Supply Chain Now
Episode 651

Episode Summary

“I said, my grandfather was a pretty famous moonshiner back in north Georgia, long time ago. And Jack kind of looked at me funny. He was like, well, can you get your hands on the recipe?”

-Tommy Townsend, Grandaddy Mimm’s

 

Pull up a chair as we chat music and moonshine with country music singer and founder of Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co. Tommy Townsend. Hailing from Hiawasee, Georgia, he takes us from his musical roots through the ins and outs of growing distribution channels, making moonshine slushies, and pivoting to do good in a pandemic (just as his grandfather would). Who knows, you might even hear him croon a note or two …

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:33):

Hey, good morning, Scott Luton and Greg White with you right here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show today’s show. We’re going to have some fun, uh, Greg, hopefully you’re buckled in. Do you know what day today is?

Greg White (00:46):

I do, but I don’t know if I’m supposed to announce it or if I’m supposed to let you, so I’m going to let you how’s that,

Scott Luton (00:52):

Hey, that’s fair enough. But it’s the first time you’ve ever done that Greg it’s national moonshine day. And what better way to celebrate than the dive into the business of moonshine with a business leader in the space, doing big things, growing the business, but he also happens to be a successful country, music recording artists. So, and to boot a good friend and a repeat guest. We’ll have a repeat guests here at supply chain down. So Greg, you ready to dive in? Yeah.

Greg White (01:20):

Well dive, stumble. How about stumble? And since it’s moonshine day, that’s right. One

Scott Luton (01:26):

Step at a time, one step at a time. Yeah, that’s right. So I want to welcome in our, our guests today. So today’s guest did not begin his career in the moonshine business. Instead he launched his career as a musician playing with some of the most legendary names and music. Get this he’s played with Waylon Jennings, he’s tour, Brad Paisley, Ray, Charles ACDC, uh, when he’s not performing or creating new music, you can probably find him at granddaddy memes, distillery in Blairsville, Georgia, where he’s leading a business that he founded. But, but more importantly, it’s been built on a strong family legacy. So let’s learn a lot more. Please join me in welcoming, Mr. Tommy Townsend, Tommy, how you doing? I’m good. How are you doing? Doing great, man. We’ve enjoyed. It’s great to have you here. It’s great to have you back here. We enjoy the pre-show conversation. We enjoyed our last visit to the distillery, the previous location, probably almost two years ago. It feels, it feels like forever ago. Yeah.

Tommy Townsend (02:20):

You remember how long it’d been? At least a couple of years. Yeah. Well,

Scott Luton (02:24):

It’s great to see. Not only your music continued to grow, that was around last time we were together was around the time you dropped turn back the clock, which was successful. Yeah. And of course the business, the granddaddy memes has grown a lot since then. So we’re going to put our finger back on the pulse and get to know you a little better once again, Tommy. Yeah.

Tommy Townsend (02:42):

Well, good deal. I’m glad to be here this morning.

Scott Luton (02:44):

All right. So Greg, we’re going to get to know Tommy and kind of get the story out before we start talking moonshine. Right. So let’s get us if we got a,

Greg White (02:54):

We probably ought to know. Yeah. We probably ought to know what led him to this. Right, right now it’s the same thing that would probably lead all of us to doing it. But

Scott Luton (03:03):

So we’re going to set the table a bit, Thomas. So tell us for starters, where did you grow up and you give us an anecdote or two about your upbringing? Well, it all started on a cold snowy day in July.

Tommy Townsend (03:15):

No, I was, I was born, uh, in north Georgia mountains in a little town called Hiawassee, Georgia. Uh, but, uh, uh, we lived in Blairsville and, uh, it was still dude. Uh, I’d been in Nashville for several years, but yeah, we’re back here and Blair’s with Georgia now and, and uh, uh, you know, trying to, trying to get this moonshot thing happening,

Scott Luton (03:37):

All accounts seems like it’s really it’s come along really well. It has in that north Georgia upbringing. And you said you spent some years in Nashville as well, which doesn’t surprise anybody here. What was when you, when you look back on those formative years, uh, you know, we like talking food, we like talking what we did as kids. What was one thing that really was iconic about your upbringing?

Tommy Townsend (03:58):

Oh man. Well just, you know, all the family was just always together. Uh, and man, I love doing, uh, motorcross and riding motorcycles and go-karts and doing all that fun stuff around here in the mountains and, um, you know, just, uh, eating green beans and corn bread and fried potatoes. I love it. That’s where I come from. Yeah. There you go.

Scott Luton (04:24):

All right. So now that you’ve made everybody hungry, let’s talk about music, which clearly is a, you were put here on this earth to do, you’re very passionate about it, but where did that start? Where did that love for music and performing?

