Supply Chain Now
Episode 319

Episode Summary

On this episode of Supply Chain Now, Scott is joined by Paul Noble and broadcasts live from DMSCA, welcoming Rick McQuatters to the Supply Chain Now booth.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio. Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton. Back with you again here on Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. We aren’t broadcasting live today from Atlanta. We are in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona, home of the Manufacturing Supplier Development Conference put on by the good folks over at Dimka, which stands for the Diverse Manufacturing Supply chain Alliance. It is acronym City Here to Learn and a bunch of supply chain in general. That’s right. That’s right. But it Dembski is not on your radar. This is this is our first time here at the conference. Check it out. You can learn more at Deum SCA. Got us a lot of good stuff going on here. All right. So before we get started, quick programing note. You can find our podcast wherever you your podcast from Apple podcast, Spotify, YouTube, you name it. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. Want to welcome in our special co-hosts here today, Mr. Paul Noble, founder and CEO, Verusen Paul. He doing? I’m doing well. This has been a lot of fun today. It had many great conversations here. Yes. With unexpected turns. Yeah. But but very meaningful dialog. Got a ton of thought perspective out and looking for to continue that. They were our guests here. But real quick, before we introduce our guests today, we appreciate Verusen sponsorship of all of our coverage here at the Dan Solla event. And in in a nutshell, Verusen is out there fighting the good fight. Leading a ad driven data harmonization. Right now we’re building the intelligent, connected Supply chain and I that big, big, big work to do out there. Big factory in Atlanta doing it. So love to see that you can learn more at Verusen dot com. So let’s dove right and report and talk a lot more about Dembski throughout the episode and in the coming interviews. But any one more observation from from these conversations we’re having with these of these various leaders from different sectors and whatnot? What are you going to take home with you to Atlanta?


[00:02:30] Yeah, a lot of great new friendships and relationships is one thing, and a greater involvement within Dembski, I think is on the horizon. A lot of great takeaways here. I love the collaborative nature then between the suppliers, key suppliers and customers here.


[00:02:53] And that’s that’s really for us corda our vision and to see it here in action. And here here are the ways they walk.


[00:03:02] The walk, I think is a it’s it’s really inspiring. So a lot of camaraderie as well. A lot of good takeaways. That’s right. OK.


[00:03:10] So let’s welcome in our featured guest here today, Rick McWatters senior vise president at Turtle and Huge.


[00:03:16] Rick. How you doing? Doing well. Doing well today. Long, day long. A lot of meetings today, a lot of learning.


[00:03:23] Well, you know, you were one of the first folks we met as we came in for the arrival. Get together. What have you really enjoyed meeting you? We’re going to dove in to your story and what Turtle and Hughes is doing. But before we do that, let’s get to know you a little bit better, Rick. So tell us about where you’re from and give us a couple anecdotes of your upbringing.


[00:03:45] Well, I’m I’m from Syracuse, New York, there in snow country, if you will. Glad to be in Arizona. Rare, but that I’ve lived there my my whole life. My family is there. And. And basically, it’s been home turtle and is actually located in Linden, New Jersey, is our headquarters. But most of what we do is traveling are our businesses throughout North America. So from my perspective, as long as I’m near an airport, I can I can work from Syracuse and it works out very well. How far is Serik? Roughly Syracuse to be said Linden and EDS in New Jersey, about four hour drive. OK. And I mean, I’m I go in the office probably about every other week for a few days. But most of the time I’m I’m flying around the country. Oh, so our customers and our clients. All right. I think so. So grown up in snow country. You like to scan? Yeah. Well, when I was younger when I was younger, I did a lot of skiing. If you’re if you’re going to live in snow country, you got to do what snow allows you to do, like skiing and snowmobiling. Ice fishing and so forth. Yeah, but as you get older, some of that stuff can goes by the wayside. But always been a surfer. I went to Syracuse University, always been a Syracuse University sports fan, if you will. So following a lot of their teams, basketball, football and lacrosse is the big one. And of course, Jim Boeheim, Jim Wright, legendary basketball coach. Before we went live here, we’re talking about some kind of famous restaurant where you saw the coach. What was the name of this place? The Brooklyn Pickle, the Brooklyn pick on this new one for me.


[00:05:15] I’m up there. We left Atlanta. I think it was about 65 degrees landed in Syracuse. It was about six degrees.


