.
[00:11:01] So I started doing internships and the first internship I got was in airports.
[00:11:07] And I did my first internship at a little airport in Florida called Delenda. What? Nobody knows, Delenda Airport.
[00:11:13] But it’s actually where most military job training happens. And a lot of militaries from a lot of the world come to Delenda Airport for job training. And that is how I got really interested in airport management. But where is that? It’s in Florida. It’s a floor. It’s in central Florida, central Florida, near Daytona Beach.
[00:11:32] And delay derail a. Indeed. OK. Deland, Florida. Land, land. Well, everybody knows about it now.
[00:11:37] Well, it’s a little airport is a G-A airport is a really small airport. But once you see what they do, then, you know, like, OK. So I did that internship and my very next internship was at the Atlanta airport. Fate intervened. That’s how I ended up in Atlanta. I started here as an intern. And it was a chance meeting because when I came, I really thought maybe, oh, I don’t know whether I should go to Atlanta as an intern. I’d rather go work in Miami. The weather is bad in Miami. And that’s what you need to do and work out. But I came to Atlanta as an intern, not knowing that then commercial manager for Atlanta for Miami came to Atlanta serving as a commercial AGM. And that became my mentor. So it was chance how it happened. And who was that? That was Miguel self-will. So it just became, you know, you know, fate. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in fate. It just so happened that I believe it was meant to happen, though. So that’s how I came to Atlanta.
[00:12:43] Outstanding. And that that kind of leads up to your current role, which we’re involved in. Two in a second. And Donna, same question for you. I love what you’re just sharing about how you grew up and then how you got involved. What I think I heard like a family business with your Aunt Janet introduce you to importing. Right. And then to take us through from that experience up and to your you know, your current role.
[00:13:08] Yes. So when I was first hired for the company’s name at the time was Costs Less Imports. It was a spinoff of Oral Bazaar. The old timers will know this. The young W5 may not have ever heard this. So. So I started out actually as a showgirl at the Merchandise Mart in Atlanta. And then I went out to work in the warehouse to do what’s called landed cost. Landed cost is where importers and in any one really who is purchasing, doing procurement says how much does it cost to get, for example, this pin on my shelf so I can sell it. And so I did the landed costs then and got very familiar with what the importer needs in order to do a fulfillment of determining what their yield will be on on an item. So then when I went to work for the the broker, actually they created a position for me. And I’ll have to thank Dimitri M. Tidies for many, many years ago when it was at the Jennings company, they allowed me to come in and be a pass to research clerk. So that was what I started doing, just researching pass two bills that we owed and and bills that customers would ask.
[00:14:10] And they found out I was pre-court on the computer. So then I started doing data entry and as I was doing this data entry, we were putting all these numbers and everything and all these filters like, what the heck is all this stuff mean? So I just started looking at whenever I would put in a number, what the system would return is like. I’m talking about tariff numbers here. So I kind of introduced myself to classification through King. So then I grew up from from being a pastie research clerk and a data entry analysis person walked my way up the corporate ladder and I say walk because you don’t run in this industry. You really do walk. It’s a fast industry, but it takes time to build to where I actually owned Alpha Senate andNational, a company down for seven years, sold it to a small farm called Seabee International and then said. You know, I think I want to go out and train people on what not to do.
[00:15:04] That’s as often as important as is training people what to do. Right.
[00:15:09] Right. I joke and say that because, you know, a lot of what to do is really eliminating what not to do. Right. So I said that. I went to the school of hard knocks and I have p._h._d in that. So I learned very well how to have a compliant operation of what it takes to work with government agencies.
[00:15:27] I love that. And I love this self-taught aspect of that story. Just Sheer. They’re so important. I think a lot of our lot of folks that listen this can identify with the bootstrapping. We have a lot of entrepreneurs here and I can certainly appreciate as an entrepreneur that that ability to self teach what we need to know and kind of, as you put it, walker or one ladder rung at a time. Right. Right. OK, so now let’s move over and let’s talk about your current roles. So, Linda, let’s talk about, you know, what you do now at the world’s best airport.
[00:16:01] So in Atlanta.
[00:16:03] So I lanta is very well known for being the world’s busiest passenger airport. And that’s fantastic. We have done a fantastic job over the years. It has taken a lot of leadership, great leadership and a lot of great vision to get us to where we are. However, on the cargo side, that has not been the case. You know, a lot needs to be done and a lot has been done. A lot is being done today to get us to where we are, to catch up, to bring the cargo, to play on the same level, the same platform as our passenger service, which is what my role is. So when we talk about, you know, cargo business development, you know, it would be easy to say, oh, we’re going to increase the volume of cargo coming into Atlanta. Seems easy. Seems easy, right. But is the airport ready to handle that increase in volume? Are we ready to provide that those excellent standards of service to the cargo, increased cargo that we would be receiving? Are we ready to service the, you know, higher what it calls, you know? Is it the farmer? Is it the farmers? Is it aerospace? You know, are we ready to receive it? Are we ready? Are we able to handle it the way that it needs to be handled? Do we have the right facilities? Do we have the proper manpower to handle it? Are our facilities the airport? Is it ready? So the the role the my role in business development is beyond seeking more business.