Tommy Townsend (04:36):

Well, it’s funny all the, the towns, so, you know, played a little bit here and there. And so I guess that comes from that side of the family. But, uh, my dad, you know, he, he played, uh, he played music as far back as I can remember, and played in a local square dance band here with my cousins and all that. So I got, I got started doing that when I was like five years old, I was playing the drums with that band. It just kinda grew from there. And, and I never, the more I did it, the more I loved it. And, and so I had to get a little bigger. I got a little bigger. And so I moved to Nashville in 95 and a while. And James and his bass player, Jerry Bridges was producing me and managing me and all that type stuff, you know? So that’s where that all came from. That’s just like, I, that music was my first love.

Greg White (05:28):

But you started out as a drummer cause you’re you played guitar for

Tommy Townsend (05:32):

Waylon, right? No, I didn’t play guitar for Wayland. I, uh, actually, like I say, he and Jerry Bridges, his bass player produced my record, go out with them every, every once in a while and play, I was too young to be in the band or whatever, but

Greg White (05:48):

I seen the band and you ain’t lying Tommy,

Tommy Townsend (05:52):

But yeah, the cool thing about that is, is like, uh, you know, performing with them, you know, after a while and passed away and being the front man is being out on the road with your favorite uncles or something, you know, there was never, never a dull moment, you know, with those guys. So, uh, you know, all the stories they had. And of course I knew some of the stories I’ve been told before, but when we’ve all heard Hank sing about him, oh yeah.

Greg White (06:20):

All my rowdy friends have settled down, but apparently they didn’t get that settled.

Tommy Townsend (06:25):

No, no, no. There’s still a little bit of spunk. And

Greg White (06:30):

So you played drums and guitar. Do you play other instruments as well?

Tommy Townsend (06:35):

Yeah. I started out on drums, which I would still, I don’t get a chance to play drums that much anymore, but I started out playing drums and then I picked up the bass guitar because my dad played bass guitar too. So I picked up playing that and then I started singing. I was playing drums and saying I was a Don Henley of Blairsville, but I learned to play guitar, I guess when I was about 13. And I learned on my dad’s 1947, J 45 Gibson guitar, which I still, yeah. So I guess I had to prove to my parents that I was into it enough. So they, they bought me a fender Telecaster, so

Greg White (07:19):

Of country music guitar of all

Tommy Townsend (07:20):

Time, and I’ve still got it, you know, and then added to the collection. So it’s kind of cool because back in the eighties, you know, when I was learning to play guitar, you could get those fender Telecasters or whatever that was like maybe 10 years old for, for 250 or $300, you know? So over a period of a few years, my mom and dad bought me like four or five up and that collect that collection is worth thousands of dollars. You know?

Scott Luton (07:52):

So let’s talk about if, if Greg, let me get a question in dadgummit, Greg, you want

Greg White (07:58):

To know about his music? Well, we’re both,

Scott Luton (08:00):

I tell you, uh, Greg and I, we were, we were looking forward to this interview because Tom and your so many different questions we’ve got, and we’d love your journey, but let’s talk about the, who influenced your music, your style of music, um, even how you write, you know, and, and how you create, what were some of your bigger influences? There’s,

Tommy Townsend (08:18):

There’s quite a, quite a few different influences. It’s different things. Uh, of course there was Waylon Jennings. You know, he, he was like, you know, kind of, I guess, in the seventies or whatever were, when he was really popular. He wasn’t really traditional country. He wasn’t rock and roll. He was somewhere in the middle of that. So, you know, that style of, uh, the energy and everything that, that influenced me a lot. Um, Hank Williams Jr. Is his style. Did, um, Conway, Twitty, crooner his, yeah, his crooning, that same style that I heard of Vern him, his singing style. Wow. You know, um, he was a big influence of mine. So I always said, you, you wrap all those guys up together and throw them in a pot and cook them. And you got Tommy towns that green beans.

Scott Luton (09:16):

All right. All right. I guess I’ve got to pass the Baton to Greg when we dive more into probably a lot more moonshot and a little more music. I imagine Greg,

Greg White (09:25):

I can’t let the music thing go. I mean, the toughest thing to think about is you said, I just got to go back to this real quick. You said you started playing guitar at 13. When did you start playing drums? How old? Like five

Tommy Townsend (09:43):

In this square. Yeah. And it’s so funny. Cause I had, uh, I had, I had just like a little snare drum and a symbol or something and you know, it wouldn’t even tall enough to reach anything else. I remember them set me on a stool and I could keep rhythm at that, you know, at that age or whatever. And, uh, that’s one thing it’s always, you know, influences by song songwriting too, is rhythms and stuff like that is, I love that. You know, and to me, everything, I associate everything I do with a rhythm, you know, the moonshot is this, this is a general I associate with rhythm that

Greg White (10:18):

That’s pretty clear and listen to your music. It it’s very rhythmic and you know, it’s got a great kind of yep. You know, path through the song.