[00:05:23] And I was having lunch. I was at the time working for Sharon Williams, went out with my rep. We stopped at the Burke and Pickle. And look who’s behind me.


[00:05:33] Jim Boeheim. Good game yesterday, coach. All right.


[00:05:40] Good stuff. UPS took out the Brooklyn pickle whenever I’m on the way up there. All right. So, you know, Paul, we like to kind of learn more about professional journeys here on a Friday.


[00:05:50] Right. Yeah. Now, so I’ve been really excited since we met yesterday because I grew up in MRO. And so not many people know about that specific part of the supply chain and the importance of it and making things go. And yeah, would love to learn more about how you got into things and started working for Turtleman here.


[00:06:13] Well, I you know, I mean, it’s it’s kind of a coincidence as most people’s careers are. But I mean, I went to school to be an accountant. I learned soon after doing that for a couple years. That’s not really what I wanted to do. So I basically gotten involved in inventory and asset management and I’ve been doing that for about 40 years. And basically. And when I got approached by turtles to come to work for them in as far as they are through integrated supply division goes, which is really all about managing the MRO space for most of our clients. And so I’ve been doing that for for quite a while now. I led the organization for a couple of years. I’m now supposedly on my my downward trend. I’m I’m now mentoring the new players and working in business development, trying to, you know, secure more and more business for Turtle and Hughes. So I’ve been I’ve been doing inventory and asset management for quite a while. Like I go back to two prior to even computers, I go back to old card systems and so forth, showing my age. But it’s always been a real interest of mine. And so I’ve gone through that whole that whole gyration, if you will, from them, from the manual to trying to computerize things to the whole, bringing in the A.I. and all the rest of it. Now they’re all trying to deal with. Which is great potential right now.


[00:07:31] Henschel, fascinating. All right. I agree. Mm hmm. And their digital transformation is an important thing at Turtle. He’s may touch on that momentarily. But but first, let’s make sure that our our audience knows what the company does. Talk more about the company.


[00:07:47] Well, turtle music has been in business since 1923. It started as an electrical distributor in Manhattan, expanded into the Industrial business. It’s a family owned business, privately held family owned business by the Malard family. Jane Malard, our CEO, is the the third of of a women owned it’s a women owned company and it’s women led by Jane, her. Her mother before her led the company and her grandmother before that led the company started by her her father. She’s one of the turtles, her grandfather. Great great grandfather, I guess. And so we’ve been we’ve been involved in that space from a distribution perspective for for almost 100 years. Now we’re getting ready to start preparing to celebrate 100 anniversary. Wow. But up about 25 years ago, 25 to 30 years ago, they started to really expand into the Industrial marketplace. And that gave birth to the integrated supply division, which basically is is basically working with with major manufacturers at their premises, procuring material for maintenance, repairs, operations, that kind of thing. And that’s the that’s the part of the organization that I work with. Is the is the MRO an integrated supply aspect of things?


[00:09:02] All right.


[00:09:02] So with MRO, as Paul and I were welcomed back and forth, arriving at the venue and leaving the venue, he was giving me a lesson on MRO training me up because I you know, I’ve been around it before from a manufacturing standpoint. However, for folks that may not know that are listening, what MRO is. Rick, how would you describe that?


[00:09:26] Well, it’s basically what keeps the manufacturing plants running. It’s it’s not direct material that making the product. It’s everything that’s kind of indirect. So it could be anything from light bulbs to spare parts for machinery. So our basic premise is to keep that plant running, keep the machines all than the lines running so that there’s no downtime. And we do it from the perspective of what we come on site. We actually manage their stores, making sure they have the inventory. They need the right inventory. Making sure we optimize what their inventory is and making nature and it’s it’s growing, it’s a it’s a growing environment in a great supply moving into some new areas, but in general is providing those materials to keep the plant running. So the facilities and the machinery.


[00:10:16] All right. All right. So let’s shift gears. You’ve already kind of laid out where you spend a lot of your time.


[00:10:23] And I admire how well rounded you are. You know, from where you started to what you’re doing now and you’re doing including some mentoring. So no wonder, like the tribal knowledge you’ve accumulated over your time. How valuable that is. You know, so many companies don’t take the time to set up formal programs so that we can tap in to and pass along a lot of that knowledge. So but let’s talk more about when you look at the global. So in the end, supply chain industry. Right. And what’s taking place there? I know in the pre-show we were we were kind of talking about digital transformation. And that’s a as a big topic, but as big of it, isn’t it? What are some of the things you’re tracking more than others when it comes to trends or developments or what have you?