[00:17:34] First of all, we have to make sure that the conditions on the ground are conducive to receiving this increase. So we have to make sure that all ground handlers are working at port. The workforce. Right. Not just the workforce, but the grain handlers, the equipment, the standards we have at the airport in handling the cargo. And, you know, we like to see that when you visit airports in Europe and in China, it’s a different ballgame than when you visit airports in the U.S., when you visit an airport in Asia. It’s it’s it’s like you’re in a whole other planet. It’s all it’s all automated in the U.S. It’s all manual. So we have to get ourselves to those levels where we’re playing with the big leagues in order for us to be able to attract the kind of cargo that is coming from those regions of the world.
[00:18:27] So and to your point, not just work, people process and technology as a whole. Exactly. Ability to handle that capacity and deliver on the promises you’re out there.
[00:18:38] Absolutely. To not just deliver, but exceed. Absolutely. To highlight that. So that’s what my role is.
[00:18:45] So to dove just a little bit deeper in terms of where you spend your time day in and day out. It sounds like to me. Is it a mix of in the current operation? Yes. Right. Yes. But also out there in the market, talking with your current and potential customers.
[00:19:01] Absolutely. So it is. I’ll be in a conference one day, you know, selling, you know, the region. You know, it’s it’s different from being Atlanta is different from Miami, Miami’s Miami. Everybody knows Miami. But when we first started, when I first came in in 2016 in this rule, then you go out to China. They don’t know Atlanta. Right. You know, you say Martin Luther King. Yes, they know Martin Luther King. But that’s about what they knew about Atlanta. You say Delta. They know Delta, but they don’t know Atlanta. And so we are introducing them to the region. Who is Atlanta? What is Atlanta? Where is Atlanta? So it’s it was that was a big challenge. And then when we come back to the ground, we’re on the ground. We’re speaking to the ground handlers. We have relationships to the ground handlers.
[00:19:50] We’re also building a bridge between who we have on the ground and, you know, our federal policymakers. With CVP, we have to have a good relationship with CVP because how are you going to have a good Kaag operation if you don’t have a relationship with, you know, the policy makers? You know what that is? It’s it’s a lot. It’s a lot. It’s every single day. You have to. It’s a lot of different moving parts.
[00:20:18] But the policymakers need to be informed of what takes place. They want the reality. They need to know what we’re doing in order for them to accommodate our changes or our activities. Outstanding. Okay. I feel like I should have gained a certification. All right. I mean, really, I would argue a lot of folks are maybe oblivious about what you just shared. And the you know, we talked about this six months ago, eight months ago. More folks need to understand the role that the airport plays in not just the business infrastructure here, but that the global supply chain. Right. Yeah.
[00:20:53] You know, a lot of folks don’t really make the connection with with the airport and its reach. Corporations can bring business leaders in and out very quickly, right? Yeah. And so it leads to putting corporate headquarters or subsidiaries here, branches and whatnot. But then also the air cargo side. And then how all of that takes thought leadership and folks out there making it happen. Absolute excel or how do you put exceed expectations? But then also grow and even exceed.
[00:21:24] Yeah. So the airport is a facility that we facilitate. We have to facilitate business to take place. We have to make sure that we reduce or eliminate bottlenecks, water, the problems all stakeholders seem to be facing. We have to address those problem areas and make sure we can do everything that we can do to take those away so that the business can happen so that all stakeholders can thrive. And when the business is flourishing, our region is flourishing. Jobs and everybody’s happy.
[00:21:54] That’s the role of the airport. I love it. I love it. All $2 switchover over to you in your current role. What do you do and where do you spend your time?
[00:22:04] Probably the majority of my time, excuse me, is spent doing research, development of content and delivery of content. I have several clients that have me on what’s called my concierge service, meaning they just sort of retain me for a number of hours each month. They contact me when they need me to do research on a special project or something for them. I prepare the research and deliver them the information that they need, either to share forward to their clients or to work with their staff. And I do go in and do training one on one training. I also do national training for the ABC of Customs brokerage. In fact, if I could take a moment to plug that just for one moment, the ABCs of Customs brokerage started out about 10, 15 years ago is a little for our class. And United Way contacted me and said, hey, we want to do a development of a training program that would allow incumbents as well as under or unemployed individuals to get into the Logistics trade arena. Can you help us? Said Absolutely. I can’t. I said, I’ve got this little program. I said, Oh, yeah, but what needs to be 72 hours and I’m okay. Let me build on this little program. So. So we did build it. And we’ve delivered nine cohorts face to face in classroom settings.
