Supply Chain Now
Episode 397

Episode Summary

The ‘TECHquila Sunrise’ Series on Supply Chain Now shares the latest investments, acquisitions, innovations, and glorious implosions in Supply Chain Tech every week. If you are looking for a podcast about ‘so-and-so signed a contract with such and such,’ or ‘they just released version 20 of that same technology you didn’t buy last year,’ this is the wrong podcast for you. But if you are looking for real news and innovation, welcome to the Sunrise.


In this episode of ‘TECHquila Sunrise,’ Supply Chain Now Host Greg White discusses recent articles on the following topics:

· Venture Capital 101: stages of investment and valuation, inclusive investment

· How COVID-19 changed the venture capital investment landscape in the U.S.

· Deal updates: TuSimple backed by UPS: driving into the future of autonomous truck tech with a trailer load of capital and a convoy of Fortune 100 partners and customers

Episode Transcript

Greg White (00:01):

Hey this week at tequila sunrise, we’re mixing up the format a bit. First. We’re starting on Thursday and this week I’ll teach you some of the basics of venture investment. Like what is an a round anyway, we’ll share some guidance for investors from an insightful VC founder on how to get inclusive investing, right? And we’re going to highlight one company that is driving into the future of autonomous truck tech with a trailer load of capital and a convoy of fortune 100 partners and customers all that. And this week steel updates. So you better listen up. It’s time to wake up to tequila, sunrise, where without the aid of tequila, somehow in toxicants of any kind or even coffee, we opened your eyes to how venture investing ticks along with the notable investments, acquisitions innovations, and those inevitable implosions that are focused on supply chain tech every single week at this fun, Holy hour of the day, if you want to know how investment is done, who’s winning who’s waning, who’s whining and who to track and supply chain tech. Join us

Greg White (01:30):

Every single Thursday for another builiding tequila, sunrise. Hey, Greg white with supply chain. Now here always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it. My goal is to inform, enlighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey. Hey, check this out. This episode is brought to you by Cooper venture capital, my friends, biology, James and Cena. You might remember we talked about Cobra in the first tequila sunrise episode, and I’ve known this team for about a year now. They’re early stage investors for companies that are, re-imagining how we work and live building emerging technologies for future of work industry 4.0 and yes, supply chain. We’ve worked together investing and advising at procurement tech startup Verisign right here in Atlanta. And we just really hit it off. When we talked about their visionary investment philosophy, it’s a refreshing contrast to a lot of VCs.

Greg White (02:37):

And as a serial founder, I really appreciated that if you think you’ve got something worth investment, shoot me your executive summary or pitch deck on LinkedIn. And we’ll see about getting you connected or reach out That’s K U B E R Okay. I’ll include the link to any articles referenced in the show notes and an accompanying blog on supply chain. Now, if you like this series say so, and don’t forget to subscribe at supply chain now, or wherever you get your podcasts, specially Spotify will let me know how I can make this more valuable. And in fact, this week I’m incorporating some investing guidance, tips, and understandings from some feedback I got from some valuable listeners. Thanks Fred. Hey, we’ve been talking the last couple of weeks about things like seed investment, a rounds and other investment terms like that. I keep getting the feedback that people want education on what all this stuff means.

Greg White (03:40):

So we’re going to take this as a significant part of the show and just include it as part of the show. And we’ll build more depth over time as we plan this phase. So bear with us a little bit this week. We’re going to start simple and clarify what some of this means with some venture capital one Oh one. We’ll take a look from the perspective of the entrepreneur and startup founder. First let’s define what venture capital is and why it’s important. It’s important to understand that venture capital is for startups and it’s provided to companies typically with rapid high growth potential in exchange for ownership equity, by the investors in the company. This is not funding for a franchise or a service or family businesses as rule it’s guns, a blazing world, changing big ideas that require heady problem solving, complex marketing and sales and significant investment in solution development, which almost always means cloud software or hardware technology.