Tommy Townsend (10:28):

If you look at anything, you did anything, anybody does, everything’s a group, you know, you just got to find it. Yeah, yeah,

Greg White (10:37):

Yeah. That’s cool. Well, all right. So you, I want to know how you found this groove and how you kind of grooved it into moonshot.

Tommy Townsend (10:48):

The moonshot is under the silvery kind of fell in my lap back in 2012, actually a friend of mine and, uh, Anaheim, California. We were together. We were out in, uh, west Texas together where he grew up. And so he was talking about moonshine and I said, yeah, I said, my grandfather was a pretty famous moonshot or back in north Georgia, long time ago. And uh, and Jack kind of looks at me funny. He was like, well, can you get your hands on the recipe? And I’m like, I know I said, I said, I don’t really, I still have very, very faint memories of my grandfather. And I said, but I don’t know. I said why? And he goes, well then, you know, there’s stupid amounts of money in the liquor business, which, I mean, I knew, but I never thought about it. So the conversation went on and stuff, you know, we talked about some more.

Tommy Townsend (11:41):

And so he’d asked me if we can get, you know, find the recipe. And I’m like, I don’t know. I haven’t had to ask my mom cause it was my mom’s dad. And uh, so anyway, back to the airport the next day in Lubbock, Texas, and, and so he was getting ready to fly back to California and I was flying back Nashville. And so it was you really serious about that? He said, sure. He said, he said, if you could, if you could find the recipe and you know, if we could find a distillery to make it and a distributor for Georgia, he said, I’ll kind of help you get it started. And Jack’s a money guru and a financial planner and man just some pretty high profile clients out there and they’re like area or whatever. So anyway, I got back to Nashville. So I was stopped in a convenience store one day to get a bottle of water I’ve been downtown and doing a recording session or something.

Tommy Townsend (12:26):

And so I haven’t looked down at the Tennessee a newspaper and it said, uh, prohibition, whiskey being made legally and in Tennessee. So I thought, Hmm, I never read the paper stuff. I better take this home and read it. And it was a distillery in downtown Nashville that was making some boutique, you know, rums and bourbons and stuff. So I call him and we got into a meeting with them and tell them about what I had and stuff, but, well, let me step back a little bit. I had taught called my mom when I got back into Nashville about a recipe. And she goes, well, Laura being a mom was the youngest child. And she goes, well, you know, said granddaddy or they are great. I never would let me around. The stills said, uh, said, you know, I had to go down to the barn, that’d be fermenting, uh, corn, or, or peaches or apples or something.

Tommy Townsend (13:15):

Just say, you know, what’s that about until this just, that’s just the stuff, you know, feed the hogs and the cows. But, um, but anyway, so she said, I really don’t know a lot about that. She said all it just knows. There used to be people coming in the house all hours and not buying liquor and all that. And, and uh, she said, but call your uncle George that he helped you make some before he went into service. So anyway, I called him uncle George and, and um, he said, yeah, I know exactly what we did. He said, I don’t, I can’t find where it was written down, but he said, I can email you that. So he did. And, uh, I still didn’t know what to do with it. And then that’s when we met with the distillery and then we got a contracted is still right down in middle Georgia to help us get it out, you know, put it out.

Tommy Townsend (14:00):

And, uh, so we didn’t have a distributor or anything. So the lo the local paper here, the north Georgia news, uh, did a little story on like 2012, but they bring it back to the recipe. And so we have a distant cousin that worked at human resources. It United distributors in Smyrna, Georgia. Oh yeah, of course. I had a cabin in young Harris, which is the next town over and got the newspaper. And so she, uh, she read it and she took it back to the CEO of United says, we are carrying this rock and not a drop, but at that point, and yeah, they, United distributors picked us up. And then, um, and then 2016, we opened the distillery here in Blairsville and started making beer. Wow.

Greg White (14:48):

It’s cool too, to have found that recipe is really, really impressive. And I didn’t expect that you would find it written down. I’m actually surprised you found it at all, but that’s

Tommy Townsend (14:59):

Pretty good. I mean, it wasn’t like say, you know, it may have been written down somewhere, but my uncle George was new and, you know, I mean, Allman John that was made in the mountains, you know, it was very similar, you know? Um, cause they all did it very quick and didn’t age it so they could make money on it, you know?

Greg White (15:18):

Right. Everything had to be quick and mobile

Tommy Townsend (15:20):

And it’s so funny. Sometimes people will come in here and they’ll, they’ll look at it and they’ll go, oh, well this is, this is not real new challenge. You know, not the woods or whatever, you know? Uh, I said, yeah. Uh, so the only difference is, is we’re good at it in a controlled environment and paying taxes. I said, that’s the only on Jack Daniels is, I mean, if you want to call it, you know, Jack Daniels has been, John Jim beam has been job because it all comes out. It’s still clear.

Greg White (15:49):

That’s all right. So, uh, so we have a global audience, Tommy. So there are these kinds of liquors all around the world, which you probably know from traveling and touring, but everybody around the world knows just give them kind of an outline of what moonshine.

