Supply Chain Now
Episode 607

Episode Summary

“Just because you don’t have an address doesn’t mean you’re not a neighbor.”

-Terence Lester

 

In a year when everyone washed their hands nonstop, Love Beyond Walls Founder Terence Lester turned the focus to those without access to water – and brought the sinks to them. On our first-ever Logistics with Purpose livestream, brought to you by Vector Global Logistics and Supply Chain Now, we sat down with Terence to talk about the power of empathy during a crisis and how it propelled a portable sink movement throughout the city of Atlanta. You won’t want to miss the wise words from this magnetic Atlanta leader shifting the conversation on homelessness all over the country.

Episode Transcript

Enrique Alvarez (00:20):

The first time that I’m conducting a live stream, but I’m really, really delighted and pleased to be here today. This is our first live stream of logistics with purpose as part of the supply chain now, uh, series logistics with purpose, I’m super happy. We have an amazing guest. It’s incredible to always talk to such inspirational, exciting and engaging individuals in this show. Christie, how are you doing today? I’m good. I’m excited for our first live stream, but as you said, I’m more important for both our main guests and our surprise guests. People are gonna love. And both. I totally agree with you. So, uh, go ahead, Christie. Yes. So thank you all. Um, people are tuning in from all over. I’m already so excited to see all the comments from the other side of the world and everywhere in between. So thank you for tuning in.

Enrique Alvarez (01:06):

We’re excited to share today’s message with you. Um, if you don’t know us yet, we are Kristi Porter and Enrique Alvarez from vector global logistics. We are a global logistics and supply chain company who are passionate about people, passionate about getting our clients results and more importantly, passionate about logistics with purpose. So we’re excited to welcome you here today. And we love sharing stories about people doing good in the world from Terrence today. Who’s right here in our own backyard to people who are working internationally and, um, just making a huge difference. So we love just spotlighting people. Um, so we’re excited for you to hear this, um, interview. And first of all, before we welcomed here in sin, if you’re not familiar with love beyond walls, then we want to play a quick video so that you can learn a little more about them. And then we’ll introduce you to Terrence.

Emma Alvarez (02:01):

I was taught growing up that like people experiencing poverty or homelessness or dangerous, or they did something wrong. And so that’s why they’re experiencing what they’re experiencing. I might see someone on the side of the road and like it, it would tug on my heartstrings. I would look away because it’s easier in some ways, just look away. I think coming to love beyond walls and getting to know people and getting to know their stories, even though I might not be able to provide a job or a house, all the things I thought I needed to feel to do before. Um, I think I realized how impactful it can be just to listen to someone’s story.

Emma Alvarez (02:39):

One of the things love beyond walls is active in right now is advocating on behalf of people who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. What I love about being in love beyond walls community is the fact that it is just that it feels like a community it’s time for us to educate about how people who are living on the streets or criminal laws, marginalize their people and they’re going through problems. They aren’t problems. Putting myself in a minority in every sense of the word has wrecked my life in the best way it has brought forth. I think the best things in me, um, and I’m able to use them for other people. I think if everyone was to make a small difference, if everyone was to do something, um, it would make a huge impact. You are part of the solution. What are you good at? What’s your talent? What’s your gift? How can you contribute to your neighbor and use regard given talent to lift them up? You never know how your investment literally transform somebody’s life.

Enrique Alvarez (04:00):

Good morning. Good afternoon. How are you doing today? It’s always a pleasure having you here. I’m doing awesome. Uh, thank you for having me. Good to see you all. It’s a, it’s a really powerful video. And as the video said, it’s really up to all of us to do something about things in life and, and you have a very, very important costs that you have been supporting for quite some time. And we want to get into all that. But, uh, if you allow me for just a couple of minutes before we get in, I actually have a surprise host that is going to join us today. I am a little bit biased, but I really truly admire her. And I really learn a lot of things from her every day. I mean, she’s, I can, without a doubt say that my life’s been way better having her and she’s smart, strong, caring, and, uh, truly for your list. Um, so with us today, Emma, am I, how are you doing today? I’m doing great. Am I heard that you’re skipping classes for them?

Emma Alvarez (04:59):

I am. I’m so excited to learn as much as I can.

Enrique Alvarez (05:05):

Why, why are you so excited about, uh, lobby on walls and, and by the way, uh, Terrence, she is your number one fan. Like she’s been really talking about this and meeting you and having the opportunity to talk to you for a while now. So, but why tell us why you are true. So interested at all.

