“Practice what you preach and never forget what got you here…”
Michael Neme, aka Midwest Mike, is a sales and Supply Chain fanatic. Not a guru that talks at you, but a legit practitioner of the art of sales in Supply Chain. In this episode of Logistics & Beyond powered by Supply Chain Now, Mike shares his mindset with host Jamin Alvidrez, and some of the keys to his passion: Supply Chain Consultative Sales.
Jamin Alvidrez (00:08):
Welcome. Today’s episode, we’re joined by Michael or Mike Nimi mid-west Mike. Some of you may know him as he is a tattoo lineup. He has tattoos that say real is rare. Your silence will not protect. You never forget what got you here and love is my weapon, which those are all, some pretty strong statements, but it lets you know, Mike, he’s a supply chain. Professional works for global trans right now. And you probably have seen online his videos doing sales calls. He is a student of the game. And today I want to get into his mindset, figure out what makes him successful, why he’s successful and how he goes about attacking the, a wide world of logistics sales and see what we can learn from him. So what’s up, Mike? How you doing?
Michael Neme (01:06):
Pretty good, dude. What’s going on?
Jamin Alvidrez (01:09):
Yeah, thank you for joining us. You know, I consider you a friend and I really enjoy every time we get to talk kind of you think different, man. I mean that in a good way, there’s no backhanded way there. And, and so I’m just looking forward to kind of asking you questions in this format. So even selfishly I could learn from how you look at logistics.
Michael Neme (01:32):
No, I appreciate that, man. I mean, I think that, I mean, like you said, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re friends outside of this and we always, you know, shooting ideas off each other. So we’re always learning, man. I don’t think I’m anything special. I just love supply chain logistics, way more than probably any, uh, anybody should.
Jamin Alvidrez (01:55):
Well, you know, I, I don’t throw that around when I say you’re a student of the game. I really mean that. And I think to your, to your point of, you know, we all have things about us that are special, but man, nothing can substitute just doing the work and like being a student, have you always been that way where you you’ll totally immerse yourself into whatever you’re interested in at the moment?
Michael Neme (02:20):
Yeah. To a point is probably unhealthy. What do you mean by that? I don’t know. Old DP. I remember I was being called up for a president’s club humblebrag, but no, I forgot what he said exactly what he said, but he was just like at, for those of you that did you know that? No, Nimi, you know, that dude is Liz and breeze act company, but to the point where it’s probably unhealthy, you know, and I was just like, yeah, probably, but to your point, I mean, have I always been like this? Yeah. I mean, I’ve always been a type of person where it’s like burn the boats. Right. If I am going into it, like, is that the next tattoo? It shouldn’t be, just get a, I should just get a leg of a leg of motivational quotes, but no, I just always thought like, there’s just always more you can learn and you know, it’s like, even like I look back at like, I’ve always been somewhat healthy.
Michael Neme (03:23):
Right. Let’s get off the top of the supply chain for a second, but I’ve always been pretty healthy. But dude, I remember when I got out of college, I took it to the next level. Like, I, I mean, it was like, I was, it was like, you didn’t even want to go out to dinner with me. Cause it was just our breakfast with me. Cause I was like, is there a way to get like no oil on my aways? Like it was just like, almost like, but yeah. So that’s, I mean, I’m just literally burned the boats. I am just always wanting to, to see chasing, to get to my full potential right. Of something. I want to be the best at. Yeah. I want to be the best, but I’ve always wanted to like constantly just, I don’t know. Yeah. Improve. I mean, it’s just hard. It’s really hard sometimes to explain that mindset, but end of the day burn the boats. I’m going all in. It’s no hat. There’s no, there’s no half in half out.
Jamin Alvidrez (04:12):
I like that. And we’ll circle back to that as well. And I can imagine it is hard to explain because it’s just who you are. Right. So let’s get to know who you are a little bit better by starting. Uh, let’s start with the childhood. Where’d you grow up?
Michael Neme (04:25):
Uh, Michigan. What part of Michigan? Everyone says Detroit. Right. But no, uh, well funny. I did, uh, I did live in Detroit for like six years of my life, but um, McComb township, like East side anchor Bay at, for anyone that knows anything about Michigan, but yeah, I lived out there, uh, went to school at central Michigan fire up and yeah, that’s where I where’s my childhood.
Jamin Alvidrez (04:54):
You ever get in any fights on the playground when you were young?
Michael Neme (04:59):
I mean probably a couple, but I mean, if, if you look at me now it’s like a guy that has loved this as a weapon tattooed on him. It’s a lose lose for anybody that wants to fight someone that has that mindset. Right. You beat a guy up that literally lives that love is my weapon mindset or you get beat up by the guy that lives, that mindset. It’s not a win-win so no, I mean, I could probably bet in a couple of fights when I was say it’s a weird question, but like when I was younger, but now dude, I love it. Like I don’t have energy for negativity like that.
Jamin Alvidrez (05:32):
I can, uh, I can dig that for sure. You ever, uh, have any confrontations or were you the one patching things up and bringing different groups together and I’m talking to elementary school style. I’m not sure.
Michael Neme (05:45):
Oh, I was like, uh, what do you want to do to me? Like it throughout my life? Yeah. I’ve always been so diverse. Like I have some friends that are like to the, I say gangster and you look at me, I’m like your standard white person. And it’s like, but then it’s like, you can flip a totally opposite and I’m hanging out with, you know, hippies that are, you know, protesting and stuff like that. I just had a, such a diverse profile and I think it all started from, I mean, my mom even said it, she goes, you know, I remember like when I was like five, I was like, I want to meet two people in edit. And that is kind of where two new people a day and had, and have some type of enlightened conversation, whether it’s 30 seconds or 20 minutes. Right. And if I see that person again or not just always, like, I was just always curious of, you know, Hey, what’s up. Like I am that like to the point was like, shut up, dude. Nope. We don’t want to talk to you. I’m on an elevator and I want to talk to you. So my range of friends, people I surround myself with are so broad.
