In this episode of Supply Chain Now, hosts Scott Luton and Ben Harris welcome Cloe Guidry-Reed, CEO of Hire Ground & Pierre Laguerre, CEO of Fleeting, to the show.
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. Hey, good morning,
Scott Luton (00:00:33):
Scott Luton and Ben Harris with you here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s episode, Ben, how you doing? I’m doing great. Scott, going to be back. It is great to be back and great to be, to have you back as we continue with this episode, our supply chain city series here on supply chain. Now with spotlights now a wide variety of incredible leaders with some ties back to the city of Atlanta, right? Yes, sir. That’s Ryan. Yeah, we’ve got some great guesses here for us this morning, outstanding guests. We had to go through agents and their agents agents to get them booked. And I’m excited to share our guests with our listeners, but, uh, always a pleasure to have Ben Harris with the Metro Atlanta chamber on this series on these shows. But you know, if you’re tuned in, in Ghana, if you’re tuned in, in Poland, wherever you are, you’re going to benefit from the perspective shared here today.
Scott Luton (00:01:23):
Lots of best practices and insights and intriguing, informative discussion. So stay buckled up and get ready. Today’s guests are both movers and shakers and I can’t believe Ben no, one’s let the cat out of the bag just yet. So I get the opportunity to introduce our guests here today, founders that are leading early stage dynamos first up, we have Chloe [inaudible] founder and CEO of higher ground. Chloe, how are you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you, Scott. Thank you Dan so much for having me on today. I really appreciate it. And looking forward to the conversation we are too. And, and, you know, as I mentioned, pre-show and Ben and I were talking about both of our guests, but y’all’s ears have been burning, just burn right off. You’ve set the market’s a fire. Joining Cloe is Pierre Laguerre, founder and CEO of fleeting peer. How you doing?
Pierre Laguerre (00:02:15):
Hey, great. I’m doing great, man. How you doing Scott? Thank you for having me really appreciate it. I’ve been hearing great things about the show. So I’m excited to be here, especially with Ben and Chloe. I mean, you guys are doing some amazing things. They so excited to be here. Thank you. Well, we’re we are too. And if y’all can’t tell if our listeners can’t tell a ton of passion that is going to fuel this conversation forward. So Ben, you ready to dive right in? I think we should get about an hour to get well less than an hour now. So I guess we better get going. The clock is on no, there’s no clock with our guests here today, but ready to dive in. And so for starters, you know, before we get to the heavy lifting, so to speak, let’s get to know both of you a little bit better. So Chloe tell us where you grew up and give us some of your favorite anecdotes, your upbringing.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:03:00):
Ooh, let’s see. I grew up in San Antonio, Texas. So lived there until I moved to Atlanta to go to college, but I am the oldest of three and my parents, both, my mom was an entrepreneur and my dad worked in the gas and oil industry. So let’s see in terms of just, you know, the, the ideals that I grew up with, it was, my parents were very civic minded, you know, very much so, you know, what can we do? How can we use our skills and talents and gifts that God has blessed us with to now bless our community in our respective lanes. And so they were very, very much so involved in, you know, the advancement of, of underserved communities, very much so involved in the advancement of the poor, just through our church. And it really motivated me and it showed me how you can weave so much of business into your personal passion.
Scott Luton (00:03:53):
Wow. I love that. I love that so much. So much of what you shared there, let’s go back. Uh, we were talking pre-show about, uh, San Antonio and sports and you’re a big spurs fan, right?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:04:04):
I am a big spurs fan. I am a big spurs fan. I know they’re going through a bit of a transition right now, but I am still a huge fan.
Scott Luton (00:04:12):
Well that’s okay. Cause I’ve got like 27 trophies in their trophy case.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:04:16):
Thank you for mentioning that. Thank you for all of our listeners who don’t know that.
Scott Luton (00:04:21):
Yes. So one, one quick question. Before we go over to Pierre, who is your favorite all time spurs player, if you have one. Oh,
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:04:29):
Oh man. I, you know what I know, this is probably I, mine is Manu Ginobili and that is because he just comes through clutch. I mean, he’s not he’s sometimes he’s, I feel like they could always count on him at the end, like in championship games. And once we hit, you know, the playoffs, you could always, always count on him. So, um, he, wasn’t afraid to take those big shots. And even if he lost a couple shots, he’d still go right back at it. And that persistence is what I always liked.
Scott Luton (00:04:55):
Wow. I love that. Kind of like a old Tom Glavine or Terry Pendleton with the, uh, old, older generation Atlanta Braves team. So we also talked about David Robinson pre-show and Tony Parker and several others, so good stuff there. Okay. So Pierre, uh, that’s gonna be tough to tough to top, uh, with what Chloe just shared there, but tell us where you grew up and, and talk to us about some of your favorite memories.
Pierre Laguerre (00:05:19):
Oh man, definitely for me, my, my grew up is a little bit different than anyone else. Uh, I was born and raised in Haiti, um, came here when I was 15 years old, but I came here with a dream of being a neurologist. I wanted to become a doctor, but unfortunately, where I landed in New York around that time, I would like to call it the writing side of the Apple. And early on, I really saw the norm around those communities. It was really dangerous. It was gang banging, drug dealing, seeing young men. My age really didn’t have no way of life. And that was the reason why I would always say my goal wasn’t to really go into trucking, but trucking ended up choosing me because my fear of becoming a statistic in that community, my fear of becoming a product of my environment, I always looking for way to escape and we know trucking became the escape for them.
Pierre Laguerre (00:06:01):
So I became a trucker left that community built multiple businesses and trucking to $5 million in revenue in the past four years. And just really being excited to be here. And for me, I think one of those things that the main takeaway is, and that’s something that I always lead with is the best thing ever invented to mankind is another 24 hours. Right? So what I mean by that is no matter how bad things are today, no matter how bad this next hour is, if you believe in the premise of tomorrow, you will always be able to pull yourself up. So for me, it’s coming from that community, seeing how that community, the activities that I was, and it was a something that was the norm. So me once to escape it and to be where I am today, I’m truly passionate about being able to go back to that same community and show those young men and young women that they have the opportunity to become a best version of themselves if they truly believe in an experiment. And the premise is that the best thing ever invented is the next 24 hours. So that’s one of those things that I remember living in those communities, showing me how to keep pushing. You have to keep fighting, whatever you believe in, regardless of what the world may say or what it may look like at the end of the day, you have to get up and keep pushing.
Scott Luton (00:07:00):
Okay. I’m ready to run through some walls now after, after hearing pair and Chloe. Yes, absolutely. So before we get tossed over to Ben, one more question for you pier. So you spent some years at the Atlanta area now think Sandy Springs, but what’s one thing that you may miss about living in a city like New York city.
Pierre Laguerre (00:07:21):
Uh, it’s not just in New York, maybe I’ll say what I miss living in the Caribbean. Um, so one thing I, we took for granted when we was in the Caribbean was the food that we had, the natural resources that we’ve had. So when you want to come over here, right, you see all the fine food on the beautiful pictures. You think this is it. So when I got here and start learning, understanding the entire culture, I realized the most important thing that I missed is waking up back home and go to the tree and grab the Apple or grab the orange, I’ll grab the banana and eat it. There was one of those best memories that I’ve missed. If wanted to eat fish, we could just go to the river and go to the water and grab the fish and eat it. So those, one of those things that I truly like, I’m dying to experience again.
Scott Luton (00:07:57):
Thanks such a visual there. I love it. Absolutely. All right. So Ben, uh, w w we, uh, I’ve got to move right. Along as much as we hate it. Cause I feel like we could dive into lots more stories with Chloe and pier, right?