Emma Alvarez (05:22):

Um, at school we learned, we have healthcare hero posters and they’re all around the building and you’re one of them and like me and many others. Um, we had to write a story about a non-fiction story about the healthcare hero posters, and I chose to do it on tents and I learned his inspiring journey and so many other good things. Now I want to ask you a question, what is a good memory as a kid that you, with your family?

Terence Lester (05:59):

A good memory? Yeah. Uh, I think the, the best memory I have, uh, with my family as a child was going to the swimming pool. Uh, my grandmother and grandfather actually had a swimming pool behind their house. And I would always like to have, uh, you know, family gatherings where we have barbecue cookouts and, uh, jumping off the diving board into the pool. Um, it’s actually the same pool. I learned how to swim and it was just always fun to be around family and, uh, and swim and eat food.

Enrique Alvarez (06:35):

Wow. That’s awesome. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Terence Lester (06:42):

Yeah, that’s a really great question. Uh, if I’m thinking about my younger self, uh, who is in K through 12, I would probably say, uh, to listen, um, to make sure that you listened to, uh, your teachers, your educators, your advisors, but most importantly, your parents. Um, there’s a lot that we can learn, uh, from listening. Uh, not just listening to people that we know, but also listening to the stories of people that we don’t know, uh, that are inspirational and inspiring and get back and teach us about the world. Um, listening is so powerful because it gives us an opportunity to, um, to grow and be our best selves.

Enrique Alvarez (07:26):

There is, uh, thank you so much. And before I let Emma continue with her questioning and, uh, I I’ll have her here to ask all the tough questions I wanted to say welcome to our audience. And I want to say welcome to Robert Brossman, uh, Shahid my hash Nikila, uh, Peter Boyle. He’s been with us. Uh, he follows us on, on every single live stream that I’ve been on at least, Hey, Peter, it’s a pleasure to have everyone here. And there’s just a lot of people. So interested in learning a little bit more about you and love beyond walls, honey, uh, from the Netherlands. Uh, we have a lot of people from all over the landscape from books where Africa we’ve worked very closely together with them. So, Hey, Pat, thanks for joining us. Who’s the, Nicolson a lot of others I’ll continue to read, please. You have any comments or questions for parents or for the show, feel free to just add them on the comments section. I will, I’ll make sure I’ll try to feed in some of them, but, uh, with that said, go ahead and have a couple more questions. You were homeless at some point in your life. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Terence Lester (08:35):

Sure. Um, firstly, I just want to say Emma, thank you for, uh, being so inquisitive and asking all these questions. I think this is a great way to continue to grow in your development and as a leader, uh, I see you as a young leader and uh, thank you for asking questions. Yep. Uh, to answer your question, I experienced homelessness, uh, temporarily when I was a teenager, I got a chance to meet one of my friends’ fathers who was, uh, who became a mentor to me. There were times when I wasn’t able to physically stay in my house. And so I, there were times when I was sleeping in parks and, uh, from friend’s house to friend’s house or, uh, times I was even, uh, living out the trunk of my car as a high school teenager. And so one of the things that became a real benefit for me and even an opportunity is what I just mentioned earlier when you asked what’s the most important thing that you can do, uh, which was listening.

Terence Lester (09:37):

And I got a chance to listen to my friend’s father who became my mentor, gave me guidance and encouragement and gave me an opportunity to see the world differently from what I was physically in, experiencing in my, in my reality. And so with his encouragement, I actually, uh, was able to finish school, uh, go on to college, uh, form of family on my own. And he was actually the person that inspired me to lunch and start lobbying on walls. And the first year I actually started loving on walls. Uh, I found out that he had cancer and he passed away, but I’ll never forget the lessons that he taught me, uh, the inspiration that he gave me and always seeing the best of me. And I try to model that within the context of my own life, affirming the dignity of anybody that I come in contact with, uh, address or not, because like I always say in many of my talks, just because you don’t have an address does not mean that you’re not a neighbor. And so, um, that’s the message that I try to get across to anybody I’ve come in contact with, uh, to see people.

