Supply Chain Now
Episode 612

Episode Summary

“There are some great organizations going after this global water crisis. And it takes all of us. With Filter of Hope, you have the opportunity to actually go and experience the crisis, to be a part of providing and meeting those needs.”

 

Our planet is roughly 71% water. The human body? 65%! It’s safe to say: water is a universal life force, and it’s everywhere. Yet in many parts of the world, safe drinking water is in short supply. That’s where Filter of Hope comes in. Meet the men behind the mission that’s delivering clean drinking water to more than 65 countries (and counting) using a simple, lightweight filter propelled by passionate global teams. In this episode, we explore how between God and Google, Filter of Hope has developed new filter technologies, spread their mission, overcome logistics challenges worldwide, and welcomed new supporters into the fold.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain. Now

Scott Luton (00:33):

Everybody Scott Luton and Enrique Alvarez and Adrian Purtill here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s episode today’s episode. We’re continuing our logistics with purpose series here on supply chain. Now, one of our favorite series on this series, we spotlight leaders and organizations that are all in their own way, truly changing the world. So stay tuned as we look to increase your supply chain leadership RQ quick program. Before we get started, if you enjoy this conversation, be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from the supply chain now, so you don’t miss any others. Let’s welcome in again. I mentioned my special co-host for today’s episode Enrique, Adrian, how are y’all doing good. Great, great. Thanks Scott. Wonderful to be here on this platform again, a bot and says, uh, wonderful to see you again and looking forward to continuing our conversation.

Scott Luton (01:22):

Absolutely. And how are you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you. It’s a, it was a great weekend as, uh, one of our guests was already mentioning and we’re super excited to be with, uh, with them today. I’m really, uh, looking forward to this conversation. They’re doing amazing things to make the world a better place. And, uh, I’m really excited just to kind of listen a little bit more to what their story is and what they have to share with us. I am too. And y’all and Adrian travel. Let the cat out of the bag. I am super excited about our two guests here today. Uh, I should note of course, logistics with purpose is brought to you by Dr. Global logistics. So Enrique Adrian, thanks for y’all support. Uh, so let’s, let’s get to our guests, right? These folks are on a mission to simply put, bring clean water to people who are thirsty.

Scott Luton (02:07):

So let’s welcome in Bart Smelley founder and CEO at filter hope, Bart, how are you doing great. Thank you have enjoyed our pre-show visit a bit. And you’ve brought with you, your colleague, Seth Swindle campus expansion director, also with filter hope, Seth, how you doing? Doing well? Doing well, thanks for, uh, for having us. You bet. Okay. So just like we talked about, you know, we’d love to get into before we get to the heavy lifting and get to the incredible mission and purpose y’all have at filter hope. I want to get to know you both a little bit better, and we’re going to try not to talk three hours of football that might be tough to do with this, this group here, but Barton, we’ll start with you. Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from and, and, uh, what is Bart smelly all about? Well, thank you. And I was born and raised in Tuscaloosa. That’s where the football talk, uh, pre show came up, I think. And I, I went to university of Alabama here and studied

Bart Smelley (03:00):

Engineering and so great family. Currently. I have three children and as of tomorrow, we’ll have six beautiful grandchildren under the age of 11.

Scott Luton (03:14):

Yeah. Yeah.

Bart Smelley (03:15):

Thank you. But, um, after college I caught the entrepreneur entrepreneurial bug early, very early. And, uh, I started a business career right out of school. And so for the next 25 years, I was in and out of a variety of businesses and some really good ones and some not so good, but nothing that, uh, nothing I did, you know, really gave me a, a deep satisfaction. Uh, I was not, uh, content and any of the businesses that, uh, that’s why I didn’t stay in anything very long. And I wanted to, I knew there was something more important that, uh, it was going to spend my life doing. And so it was, it wasn’t until about 10, 11 years ago that I felt a call into full-time missions, a life of missions. And I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I was done with the, in, with the business world.

Bart Smelley (04:18):

And so on a, uh, a trip did some, uh, now I’ve gone on mission trips and service trips around the world for many, many years when our kids got old enough, my wife and I would kind of structure our own and do sports camps. Cause that’s what our family was all about. But I knew that that wasn’t, you know, what, uh, I was being called to do. And so in an effort to try to determine exactly what I felt, God calling me to, I was, uh, conducted a survey and a really, really poor area of the Dominican Republic to determine what the greatest needs of families living in poverty were.

Scott Luton (05:05):

And were there in country at the time of conducting the survey? Is that right?

Bart Smelley (05:10):

Probably yes. Yes. So using some community leaders in this area of the Dominican Republic, along with some pastors that we had met and some area coaches, we’d done a lot of baseball clinics and things like that there we surveyed about 500 families. And the simple question was what are the greatest challenges that you face on a daily basis? And we actually provided like a little cheat sheet, you know, was it jobs? Was it, you know, and we had about 20 different potential answers. And I was really surprised, uh, and I’d been to this area many, many times, but when we would go and meet, um, kids, a park or the church to do baseball clinic and, and gather them up and talk to them afterwards and give them, you know, bats and balls and things that we had collected, we brought our water from the hotel or wherever we were staying.

