“One of my favorite parts about Ford is being able to not only do what we do, but then step back and watch about how we give back to the community. It really warms my heart.”
– Rachel Cyranski, Program Control Analyst, Ford Motor Company
As a purchasing Program Control Analyst at Ford Motor Company, Rachel Cyranski has the opportunity to see vehicle designs from plan through production. That type of project is always a complicated team effort, but the COVID-19 pandemic has tested the company’s culture in a way that few other circumstances could.
In this conversation, Rachel tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
· The Ford company’s passion for leadership, collaboration, and community involvement
· The critical importance of internships for young, ambitious professionals
· How she has seen Ford respond to the pandemic from the inside out
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts. Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton and Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now,
Scott Luton (00:32):
Welcome to today’s show Greg. Good afternoon. How are you doing? I’m doing great because we’re about to talk to my favorite motor companies. And one of your favorite topics, of course automotive. So Greg, as you know, on this episode, we’re continuing our collaboration with the one and only AIG organization, automotive industry action group. And it’s really all tied up tied to the AIAG 2020 supply chain. Seminis coming right here in November. So Greg, did you, Pat, did you bring your work gloves? I did. All right. Ready? We’re working really hard to increase your supply chain RQ here with an outstanding guests. Hey, one quick program, before we get started here, if you enjoy this episode, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. Don’t miss a single episode. You’ll miss the conversations like this, that we’ve got teed up with our new friend, Rachel saran ski, uh, who is with the purchasing program controlled apartment for electric vehicles at Ford motor company. Rachel. Good afternoon.
Rachel Cryanski (01:35):
Good afternoon. How are you?
Scott Luton (01:37):
We’re doing fantastic. Really welcome.
Rachel Cryanski (01:40):
Thanks. Thank you. See, here
Scott Luton (01:43):
We are. We are too. We really enjoy our collaboration with, with folks that are part of the AIG team folks that are members, folks that are involved in their programming. And this is going to continue that that string of hits Rachel, welcome to podcast hits town, Southern Southern Southern branch muscle Shoals, where all the best podcasts are made. So kidding aside, let’s, let’s dive right in, uh, Rachel, uh, first, before we get to work and all the cool things you’re doing there at Ford. Tell us about yourself. Where’d you grow up and give us a uric Eureka moment, you know, from your upbringing.
Rachel Cryanski (02:18):
All right. So I am born and raised in Michigan. Um, I come from a small town called Baltimore and not a lot of people know where that’s from new Baltimore. Is that right? Yep. New Baltimore, very, very East side, kind of, I guess, towards port Huron. And I actually just recently bought a house, a new homeowners. So I think their stores. Yeah. So I’m enjoying that comes with that title and all the projects. So are my dad and brother and a Eureka moment that I’ve had. It’s a, it’s funny, you guys asked this, actually I am currently studying towards my MBA at Wayne state and I’m in a management class and that’s one of the exercises we were given. It was to think of all these different milestones, what it shaped you into the person you are today. This was one of the items growing up was, and it’s kind of silly to me now at this age, but seven year old, Rachel, apparently it really shaped her.
Rachel Cryanski (03:09):
And so it was, if anybody who has kids or if you’re familiar with it, the zoo at Detroit, um, zoom, um, we were at that event with my mom. I think I was like seven years old with my brother and our family friend. And at that time I had, um, I was just kind of watching from afar and it’s crazy, it’s dark and it’s hectic. Everybody’s running every way and you always come with a large group. So it’s like, everyone’s trying to keep everyone corralled and together. And I watched a little boy run off from his mom and the mom walked the other way. And at the time I remember like inside freaking out for the little boy and I watched both of them freak out at separate times and couldn’t find the other person. And so I remember like running over really quick and grabbing a little boy and bring him over to his mom and you know, both automatically really thank you so much.