Enrique Alvarez (10:45):

Thank you, Terrence. Yeah. And we also are just again, when acknowledge everybody hanging out in the comments, thank you, Shahid for joining us, even though you’re tired from work. Um, I think you’re also on the other side of the world from a Syrian Atlanta. So thank you so much in, um, as Enrica said, we’re happy to put any of the questions you have for deterrent. So if you have questions, then please chime in. Um, we have some of our other friends joining us. Hey Adrian. Hey, um, Scott, Hey, it’s so good to see friends here. Hi Jim. Um, and then all the new friends that we’re meeting as well. It’s so fun. India, UAE, Saudi Arabia. Thank you so much for joining us. We’re excited to be here and mostly we’re excited to share Terrence’s story, um, with you. And as you can see, it’s a really interesting story and he has a lot of insight to share with us. So please, if you have questions, then we’re happy to, I’m happy to get them answered for you. Emma’s are Oprah. She will get the answers out of him. So, but anybody else who has questions, then we’re happy to pose those as well. So thank you. And I think Emma has another question for you too, Terrance. I just want to say thank you for your answers. That was really inspiring. And I to know what your favorite

Emma Alvarez (11:54):

Part is about your business. Really great questions again, thank you for,

Terence Lester (12:00):

Or, uh, being such an awesome host and, uh, uh, special guests. I think the most joy I get out of, uh, the work that we do is a twofold one. It is, uh, being proximate and getting the opportunity to be, uh, close and befriend. So many wonderful people that are overlooked. I’ll never forget. I was interviewing, uh, one of my friends named Tyrus and he, uh, was without an address. And, uh, he was talking about fear, but he was talking about, uh, fear and what it does to him as a person who doesn’t have an address. He talked about how the fear that others have of him actually did damage to his self-esteem. He says, when people lock their doors or they roll up their windows or they turn their heads away on purpose and intentionally, that hurts me. Uh, and basically what he was trying to communicate was he says, I’m a father, I’m a, I’m a brother, I’m a son, I’m an uncle.

Terence Lester (13:08):

And he started listing all of these characteristics of, uh, what he was. And then he said, he goes on to say, I’m Tyrus. Um, somebody worth being seen, um, and where I am right now, doesn’t necessarily define my worth and value. Those stories are so powerful because, uh, we get a chance to affirm the dignity of people who are overlooked, who are deemed invisible and who are criminalized, even when a person doesn’t necessarily know the story that got a person into the experience of homelessness. I think, uh, suffering is, uh, in pain is universal and that at any given point, uh, we can all find ourselves being one paycheck away or one life event away, or one experience away from the experience of homelessness. And I think that we have to, uh, push back against the notion of defining and labeling people based upon one experience, because everybody who arrives in this plight doesn’t necessarily have a mental health issue, or they’re not addicted to a substance.

Terence Lester (14:11):

Some people lost their jobs. Some people, uh, became physically ill. Uh, we’ve seen this happen time and time again, uh, during COVID-19, uh, some people lost, loved ones. Um, my S my, my wife and I actually lost our brother, uh, to COVID at a very young age. He was 38 years old. Uh, and we even saw how his family, uh, after the loss of income had to be transitionally and temporarily homeless as well, my nieces and nephews. And so these are real things that people go through and we can’t, uh, sit back and allow, uh, what we’ve heard about, uh, people experiencing homelessness to define how we treat them. And then the second thing, this, uh, I get a chance to educate people about the real and raw realities about what people face, uh, every single second, uh, like, uh, my friend Virgil, who says he uses a rain bucket to collect water.

Terence Lester (15:06):

When it rains, he says, I literally have to pray for it to rain. And when it rains, I get all this water in a bucket and I sit it out in the sun just so I can bathe and clean myself. Uh, we don’t think about the times when we toss a half empty water bottle in the trash, if someone uses that to brush their teeth out of, uh, we don’t, uh, uh, think about when, uh, we throw or Taso old pair of socks away that somebody is using those same pair of socks as gloves during the winter. We don’t think about, uh, the damage it does when we actually look down on someone. And so being able to educate people about those realities helps to build empathy. And I think in this time that we’re in right now, we have a real empathy deficit. And just like one of my friends who is an author, her name is, uh, um, Belinda. She wrote the book called brave soul. She says, empathy is the virtue that is muscular enough to deal with the complexities of our time. And she’s talking about compassion and empathy and seeing people. And I just love that, um, as a part of the work that we, we get a chance to do.