[00:23:16] And in 2020 we’re going to actually put this online. So I’m very excited about that opportunity of having this done. This allows individuals to really get a good rounded knowledge of what international importation is. And after they’ve completed the axes of Customs Procrit and successfully passed, they’re eligible to sit for the in CBF phase National Education Institute Certified Customs Specialist. So we have quite a few that have gone on to do that through this program. We have employed over 47 percent of our students. We’ve put 93 through. Wow. And so over 47 of Daniel, I had a job gotten a job in the industry. So so not only do I go out and train people who are already here, I train new individuals coming in. I have a passion for this industry. I got into it when I was 18 years old, you know, Rod at high school. So I’m always excited to sucker. I mean, scuse me. Invite someone to come into this crazy international Logistics arena that we live in because international trade is there is a fluid industry. I mean, you know, that the regulations are constantly changing. So you’re always having to keep up and be willing to. As I had a boss used to say, you have to be able to fish and cut bait.
[00:24:33] So say, Don, that’s all right.
[00:24:38] And I love I love that. Clearly, the passion comes out, I think, in both of you as you Sheer what you do now and you know, what’s lost and so many training programs is that ability to to not only get people a job, but provide a path for progressing through an industry or through a career. So love here in that. So let’s talk about let’s let’s kind of broaden back out. All right, let’s talk about the the some of things going on in really across the global and in Supply chain industry right now. So, Linda, when you think about, you know, whether it’s trends or innovations or technologies, whatever it is, what’s a couple of these developments that are really, you know, you’re tracking more than others right now.
[00:25:26] You know, and I have to speak to it from. Yeah, you know, an Apple perspective. We are really. And it will come from a lot of the things that we look at as challenges right now. It would be a workforce issue. You know, this industry is growing at a breakneck speed. And, you know, in a case like at the airport, if you look at our cargo operations, outgrown, handlers are struggling to keep and maintain qualified staff. When you look at the way our airport staffing happens, if you have a grain handler for them to hire staff, the price, the bottling process, because they would have to be buyers. They have to maintain a CBP clearance. That process is entirely too long.
[00:26:14] But the way the industry is growing, we have an Amazon warehouse. It seems like it’s coming up every couple of weeks. U.P.S., a FedEx warehouse, they are hired on the spot. So by the time Algren handlers hire, by the time that employee is badged and they’ve already got another job, they’re not going to sit and wait for six weeks. They have already moved on. So that grain handler has to go back to the drawing board. You know, so from one of the big things that we are really looking at is how can we help them to Fussible get qualified right stuff and how can we help them to keep how can we? What are some of the things that we can do? And, you know, that is why we look at, you know, Donna, with a program like the ABC is a Customs brokerage, you know, who the stakeholders like Donna, who have training programs that wouldn’t work. How can we and we do a lot of things, a lot of programs. There we go. And we speak to students and we try and introduce them. We inform them about some of the things that they can do with the inputs. It’s so funny when you go and speak to schools and you tell them about the airport.
[00:27:17] They say Delta because the only job of the airport is a pilot.
[00:27:22] And so we do a lot of, you know, outreach to schools. And we go in, you know, inform them. But we have to do a little bit more to reach out, not just to the schools, but there’s a lot of students that fall by the wayside that I feel we can’t see when we should see the duty lies on us. What can we do to bring them in the fold? And, you know, bring them in some jar on job training and introduce them and kind of take it from there. At least that’s one of the many things, you know, and of course, technology. I mean, we cannot keep up. I can’t keep up. But technology is key, especially in the U.S. and, you know, especially in cargo, we’re still very manual. You know, we were speaking to one of our major airlines the other day and they said that in the cargo warehouses, they still receive checks and cash for payment. That is a big issue. So, you know, moving our operations to the next level in terms of, you know, innovate technology and innovation is is key.
[00:28:19] Well, if it makes you feeling better. So workforce is front and mind for a lot of folks who sit in the chairs we are in. And what’s interesting is as you shared the, you know, kind of exchange of currency, which still goes on more than what a lot of folks might expect across Supply chain. I’ve seen some really interesting startups that put all that in the cloud. And with a couple of buttons, the you know, everyone’s whole. Yeah. And and that way, you know, it’s some of the things made some folks don’t think about is when drivers carry currency, they can be a target for a variety of different things. Right. If you if folks know that they’re not taking currency, you know, it could change someone’s day in a hurry. So but clearly you’ll have an eye for continuous improvement. So we want to have you back on that. And then there’s some things we can chat about on one of the next episodes or maybe feature you and Elliot Page, right? Yes. That I think the industry will all be really interested in hearing more about as their airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, continues to look for ways to improve on what already is a pretty impressive track record. Absolutely. All right. So, Donna, the same question to you. So when you think about what’s going on across global Indian supply chain, what are some things you’ve got your put your your tracking more on those right now?