Bart Smelley (06:10):

We didn’t, we didn’t think about water. So water was not even on the list of multiple choices, you know, all these at 20, 20 different potential answers. And so I was kind of, I was really shocked to, to when the results came in and number one was always jobs place was 97% unemployment, but number two and three was either education for my kids. So they can have hope for a better life than, than, than we had as parents, or it was clean drinking water. So our kids can be healthy enough to actually go to school and get an education. It blew my mind and being an entrepreneur, studying engineering, you know, I said, there’s gotta be a way in clean water that these people are drinking. And so that is what created a huge passion that has never left me for the last 10 years. And won’t until I breathe my last breath, I believe. And so, uh, that’s, that’s what we’re all about is, uh, providing clean water to the poorest of the poor, all around the world. People that don’t have access to, um, to safe water. And along with that, we are a faith based organization. And we, um, we also share God’s love with people and that he can make a difference in their life as well. So we focus on physical as well as the spiritual needs.

Scott Luton (07:48):

Yeah. The world needs a lot more, but all of that, uh, for sure, and really appreciate you sharing, I’m going to, I’m going to back up for a minute. So we’re gonna dive deeper into filter a hope and the mission and, and all the cool elements to that. Seth on. I’m bringing in for a second, uh, before we go any further, tell us about yourself and where you’re from and, and when you joined into the mission,

Seth Swindle (08:08):

Scott. Yep. Um, so, uh, my family and I, uh, have a amazing wife, Whitney and two small kids. McClain is Shep. They’re a four and two. So you can imagine it’s a, it’s a pretty wild, wild house. We just added a, uh, a dog to the mix. We were just feeling extra crazy last week. But now, uh, we, we, uh, we were living in, uh, in, in Washington DC before Atlanta working with, uh, actually a partner of ours crew. Some of you may be familiar with, and it was, it was on a trip with crew that I called the, the filter of hope book, if you will. Um, and just fell in love with, with filter folk, with the work that as Bart mentioned, just that opportunity to, to provide physical needs that are so great. Um, but then, then being able to, to, to provide spiritual needs and, uh, and, and in different capacities. So we came on board and, and, uh, 2019 moved to Atlanta and really, really excited to be with filter of. And, uh, and, and the future of filter folks

Scott Luton (09:14):

Really moved the needle, helping a ton of folks. I got to ask you that, that may not the question though. What’s, who’s got the worst traffic DC or Atlanta,

Seth Swindle (09:23):

Atlanta. I think these DC, most people it’s, it’s a, it’s busy, but they know how to drive. I run into people in Atlanta. I just, I don’t think they know how to, how to, how to drive correctly. So, um, yeah.

Scott Luton (09:38):

Well, thanks for humoring us. Okay. So, you know, it’s, uh, on a more serious note, it’s just amazing. Um, something we all take for granted the ability to, to walk into the kitchen and turn a faucet on and get, you know, clean water we can drink and cook with and give our kids. It’s just a, you know, there’s this blind spot. We all have folks that need that. And so many people need that. So love the story. Um, Adrian, where are we going next with Bart and Seth here? Yeah. Christian do either bottles. Um, tell us about the world water crisis in general. And, um, also, uh, you know, in terms of how big of an issue it really is.

Bart Smelley (10:15):

Yeah. I’ll, I’ll take that. It’s a huge issue guys. It’s, it’s greater than here. Just monumental it’s it’s, uh, it’s, uh, a problem that most people cannot imagine unless you’ve studied about developing countries or are traveled, uh, outside the resort areas and developing, um, countries. Um, most Americans don’t realize the magnitude of the, the water crisis and how many people don’t have the luxury, as you said, of just turning the tap and I’m getting no clean water, perfectly healthy water. Like we have here in America, the world health organization recently put it at, um, a little over 2 billion people are forced to drink water every day. That is contaminated with feces. This, this is from the world health organization. And so Ecolab, which is feces and, and, and, and is one of the, uh, most harmful bacterias. And it’s a killer. It’s a, it is like, it’s a killer millions of people, depending on what you’re reading.

Bart Smelley (11:34):

We, we usually try to use the statistics from the CDC and, you know, UN and the world health organization, but, you know, or 5 million people die every year, just because they don’t have access to clean water to drink. And most of them are children 80%, or our kids under five who have not built up their immune system. So it is, it’s a major, it’s a major problem. It’s, it’s, it’s really truly sad. I like to share with groups that, you know, we won, uh, we just happened to win the birth lottery, you know, being born in the United States with water that you can access by turning a, turning a knob plus all the other freedoms that we have that are not enjoyed by billions of, of, uh, people around the world. So it’s a, it’s a, it’s a huge problem that is going to require much more than filter of hope. That’s why we’d love all, you know, partnerships and creating awareness of the, and we, you know, we love taking people and showing them for the first time what true poverty really is, but, uh, it’s a, um, it’s a great problem. That is, um, that’s just, it’s right in front of us. I mean, literally 90 miles off the coast of Florida is Haiti and Dominican Republic, Cuba, and, you know, without access to clean water, the vast majority of those population. So it’s a, it’s a worldwide, uh, crisis for sure.