Enrique Alvarez (16:12):

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. Um, I feel like I see you everywhere. I turn in Atlanta because everybody knows who you are and you’re doing such incredible work here. So I’m excited for the rest of the world. You could keep hearing more about you. And so can you, you gave us a little bit of the backstory for love beyond walls. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you were up to before the pandemic? And of course you made national headlines early on in the pandemic, not just for the amazing work that you’re doing, but because you had such a quick pandemic pivot. So will you tell us kind of before, um, in the few years leading up to the pandemic, what you were doing, and then now how you guys have transitioned and what you’re working on now?

Terence Lester (16:50):

Uh, it’s a great question. So traditionally we have a center in college park, uh, which is probably two miles outside of Atlanta, but we are considered housed in Atlanta. Um, uh, for a number of years, we use the center to, uh, give people access to technology. I mean, gosh, we’re using technology right now to even communicate. Uh, and you think about the number of people experiencing homelessness that don’t have access to a technology. Uh, we use our center to help people recover their identification cards, but because oftentimes when you don’t have ID, you can’t get a job. You can’t cash, a check, can’t get housing, you can’t open a bank account. Uh, you can’t drive a car, uh, a number of things that it takes to function day in and day out. You can’t do. If you don’t have this one piece of identification that proves you are who you are.

Terence Lester (17:48):

Uh, well, there’s a problem that because you need ID to get what ID. Um, and so there’s, uh, you know, times where we were partnering with lawyers, uh, to solicit these, uh, critical pieces of identification, uh, to help people transition out of homelessness. Uh, we use our center for, uh, temporary housing. Uh, we, uh, traditionally use RV units that were donated our organization, uh, to provide spaces, uh, where we can intentionally and approximately work with individuals that we have the friend to help them walk out of the experience of homelessness. Uh, we had, uh, you know, free showers. Uh, we belong to a museum for people to come in and visit and be educated about the experience. So a day-in and day-out, we were constantly, um, you know, immersed into engagement community. We have food co-op, we were doing a number of things. And then when the pandemic hit, it kind of altered a lot of things because our volunteer led or [inaudible], uh, we went from seeing, you know, five, 600 volunteers per month, uh, to less than 10, uh, because initially, uh, you have all these volunteers quarantining and, uh, being physically distant from one another.

Terence Lester (19:05):

And that kind of caused us to have to make some tough decisions about how to do, let me pivot, how do we continue to show up for our community? And I’ll never forget, uh, we had this guy named Demetrius, uh, come into our center, um, and he had come there for food resources and, uh, to leverage, uh, communication, to use the phone. And he started saying to everybody in the center, I’m afraid that I’m going to die, literally his words, because I have nowhere to wash my hands. I keep hearing, uh, that you’re supposed to wash your hands and how do I do that? Because I can’t access water. Um, and yeah, because our organization is poised to respond to the needs, as opposed to being, uh, a conveyor belt model. Uh, we always are open to how, um, we can actually meet the needs in front of them in front of us, like real time.

Terence Lester (20:04):

And so I, I had this idea, I started thinking about the RVs that we were using to temporarily house people and how a lot of them have features like portable cooking station. Porta-potties where people can use restroom, portable hand washing stations. And my idea was to take this, uh, feature that was already in existence and repurpose it to service a population that I knew would be, uh, locked down and shut out of many facilities, because they were already used to not being able to access, uh, water and, uh, not being able to go to in public spaces, et cetera. And I remember telling my wife, Hey, I think I’m going to put sinks in the middle of the streets and, you know, for people to have access, to wash their hands, if you don’t have access to that water. And she says, yeah, you used go and do it.

Terence Lester (20:51):

And around that time, uh, my friend Lecrae reached out to me and he’d donated the first 15 and 15 turned into over a thousand, uh, right now, uh, that we have placed all around the United States. Uh, he shout out to Victor, uh, global, uh, which you don’t want me to shout you out, but I am because, uh, your logistics company helped to get a mass amount of these portable hand washing stations. So people who are living on the margins of society have the access to sanitation because sanitation is a, is a human right. And so, um, here recently, I just told you a story about, uh, Virgil. And so here recently, we’ve been taking the 250 gallon tanks. Uh, two of those we’ve been, uh, uh, re repurposing those because they’ll be thrown away and turning them into a self-contained portable showers. Uh, so that’s where we are right now. We’re pivoting to sanitation and we’re still on the front lines providing, providing this critical reason.