[00:29:38] Well, three or tariffs for one. You know, I do a lot of import business with with a lot of clients. So that’s that’s a tremendous thing right now. And, you know, these these lists can change virtually overnight. You know, we just found out on the 16th of December that the list for be from China that was supposed to go out on December 15th didn’t write. Right. So. So that’s that’s how quick you know, how we do business can change. There was USTR did make an announcement last week that we’re looking at imposing some of these on some French goods now. So you know those good wines and cheeses. Oh, lord. So, you know, there’s there’s a lot of challenges that go on regulatory wise, but also just trying to meet the demand. You know that the buzzword for the last decade has been e-commerce. Right. Prior to e-commerce, as good old folks, we used to just call it door to door service. Right. So we’ve been doing a door to door business for many, many years. And now it has evolved into an e-commerce style business. And it’s fit. It’s treated very differently than the way we used to just do regular door to door. So these trends are coming along and using big data and innovative technologies is absolutely what is going to to continue to drive this.
[00:30:56] And speaking of the government, the government’s development and and further deployments and agile developments have the ace environment, the automated commercial environment is what is going to allow more upstream information to be sent so that we can have believe it or not, cargo clears within about 30 seconds. Now, you know, you submit the information to customs and within about 30 seconds, you have a disposition back on whether it’s clear that they want to look at the documents or do an exam. So the more data we can supply the government, the quicker they’re able to provide an authorization for our products to continue to move, whether we’re moving those inbound or outbound, because many people don’t know that there’s actually an export clearance that goes on as well through an a.g.’s transmission. And we submit certain data to census on certain products. And a week we get it as ITN number, which is the number that says it can get on the vessel or the plane and actually depart the country. That’s a RTM number. Yes. OK. All right. Well, the and stands for numbers. That’s kind of repetitive. It’s the ATDC.
[00:31:59] Yeah. OK. All right. Well, you know, we love our acronyms and siplon. This is an accurate business. Sure, sure.
[00:32:07] Well, if I can go back to something, list 3 0 1 and the tariffs that are still in place that the recent action did not remove what it is I was looking through that the was it list for the list for four for B as they list them was going to drop on on December 15th. So as I was looking through twelve pages of items, the diversity of what’s included in that one list blew me away right from from mushrooms to matchsticks to cars, business, clothing. I mean it was just. So what can you. Can you provide some in round three a one. What what are some of the things that are involved in that list?
[00:32:53] Three, a one, every damn thing. Actually, I have I’ve said many times, I don’t know why the government has it just said for China, everything out of China’s 100 percent no matter what. And not of this staging and 25 percent. No, this goes back to 7.5. It is an absolute data nightmare trying to keep up with this. The importers and the brokers, you know, trying to keep up with. Is that on the list? Is it off the list that it changed today? Is it going to change tomorrow? So. So to me, to be honest, I appreciate what the three to one duties are set out to do, you know, there to to strengthen quality of product that is coming in there to help protect our intellectual property rights. So I appreciate what they’re doing. And I think that if we sit back and look and in fact, I just was on a panel not too long ago with Chris Germany from Toto, and we talked about the, believe it or not, benefits of the 3 0 1 tariffs big because there are benefits. And and one of the things that he said and I agree with him is that it is enabled many importers and supply chain professionals to kind of get outside the box, too, to not be complacent and say, OK, well, we only going to have one manufacturing location here and it’s going to serve the entire globe. What what Toto has done is they have taken their Chinese manufacturing plant and it now services the China local market and they’ve taken that global section and put it into a free trade country. So now, not only are they not playing three ’01 duties that are paying any duties because they’re importing from free trade country in a smart supply chain leadership.
[00:34:32] Right. All right. So let’s before you we’re going to dove into a subject in a second. Before we do anything else that that is really so keeping you up at night. But things that you’re tracking day in and day out. Any developments in technologies before we leave this this this question of our interview that’s going on?
[00:34:54] Just just innovation and how innovation is changing things. And, in fact. Right.
[00:34:59] Before I came to this, I read an article that snap on to was was labeled the Innovator of the Year by Supply chain Brain because of their ability to be able to use a R to get complete exact Boxx sizes that are needed for the variety number of products that they sale. And I can’t remember the percentage of costs that they’ve cut, but it was very significant just by using H.R. 2 to track historical shipments so that they could see where they could make improvements and changes.
[00:35:32] And really, that is a wonderful Segway. We see these days more and more folks are in organizations. A.I. is not a around the corner technology. It’s here, it’s back here is making a huge impact. Right. And by all accounts, from what what we have read from the guests we’ve had here on the show. So many more organizations are going be doubling down on a in 2020 and beyond. So so with all that said, you know, one of things we won’t talk about is not just a gender gap in Supply chain, but also the impact of this technology movement and how, you know, the impact it might have on some issues that we have here. But before we get there and technology side, I’d love just to pick your brain on the gender gap and y’all’s experiences and you know, everyone experiences is different. We’re here on off on a fact finding mission to better understand and better understand the journeys and share that with our audience. So, Linda, when you hear the word gender gap in Supply chain, what does that make you think of and how do you personalize what that means?
