“I would tell people to take advantage of the resources that are out there. Now a days there is more free knowledge and information out there, especially related to tech…there are no excuses.”
-Wasim Munayyer, President, Munayyer Group
A company’s talent is their greatest resource in good times and in challenging times. Experienced, hardworking people are hard to find and keep, and the more nuanced the role, the larger the challenge to fill it. Specialist recruiters in areas such as supply chain and logistics are skilled at matching the right person and the right role so that everyone wins.
Wasim Munayyer is the President of the Munayyer Group, a leading executive recruitment firm in the logistics and technology spaces. He admits to being in the field long enough to describe himself as a ‘headhunter,’ and while this may be a mystery term to millennials, his experience in building and maintaining relationships allows him to be extraordinarily effective in a highly specialized space.
In this conversation, Wasim tells Supply Chain Now Host Jamin Alvidrez about:
· The trends and shifts he is seeing in the existing and desirable skill sets for leadership roles in technology and logistics
· Why the most dangerous mistake any ambitious professional can make is to be ‘too comfortable’
· How professionals can build their network for the future as part of their current online activities
Jamin Alvidrez (00:07):
Hello, welcome freight tribe to logistics and beyond today on fired up for you to meet with seam moon air. And I’m going to ask him, he helped me with that. Usually I’m the one getting asked how to pronounce my names, which are unusual. So I was pumped to get to ask someone else that he’ll, uh, clue us in on, on a trick. He gave me to say his last name, he’s the president and founder of the Mooney or groups, but he is a down to earth hardworking guy. And so he even is just like, at the end of the day, I’m a recruiter he’s working for you, you that are in the logistics and technology industry. Welcome with seam. Thank you so much for being here.
Wasim Munayyer (00:50):
Thanks for having me, buddy. I appreciate it. Thanks for the invite.
Jamin Alvidrez (00:53):
Nice. So yeah. Uh, if you could, I totally dig it. When I was asking how to say moon air, your, your last name. What’s the, what’s the trick.
Wasim Munayyer (01:03):
So it’s funny because I have, actually, this is the first time I ever said it was when you just asked me, my wife uses it all the time to tell people it’s moon, like a cow. And like, uh, sorry, you may like [inaudible] there. I like it. There you go. It makes it, I try to make it really easy for people.
Jamin Alvidrez (01:23):
Yeah, no, I, I totally can dig it. So let’s, let’s kick it off and get to know you where you came from. We’re going all the way back to the beginning. Where’d you grow up?
Wasim Munayyer (01:34):
Sure. So I grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey in a really small town called munafiki that actually, I usually say most people have never heard of it, but people in freight more than anybody else has heard of it because it’s actually a pretty industrialized town. So there’s Teterboro airport is right next door. New York city is like five miles away. And we grew up about a mile away from Jack stadium in East Rutherford.
Jamin Alvidrez (01:57):
Usually I mispronounced it was like, is that like moon [inaudible] or whatever I was looking at.
Wasim Munayyer (02:02):
It’s Monache yeah, I know. I have a trick for that one.
Jamin Alvidrez (02:08):
Definitely. A lot of freight pumping out of there though. You’re right. Favorite toy as a kid.
Wasim Munayyer (02:13):
So favorite toys as a kid. I just, I, to be honest with you, man, I was the weird kid that played outside a lot.
Jamin Alvidrez (02:20):
It’s funny how that’s become the weird kid. That’s just,
Wasim Munayyer (02:23):
It’s becoming the weird kid. So I was either riding my Ninja turtles bike, but I was a big fan of that, uh, where I was playing hockey, man. If I got a new hockey stick once a year, that was like a really big deal for me. And so that’s what we did.
Jamin Alvidrez (02:36):
Heck yeah. Roller hockey or ice hockey.
Wasim Munayyer (02:39):
So a little bit of both, but we started out playing street hockey. You know, my parents were like stick to that first. And because ice hockey is obviously super expensive compared to street hockey and roller hockey with that. And uh, if we stuck to it and we tried out ice hockey, but toys inside, I was really into, when I was really young, I was really into the little toy cars. I had a home. That’s probably the closest thing to like a traditional little kid toy that I had.
Jamin Alvidrez (03:08):
I dig it, those tracks and sets that’s the best. Yeah. Growing up in New Jersey. Tell me if I’m wrong. Right. New Jersey brought us the, the diner, right? That’s the, that’s the land. That’s the OGE place for good old fashioned diners. Right? Hang on. That theme. Was there like a family spot or a spot you liked when it was time to go out to eat that you just, you loved and you’re kind of nostalgic about.
Wasim Munayyer (03:32):
Yeah. And so to be honest with you, my family didn’t really start going out to eat too much until I was probably a younger teenager because my dad got to the point in his career where he was taking people out to eat. I don’t know if it’s just a cultural thing because I’m a first-generation American and immigrants tend to do their thing at home, especially when the kids are young. But we had a couple of spots. There was a couple of nights, some spots in the crosstab one place called noble audio, which was my first nice restaurant experience. And it ended up being the place where we got married ironically. Oh, very cool. Down there, down the road and turned into a, uh, a catering hall. And then my first job, actually, when I was 15, it was that our candle awaken diner in Carlston. Uh, and then there was the metal lanes diner across that as well, which is actually a main spot. And uh, and there’s the Ben Bendex diner in 17 as well, which has been in many, many movies.