Enrique Alvarez (21:52):

That’s a, it’s amazing what you’re doing. And, uh, it’s just, uh, we’re very proud to be not only talking to you here, but with you and your team, I’ve seen your guys work firsthand and everyone is super committed and passionate Peter here, a really good calming Peter really crazy part as being homeless can happen to anyone at any time due to no fault of their own. We need to extend our hand and support Bravo, Terrance. I mean, there’s people flooding this comments and, uh, I can’t really keep up with them, but, uh, it’s, it’s great. Uh, great. What you’re doing. Uh, another comment here, Simon Joyner. This is actually a question question to you, Terrance. When did you know that you needed to write ICU and how did you feel writing it?

Terence Lester (22:36):

Yeah, that, that is a, a great question. Simon. I was, it was 2016. I was sitting in the office on a Saturday. We didn’t have any programs going on, but I was doing some administrative work and there’s a knock at the window. There was an elderly lady, she was 69 years old. And she says, you know, I heard there’s an organization helping people with food. Like I haven’t eating, even in a few days, I don’t have any more of my social security, uh, funds. And so, uh, I got up and I walked outside. I looked around the door and I, I didn’t see a car. And I said, well, how did you get here? And she says, wow, walk. And I put the address in to my phone and it was seven miles. Uh, this lady had walked seven miles just for a bag of groceries.

Terence Lester (23:24):

And it started to, uh, you know, really cause me to think about many of the people that actually access our community center that are walking tons and tons of miles, uh, just to access resources. This lady actually inspired one of the campaigns that we launched called maps exceed, uh, and map 16 was a March against party where, uh, uh, my family allowed me to walk from Atlanta, Georgia all the way to the white house. Uh, we actually turned this campaign into a documentary film called voiceless, where we interview all these people in different parts of the United States of America, about, about their struggles with poverty. And along the way, I kept asking why kept having people ask me these questions about, you know, what, what is, what is homelessness really like? What does it mean to, what do you mean when you say it takes courage to be poor in this country?

Terence Lester (24:19):

Uh, and I was going through the physical exhaustion of having to get up every single day and walk 14 miles. It took me two months to complete this journey. And I started feeling these real deep emotions because every day I woke up, I was physically tired and I had to continue to wake up and press forward. And I re related that as a, as a metaphor to poverty, you know, it’s tiring, it’s physically exhausting, it’s emotionally draining. And every single day people have to wake up and put their best foot forward, uh, even when they don’t have access to the proper resources. And so, uh, all of that inspired me to write, uh, I see you and, uh, I think it’s a call that, um, we’re all called to do. Uh, I think if we’ve learned anything during COVID 19, is that we need to see each other. Uh, we need to understand the, uh, the lack of access that many of our neighbors have. If they’re wrestling with disparities and that we are stronger together, that we can do more together than we can apart.

Enrique Alvarez (25:22):

Absolutely true about that. And, uh, it’s just at the end of the day, no matter in what side of the aisle you are, we’re all humans, we’re all living in the same planet and we just need to kind of take good care of each other because no one else is going to, and I’m Susan, uh, Susan Nichols. Thank you very much. Um, she actually has a very specific question as well. How can we help someone who is homeless and how can we deal with the helplessness we feel in that because I approaching homeless in general terms, and you probably have seen this over and over. It’s just, it’s not easy. Sometimes you react really the wrong way. Sometimes you actually have a little bit of a sense of, for all this media and movies and things like that. Paint a picture of homeless that as you’ve mentioned before are not, it’s not what they are, but that’s what we kind of believe or what we can have a rod to, uh, to believe in. So how do, how do you break this kind of cycle? How do you approach a homeless person? Uh, let’s say, after we finished the show, if I go and encounter someone, what, what would you tell to me and other people like Susan that had that question?

Terence Lester (26:23):

Well, firstly, I want to affirm Susan. I think it’s a really great question. The work that I do is, is really tough work, but one of the first things that I like to do is reframe how we talk about people experiencing homelessness and, uh, affirm the personhood of people who are living on the streets. Because the, I think the question that I will ask back is how do we do that with people who have access to, uh, houses, right? Uh, how do we continue to show up and support people, uh, who are, uh, who may be selfish, but who may have access to resources who may have, can walk over to a thermostat and change the temperature? Um, I like to send her personhood because I think as we navigate in, uh, showing up for people, whether they have an address or not, it’s, it’s messy and it’s hard work.