Tommy Townsend (16:05):

Yeah. Well, you know, moonshine would just, they, you know, did it out in the woods or in their barn or something and they, they did it, you know, the term moonshine comes from doing it at night, so they will call, you know, and so that’s, you know, that’s basically what moonshine is. It’s just, un-aged liquor, you know? Yeah.

Greg White (16:24):

It’s, it’s distilled from

Tommy Townsend (16:26):

Often from porn. Yeah. You know, I mean to do it quickly or whatever, I mean, you could steal it from anything, you know, like what they call an old time, apple, Brandy, or peach, Brandy or anything. Um, yeah. In Italy they call it

Greg White (16:45):

Skins that they, that have fermented and they do that. And it’s funny how many countries you probably have had this experience, how many countries around the world have some variation of what we would call moonshine. Right. But it’s, it’s basically homemade liquor and often made from the off castings of, yeah.

Tommy Townsend (17:06):

Yeah. I have a little bit of corn left over a little bit of apples left over. You don’t want a barrel for a minimum and away you go, you know, still it, so where are you?

Scott Luton (17:16):

One little fun fact. And Tommy, maybe you can confirm this for me. I read somewhere that NASCAR beginnings were actually moonshiners that were racing to take their, uh, their products here and there. And, and the racing gave, gave rise to the sport itself. Was that okay?

Tommy Townsend (17:33):

Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, it did. And you had

Greg White (17:36):

To have a car fast enough to outrun the revenue.

Tommy Townsend (17:40):

Another fact, and a lot of people don’t know is actually moonshine. It actually originated in Pennsylvania. Yeah. It was a, more of a Northern thing was Southern and it just kind of migrated south, you know, and people associate it more with the south, but, you know, uh, I guess because of NASCAR and, and stuff like that, but it was actually, you know, it was actually, you know, kinda made up in, up in the Pennsylvania area. And that’s interesting. Yeah.

Greg White (18:11):

You told us a little bit about how this evolved. So what’s your involvement? I mean, you’re, you’re, you’re still in the music business. So what do you do and is the name, your grandfather’s?

Tommy Townsend (18:21):

My grandfather’s name was Jack McClure. Ninny was what all the grandkids called him. And I think later it got like shortened to ma’am, but I mean, this is his 89 year old recipes that we’re doing from scratch and we’re doing it just like he did it then except like say on a bigger scale and controlled environment and paying taxes on it, then he did the strike corn liquor. And then he did, uh, you know, he did apple, Brandy and peach Brandy or what they, that’s what they called it, then call it now. But, um, one thing that we don’t, we don’t do that he did was he asked me that for a minute, the peaches and for a minute, the, the apples and stuff like that, where we use now we use natural juices to do, to flavor it because, you know, we’d have to doing, getting fruit is so expensive. And so time consuming to deferment and everything, we just use natural juices, um, instead of the actual fruit. So it’s all a golf corn based, you know, the way we do it now, but if you do it right, you know, um, because the old time peach, Brandy and apple Brandy, it just had a hint of the flavor. It wasn’t overpowering. So we, we mimic that you,

Greg White (19:40):

And it’s much better when it has more flavor. Yeah. Right. Yeah. There’s a, there’s a, I would say there was a formerly derogatory name for flavored shine that I am not ashamed to drink. Lady shine is what they call the flavored stuff. I love apple pie. Not that I’m a moonshine expert. I love anything with those fruit flavors. And it is really, it’s super refreshing.

Tommy Townsend (20:05):

It’s similar to apple pie. We call it apple brown, Betty, and it’s actually, my grandmother used to make that, um, in a pie form, she, she never drink liquor, but, uh, I can remember her making that Chris was like, you know, brought apples and, uh, fried crust, you know, stick a butter and cinnamon and all that. But the ice cream man, it was good, but we actually patterned the name after her, her pie recipe. And, uh, we made it as close to it as we could, but, but some of our flavors like the peach and the apple and stuff are 96 proof. So, you know, you’re up there, uh, pretty good to where, you know, I mean, people, people almost half alcohol proof is basically twice the album, no drunk and liquor that, that old moonshiners and my grandfather, you know, ton of old moonshiners around him and these parts in the mountains made, you know, the good drinking liquor was around a hundred proof. You know, people, people think it was off the chain, you know, 200 proof, which they should be pure alcohol, but then it really wasn’t because drinking liquor was around 90 to maybe 110 proof, you know? So, uh, we do have the 140 proof, uh, but, uh, which will get you where you’re going pretty quick there, Scott. So yeah. So

Greg White (21:24):

Do you call that white lightning? Because technically, I don’t know, praise white flag, but like I say,

Tommy Townsend (21:30):

My grandfather’s recipes, it was around 95 to 105 proof or whatever we did make the original recipe, a hundred proof just because you got to keep it at one cost for the federal government all the time became very so, but a lot of the liquor stores, we first came out with the moonshot and they were saying, oh man, you make a really high proof thing and it would sell. And so we just came up with okay, 140 proof, whatever. So we call it mule kick and high octane what we call it. But, uh, but it’s, it’s the original recipe. We just didn’t cut it as much, you know? And so, but we, we put that out and dad gum, we couldn’t even keep up with it for awhile, you know, because it was selling so quick as it still today, it’s still our biggest seller, you know?