Ben Harris (00:08:08):
Yeah, absolutely. I was going to say Pierre, funny enough. My, I think trucking and logistics really in general supply chain of course, is it must be in my blood or something. Cause my dad had been driving trucks since he was 16 years old, which not exactly, uh, it’s, it’s not exactly legal even at the time, but he had been doing it, you know, really at the time it said it must be in my blood too. So just hearing about, you know, how your, you know, kind of your journey there and how you’re helping others, it kind of hits home, you know, from, because just cause I, I grew up in the industry and understand it and know what kind of fields, great people actually work in the industry. But as far as like, you know, kind of prior to your role, you know, with, with fleeting, you know, how did you, you know, kind of tell us about what that professional journey was, especially like any key roles that kind of, you know, kind of shaped your worldview and kind of how I, how we came to. Yeah, no,
Pierre Laguerre (00:08:56):
Absolutely. Um, I’ve tried to make that as short as possible. So when I really got into the truck and really once again, it was just to kind of escape my community. Then I dropped out of college and finally got into trucking and started working at XPO logistics, started working for a performance food group. And I started seeing the real challenges that goes day to day being a truck driver. So for me that day, it satisfied my hunger. So what I did, I went and took a course at Wagner college for supply chain logistics and what that course did, it really kind of exposed, struck it’s a much more on a macro level, but I was really eager to learn more trucking on a micro level. So I went again and took a course to become a freight broker and a freight broker in courses. That’s when I really started to see what goes on into the trucking and this is not to vilify any brokers, but that’s when I realized brokers make money on drivers ignorance, right?
Pierre Laguerre (00:09:38):
Trump is don’t understand unit economics. They don’t understand how to build a relationship directly with shippers. They don’t understand how to run their business efficiently. So they depend on brokers to do that. And that was the spark for me to say, okay, well, how can I learn this industry as much as I can in order to create something that add value to drivers? Because I understand drivers in the bottom of the pot and they’re always being treated as the bottom of the pot. I wanted to create something where the industry can actually see the drivers as a true valuable partner, as opposed to treating that driver as a commodity. So I think those courses and really seeing the challenges that the industry was going through is what really peaked my interest to really go in further and learn more on the professional side and be able to launch my own.
Ben Harris (00:10:15):
Yeah, I think, I think closer service to folks within the trucking industry, like that is definitely a calling Pierce. That’s a, it’s a phenomenal story. Chloe. What about you? What was kind of, you know, your professional journey, you’ve had some really interesting roles throughout your career in some awesome, amazing roles. Um, tell us, tell the audience about some of the, the, the way kind of that you got to our grounds.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:10:36):
Yeah. So the way that I got to higher ground, well, you know, after leaving San Antonio, I, um, moved to Atlanta on a scholarship to go to Agnes Scott. So I went to Agnes Scott and undergrad and my junior year I started interning for a company and, and so they do risk management consulting and human capital consulting and worked there my last two years of college and then came on there right after graduation. They offered me a role, did a leadership development program there for about two years and then moved around in different roles from everything from brokerage, large property brokerage to account executive, to traditional marketing, whereas more sales enablement. And then my last seven years, I was working mostly in sales and specifically in supply chain. So helping companies with risk identification and then quantification, and then figuring out if they wanted to self-insure that risk, or if they wanted to offshoot it with an insurance product and then we would help them build those towers of insurance and then help them with claims management and just overall just sort of risk management and risk, you know, assessment. So I, when
Pierre Laguerre (00:11:46):
The name of the game in 2021, right. Risk management,
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:11:49):
Absolutely. Absolutely. And working in supply chain, you know, we had a lot of conversations around what does due diligence look like for your organization and what type of opportunities and just kind of monitoring, you know, risk across their entire supply chain. We got done a lot of conversations around the suppliers that they were working with. And so that’s what kind of, that’s what ultimately led me through exploring sort of supplier diversity and supply chain inclusion, looking at these contracts, making it easier for new suppliers to onboard to our clients and, you know, just exploring all the various opportunities and procurement opportunities that were out there. And the struggle that some of my clients were having with making some of these opportunities inclusive.
Scott Luton (00:12:33):
I love that for a variety of reasons. I think we’ve all sit in here in this panel here today. We’ve worked with, you know, some small companies with big companies, all points in between. And it’s interesting as you talk about supplier onboarding, sometimes you need an army of folks to process all the contract, how to invoice and, and all the, all the, what they need. And then you’ve got to go through 20 different offices and it gets, it can be overwhelming and kind of become friction for business. Right? So I, I love hearing your background there and, and we’re going to dive in deeper to higher ground and how you’re really leveraging that background to, to help many others really help both of y’all. Let’s talk about Eureka moments. I’ve been with Chloe and Pierre. So, and I don’t know if it’s your question, my question, I’m gonna take it back.
Ben Harris (00:13:17):
No, no, please take it. And that was, that’s a natural progression kind of what we were talking about. We kind of got close to that kind of Eureka moment, but now this is a perfect,
Scott Luton (00:13:26):
Perfect segue. So Chloe, we’ll stick with you here. So clearly an impressive journey, and then we’re not even covering higher ground yet. What’s been a Rica key Eureka moment through what you did that journey you just share with us.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:13:39):
Well, I would say that the key one was, I was, I was working with a particular client and they had a contract that they were working on and they very delicately asked me if I could help them with finding a woman owned business or a minority owned business. And I was like, well, that’s great that you guys want to do that. Could you tell me a little bit more as to why this sort of area, as opposed to more of the functional pieces and you know, the business aspects. And that was my first entree into supplier diversity. And so they just kind of explained, we’ve got these supplier diversity goals. We were trying to meet them. And I was like, well, what, what has been your outreach so far? And they were like, well, we go through all these different ways and all these different channels.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:14:25):
And when they were explaining it to me, I was like, well, that’s terribly inefficient. Surely there’s some other ways to go about this and started just doing some research on my own and couldn’t really find much of a solution. And that’s kind of what I was just like, well, Oh my gosh, this is, this Mary’s everything like this, Mary’s everything that I’ve done up until this point, you know, it’s, you know, I can definitely find and vet suppliers, that’s, that’s what I’m doing in house here for a lot of our clients, I’m personally passion. And it didn’t mention this. When I went to Agnes Scott, my undergrad degree was in economics. So I’m really, really, really passionate and can talk about economic development all day long. So it marries that. And then also falling into these groups, you know, being a woman being African-American and also just all so much of my upbringing and what my parents taught me about giving back to your community and what does being civic, civic minded really, really mean.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:15:24):
It, it just, it was the three legged stool and I was just like, I can help other underserved communities. I can help people of color. I can help women. I can help, you know, veterans that are coming back. I can help the LGBT and then help these companies with figuring out how do they make more of their procurement opportunities, more, more inclusive. And that was just the aha for me. And it was, I, I got so excited about it just, and I was just like, started just kind of putting pen to paper with just an idea and talking to other people. And I mean, it was just, you know, it was people, it was interview after interview doing customer discovery and people were like, yeah, I think it’s a great idea. I don’t know why this hasn’t been done. And I really think that everybody has their own journey and every, I think it’s just, you know, an own skillset. And for me, it’s just something that I ha I feel like I have been preparing for since college, you know, just all the things that I’ve done up until this point.
Scott Luton (00:16:18):
Well, we’re about, we’re about to learn a lot more about what you’re doing right this minute, but Hey Chloe, where were you? I struggled so bad with micro macro economics in college. I could have used a guru to help tutor me, but you’re, you’re several pay grades above me with your knowledge there. All right. So Ben, I’m going to ask Pierre his Eureka moment, but I want to also ask you next about what you’ve learned here, especially in the last couple years, because you taught with business leaders throughout the region. So Pierre sticking with you here, what’s one of your favorite recent or, or Eureka moments in general.