Terence Lester (27:20):

I also, you know, normally ask people to think about who or who was the last person that hurt them in their life. Right? And in most cases is not somebody who has been living on the streets. It’s someone who’s had access to resources and privileges. And I just think dealing with the human condition within itself is messy. Building relationships with people is messy showing up for others and practicing what Henry now in cause, uh, as selfless compassion is messy. And, uh, I think it comes with, um, a number of things. One, it comes with healthy boundaries just because I show up for you doesn’t necessarily mean I’m doing work for you. That means that I’m practicing proximity and presence. Uh, but I’m keeping a healthy boundaries in place. So I, I don’t, uh, allow the vicarious trauma to overtake me. Right. It’s the same thing that, uh, you know, airplane pilots or airplane hostesses, uh, say, uh, sort of this, uh, say on the airplane, put on your own oxygen mask before you, uh, share with someone else. The second thing too is as is, is that I, I think it takes, um, intentional courage. And what I mean by intentional courage of course, is courageous show up for people and to show up and be selfless for your friends and your family members or someone, uh, who is also living on the streets. But I also think you have to be intentional about being in a community as you do that. Right? How do you build the type of support systems where you don’t feel like you’re shouldering all of this on your own, right.

Enrique Alvarez (29:01):

I’m sorry to interrupt you right there, but you’re saying things like that. I, it sounds a lot like you should be okay. Making mistakes. I mean, it takes, you’re like, yeah, yeah. We’re baked on your boys. Say the wrong things and probably the, you you’ll be embarrassed. The homeless person will be angry, but you just have to get over it. Right. And try it. Yeah, yeah.

Terence Lester (29:31):

Take time. That was my, that was my third takeaway. Um, it takes time, uh, that we can’t put a time limit on someone’s transformation, growth and development that we all succumb to stumbling. You know, we do really good and we stumble, we do really good and we stumble and we take setbacks. And I think that is the nature of life. The question I would ask, you know, uh, uh, Susan who asked this question and thinking about that, if you set up those structures in place where you maintain your own sense of health and your boundaries, you know, is a person that you, you be friend at worth fighting for and going the distance with, because what I tell people in talks all the time, I’m walking with people I’m not walking for them. And so reframing that and making the distinction will, could help you. Yeah.

Enrique Alvarez (30:23):

Um, I also wanted to, you touched obviously on the, um, the campaign, the lusting sand campaign, and also you briefly mentioned, um, the dignity museum, but you’re talking to an audience that loves to know how things work and loves to know how to get things places. So those are two, um, you know, there’s a reason that love beyond walls has been such an effective champion in this. So can you talk a little bit more about, um, how the sync project actually works and how you guys get them refilled and all of that stuff. And then hopefully I’m guessing the dignity museum will be back in commission after the pandemic, and it’s an amazing concept. So I’d love for them to hear more about that too.

Terence Lester (31:03):

Yeah. Uh, so the hand-washing stations actually worked through a decentralized, uh, volunteering system. Uh, currently we have over 70 partners and mainly we have partnered with people who are already in the, the, the, the, the proximity, uh, to many of our persons who are experiencing homelessness. And so, uh, volunteers actually, uh, restock and refill the hands, hand washing stations on a daily basis, they go out, uh, they clean them, uh, when a station is empty of soap and water, they refill them. Uh, we’ve seen kids out there on the front lines, you know, what their parents or their church community, or their small group, or, you know, volunteers or, uh, partnering, uh, with the organization and continuing to show up. And so it’s all based on the Goodwill and humanitarianism of people who want to provide this critical resource. It’s been so amazing to see how people have used such a, an intense moment in history to actually come together and show up for other people who may not have the basic necessities that may have for themselves.

Terence Lester (32:25):

And so that’s been really inspirational. And, and to your point about the big meme museum, the dignity dignity museum is actually housed in the shipping container. And so we converted a 40 foot shipping container into a, uh, a, which is an immersive experience. It has technology and facts and all sorts of things on the inside of the museum, where people are able to go in and learn about, uh, people experiencing homelessness, but also learn about the myths and the facts, right? What people actually think about their own experience. They’ll be able to listen to stories and track this oral history of what actually led someone in, uh, you know, the issue of homelessness and what actually got them out of it. Another cool part of it is broken up into three sections. I was challenged stereotypes, create empathy and inspire action. And then the create empathy, uh, section there’s a wall, and we’ve taken the words of the people wrote on, uh, signs that people hold on the corners and it’s very impactful.