Jamin Alvidrez (06:51):
So let’s go back to that real quick. So you, what you’re saying is when you were five years old thereabout, roughly. Yeah. You were so cognizant of networking at that young age that you set a goal for yourself. Uh there’s so many things right. In that you set a goal for yourself one and then the goal was two new people a day to engage with.
Michael Neme (07:11):
Yeah, it was roughly, I mean, it could have been, I say five to make myself look older, but it could have been, I probably was a little bit older, but like, yeah. I mean that was,
Jamin Alvidrez (07:18):
It would be a cool story even for 35 still to be that intentional about it. So I mean,
Michael Neme (07:25):
It’s like, that was just always, yeah, that’s always been my goal. And even to this day, like, I mean, it’s funny is like my, my girlfriend now is like, she even said that she’s like everywhere. I turned my head, we’d go out. I turned my head and there he is making friends with everybody talking to somebody and it’s just like, I don’t know. There’s just the world is IB. It sounds cheesy, man. But like the world is so big. Like I just love, I want it. I want like, even if I, I want to meet people, I want to know how everybody thinks what their opinions are. And I’d rather surround myself. A lot of times with people that I know they say surround yourself with people with the same mindset or growth, that’s fine. But a lot of people out there that don’t share or that, you know, I might disagree with on their beliefs or opinions, they’re still a mindset of they want to grow too. And I think it’s, you know, it’s, it’s really intriguing to me to like branch out to those types of people and really see how they think like no opinions wrong, or even if it is wrong, there’s still a reason why they believe that way. And I want to know if that makes sense.
Jamin Alvidrez (08:27):
It makes total sense. And I really appreciate that, that sort of curiosity, to get to know people why they think the way they do instead of just shutting them down of like, Oh, I don’t think like that. And then shutting down, I think is something that’d be really healthy for us all to, to copy from you. So a favorite toy as a child
Michael Neme (08:49):
Legos or puzzles.
Jamin Alvidrez (08:52):
Nice. So, okay. There’s still that, that builder mindset, um, a hundred
Michael Neme (08:57):
Percent. A hundred percent.
Jamin Alvidrez (09:00):
Yeah. So you had mentioned something to me before that you, cause we’ve kind of talked about this a little bit. How do you feel about instructions that came with the Legos?
Michael Neme (09:10):
Didn’t look at them and why is that? I don’t know. It’s like if I think about, if I, now I know it’s, you know, I just always thought like, I’m going to figure out a way to put this together. There’s no white way right now. It’s like, I look at it. It’s like, how can I do this? You know, I was probably thinking about that and I’m going to do this more efficiently. There’s gotta be an easier way. There’s gotta be shortcuts. Like even to the point where it’s like, I don’t know why I’m just going to go with it. Cause it came to my mind. I’m a huge deer Hunter, right? Grew up in the Midwest, big into bow hunting, even like building my tree stands. I remember I’d be like, and there was times where I was like, , why did I throw that? Those instructions away? But it’s like, I just wanted to figure it out. I wanted to figure it out. I wanted to figure out how to, you know, there’s, there’s gotta be an easier way or more efficient way to put this puzzle together. These labels together, maybe build something. I didn’t even know that, that I could build from this, this puzzle, this as like a bill of . But I, I, you know, I built an air, but when I’m with it, you know, so it’s like, I just love that type of work.
Jamin Alvidrez (10:12):
You were meant for supply chain before even knew it supply chain was.
Michael Neme (10:17):
Yeah. I didn’t know. Yeah. Right. I just knew about . When I think about shipping, I was like, nobody, I never went to school and said, Hey, I’m going to be in logistics. Hell. When I first started, I was like, okay. So wait. So in shipping, like that’s what I knew about shipping was removed. You’re moving to pocket FedEx,
Jamin Alvidrez (10:37):
I think. Yeah. I think that’s how it starts for a lot of us. So then how have you found that, that, that mindset, that curiosity, and then also that drive to find a different way or your own way, uh, or a more efficient way, as you said to build something, how have you found that’s translated to your success in logistics?
Michael Neme (10:58):
Bringing more to the table? Cause let’s face it, man. There’s a word commodity. We are, I mean, in India I would say in an industry that’s such a commodity. How do you, how do you, you know, make a, make a splash with the masses? And that’s it, it’s like always like, you know, even when I’m not going to say I was like this and I’m still mad, no like industry guru, but like even in the beginning, even though I might have not, I have not, I didn’t know anything about what I know now. I just knew that we could save you money. I think I posted something about this, but how do I get that meeting? Right. That’s like, how do I step outside? And my brain started working in the sales process in the beginning. It’s like, okay, I can worry about all, you know, I’ll, I’ll do that on the backend.
Michael Neme (11:45):
Think about solutions and what really is moving around in the supply chain. But I need to get a meeting first. Right. So while people were just doing the standard, like cold calling door to door, dude, I was dropping voicemails at 2:00 AM. And to be like, I mean, and again, it sounds insane, but I mean, I am insane. It’s like, you know, and so it was like figuring out ways. Like I was, you know, if I got ghosted or I wanted, I really wanted a meeting, I would send it, I would look up like gifts online to get like there was this one Africa, this one company that it was, you know, you can buy these, uh, like balls. Right. And I had a couple of meetings with this, uh, uh, CEO of something like a large company. And I wrote a note on this ball or wrote the note on the ball with a Sharpie.