Pierre Laguerre (00:16:52):
It was really the last company that I was working with before I became on the operator. And I believe the company at that terminal, which is performance food group, which is, I think there was a $12 billion company at the time they had about a 130 drivers into the terminal. So I was always kind of like a driver advocate and really talking about the things that, that think they shouldn’t implement to make sure that, you know, we have better retention on the drivers. Exactly. What is it that the drivers need on the road? What type of support? And one thing that I saw the company did, it was like the following year, I sort of spent a lot of money buying brand new equipment, which is good, right? Drivers love new equipment. And, but one thing that stuck out to me was like, okay, well, here’s this company that spend money on equipment.
Pierre Laguerre (00:17:28):
You spend money on buying commercial real estate, new location to expand your businesses. But not one time they took the time out to understand their bottom line, which is their drivers. Hey, look, what’s working for the drivers and what’s not working for the drivers. And I started to seeing that that was something that was just prevalent in every trucking company. And I was just so mad about it. And I said, okay, well, someone has to build something different. So when I went in, uh, I, and became a own operator and purchase my own truck, then I realize, again, the other challenge that that drivers are really facing. So those were the moments that I realized is that when you look at supply chain logistics, right, all parties, whether it’s the driver, the shipper, the broker automotive carrier, we all have our own challenges that we face on a day to day.
Pierre Laguerre (00:18:06):
And I think what I’ve realized was that the biggest problem that I saw was the lack of communication. And I think that was my whole hot moment and said, okay, well, how can I build something? How can I leverage technology to give all parties better tools, to communicate a lot better, to move their businesses a lot more efficient because we understand supply chain is the world that we’re dependent on supply chain. So that was the whole high moment for me. Like I wanted to build something that gives everyone the visibility to truly understand supply chain and be able to operate it,
Scott Luton (00:18:32):
Love that. And I love how you described yourself as a part of that. As a driver advocate, we need a lot more driver advocates, and I love your passion in that regard. Okay. So Ben, before we dive a little deeper with higher ground and fleeting, what’s been a key Eureka moment for you here.
Ben Harris (00:18:46):
I was going say, I mean, just now we were talking about Chloe, you went into it in PR. I think your businesses is built in the same way, but as I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs, both in Atlanta and globally for that matter. So to have a business that’s based around a problem that every, that people go, Oh, surely that’s been already invented. They must have come up with that already. That’s gotta, you know, that’s gotta be already something done. I wouldn’t even bother with that. That’s, that’s the kind of business that you don’t come across a lot, but those are the kinds of ones that are billion dollar ideas. Or when people go there, surely there’s gotta be something in the market already. That’s too big of a problem. So I think with both, both our two entrepreneurs here, you know, you in and Chloe from that standpoint that are building businesses based on huge problems that you would think would be solved at this point, but they’re not. So as I continue to have conversations with entrepreneurs, it’s, that’s, those are some of the big aha moments that I have is, uh, it’s rare. But when I do, we do come across those, those types of ideas, I think it’s exciting, especially for now the Metro Atlanta region. When I think there’s, there’s two right here in our backyard,
Scott Luton (00:19:52):
Agreed and adds a lot of purpose to the model. I love that. All right. So Chloe, we’ve been, we’ve been foreshadowing it enough, let’s dive right into what higher ground does. And you’ve already kind of spoken a little bit to your why, but, but further elaborate. So if you could tell us what a company does and then, uh, share a little more about your why.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:20:11):
Sure, sure. Absolutely. So higher ground essentially is a vendor management solution. So it helps companies with better managing their existing vendors, but also help them with sourcing new diverse owned businesses. So we define diverse as minority owned businesses, women owned businesses, LGBT owned businesses and veteran owned businesses. We then take it a step further so that they don’t have to necessarily leave the platform. They can post procurement opportunities directly into the platform and invite any of their managed suppliers and they can invite any of the new and diverse suppliers. And then we help them with monitoring for each supplier that’s on our platform in real time.
Scott Luton (00:20:50):
Yeah. What incredible insights to have right at your fingertips. Um, and you know, I think when I think of finding new suppliers and how challenging that was even before the pandemic, uh, perhaps even more challenging when you’re trying to navigate the curveballs that the pandemic, uh, environment has thrown at you is so challenging to find well-vetted capable suppliers, uh, almost for any reason. And I love how that’s part of the problem you’re addressing. So, and, and managing risk managing risk. And that, that, as we’ve mentioned, that’s the name of the game. So when it comes to your why, right. Simon Sinek that famous the golden circle, what, what’s your why right now?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:21:29):
So my, my why definitely comes back to economics, you know, when, when we look at communities and the communities that, and, and, and we look at just our city in general, and we say, I think, you know, if you look at it from just a macro perspective, okay, we can do these initiatives, or we can do this, or we can do that. And we can, you know, financial literacy, home ownership. These are some of the things that I think sometimes, often cities think about, but I really, really feel like the core of economic development at its heart is the, is the economic development pieces and entrepreneurship. So, you know, when, when you allow entrepreneurs and give entrepreneurs the skills, the tools that they need in order to grow their business, to attract the right talent, you will see an incredible, just uplift just in tax revenue and just, you know, infrastructure and all of these various areas, because there’s more money that are coming in.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:22:24):
There’s more money coming into the city. There’s more money coming into these cities. There’s more money coming into these neighborhoods. And so when you just think about particularly communities of color, where there are, um, a lot of different challenges, you know, getting access to quality, education and quality, food, quality housing, all of these other various things, those things entrepreneurship can change the trajectory of those outcomes overnight. And so I really want to help these entrepreneurs with getting access to contracts that could change the trajectory of their businesses and really open up new distribution channels for them, but also helping them build up their communities and the communities that they live, their employees live and the communities that, that, um, they will
Scott Luton (00:23:09):
Love that. I love that mission. I love that, that, uh, missional element that’s in your business model and you know, it, it, um, the passion behind it that you just eloquently shared, man, if that doesn’t get you ready to run through some walls, I’m not sure what will you need to check your pulse? So Chloe really appreciate you sharing that.
Ben Harris (00:23:27):
Yeah. I agree Chloe, from a, as an economic developer, I mean, I’m using that title, but it’s interesting that, you know, as some folks in the economic development community will say, you know, I, I create jobs, you know, when they say that they do for a living, I was like, not really what you do. You create an environment that is advantageous for business growth for entrepreneurs out there, both. And the most important thing is focusing on businesses that are already in your backyard, because if you can’t take care of your own house, then God help you. If you’re trying to attract new business to the region. So I could not agree more with what you just said.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:24:07):
Well, thank you so much, Ben, I’m going to have you come to some of our sales presentations. So anyway, that is, that is concerned about how this ties to economic development.
Ben Harris (00:24:18):
Yeah. Well, and speaking of economic development, I mean, of course you guys are two growth States, businesses, businesses here, and of course you being based here, Chloe moving to the Atlanta area and peer you’ve done much of the same thing as well. You were not originally in the Atlanta area, is that right?
Pierre Laguerre (00:24:33):
Yep. That’s right. It was just Elena
Scott Luton (00:24:36):
Let’s, uh, ask you the same question about fleeting, you know, tell us what the company does and, and you’ve already kind of shared some, both of y’all, uh, share some of your, why, which I love, because it means it’s baked in it’s they’re not giving you a, I like real talk here, Ben, I’m about you. But I like when, when folks tell it like it is, and that’s what we’re getting with Chloe and Pierre. So pier tell us what fleeting does and, and elaborate a little bit more on your why.