Terence Lester (33:29):

Um, and one of the phrases that always makes people tear up is, uh, there’s this sign that says, um, you know, mom told me to wait right here. Uh, that was 10 years ago. You think about the number of people who are actually writing out of their heart, uh, in, in many ways, uh, prose and poetry, uh, to communicate to the rest of the world, what they’re feeling on the inside, on the signs. And so, uh, people get a chance to interact with that, but also realize we do need empathy and what I do for you. I’m also doing for myself, if I could borrow a ML King’s words, uh, we are a world house in a global bill,

Enrique Alvarez (34:12):

And we’ve had people in the comments donating, buying merge. Thank you guys, keep that coming. Um, so to that point, what is it you guys need right now? I love beyond walls. How can our community support you? What are, what would you ask of us?

Terence Lester (34:26):

Yeah, that’s great. Uh, I’m really intrigued in the, uh, 250 gallon tanks. Uh, right now we are in need of, uh, many of those because we want to plant, uh, self-contained showers. Uh, I wish I could show you a picture, but, uh, if you can imagine they’re flipped on, you know, upside down and they sit on top of each other. Uh, they’re always ready, kinda set up for drainage because on the 250 gallon tank, you can drain the gray water out. Um, we use a tankless water heater, and we mounted on the side and we use a water pump, uh, inside of another container that shoots the water up. And it’s always ready, private because you can’t see inside of it. And so if people want to donate, uh, we’re looking for donations for, um, uh, 250 gallon tanks and they range from $200, $250 around that range. And we have a goal to try to create like a hundred of those turns. How are you going to start launching that new campaign here in Atlanta as well, and then spreading it out as you did with St. Luke’s campaign? Yes. Uh, so

Enrique Alvarez (35:38):

We actually created the first version of it, and we’ve been using it every, since, uh, February. And now that we have perfected it, uh, we want to continue to plant those all around the city of Atlanta and continue to spread those. And it’s it. We’ve had people already reach out, uh, from all around the country. We’re going to also create a DUI video, uh, if people would like to do it themselves and donate bees to, uh, organizations. Yeah. I really, truly incredible on what you’re doing. And it sounds like the sky’s the limit for you. I mean, you started small and you started launching different campaigns and you have become an icon when it comes to really helping others and making sure that we care for each other. So thank you once again for everything. It’s amazing. Oh, thank you. And, uh, Emma, thank you.

Enrique Alvarez (36:34):

Uh, I hope your father was joking about skipping out of school, but, uh, uh, you, you asked some amazing questions and you’re a great co-host. Thank you. So, um, before, before we let you go, and I know that you’re incredibly busy Terrance. Um, I wanted to come back to Emma and increase the use to ask, ask you, uh, after this conversation that we had with Karen’s, I know you and Lisa had so, so much expectations about this conversation. You were so nervous yesterday. Uh, what was the number one thing that you kind of pay kind of this conversation with parents and Terrance, if you don’t mind, we’ll probably have to invite you again, cause there’s so many other things that we need to talk to you about that, that it’s just not enough time. I, again, thank everyone on the comments, my hash, um, Susan, there’s so many comments and questions that I, it’s just not, it’s just not possible to kind of fit all of them into this, uh, episode, but we’ll do another one. So without said, Emma, um, Christie, your number one thing. And, um, we’ll start with Christie.

Emma Alvarez (37:38):

Oh, I was going to say, start with them. Okay. I’ll start working. Start with them. Yeah. I think my number, one thing that I’m going to take out of this amazing interview is like, when you have a goal, keep working for it, keep going, keep helping, try and help as many people as you can listen, learn, and just inspire other people. And that’s exactly what you’re doing. Um, I think for me question and a comment, my comment was more, one of my takeaways was just, it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to start small and, um, keep growing. There’s so many needs all around us right now. And so I think just every interaction matters and every, uh, every thing you can do to be kind to someone else matters. And so that was sort of one of my takeaways. And then my question along those lines is because this is an invisible community at times, what you feel like

Enrique Alvarez (38:36):

People should know about the homeless population. What do you feel like they want people to know? Um, or what’s something that’s just not, not common knowledge that we should know.

Terence Lester (38:45):

Gosh, there are so many things. The one thing I will say is there is a growing trend, uh, across the country to, uh, criminalize the experience of what it means to not have an address like a, in January, January 16, 20, 21, a city in South Carolina actually banned camping. Um, and we all know that there’s a bed shortage all across the United States. So like, if you can’t sleep outside, then where do you sleep? Right. And so people actually have to uproot and leave the city in many ways. Uh, you know, that is a form of further displacing people. Uh, there are also laws that discriminate against sharing food, like what me and you could do, like we could sit outside and I can give you a piece of a sandwich. And, uh, there would be no fun, but if you do that, but someone experiencing homelessness, uh, you can be taking it in certain areas.