[00:36:43] Well, to be honest, I never truly got the whole gender gap issue until I went to college. I went to an aviation school that was 85 percent male and 50 percent male female at the time. And that doesn’t hit home until you’re the only female in every class you’re in until you hit a business class. That’s the only time you’ll see another girl in your class. And so that’s when it really started to hit me.
[00:37:12] Wait a minute. Are there no girls in this school? I might like the only girl in that weight business, 1 to 1 0 2 0, you know. And so and then that’s when it really started to hit me.
[00:37:24] Oh, wait. You know, we don’t tend to trend towards these kind of careers. You know, for the engineering classes, it was worse. You know, for some of those more, you know, high tech, math based, you know, robotics kind classes, there was almost nobody on my kind out there. And so it was very curious to me because, you know, like I said, I was a tomboy. So that’s what I gravitated towards. I didn’t understand it. I see it even till now. I don’t.
[00:37:58] So for me, I’m not sure, you know, because, again, like I said, tomboy, my brain is wired in that direction. But I don’t understand. Is it that we’re not wired that way? We’re not interested in that. And then I have three girls.
[00:38:12] My oldest doesn’t care for, you know, this. She. She’s very good at anything, math and engineering, but she’s not interested in it. She wants to be a fashion designer. She likes pretty cutesy things. I didn’t understand that. My middle child is an absolute tomboy. She only cares for, you know. You know, robots and that kind of stuff. Right. My last one. She’s full. So I look at them and, you know, they’re so different. Right. I’m very different. And so I question. I wonder. Right. But then I hope it is my sincere hope that we’re not staying away because we are afraid, but that we feel we’re not good enough. If that is my sincere hope that we are not equipped enough.
[00:38:59] You know, and I’m trying to identify who’s who shared it. So, you know, there’s so many factors. I mean, whether it’s interest or whether it is opportunity or whether it’s whatever. But we had a guest come on that that talked about how the in their daughter’s elementary class there was a female teacher that said how much she hated mathematics. And, you know, that is innocuous on its face. But what message? What. But that might plant. Yes. That might not take someone in a different direction. Right. And if you don’t know, we all don’t know. We don’t know. And that might shape exac our career paths. You know. So but same question you, Donna. Because if we all again, we all have different perspectives. And joining us here, when you hear that, like, what do you think about that?
[00:39:54] I think I’ve never experienced that. You know, early on in my career, one of my my first jobs was working for a company called Atlanta Customs Brokers. It was owned by a lady named Gail Hagans. And her husband worked for her.
[00:40:07] And love course I can relate. I work for my wife. I don’t think so.
[00:40:15] And it was it was an all female staff except for Harold. And we joked and this is probably politically incorrect to say at least call Harold’s Team one, because it was all us girls and Harold. But but I’ve I’ve not ever worked in any position in any companies within the Supply chain where it was not as close to 50/50. Me 50, LBI.
[00:40:39] Well, it was not as close to 50 50 as anything.
[00:40:42] It’s remarkable. That really is remarkable. And and that proved that that should be that should make us all feel better because it can be achieved. Right. And and Sadhana is mentioning LBA Piraha Gallagher, who’s a wonderful friend of the show LBA, leads a nonprofit called Show Me 50, which as the name implies, it’s about this aspiring to what you’ve experienced and where it’s it’s 50 50. So everyone’s got a seat at the table. There are opportunities for everyone. And LBA there’s great work in facilitating conversations like these. Much better not can because. Yes, some folks really shy. I mean, some folks don’t want to weigh in on on these tougher hitting subject matter that are issues of the day. Right. Critical, but but nevertheless. All right. So let’s move beyond the kind of kind of the gender gap and then y’all’s initial reaction to that. I want to bring up we we in the pre-show we talked about this article that came out in for Forbes magazine. And I’m and I’m and try to summarize this very briefly. We cover this in a in a recent edition of The Supply chain Buzz. And this was as much as OP and trying. And our team here has been trying to better understand, not just because I’ve got two daughters and my wife is an entrepreneur and not just because of those, but because it’s I’m very we’re very passionate about making sure that we better understand some of these experiences that that many in entry have.
[00:42:13] But I have really thought about the technology side of the gender gap until I’m slow on the uptake, as as Greg says. So at Forbes magazine, Patricia Barnes came out and was talking about how a group says that the 72 percent gender gap in the artificial intelligence they are industry could could worsen the historic gender bias, could could worsen historic gender bias. And what the author means by that is as you build and I am not a programmer in layperson’s terms here, but as you build a models and you build the algorithm algorithms and the assumptions and everything that all the constants in those formulas, you know, that’s what drives the outputs rise. So this group, the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society and an entity tied to that, the women in a daring circle has identified that women only represent about 22 percent of all a professional sport. What? So the concern there for for these folks is that if women are only represented in that small portion of the community in terms of folks that drive the build these programs, how does that impact some of the historical biases that that some folks have experienced throughout their careers as a mouthful? And it’s a lot to take, you know, to take into what is all read through the article. Any initial observations or reactions? And we’ll start with you, Linda.