Scott Luton (13:21):

Right. Focusing on a filter of, of hope now specifically, um, there are a lot of water focused non-profit organizations out there. What, what makes you stand apart?

Seth Swindle (13:35):

And you, you, you just mentioned it, Bart made mention of it. There are, there’s some great organizations that are, um, going after this, this global water crisis. And, and, and it takes all of us, right? It takes all of us trying to tackle this, this issue filter fo we, we are proud of the work that we’ve been able to do. You know, I think one of the things that, that sets filter folk apart is the personal aspect of it. You know, the opportunity to actually go and experience this crisis and the opportunity to, to be a part of providing and meeting those needs. So participants, and we’ll talk more about that, um, and our time, but just the opportunity to, to, to go on a trip, to be in the homes of families, to get to know them, to hear their story is, is huge.

Seth Swindle (14:28):

So it’s more than just, um, you know, sending money, which is so needed. Um, fundraising is, is there’s a great need for more, um, but just the actual, the opportunity to go and experience, um, the work. And you also think about, um, sustainability, right? We, we want to make sure that, Hey, when, when we leave the work continues when our, when our teams leave Cuba, when our teams leave Costa Rica, all the countries that we have filters in, and it’s, it’s important to know that there’s someone there in case there is an issue there’s someone to come alongside this, this family, whether it’s the spiritual side or whether it’s, um, help with, with the filter itself. So when you think about sustainability, the, the, uh, the, um, the personalization of, of getting to go and experience it, and then, and then seeing firsthand who you’re coming alongside just makes it, makes it a great opportunity. And, uh, I think about you for us,

Enrique Alvarez (15:30):

It’s huge. I love that relationship piece. And, and it’s so valuable, especially, I mean, that’s been illustrated, if anything, during the pandemic and making sure, you know, the folks that you’re helping any, any know, you know, more about their needs and application and whatnot, but Enrique, I think we’re gonna be talking technology next, right? Yes. And I definitely wanted to know a little bit more about I’m a mechanical engineer myself. So I’ve always been very curious about the way things work and machines and all that. So if you could explain me and then the audience a little bit about what, how does this particular filter work, is there any special ingredients to your, to your recipe other than, of course the connection and the sustainability that you just mentioned?

Bart Smelley (16:13):

Yeah, the, um, and there’s a lot of ways to filter water back in the early days I tried everything. And so the, the oldest is bio sand filters and just using the sand and gravel to, to filter out the contaminants. Um, and we actually built a factory in Haiti, uh, after the earthquake making ceramic filters that had embedded colloidal silver that killed the bacteria, all of the types of, uh, techniques that we utilize in the early days had they had a lot of, of, uh, shortcomings, whether it be, uh, you know, a very slow flow rate, it in produce a lot of water, or they were too heavy and bulky, and weren’t transportable or fragile as in the, the ceramic water filters and easily to, to break. And so through, uh, a lot of prayer. And, uh, I like to say, uh, through God and Google came across technology called hollow fiber membranes, it’s been around a long time.

Bart Smelley (17:21):

Actually, it was developed back in the sixties as a way to treat wastewater and sanitation plants. And, uh, so our filter, even though it’s small, it’s a small capsule, a little bit smaller than even a, like a Coke can, that does all the filtration. It’s just a little mini sanitation plant, if you will. But inside that cartridge, that filter cartridges, thousands of hollow fiber membranes that are polished cell phone tubes is what they are made out of. And they have a poor size of 0.1 microns and 0.1 microns is like smaller than a way smaller than the human hair. If you looked at what the smallest, the smallest harmful bacteria actually is the Ecolab bacteria that I mentioned earlier. And if you Googled up, what’s the smallest diameter size of, of Ecolab bacteria is going to be 0.2 microns in diameter size. So it’s twice as large as, and go through that filter.

Bart Smelley (18:32):

So that filter traps all of the bacteria. And the only thing that can escape is perfectly clean, purified, just, you know, good water, regardless of what you put in it. And I’ve gone as far because there just wasn’t in demonstrating. We don’t have all, we demonstrate our filters in every venue, whether we’re when speaking somewhere, certainly when we’re on the field with teams or partners. And I was faced with a situation one time where there was no water to use and demonstrate the filter. There was this pit, this Brown water pit, basically a sewage pit that I had a five gallon bucket already hooked up with our filter. And I just dipped it in that pit. And, uh, I said a few prayers before I drank that water, but, uh, it came out perfectly clean, perfectly clean and perfectly clear. And obviously people were freaking out a bit, but that’s how well the filter works and this technology and the quality of those membranes, at least the qual, the quality we use are very, very durable.