Tommy Townsend (22:15):

And, uh, so, uh, we we’ve added a lot of stuff and everything that we do as far with the liquor, we’d do it with spring water, from a parent’s property. Yeah. Um, and then I think that’s, what’s one thing that gives it a, a great taste is the water and my, my dad and mom and my grandparents, they use the spring and my, my granddaddy Townsend, he built the spring and sometime in the forties, and it’s just a, a big old tile in the ground at the base of a mountain. And, um, I’ve got a pump and it pumps, pumps water to their houses still. And man, it’s so good to drink. And when you take a shower, their house is just, you feel so clean, you know, but yeah, we,

Greg White (23:01):

There’s nothing like a million years coming through stone to filter

Tommy Townsend (23:06):

The water. Right. And then, you know, and then we bring it, we bring it here to the distillery and then we filter it, get all the, you know, if there’s any impurities in it. But I mean, it’s, there’s, there’s not many impurities because it’s coming straight out. So, uh, now, you know, one of us would go up there and just stick the water hose out of the outside water faucet and turn it on and, and get a tote of water and, um, you know, cook, cook the liquor and mix it. And so that’s one, that’s one thing that, uh, I think that makes ours a little bit different. You know what I mean? It’s like Jack Daniels, Jack Daniels is the water that they use, you know? So, uh, ours is the same way. It’s just spring water, you know, and you could buy, I mean, we could buy spring water, I guess if we want do, but, but why, when it’s running out of the ground and my dad’s even, you know, we, we, we filled up two totes at a time, 500 gallons and my dad went out there, you know, because it’s just, just coming out of the ground, you know, you don’t use it.

Tommy Townsend (24:09):

It’s like 500 gallons into two toads and the water level doesn’t even go down. So that’s how much water is coming out of the thing, you know, poles, it can be pure and it has a taste, you know, that, that water or well water doesn’t have, you know,

Greg White (24:27):

So, yeah. That’s awesome. So you, you have Tommy, you have worked your whole life in industries that people are just fascinated by music now.

Tommy Townsend (24:38):

Right.

Greg White (24:39):

So give us a little bit of something that people don’t know about the, about either the shine or the beverage industry or something like that, that would just really surprise folks. What, what surprised you when

Tommy Townsend (24:52):

You got there? The beverage thing? Uh, one thing that, you know, that you don’t think about is like the higher, the proof, the higher the taxes, you know, of course that they’re, you know, there’s an art to making the liquor, you know, um, are still are for 45 years. So there’s a, in five years legally,

Greg White (25:21):

Wait, did you say for 45 years and only five

Tommy Townsend (25:24):

Years yeah. With him. Yeah. And, uh,

Greg White (25:28):

So, you know, there’s, there’s you drag this guy out of the woods.

Tommy Townsend (25:34):

Exactly. Right. Cause I knew he knew how to, you know, make liquor. So, and he’s mad, you know, and there’s a, there’s a whole bunch of stuff to that that you just, you know, you don’t know until you, uh, start in the business and the proofing, you know, game, you know, like, you know, say with the taxes, the higher, the proof, the higher the taxes will in the proofing, there’s all kinds of, of stuff that factors into that. There’s the, the weather, the bear mic pressure, um, altitude, you know, you can all factor into the proofing thing too, you know, um, and just, you know, the time it takes to, to make a rental liquor, it takes, you know, eight, 10, 12 hours to run it all through the steel.

Scott Luton (26:21):

So let me ask you a really quick about that. So I’ve toured the old distillery. Y’all moved into a brand new distillery there in Blairsville, but your previous location, you hosted a tour for us and you and Fred Midkiff. And I want to say that either the first couple of percentages that comes out of the distillery or out of the distilling process, or the couple, there’s like a, I think y’all call it like a distillers cut.

Tommy Townsend (26:48):

Is that the first cut or toward the end? And we all, it took us about two, two years to collect that because you only get, I mean, you only get maybe a little over a pie out of our stills is, uh, 250 260 gallons. So you only get about a pie of that. And it’s the smoothest liquor that you’ll ever drink. It’s uh, uh, it’s like, uh, we, we did it and it, it proved, I mean, very quickly. I mean, the hydrometer just locked in into a hundred proof, like bam like that. And then, you know, the difference in drinking some, okay, so maybe I’ll say cheaper water or whatever. And, and then you get like, uh, uh, what’s the water in the square bottle, Fiji, you know, the, the texture on your palette with that is very silky and it’s the same way with this liquor.

