“This has been a very interesting year for technology when it comes to the way it relates to communication and human interactions. And I think we’re going to see a lot more of that going forward now, and apply that to logistics.”
-Enrique Alvarez, Host, Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Espanol
In this episode of Supply Chain Now, host Scott Luton interviews fellow host, Enrique Alvarez.
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. Good afternoon, Scott Luton. Welcome to today’s episode.
Scott Luton (00:32):
On this episode, we’re kicking off a little mini interview year series, gaining insights from our hosts here at supply chain now and creating new content throughout the end of the year. And to kick off 2021 today, we’re going to working really hard to raise your supply chain IQ with the very talented Uber talented in Reiki Alvarez equip program in it. Before we get started, if you enjoyed today’s podcast, be sure to check us out wherever you get your podcasts from and subscribe for free. So you don’t miss a single conversation like this. No further do want to bring in our esteemed guests here today. Enrique Alvarez, managing director lift vector, global logistics, but equally as important. He’s the host of our very popular logistics with purpose, which is editor approved. Got to get our producers rubber stamp of approval. His favorite series and Enrique, you are hosting basically creating our new supply chain now in a spaniel programming.
Scott Luton (01:29):
So good afternoon, Enrique. Hey Scott, great being here with you as always. It’s been an exciting journey, a very interesting year at many different levels, but I’m happy and thankful for closing it down hopefully soon. And looking forward to 2021, we all are for sure. Well, you have been, I’m convinced you’ve got several clones of you out there working in Rica because you’re always getting it done moving. Sacre got a variety of ventures and of course, vector loans been growing. And then your programming with us has been growing a lot and we’ve heard a lot from the market. So got it. We got to answer the call and, and ramp up our, our best practices and content we’re sharing. But before we dive into business, let’s just give our, our listeners and audience members a chance to get to know you a little bit better.
Scott Luton (02:17):
So, you know, share a couple of things about yourself.
Enrique Alvarez (02:20):
So I’m um, and Rick Alvarez originally from Mexico city came to the U S to study B school. I worked for the Boston consulting group, started a consulting company before starting vector global logistics, third party logistics company, international fruitful water, and diving into your show and, and supply chain now. And I’m actually one of the, I want to, I wouldn’t say the best fan, but I’m a really good fan of you and your show and Greg, and I’ve been very, um, I guess I’m thankful for having the opportunity to not only listening to your shows, but also having the opportunity to get to know you guys, uh, us individuals and on a more personal level.
Enrique Alvarez (03:00):
So it’s been a good year,
Scott Luton (03:02):
Agreed, very rewarding to collaborate with folks that are very intent on changing the world and, and, and tackling that huge priority with action, not lip service, and that’s what you get within Reiki Alvarez. We’ve enjoyed our time collaborate in the last couple of years, and we’re only going bigger 20, 21 when we’re able to be a great person more. And we look forward to bring these conversations back front and center there at King plow. All right. So let’s talk about goodness gracious. We all probably have so many takeaways from a year like 2020, including takeaways. That’s gonna make us stronger in any year, but when you think of your short list of key takeaways personally, or professionally Enrique, what comes to mind
Enrique Alvarez (03:43):
2020 has been a year of a lot of challenges for everyone. Key takeaways for me as a business owner and managing director at vector, it’s been really, and I’ve said this before, it’s just doubling down on our culture, right? We have a very unique result space culture on our teams. Incredible. So I’ve been particularly for, I’ve always been fortunate to work with the team that I have, but, uh, but I think in challenging years like this one, it’s when you notice it the most. Cause, uh, cause it’s been, it’s been uplifting and it’s been humbling and it’s been really exciting despite everything that’s going on. And that went on this year to work with people like the one I have the pleasure to work with. So one of the key takeaways is I have a great team. I’m part of a great team and I’m really happy for that.