Pierre Laguerre (00:24:59):
Yeah, absolutely. Um, so what fleeting is pretty much a marketplace that gives shippers and carriers access to CDL truck drivers to operate their trucks 24 seven around the clock. As we all know, that’s one of the biggest problem that exists today, driver retention, um, carriers can not find drivers and even if they do find them, they can’t retain them. I have this thing that I say is truckers, does full-time drivers and pots out in applicants, right? Although they have a full-time job, you’re always looking for the next best opportunity because they’re looking for somebody that is going to treat them like a human being, as opposed to being treated as a commodity. But my biggest why, and this is when I was a driver myself and I still call myself a driver. My divorce was because I was always on the road, never have time for my family, my health, you know, it was horrible.
Pierre Laguerre (00:25:40):
You know, the food option on the road is just not good at all. And the most important thing that I don’t hear, much people talk about a trucking is upward mobility is that truckers start as truckers and die as truckers, just like we was talking about earlier, 74% of everything we touch across this country is such is moved by truck driver. Why is that driver is being again at the bottom of the pit. Now, once again, I’m not saying doctor, I mean, drivers should be treated as president, but I think it’s very important that we look at the equal system and look at the value that drivers bring it to the industry. And on top of that is what I see again, coming from the communities that I come from to be I, and today we say trucking is short 250,000 drivers, right? The next couple of years.
Pierre Laguerre (00:26:19):
And that could go up to 900,000 grabbers, a million drivers. And the biggest strong is why the biggest strongest, why, which I just cannot get it out of my head, is that how can a transportation industry in North America is short 200,000 drivers up to a million drivers? Meanwhile, we have communities across America where we have young men and young women looking for opportunities, looking for ways to build financial stability that don’t know which way to turn to me. It’s one of the biggest why for me is, okay, well, how can I bridge that gap? How can I, um, this stigmatized truck and how can I democratize it, make it easier for those people in those communities to have access. We talk about the opportunities on entrepreneurship. Even me being a driver started a staffing agency. I was able to hire 75 drivers. I built a trucking company.
Pierre Laguerre (00:27:04):
It started with three trucks and grew that to about 26 struck within a year that’s 26 drivers that I hired. That’s 26 families that I was feeding. So imagine if we take this education approach of showing people, we’re exposing people to opportunities, supply chain was just can, has to offer. I truly believe we have the tools and we have the body that are willing and able to do the job. So America is not short of drivers. America is short of opportunities. Well, not even short of opportunities. America is short of a way of exposing these opportunities. And I think that’s exactly what I’m really passionate about. And that’s my why. Once again, trucking took me from where I was at to be here today. I believe they can do so for millions of others. And that’s one of the reason that I wake up every morning and give it my best.
Scott Luton (00:27:44):
I love it. A huge awareness opportunity there in, and amongst other opportunities, supply chain in general, you know, that’s another one that’s silver linings that depend on Amazon. It’s been a lot more attention paid to supply chain, right? Whether it’s through toilet paper. If I hear that phrase a thousand more times, I’ll be a thousand more times too many. But again, the silver lining there is, is how much attention has been paid to profession and the craft and all the different nodes and, and, uh, different functional areas that make up the Indian supply chain. So I love it. All right. So pier, speaking of supply chain, transportation, fleet management, trucking logistics, these things have been evolving quite a bit in recent years and we’ll continue to do so. Can you speak to that a bit, what you’re seeing and what you might expect and years, months, and years to come?
Pierre Laguerre (00:28:33):
Yes. I mean, what I’m seeing, one of the biggest challenges that I’m seeing, as we all know, traditionally trucking is very outdated, right? Very antiquated industry. And it’s very hard to adapt to technology. Now is one thing I would say is some people think technology will come in and transportation and take away jobs. But what I want to tell you to the industries that, Hey, look, maybe this is the time we look at technology to allow us to give us better tools to run our businesses a lot more efficiently. As we know right now, one of the biggest problem shippers are facing is capacity, right? Shippers don’t have that visibility. So I truly believe by leveraging technology. Um, we’re really going to start seeing a lot of changes in the transportation. And it’s just one of those things, right? Is it you adapt or die?
Pierre Laguerre (00:29:09):
And the companies that’s not willing to adapt to technology. I don’t see really a good happy in it, but I think the companies that are more technology focused that all find ways to leverage better tools. I think this is exactly what our world is going towards. Now, once again, we’re not talking about autonomous trucks where it’s going to eliminate truck drivers jobs, but I’m talking about building solid tools once again, to allow each four parties to communicate efficiently across the board, which is the drivers, the carriers, the brokers in the shippers procurement distribution centers. I think this is what we’re starting to see. And today’s age with technology. I think they’re a lot of great tools, better infrastructure to create more of an efficient process in trucking. But however I still think is very important. Although we added technology, I think we have to look at every sector, whether it’s on a broker’s shot, whether it’s on the shipper side, we still have to look at okay, who is the bottom people in the pool? And when I say bottom, not to, you know, talk about them any negative way, but I’m talking about people that’s doing the ground work day to day, what type of stools we need to give them in order to be best in order for them to success at their job. And I think that’s exactly what supply chain logistics is moving towards in the next 10 years is everything’s going to be totally different if you don’t adapt. You will definitely.
Scott Luton (00:30:17):
Yeah. That’s a great point. And you know, it’s a, it’s a, it’s an important point that we try to be really honest about and, and beat the drum on, you know, technology is inevitably that just as the done throughout history replaced manual labor, right. And especially the repetitive tasks, tasks that take place, it iteratively, you know, hour and hour out. So to position against that is you’ve got to be willing to learn and get out of your comfort zone. And those are the folks, regardless of where, where they are functionally or, or, um, you know, where they are in their career. Those are the folks that technology is going to open new doors for. So that’s, that’s a good message. Uh, an undeniably. All right. So Ben, go ahead, Chloe, go ahead.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:30:59):
I was just going to say one of the things that, the way that I describe it is growth enablement technology is growth enablement because I do feel like people often think, okay, we’re bringing in this technology is going to replaced these jobs. And no, it’s not, it’s not a replacement. It’s not an either, or this is growth enablement. That’s really how I describe it.
Scott Luton (00:31:18):
I like that better. I liked that better. Uh, I need
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:31:23):
And take it, use it. Yeah. The other thing
Scott Luton (00:31:25):
About that too, uh, Chloe, is that the savviest organizations and leaders, when they do implement new technology, they’re all sudden freeing up their workforce to find new opportunities for them. Right. That’s what the savvy is organizations are doing. Would you argue with
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:31:41):
Absolutely absolutely. It’s it’s growth, right?
Scott Luton (00:31:45):
It’s not, it’s, it’s, it’s enablement, I’m learning new vocabulary here today. It is not just cost reduction. It’s it’s it’s fueling growth. All right. So Ben,
Pierre Laguerre (00:31:55):
I would just add one last thing to that. I hate that you’re saying as far as growth and even with us, right, the technology allow us to create a new feature in trucking, where we aggregate our assets from the public. So we build in a large fleet of trucks where we allow anyone on this call here can become a truck owner and registered that truck on our platform and you make passive income on that truck. So for us is by leveraging technology. We want to grow a rapid fleet of maybe 2,500 to 5,000 trucks in the next three years. And then that same capacity could be able to communicate clearly with shippers in allowed them to move their product a lot more efficient. So just want to just say that part as far as leverage.
Scott Luton (00:32:29):
Yeah. Appreciate it. Well said. All right. So Ben, as we move to this next question, we’ve got to depart a little bit from one of our favorite topics of supply chain, but are we going next, Ben?