Terence Lester (39:41):

Uh, there are other ordinances, uh, in the United States where you can’t sleep in a car, even if you’re working a job and you can’t afford, uh, the rent say like on the West coast, right. That you can be ticketed it and even taking a jail for sleeping in the car. And so, uh, when you think about the criminalization of what it means to be, how to experience homelessness, I think we need to reframe how we associate, you know, going through this experience that we need to humanize people that we need, respect everybody’s story, and that we need to affirm the dignity of those who are suffering. We’ve all suffered ourselves, right? This is the human condition. Uh, even if it’s not with the same type of, uh, issue, uh, we know what it means to be in pain. And so, uh, how, what we withhold the love that we would want for our, our ourselves, that we can so freely give to those who are also suffering. And that is the message that we need to see people that we need to affirm the dignity of others and that everybody, no matter how damaged the packaging is, is worthy of having their dignity.

Terence Lester (40:48):

Very, very, very powerful. I’m sorry, Christie. You were going to say

Enrique Alvarez (40:53):

No, we can do this all day long. I mean, wisdom. Thank you everybody. Please go, um, to see the showers and to buy the book and watch the documentary documentary series, everything, please go follow love beyond walls on social media and, um, give you, you won’t regret it.

Terence Lester (41:10):

You’re, you’re such an amazing speaker. Two turns. I mean, just listening to you is great. I mean, you have a good voice and you know what to say and how to really reach out and do a people’s feelings and hopefully bring the best out of them. So thank you so much as always, uh, you can come without full support wherever you need. Always thanks to the audience. Again, a lot of people, a lot comments, a lot of questions,

Enrique Alvarez (41:34):

A lot of thank you notes. Do you turn that will pass after this and we’ll definitely be posting this interview right after this live stream complete. Thank you so much for joining another episode of logistics with purpose. Thank you so much to the team at supply chain now. I mean, I didn’t see them, but they’re behind the scenes, not the least. Amanda, Scott, thank you so much for your help on MRD. You do want to close the light.

Emma Alvarez (42:02):

Let’s do it. Thank you so much chance and audience. I hope you learned a lot and got inspired. Make sure to follow vector global logistics and supply chain now, and we’ll go follow Chica dot Alvarez. Have a wonderful Wednesday. And if you like this live stream, make sure to stay tuned for more. Bye

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Hand-Washing Goes Mobile: Delivering Empathy in a Crisis with Love Beyond Walls’ Terence Lester

Featured Guests

Terence Lester is a speaker, activist, author, and thought leader in the realm of systemic poverty. He’s known for nationwide campaigns that bring awareness to issues surrounding homelessness, poverty, and economic inequality.

His awareness campaigns have been featured on MLK50, CNN, Good Morning America, TVONE, Creative Mornings, USA Today, NBC, AJC, Black Enterprise, Rolling Out, Upworthy, and have been viewed by millions of people worldwide.

In 2018, Terence led the March Against Poverty as he walked from Atlanta to Memphis (386 miles). He finished the march and spoke at the historic Lorraine Motel for the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s assassination. He has spoken on the same platform as other civil rights activists such as: Bernice King, Roland Martin, Gina Belafonte, Michael Eric Dyson, Tamika D. Mallory, and many others. Terence’s unique approach combines storytelling and digital media to help illustrate social justice issues with practical approaches to solving these ailments. In 2013, Terence founded the non-profit, Love Beyond Walls, and has helped hundreds of individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty rebuild their lives. In 2019, Terence launched the first museum in the U.S. that represents homelessness out of a shipping container called, Dignity Museum. Terence has written four books and his new book, “I See You: How Love Opens Our Eyes To Invisible People” released August 13, 2019 with InterVarsity Press. He also holds four degrees and is working towards his PhD at Union Institute & University in Public Policy & Social Change.  Connect with Terence on Twitter.

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.

Hosts

Enrique Alvarez

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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Additional Links & Resources

Subscribe to Supply Chain Now and All Supply Chain Now Programming Here

Learn more about Love Beyond Walls

I See You: How Love Opens Our Eyes to Invisible People

Narrative Shift on Soundcloud

Voiceless: A Documentary on Systematic Poverty

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

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.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. 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).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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