Rachel Cryanski (03:56):
They calmed down. It was good. And right then and there I think is when I really started to realize my purpose, which is kind of cool that I got to realize that at a young age, I know people kind of struggle with that their whole lives. And I think that actually kind of set the tone for the type of leader I would become. And I realize it’s seven. You don’t know what leader you want to be. You just know what a leader is as like the lunch line leader to recess, but it was, it was a lot of a great wakening moment for me, for sure to realize, you know, I definitely love helping people. And even to this day, anytime I see people really stressed out or overwhelmed, I feel for them and I try to do anything I can to help them. And I think that’s definitely kind of set my purpose going forward. I’ve been taken on a lot of roles where I was able to help in leadership positions, give back and things like that. So I think, um, seven-year-old Rachel’s moment was my Eureka moment growing up,
Scott Luton (04:51):
Greg, that is awesome. Wouldn’t you want to work alongside a Rachel, imagine that viewpoint right where you’re sitting there and you can watch them walking away from one another and you’re seven years old and you’d know what to do. There was a little bit of leadership in you for that point. I think. So
Rachel Cryanski (05:09):
You live in fear. I feel like my parents like instilled in us the fear to get lost. Don’t get lost from us, but you know what, maybe leadership
Greg White (05:16):
I was afraid the punchline was going to be, you got lost from your parents, but so Zubu is where you go and do trick or treating at the zoo in Detroit. Right. So the kid was in a costume too. Yeah,
Rachel Cryanski (05:28):
Yeah, yeah. He was, yeah. Thanks. He was little. So it was hard to see people for sure.
Greg White (05:35):
All right. So clearly you have become a leader because you’re involved in not just fo Ford. I keep wanting to say FOMO go Ford, but also with the electric vehicle program. So look, I think most of us know the obvious things that Ford motor company does. Tell us maybe something about the company that we might not be obvious to the everyday person about Ford motor company.
Rachel Cryanski (06:01):
This is another topic near and dear to my heart Ford motor company is great. And I’ll try to keep this brief because I don’t want to be on here all day. Um, and on my soap box because obviously I’m biased, right? I work for them. One thing that I didn’t know coming into Ford and I recently got involved in, once I started was forecast a philanthropy, it’s called the Ford fund. It’s our segment that reaches out to the community and gives back on behalf of Ford motor company. And I guess, you know, when you think before, like you mentioned, like I knew we were a mobility company and we had smart designs, you know, solutions for a smart world. So that’s great, but I had no idea how much we give back and how we give back. And so Ford actually offers a leadership program to younger employees who are interested in giving back to the community.
Rachel Cryanski (06:44):
And again, that’s something that I is really near and dear to my heart, it’s called the four 30 under 30, um, program. And so I was able to be a fellow of one of their 2019 or the 2019 class. I got to partake in kind of seeing how they give back to the community and how much they do. So I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with like the PP and, um, the ventilators stepping up there and that, but all the different things we do in the community, you know, I’m always like reading the news articles and you know, some of the things is like giving a ride to somebody who’s helping back out into the community and things like that. And so that’s, I, one to probably one of my favorite parts about Ford is being able to not only do what we do, but then step and watch back about how we give back to the community. It really warms my heart. And it’s really exciting that they let the employees of any skill division and you don’t have to be an employee of the Ford fund, be able to partake and give back to community. I think that’s really awesome that you get the best of both worlds as an employee.
Greg White (07:43):
Two questions. I’d love to hear about what your role is and you know, what you can tell us about how you spend your day. Sometimes the title doesn’t really define what your day-to-day role is, but before you do that, what’s your favorite Ford vehicles.
Rachel Cryanski (07:58):
So I don’t know, cause we’re launching a lot of cool ones.
Greg White (08:01):
Your favorite one that you can tell us about.
Rachel Cryanski (08:03):
Okay, fair. Definitely. The Ford Bronco. I just, you know, we got to see that unveil recently and I am a, a true small SUV type of gal. And so I’m really excited cause the Ford Bronco sport is adorable and I only my next car,
Greg White (08:19):
There you go. All right. So tell us about what you do on a day to day basis.