Greg White (04:45):

So let’s talk about a couple of things, definitions of stages of investing and valuation. So stages of investing define essentially where the company is. Think of it as your own investment often called bootstrapping or friends and family or angel investing. And in one of my companies, my angels were my three little angels in their college fund. Fortunately, we got them a good pay off. Then you move on to seed stage. So here you typically may not have a product. And then you’ll have, after the seed stage, an a round a starts at the beginning of the alphabet, it’s your first round of what’s typically post revenue or significant level of revenue. Let’s say around a million dollars of revenue, you will be eligible for an, a round B see-through H or Z. However many other rounds you get are just add on rounds that continue to put money into the business and give equity or sell equity to investors so that they’re participating in the business and continuing to fund the growth of sales, development, marketing, other operations of the organization.

Greg White (06:02):

Then you’ll move on to what’s a growth equity phase, and it’s at this point, and usually not before it’s at this point that the founders may actually get to take some, as we say, in the game chips off the table, meaning they will actually get a portion of the funding there. We’ll talk in more detail about that later. Then you move on as you get to be a bigger company, hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, into private equity, and that’s a whole nother game and worthy of its own show, frankly. So those are the foundational stages of investing. There are lots of nuances in there as in terms of when that investment may come or what the trigger points are. And we’ll go into more depth in a show about that specific aspect of investment. What else is important for our discussion today is valuation.

Greg White (06:52):

So what is valuation? Well, it’s simply how the company is valued. And typically a company is valued based on the experience of the founders, the revenue potential, the actual revenue, other momentum like partnerships or product stage and things like that. And that’s how somebody determines that your company is worth 1 million or $1 billion. There might be a few numbers in between there. And then that is your valuation prior to getting funding. So let’s say you are worth a million dollars and somebody puts a million dollars into you. Your valuation pre money before the million dollar check is 1 million valuation. Post money is 2 million. So that would make your investors about a 50% owner. We’ll talk about whether that’s a smart investment to take a whole later. So I hope that that’s helpful as a starter. I know that’s a lot. Maybe you rewind and you listen to this segment a little bit more.

Greg White (07:56):

And of course, if you ever have any questions, you can always shoot me a note. Now with that learning under our belt, let’s get to this. Week’s interesting insights for this week of July 6th, the start of the second half of the year, it’s all downhill from here. This first discussion is for you. If you have a tech startup are considering founding one, you’re an investor, or even just a curious observer. Last week, we talked about cities around the world with the top startup ecosystem. So if you miss that, go have a listen. This week, we’re talking about how COVID-19 changed the VC venture capital investment landscape in the U S in late January, when COVID was still a sidebar story, experts were telling us not to go to China, nothing initially was said, or thought of people coming from China, this among other perspectives and realities is how the world has changed.

Greg White (08:49):

And of course the effect at that time on the economy and investment in companies was not known, but around mid-March when the States abruptly sent people home and virtually ceased commerce, things changed dramatically. This analysis starts with that timeframe. And the three months that followed and shares the impact on investing, there were a significant number of deals, 541 made from mid March to mid June, but still that’s down 44% from the same period. Last year, the biggest impact was on seed stage deals that dropped almost 60%. The good news is that while investment was harder to get check sizes, didn’t change from last year when an investment was made, it was made for about the same amount as, as previously, this did very significantly. All of these numbers based on industry travel tech took the biggest hit of all and cannabis tech, where supply chain is a significant issue with compliance and provenance regulation, but instability of the big players and some bad actors have hampered industry growth.

Greg White (09:59):

They’re still, there are companies succeeding. One that I work with flourish is doing quite well in the industry and taking business off of competitors. The upshot of the lockdown is that investors couldn’t travel to meet founders. And while some investors may invest sight unseen, it’s very rare at the same time, entrepreneurs and investors are adapting rapidly and finding new ways to be present in markets, outside their local area, by doing things like engaging venture partners. Oh, there’s another term. Think of venture partners as contractors that help evaluate and select potential investments. Part-time partners, even in this difficult environment, though, there are segments that are growing e-commerce data, privacy and harmonization, future of work with the changes that are going on with how and where people are working industry 4.0 that we’ve been hearing about for a long time and supply chain. Look, those that adapt will succeed in spite of, and often because of this new world, fear not, this is a fun one and will be a controversial one with some of the people in the supply chain industry, too simple to use simple six, $250 million in plans and autonomous truck network backed by ups.