Michael Neme (12:34):
It said, let’s get the ball rolling. Like things like, things like that. You know? So it’s like always been my mind. It’s always been already tell it’s always working. And I think it’s, you know, I say it probably I’m ADHD. I know how to, you know, and a lot of people won’t look at that and they’re like, always like, you know, add people. You think they they’re jumping across the walls and all this. And it’s like, no, I’m not like that. It’s just my brain is I utilized it and used it as a strain. My brain is always working and it’s definitely got some downturns on it. Cause again, my brain is always moving, but it’s always with that mindset. Like what can I do different next? What can I do next? What can I do next? What can I do next? What, what are these people not doing? And that goes back to also observing I’m the big observer in how everybody is moving,
Jamin Alvidrez (13:23):
Man. There’s a lot of quality points in there. One thing you said that that really resonated with me is you had mentioned really always thinking and being very intentional and trying to think, not just categorically following what everyone else is doing or what the, you know, comparing it back to Legos, what the directions or the instructions say there was trying to find a different way. And, and I think that could be really helpful for, for some of us to adopt.
Michael Neme (13:53):
It definitely comes with negatives. I’ll tell, I’ll say that. I mean, sure. Oh it does. But I mean, I mean, I mean, I’m not, you’ve said it, people should adopt it or you know, can benefit from it. Yeah. I just always feel a little weird with them. It’s always a weird feeling to go on a ramp. It’s always a weird feeling talking about yourself. Right. It’s like, I always feel like who the heck am I right? And don’t get me wrong. I’m confident and whatnot. I know my, I know what I’m bringing, but I don’t know. It’s just kind of always, I’m not that person you compliment and I’m just like, you would think that would just like from the masses. I always said like, people probably think I have an ego, which we all do to some extent, but I’m always like, Oh, did they just say I looked at today? Or I’m just like, that person was like, I don’t want the, now I’m a, nobody
Jamin Alvidrez (14:38):
I can empathize with you. There. It is sometimes a little uncomfortable to talk about ourselves. So let’s give you an out then for a moment, a little reprieve, but it is your mind. We want to understand, let’s give you a chance to brag on someone else who is, you know, you can go, who is the biggest or one of your first mentors,
Michael Neme (14:57):
Don Layton, Sean Layton. I would not be what I am hands down today. Like it not to get all of a sudden. I know, but that dude changed the way that dude is just a hands down. That dude is great. He is someone that I always say is, you know, in a manager’s role. Right. And when I first moved over, when I first started at worldwide express, he wasn’t even a manager. I had a manager for like two months, but you know, behind the scenes, he was already getting ready to move. Sean was a senior rep. I looked up to him. I remember he took me on my field ride. Cool, dude, I saw this guy that I was just like, man, this guy’s a stud and he’s always ripping the bones. Like bye. Like I just, I miss those days. But so he kinda at first was just like, came along with me, showed me the ropes.
Michael Neme (15:49):
But like then he came into manager role, like three months onto my trip to my son and my career. And the thing about Sean put aside the fact that he, he gives the reason why I’m here today and that’s scaled on so many different levels. He’s the guy that I’ll tell. Can I tell the story? Absolutely. So, you know, the first six months of my career, five months of my career, I think it was, you know, I started, I started like late in 2014, but like I, I was, I was the next day. I always say like back Sean Layton at that point. Well, I had a very serious, I was engaged. I had a very serious, uh, relationship and we all have those one moments that just kind of mess our mess, our hat up, you know? And it could be anything for anybody. Well, I remember, you know, everyone’s hiring on me and then that ends and I let that, I don’t get sob story, but I let that take a bet, affected me on so many different levels to where I didn’t sell a deal. I didn’t sell the deal for like five months. And I never knew this
Jamin Alvidrez (16:58):
Just to make, just to make sure I follow the story here. Cause this is, this is great. So your, your relationship, you had some personal things go on that then bled over into your, you allowed to bleed over into your work
Michael Neme (17:10):
Hundred percent. So you get this new, new guy hired on everyone’s high on them. They’re saying, you know, Hey, he’s the next show and late. And then all of a sudden December comes right before the new year. And you’re really kind of starting to get a little traction. Boom. And I do too, just like ruin. Like, and it wasn’t like I lost my work ethic. Cause that was the thing is, but long story short that right there, what he did this dude literally put his own job on the line. I should have been fired. I wasn’t selling anything. I was letting emotions. I get it. You know, people are you’re, you’re making, you gotta make people money. Right. And you can’t. I could sit there and yet stinks that I had to go through that, but I would have understood, but I didn’t, I me, he never told me the guy that the mole, this story is even just being a good human and knowing that this is what a manager need is like, is anybody can be high on someone when they’re making, when they’re doing great for that person, it takes it.
Michael Neme (18:10):
There’s very few people that still sit there and tell you, put their job on the line and say, I said it from day one. He’s going to be the best thing in this office. And I still say it today. He’s just needs to, he just needs to break, please. He just needs to break this emotive. He’s an emotional person. He wears his heart on his sleeve, which is good and bad. I ended up turning it up just below in and out the water the next six months on never I’ll, I’ll tell him this today. I’ll never forget that I’ve been throughout my career to this day. I posted a thing about it. He still gives me advice. Doesn’t benefit him. And the dude is just like it almost like not even we get, I get a little sun and that whole button like this dude is just like, no, I actually get sad. Actually give a little of a sudden meadow. But like, yeah, that dude shaped my sales career more than I can even say.