Tommy Townsend (27:52):

So at a hundred proof, there’s no burn at all. And it’s got that real silky thing on your palette. And we act, sorry, is about 25 bottles. And then, uh, Terry Lankford in Franklin, Tennessee made us handle leather labels to go on. Uh, Terry, he makes saddles chaps. He actually did Waylon Jennings guitars, the leather wrap, right? The one you see on the Dukes of hazard place, that’s one of the guitars. And, uh, so he made us leather labels and hand tooled them and free handed them. So each label was like, was like a little different and they were numbered one through 25 and that’s all we had. And we sold those like a day. We’ll have, we’ll have some more than a couple. Yeah. Uh, probably in about another year. We’ll have a, we’ll have to put my order in now, Scott what’s so funny is, uh, I think the day, it wasn’t the day you did the podcast or the thing, it was the day that you brought the, the, that group of people up there that was in, that was in September of 2018. And the reason I remember that was because that’s the day we filled up our first barrel, really. Okay. So we were really, uh, that’s the first day we filled up or ate or barrel and to age some moonshine and we actually just put it out and sold that whole barrel in about two weeks.

Tommy Townsend (29:25):

I’m not surprised. And, uh, so anyway, there was 200, that was, that was the first barrel that’s ready. We’ll have another barrel ready, uh, probably around Christmas time, but there’s 213 bottles in that barrel. So we numbered the barrel zero one and zero zero one, two, two 13. And, uh, we didn’t even have enough to distribute. So we just sold it here at the distillery and we put it in the barrel at 118 proof and it came out at 109 and we didn’t even touch it because it was so smooth and it aged in a bourbon barrel and it had that Carmel oaky taste. Um, but yeah, uh, we, we sell that every one of those bottles in, uh, uh, about two or three weeks, I didn’t even get one. We didn’t put zero zero one zero, zero one up, but, but I didn’t even get to get a ball of that myself. Yeah. Well,

Scott Luton (30:22):

Um, I think I still have a small little bottle of that distillers cut somewhere, uh, with, with the rest of my collection here, as I, as I showed for our folks that are listening, I’ve got a bottle of the mule kicking, one 40 that Greg referred to as the white lightening, but, but really good stuff. And I, you know, I gotta tell you, I’m not a much like Greg, I’m not a moonshot expert, but I love the art, the artists and approach to making, you know, something. I love the family tradition. I love the Springwater. I love all the, um, the legacy that goes into, you know, kind of know, pouring your art into, uh, into your glass. So I love that angle and a big tip of the hat and you and your team. And of course, Fred Midkiff, uh, blessed be the ties that bond. Sure. Let’s be ties that bind getting it wrong. Um, uh, upbringing. So let’s talk [inaudible]

Tommy Townsend (31:12):

That earlier. Yeah.

Scott Luton (31:16):

Uh, the, it doesn’t take much, but I’ll tell you what, one thing that I’ve really enjoyed is the nixing, you know, Fred, Fred’s done a great job of, of kind of introducing all the different flavors and kind of how you use that in, in a lot of your traditional gin drink mix, you just kind of swap out the, uh, you know, the alcohol use and it really it’s, it’s fun to get away from the stale old traditions.

Tommy Townsend (31:40):

Well, a lot of people think, well, all you can do is with new challenges, new shots, but there, you know, anything that you mixed vodka or tequila, or, you know, with rum, you can, you can substitute and moonshine, you know, we, we do tops. We do, uh, I mean, we have, uh, moonshine margarita is here, the silvery, and we’ve actually just got a new slushy machine. So we’re doing moonshine slushies and, uh, that’s, that’s been a trip it’s really good. Yeah. So, uh,

Greg White (32:13):

Watch, watch it. When people are walking down the street in Blairsville with, uh,

Scott Luton (32:24):

As much we’re gonna have to come visit you soon again, Tom, and check out the new place and heard a lot about that. And I love to hear, you know, you didn’t touch on much of it, but, but y’all have grown so many different distribution channel partners and, and it’s just really cool to, to see from an entrepreneurial, uh, all the growth y’all had sex. Cool.

Tommy Townsend (32:42):

You know what I mean, when we first started, we were, you know, 30, 40 cases a month or something like that last month. Um, we did, uh, we bottled 2200 cases. Wow. We’re in, uh, we’re in Georgia, Florida, um, some parts of Arizona. Um, and then we’re going to have distribution back in Tennessee pretty soon. Um, and then we’re just starting in Kentucky, um, next month. Um, and, uh, I’m excited about that. Uh, our distributor is, uh, uh, close to Lexington, but I got that, uh, through the music is, is a friend of mine in New York. Um, there’s, uh, a guy, uh, a team of people that’s, uh, putting together. Um, I knew amphitheater, I think just north of Lexington and it’s at it’s 8,000 Cedar app theater. And I think it’s called barn barnyard, barnyard theater or something like that. Uh, but, uh, anyway, um, my F my friend in New York got me contacted with a guy there and he loved the liquor, the moonshine.