Bart Smelley (19:44):

They can withstand the daily cleaning of the, it takes about one minute to clean the filter each day. And if you do that, it’s going to last for a long time, up to 10 years or more or more. And so, um, and then we’ll filter about, uh, at least 250 gallons a day. So it filters a lot of wa produces more than enough water that, that, uh, that a family needs to drain to cook with, to clean with, and to share with their friends and neighbors that may not have a filter yet. So amazing technology long lasting. And the good thing is, as we’re working with a vector on that can be shipped anywhere in the world, just gotta to have a good logistics company. And that’s fine. We’re work on vector.

Scott Luton (20:36):

Awesome. And Enrique any, uh, I think by the way, I think we have our podcast title between God and Google. I love that Bart that’s catchy

Enrique Alvarez (20:48):

Any follow up question there, or just, um, for some of the, um, people are that are wandering, like, uh, you’ve gone, you mentioned it something that’s probably been taking so many years and a lot of effort from you and your team, you kind of tell the story so casually that people might think that it’s kind of easy to do what you guys are doing. And, and it has been like somewhat of an easy journey, but could you tell us a bit more about like some of the, maybe some of the early mistakes that you guys made, or some of the different things that you have learned throughout the entire process from starting to Google things to coming up with this technology to really opportunity to go into that mud pit and test it? I mean, that must have felt incredibly, incredibly well, I guess.

Bart Smelley (21:34):

Well, there were a lot of challenges in the early days and we, we tried different types of filtration methods and cause it was later on, you know, few years into it when we came across this technology. But, um, and we started in the Dominican Republic as I had mentioned earlier, but, and then the earth, when the earthquake hit and let 2011, I think it was. And, um, and Haiti, we started taking the ceramic filters over to, uh, help the earthquake victims. Al cholera was spreading like crazy over there and they needed clean water. And, uh, there was, there was none to be found. And so some of the challenges that exist in and still do, and in countries around the world, it’s just the governments that, uh, you you’re dealing with. Uh, there’s just a level of corruption, which is one reason. Third world countries stay third world is that people are kept oppressed by government officials.

Bart Smelley (22:42):

And so there were times when we were having to pay bribes to get across the border, you know, and, you know, to try to get these filters to families in desperate need, but the border patrol, you know, they’re wanting, you know, they were requiring, you know, in some cases, a lot of money to, uh, be able to let us through. And so there’s been crazy stories like that. I got so upset about, you know, having to pay bribes to the border patrol. We decided to, to go by boat, uh, right. You know, and go to the Southern border of Dominican Republic and take the filters around by, by boat and to Haiti, which was, uh, an adventure all to its, uh, all to its own. So we’ve been not shipwreck, but we’ve been without power without a motor that worked a few times out in the open ocean between, uh, Dominican Republic and Haiti, so incredible challenges, but in the early days, but God is truly blessed

Seth Swindle (23:46):

Us and brought us through all those challenges and obviously introduced us to this technology that’s working just incredibly well that we, we really can’t figure a way we, we don’t know a way to improve it. It’s it’s, uh, the filter works, works that well. And, uh, and, and then just has brought so many great people to the team like Seth, that is an instrumental in the growth of, of filter of hope and, and so many of the partnerships that we’re now working with. So, uh,

Scott Luton (24:22):

So on that note then, uh, Bart, uh, and I love, you know, where there’s a will, there’s a way I love, I love that commitment to finding a way, uh, uh, Enrique and Adrian earlier conversations here on logistics with purpose. We’ve heard folks and supplies and aid get in by camels and goats, whatever it takes, right. Whatever it takes. That’s, that’s the nature of supply chain, but Seth picking up on Bart’s last comment there what’s that what’s, that it’s gotta be really rewarding and fulfilling to be a part of a team that that’s going to get it done. They’re going to find a way to get it done. What, what’s the, what’s the culture like? Yeah,

Seth Swindle (24:55):

Sure. Well, you know, it it’s, it’s like a family being a part of filter of hope. It’s more than a job and something we, you know, we do from nine to five, um, everyone is bought in and you know, I think it’s that, it’s that vision, it’s that, that mission of what we’re going after is the why. Right. Um, that everyone wants to see clean water taken around the world. They want to see people come to know Jesus. So it’s, it’s, it’s the why. And, you know, the opportunity to be a part of that. Uh, so it’s so like giving, you know, whether it’s, uh, being on the ground, being in the different countries that we, that we, uh, that we go to being in the homes, right. Just, just experiencing that, you know, that’s something we haven’t had that, uh, opportunity to experience in all over a year because of COVID right.