Jamin Alvidrez (19:06):
I think that’s completely legit and reasonable that you would be sentimental. I mean, that type of leadership and mentorship is rare. And so when you come across it appreciating it, the way you clearly are, I think is, is huge. What’s, what’s something specific that we could learn. Uh, we as an audience, what can we learn and copy from, from Sean? What’s maybe something simple and specific that we could copy that, that Sean Layton taught you,
Michael Neme (19:38):
Practicing what you preach or never forgetting what got you here. Like every manager, I think not every, I always do you think it’s fair to say that like every manager is not for everybody, right? Like some managers might kill a rat, right. That, you know, could it potentially scale in another with another manager, but Sean, to me, I knew that he had the, he had the credit. Right? I would say it’s like, what I do. I want to go to you get those people that have never been award and they do college. And maybe I’m not, I don’t know the depth of that topic, but to the more, the point is like they go to war. I don’t want to follow someone that in the battle that has never been in battle. Right. That just says, Hey, go fight. I want to, um, I’m going, I’m going with the person that has done it before, because they have done it before.
Michael Neme (20:28):
Right. And it wasn’t like, he just literally just from day one had, did what he said he did. And he also never, it was coolest. Cause we, we both grew up together. Right. He was a new manager and we’ll talk, we laugh about it. Like after up a ton of times with me and so by, but there’s a learning experience. But something that I always thought was good is he knew what I needed. Even when I didn’t need it. He knew that, okay, I can’t really tie the student down. He said it he’s, he, you know, he’s different to me. I’m going to let, I’m going to, I’m going to give him some rope. Cause if I don’t and knowing that, just realizing that, you know, working with each rat, cause he had a team obviously after, right later in his career and everyone was different, but he just had a really good way of one practicing what he preached, bringing on new ideas and really just letting you kind of find your way to your own self. If I should add that. Yeah.
Jamin Alvidrez (21:35):
Tell me if this is fair, but what I’m hearing from some of the stories and examples, you’re saying that I want to copy from Sean or be reminded of, is not treating everyone the same, not managing, meaning, managing each person very specific to their personality, their needs, their strengths, their weaknesses, not a one size fits all type of approach to management,
Michael Neme (21:59):
Hands down. Like I was the person that, you know, Sean had to say shut the F up. And I knew it’s like, okay, like he knew he had and where I wasn’t, you know, he knew he had to be dominant at times, but he also knew that there was like when to do it and when not to do a little bit like, okay, I don’t need to get on him for leaving cuts all over his desk because he’s not in that mindset right now. We’re not like that’s going to come later when it becomes like a manager. He can’t be just doing things like that, but he just knew how to handle it.
Jamin Alvidrez (22:32):
Yeah. Thank you very much for, for sharing all that. I can definitely tell how much it means to you along the same lines you had a post the other day that I thought was beautiful and really is something that I have come to respect about you. This is along the same lines of a mentorship or coaching where it does not only have to come from a quote unquote manager or leadership role. Can you tell us the story about, and I apologize if we get this wrong, it was a, a gal who was, was she a manager office manager. Okay. So this gal is an office manager and yet she had a giant impact on your career and you were able to see her as an individual, not just look at the title and say, Hey, what can I learn from this person? Talk to me about that and that, that approach and how that’s benefited you. And
Michael Neme (23:26):
I just really noticed, like we do these trainings and April would always be doing like our Excel spreadsheets for the sales team and everything. And I was like, you know, I need, I wanted to, you know, I was, I should say, I’m pretty analytical, but not to the point where I can literally bust out pivot tables and really maximize like Excel with formulas. And she was, had a master’s degree, super smart. And I think a lot of people just slept on her. Right. And I just took, I mean, she helped us a ton, but I just said, listen, if you mind, if I pick your brain on these excels, we did an Excel thing training and she spearheaded it in the beginning, like both brought on someone else, like an outsider in our office. But she was like, literally schooling this person with some questions.
Michael Neme (24:19):
And I was like, dude, her husband at the time was like, they were just smart people. And I was like, man, this is someone I know I could like, that will help me. And you changed it. Like I literally would, if I could, there was nonstop sitting with April, sitting with April sitting with April. So I’m not, I mean, she did, she loved her job. Everybody treated her well and all that. Like she was like family, but like while most just thought of her as I let me, can you set, you know, send me some slips. I don’t need her to do, I don’t need her to take the trash out for me. Right. I want to use her to her full advantage. And if she’s willing to share her expertise with, in this case, Excel numbers, I’m all yours. And got it. You know, I posted on that post where I was just like, you know, I was meeting with a lot of CFOs and I just remember it was, looks like him laughing.
Michael Neme (25:18):
And I was like, it was, it was actually funny. We were going to lose the account. And a lot of people were like, don’t say anything. Like don’t say anything. And I knew that he was wrong. The CFO is wrong with his data. He wasn’t, you know, I’ll go in low adapt. He wasn’t looking at the inbound stuff. So he was saying, Hey, cost per pound, isn’t adding up. And I was like, that’s also what I knew. It was like, y’all would have to not, they could like you, cause he did because I threw the pitch out where I was like, listen, you trust me. And then I finally, I was like scared of this, boom, here’s a pivot table. The cost per pound is accurate and you’re just not factoring in all your inbound shipments. And he just, literally, I remember him looking at me, just laughing and then going into when the hell does a salesperson know what a pivot table,
Jamin Alvidrez (26:07):
That’s such a good example because we all have those Aprils in our office or in our lives that maybe, you know, if we’re not careful, you just look at a title and forget to find out what we can learn from them and, and get to know them more in depth. So that is, that’s a great way to approach people is, uh, not as a title, but as a person, an individual. And sometimes, you know, that can be tough as we get going through our day, our office life, you just kind of get used to someone’s given role and forget to look at them even outside of that. So yeah, I know, I preach
Michael Neme (26:44):
A lot about like executive executive. That’s not me saying nobody’s, you know, they’re the smartest or not. They just get they’re the ones making the decisions. So that’s, so that’s the reason why I’m reaching that. But like I don’t treat, I treat everybody in the company the same. Right. I mean, and I know that’s a cliche quote, like treat that CEO, like you are treat the janitor, like you would treat the CEO or vice versa, but not really. It’s like, there’s a lot of people that get slept on that. I took advantage. I didn’t want to take advantage, but I realized Hackman, these people are very smart, smarter than me. I’m going to surround myself with these people. They knew things that I maybe I don’t see in it. And being able to be so heavy in, you know, sales and, and having a, uh, analytical background, but yet not the person that, you know, typically would have an analytical background. You would think of like that sits in a dark room and just crunches numbers. So having both those right. And I, and again, I’m not the, the they’re far more people that, you know, are data savvy and just data savvy. But I was able to blend those two together and it’s really helped me in my career.