Jamin Alvidrez (04:25):
Yeah. I’ve actually heard of heard of that one. Oh, that’s, that’s cool.
Wasim Munayyer (04:30):
Surrounded by those. Yeah. And then there was white man. I see. Now you got me thinking, man, a white man. I was like this old school burger to me or it’s literally a guy, one, one burner. All you could get was a single burger, a double burger, like sliders, basically like the OG white castle. Oh man. And that place has been around probably 80 years. Uh, still their traditional diner style. So we were pretty spoiled man in that area.
Jamin Alvidrez (04:56):
Very cool. Yeah. I just love the simplicity sometimes of old school menus. They, they know what they do well and they, they just crush it year in and year out then. All right. What was your favorite meal as a kid then at home? You talked about eating at home. What was your favorite meal?
Wasim Munayyer (05:09):
Yeah, so, so we’re middle Eastern. We’re we’re, I’m a Palestinian American born in Secaucus, Arab American. And so we were really spoiled with really good middle Eastern food. Right. I mean, I’m talking about other men have admitted in front of their wives that my mom’s cooking was better than their wounds, like a big deal. Um, so we, um, one of my favorite things was great for leaps, right? Which is one that a lot of Americans are familiar with read the Greek. We do stuffed eggplant, stuffed pepper and stuff, squash, really anything you can make for people, food, which is like rice and ground beef. Right. And a lot of cultures do that, but great news was definitely my favorite. I mean, I could eat a pot of grape leaf any day of the week,
Jamin Alvidrez (05:52):
Man. That’s awesome. So in researching, I try to dig in Google Gobi, you know, go behind, do little research on me when I’m interviewing, uh, saw, you know, uncovered an article that was talking about that you like to cook. Is this true? Or was, is the internet lying to me?
Wasim Munayyer (06:12):
No, I love to cook. I do love to cook, especially how to cook for other people yet who taught you how to cook? So I had a few different influences. So, so like I said, I’m very fortunate that my mom was an amazing cook, especially with middle Eastern Arabic dishes. Although she did always venture, like if she saw something at a restaurant wherever, and that shouldn’t do it better. So she did that, but Arabic, Arabic food, I learned from my mom a little bit here and there very simple food. It’s not complicated, but it’s a labor of love, you know? So it takes some, it takes hours to make like a simple dish for a lot of people. And then I was very lucky that my next door neighbor, uh, RNA, she’s not with us anymore. Unfortunately, Linda Palladino, first-generation Italian American who grew up Italian restaurant in New Jersey, which is probably one of the coolest places to grow up. She taught me everything there is to know about Italian American, just regular meals that you can make during the week. And so I make a lot of Italian food, a lot of Arabic food and that’s pretty much it. And then I’ll try really anything else. I’ll take a Saturday, anything else, but my, if I’m going to have people over and I want to impress them, I’m probably making something Italian or something.
Jamin Alvidrez (07:23):
That’s cool. So have you, have you fused any, do you find that you’re fusing together the lessons from Linda Paladino? I hope I said that. Correct. And, and, uh, your mother, are you doing some, uh, Arabic?
Wasim Munayyer (07:35):
It’s hard to mix those two things together, man, but I’ll tell you the common denominator on as cliche, as it sounds is, is love, man. I mean, both of those people and those cultures put so much love and hospitality into their food and when you have a company and you really put the work and thought into it, they can tell
Jamin Alvidrez (07:52):
I really, I really dig that. And I picked up on you when I asked if you liked to cook, you were very specific of you like to cook for others. So I imagine, uh, Linda Palladino and your mother, they, that they transferred that onto you. For sure. And I’m positive that comes through in your work as well. So let’s get into some of the, I usually, I’m not trying to stay on the food thing, but I usually listen, listen, data’s now of like, I guess my cheeseball transition cheeseball man. I see I talk in more food speak than I think. So just real, real basic. So listeners who may not know you, I said you were a recruiter in the logistics and technology industry space. What does that mean? What do you, what do you specialize in? What do you do?
Wasim Munayyer (08:40):
Right. So, so I’ll start out kind of more broadly speaking. So more broadly speaking. So we were in the business of, of quote unquote executive search, which sounds a lot more fancy than it is right at the end. And at the end of the day, I’m a head Hunter, most people under the age of 30, probably don’t know what that means. They look at me funny sometimes when I say that even more broadly speaking on recruiter, right? That’s what we do. Our bread and butter is really mid-level management, senior individual contributors, all the way to the C suite. Right? And like, you’re you said to your point in terms of the vertical industry, you know, we we’ve made placements outside of those niches, but where we specialize and where we really have the most value it’s in the logistics space, then the technology space, which is still very broad, right?