Seth Swindle (25:44):

It, we missed that, but th the need, the need doesn’t stop. Right. So it’s, it’s, it’s the reminder of, of the people who are, who were on the ground, the people who, who don’t have clean water. And, you know, we talk about it all the time. Bart made mention of it earlier. You know, we, we are, we have clean water. You know, when I, when I filled out my, my children’s, uh, bathtub, it’s clean water, when it get them, uh, a cup of water it’s clean, right. Um, our dog gets better water than, than, uh, more than two plus billion people in the world. So it’s, it’s that why you think about just the, the great need and the opportunity to be a small part of that? Um, so it’s, it’s, it’s amazing to, to be a part of that, to get, to do that on a daily basis and to be a part of, uh, a family, uh, like, like filter folk,

Scott Luton (26:35):

But it is what a noble mission. So, uh, before Enrique kind of takes this a little more broad, uh, both of y’all and Enrique and by the, and we got it and realize you’re a mechanical engineer by trade. No wonder, you’re so much smarter than me, man. You haven’t really done anything mechanical engineering related, other than changing light bulbs. I loved it back then. Very well. So give us a, an Bart coming back to you clearly by adding, you know, getting, uh, team members and colleagues like Seth, it seems like your organization is on the move and you’re growing before we go broader and kind of get a snapshot of other things are taking place that might have be on y’all’s radar, where his filter of a hope moving to what’s the path look like ahead.

Bart Smelley (27:23):

Great question. You know, because of the COVID pause that Seth mentioned, which we had to bring a lot of teams off the field, we had to postpone, um, 50, 60 trips that were scheduled for last spring and summer. And, uh, so that was discouraging it at first, but it is what it is. We couldn’t change it. So we decided as a, as an organization, as a ministry to make the best use of, of this time that, uh, we weren’t able to travel to become the very best organization, the very best staff that we could be a lot of the projects and programs, and, you know, things on our wishlist that were on the shelf that we would get to. At some point we pulled them all off and we started what we first called COVID projects. Could we on it? We thought that it would only gonna last three or four months, and by the fall we would be back traveling again.

Bart Smelley (28:30):

Well, now we’re, we’re looking at, you know, I guess today, maybe today, last year, yeah. This day, last year I was in Guatemala and we had to make that decision of, um, of pulling all the teams back and canceling the future teams. But this last year, we’ve, we’ve done some amazing, uh, things that we focused and Wordly on the ministry, all of our systems and procedures and programs, but also we’ve like recreated ourself. We brought in a consultant that helped us with branding and, you know, rebranding improving our, our branding. We completely redid our website, improved our messaging. We infused some technology and to the website or some of our giving platforms and social media, all of that, you know, uh, one of the highlights of the, the year we studied as a whole team where every Wednesday we have, we have zoom staff meetings.

Bart Smelley (29:47):

And so our staff all around the world and all over the United States are on zoom together. And so we studied a book called excellence, wins by horse Shults that, you know, as a founder of Ritz Carlton, and just a expert on the, in the field of excellence and everything that you do. And we truly applied that to every facet of filter of ho to become a better organization. Our goal is excellence. And if that’s your goal, then if you don’t achieve it, you’re going to still be pretty, pretty dang good. You know, so, uh, that’s common terminology now and everything that we talk about is, uh, as excellence. And, um, so we’re, we did that. We’re studying a book right now, uh, about the art of storytelling and because storytelling is, is, is pig when we’re speaking to groups. So whether we’re raising funding for a certain project.

Bart Smelley (30:45):

So, uh, the COVID pause took us to, uh, uh, a greater level. The number one thing out of this, uh, period of not being able to travel the last year was entering, uh, some strategic partnerships with organizations and ministries that are working in places that we’re never going to be able to take teams to in the 10 40 window in Pakistan Sudan and some dangerous places, quite frankly, where they have their planning churches, they’re doing work humanitarian work and, you know, building, uh, churches, and they need desperately need clean water, you know, far worse than central America and the Caribbean countries that where we take teams too. And so we’ve engaged in some incredible partnerships, which again is we’re going to use the services of bachelor logistics to be able to get those filters to these hard, to reach places. So we’re very excited about that. So that’s what we’ve been doing the last year. And we’re coming out of this COVID time, much, much better organization.

Scott Luton (31:52):

Yeah. I heard a lot there, but more operationally, confident and stronger on the operation side and ability to execute, but also be able to tell a stronger tell and promote a stronger story about the mission, which hopefully brings more people to the calls and helps helps the all help more folks. And so we can attack that, that you shared four to 5 million deaths per year. Most of them kids, because lack of good clean water, we can tack that number and get it down to zero. I mean, really the art of the possible. So I love what you shared there. Okay. So Adrian, we’re going to kind of go a little bit broader next,

Speaker 6 (32:26):

Exactly. Third gen, um, beyond, beyond water concerns, what are one or two other, uh, issues or challenges that you’re facing right now, uh, that are more pressing than others? You know, we’re,

Bart Smelley (32:40):

We’re pretty, laser-focused on our, our strategy, our, uh, mission strategy of the organization, providing clean water and providing, you know, God’s love to, you know, the very least to these, the poorest of the poor, but when we’re doing that, you know, as we’ve been doing that for many years, um, these countries that are, you know, dealing with extreme poverty and lack of education, uh, the pastors that are, uh, that are leading these churches and they trying to help the community, they have fared a little to if any resources. And so, um, that’s one thing that we are, uh, we’re doing right now is we’re creating materials and followup materials that these churches, uh, can use. As Seth mentioned earlier, sustainability is absolutely critical. We’ll go in there with a team for one week and then they’re, they’re gone. So we do everything under the umbrella of a local church.