Rachel Cryanski (08:23):
So day to day basis, um, like previously mentioned, I am in purchasing program control and I’m an analyst there for one of our electric vehicle programs. And so a lot of people are like, what is that? You know, as a program management and it’s, I guess that’s the closest Avenue. If I had to give a short and sweet tie it up, um, explanation, but what essentially it is, is you are helping need from the purchasing side of things, a program from its infancy, all the way up to job one when it hits production. And so day to day is working with our buyers as well as our engineers to make sure we’re on track for sourcing and getting all the parts ready to go and bought and, um, you know, tested everything that needs to happen prior to being able to manufacture that vehicle,
Scott Luton (09:08):
Which is a massive program in Greg. And as we’ve talked about here, we’ve talked about metal stamping and that’s just one of the thousands of components that go into vehicles. Uh, Rachel, uh, I’ll tell you having worked, having dab a little bit in automotive industry, you know, you don’t know crunch time and job one, unless you have rarely been in that industry. So it’s amazing all the complexity that’s involved in automotive supply chains and how much leadership and management it takes, you know, for us to enjoy these vehicles that we, that are so close to the heart and considering that it’s electric vehicles where in the supply chain and even the products, some of which are brand new, right? So that’s gotta be an added level of complexity.
Rachel Cryanski (09:52):
It’s excitement. I mean it’s complex, but, um, it’s cool. You’re on groundbreaking, you know, technology or ground breaking situations that nobody else has been in. So you get to be, you know, kind of start to lead the way I really have enjoyed my time on programs for sure.
Greg White (10:08):
So you definitely have your eye on the future working with electrical or with electric vehicles. So when you, when you take a look at the broader supply chain, what’s going on in supply chain today, what do you see in terms of trends or topics, concerns or challenges or opportunities that’s really got is in the forefront of your mind right now?
Rachel Cryanski (10:31):
Yeah, so the big thing for me right now is, um, I previously mentioned how I love working with people and giving back I’m a big like collaboration person. And so being, you know, in the pandemic, we’ve been working from home as have most people in the automotive industry since March and, uh, for the foreseeable future right now, till June, I have really missed being able to work with colleagues and be able just to like look over and have normal everyday conversations, especially when, you know, you want a break maybe. And so the biggest thing to me is work culture, workplace culture, for sure. And not being able to have that in-person and now having to see how it’s gonna play out virtually. Um, in the beginning, I won’t lie. I struggled really hard with it and now it’s gotten better, but I also really do appreciate the situation that we’re in because yet again, I got to see how Ford motor company reacts and responds to situations.
Rachel Cryanski (11:25):
And so, um, they’ve done a great job, making sure we are continuing our culture going forward, even when, if it has to be virtual and again, doing a great job, you know, bringing in the help of their employees to keep it not necessarily from the top down, but from the bottom up even, um, and keeping the workplace culture steady. So that’s something I love through review on LinkedIn or just different scholarly journals about, you know, current companies and how they’re keeping workplace culture alive, you know, cause that, um, I know just from coming from being a student to an employee, the first thing I looked for in any company was do their values match up with mine and do I like their workplace culture? Do I get along with what they, what they are deeming is their workplace culture. And so that has been the biggest thing is making sure that I am helping that stay in my company and also, um, reading up and seeing what others are doing. Can we implement the same?
Scott Luton (12:21):
You know, Greg, a few months back, we were talking about some of the news that Ford put out about the big project to renovate the headquarters. And part of that was to appeal, uh, and what didn’t start and stop there. But you were talking about how to really appeal to the top talent industry. And it, uh, Greg, it seems like some of what they’re doing is working with Rachel because when I hear her speak her point of view and kind of the broader picture that she’s painting, you know, who wouldn’t want to, you know, work with folks like Rachel, right, with that, with that passion for leadership and an action, which we talked so much about. So clearly something’s, something’s working really well with the Ford formula. Rachel,
Rachel Cryanski (13:02):
It’s been rolled out little by little more and more on the, the renovations to our, um, our workplace and the new look of what we’ll come back to once we are able to go back in person. And so I’m really looking forward to it and think coming forward,
Scott Luton (13:18):
Love it. And, and Greg, you did not ask me my favorite Ford vehicles. So I’m going to answer it as if you did ask me, Hey, Scott, question for you, what would you say is your favorite Ford vehicle? So I had, I never owned one, but I was in them plenty. I had several friends, all had the Bronco too, right? The kind of the scaled down version of the full Bronco and we’d loved those vehicles. I mean, loved them. So, um, you know, I hopefully hopefully I can kick the tires and get on the waiting list for the new Bronco, but that was a big part of my, my formative years. Um, speaking of things we love, we’re all big fans here and we’re very transparent about it, of AIG, right? The automotive industry action group, as we, as Greg and I have alluded to a thousand times they got action in the name and you see it, there’s no lip service in this group. Action in action. That’s right. Action. And action. It should be a movie action. Jackson. I think it wasn’t a movie back in back and was so Rachel, you know, in your involvement, uh, you shared a little bit, you know, kind of pre-show with us, which, which we want to dive into a little bit here. What what’s been your, some of your favorite aspects of being involved in the AIG organization?