Ben Harris (00:32:40):
Yes. I know we kind of hit on entrepreneurship there for a little while. Of course, that’s, that’s a big piece of what we’re, you know, the entire top of the conversation really revolves around, but you know, kind of, we talked about this briefly a little bit kind of Eureka moment, which was fascinating, both you guys, but what’s kind of one piece of advice, you know, that you share with other entrepreneurs out there, just, you know, since you’ve, you’ve been in the fire, you’ve understood, you know, some challenges you’re still in the fire, you know, obviously as a growth stage companies, but yeah. Any, any advice that you can offer to young entrepreneurs,
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:33:15):
You can’t listen to everybody. Everybody has advice for you and everybody is on different journeys. And a lot of times you have to take what people say in context. And so if you’re a first time entrepreneur, you know, knowing your path and being clear about where you’re going is very, very, very important, because I think that you can get a lot of advice. You can get a lot of feedback, even clients may say, Oh, I think you should do this with your, you know, with your business or with your technology or whatever it may be. And you just have to, I think it’s farm that you have to have a plan. You have to have a plan because nobody knows your business better than you and nobody knows the ins and outs of it. So you just gotta stick to that and, and, and, and take, take advice in context.
Ben Harris (00:34:05):
Yeah. I love that.
Pierre Laguerre (00:34:07):
And for me, I would definitely say for entrepreneurs out there, you know, number one, entrepreneurship is not a game, right? This is not one of those things that you just go with this title and be like, Oh yeah, I’m entrepreneurial, I’m a CEO. This is real brutal work. Right. And what I’m saying is like, be ready mentally, emotionally, and financially to be an entrepreneur. The reality is you’re going to go through hell, but I want you to understand it’s important though, to run through hell and not drag your feet through hell. So what that means is hurry up and fail because you’re going to bump your head. You’re going to find that, Oh, maybe, you know, sometimes you probably don’t get it to a point where you questioned yourself, wait him out, a person to lead this company. Am I, you know, the best leader here, all these things, all these doubts will come.
Pierre Laguerre (00:34:43):
But what I would say to you as an entrepreneur, like any entrepreneurs out there listening is you have to believe, and you have to be able to get yourself up, dust yourself up and keep pushing because you will get thrown into the mud. You will get dragged by being entrepreneurship is people see entrepreneurship. They just think, Oh, just because I don’t want to work for anyone. Well, being an entrepreneur in order to be a great leader, first, you have to be a great follower. So I just want people to understand when you making that decision to be an entrepreneur and know what you’re signing up for. And just like, we start this conversation, put your wife in front of why you want to be entrepreneurial because when those hard times come, your, why is the only thing that’s going to keep you going?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:35:19):
That is the only thing that’s going to get you going. I cannot, I cannot stress that. Okay.
Ben Harris (00:35:24):
If I woke up to here and Chloe and Pierre talk every morning, that that’s almost as good as a, as the Y as the strongest coffee. I mean, I, I really appreciate what you are sharing here on a number of different fronts. All right. So Ben, Scott, I would, even before you go to the next thing, I would even kind of ask you that question a little bit. I mean, supply chain now has been, you know, obviously it’s, it’s a growth stage company out there and you’re kind of an entrepreneur yourself, you know? I mean, what advice would you kind of impart?
Scott Luton (00:35:53):
Well, I appreciate that turn the tables. Uh, and there is no such thing as kind of an entrepreneur, uh, you know, nothing is guaranteed. I think, you know, the, the immediate thing that comes to mind, you can probably all relate to it’s, you know, the surprises and curve balls. You can’t take anything for granted for a single hour. You know, Pierre was talking about the next 24 and, and, uh, and how much of a blessing that is, you know, when everything’s shut down, you know, we were been, as you know, we were at an in-person model, but when, when things shut down in March, 2020, we had a, you know, we were based around a physical studio. And then when things came to a grinding halt, especially if we’re early stage now we’re at the early stage a year ago, we had to instantly, I mean, instantly pivot to keep fueling our momentum.
Scott Luton (00:36:39):
And, and that took a, took a, a lot of brain power to reinvent how we did things. And so now I’ve looked back at that and I’m like, okay, when’s that next one coming, it’s going to be tomorrow is gonna be next week. It’s gonna be next month. Cause it’s going to come and you’re going to be disrupted. And, and to peer’s point is going to test your, you know, even the most confident of a leader, you can be, you’re going to have those moments where, you know, doubt can creep in and you just got gotta, you gotta get a baseball bat and beat it back where it came from and keep moving forward. So, uh, I appreciate that question, Ben and I love what we do and I love, and we’re illustrating my, why it was really meeting intriguing leaders, practitioners, entrepreneurs, you name it like Chloe and Pierre here. This is, this is, this is what fuels our business. There’s so much goodness in this conversation. Okay. So Ben, I think we’re going to broaden the conversation a bit with the next question, right?
Ben Harris (00:37:37):
Yeah. So we know we kind of hit on a couple of these early, but you know, kind of what are in your minds, you know, kind of the particular topic or the issue or a challenge that you’re kind of tracking in global business right now. I know, I know we all want to talk about obviously the, uh, the ship and the Suez canal, but are there, which thankfully is actually moving now, Scotland. We talked about that before the, for the podcast, but, you know, are there other issues out there that you’re tracking or trends that you’re tracking like CLO you want to go first?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:38:07):
Well, I mean, obviously that, you know, some of the ones that I I’m tracking is what’s happening in the DNI space. I mean, there’s obviously post 2020, there are a lot of companies and a lot of people that are very focused on what does diversity mean to us, you know, within our sort of four corners of the world and how do we make sure that our clients and our employees and our suppliers all feel supported during, you know, some of these really, really challenging times. And so just seeing some of what these companies are doing, I’ve been tracking that, seeing what some of these companies have made some of these pledges and seeing what they’re doing as a result of those pledges and really tracking just what’s happening in technology and design thinking. I just, it’s also something that’s a passion of mine is just that sort of methodology around design thinking. So tracking what’s happening in that space, and this is totally unrelated to the higher ground, but I’m definitely watching the crypto market, like just like crazy, just there is a lot that’s going on over there. So,
Scott Luton (00:39:07):
All right, sorry. I got to, if I can just insert a little plug there on that cryptocurrency, Kevin L. Jackson, who leads our digital transformation, digital transformers series, which he’s going to kill me for messing that up. He’s really opened my eyes up to that market. Uh, Chloe, it is, it is fascinating, isn’t it?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:39:23):
Yes, it’s incredible. And I just, I’m continuing to just watch it because I really feel like it’s going to shift our economy at some point. So yeah, I just I’ve been
Scott Luton (00:39:34):
On Bitcoin folks. I don’t sleep on that or blockchain. Alright. So Chloe, if I can follow up really quick before we switch over to Pierre, uh, DNR, so diversity and inclusion for a handful of folks that may not have connected have gathered that acronym yet. What? No, no, no. We use, Hey, you know, we all love our acronyms around here. So it happens all the time. Yes. I’m bad about dropping them all the time, too. What about, I want to get your take. We had Dr. Steve and his last name is going to escape me. He, he, he leads a nonprofit called map, right? And, and they, they work with a variety of organizations to get a lot of supplies, but especially in medical supplies globally into communities that, um, are underserved at probably at best in his experience. He, he CA he was born in Korea, came here to the States and, and he got on with some big companies that got diversity, really, you know, they were very intentional and successful in diversifying their workforce, but that inclusivity is where he really felt there was a huge gap and a lack of understanding and a really a lack of action.