[00:11:10] Well, from a from a total MRO perspective, if there’s really a what I would call a significant change taking place in the last few years, it used to be all about price.


[00:11:21] The cost of material, just trying to get it for less money type of thing. And we still do a lot of that. You know, where we leverage our spend for all our customers and that kind of thing. But companies are becoming much more aware of the fact that there’s there’s significantly, if not even greater savings to be generated through through optimizations of inventory or Technical capabilities, that kind of a thing. So it’s really expanded beyond just the procurement of materials. It’s really a matter of how we manage those materials, how we how we make it work most effectively for that customer and more and more in the MRO industry. People are looking beyond just the item they want. They need to make sure it’s the right item. There’s all kinds of all kinds of concerns about that, that the item itself meets the specs, the regulations, whatever it may be. And so that’s becoming a bigger, bigger play in today’s manufacturing world. Unfortunately, MRO spend typically for for most manufacturers is a small percentage of their overall spend. Depending on which surveys you believe it could be anywhere from four to seven percent of the of the total spend. So in the past, a lot of the MRO was was basically relegated to very little effort and time, if you will, because it wasn’t a big number. I think that’s beginning to change a little bit. I think a lot of companies have turned to companies like Turtle and used to manage that for them because that’s where our expertise is in managing that product. It’s typically high volume, low dollar items, if you will, highly transactional. And that’s the kind of things that we specialize in.


[00:13:04] Outstanding, very important aspect that Rick touched on, too, is the importance of keeping the operations up and running. So while it’s.


[00:13:17] No offense to our Reds redhead’s out there. You know, kind of the red headed stepchild of materials management and and and the like, but I wasn’t exactly sure where you’re going.


[00:13:26] Yeah, right, right, right. And I can’t speak about her, uh, the interests.


[00:13:33] You know, the affect on being able to trust that, um, you’re gonna have the material that you need when you when you need it, where you need it and not. Experience more costly downtime. It is really that that trusted aspect that really is, I think, the. The point that most organizations we work are looking to strive for words, that optimal point because we’re looking at this huge insurance policy of spares, then you’re managing across a complex network and it’s it’s a lot less about just, you know, buying and piece price. There’s a there’s a science to it, for sure.


[00:14:17] Absolutely. What? Here’s a data scientist. Everything these days, you get it, you know. For some our listeners, that may still be looking to kind of understand what this might mean. I want to give an example that really resonate with me years ago. One of the large tractor manufacturers that builds large mining trucks. Right. For for this. In this case, they had a picker procurement leader telling us about big trucks they had in goldmines mines. And I think they were in South America. I’m not sure. And, you know, we’re talking about mining trucks where the tires alone are probably a 16 or maybe a 20 foot diameter. These are huge, massive trucks. And they were already using them, I think, autonomously. And this is probably eight years ago or so anyway. So as a truck goes down for every hour that it’s not on this regular circuit. Right. Of of getting the gold or whatever, whatever mineral it was in this mine and, you know, dumping it wherever. On the on the circuit for every hour, it was like five hundred thousand dollars. They were losing. Right. And so he was using that real life example with with a real cost to illustrate just how important it is that when these trucks go down and you all know more than I do about how many safety stock of certain spare parts I would have locally, they’ve got to get the part from the states to the mine ASAP. And it really for for for my MRO standpoint, it really got my attention special. Just how practical anyone can understand that. Right. Yeah, but I know there’s also pharmaceutical plaisir. There are other sectors that when the production line. You were speaking to when it goes down or you don’t have what you need to get that out, get the product out to the customer. There are huge costs there. Yeah. All right.


[00:16:10] Absolutely. Huge risks. And, you know, I think that there’s. Aspects of it that make it very difficult to do so.


[00:16:20] And there I think every company that you probably work with, the ones that I have, have a story of when something went wrong. You know, when when the line went down. When the legendary story. Hopefully it’s way back. Yeah, exactly. And when the plane was chartered to fly the bearing from Georgia to California, they get the line back up. And then. But if we could have just seen into our inventory a little better, maybe we could could have planned better. So there’s there’s a lot of opportunity there. But a high level of importance that from a smart perspective, isn’t always accounted for and well into your come in earlier.