Bart Smelley (33:52):

We don’t filter our hope is not important, or the university of Texas, you know, or it’s not important if they’re, if that’s, uh, that the team that happens to be with us, we’re there on behalf of the local church, cause they care about you and they want you to have clean water. So on behalf of this church, we’re going to provide you with this water filter. And when the, when the teams leave, we want to provide the churches with as many resources as possible. And so we’re doing that in printed materials and some videos, uh, we’re partnering with the Jesus film now that, uh, has a incredible backpack type of a projector. And they can show the, that can show the Jesus film story to hundreds and hundreds of people at one time. So, um, we’re trying to, you know, to meet some of those needs, uh, as well just to, um, enhance and improve our ministry in every way possible

Scott Luton (34:58):

Digital transformation applies everywhere. And I heard a little bit of that there in your answer at Bart, Seth, what else would you add and whether it’s your challenges, whether it’s other business topics you’re tracking globally, what else has got your attention right now? Sure.

Bart Smelley (35:14):

You know, I, I think obviously what brought us together in the first place was the logistics side, right? The, the shipping, I think it’s, uh, it’s, it’s been unique just to learn of all the different challenges in a bar Bart’s made mention of, uh, of some of those depending on the country might not be as easy to get the filters in. So I think, you know, it’s just the, to, to, to,

Seth Swindle (35:38):

To see this need, um, that countries have, but how do we, how do we actually get the filters there? Uh, we’re able to take filters in, on a small scale with our teams, but, you know, as we think about the projects that we are, that we’re focusing on and, and whether it’s in dangerous areas around the world or, or just difficult locations to, to get the filters into. Um, so I think that’s a, you know, an area of focus certainly within the last several months, um, and then dating back office. So that’s not, it’s not, it’s not an issue that just started. Uh, I mean it was Bart shared from the very beginning. That’s been, that’s been a part of some of the challenge, but I think, you know, as we, as we look at the future, um, it’s trending in that direction where we’re, we’re going to need to, uh, to, to send filters on a mass scale, um, and to other parts of the world. So that’s where we don’t have to be the experts we have, uh, we have Adrian Enrique who, uh, who were, uh, coming alongside us and, you know, they’ve, uh, felt like in so many ways, they’re, there’s a w we see the way vectors of family and really, really loved their model. So just finding unique ways to partner, finding unique ways to, to come together to, uh, to, to, to go after this, this huge issue,

Enrique Alvarez (36:59):

How many, uh, Seth, if you don’t mind, Scott interrupting real quick. Um, so how many, you mentioned already, uh, a few of those countries that you’re currently in, how many countries are you currently shipping this filter stew and what’s your geographical expansion strategy? Cause it sounds like you’re really trying to ship them everywhere, which is amazing.

Bart Smelley (37:18):

We have, uh, we have our filters in over 65, 65, 66 countries, uh, right now, all around the world. And mainly a lot of those countries, um, certainly in Africa and India, uh, have been through whether it’s teams that have gone there or organizations that work in the slums of India and some of the remote places in Africa. We have a lot of well drilling organizations that, that drill Wells, uh, you know, to create, uh, easier access to, to a water source, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee all the, you know, clean water at the point of use and, and, and homes. And so we even have well organizations that are using our filters in and different countries. So, uh, but in the future, we really, truly one of our passions as, uh, the most unreached areas in the world is called the 10 40 window.

Bart Smelley (38:27):

And it, it takes a, uh, a strategy. It takes partnerships, it takes, uh, logistical to be able to, uh, to get the filters there. And, uh, so we’re, you know, we’re counting on vector coming through, uh, and in some of those cases, and one thing I would just mention real quick, that’s kind of, uh, it answers several of the questions that you’ve, or just a set of questions you’ve asked about what makes us different. Also just some challenges, charitable giving period. You know, there’s sometimes there’s a level of skepticism in, does the money that I give is it really go D does it make it to India? Does it make it to the person, the family in need? Another thing we’re very proud of that that has happened in the last year. We developed an app, a filter tracking app that you can go on your, you know, on your iPhone or your Android and on the, in the store and look up, filter a Pope, and you’re going to, you can download the app for free, but every one of our filters, each individual filter has a, has a unique barcode.

Bart Smelley (39:43):

And so whether you are in Atlanta, Georgia with a filter or Delhi, India, and the swamps, you can scan the filter using the app doesn’t require wifi. It immediately records when you scan it, your geo coordinates of exactly the location that, that filter has been provided to a family. And then it, uh, you could fill out a questionnaire about the family and, uh, their source of water, how they do filter it, their water, if, if, if any, any fan, how many children live in the family, uh, in the, in the household, and then take a picture of them. So we’re able to show, you know, families that are a part of our monthly recurring giving program or businesses that are corporate partners. We’re able to show them actual faces of families that they helped make. They changed their world. They absolutely provided hope through, uh, clean water and us being able to share with them on the story of, of, uh, of Jesus. So the tracking app is something that’s, it’s kind of, it’s a game changer for us and is very important. And the future partnerships that we have around the world