Wasim Munayyer (09:26):
So more specifically on the logistics side of the house, uh, we work with a lot of logistics, service providers, all types, whether they be freight forwarder, domestic transportation providers, railroads, intermodal, whatever, as well as any companies that are utilizing their services. So shippers, right. A lot of larger shippers have interesting hundreds, if not thousands of people in their supply chain departments. And we can add value there as well. And then any of the, uh, any of the software technology providers to the logistics space, which is a good segue into the freight tech side of the house. Right? And so we do also anything technology that doesn’t have to do with logistics, right? So we do a lot of work with software companies outside of the logistics space, infrastructure players, cloud players, whatever, but most specifically, where we really add the most value, our niches, where those two worlds kind of come together, right, which is now being referred to in the last couple of years is the freight tech space. Whatever that means, you know, where we really add the most value is identify people who are really forward thinking and progressive as it pertains to technology, but really understand the nitty gritty of, of logistics and supply chain and transportation and how you can really optimize technology in that space. And so that can be salespeople can be product people, operations people
Jamin Alvidrez (10:45):
That is interesting, I imagine right now is a very pivotal time for the moon air group. And, and you’re, you’re very needed. I would presume because I’ve heard a lot and I’d love to get your feedback on this sheet. You, uh, kind of, I think mentioned a little bit of what you’re looking for as forward thinking people and tech, I’d almost say it’s three things forward looking people, tech, savvy people, and then that know the we’ll call it logistics industry. How hard is that to find those three traits or the mindset within a singular individual?
Wasim Munayyer (11:21):
It it’s, it’s a, I don’t want to say that it’s hard to bind. I would say that to your point though. It is, it is very unique and it is a rare skillset. I think organically we’re seeing that more and more people are adopting those skillsets. Some of them on purpose and proactively and some of them quite frankly, because they want to keep their jobs and prepare themselves for the future. But I think historically our industry, some people don’t like to admit it and it’s been kind of slow to adopt technology, right? And I think we went through a phase at one point where everybody wants to make their own proprietary software with it know in-house and some of the bigger players like ch Robinson and so on, we really invest and hire the best engineers they’ve been successful in doing it in a proprietary fashion.
Wasim Munayyer (12:05):
But a lot of the midsize players spend tons of money trying to do it on their own. And somewhere in the last five to 15 years realized they’re in the business of movie, right? Not writing code and that they ought to leave it up to, uh, to the true, you know, software, software players. Uh, and so as that transition has happened, even though the logistics service providers kind of gave up on building their own tech from scratch, they realized that in order to optimize the tech that they’re buying out of the box, they have to hire tech going in progressive thinking, uh, logistics professionals in house in order to be able to really optimize what they’re spending their money.
Jamin Alvidrez (12:41):
That is a great opportunity. I, I think often, and try to, I say this phrase a lot, usually I’m just saying it for my own benefit to remind myself, but adapt and thrive. I really think of that’s the mindset that, uh, we’ll call it traditional, uh, logistics players need to make sure we have as constantly adapting and staying up with the way things are evolving. Do you have any advice from your side of the table? You’re talking to a bunch of folks that are hiring these freight tech companies and you’re talking to candidates as well. If someone is sitting there listening to this and they may be, you know, engaging self-awareness and be like, Hey, I don’t have a tech mindset or I want to gain more of these skill sets or this mindset. What real practical advice would you give someone in that spot?
Wasim Munayyer (13:31):
First of all, I don’t, I don’t want to, I don’t want to give the impression that everybody has to become a programmer in the logistics space. Right? I think that’s pretty, that’s a pretty extreme transition. I’m sure somebody’s going to logistics. You know, traditional logistics, transportation service provider environment can go the next 30 years of their career and retire, never writing a lot of code and that’s perfectly fine, but I think whether you’re in operations or sales or otherwise, it’s going to become a part of the day to day work. And so I would give anybody the advice I’ll think about where you want to be five years from now, 10 years from now, right? Listen to conversations like this, listen to people who are out there doing the webinars, doing the webcast, what are the conferences, the virtual stuff, listen to what’s going on and, and become privy of what, where their demand is.
Wasim Munayyer (14:21):
Right? And so I think the mistake people make a lot of times as well. I’m comfortable in my job. My boss likes me. I get positive feedback. I should just keep grinding away and stick with my skillset. So I would, I would just tell people, take advantage of the resources that are out there, right? I mean, nowadays there’s more free knowledge and information out there, especially when it comes to tech. I mean, there’s just no excuse anymore. If you can find the time and you can, you can teach yourself advanced Excel, you can teach yourself sequel, I’ve come across. People that have been in operations for 10 years, they’ve taught themselves Python. You know, I mean, literally self-taught through universities that do free classes, free certifications, go out there and look for it. It’s available to you.
Jamin Alvidrez (15:02):
Be a learner is what I keep hearing there. And that it’s all out there in front of each one of us to make it happen. I, I really liked that. And you know, I got to say, one of the resources that’s out there is there are so many networking opportunities to connect with folks that have a skill set or a mindset or whatever it may be that you want to acquire or sharpen it’s out there. You can meet these people. Like I, you know, I was fortunate enough to, uh, meet you through a networking deal at a freight waves virtual event. So if you participate, if you put yourself out there and, and go make it happen, there’s people like with SIEM and, and, uh, others that have, you know, in their specific niches just of knowledge to share.