[00:17:02] But trends in the injury. I mean, one of the things that we really see now is much more emphasis put on the data because unfortunately in the MRO space, for most companies, their data is not very good. So which bearing it is they need or is the right one on the shelf is suspect at times. So one of the things that we see as a trend in the industry now is a lot of basically data enrichment, data improvement Tomlin’s or a cleansing of the data to make sure the data is good. Because in the MRO space, in general terms, the MRO space, it’s it’s pretty weak for for an awful lot of companies.


[00:17:38] Good grip on a mentality of like every plant for themselves and a lot of duplication and makes it difficult to support. And you’re in your seat, Rick, and then actually utilize and manage some good points.


[00:17:53] Ok, so before we shift gears and talk, Dembski, what brings you here?


[00:17:57] Anything else from a trend standpoint that you’d like to share things you’re tracking?


[00:18:02] Well, I mean, I think in general, another major trend is, is basically the whole e-commerce solution type of a thing. And that can go a lot of different directions. I mean, we’re we’re actively building catalogs and e-commerce solutions for our customers, make things a little bit easier forum. It’s not an easy task in the MRO world because in the MRO world, the number of SKUs is just phenomenal. It’s not like, you know, there’s only, you know, a thousand SKUs. I mean, there’s there’s millions of SKUs. So it’s hard to build catalog. But that whole e-commerce platform is another major trend. Love it in the MRO world.


[00:18:38] I love I love how you’re you’re basically taking the Amazon effect and building it for your customer base, right? Exactly.


[00:18:48] Well, and also authorities Gable’s and it wouldn’t be an MRO discussion. I’m sure it’s on your radar. You know what? What impact does that had on your business with Amazon business and targeting industrial and scientific?


[00:19:01] It’s definitely there. It’s a fear. Yeah. You know, our our position is that we provide the technical assistance and so forth that you don’t get Ijames. So the value add up is really our approach to that. Sheer, you know that obviously Amazon has a significant platform they’ve put together in very high tech and so forth. They’re easy to use, but you know, we try and in a sense mirror that give it the easiest approach is possible within the catalogs and the camera’s platform. But what’s really key for us is, is the support of the technical support to the products. We still especially on the integrated side. I mean, we still have our our technical people on the sites that it’s easier it’s easier in a simpler purchase for most of the maintenance folks at the site to come and talk to our person.


[00:19:51] So that was know exactly what it is they need rather than them wasting time in a platform or searching the Internet. That’s a costly thing for a maintenance person to be.


[00:20:02] Yeah. Leveraging your expertise and they’re done been around a hundred years, you know, to do. And, you know, if Greg White were here, you know, he would absolutely at this point in the conversation talk about a B.A., anyone but Amazon is Greg’s acronym. And what’s interesting is, as as you know, look, we all admire the things Amazon has been doing for years. But there’s there’s this counter movement of companies that aren’t Amazon that are finding different ways to compete and and and do well. And it is a fascinating thing to study and watch and read the latest news developments and talk with some of these folks on our show. But, you know, I admire what you are doing and the success you’ve had through. I think you said five generations, right? Five generations. Yeah. OK. All right. So let let’s shift gears and let’s you want to touch on a baby. Usually it’s a hot potato. Everyone know it passed around.


[00:21:01] Now, obviously, Amazon’s done many great things, an incredible company. And I think that there’s a significant place for organizations that. Our specific, as you know, certain industry is right, and it’s the knowledge that an organization like Turtle and Hughes and some of the Industrial distribution companies, I think that there’s a significant competitive advantage that they offer through the expertise and knowledge that I think combined with the right technology, leveraging the relationships like we see here at Debusk, the alignment of key suppliers with their customers as partners and supporting that through the right data can can be very, very powerful. Agreeto against against Amazon.


[00:21:55] Yeah. And you know, it’s natural in entrepreneur environment when you see someone doing so well, finding a different niche and finding a different opportunity. So anyway, it’s a great space.


[00:22:05] And yeah, there. That’s why they’re looking at it. That’s right. Great point.


[00:22:09] Ok, so let’s shift gears. You mentioned Dembski again. That’s what we’re here. The backdrop again to our audiences here in Scottsdale. We are about to wrap up the first full day of the conference here. Rick, what brings Turtle and here?