Tommy Townsend (33:56):

So they’re going to start serving it at their concerts at, uh, at the venue, uh, one of the drink. So, um, one thing led to another, uh, we got a distributor up there and, um, so then that starts next month and I’m, I’m actually going up there the last of June and doing a couple of, uh, doing some radio stuff to promote the liquor. And, um, I think we were doing like a private tasting for like 50 or 60 people at a venue. And, um, and then, uh, later on in the year, uh, they’re working on me playing at that, uh, new amphitheater. So, uh,

Scott Luton (34:32):

That’s if I’m just, just quick Googling, I think if it’s the same one, it’s about 50 minutes from Lexington’s that sounded about right. Probably called the Barnard and it’s, Kentucky’s newest open air amphitheater. All right. So let’s Tommy, we could, uh, there’s so many different questions that we’d like, yes, but as we start to wind down, I want to switch gears for a minute and I want to talk about, um, you know, we love asking folks about their Eureka moments, right. And, and we always have them, and the pandemic has offered, uh, uh, uh, uh, fresh new batch, no pun intended. So when you look back at the last 18 months or so, and what’s been our key Eureka moment, it’s really surfaced in your mind

Tommy Townsend (35:17):

About the business, or just about anything in general. You know, the one thing is like, I guess you’d say, uh, I, I would think is, is, uh, uh, I don’t really have to explain it, but it’s like, uh, anything can happen at any time and you just got to deal with it. You know what I mean? Who I, you know, we’ve all seen these movies, you know, before about pandemics and everything who would have ever really thought that that would actually be something someday or whatever, you know? So, um, you just got to, you know, I mean, pray about it and hope for the best and, and, you know, uh, I think that a lot of good came out of it. I mean, myself, there’s, you know, there’s some, I think there’s some positive things that I think it made everything everybody’s stopping and, uh, you know, uh, think about things, you know, even though, you know, everything was shut down for a while. I think that was kind of,

Greg White (36:17):

I think you guys helped some good come out of it. I mean, you guys started producing.

Tommy Townsend (36:21):

Yeah, we did those kinds of efforts, but we, uh, you know, we shut the shelter distillery down, I guess it was like an April last March or April last year. And, you know, we’d have people if they wanted to bottle with me to my side or call ahead or whatever, but yeah, we, you know, we were still producing liquor and selling it to our distributor and then we’ve kind of switched over to hand sanitizer and, you know, and we did that, not, uh, you know, not to make a bunch of money just to help people, you know, cause I mean, my grandfather, I mean he, you know, he, he helped people with his money that he made. He was, you know, right about that. So, um, you know, we donated some to the local hospice and the police department and the chair, you know, stuff like that. So I think that was a, that was a good thing that, you know, um, turning hard times and I mean, we sold some, you know, all around the country, you know, cause all that shortage, you know, and ours was like, uh, you know, is like 90% alcohols until 90% alcohol and the best. Yeah,

Scott Luton (37:32):

Exactly. I love, I love there is good news if you’re looking for it. And I love those stories of how businesses change adjusted. And I hate to say pivoted, but it fits here too to jump into fight and, and, and, you know, uh, help others help fight the pandemic. And as we like to say around here, uh, and I, and uh, Greg, I cannot remember who contributed this, but you know, you can be, you can find the opportunity without being opportunistic. And that’s been so important from a business standpoint throughout the independent. Yeah. So a lot of it,

Tommy Townsend (38:06):

You know, a lot of distilleries are the most of them, I guess, around the country did that, you know, I mean just to help out so

Scott Luton (38:15):

That, all right, so let’s make sure folks know, uh, how they can, you know, uh, connect with you, connect with granddaddy memes, you know, find out where they can get it or where, where they maybe can even request it and they’re neck and awards. So what’s the, what’s that one class

Tommy Townsend (38:30):

Just go to granddaddy memes.com. And there’s a, I guess by, or I can’t remember the tab, but it shows all the locations and we’re adding them all the time. Um, is that, I mean your face, we have Facebook, we have YouTube, we have Instagram, all that, all that stuff. As far as the moonshining checkout, all that red at granddaddy moms is everything. As far as the music per se, everything is just a Tommy town’s music.com um, Instagram, same thing. Facebook, you got a YouTube channel too, right? Yeah. I don’t know what to do with it. I got one.

Greg White (39:06):

I mean, there are some of your songs on there. If people want to know what you’re doing, why are you drinking? Why?