Wasim Munayyer (15:50):
Yeah. And I would add, I would add to that point, I think you bring up a really good point if you, if you stick within your own circle, right. And within your own day to day at work, you’re not going to know what conversations are going on outside. And it’s, it’s, it’s a blessing and a curse. If you’re in an organization that’s doing well on Friday, because then you’re assuming that what you already know is enough and what you already know is great. And so when you put yourself out there and just go meet strangers where they’re really doing well, right for themselves, or learning something new, or bringing a new product to market, and you just go connect with them and say, Hey, I’m looking to get to know you and want to learn from, you know, what you’re doing and where you’re learning from and exchange ideas with people outside of your circle. You, you you’re really ahead of the game because a lot, the majority of people are not doing quite fine. Right. And so those simple things, what can I learn in the free time that I had? What are those free resources, uh, and who do I surround myself with outside of my circle that I could learn from, and actually offer them value as well. If you do those few things, you’re, you’re really ahead of the game as far as, you know, being a future candidate.
Jamin Alvidrez (16:52):
Yeah. That that’s such legit advice and reminders. How much do you network, or would you recommend someone network outside of even let’s call it logistics and transportation. Do you intentionally network outside of logistics, technology and, and kind of your specific niche at all?
Wasim Munayyer (17:12):
Yes and no. I mean, to be honest with you, it’s a, it’s a blessing and a curse that networking for me just kind of comes natural. And maybe that’s why I’m happy. What I view it. It’s not really the work for me. It’s just, I love talking to people. I love getting to know people. Um, you know, so to be honest with you, just because of time restrictions and most of my networking is focused on the industry because that’s where it makes sense a and B, because that’s really where I can add the most value. Right. You know, if I went to, even if I went to a networking event for latest and greatest technology and medical devices, I could probably learn lot, but I probably wouldn’t have much to add value. So I think you need to go where you can add value. And I think also where you can gain as well, the novel,
Jamin Alvidrez (17:58):
That’s a good point, but just overall, just do it. Just, just networking is mean. Yeah. Just, just do it all right. Scenario that I am sure our listeners have come across or you’ve experienced need some advice. How should, let’s say I’m at my job and I’m happy. And I connect, or I, I, you know, I’m approached by a recruiter or someone reaching out to me, I’ve done this mistake in the past, but I’d like your advice on how I should have handled it. Just not responding or being like, not interested, happy with my job, but what would be some advice you’d have for even those folks who are not looking around to, to change jobs today, how should they engage or should they with the recruiter what’s the right way to, to manage that relationship, right.
Wasim Munayyer (18:44):
Yeah. I mean, I think, I think it’s, especially at the very release within your niche, there’s going to be hundreds of recruiters, you know, that are reaching out to people all the time. And the reality is you can’t build a relationship with every single one of that. The, the, the minority of recruiters are going to be as specialized as I am. Right. And there’s specialized recruiters in every space. If you’re in that space, it’s in your interest and try and run a relationship with two or three or four people that are recruiters in that space. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, you know, and it could be as simple as accepting that messenger and saying, Hey, I’m really glad that you reached out to me. It’s great to have you in my network. And I think we could add value to each other down the road right now.
Wasim Munayyer (19:22):
I’m not really looking, but, you know, we can have an introductory call or catch up with me a few months or, or whatever. Right. But it’s definitely, it would definitely add value to that person who is not really looking for a job right now, because they’re happy to have somebody like me or a few people like me within their network, because you know, things happen, things change, and you really want to be proactive as you pursuing your career. It’s really like anything else you don’t want to wait until till, you know, things, don’t things aren’t going well for you and surprise you don’t have a job. And all of a sudden you’re looking for something, right? You want somebody like me to be aware of, if I did come across something, what would that ideal job look like for you? Right. And super happy where you are today. But if there wasn’t gap that needed to be filled, if there was something that was better than a hundred percent, it’s good for me to be aware of it. So I’m keeping you in mind for that. And I think also when it does come time to keep your eyes up for something it’s best to go on that journey with somebody who already has some kind of relationship, a hundred bills or some kind of trust with them.