[00:43:51] So I am a female and I’m black from Africa. So for me, it went. Way beyond the gender. It went into the culture. And for me, it’s like, you know, who is really at the table.
[00:44:08] Creating and putting in or putting in the input into these algorithms, who is actually feeding in the into these A.I. is are we all at the table because are we all going to be eliminated from the table? We all need to be at the table, putting in our side of the story. We all have a side of the story, and that is what needs to feed into that. So it’s not for me. It was beyond me as a woman. Raise me as a black person. It was, you know, because of the end of the day, whatever we’re building is not for us. And we we’re gonna be long gone. When you think about what its effect is going to be for the generations to come, when the generation that already here. I don’t worry about it for me. I worry about it for my children. I worry about it for my children’s children.
[00:44:53] Are they going to be able to fix it? When you think. Because you know, I am. You know, the day that the computers will take over, I’ll be gone.
[00:45:03] So I think about it from a standpoint of it’s not about me. It’s about those who are coming after us. Huh. What kind of. But in a way, pitting one them two things. So that is what everybody needs to be at. It needs to have a seat at the table. Yeah. Now beyond just the gender.
[00:45:19] I like that. And, you know, I think immediately when folks hear the word diversity, when the first place they goes the gender. But it represents, as you’re saying, so much more than that. Right. It is. Yeah. Donna, what was it? What’s your first take?
[00:45:35] Well, after I looked at the article, my first take was OK. So we’ve got 22 percent. Is it because the opportunities are not there for the women or the women are not seeking those opportunities? Because if you look at Logistics and Supply chain at whole, depending on which survey you look at, anywhere from 39 to 45 percent of supply chain roles are filled by women. Here we go again. LBA we’re almost to that 50. So so you know and ends and about 15 percent of those even at top management. So I look at it is is it that the women are not seeking these positions or that there is a barrier? I don’t think there’s a barrier. And I’ll say I don’t think there’s a barrier, because if you look across the supply chain where that there is the top management and maybe the company might be owned by a non female. But I can assure you that there are the females in there that are making some of the most value decisions to be made. If we look at percentages of how many women are actually now in the supply chain everywhere from forklift drivers to warehouse managers to you know, and I’ll say that moeny license customs brokers, we find a lot of women doing that because what I’ve seen in my and my industry growth is that women are so much more attention to detail. And I’m not sure if H.R. requires attention to detail. You know, when it comes to A-T, I know our period t period.
[00:47:09] So I’m not sure if it’s that the a.r requires lesser details. So women just really aren’t that interested or if it’s maybe women just aren’t that interested. I really I really don’t know because they know enough about it.
[00:47:25] Do we are we do we know? You know, sometimes, you know, if we have a saying, sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know. Absolute. Right. You know what?
[00:47:34] Well, I think that is the opportunity. I mean, I think there’s there’s we can go down the path as both you are speaking to it. There is some other factors other than the interest factor. Right. And some of the things we’re talking about for for me, from what I’ve you know, one things we’ve done is go out and talk supply chain with elementary students. Right. And I see a lot of parallels in that.
[00:48:00] And I love that, by the way, I’ve seen a couple of those. That’s fabulous. What you do? Well, it is selfishly. It is. It is fascinating. It is so rare.
[00:48:08] But I see a lot of parallels, because I think to your point, we all don’t know. We don’t know. And if you don’t if you aren’t aware of a path or an opportunity or a program or an aspect of the business world, you’d naturally you’re not gonna take it and you’re deaf. Not to mention it cause. Right. I’m familiar with it. And I think in our experience, talking supply chain and seeing that light come all in. Eight minutes later, because these kids are so, so sharp. I think they are one of the opportunities we have here is to get the world of technology and other similarly fields. Yes. Yes. We need it now in our elementary schools. So that so that folks. All folks. Yeah. Women, all different walks of life understand the opportunity, at least are aware.
[00:48:59] You know, and I think that’s coming. I mean, there’s there’s very few schools in it. I’ve I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of career day opportunities over at various different. Goals as well.
[00:49:09] And there there are many of them. In fact, everyone I’ve gone to, they’ll have computers. Oh, yeah. So these kids are now learning, you know, the computer world Ryder at a much younger age than me.
[00:49:22] I mean, you know, I remember what a typewriter is, you know, that I say that I do that, you know.