Enrique Alvarez (04:34):
That will be number one. Number two, I guess it’s just around family. I mean, again, like some of the people I’m sure I’ve had the chance to spend a lot more time with the family. I didn’t travel and I used to travel a lot. So for me this year has been very good. And sometimes I, I actually very thankful for the year that I’ve been having at a personal level, just because I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with my kids as much as I have travel a bit less. I do miss it a little bit cause I enjoy traveling, but it’s been a really good year in that regards. I guess number three is we’re lucky and thankful, right? Because logistics we’re in an industry that’s always going to be needed. The pandemic definitely highlighted a lot of different shortcomings, not only in the supply chains of different companies on our clients, but just in general as a global industry that we are, I think compared to other industries, we still had a fair amount of challenges. It was tough, but frayed needs to keep going and logistics will continue to exist. So we’re thankful and humbled for that as well. Cause we have, uh, the opportunity to keep working and keep investing in our company and a night we didn’t really have the, I guess I wasn’t in the horrible position of having to let people go for, for not having enough business. And I think that’s something that I, that I really cherish and consider a highlight of this year. For me, you’ve gotta be
Scott Luton (06:03):
One of the most considerate business leaders I’ve rubbed elbows with. And that comes from a very genuine spot Enrique. It’s always about others and that’s that’s what is it makes us so neat to collaborate with y’all as much as we do and going to your, one of your final points you made there, I’ve seen so many different studies as it relates to the growth of freight, especially in the next couple of years, whether it’s States putting out information or countries or regions, but all of them, point to the sheer amount of logistics infrastructure we’re going to have to have in place to handle 60, 70, 80% more freight on top of today’s volumes. It’s just amazing. I think 82% was what a figure that the state of South Carolina here in the States put place over the next couple of years in terms of capacity growth. So no shortage of challenges there, no let’s switch gears, just a smidge and kind of building on your key takeaways from 2020, what’s one big personal Eureka moment you had based on what you’ve experienced this year.
Enrique Alvarez (07:02):
I’ve had, uh, many different ones, right? At different levels. Again, I probably like any other entrepreneur I’m actually applying, I have different hats and I have different roles and responsibilities. So there’s been certainly many, but in terms of Eureka moments for me, just what happened and I think continues to happen at a much lesser extent with PPE. I think that was just going to crazy at the beginning and then interesting. And it’s just, we weren’t ready to fulfill the demand of masks and face shields and gloves and wipes. And so just hand sanitizer, even, right. And so from like someone that kind of works in logistics and owns a logistics company, you just kind of knowing that even though I felt that we had a pretty, pretty good forecasting tools and control and risk management tools and everything that we needed to provide the services that we provide to our, to our customers, we were we’re short. And I think a lot of OSS going to fell that way when we just couldn’t bring it PPE quick enough to the U S and on this is the strongest economy in the world, the best country in the world for many, many different reasons. And we just still couldn’t couldn’t manage.
Scott Luton (08:16):
Yeah. Really speaking to the challenges that any part of the world has had, correct in 2020, it was re very, a level setting, complex, challenging environment for all. That’s a great point,
Enrique Alvarez (08:29):
Especially because you feel like we’re, we’re in the U S right. And you feel like, well, insulated, well, we heard it coming right where a lot of countries were struggling, but we always are, at least me personally was living, uh, in a little bit of a rosier bubble than what it really is. And then the pandemic basically burst it very quickly.
Scott Luton (08:49):
There was a shortlist of folks that I think really got it early on of just, just how bad it’s going to be. And I would you to that list. Now, I remember being in a, we talk about us a lot because for us, our business mode X was the last in-person event that we attended a March, 2020. And after codex, we, we haven’t conducted a single in-person interview. And I got to, I’m assuming to say it, but even at mode X, when it was starting to reach through everyone else’s mind, it still wasn’t quite setting in of just how much different life would be in. And I think you already had a read in advance and many others and Rica, you seem to kind of know what lot of hit
Enrique Alvarez (09:31):
Well, I mean, it wasn’t really because I’m a visionary or anything like that. I, we, we saw it, uh, with our good friends and partners in China, right. I mean, we started sending PPE from Mexico and other parts of the world into China when they started having this back in November last year. So again, I, I think that, uh, me personally saw it coming and I knew that it was going to be, uh, have a big impact. But, uh, but again, I always felt that it was going to be a little bit less than what it was just because we were sitting here in the U S and, and I guess that’s something that’s also important to notice and get ready. Cause that’s, that’s something that’s going to change going forward when we have to be even more prepared.