Rachel Cryanski (14:25):
Yeah, so I got really fortunate with AIG. Um, God they’ve opened so many doors for me. I just I’ll never be able to repay them. So I actually got to intern with AIG, which I know a lot of people don’t get that experience. So that was I’m very, very grateful and they are interned for them my senior year of college. And so it was great. I got to meet a lot of the different key participants who play a major role in AIG today. And it was really nice to talk about like workplace culture and really liking where you work and who you work with. That was great. I would really enjoy coming into work and mind you, that was actually a work from home internship, but at the time I just, I don’t know, now I’m much better at working from home, but there, that was when I really first struggled with working from home.
Rachel Cryanski (15:09):
So I asked like, Hey, I know, can I, you know, I’m supposed to work from home. Would you mind if I just came in once or twice a week to do the internship there? And they let me in. That was great because, um, I also got to talk to a lot of people weekly and have those chats that I really, really appreciate it and what I’ve gotten when I work from home. And they’ve just, they’ve done a great job. You know, we I’ve been asked to come speak at a different or a couple of different events from them since interning. And it’s probably one of my favorite events and that every year I get asked, I’m so excited. I’m so grateful because it’s, I really appreciate everything they do for the automotive industry. And I’m so, so grateful that I was able to one have a role in it and to be able to meet everybody, I was, I can’t speak more highly about AAG and everything they’ve done for me personally, but also for the industry,
Greg White (15:57):
They need to model this and making it commercial if they need. Um, and that’s a, that’s a really good example of how a, an internship and work to help you on your career position as well. Right? So we’re always encouraging young professionals students to take an internship. Yep. And we’re encouraging companies to give more of them and put resources into those programs. Yeah. Our little organization here, we we’ve got, uh, four interns, which we don’t like that name intern. We’ve renamed them, the associates because that’s a movie title. I was going to say, isn’t it though. I think it is. But you know, we want to, uh, as you speak to Rachel, clearly you are, uh, contributing early on in your journey. And we, we wanna, you know, we don’t want any title to get in the way of how folks interpret their role. So, um, but, but to Greg’s point, yeah, absolutely.
Scott Luton (16:50):
We need to create more opportunities, uh, for these internship programs because, and use your words, Rachel, it opened up so many doors for you. That side is, is, is great to hear about AIG. You also spoke to their industry involvement, you know, the way they’re bringing a wide variety of perspectives and best practices to solve the challenges of our day, both in the automotive industry and really beyond, because as we all know, so many other industries are impacted and can learn from the automotive industry. So really, uh, just, uh, big fans of the programming and looking forward to the summit, Greg, uh, as we start to wrap here with Rachel, you know, in your words, you know, based on what you’ve heard, Rachel share about her involvement AIAG and, and what they do, what’s one of your big favorite things about them. But I think that, you know, it’s hard to over overestimate the value of the internship, but I think what’s really fascinating to me is Rachel, technically you are gen Z and you want to work in with people.