[00:49:29] So. So I think starting kids off so much younger with with the technology and the capabilities of technology is absolutely going to continue just to grow in this area. And and yes, folks like Linda, like Hugh Scott and like myself out there trying to tell about the though the Logistics and Supply chain. Well, because if you think about the term, the word Logistics actually is a military term from the 1950s. And our first thought many times is when we think of Logistics as warehouses and trucks and yet we don’t really think about be on the warehouse or truck. And all of the other links in that supply chain. And that’s one of the things that I keep trying to to talk with. You know, various different developers and things of this nature. As you’ve got to take a look at the fact that a chain has more than two links. You have warehouses, you have trucks. But without the individual sitting at a desk ordering that freight to be in that warehouse or on that truck, they’re not doing anything. Yeah. And I think that that that that with the A.I. and with the automation and technology that it is introducing Logistics and Supply chain beyond the ghetto boy truck robber field.
[00:50:44] I do agree with you. And I think the technology that is in the in Supply chain today is as challenging as it is it Poe’s you mentioned earlier trying to keep up because technology’s changing minute by minute and that poses a challenge. All the logisticians, supply chain practitioners, all the folks involved. However, it also is really appealing to this top talent coming in and we’re able to compete better because of the technology. This is kind of a double-edged sword many ways. One last comment here and then I want to make sure our listeners can can can know how to follow up with both of y’all. So from the article and we’ll include a link to this article, which I think is if nothing else, it’s thought provoking to get you thinking about some things we hear about a different level.
[00:51:30] If I can interject. Yeah. If you’re going to supply the link to that article. One thing I read the article she gave us the link scroll past that article and the very next article.
[00:51:39] Yeah, at the very next article is how decryption helped beat the Nazis and what it means for InfoSec today. And right there is depicted from World War Two to women standing in the decoding computer and all of that said yes.
[00:51:57] That is. And yet we don’t recognize enough of the folks that have contributed for years and years going back forever. And that’s that’s part of our challenge today.
[00:52:10] Right now, you look at those pictures, it looks like Linden.
[00:52:12] They were breaking the code. All right. Love it.
[00:52:18] But one last thing here. So the article talks about, according to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap in the A.I. industry is 72 percent. The largest gender gaps are found in manufacturing, in energy, in mining and software, nathi services, which I think a lot of that is somewhat intuitive. Women and I’m quoting here, women employed in the software, Nazih services industry make up just 7.4 percent of the talent pool. Yeah, in the smallest, eh? So so it goes on to say that the smallest talent gaps are found in nonprofits, health care and education. So, you know, kind of a mixed bag there. And I’m curious to see, I’d love for folks from those sectors that are getting it right and there’s less of a divide to have a compare and contrast with with industries are kind of lagging behind and can see what we find there.
[00:53:12] I mean, because when you think about those industries which are lagging so far behind, how rich could your program be and how much better could it be if you actively go out and seek to diversify? Yeah, I mean, the onus is on them to really seek to diversify because I mean, what good is it when you all have the same viewpoints?
[00:53:32] It may eurgh. And we’re kindred spirits here. It makes us all better. You know, folks look at problems or opportunities or markets from different limits. Exactly. That’s how we all get better. And I love that, Donna. We’ve got another episode about your so there’s companies you worked at where you all had that healthy balance and he had a room full of different perspectives because that’s that’s what so many organizations are trying to get to. Yeah. But some are a lot better at another. Absolutely. OK. So big thanks to Patricia Barnes in this, the author of this article, which fully. And as as Donna mentioned, there’s a great article just below it which talks about some of the triumphs that contributions, critical contributions that were made to our World War Two efforts. OK. So we want to make sure our listeners can can reach out, compare notes, or at least follow up with some of the things that you have mentioned that your organizations and what you’re involved in. So let’s start with you, Linda. How can how can our listeners, you know, reach out, learn more?
[00:54:35] Well, we are. Our website is W W W about 80 AL.com, nice and simple Hartsfield Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta website. And you can always go out to the service development page and you can send me an e-mail. And if not, you can always sense. Got an e-mail. He will send it to me. My name is so long. If I spell it out, you will all get lost. I guarantee you. So Scott can get me an email. We will hold this. Yes.
[00:55:03] It’s a pleasure to have you. You, Scott. Long. You’ll have to have you back. Absolutely. There’s so much we we scratch surface on here today that deserves a lot more of a lot more dialog. All right, Don, how about you?
[00:55:15] Hey. You can find me at Donna at Mullin’s Internet, at a.l Solutions dot com. We abbreviated the international because if I didn’t, they would be as long as Lynda’s and then.
[00:55:30] And any of the eight being a entreprenuer and a business owner, you can always reach my phone for 0 4 14 9 6 3 4 1. It rings 24 hours a day for Gates.