Greg White (11:26):

First off, this company has 298 million in investment and is conducting revenue generating transport for over a dozen customers, including some fortune 100 they’ll increase from 50 runs per week that they’re already doing to 93 per week using 40 trucks in pretty short order. But before we talk about more advancements, let’s face a few facts here, look, this topic will be a bit controversial. And I know that there are many who would like to deny the approaching autonomous revolution, but I’ll share why I believe these dynamics make it inevitable. If not immediate look e-commerce will require more ground movement of goods than ever before. Secondly, safety and hours of service remain big issues for transportation and difficult to resolve. And additionally, incoming generations are not inclined to become truck drivers and drivers shortage has been an ongoing issue in high capacity market conditions. The market momentum is there.

Greg White (12:30):

Market and labor conditions are ripe. And two simple Aurora Waymo and established shippers and carriers are investing big time. So let’s talk about what is happening to simple outline the launch of what it’s calling the world’s first autonomous freight network. They see this as unique in partnership with ups Penske, U S express and McClain two simple plans to establish an ecosystem of autonomous trucks complimented by digitally mapped routes, strategically placed terminals and a monitoring system dubbed to simple connect. The company claims this network is the safest and most efficient way to bring atonomous to market. And it’s going to roll it out in three phases to be operating in 48 States by 2023, then they’ll move to Asia and Europe. If you’re wondering about precision decision-making and economy to simple says they can deliver three centimeter precision, that’s just under an inch and a quarter, day night.

Greg White (13:36):

And even in inclement weather trucks are able to monitor traffic flow far enough ahead to not only provide increased safety, but also reduced fuel consumption by 15% and transportation costs by 30%. And remember, these vehicles can run without hours of service restrictions so they can run all night demand for autonomous as strong as the overall benefit to trucking is $70 billion. While increasing productivity, 30% to simple has a ton of competition, too many to name them all here. We’ve named a few of them, but they’re well invested, operating through influential partnerships. We just talked about and responding to significant market demand. Billions of people see the future coming in. These are all key elements of success. We will have autonomous. It’s just a matter of when and who will make it happen. Get ready. Hey, there’s even more detail around this fast mover. And there’s an article in venture beat.

Greg White (14:40):

I’m going to put in the show notes. If you want to get into the real detail, have a look. Hey, last episode, we teased this discussion around the C’s can enable inclusive investing into their model. We’ve talked in every tequila, sunrise episode about the need for investors to be more intentional and effective at delivering on the inclusive and investment promise. And this is a great guide. So let’s talk about how so BLC K VC, cofounder Sydney Sykes talked with tech crunch about some specific actions firms can take to be more inclusive. I’m not going to quote the article here, but I’m going to interpret and condense some of what she said. I think this is really important and well thought out guidance for VCs to get engaged. We’ve talked in every episode about the ills of investing and how far off the Mark investors are in finding diverse teams and how that makes it difficult for them to engage in inclusive investing.

Greg White (15:43):

Let me surface a couple of metrics just to fresh in everyone’s mind. Only 2% of all partner-level VCs are black and 81% of VC firms don’t have a single black partner to help firms this VC co-chair Sydney Sykes has delivered a pretty concise strategy to help firms be the change I’m going to number her suggestions I’m providing, as I said, my interpretation. So Sydney, if you’re listening, feel free to tell me if I’m off base on any of these. So first off don’t put the onus on people of color to enable or enact the change everyone needs to be bought in, right from the top and actively engaged track your firm’s state of diversity and be aware of the scale of any issues at your firm, but still it’s not about the numbers. It’s about recognizing the value that a diverse team adds and seeking it out.

Greg White (16:41):

Thirdly, understand not only your numbers of diversity, but also the seniority level of diversity groups in your firm consider general partners, limited partners, your speakers, panelists entrepreneurs, and more, and make sure you’ve got adequate representation at every level, recognize fourthly that your firm must lead top 10 firms do a very large portion of the investing. So it’s important that they embrace diversity to assure real change. We can’t simply enable firms that focus on investing in diverse founders and expect any real change to occur, expand your personal network and therefore your deal pipeline with diverse founders. There’s no need for a separate fund. As I said earlier, just an intentional will to create outreach and discover diverse talent. Lots of firms are worried about looking opportunistic or performative to avoid that. Be aware that a personal change of perspective is likely required your personal change, forget or charitable notions, engage, nurture challenge, and advise your diverse partners as you would your familiar associates be aware and intentionally diligent in assessing your own perspective and actions.