Jamin Alvidrez (20:26):
Yes. Well said. I always think too of, it’s nice to, you know, networking. I know personally with, with yourself and a couple other recruiters, I enjoy networking. Even if I’m not fully engaged in, uh, a job search, if you will just to learn what’s going on. Cause I have found that that those in your space have such a cool high level view of what’s going on in our industry, what our employers care about, what they’re worried about. What’s top of mind. And you can even just through conversation, reverse engineer, a lot of things that that would affect your day to day. And also I’ve had situations where networking with a recruiter, I wasn’t in a hunt, or I didn’t have a change where I, I, you know, needed to utilize their services. But all of a sudden, a very talented friend of mine or, or trusted coworker had some change where now they’re needing to. So it feels good to be able to refer people on. So it’s networking with people, not, not just titles,
Wasim Munayyer (21:27):
Right? No, you’re right. And you know, you make a good point. I mean, for, for far less important things than a career change, we go to people who we trust for advice. You know, whether it’s, what’s the next bone I should get or what’s the next PCI should get, or, or who should I use it for a home inspector? You know what I mean? When you, when it’s time to go pursue something new, it’s best to have somebody in your corner who is in the street. And to your point, you really want to be prepared for that in advance and be proactive
Jamin Alvidrez (21:56):
You had mentioned. And it’s just a very real, real part of networking. There’s an element of needing to be selective. So when it comes to establishing those, those few intentional relationships within the recruiting space, but this might not even be fair, I’m going to say real simple. How do we tell if, if a recruiter is worth our time to really push and develop and maintain that relationship, what are some traits we can look for in the, in the good ones, right? Like you sure, I appreciate that. I think, yeah,
Wasim Munayyer (22:29):
You don’t have to look for the same thing that I look for from a potential candidate or a potential client or any relationship that I have, whether it’s a customer or a friend, or just somebody that I network with. It’s just a mutual investment. I try my best to, to reach out to folks when, when I have nothing exciting to talk to them about quite on it’s just to say, Hey, how are you doing? How’s your family? What’s going on? How can I add value today? You know, most of the conversations that I have are not about, Hey, I have a specific job for you or I have a client that might be interested in you. It’s, it’s really continuously having those conversations. I think a good trait for a long-term relationship with a recruiter is somebody who reciprocates that time timing, you just check in and say, what’s up.
Wasim Munayyer (23:11):
How are you doing what’s going on? I can’t tell you how many relationships I’ve built that three or four years later. You know, I knew the names of their kids and where they went to school and when they graduated and all kinds of personal stuff, and like four years later, they became a client with no intention at all, or they became a candidate that I placed, uh, and it goes, and it goes both ways. Right? So I think I can only give advice based on what I would do is just put some time and invest in getting to know people. And if the recruiter reciprocates, then I think that’s a betrayed. I like simplicity.
Jamin Alvidrez (23:46):
And just the real human nature side of that. Now to that point, you, uh, you know, this was in a past conversation. We had you, you said something that I’ll never forget. It really showed me who, who you were as a legit person. And you mentioned, if you could talk to us about that, you, you make a, uh, a list of calls you got to make and to have them done by, uh, you know, by end of week so that anyone you’re working with, doesn’t have to be wondering if you don’t have an update forum, you just make a call, make that connection. So they’re not waiting for a call or wondering what’s going on. And you said some version of it’s because this is their, you know, this is their life, right. And that was probably a real simple thing to exist is what you do. But that really stood out to me, talk to him about how you started that, why, why you do that and what helps you keep that empathy fully engaged.
Wasim Munayyer (24:39):
Right. I think, I think in our business, it’s easy to, to get away from being grounded, uh, and get away from the human element, right? At any given point in time, I could be, you know, working with tens of candidates on tens of jobs, or would tap into many different clients or whatever. And for me, because it’s my livelihood. Uh, I learned to handle that and I learned to try and treat each of those clients or candidates with a certain level of respect and value. And so one of the reasons I do that practice is a couple of reasons, a to keep me grounded and possibly remind myself, this is an individual’s life and their family’s life. And that for them, this is the next move. And they might not make another move for 10 years. For me, I’m going to make this placement and I might make another 10 placements in the next couple of weeks or however many.
Wasim Munayyer (25:28):
But for them, this is a big decision and this is going to affect their family and their kids and their career moving forward. And I need to respect that and I need to treat it that way. And so when somebody is waiting to find out about an offer, someone’s made to find out about positive or not. So positive feedback from an interview, they’re saying more waiting for my phone call on Friday. They don’t hear from me on Friday. They’re going to wonder about the weekend, right? So the least that I can do is just give them a call and say, Hey, what’s up. I have positive feedback, feedback, feedback at all, but I want you to know that I’m thinking about it. And I want you to know that, you know, I know that this is important to you. And as soon as I do have feedback, I’ll give you a call and let you know
Jamin Alvidrez (26:05):
That’s clutch demonstration of empathy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I mean, it, it matters. That’s, that’s cool. But even though it matters sometimes to your point, that there’s moments where it can happen to any of us, we get in production oriented mindset. Right. Because we all have a job to do one way or another, and you’ve got to quickly refocus.
Wasim Munayyer (26:25):
Yup. Yup. I mean, I think I should add this, that I’m not perfect. Right. I don’t know. There are definitely times where I’ll think I call this person or I’m about to call this person. And I’m like, Oh man, I should have called them. You know, I let a couple of days too long ago by, and that happens. Right. And when you’re in the weeds and you’re going a hundred miles an hour, that happens. And the best thing you can do is just catch up with them and, and apologize. And I’m thinking about you and I catch up soon as you can. I think selfishly, right. So I talked about why it’s important for that. First of all, it’s important for me as a business is because I think the people that work with me and work with me for that human element, the clients and the candidates, and I connect with people and I get a five and a warmth with people.
Wasim Munayyer (27:07):
And it’s quite frankly, it’s in my interest in, in, in business, right? People trust you more when they hear from you when you don’t need something, it’s that, that is such clutch advice. If you only reach out to somebody when you need something, that’s all you are to them. And so, so aside from the fact that he would being, and I care about people and I care about their interests strictly from a, from a strategic business standpoint, you know, you want that person to be on your team, not just because you need that because they’re already on your team to begin with.