Scott Luton (10:14):
We’ll see. I was hoping that you would embrace that title of visionary for this next question, because we want you to break out your crystal ball. And as we move into 2021, what’s one thing that supply chain professionals or leaders should maybe keep their eyes on.
Enrique Alvarez (10:30):
Well, right now there’s, there’s a critique container, short trite. So 2021, for me, it’s still going to be because the, the result of what 2020 has been, right? So hopefully not when he comes through the horrible stories about people getting sick or that’s and the vaccine coming. So I’m very hopeful when it comes to that, but when it comes to the actual shipping of products around, I think, I don’t think we’re near to see the end of it. Right. I think the, the blow to the imbalance that this has been DEMEC has cost around the world will still have very strong ripple effect, well into probably 2022. So for me, next year, from a logistics standpoint, it’s going to be a lot of the same if you will, in terms of equipment shortage, congestion of the ports, higher demand than supply for transportation, not enough truck drivers, not enough trucking companies available to, to pull enough chassies justice is going to be key as well. So yeah, you, you gotta be prepared. You gotta plan ahead. And if you, before YouTube, a couple of weeks, maybe 10 days, even before you’re scheduling your deliveries on your pickups. I think that next year is going to be a little bit of the same, or even more companies should be, I guess yeah. Having a little bit more of a negative outlook and planning, well, in advance a lot more than what they’ve been doing this year.
Scott Luton (11:59):
Sneak another question in, I know that you advise a lot of early stage companies, and you’re one of those that like me and Greg and many others, you love a great entrepreneurial story and journey. And we have a lot of those conversations here on your series and others. So if you had to, you know, speak from your, put your entrepreneur hat on and kind of speak to other startups in the space supply chain and otherwise for the path ahead, what’s one piece of advice based on your experience and all of your growth and success, you would point to others.
Enrique Alvarez (12:32):
I mean, it’s a really good question. And, um, I would say, um, it’s a mix of what’s really the same, uh, in my opinion, that makes companies successful. As I think investing in the culture is going to be key. I guess another Eureka moment for this year is just how technology has been transformed and how business meetings have been evolved. And, and we see it in schools with my kids, right? I mean, they’ve been the whole year remotely and you see it in interactions like the one you and I are having right now. We’ll probably have this conversation here at King plow over lunch. But I think this has been a very interesting year for technology when it comes to the way it relates to communication and human interactions. And I think we’re going to see a lot more of that going forward now apply that to logistics. I think it could mean tons of different things, right? From like virtual interactions like this with a warehouse workers to trucking companies to freight for water. So think there’s going to be a lot of bod in that kind of particular area. Supply chain technology, I think is going to be a it’s already hot, but I think it’s going to get even hotter in the next couple years.
Scott Luton (13:41):
You’re right. It’s been a ton of funding activities going on in that space. In fact, just today, I think project 44 or the last few days, project 44, I think raised a hundred million dollars as reported by the wall street journal that comes on the heels of flock, frayed and, and many others. So to your point, the making your supply chains more visible, streamlining the communication across upstream and downstream, internal, external partners and bottom line, getting things to where they need to go at the right price in an expedited fashion. When you, when, uh, on a committed date, whatever technology goes into making that happen, there’s a lot of interested investors.
Enrique Alvarez (14:18):
Absolutely. Right. And just, uh, the systems are going to be important. I mean, they’re, they’ve always been important, but I think that, uh, having certain things taken care by systems, as opposed to use like strong organizations, I think you need both, you need, uh, an incredible culture. You have a, you need a very strong organization, but I think on top of all that you will also need like very smart and well developed systems.