[00:55:41] Oh, I love that. Right. Well, as I’ve enjoyed this as much as I thought I would. Thanks for weighing in and sharing your perspectives on a wide range of topics and we’ll do it again real soon. So thanks to Linda non-adult. Don’t take off just yet. We’re going to wrap up on a couple of filing out announcements that we’re going to be at. And for starters, as Linda mentioned, if you do want us to help make a connection for you, we can’t answer everybody, but especially if you want to reach a guest on the show in particular. Reach out. Our chief marketing officer at Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio BCom. And we’ll try our best to serve as a resource for you. OK. So we’re holiday season. This episode will be published probably in the year start of the new year. And of course, with January comes industry association season. Right. The break will be off. So we’re looking forward to being at. We’re broadcasting from CSICOP Atlanta roundtable meeting on January 15th, where they’re bringing someone in from NASCAR track to talk about some of the transportation regulations from 2019 and what it means for 2020 and beyond. That’s open to the public. ATLANTA, CSC MP dot org and again as January 15th. And then we’re gonna be out with our our best friends at the Reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo, which is a mouthful. I need a cup of coffee to get that right, I think out in Vegas February 4th to the 6th. Not sure if you’re all plugged in with Arlie yet, but as we have uncovered, more work class companies are trying to figure out how to get best practices and get better at returns.
[00:57:18] Reverse Logistics and Arlie is doing a great job of disseminating thought leadership. There’s RLA. Org. That event is open. We’ll be streaming live all three days and then of course mutex. Right. Yeah. One of the largest supply chain trade shows has been here says in the western hemisphere. It’s coming back to Atlanta. March 9th to 12th, 35000 folks is what they’re expecting. And remarkably is free to attend. So listeners, you can go to Modoc Shoko m m o d e x shoko com to get more information. We’re excited. Yeah, because they are hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain awards on March 10th, right? When the first year event was last March where we mentioned that the airport was one of our many, many recognizes if that’s a word recipients of of of recognition. So we sent this award to represent that law, the successes across in in Supply chain community right here at metro Atlanta. So if your company has a presence Imagineers, there’s an award opportunity for you in Nomination’s Free Atlanta Supply chain Award WSJ.com. We’re pleased to have Christian phisher, president, CEO of Georgia Pacific serve as our keynote and SHANN Cooper serve as our emcee. And many folks will recognize SHANN. Speaking of planes and aviation, SHANN was the senior executive of Lockheed Martin before becoming chief transformation officer over at at WesTrac. We’ve got a keynote m.c that know more about Supply chain made baby then than everyone there excited about that land supply chain awards wsj.com. One last thing about that, because we just we’re going be announcing really, really soon.
[00:59:04] So women in manufacturing are coming on board as one of our present. Neuse and we are going to be announcing the last award, which is about organizations that engage women both in the workforce and at the little the leadership levels and recognize those organizations that get it. It’s like some of the folks that we were all talking about earlier. So excited about that. Atlanta Supply chain Awards, WSJ.com. OK, what do we miss today? Anything. I think I covered a lot. I think we’ve covered a lot. They said, too. And really, I really have enjoyed spending time with both of you. So look for doing again soon. Want to thank Linda ESSWEIN, a Nate Air Service development officer that oversees cargo business development at the world’s busiest and best airport. We may be a bit partial here. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Yes. And Donna Mullins, president and CEO Mullin’s International Solutions, which offers operation compliance training and consulting for international trade in Logistics, right? Yes. Pleasure. Linda and Donna, thanks for joining us. And to our audience. Thanks you. Thank you for joining us as well. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays or interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com financial on Apple podcast, SoundCloud, Spotify, wherever you get your podcast from. Be sure to subscribe. You’ll miss anything on behalf of Scott Luton and really our tart, our entire team here at Supply Chain Now Radio. We hope to see you next time on on the podcast. And hope you have a wonderful, wonderful week. Thanks for writing.
Linda Eshiwani-Nate serves as Senior Airport Officer for Cargo Business Development for the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In this role, Linda manages the implementation of the ATL cargo air service development strategy, and the subsequent budget and technical work plans. She also manages the execution of the ATL cargo strategic plan initiatives aimed at: attracting new airlines and increasing frequencies of existing flights; partnering with the ATL cargo community stakeholders to implement new and improved, best-in-class cargo ground handling standards; providing market based business cases to airlines for the purpose of air service development; preparing and managing the implementation of the cargo air service development annual business plan, work plan and budget. In addition to cargo business development, Linda manages the ATL Air Service Incentive Plan (ASIP), a $10 million plan designed to stimulate cargo and passenger growth, particularly to routes that link ATL to the fastest growing economies globally. Learn more about Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport here: https://www.atl.com/
Donna Mullins is President & CEO of Mullins International Solutions, a compliance training and consulting firm for international trade. She has over thirty years of experience in international trade. Starting with an importer/exporter then moving to the third party logistics provider side, Donna has knowledge of each sides’ responsibilities to the transaction and can help you be sure you are doing your part of “due diligence” in the regulatory equation. Donna has held elected and volunteer positions with many of the supporting trade associations: Area 4 Board Representative and Airfreight Committee Chair for NCBFAA (current); Chair, President, Vice President and Secretary for AACA & AIFBA; Board Member for AMA and AWIT; Board Member, Airforwarders Association (current). Learn more about Mullins International Solutions: https://www.mullinsintlsolutions.com/
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.