Tommy Townsend (39:15):

Yeah. Drinking. And it was Abbott. The song actually didn’t have anything to do with the moonshot. It just happened to be that song was actually written by Hank Williams Jr. His daughter, Holly. Yeah. And that

Greg White (39:28):

Is, to me, that’s a great melodic song and it talks, you know, it kinda enunciates to me, your groove, your sort of the rhythm that you dig through a song like that. Yeah.

Scott Luton (39:42):

And so we should remind folks to, uh, turn back the clock is the album that that song is from, and that’s still available wherever you get your music from. Be sure to check out Tommy towns and music.com and granddaddy Mims. And let me spell that really quick. That’s granddaddy or G R a N. Uh, daddy Mims is M I M M s.com. And you can learn a lot more about the product and the brand, the expanse, you name it. Tommy. This has been as fun and enjoyable as I thought it would be. All right. So we’re going to wrap with request. So Tommy we’d love for you before, before Greg and I sign off love for you to do this honor of playing one year. Yeah, I’ll do. Let

Tommy Townsend (40:24):

Me see. There’s a guitar back here handy. Oh, wait, let’s see. It’s funny. I keep the guitars here because I knew I was going to do this. I keep going here anyway.

Greg White (40:53):

You just might walk by in the hallway and just pick it up

Tommy Townsend (40:56):

In my breakout into a song or something. There we go. Yeah. So yeah. Well, uh, I guess I could do the song drinking again because I’m sure. Why are you drinking?

Tommy Townsend (41:27):

Why are you drinking like them? That is young. Is there in the bed and days long? [inaudible] why are you screaming? Like a don’t have here. Maybe I can hear you loud screaming like a dog. Why are you cheating? Cheating on a man, Rachel babies in a case you cheating on a man. Like why are you Dawn eggs? [inaudible] I can do a back flip down here, drank and lock the nada. Yeah. I’m here drank and locked. The night is young kids and the money’s over here, Greg and luck. That is, oh, we don’t die. Dragon locking. That is

Tommy Townsend (43:51):

That’s awesome. Thank you. Amazing, man. Thank you for doing

Scott Luton (43:57):

That. The, between the voice and the style, that music to borrow, what Greg offered earlier, it seems so uniquely your vibe, but also is a throwback to where we started this conversation. I think maybe before we kicked off the recording of core country music and, and, and kinda, you know, the strong, strong, traditional approach at singing country music. So I love it. I loved it, the hearing it in person. And, and I appreciate you playing that once again.

Tommy Townsend (44:24):

Why didn’t you say I couldn’t go pop with a mouth full of firecrackers. All right. We’ve to steal that one. Maybe it was glass. Yes.

Scott Luton (44:33):

We’ve got the, we’ve got the episode title now, Greg. All right. So huge. Thanks Tommy. And as busy as you are and you and your team really appreciate you spending some time with Greg white and I here today, folks, go check out granddaddy memes.com and Tommy Townsend music.com. Thanks so much, Tom, for

Tommy Townsend (44:51):

Having me guys.

Scott Luton (44:53):

All right. So we’re going to wrap really quick before we let Tommy and Greg go, Greg, I love the story. I love the artistry. Of course loved music, but Tommy can write a couple of books that were best sellers too. What was your favorite part here?

Greg White (45:06):

I, you know, I think that the confluence of the artistic nature of his family into both this beverage industry, the alcohol industry and the music industry, right. We were talking earlier that his dad, and this was maybe off camera. I’m not sure, but his dad had wished he hadn’t traveled so much and maybe played more music, but would we have Tommy towns? And if, if that was the case, right? So thankfully things turn out the way they are and finding that recipe, right? Fine. Going through the family to find that recipe, not, not just because of the ability to create the product, but to explore the history of your family and understand it that much better. And that your family Tommy goes all the way back to that spring is that’s just

Scott Luton (45:53):

Cool. Love that. Greg love that. Then big things again, Tommy, but Hey, everything does have that cadence and that rhythm. And I love that, that universal lesson here as well. So on behalf of our entire team here, Hey, on behalf of Greg white and Scott Luton, the whole supply chain. Now team wishing you the best wherever you are. Thanks for spending your time a do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see you next time right here on supply chain. Now. Thanks for buddy.

Intro/Outro (46:23):

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

Would you rather watch the show in action?

How to Bring Moonshine to Market: The Art of Making Music, Liquor and More with Tommy Townsend

Featured Guests

Tommy Townsend’s career didn’t begin as a moonshine distiller, but as a musician who played with Waylon Jennings and toured as the lead singer for Waymore’s Outlaws. He is still writing new music today and is never too far away from his guitar. He’s toured with Brad Paisley, Montgomery Gentry, Ray Charles, ACDC, but finds the greatest joy in being with the people he grew up with back home in Blairsville, Georgia.

Today you’ll often find Tommy in his favorite corner booth at the distillery. Tommy is the founder and great-grandson of Jack “Mimm” McClure who inherited the renowned recipe. Learn more about Tommy here.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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Host of TEKTOK

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With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Administrative Assistant

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

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Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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