Jamin Alvidrez (27:52):
That type of humility and self-awareness is huge. And, and I appreciate you approach people with that curious and growth mindset. That’s something we can all benefit from. You do a, uh, quite a few posts where you’re recording or taking a video of you making sales calls. Is that something you’ve always done? And why do you do that?
Michael Neme (28:16):
Yes, I could probably, I probably have a million video that is not nothing but, uh, no. Yeah. A lot of videos I’ve always reported myself. Like even when I first started my career, I would always, I still play today. I am a, how do I put this animated? I should say, mannerisms, you stay be all over here. And I always said, okay, I wanted it to control my mannerisms. Right. I wanted to know how my body worked, language, my facial expressions, facial expressions, craziest to the T Rouse. Like that looked just like weird. And like, I was like, yeah, either way. I was so nitpicky and critiquing myself to again, take my mannerisms and begin to take my mannerisms from like throwing my hands up like this, just to like, if I watch them now and it’s more like controlled. Right. And it takes time and you really don’t, you can’t get better if you don’t have, if you’re not looking at like gang tape.
Michael Neme (29:10):
Right. Everybody, you know, I look at it as I look at it as a sport. And should I said that what was good? What was bad? What was so yes, I do always like if I can, I will always post videos or not post, but for myself take that role plays. And it’s just interesting to me. I, like you said, you say student of the game, it’s like, again, I just don’t understand it. And I literally read that Dan, I live and breathe it in. I am. I know I’m probably insane to a lot of people, but do, this is me and this is who I am. And I love mastering. I’ll never master this crap of, I don’t even know what I’m really trying to master, to be honest with you, but I’m always looking to just get better at what I’m, what I’m doing in my industry right now.
Jamin Alvidrez (30:02):
I love that because that, that kind of passion and drive is, is so rare. When did you, and I’ll just call it what it is. When did you fall in love with logistics?
Michael Neme (30:16):
This is like a funny question. Like, I don’t, like, I don’t have a fun question, but it’s just like, I don’t even know if I love logistics. Like I just, I don’t, I just don’t even, I can’t even really pinpoint why I think it’s just because it’s always moving. It’s always crazy. But I think at some point it’s funny is because I always say is like, I think it’s love sales at, at a point. Cause I’ve always kind of been, I don’t want to say what was me because I was never liked though. Like, but I have always felt like it was always like kind of an underdog, right. It was always like, ah, he’s a one-off right. And I think a lot of people think of underdog and they think of like, doesn’t do well. Right. That’s not true either. It was a different type of underdog.
Michael Neme (30:59):
And I think it started with like for instance, first came into work and it was like, I had long, long hair. I was a little bit quote unquote called goofy. Well, people take him seriously. And I just had this into this and it’s sit like this, sit chip on my shoulder where it was just like, I am constantly ready to prove someone wrong. And it’s just in my head. I don’t got to flex it. I don’t want to say it. I know it. And that I think is what initially drove me to just sales in general. Right. Just proving it’s like, Oh, you don’t think I can set the meeting with that billion dollar company, CFO. I’m goofy. All right. I’m putting in, I’m putting in a year, I’m getting chills because it’s like, that’s what drove me. And then just, it just so happened that I started that sales career and that passion in supply chain.
Michael Neme (31:54):
And then I was just like, I’m taking this batch and now it’s like, Oh, he’s not the most funding is I think about it that some of these people that used to tell me like that, where the quote unquote numbers, people, business savvy. And I will, I will literally walk circles around them right now. And I laugh about it because it’s like, and now I just, I guess I dove into really the supply chain aspect of it too. You know how everything works. And I don’t know, I’m ranting right now. So I got to take a step back, but it’s like it, sales is what drove this passion that which led is led into flagging.
Jamin Alvidrez (32:33):
So the PA the passion is, is sales and yeah. Yeah. I like it. So let’s talk about that for a minute, because I actually think it does not get talked about a lot, and that is having a chip on your shoulder. We hear athletes talk about it a lot, but when it comes to, to sales or a professional level, it’s something that we kinda kind of sweep under the rug or don’t act like we have, I a thousand percent operate with a chip on my shoulder and you clearly do. And I love it. Yeah. So talk to me about that, where what’s the chip on your shoulder and have you always had that?
Michael Neme (33:10):
Yeah, I mean, it’s just, just, like I said, it’s like, you know, when people think of underdog, they automatically assume, like not talented, I’ll say it probably I’m if it naturally talented is a thing I got that, you know, I’m your typical salesperson you would look at? I don’t believe in natural talent, but I’m just saying, so it wasn’t like that.