Scott Luton (00:40:39):
Does that ring a bell for you? Have you have you, what, what are your thoughts there?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:40:42):
Yeah, I think a lot of times, um, companies, you know, their heart is in the best place and they say, you know, we want to try to recruit and bring on more diverse talent and more suppliers. And once that goal is met, there’s nothing really else that they kind of, you know, do to develop them, do to make sure that they’re included within the organization. And I think that’s really kind of where you see the ball drop significantly. And so the inclusion piece is, is the step past. Okay, well, we’ve, we’ve met our goal. One of, of being more diverse. Now, how do we make sure that we’re addressing some of these unconscious biases within the workforce? How do we make sure that we’re creating inclusive environments, where people that may be different from, you know, what we were before that they feel like their voice be heard and that they can, they have the same opportunities for advancement within our organization, but that they can raise their hand to talk about whatever it is, you know?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:41:42):
And, um, and also having some sense of community within our organization. So there’s a lot of different ways that I think inclusion can be addressed both externally, internally, and with your supply base. But I think what companies really kind of, I don’t want to say miss the ball, but, you know, they make that first good faith effort and they just think, okay, they’re going to come in and be as successful as everyone else. And so I think that there just needs to be a little bit more focus on, okay, now that we’ve, we’ve accomplished this goal, what is this next step, step two look like for our organization.
Scott Luton (00:42:15):
Thank you so much for sharing your perspective that that really echoes what Dr. Steve Sterling, uh, is who I was trying to think of earlier. And he wrote a book called the crutch of success, and you’ll check that out, but he y’all are very aligned and what you just shared there, Chloe, and I really appreciate and grateful that you shared that. Um, so pier, let’s talk about, uh, same question, you know, something that you haven’t spoken to, and Ben, I’m still in your question again, but you know, whether it’s a news development or a challenge or a topic when it comes to global business, what, and what do you really, what’s one of the things you’ve got your finger on the pulse up,
Pierre Laguerre (00:42:50):
Uh, right now, we’re definitely seeing how a lot of there’s a lot of women truckers in Europe, right? And that’s one thing that I paid a lot attention to. A lot of young, um, individual will become interrupters in those side of the world. For me, was exactly what feels some of that, um, knowledge or whatever method that they’re using to bring more women into trucking and North America, right? Because we understand the value that women bring into any organization. Now, if I start talking about values that women bring into trucking, you’ll be surprised how much of a big difference this can make it’s our industry, right? Like this is a women will always 99% always on time, always more cordial, right? Knows exactly how to build relationship and knows how to really, you know, speak with their customers. So for me, I’m looking at that as a tool.
Pierre Laguerre (00:43:30):
Well, how can I implement some of those system? Europe is using to bring more women into the industry, but I do believe before we get there, here in North America, there’s a lot of stigmas that we have to remove and make it a lot more easier. Women are talking much more about their safety being on the road. So I think that has a lot to do with us men truckers, to be sure that, Hey, look, how do we protect our women truckers on the road as well when they’re sleeping at a truck stop when they’re sleeping on their shoulder, because we have to protect them. So for me, it’s that same level of confidence that Europe is given a young woman out, gets to become truckers. I want to be able to kind of implement that same type of confidence, that same type of opportunity here in North America to bring more women into the industry, because I believe this is a industry.
Pierre Laguerre (00:44:10):
Once again, 40% of supply chain or transportation are run by minorities, right? But at the end of the day, we’re not entrepreneurship. We doesn’t have really ownership. So how do we take the women that’s already existed in truck and tournaments and entrepreneur, and also creating a pipeline for the new entrant, the new woman, and also give them the tools to be entrepreneurial and Europe kind of look like they have a good, they got a good handle on that pulse, on that. I just want to make sure that I followed them closely and see if I could take any some of those strategies and bring it here. And in North America
Scott Luton (00:44:37):
And, you know, to elaborate a little bit further on what you’re sharing there, Pierre, the, the most recent recessions often called this Xi session trusted at 20 times because of the disproportionate impact it’s had own female professionals. So we’ve got a lot of work to do as you laid out earlier and, and, and really an opportunity, it’s an opportunity, right? All these jobs are going unfilled. We got, we got to tweak our approaches and going back to something, Chloe said this up, this unconscious bias. So if you’re listening to this conversation here today, and you’ve never really deeply conducted an inventory of, of how you view life, get real with this unconscious bias. Because if you really get honest, we all, as humans, we have it, at least my take is we have it, right. I have learned
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:45:24):
Not to Duke it out
Scott Luton (00:45:26):
On Facebook and LinkedIn about this topic anymore, because nothing, you know, nothing moves forward. But I agree with you, Chloe. We all have it, whether we
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:45:34):
Are the black. Okay.
Pierre Laguerre (00:45:37):
Yeah. The last thing I would like to say too, it was like, you know, did you say something about chaos and an opportunity? And one thing I will learn in trucking or any industry, wherever there’s chaos, there’s opportunity to make money. You just have to be able to quiet the noise and look what opportunities that you will come out on top. So right now, transportation is very chaotic and that means there’s a lot of opportunities for women to really build great sustainable businesses and transportation today. So I want to put that out there. Great. Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:46:00):
Point peer. And that ties back to a coil and the front end of our conversation was talking about how S you know, the, uh, the economic opportunity. See, I can’t even say the word, Chloe. I’m not even bad. I can’t say a word. That’s what ensures that change can happen. And an opportunity can truly be had by everybody, because there’s an economic gain that can take place. So excellent point there, pier. Okay. So Ben, we’re going to move into one of our last couple of questions here, as we’re really enjoying this conversation with Chloe Guidry with higher ground and peer Le gear with fleeting Alyssa key lessons learned from the, then we’ve talked that is of course a backdrop for all of our conversations, right? We’ve, we’ve already in each of these. We talk about it 50 times. That’s the unique time we live in, but Chloe what’s been one in particular leadership lesson, key takeaway learned from this, this age.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:46:49):
Oh man. There was a lot of lessons that I feel like I learned in 2020, and I would say the key lesson. And I think it’s something that I’m just continuing to learn is that is being versatile, you know, being versatile, being able to, to pivot just on a dime around different things. I mean, even from talent, I mean, we just think about, you know, Scott, the example that you gave of just your business was completely different in a different place. There were so many changes in 2020, but I think the people, part of it is something that oftentimes as entrepreneurs, sometimes we miss and making sure that we were taking care of our people and team and, you know, just being a little bit giving, just extending some grace because you don’t know what everybody’s home situation is. And as employers typically, you sh you, you’re not asking some of these questions.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:47:41):
And so you really don’t know what people’s family dynamics are. And so when you, now all of a sudden ask people to work from home and then sort of have those same requirements on them. I mean, there is, there was a, there was a bit of a disconnect. And so you have to be sensitive to a lot that’s going on. And when we talk about just women in general with children, not, we’re not going to school physically, and then having to be at home and now be teachers. And that’s why you saw a lot of women exiting the workforce because, you know, it was just so many challenges. And so I paid close attention to that, to all of our female team members and gave them time off. We did a reduced work schedule. So just being able to, to, to pivot and to accommodate your colleagues and, and your team as best you can was, was one of the main lessons that I learned, you know, just from being an entrepreneur.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:48:32):
And, you know, the other big lesson was more of a personal one. You know, I think post George Floyd and, and seeing a lot of what was happening just on the news. And you have to be careful about how much of anything you take in, because it can really start to have a profound effect on your psyche. And so you want to be informed and you want to know what’s happening and you want to be motivated by certain things, but you do have to be cognizant of, of what you listen to of what you watch and, um, of what you say, because that starts to take root. It starts to take root in your mind. So, um, you just, you have to be aware of that.
Scott Luton (00:49:10):
Yeah. Well said, Chloe, for sure. Okay. Pierre, what about you? Any key, key takeaway from a leadership perspective here during the pandemic?
Pierre Laguerre (00:49:21):
Yeah, for me, man was through the pandemic and one, the most valuable lesson that I’ve learned, you know, being a venture back company, we’ve raised venture capital. And as we all know, right, once you take capital from investors, it’s all about grow, grow, grow, execute, grow, and metrics. So for me, it was what the pandemic did for me, which was a huge learning for me, was being able to understand employee morale, right? Because through the pandemic, because everybody was just so focused when you eventually back again, you’re just so focused on metrics, you focused on, you know, making, meeting your goals and focus on growing a company, but not one time you slow down and said, well, let me think about the people that’s on the ground, running this tumbler, how’s their family, how’s their emotional state like what’s going on? How did let’s say, um, Chloe say, how did they were affected by joy Floyd, all of those things.