Scott Luton (14:42):
So we mentioned that two series of course, logistics with purpose has been around for over a year, very well received PEDA, uh, just a slew of outstanding and abuse here recently, David and Metta Robinson, which is part of the Jackie Robinson family, Dr. Steve Sterling, which has an incredible story, Dale with good gigs Stevenson, I think is his last name. Uh, you name it
Enrique Alvarez (15:06):
Patrick books for Africa. Yeah. We’ve had it like really, really fun year when it comes to like the interviews for that theory. So for sure,
Scott Luton (15:14):
But, but as if that wasn’t enough, he added your latest challenge and endeavor to the stable and that’s supply chain now in a spaniel. So I want to get a sneak peek of what’s to come on both, but before we do, there’s a great why for supply chain now and spin up because there’s not a ton of supply chain, best practices offered in a digital medium in the, in the Spanish language. Right.
Enrique Alvarez (15:41):
That is correct. And I, and I think it’s just a reflection of the things that I’ve been participating on. Thanks to you and Greg and your team on supply chain. Now, I feel like that’s just a very logical extension of the work that you’ve been doing. And I think it speaks incredibly high from you, Amanda Clay and everyone, because I enjoy the commoners, the conversations that you’re having. And so soar, enjoying it, a lot of different fans that, that login and hear the podcast or, or hear the YouTube, uh, interviews. And so for something in Spanish, I thought that it would be incredibly important for Latin America, for people to enjoy those conversations. I think they’re not only interesting, but I think they’re, they’re making our community even smaller. And I think there’s a lot of synergies or you’re starting, starting to find out, right? I mean, I know that some of your people that you interview for one show maybe then have a connection through you on your show with other people that are listening and just kind of like bringing the community closer together through technology and through the supply chain.
Enrique Alvarez (16:48):
Now network, if you will, it’s very important. I didn’t want Latin America to be left out. Uh, I think they are, they’re a very fast growing region of the world. A lot of areas of opportunity, a little bit on their developed in many sometimes trailing behind the U S and Europe by a couple of years. And so for me, I’ll fail that that was something that would be interesting to do. And also of course, relevant. And I’m not going to lie. I mean, it’s just gonna be, it’s gonna be fun. I’ve never been a host of any show. I’ve never been a celebrity. Like you, Scott people don’t stop me in the street to, uh, asking for autographs like they do to you and Greg. But, uh, but it sounds fun. I mean, you’re enjoying it.
Scott Luton (17:31):
Hey, we’re at, we’re having the time of her life. And, and it’s about, uh, to your point building and making that community global community smaller, connecting with people, connecting with stories, connecting with best practices and challenges, learning the whole, you know, learning, wow. Our community learns the same way at the same time. And to your point, it’s not about, you know, we love the U S market and we love the, the industry here and the business here, but it is about the global community. And this supply chain now in a spaniel is just the first of several international expansions. We’re making it really serve different geographic regions and, and bring that, bring the business world together with a strong supply chain. Ben, so appreciate what you do there appreciate you leading that new series, especially given my, my, my English language limitations, which are very real. Uh, so, um, all right. So what is, if you had just, uh, you know, one thing, one coming attraction or so to share with each of those series to our listeners here, what would that be?