Jamin Alvidrez (27:39):
Yeah. That’s a great way to look at it. Not just calling when you want something or there’s some immediate benefit for you that you’ll pick up on that. That’s, that’s very obvious to people. So, yeah, that’s legit. So we’ve talked more about the, we’ll call it the candidate side of the business. Talk to us for a minute about the client side or the company, you know, I’m a company looking for talent and to attract talent. What would be some advice if I’m a business owner or a manager in charge of hiring people? What are some ways I could make sure that I’m attracting talent right now? Not, uh, you know, there’s, there’s probably the historical answer, but almost more in the, the micro of the last couple quarters, what are some tips from what you’re seeing from, from your candidates that they would be attracted to companies. Right.
Wasim Munayyer (28:29):
Right. So I think, I think the number one thing that you can do, and there’s a lot of things that you can do. But the first thing that comes to mind is to, uh, make sure that your current employees are your best recruiters. Right? Um, it’s like anything else it’s like, you know, if I want to come work for you, the first thing I’m gonna do is I’m going to check it out. Hey, is Mike or Susan or John or whatever, are they happy? Are they proud of that? Are they talking about it on LinkedIn? Are they talking about, on social media? Do they go into the company at events? Do they show up to that stuff? And so I think it’s most important to be letting your employees know they can care about their feedback, because if you care about what we care about them, and you care about their feedback, that’s going to show in every conversation that they have with people in the neck. And I think that’s, that’s the number one recruiting tool. I mean, you can post a job on a thousand job boards. You have to have the human element. And so if you’re taking care of your employees, just like the customers want out in the future candidates,
Jamin Alvidrez (29:26):
It can be hard. Sometimes we can lose sight of the fact of, to take care of our own house first as it were. And a lot of other things will, will fix itself. If you just do that.
Wasim Munayyer (29:39):
Yeah. That’s I know that’s, that’s super high level, right. I mean, uh, but you asked right now, do what can I be constantly regularly doing to make sure I track to top talent. Right. Make sure my current people are happy, make sure that they feel like they’re being rewarded like there without, you know, that, that I know, even as an executive, I know each of the individual names of the people that reports to me and that report to them, I think that that goes a long way. People talk about that. I know they did it because I asked the question all the time, 10 times a day, why are you keeping your eyes open for something, you know, possibly stronger. And I’m like, you got going on right now. And people oftentimes think it’s more about money than anything else. But nine times out of 10 people are looking to make a move or they’re looking to stay because of their leadership, their relationship that they have,
Jamin Alvidrez (30:25):
It never ceases to amaze me how, how much sometimes we can underestimate, I mean the positive sense of this, not gossiping, but people talk, right? Like people talk more than you think, and they talk more across company lines. So other people then than we think. And, and again, I don’t mean that in a super negative gossipy way, because if we’re doing what you’re saying right now, taking care of people, they still talk. So it can be a really cool thing.
Wasim Munayyer (30:52):
Right. Yeah. For sure. For sure. And then, you know, on a more practical level, on a more, a technical level, tighten up your interview process for sure.
Jamin Alvidrez (31:02):
Yeah. Talk to me about that. This is an interesting one. Yeah. What do you mean by,
Wasim Munayyer (31:06):
Right. So usually I’m either working directly with the senior leaders, a hiring manager, I’m working with an internal recruiter or both all of those stakeholders. The three of us happen to be on the same page. And we have to be communicating with the candidates in a timely fashion. I think the same, the same way that I try to try to stay humble and grounded. And remember that every candidate is a human being, our clients. I coach them all the time. We have to remember that you might not hire this person today, but you might hire them two years or you might hire the person that’s sitting next to them, you know? And so a lot of, a lot of the recruiting process and stage in the interview process and the onboarding, did you get back to that person? Did you not get back to that person? Did you send them some generic email or did you actually pick up the phone and talk to them, thank them for their time in the interview process, those little things going along the way and helping the, the, the market of talent know, like, Hey me as big of a company as we’ve become, we treat our, we know we’re treating people like human beings, you know, and throughout the interview process that goes along the way too
Jamin Alvidrez (32:07):
Really does. That’s so true. I, you know, over the 15 years in this business, I’ve interviewed at a lot of different places and definitely didn’t, uh, get, you know, hit home runs in every interview or be the desired candidate. But what sticks out to me almost more like I’ll have a warmer recollection of it almost more than the ones where I did get hired from is ones where I could tell I wasn’t the best fit for whether I just was not doing well in the interviewing, or if it just wasn’t a good skillset fit, right. They call me back, followed up with me and treated me as if I was the desired candidate. It just, wasn’t gonna work out on this, this go. And that sticks with you. And just like we talked about people talking, I’ve now had friends that go to work for those people. And they were like, Hey, I heard you interviewed with, uh, X, Y, Z company. What was the interview process like? And I’ve, I’ve had both versions where I give like this glowing, Oh man, I didn’t get hired, but it was awesome because of this, this and this, they treated [inaudible]
Wasim Munayyer (33:12):
Jamin Alvidrez (33:14):
Yeah. It was a fantastic experience that, you know, I’ve been an evangelist, uh, since. And so Nan, such an opportunity in just a couple minutes to even make your, your candidates that you’re not going to hire today, feel special. He decided that you’re, you’re talking about.