Pierre Laguerre (00:50:03):
And I didn’t even learn to ask that until I started filming myself and felt the void. And I’m like, Oh my God, like, I don’t have anyone that I can talk to about what I’m going through personally, what I’m going to financially, the challenges I’m going through my business. And you look at my employees and my team, they look at me as the leader, right? That’s the person that they want to come to and say, Hey, look here, I have a challenge. But if me it’s peer is not being attentive to their challenges, to the things that they go through every day. That’s pretty much hurting my business bottom line, because if your employees are not in the right place, mentally, if they’re not in the right place emotionally or better yet, financially those people, once again, that could have a reverse effect on your business.
Pierre Laguerre (00:50:38):
So for me, that was one thing that I had to learn is how do you understand employee morale? And how do you deal with that? And kind of create more of an ecosystem that allow your employees to be able to communicate freely about their own personal challenges. Because a lot of times we just think about company and business challenges. We don’t think about people’s challenge, but the reality is people run businesses, right? So I think it’s very important to understand your team, your employees, morale, everything that they’re going through. Not saying that you want to be that big babysitter. You want to be their consultant, none of that, but it’s important to understand the people that’s in your network. And it’s very important for the people that’s in your network to understand you as a leader, how you operate, what is your expectation? So that was a huge learning for me for this year, but also personally, just like what would say is be careful in what you consume, right?
Pierre Laguerre (00:51:22):
Because man, listen, you can assume the wrong thing. It’ll start playing tricks on your mind and you’ve before you know what you find yourself being a victim. And it is the worst thing to come out is when you get into that state where you start feeling pity for yourself, it’s one of the worst state of mind that you can be in as a man or a woman is hard to come out of that hole. So I think learning to really be careful of what I consume is really, really important. So that was really some great learning experience in, I think every leader should really take their time to understand their own company’s culture and exactly what moves the employees and what worked for them and what didn’t
Scott Luton (00:51:54):
Oh, well said. So, you know, we’ve gotten to this point in the conversation without mentioning digital transformation, which is crazy, but going to what you said, Pierre, and what you said earlier, Chloe, with your, with the growth enablement, you know, the human transformation is what’s driving the digital transformation and not, and not losing sight of that because people is what makes it happen. So I love that. All right. So Ben, I think you’re going to be asking one of your favorite questions next.
Ben Harris (00:52:21):
Yeah. I’ve um, and we kind of talked about this at the beginning a little bit. I think these are two perfect case studies between peer you and Chloe. Just thinking about Chloe, you being a entrepreneur or startup company that’s been based here in Atlanta. You’re an Agnes Scott alum, which I love, I actually grew up in Decatur. Funny enough flowing. So yeah, no Agnes Scott, well, in the course, Pierre, you being a company that was, you guys were based in the New York area, but I want to understand from our previous conversations, this is kind of a perfect segue into just talking about kind of your experience and kind of why Atlanta, you know, from a great place to grow a supply chain related startup company. I know there’s been a lot of other companies we’ve had on here, Scott, many companies we’ve had on here that have talked through, you know, kind of why Atlanta and so forth, but just, you know, selfishly, um, Chloe talk about, you know, kind of what, why Atlanta was a, was a good place for higher ground. Well,
Scott Luton (00:53:18):
Let me just say that Atlanta is a good place for me and that was that’s what made it a good for higher ground?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:53:26):
So, I mean, Atlanta, gosh, I love it. There’s so much to love about Atlanta, just even just, I mean the very basic level, obviously we get all four seasons here, but then when you think about just how, you know, I would say that, you know, Atlanta rivals a New York or an LA, but then you’ve got this Southern sort of hospitality and charm where people really, really come together and care about deeply care about people here. And that is what I think really makes Atlanta unique. I think that it is the type of place, particularly for African-Americans that you, I mean, this is one of my favorite quotes. You can’t be what you can’t see and you see so many African-American entrepreneurs here that are doing well. You see African-American executives. And so you, you see it even if, whether it’s in a conscious state or an unconscious state as this is something very real that I can do.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:54:19):
And so that in itself, I think is the amazing thing about Atlanta and not to mention just the organizations that Atlanta has and the businesses and the, and I mean just, I mean, you think of from transportation to food to, I mean, education, I mean, it’s just so many different things that we’ve got leaders around that are global leaders that are here. And so as a young entrepreneur or as other startups, I mean, it’s a great place to be because you get a plethora of companies that you can run pilots with. Um, they’re also very much so connected to the entrepreneurial ecosystem here. And we’ve, you know, obviously this is, and this was no, no, no prompting by Ben, but you’ve got great organizations like the Metro chamber who are, you know, intermediaries and work really, really hard and connecting those two. So the large organizations to the small businesses and providing very, very valuable content and, and opportunities to, to learn about what’s happening in the ecosystem here.
Ben Harris (00:55:18):
Yeah. No, thank you, Chloe. And I think we’re going to hopefully have more content coming out. You know, obviously we’ve done as good a job as I think we can do in this digital era, of course, during COVID to continue to bring folks together and to provide that kind of content. So appreciate you saying that Chloe peer, what about yourself? I mean, obviously not from the Atlanta area, originally new new resident, Sandy Springs. Now tell us about your journey down here, man.
Pierre Laguerre (00:55:43):
Man, why not Atlanta? Right. So it just, you know, back to one of Chloe’s point before you even get into the business, right? Atlanta is one of the very first cities, myself that I drove into certain communities where I’ve seen beautiful homes, beautiful cars, and they look like me, right. I don’t see that too often in New York. Right? So for me it was just like, Oh my God, like, there’s really a equal system here of really black entrepreneurship. So that was really the number one thing for me on a personal side. Now we talking about the business side is once again, why not Atlanta? You cannot be interest position logistics and not have a presence here in Atlanta, right? And if you look out Atlanta strategically located, I mean, look, two hours away from South Carolina, four hours away from North Carolina is two hours away from Tennessee, um, four or five hours away from Louisiana, another 10 hours away from Texas.
Pierre Laguerre (00:56:30):
So if you look at it and Atlanta is essentially a hub, right? And if you understand how you want us to teach you locate your company to capitalize of the opportunity that the market has to offer today. You want to be in one of those major hubs. So for me was being in Atlanta and seeing the entrepreneurial spirit over here and seeing how people was really kind of like they’ll want to go and get it. They want to build new things. So for me is being a transportation is a huge market here. Um, this is why a lot of the companies is headquartered over here. So for me, I want it to be right into this market, especially in the South East market. Now, if we really talking about logistics, you know, I don’t know if you know, how would they still run a truck in the North East?
Pierre Laguerre (00:57:06):
You got tolls, you got Hills, you left your truck, right? So right in the middle, in the Southeast, you got beautiful weather. The roads are flat. You’re not dealing with a lot of mountains. You’re not dealing with a lot of stoves and that gives you more bucks, more return on your assets. So it definitely makes sense to be here in the Atlanta area and also the provide the same opportunity that I want to provide in Brooklyn for those young men. And I do believe I see the same thing here in Atlanta. As much, we can talk about the glamour of entrepreneurship that, you know, people that look like me, there is also a pool of other people searching, longing for better opportunities as well that they can tap into. So once again, the whole goal is to come in and build that bridge and make a Atlanta for me is not what Atlanta can do for me, but much more, what is it that I can do for Atlanta? So I don’t want to just come here and extract value out of it. So I want to be able to add that in as well.