[00:22:24] Well, basically up we’ve come to the conference as a as a diverse supplier being woman owned. And a lot of a lot of the manufacturers out there, a lot of companies have a have a goal to reach out to minorities. And so this conference is really to use Bawls where collaboration is really what it’s about, trying to work together. So our goal here is, is to visit with some of our current customers, maybe some potential customers, and see what we can do to accommodate them as a diverse supplier. Love it.


[00:22:55] Okay. And the first full day, you know, is going it’s been a full day, but lots of intriguing conversations on your end. And what I found kind of conversations between the presentations, between the conversations. That’s why I’ve picked up a lot of great nuggets here.


[00:23:12] Yeah, yeah. Really good. Really, really a fine group of people. I mean, they really are. The collaboration is fabulous. The transparency, the sharing of information. I found that very impressive. Nobody’s really holding anything back. You know, just this is what it’s all about. So we’re all trying to basically achieve the same goal. I mean, and basically, you know, we’re two suppliers are trying to provide quality product, if you will, two to a manufacturer who’s trying to put out a quality product. Right. So, I mean, I really think this is this event different than a lot of conferences, has a collaboration factor that you don’t typically see. And that’s been very impressive to me.


[00:23:52] I completely agree. A lot of fellowship, kindred spirits. Yeah. Okay. So I love your Web site and the simplicity of the Oreo. So how can folks learn more about turtle news? Basically, turtle dot com. Very simple. Just like that. Just like the animal matterto every week. And you can see we we we promote that. So just turtle dot com turtle, MRO dot com as well.


[00:24:15] Yeah, but bass basically that and then you know they can they can reach out through there through our Web site. That’s probably the easiest way to get the message to us and we’ll reach we’ll reach back out to them.


[00:24:27] Okay. Easy enough. We’ll look forward to the next days as the conference moves. And they too. Rick McWatters senior vise president with Turtle and Hughes, thanks so much for your time here today. Thank you. Appreciate the opportunity. You bet. All right. So, Paul, we’re going to run this down. Another good conversation right up especially. I know you’re you’re right. If I call myself a podcast nerd, so can I call you an MRI owner? Sure.


[00:24:52] I’d love. I’m happy with this thing. I really enjoyed it.


[00:24:57] I know this is really up your alley and you know, it’s a good one way to book. And they won. Yes. Agreed. Okay. Again, thanks for both of your gentlemen’s time here today. To our listeners, stay tuned for more programing, programing and coverage of the Dean Dembski conference here. The diverse manufacturing Supply chain Alliance conference. Be sure to also check them out. You know, you’ve heard some of the unique dynamics that make up this organization. And this is our first time here. I don’t know if we said that on the front end. So it wasn’t on our radar. It’s a shame on us. So check out DRM SCA, dot us for more information on programing here. And you can can be a part of exactly what you heard us describe. Secondly, we’ve got a variety of in-person and digital events coming up with some global partners, folks from f_f_t_ Reuters events to the Automotive Industry Action Group mutex Rasyid Resilience 360 Trusted at seven time straight. If you can’t find something on our events tab or our webinar tab at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com shoot are CMO and email at Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we’ll serve as a resource for you. Again, thanks again to our guests. Rick McWatters with Turtling Hughes, my legendary co-host, Paul Noble, founder and CEO. Thanks for let me sit in. Greg, very, very upset of a half the entire team here. Scott Luton, wish you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply chain out. Thanks, everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott and Paul Noble as they welcome Rick McQuatters to the Supply Chain Now booth at the DMSCA Conference.

Featured Guests

Rick McQuatters has 40+ years of inventory and asset management, specializing in MRO. 25 years experience in MRO Integrated Supply. Led Turtle & Hughes’ Integrated Supply (THIS) now playing a supportive role in Business Development.

Paul Noble is Founder and CEO of Verusen, a technology firm that uses AI to predict inventory and harmonize data organizations in a variety of industries. Verusen automatically integrates to your ERP and disparate data sources — single or multiple systems, one or many locations. Then, the platform’s Artificial Intelligence learns from your own inventory experts and encodes their knowledge to provide seamless inventory harmonization. With Verusen, you get automatic naming and categorization with 99% reliability at scale — a true material master. Paul’s passion for entrepreneurship has always shaped his approach for go-to-market strategies and tools, which was the driving force behind pursuing his dream of launching Verusen to improve the availability of easy-to-use technology for optimizing the supply chain for materials and MRO. Learn more about Verusen here:


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Jeff Miller


Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris


Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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