Enrique Alvarez (18:32):
So I’ll start with the supply chain now in Espanol. I really lined up a couple of really interesting interviews with business leaders, both in Mexico and Chile. And so we’ll start with that. And then we’ll also have a really good conversation with demos in Panama. And of course Panama’s people know, and logistics is a very important hub for logistics because that’s going to the canal, the Panama it’s incredibly important. So, uh, so it’s going to be very interesting for the two or three conversations that I already have, uh, that we’re probably launching, uh, late January. Once we complete a couple of extra steps in that, that thing’s going to be interesting. And I think people are going to be, I guess, uh, interested in learning about this business leaders and entrepreneurs that are in everywhere in the world, but in Latin America for this particular series. And hopefully younger people that are coming into logistics will be able to relate to them. Hopefully companies and organizations will be able to learn from them or at least get inspired by their experiences on of course, for, for me and the people being interviewed. I think it’s a good opportunity to, to share, to share and become a voice to people that are doing things right. And to people that are really trying to make a possibly impact in the world,
Scott Luton (19:49):
Well said, uh, it’s been such a rewarding journey to be with the on, on just these two series. And I should take the gist out because they have been, um, logistic with purpose, of course, uh, has been just fascinating to see some of the folks who were in my blind spot, for sure. Some of the stories in my blind spot and you and the vector team do you use, or your global reach to bring these stories front and center here. So I appreciate what you and your team do, Adrian and Matilda. And so many others that, that make up the team has played a part. So appreciate that. Let’s make sure that folks know, and by the way, you were alluding to some of those things, you’re some of the steps in the process. I think you’re, you’re earning your executive producer wings and Rica, right?
Enrique Alvarez (20:35):
I’m certainly, certainly hope that I can do a little bit of what you do and I’m learning from the best. So I, I have no excuse to fail cause I’m kind of following the footsteps of great when it comes to
Scott Luton (20:48):
Hosting and your supply chain now to con Hey, kindred spirits. We’re a part of the mutual admiration club as, as one of our guests today. I mean, at the end of the day, I mean, we have a, we have a serious reason why I think this is important, but, but it’s fun too. I mean, I, I really enjoy talking to smart, interesting individuals and, uh, that kind of makes my weeks go by faster and they bring a little more meaning. And of course everything starts to feed into the same thing, right? You surround yourself with interesting, smart, proactive, and high, highly driven individuals. And all of a sudden, you kind of start to feel a little bit of that. It kind of robs a little bit on you and you feel more energized. So, so I’m, yeah, I’m doing it for that too, though. Don’t not going to lie.
Scott Luton (21:34):
Right. You’re preaching to the choir. And that, that’s certainly one of the outstanding, and probably not a mention, not mentioned enough byproducts. I agree with this journey. So, all right. So let’s make sure folks know how to connect with one in Ricky Alvarez. What’s the easiest way. Sure. I think the fastest easiest way is through LinkedIn. You can search my name and drink. Alberta is vector. If you, if you just search by those three words, the thing you’ll you’ll get me. If not, you can also go to our webpage, uh, vector gl.com or if you want to shoot me an email and sent Leeka, I thought Alvarez, uh, vector GL as in vector global logistics, vector gl.com as well. Perfect. And of course we’re after that one-click connection and we’ll include all that in the show notes of today’s episode, Enrique Alvarez, managing director with vector global logistics and executive producer, host director researcher, all with logistics, with purpose and supply chain in a spaniel.
Scott Luton (22:32):
So look forward to coming attractions there. Thanks so much Enrique [inaudible] and supply chain now, and Hispaniola awesome. Uh, happy holidays, Merry Christmas, happy new year to our listeners. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this brief conversation. As much as I have in Ricky has been a, it’s been a trusted and invigorating partner in this journey and love the content that, that he and the team have been creating. And there’s a lot more coming. You can check out most, most of the, if you like this conversation, check us out supply chain now.com fondness and subscribe for free, wherever you get podcasts and give us feedback. What are we not covering? What are we covering too much of what issue or topic deserves more airtime, more eyeballs and eardrums, let us know. Uh, but beyond all that, uh, on behalf of the entire team here at supply chain. Now this is Scott Loudin and Ricky avarice wish you nothing but the best. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed to be like Enrique. And on that note,
See you next time here,
Scott Luton (23:47):
Session and Rica. That was good. You’re a good person to ask questions. It was kind of very easy to go through everything. All I got questions, man. That’s all I got.
Enrique Alvarez 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 a 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 also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people and spending time with his wife and two kids Emma and Enrique. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here: https://vectorgl.com/
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.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
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 a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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.