Wasim Munayyer (33:32):
Yeah. And I don’t want to let the candidates off the hook either because at the end, the candidates have a responsibility to over-communicate as well. Right. A lot of friends come up to me and say, Hey, we’ve seen him on the next interview process. I haven’t heard from either the hiring manager in a week or two, do you think it’s okay to follow up? Yeah, of course still get a follow up. We shouldn’t be falling off and shouldn’t have, when it’s so long, you know, go out of your way to over-communicate, uh, and, and find out what’s going on. Uh, you have to, we do have to cut some Slack to the internal recruiters, into the higher view agents, especially in general leaders, because they’re going through, you know, hundreds, if not thousands of applicants and with all the systems and all the technologies and African tracking systems that we have today, people can fall through the cracks. And it doesn’t mean that they forgot about you on purpose, but one of the way you can mitigate that risk is by following up and just saying, Hey, it’s been a week. Just want to check in. I’m really interested in this job, you know, and then you’re more likely to get some attention now. So it does go both ways,
Jamin Alvidrez (34:30):
Absolutely training on how to ask this diversion of question, because most people that listen to the show will be more on the, you know, there’ll be a owner of a co co actually both sides of the fence for it just not as, as intimately knowledgeable about recruiting space. So what’s a, I don’t mean a bad thing or anything like that, but what’s a, a hardship or a difficulty that a recruiter has to consistently overcome. What’s harder about your business that maybe we not may not be aware of on a wide scale, or may not be obvious to us that we can learn about and then employ some empathy when dealing with recruiters in the future. No matter which side of the fence we’re on. Sure.
Wasim Munayyer (35:10):
Yeah. I think I would, I would point out that the work that you see us do, the work that our clients actually see us do is a fraction of the work that we actually do. Right. So if I’m working with a client on a surge and I sent them three candidates, all of which are qualified and I’m just waiting to find out which candidate are they going to live best. Right. So I know, I know all three of these people can do the job, but who would you have more fun going out with beers with, right? Who are you going to enjoy having one of your team? If I can create a short list, I did a good job, but in order to get to that short list, I may have interviewed 20 people or 30 people. And in order to get to those 20 or 30 people, I might’ve made a hundred phone calls.
Wasim Munayyer (35:51):
The people I know in the industry to say, Hey, I’m looking for X, Y, and Z. Where are your top three players in the LA area or the New York area. I’m going to have that conversation a hundred times and put in many, many hours of work before I made my short list of 20, 30 people, and then vet them out and do your background checks and your reference checks. And I’m talking to you with all that stuff that goes on before I come to you and say, Hey, these three people can do the job. [inaudible] and that’s what they pay us for. Right. They shouldn’t, they shouldn’t see that. But I think, um, I think if they were aware of that, uh, to your point, that would be, that would be something that I would point out. There’s a lot of work that goes into it behind the scenes.
Jamin Alvidrez (36:29):
I imagine for those, uh, the candidate side, you, you similarly have to go through many different companies or maybe different opportunities before you’re actually talking to a candidate about it. So that’d be something they don’t see
Wasim Munayyer (36:42):
Well, for sure. And sometimes, you know, as, as we, as, or at least I’ll speak for myself, as my network has mature and become more rich and valuable over the years, oftentimes I don’t want to see you get a lot of them because I’ve spent years working hard to build that network, but you’re able to find those top three, four candidates for this job super quickly, because you spent years doing what we just talked about earlier, which is building those relationships and networking. And you know, that person just happens to be there. It’s not because they just happened to be there. It’s because you’ve been preparing for years to find somebody, right. Because you already have that relationship. Um, so that does happen often, uh, often enough not to make the job easier. I don’t want to say easy when that happens. Uh, but we’ve put a lot of time building relationships so we can get to that point. So you don’t have to cold call on every single
Jamin Alvidrez (37:34):
Building up a real network, not just in words, but in action that you can leverage down the line. It’s not the, it’s not the quick, uh, a quick fix or anything like that, but man, stick with it and it sure. Reaps rewards down the line.
Wasim Munayyer (37:49):
Yeah. I’ll give you actually, it’s funny when this came up, because there’s recent example that I want to share with it. Nice. Yeah. That’s recent. It’s maybe a week and a half ago. Um, so one of my clients that I’ve been working with gave me an assignment. So they’re an East coast player and they’re going to be building out a West coast presence. And of course, anybody who wants to build the Western spread and it’s probably going to start out in Southern California. And they basically said to me, Hey, we’re seeing where we got to start up operation done. And we have a senior leader out there. I need you to build a team of four people and we need them in their seats by end of September. Why had this conversation maybe in the end of August, from the time that we had that conversation to the time that we had four offers, except it was eight days, wow, there’s eight, right?