Scott Luton (00:57:53):
Yeah. I love that. Love that from a people sense, a business sense. I think Atlanta will continue to do very well. That’s why they call it supply chain city. I know we’ve mentioned a thousand times, Scott, this is what it’s all about. So I agreed and wait a second period. There’s glamour associated with entrepreneurship. I missed it. I miss that. Well, I love
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:58:15):
Is there. I don’t know,
Scott Luton (00:58:21):
Passion folks. I know we’ve said it a couple of times during this conversation, we could hook up Pierre and Chloe to the electric grid and it could power Atlanta at least for a month, maybe two months. I mean, it really is contagious. Uh, no question. That’s gotta be a huge asset and advantage to have in your, in your respective, uh, early stage companies journey. So I love it. There’s there’s about a thousand of the questions. Yeah, go ahead.
Pierre Laguerre (00:58:45):
Let’s not forget about the tax break. Um, Atlanta has to offer entrepreneurs as well,
Scott Luton (00:58:49):
Which certainly an attractive environment. Yes.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:58:53):
Brianna attractive tractive place. Yes. By that means. Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:58:57):
Yeah. That’s right. Pier has, he has mastered the Colombo approach where just one more thing one more time. I love that.
Cloe Guidry-Reed (00:59:06):
You know, I, and I hate to just say that, but I was like one more thing. Now that we’re talking about that it’s just, you know, when you think about Atlanta and the infrastructure, you know, from the cities, like I was with my parents over the weekend and Oh, we were in Glenwood park eating at a restaurant and my mom was like, Oh, we’ve been over here. We did a wine tasting. And I was like, actually, no, that was in Inman park. Is that you’ve got all these little neighborhoods that you can walk and you can have RA you can go to restaurants, you can also get a coworking space. And I think that that’s very intentional by the city. I mean, obviously trying to keep the traffic down and just our overall infrastructure, but you’ve got these communities where you don’t necessarily need to leave them. You know, you don’t just have shopping in one area of the city. You’ve got lots of different options and all of them are, are thriving.
Scott Luton (00:59:54):
Well said, I love it. And then, you know, we’re going to be back enjoying all of that in person soon, soon, soon, soon. So for wherever your folks are listening to this, hopefully vaccine distributions are, are, um, fish in your neck of the woods. And as we, as we break through and get into firmly with both feet, the post pandemic environment, and we’ll have to do this conversation in person next time, maybe with a few adult beverages, we’ll see
Pierre Laguerre (01:00:20):
Munis that who did that.
Scott Luton (01:00:23):
Yes. Well, Hey, but this is what a, um, very inspirational conversation that we’re having here. Really a big thanks to, uh, been, uh, you and the chamber for helping to facilitate, uh, these two dynamos here in Chloe and pier. So as we start to wrap, I want to ask each of y’all make sure our listeners know Han our community members know how to connect with each of y’all a bit. You’ll get a few inboxes in inbound inquiries, close. Let’s start with you. How can folks connect with you in higher ground?
Cloe Guidry-Reed (01:00:50):
Okay. If you want to connect with me personally, obviously you can reach out to me on LinkedIn. You can find me at Chloe Guidry, read on LinkedIn, or you can email me at Chloe at hire and that’s H I R E ground.io. Or you can check out our website at hire and just think of higher, not it’s a play on words. So it’s not higher ground. It’s higher like hiring suppliers. So H I R E ground.io.
Scott Luton (01:01:17):
It’s just that easy. H I R E ground.io. And we’ll include that in the show notes as well as we will. Each of these contact methods. So PR same question for you. How can folks connect with you in fleeting?
Pierre Laguerre (01:01:28):
Yes. For sure. Definitely. You can find me on LinkedIn under peer gear. Same thing with Twitter. Same thing with Instagram. Well, Instagram is pier on the school of gear five. So put the name here. Let’s get, you would definitely find me and for the company is going to be drive fleeting. And also they can check us out on our website, which is WW dot fleeting that us, so, yes, definitely. You can find me on LinkedIn and if they need anyone, um, reach out to my email as well. That’s firstname.lastname@example.org. So it’s peer at fleeting, P R email@example.com. So anyone have any questions, you know, any trucking companies, any drivers, anyone that’s listening to this show, that’s interested about becoming a trucker and getting into this space. Please reach out. If you haven’t challenged with operation, I’d be more than happy to have a chat.
Scott Luton (01:02:11):
Awesome, man. Uh, okay. So Ben, the Maestro, the chamber that to echo what Chloe was saying earlier, and Ben has been in the chamber, great resources, and they are great at helping folks make connections and, and have conversations and, and being able to sit down and, and connect with folks and learn from folks and advancing entrepreneurial ventures and business in general. So Ben, how can folks connect with you LinkedIn, linkedin.com/ Benjamin J. Harris. The number one, probably a good many been here. This is out there. So that’s the only reason I have to say that work. My email, just be firstname.lastname@example.org. Perfect. It’s just that easy, well folks, what a great conversation really appreciate all of y’all’s time. There’s about 17,000 questions that I would love to pose. We’ll we’ll save that for our in-person follow-up episode, but really appreciate Chloe [inaudible] founder and CEO of higher ground. Thanks so much for joining us, Chloe. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Scott. And thank you so much, Ben. Really appreciate it. It’s great talking to both of you. You bet. We’ll have you back really enjoyed it. Pierre Laguerre founder and CEO of fleeting. Thanks so much pier. Thank you, Scott. Really appreciate it. Ben, thank you for this opportunity. And Chloe, once again we met on this podcast. I really appreciate it. I had a great time. Thank you. I always love connecting with you.
Scott Luton (01:03:33):
And then I was pledged to do this with you looking forward to our next episode. Thank you all so much for joining us. This is a great episode, really excited to catch the replay as well. We are too. Okay. So on behalf of our entire team here at supply chain, now, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Hey, uh, on behalf of our entire team. Hey, you know, if you, if you, if you take anything away from this conversation, do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed, be like Chloe and Pierre. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on supply chain.
Thanks everybody. Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our email@example.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.
Cloe Guidry-Reed, An Agnes Scott College and Georgia State University Executive MBA Alumni and former SVP in two global brokerage firms, Cloe has spent over 16 years successfully helping clients solve challenging issues around supply chain risk and human capital management. She leads teams in identifying client needs, creating custom solutions, and client stewardship. Cloe’s focus areas include business development, sales, identifying diverse partnerships and strategic alliances, strategy, growth initiatives, and access to capital. Cloe founded Hire Ground with the mission of providing new-majority business owners with more opportunities to win supply chain contracts while also enabling enterprise buyers to build and strengthen their supplier diversity programs. As founder and CEO, Cloe is responsible for the overall success of Hire Ground by leading the development and execution of long-term strategies. Connect with Cloe on LinkedIn.
Pierre Laguerre is a successful entrepreneur in the transportation industry, with over 17 years of experience. During that time Pierre has been a driver, founder, and operator. He’s generated over $5.5M in revenue through individual trucking & staffing businesses. Pierre was born and raised in Haiti before moving to the US at 15. He had always dreamt of becoming a doctor however, the picture he had of America wasn’t the one he saw when he landed in the heart of Brooklyn. To avoid becoming a statistic, Pierre became a truck driver which started his entrepreneurial journey. During his time in the industry as a trucker, owner-operator, and almost a broker, he realized the real pain point for drivers. Having seen first-hand how hard it was to operate a truck efficiently and still get the rest any person needed. As a carrier, your primary responsibility is to deliver shipments to customers, and it’s hard to find qualified drivers to do so consistently. He saw that truckers are continually searching for a company that can provide some flexibility, while trucking companies are always looking for great talent to tap into. Connect with Pierre on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.