Greg White (17:49):
And I think that, that the value of that, that that is not lost. And in fact is a big part of who you are, is really encouraging, because I think I wonder now in this time, if we’re not all appreciating working with in-person with people more than we did. So, um, you know, we’ve heard a lot about how the workplace is going to change a lot about companies that are never going back and things like that. I just wonder about that, right? I mean, there’s a lot, there’s a lot of valuable, more than just socialization. It is nice by the way, to have somebody that you can throw a pencil at or whatever, but, but also someone, you know, a lot of creativity and as you’re working on the future, a lot of creativity happens around the water cooler or somebody’s burned popcorn or, or whatever. So, um, I think it’s encouraging that that is value. A lot of things will change. A lot of the things are timeless and won’t change. And we all, you know, speaking of how do we act when we get back together, Greg and our families got together for, for a meal, uh, in recent weeks. And we weren’t exactly sure how to ANZ and, and, you know, act and space and, and I’m a hugger, so that’s a
Rachel Cryanski (19:06):
Problem, but we’re all
Scott Luton (19:08):
Craving to get back and, and have these great events like the 20, 20 supply chain summit in person where we can really connect on a variety of levels. But Rachel, you know, you’re gonna have to come back with us so we can take a deeper dive into some of these things that you’re sharing. You know, a lot of what you’re thinking, how you perceive industry and your work and your employer and the culture as you put it. A lot of folks are looking to put their finger on the pulse of those elements right there and, and hear what the best and brightest are thinking. But how can folks, how can they connect with you?
Rachel Cryanski (19:37):
Definitely through my LinkedIn, Rachel, [inaudible] feel free to reach out connect. Yeah. If you have any questions, feel free to just message me happy to answer.
Scott Luton (19:47):
I really enjoyed this interview. Thanks for your time. As busy as you are Rachel, we look forward to reconnecting at the summit and to our audience. Hey, you can still sign up for the summit. And Greg had a little secret what really inexpensive. I mean, they make it really easy. We make it really easy. One click on it on the show notes that you’ll find this episode, you pop over there. I think it’s 29 bucks for a member, 49 bucks. If you’re not a member that really jump in and get a full day of best practices and programming. So Greg, I got to ask you one final time out of all that Rachel shared, and you touched on a little bit with my last question of you, but what’s, what’s one of your favorite things that Rachel shared here today, as we close clarity of purpose, undoubtedly clarity of purpose. I mean, it’s like we meet a lot of people. We meet very few that have that, this clarity of purpose in terms of what they want to contribute to work in society and that sort of thing. So I think that’s really outstanding.
Scott Luton (20:48):
I agreed. Well, don’t worry. I have no doubt
Scott Luton (20:54):
Is a beautiful thing for sure. But, uh, to our, to our listeners, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this as much as Greg and I have. We’ve been chatting with Rachel [inaudible] with the Ford motor company, doing some big things there, innovative things there with Ford. Uh, Rachel, thanks so much for your time and we will see you back again real soon. Absolutely. Thank you to our listeners. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this again. Uh, on behalf of our entire team here. Hey, you check out more conversations, just like email@example.com they’re radio’s gone supply chain now.com. You can find us wherever you get your podcasts from. Hey, be like Rachel, do good. Give forward and be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see you next time.
Rachel Cyranski is in her second FCG Rotation at Ford Motor Company where she is working in Program Control on Electric Vehicles. Prior to her second rotation, she worked as a buyer in Chassis Purchasing. Rachel obtained her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University and is presently working towards her MBA there. During her Undergrad Rachel interned at Lear Corporation, AIAG, and Ford Motor Company. She also held many leadership positions such as President of WSU’s Supply Chain Club and was one of the Mike IlItch School of Business 25 Under 25 Recipients. Since starting her career at Ford, Rachel has been named one of Ford’s 30 Under 30 participants and holds leadership positions on the FCG E&C Board, Ford NextGen, WSU Recruiting Team, and assists in representing Ford at the WSU Supply Chain academic board meetings. One of Rachel’s proudest moments on the NextGen leadership board was developing and executing the Virtual Professional Development Week for all Ford Employees . Since being on the WSU recruiting team Rachel has led multiple recruiting events and has assisted in writing many in-class case studies for WSU purchasing classes.
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.