Wasim Munayyer (38:35):
And so we were joking around, you know, celebrating the end. We were able to build this team, this kind of conversation came up and I said, you know what? This didn’t happen so quickly because I got lucky this happened because I knew the top 20 people in this area have to call. And the last time I spoke to them is within the last year of your dates. You know what I mean? So quick phone calls with people who I knew were qualified. I knew everything that I needed to know about them to know that they’d be excited about this job. I sent you guys, six people you interviewed for and gave them the offers. They accepted them. And it’s just, it becomes, it’s a beautiful thing that you can tell. I get excited about it because that’s how efficient it should be. That’s where people in my role can add value, right? I need to build a team of four people. I got 30 days to get them in the door. Interview, offer accepted background checks, they’re up and running on for days, you can not do that by posting jobs. That’s huge. That’s where, that’s where that’s where a recruiter with a real network in your niche can deliver.
Jamin Alvidrez (39:37):
So then these, these past few months, look, we all know the, the very obvious, uh, accelerants and things, the bad side of things that have gone on surely, but in the past few months, what’s some positive lessons or observations that you’ve learned yourself, running your business.
Wasim Munayyer (39:57):
Yeah, I would say the first thing that I learned now that I learned, I kind of already knew this, but it was just a major reality check that I think a lot of people had. Uh, I mean, two days after the market crash, I would say half are opening this disappeared and I’m not going to lie. When we became comfortable, we were busy. We’re filling jobs left and right. We had clients that were regularly coming to us over and over again. And the lesson was no matter how busy you are, you are a salesman. You should always be building business. You should always be looking for that to happen. I don’t care if you’re doing it on a Saturday, Sunday, or at nine o’clock at night. If you are an entrepreneur, you need to constantly be building business. That’s your job is to sell and to find new relationships, no matter how busy you are successful, you are. And, and, you know, we, we definitely pivoted and we adopted some changes and said, no matter what, no matter how busy we ever are, again, we are going to be constantly chasing new business.
Jamin Alvidrez (40:51):
That’s great. Yeah. That mindset and keeping that hunger that will take you to new Heights. I’m sure.
Wasim Munayyer (40:58):
Yeah. And then the worst thing that can happen is you hire more recruiters. You hire, you expand, which is a great problem to have. Yeah. Um, but you, you, you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you don’t have new, new business coming in.
Jamin Alvidrez (41:13):
So then yeah, just to, uh, to tie this up, what is a, you know, what kind of companies would you like reaching out to you or candidates, and then lastly, how do people reach out to you so that they can connect?
Wasim Munayyer (41:26):
Sure. Yeah. Um, you know, the easiest way is to go to our website and review your.com Luna air group.com or connected to me on LinkedIn. And many of the people who are watching, watching this or will watch this are probably already connected with me on LinkedIn, but go ahead and connect with me on LinkedIn, on Facebook, Twitter, and reach out. Uh, I feel like as, as busy as we get, I try and be as practical and down to earth as possible. If you call me or text me or email me at any time, I will get back to you. So that’s how you can reach out to me and anybody that I can help. If it’s a, if it’s a candidate that I can help with, you know, make a placement with one of my clients, or if I don’t have a spot for them, one of my clients, if I can just help them by giving them resume interview or whatever, any kind of value that I can add, those people can reach out to me and anyone out there looking at, build there to, you know, I can, I’m the guy to go to the industry and then I can help them find that niche, talent, and reach out to me and I can help you out of that.
Jamin Alvidrez (42:23):
Nice. Why I love it. I definitely myself over the past couple months have valued getting to know you, I’ve learned a bunch from you and talking to you, always just kind of, it it’s a reminder, right? It recenters me of keeping it very people focused. And I think the people listening who are just getting to know you, uh, it’s so cool to see that just like with your love of cooking and how your mother and Linda and others passed down, their heritage of putting that love into the food, any of us could make some food, but at the magic’s putting that love into it, that human touch. And it’s so clear hearing you talk, any of us could technically post a job and get a placement, but not all of us can put that love and that real human magic into it. And that’s what, uh, you know, I feel you’re really exemplifying. So thank you. Thank you. And, and I appreciate you taking the time with us, uh, and, uh, really enjoyed it and thank you to everyone that listened. I appreciate you stay around and stay tuned for the next logistics and beyond on the supply chain network. Thank you. Bye
Wasim Munayyer was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Rider University where he received a degree in Business Administration. Growing up, he knew he would eventually take on the path of entrepreneurship, not knowing that he would be introduced to the world of recruitment. After college, Wasim joined the recruitment field with tech agencies in NJ/NYC. After three successful years on the agency side, Wasim took an opportunity as an internal Talent Acquisition Specialist with a major 3pl. With this exposure and the desire to start his own company, Wasim started the Munayyer Group in 2017, a boutique executive search firm serving the Technology and Supply Chain arenas. Wasim has identified a specific niche where these two worlds collide and how there is a growing demand in the industry for tech forward supply chain professionals. Today the Munayyer Group works with clients from start-ups to fortune 100 companies throughout North America & the EU to identify key players for their teams.
Jamin Alvidrez’s unique perspective, love of people and positive energy lead him to found Freight Tribe. Freight Tribe helps companies and people of Supply Chain & Logistics showcase what makes them special. He began his career in Supply Chain, Freight & Logistics in 2004. For the past 16+ years he has focused his passion in the Third Party Logistics world. Jamin prides himself on his diverse experience working on all sides of the business during his time at CH Robinson, FreightQuote, and AgForce Transport.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.