Jamin Alvidrez (33:35):
So we’re, we w we each, your we’ll say born with some natural talents to some yeah.
Michael Neme (33:41):
Yeah. I mean, yeah. Like, I mean, maybe that will STEM from, like, I started early and wanted to meet two new people. Right. But I think that, again, natural talent, those people that say I’m a people’s person. Okay. I just have a, we, it’s just a weird vibe on that because it’s just like, I don’t, you have to work on sales. But I think that the ship started when it was just like, yeah. Through, it was like, you know, I, I don’t even know, like really, I don’t even, maybe it was just this, uh, subconsciously or, you know, I, I just self thought in my head, I was an underdog or just had this random chip on my shoulder. And then it led into my career where it was like, cause I am, I hate saying it, but it’s like, I guess I am different.
Michael Neme (34:24):
And, you know, to the point where it’s like, it’s like, he’s goofy and I can be goofy as hat he’s really open. Right. And that’s like a weird thing to people. Like, I think it’s good to be, I forgot her name, but she talks about like, you know, being vulnerable. I was very, like, I was, I’ll tell you everything. And people used to judge that like internally in my company. And it was just like, dude, that hurts though, too. Right. And I could sit here and say that I got that. I’m tough on this. It’s a hard road. I don’t think anybody ever realizes, like, I’m killing it. Right. Making great money. But that is still hard. Right. It’s like knowing that these people are saying these things about you and you know, I, you gotta have, I don’t know. I just turned that into, like, I get choked up a little bit, but like, I just turned that into like motivation. And it was just like, I had this sick desire. Sorry. I just, I’m not thinking about like other things, but I had this like sick desire to just like, prove everyone off. Just like a mother cry about the grind bypass.
Jamin Alvidrez (35:29):
No, I really appreciate you being this open and authentic with us because we, we can all learn so much from this. So what would be some advice or lessons learned? So you, you’re definitely talking about some of the pains of living a transparent and open life. And especially as we’re having to put more of ourselves out there on, on social platforms and, and grow in our careers and be put ourselves out there, be open. And that, that takes some bravery because man, I’m with you, it, it hurts to get talked about it. It hurts to, to put yourself out there, like we can, we don’t have to act like, uh, all Billy bad-ass is right. Like,
Michael Neme (36:15):
And I mean, again, if people like, don’t worry about other people control what you can control and did I believe that? Right. But I was thinking about this other day and it’s just like, dude, like, I think that the biggest thing is you just can say that, but it still sucks. Right? And there’s going to be like massive amounts of time in your career. I don’t care who you are that you can tell yourself to control what you want to control. Don’t worry about other people. It’s , dude. I it’s true. And figure out how you can do more of that and not let things like really tie you down that you can’t control, but dude, be your human and know that you have to just embrace that too. And then figure out a way to turn that into motivation. And just in my case, proving everyone wrong. And I’m not close there yet. I’ve done. I’ve had little wins, but it’s common dude. And I’m like, literally it’s just a good feeling to finally start really like, like it’s hard to say, but like really just say feeling yourself, but like starting to really like eight years in believing in like, okay, this is what it’s all for. So it’s crazy that I’m like emotional about this. I mean, I’m a numbers person, but like
Jamin Alvidrez (37:32):
I don’t find it crazy at all. We’re talking about him.
Michael Neme (37:36):
Oh, you know, it’s like, most people you do do this . Like dude, most people do this stuff like for, I mean, and I’m not do live your life the way you want to live your life. Right. I don’t care if you want to work, don’t want to put effort into it. That’s fine. It’s not for everybody working hard is not for everybody. I don’t advise that. I mean, I don’t think I don’t need people to stay up for 24 hours because they got so excited about learning how to price things. Right. So it’s like, I don’t expect that, but it’s just like, it, it’s just, this is my life and I love it. And I just want to, you know, it’s like, I just, it’s good. Things are happening. It’s just nice to, it’s sad that it had to be like, this is what motivates you. Right. There’s it’s almost a little bit sad where it’s like, dude, you got so many of these people that just like, literally talk so much and don’t do anything. And that’s what I had to motivate me. Like I don’t want not the best way to get motivated, but I’m gonna use it as fire. So what would be your advice? Cause there’s a guy
Jamin Alvidrez (38:36):
Or gal out there listening to this right now. Who’s in a spot where they’re at their company. Maybe starting to put themselves out there, but then they’ve gotten some, some judgment. I mean, I know when I’ve, when I’ve at different times posted things as simple as on LinkedIn and really kind of showed myself, people would be like, Oh wow, that’s Stu just little comments, right. That, and it eats you of like, man, should I fall back and be a little bit more like everyone else or wait for other people to start putting themselves out there. What would be your advice to, uh, you know, someone out there right now who knows in their heart of hearts that they’re holding back a little bit of who they are and they’re just going 80 or 90% putting themselves out there, but speak to what and, and you started to at the end there, what amazing benefits there can be when you go 100 and he, you know, put yourself out there, come what may
Michael Neme (39:36):
Easy to just say be authentic. Right. But I think that what it looks like, you could just tell like true, authentic people like you can, and I’m not talking about political views, your opinions, but just someone that’s just like, it’s just, I would just say go like I don’t, that’s a hard question that isn’t really, that’s a really hard question if I like, cause I, cause I do care so deeply about what we’re talking about. I didn’t want to just get some watered down version of you.
Jamin Alvidrez (40:05):
Yeah. Because being you, that’s the thing like being you being authentic.