Enrique Alvarez (41:11):

Formation is power, right? So you’re having that feedback directly from the people that are really need it’s must be incredibly useful and powerful for then basing all the other strategic decisions that you guys must be making every day. So this is very creative, very cool, very, uh, technologically advanced, even, uh, application, uh, for, for,

Scott Luton (41:34):

Uh, for what you’re doing. So thanks for sharing. Definitely. And, and, you know, one of the other elements here is despite any limitations that you have, any, what you are doing to raise the visibility of the challenge is a huge boost, right? Really, there’s so much to love about this story. I really appreciate y’all’s your mission, your, your action oriented leadership to tackle, tackle this, this horrible challenge that, that, uh, folks around the world are experiencing with just gosh, clean water, right? Clean water is something we all take for granted. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with filter of hope and hopefully whether they’re individuals or businesses that want to jump into the fray and hopefully participate in your mission to help support you, Bart, where would you direct folks to take this

Seth Swindle (42:22):

Brother? Okay, well, uh, you know, just as, as we’ve mentioned, you, you’ve heard our, you’ve heard our passion. What we’re excited about giving people opportunity to be a part of this is, is a, is a passion of ours. We, we get really excited helping others learn about it, but also, okay, what, what can we do? How can we join in this? So we’ve tried to make it easy. We, we, we’ve really tried to give people different, unique ways, um, to experience culture, to experience the work. Um, if you, if you go to our website, you would see several, um, several ways to do that. One thing that we’re really passionate about is, um, stuff that we call the community of hope. Um, so it’s a, a monthly giving campaign that, that people can, can, can give to, um, they can give, to providing clean water for families in need.

Seth Swindle (43:09):

Bart, Bart made mention of that. They’re able to see who is receiving the filters. They’re able to see and read about unique stories, ways that that change has taken place. One thing that that is probably one of the newest ways that people can, can join in. Um, you know, we’re, we’re pretty familiar with, uh, with, with peer to peer fundraising. People can actually start a fundraiser for filter folk that that goes to 100%, goes to the purchase and distribution of, of water filters. I mean, I think over the past several years, we’ve seen different campaigns. People can, uh, instead of, instead of birthday gifts, they can, uh, seek to raise a thousand dollars, $2,000, whatever they choose. Um, that goes to, that goes to a worthy cause just a month or two ago, we had an individual who set out to, to raise money for his 40th birthday and he exceeded $40,000.

Seth Swindle (44:10):

And you just think, you think about the number of people, uh, who are, who are receiving clean water, just because people decided to, to give to this individual for first birthday, really unique ways. We have ways that businesses can get involved. Really. There are a ton of different ways. There’s really no limit to what can do. We’ve had some, uh, businesses who has, it’s been kind of a, a one for one, if people, uh, make this purchase, uh, with their business, the business gives a filter to a family in need ways that businesses can give on a, on a monthly basis. We think about churches, um, obviously as we have, as we have talked today, there’s, there are ways for children, uh, you know, being beginning as kids who can learn about the global water prices, they can learn about kids just like them, who, who don’t have the fortune of, of clean water, uh, but, but how can they be a part of, of helping meet needs?

Seth Swindle (45:12):

And then also there’s that opportunity to go and experience the trip. We’d love to send teams. We love to take individuals to experience what it looks like on the ground. You know, as, as Bart made mention, uh, the demonstration that we, that we do in the homes, uh, they can actually have their hands on the filter, installing it into a bucket would, would love to invite your listeners to go to our YouTube page or a website to see the bucket with the filter attached to it. But that just the opportunity to be a part of the work and to be a part of, of, of providing. So you can give. Yeah. Okay.

Enrique Alvarez (45:50):

And you, sorry. So when, where can you sign up for this trips and when are they going to be restarting or what’s kind of the logistics behind that part of your, of your organization so that people that can, are listening to us can also know a little bit more about the trips if they’re interested in joining.

Seth Swindle (46:08):

Sure, sure. Well, Bart on, on ask you to, to, to add to this, I’ll just start by saying, you know, we’ve, we’ve obviously, there’s, there’s been a COVID pause. We haven’t, we haven’t been able to send teams, but starting in, in may, um, we’ll, we’ll begin trips again, uh, which we’re so thankful for. So on our webpage Soter folk.org, you, uh, go to, uh, there’s a section called get involved and then under that is travel with us. So, um, you know, we can start a conversation of what it could look like. We offer different vision trips throughout, throughout the year that people can go and be a part of the work. Um, Bart, do you have anything to add

Bart Smelley (46:47):

Countless ways to get involved and create awareness, um, small and large, whether it’s in your school, uh, some civic organization, uh, your, your, your church and the trips are life changing and the trips are extremely affordable. It’s very surprising how well, cause we try to keep the costs down to a minimal. So, you know, anyone that wants to go and experience a different culture, poverty, and help families can do that easily. And so, uh, we’ll just encourage your, your listeners to, um, to go to the website, check it, check, check it out. Any questions you can, uh, there’s a place there where you can, can ask us for more details and more information. And it’s very gratifying to be able to, to know that you’re helping someone, that they don’t have the ability to help themselves. They really truly don’t. And, uh, you can help them with just a very little amount of money or very little effort.