Greg White (18:04):

I can’t really do this topic full justice. I just wanted to share a little bit of something so that hopefully it gets people started. There’s a discussion with Sydney on tech crunch, extra live. So I’m sharing the YouTube link to that in the show notes, keep an eye out for more information on inclusive investing initiatives and be on the lookout soon for my tracker on inclusive fundings. On that note, let’s talk about some of the notable deals getting done this week. First, let’s start with our deal ticker, even in this unstable business environment. As I said earlier, deals are getting done this week a bit impacted by the holiday. I guess people invested less and acquired more. So let’s take a look at the numbers. 188 funding rounds for 3.2 billion that compares to two 45 and 29.3 billion last week, but 99 acquisitions for 19.6 billion

Greg White (19:04):

Versus 89 and 10.2 billion last week. I think last week I might have even said only 4.1 billion for the acquisitions for the previous week. So numbers are going up and it looks like acquisition market is getting hot. We kind of expected this coming into this crisis that some companies would need to get funding, of course. And in the absence of that, seek and acquisition, some pretty notable supply chain deals this week. Uber announced it as reached an agreement with Postmates to acquire this on demand delivery company for about 2.6, 5 billion in an all stock transaction. The deal will marry Uber’s rides and eats platform with Postmates us delivery business. However, Uber says it also plans to keep the Postmates app running separately. Indian company bulk MRO has secured a three point $3 million debt round from stride ventures. This Mumbai based technology platform enables the indirect supply chain procurement and has more than 5,000 brands and 1.5 million products on its platform and includes operations in the U S

Speaker 3 (20:17):


Greg White (20:17):

You STO a Mexico city based delivery, only grocery store chain. That’s an interesting concept, raised another $12 million in financing as it looks to expand its dark store format across the country, despite COVID-19 dramatically accelerating the curve of adoption for e-commerce. The penetration rate of each grocers is still less than 1% in Latin America. So there is a ton of upside opportunity there. Another Indian company zit work, uh, B2B marketplace for custom manufactured goods raised $21 million in its series C or third major. Remember funding round led by US-based green Oaks capital, along with participation from other existing investors like Accell Lightspeed and Sequoia India. This funding comes just six months after set work raised $32 million, which was co-led by Lightspeed and green Oaks and brings a total funding raised by the two year old company to around $62 million and roughly $242 million in valuation. Clearly they are doing something right or burning through a ton of cash.

Greg White (21:31):

All right, this brings us to our tequila sunrise supply chain tech stock index. That’s a mouthful. We’re making progress on the index. It’s a bit of work that more work than I estimated and along with advising providing content and just plain surviving, it’s taken me a bit more time than I expected bare with me. Still here is the list of companies I expect to introduce the index with Oracle SAP can access Aspen tech, Manhattan, associates, Coupa, Amazon, the cart, PTC park city group, SPS commerce, and a plan open text Corp, the biggest company you’ve never heard of. And Shopify I’d love to hear your thoughts on the stocks selected for the index, gimme additions or deletions from around the world. You think are meaningful in representing the supply chain tech index. All right, this has been a long one and I actually cut out some content here.

Greg White (22:29):

So that’s all you should need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Hey, give me some feedback and let me know how to change. This show have appreciated the feedback that I’ve gotten so far and done my best to employ it. I know there’s probably more that I can do and understand that we are still tweaking this format and we may even attempt a livestream version of this where you can actually participate. So don’t quote me on that, but it could happen. Hey, don’t forget to get to supply chain now, for more supply chain now series interviews and events. And every Monday here is live LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch for the top supply chain news on the buzz, every single Monday at noon with Scott Luton and me, and keep an eye out for a couple of new pilot series Jaman Alvidrez is going to have a transportation series and TechTalk yeah, like ticked up with the great Kirin versa and me for a deep dive on supply chain tech and how it impacts the supply chain.

Greg White (23:46):

Hey, if you’re listening and you haven’t subscribed, would you commit already subscribed to tequila, sunrise and supply chain. Now, wherever you get your podcasts, thanks for spending this time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Greg brings TECHquila Sunrise to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.


Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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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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