Michael Neme (40:13):
Yeah. And you need to realize and be okay with that. But I would just say is like, I guess, are we talking to the persons out there that, you know, maybe we’ll say underdog or we’re just, you know, knows they have like this they’re watering themselves down and pull up, let me take a step back. People that like, I always say be you, but just realize that some things that being, you might scream, but still I’d rather get screwed. It’d be comfortable. And just, it is such a nice relief to be you. But I would say this is, that’s how you’re going to step outside the box and don’t let any, like, there’s just so many people are telling you what to be to look this way. Act this way I am tatted up. I’ve wore suits, head to toe. That’s fine. I liked suits all that, but it’s like, I never quit. I never just start, just go with it. I know this is like, so watered down. I wish like,
Jamin Alvidrez (41:14):
So what I’m hearing, I don’t find watered down because actually I think even the, and I mean this respectfully, the messiness and the how it’s kind of hard to corral. This shows people that even someone like you, who’s very authentic puts themselves out there. It’s not that clear cut. So I think that internal kind of back and forth battle and journey and figuring this out. I think that alone, lets some people know that, Hey, like even someone like you who puts themselves out there and is more transparent than most, it doesn’t mean it’s clear, cut and easy. But what I hear a lot of is that you have a lot of self-awareness. So how do you go about, are there some intentional things you do to take stock of who Mike Nimi is and what you want to show more to the world and what things may be you want to we’ll call it, protect your downside. And I’m talking professionally here. Are, are there some intentional self analysis things that you do?
Michael Neme (42:19):
Yeah, dude. I mean trust. I mean obviously, you know, I’m sure no one, no one’s thinking that I’m perfect or you know, just this super vulnerable, authentic, free living, loving life kind of person, but you know, I’m, I am self-aware and even when I mess up and do things that like I would say is, you know, there’s good people that do things and then realize it and correct it. And then there’s just people that continue to do things. And I think the self-awareness is looking at yourself, I’m talking deep, I’m talking like things that you don’t want to admit to yourself,
Jamin Alvidrez (42:57):
Legit eye contact. I do,
Michael Neme (42:59):
I do it. I used to do it every month. I would spend no joke. I would spend a weekend by myself, whether it was, you know, when my girlfriend lives with me now. But like if I had roommates, why wouldn’t just go get a hotel room or I would go up to when I lived in Michigan, I’d go up to my cabin. And I just really, that was just critiqued myself and literally pulled out things again that you don’t want to admit to yourself that is holding you back. That is wrong, whatever it may be. And that’s just having that, self-awareness it, you know, helped, helped me even quick when I could realize, okay, you’re doing something stupid, having that practice right of self-awareness and those, you know, once a month, you know, reflections, self-reflection powwows or that’s a weird word, but you’ll be able to, I’m done with it.
Michael Neme (43:57):
That’s helped me. It’s like, it’s, it’s uh, it’s working out, right? It’s like we, we, we take care of our bodies. We are trying to take care of our bodies to feel good. We work out to look good. We dress well to, to look well, right. Nobody really thinks about those things. Like self-awareness mental, you know, mental stability. So that makes with ID, call them a life coach. But I started going to therapy after that breakup and continued to constantly go and putting those things together, little tips and tricks that I taught myself and the self-awareness has helped tremendously. Like it’s it does like self-awareness and being able to realize that is key and I don’t know what that is for everybody else, but for me it was going to a deep, dark place that I needed to go and, you know, continue, have to go sometimes where it’s like to get better. Like I’m always trying to improve that.
Jamin Alvidrez (44:52):
I like that being intentional with your mental and emotional health, that’s something we can all, you know, copy. That is so cool.
Michael Neme (45:01):
I don’t know. And it’s like, and again, it’s like, people just overlook that so much. And I know it’s a big topic and it’s like, this is from someone that doesn’t really hire.
Jamin Alvidrez (45:10):
I think it’s a big enough topic, especially in, in logistics because we’re in a burnout, heavy industry. So I think it could be a bigger topic. To be honest with you.
Michael Neme (45:20):
It was funny is because it’s kind of off topic, but it from like mentally and who I am is I’m very emotional. Right. And I remember I took on my career, everyone spent like, and I would say, emotions make you emotional logic makes you wealthy, but you often don’t, you often see people that are super emotional. Right. And that aren’t lot, but they aren’t the most super logical and don’t really show much emotion. Well, I was always been told is, you know, you’re super emotional, super emotional. Well, I ended up, we ended up taking this test and I was always like, I’m there. I knew I was logical. Like I was locked to the point where people, I people off. Because if you told me that it was red, I can logically tell you that it’s blue and people don’t like it. But yeah.
Michael Neme (46:09):
But it’s like, I was always like in that mentally excused, people are in my head. Cause I was like, man, I’m super logical. Why does everyone think I’m emotional? I just get excited. So I remember we ended up taking the test in one of the comp company I worked at and my VP brought me and he goes, dude, what? Like the top one, the top logical people thinkers in our company. And I was like, yeah, Mike, you knew this right. You knew I was logical. I’m just super. I love I’m passionate too. So figured like that was a big mental drain for me. Cause I was like, ah, I’m pumped up. But I’m like, I’m bringing logical things to you. Like, and that’s kind where I got self-awareness was I was like, all right, well I know a logical, but I’m not going to walk around with this test, letting everyone know that I’m logical.