Bart Smelley (47:54):

And so, um, we’d love to demonstrate all the, you know, I wish we would have thought, uh, in advance we could have, uh, had a little bucket here. We, we, we have these clear demonstration buckets. And so even though, you know, water that’s perfectly, it looks clear, can be heavily contaminated. We always have it out by a little bit by putting some dirt or whatever. And, uh, the water and last week I was in Dominican Republic in this area and they took some water out of lagoon and it was kind of Brown, but we were also inside of cow pasture. So I said, hold on guys. And I went over and scooped up some cow money or fresh and dumped it into the water bucket and stirred it. And they were just freaking out, but could not believe when that water came out, just perfectly clean. I drank us up. And, uh, and before long they were lined up, everybody there had to have some of that manure water.

Scott Luton (48:57):

Yes. That’s really powerful. We’ll have to, we’ll have to do that on the next day. I’m sure that there’s enough information and we’ll lock to have you guys back and just tell us a bit more once this trips open up, but yeah, that’s definitely something we’ll we’ll do for next time. Cause it, it must be incredibly interesting and also kind of kind of fun too. Yeah. That’s the great demonstration. So filter of hope.org to learn a lot more information, get involved, get behind the mission, be a part of the mission. So many different ways that, uh, Seth and Barb both shared with us. And so in ways that maybe not necessarily includes common, newer. So take your pick@filterahope.org. Hey, let’s make sure a big, huge thanks to our two guests here today. We’ve been talking Bart, smelly, founder and CEO of filter of hope. Love that story.

Scott Luton (49:45):

Bart went to have you back home and dive deeper into you. Kind of, we jumped quick to filter a hope, but gosh, that tug, and that was on your heart. Clearly that led you, you know, kind of out of that for-profit business world into this mission and this purpose and this noble mission. Uh, there’s a lot more to that story. I bet, but Bart really appreciate your time. And of course, sess Wendell campus expansion director, uh, helping lead to growth for bill filter. Hope big, thanks to you both. Thank you guys so much for having us. Thank you so much. Thank you very much joy being with you. All right. So Hey, really quick. So of course filter a hope.org is where you go to learn a lot more information about this incredible team here in Rica and Adrian. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with a vector global logistics love what you are doing with so many powerful non-profits that are truly changing the world much like Barton and Seth are. So how can folks connect with you? And we’re K I’ll let Adrian, yeah, go ahead, Adrian. You have the better voice.

Scott Luton (50:43):

A website is www dot Victor, G l.com and not give me reach personally@adrian.co till it’s P U R T I L l@victorgl.com is just that easy Enrique. Adrian loved these stories. Gosh, uh, it really is addictive. I really appreciate your help in facilitating today’s interview and to our listeners. And hopefully you’ve enjoyed this journey and this purpose and this passion and this mission as much as we have here, great team over at filter hope. Make sure you check them out and get involved, get plugged in. But, uh, also if you’d like conversations like this, be sure to check us out@supplychainnow.com subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. OnePath our entire team here in reggae and Adrian, our team here at supply chain. Now Scott, Luton’s signing off for now, but Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed to be like Bart and Seth. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here at supply chain. Now. Thanks for reading.

Intro/Outro (51:41):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Between God and Google: Delivering Potable Water Worldwide with Filter of Hope

Featured Guests

Bart Smelley is the founder and CEO of Filter of Hope. Throughout his business career, Bart has traveled to many developing countries on international mission projects. During his travels, he surveyed families living in abject poverty and became aware of the global water crisis – specifically, the fact that thousands of children die each week from drinking contaminated water. This heartbreaking discovery led to the design of a simple, household water filter that removes all harmful bacteria from polluted water sources. In 2012, Bart felt God’s call to full-time missions, and his passion for evangelism and providing clean drinking water to families in desperate need inspired him to start Filter of Hope. God has used Bart and his skills as a life-long entrepreneur to grow the ministry through partnerships around the globe. Today over 80,000 families in more than 65 countries have access to safe drinking water right in their own home – and hundreds of thousands have heard the gospel message and been introduced to the “Living Water” of Jesus Christ. Bart and his wife, Sissi, live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where the Filter of Hope headquarters is located. Sissi serves in the administrative department of the ministry. They have 3 beloved children and have 6 beautiful grandchildren. Connect with Bart on LinkedIn.

Seth Swindle is the Campus Expansion Director for Filter of Hope. Seth has more than 10 years of experience in church ministry and faith-based non-profit organizations. Prior to Filter of Hope, Seth and his wife Whitney launched a Cru city ministry in Washington D.C.. working alongside young staffers on Capitol Hill. Seth now serves as the Campus Expansion Director with Filter of Hope. In addition to this role, he also works closely with external partners to take clean water to those living in abject poverty around the world. Seth and his family now live in the Atlanta area. Connect with Seth on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Enrique Alvarez

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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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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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porteris 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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