Michael Neme (46:57):
Right. I got it. How do we come off more logical? And it was, you know, mentally or self-awareness. It was like, okay, you kind of, again are a little scatterbrained, you know what you’re talking about? You know, these points you want to make, but now how do you get that across with one, your passion and still being logical. And it was just like, I guess self-awareness on that. And where I started thinking, okay, bullet points, right? Everything’s bullet points, right? Bullet points and meetings. Any time you want to have a conversation, say shan’t have some bullet points for it. So then it’s like, okay, you can be as passionate as you want rant when you want and still have those bullet points to go to,
Jamin Alvidrez (47:38):
Oh, the game always prepared. I like that. So, all right. We know the, uh, switching gears a little bit. It’s so easy to come up with negatives of the past few months, but what has been a positive lesson or experience you’ve had these past few months that you you’ve learned that you could share
Michael Neme (47:57):
Going all in on myself, dude, like I’ve always done on myself, but it was like, I got no boss. So I, you know, I, you know, I got four different avenues I’m working on right now when it comes into, you know, what I’m doing for income wise, but just like building myself. Right. And it’s really starting to cook. Right. It’s it’s like, I don’t have to deal with any negativity. I don’t want to deal with negativity. I don’t have to, you know, I’m not, you know, I just don’t have that. I just am like, light is good. Probably need to lay off the healthy Cheez-Its or those healthy snacks, but like other than you know, and the gym closed again. But that’s, but regardless, but no, it’s really just like both. Like it’s just, I think it’s really been able to, you know, especially in our industry though, to really show like, to scale at what I’ve been really good at, I don’t want to say social selling, but like, cause now it’s like the new normal.
Michael Neme (48:57):
Now this was just week I was sending out video messages in 2017, but you know, or I was, you know, vertical marketing is the thing. So it’s like, it’s really nice to in my end is it’s like, okay, I’m, I’ve already got steps, steps ahead. And now it’s like, this is where I double down triple down for apps. And you know, it’s just been nice and not having to deal with the, the BS of, you know, just dirty freight or, you know, I never sold it, but like just little things like that, like, you know, hit a quota. You wanna make it as funny as like, money’s great and I make great money, but it’s nice to not have. And I can, but I can focus on laser focused on, okay. I want to specifically work with emerging to grow stage CBG companies. So I might bring on two, three deals a year and I don’t have to, I don’t even have to worry about it. I got enough money. I could focus on this, give that into boutique service. I want to get and not have Joe blow telling me, listen, you’re a little bit too emotional and you haven’t moved loads. Cool. And then I can focus on building my, uh, you know, I won’t go into depth with that, but you know, building some of those other platforms that I’m currently working,
Jamin Alvidrez (50:08):
I like that. So you have a definite vision for yourself. Again, I guess this comes back from, from self-awareness you have a vision for yourself, you know who you are, what your pitch to hit is, and you’re going after it, man, Mike, I, this, this is great. I, I could keep going on hours. There’s much more we could learn from you obviously. And we’ll definitely have you on again, but I am just very grateful for the, not just the time you spent with us, but also how raw and authentic you are always. And, and you were here with us because you’re a student of the game, but it’s so much more than that. It’s truly putting yourself into the game and being transparent and open. And I know one thing that I really took away is it’s not just transparency and openness with those outside. Uh, you know, those you work with or your clients are, or who you’re talking to on social, but it’s in the mirror, it’s with yourself and that’s where things can really get special when you’re willing to be open with yourself. So I, I really appreciate you, Mike, is there any final words you want to leave us with blow our minds?
Michael Neme (51:23):
I don’t have to cry, right? Try not to cry on a podcast.
Jamin Alvidrez (51:26):
No man. It’s real. Where can people, uh, where can people find you? How do they get in touch with you and engage with you? LinkedIn, Michael, Michael Nimi on LinkedIn, right? Yeah.
Michael Neme (51:36):
I’ll give you, I can give you my tag handle. I’m starting to really target companies. I’m Instagram. I want to say I had to clean it up a little bit, but if I’m going to, again, I didn’t want to make a whole new one and you know, nothing’s crazy on it, but you know, I, I there’s some posts I probably should be like, alright, but Midwest Mike, 87 is my Instagram. Um, and then yeah, my contact information on my cell phones on LinkedIn. And if you’re looking to them like, Oh, I gotta plug in your emerging CBG brand. Seriously. I I’ve worked with multiple different sectors, but I’m really focusing on those go to stage emerging CPG brands. Because again, you’ll see my post today. My guy, Mark, Samuel, I want to, Danek how to interview her. He interviewed a private equity guy that gave some really sweet pointers on, you know, what he looks for.
Michael Neme (52:26):
You know, some things he looks for when he’s investing in companies and their brands and gross margins was one of them. And knowing that, you know, a lot of companies, especially these emerging CPG brands are not at that bare minimum 30 to at least 40% gross margins and are more, more focused on scaling and revenue versus scaling or increasing gross margins in the how, how much impact the supply chain and operations piece has on it. It’s some good stuff. So give me a buzz. It’s worth it. To be honest with you, it goes, it’s a free, it’s literally a free consultant.
Jamin Alvidrez (53:02):
Nice. I love it. Well, Mike, thank you very much, everyone. Who’s listening. Thank you. Remember real is rare. All right, Becca, do you see everybody.
Michael Neme is a Franchise/Agent owner with GlobalTranz and VP of Supply Chain Solutions at Hook Logistics, which allows him to give their customers a one-stop-shop for all and everything supply chain/ops and tech-related. Head down—all gas. No brakes are his motto, whether it is in his personal life or professional life. He has been in the industry for eight years and has worked for some top asset and non-asset-based 3PLs, giving him a deeper understanding on how both asset and brokerage works. In a traditionally transactional sales industry, he has never sold a transactional deal. He has and still always look at his customers’ business like the way he looks at my own. “Let’s set this up for the long game and make strategic decisions like playing chess, not checkers.” His goal is for his customers to have a person and team they can count on to continue to build out tailored and scalable solutions that enhance efficiencies and increase customer profitability.
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.