Supply Chain Leadership Across Africa Featuring Nicci Scott with Commercial Transport Academy
Episode 658

Episode Summary

In this episode of Supply Chain Now, hosts Scott and Greg welcome Nicci Scott with Commercial Transport Academy and Jenny Froome with SAPICS for the next installment of the Supply Chain Across Africa series.

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):

Good afternoon, Scott Luton and Greg White from the road right here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s live stream, Greg, how goes it? It goes

Greg White (00:42):

Quite well as a matter of fact, beautiful day in the windy city. Yeah, just got done doing a speaking engagement here at the small business investor Alliance. So great, great facility, great organizations, and what a great team they put together. It’s truly, it’s been a while away from physical events, but they have done a spectacular job. Well,

Scott Luton (01:07):

They lined up a wonderful top-notch perfect keynote. And I hated to miss that. I look forward to the replay and of course, what a awesome world city that Chicago is. I’m so jealous of your time.

Greg White (01:19):

He is traipsing around the miracle mile. Now she went and found some great donut place and, and last night we had great Mexican food, a place called Sukkot on state street. So I’m hungry. I’m going to spend a few extra days here, Scott. So I will have more reporting from the road. Okay,

Scott Luton (01:41):

Well, y’all have a wonderful time. Please tell the one and only Vicki White, we said hello, but Hey, but today it’s all about one of our favorite series, supply chain leadership, really across Africa. And we’ve got, of course our dear friend, Jenny Froome with apex back with us here. You’ll uh, co-hosting with us and we’ve got a wonderful guest and I want to let the cat out of the bag just yet, but a wonderful guest that will inspire you and offer lots of meaningful POV here today. But let’s, let’s get down to business. We’re going to say hello to a few folks here momentarily. Uh, I want to start with a couple of quick announcements, so, so let’s see if I’ve got this teed up, right? Greg? You never know. Here we go. All right. So I’ve been told this is Joey from France, uh, and there’s an F been sold for it. So I was, I was the odd ball back in the day. I, I didn’t watch friends.

Greg White (02:30):

Okay. I also did not. So and so nor did I watch the other two things that we were talking about backstage, so

Scott Luton (02:37):

Which shower name shall remain nameless though, right? Yeah.

Greg White (02:42):

Yeah. Some of those you want to keep spirits out, right?

Scott Luton (02:45):

So here in the month of June, you know, I’m a big PBS fan. I watch PBS all the time. Always have, since a kid, I loved the American experience. When my favorite shows Nova, you name it. Well, of course, PBS you public broadcasting. I think, well, they’re also well-known for their telethons, right? Because they’ve got to raise money. I’m not sure if they’re technically nonprofit, but you know, you can see them once or twice a year asking for support. So we were taking a page out of that book. And for the month of June here at supply chain, now we’re asking for your support, not in donations, we’re asking for you to subscribe or to support you now, or any of our other shows, wherever you get your podcasts from. Or we want to hear from you. We want to get your feedback. We want to earn your review. Of course, apple podcast, being the big player there, it’d be great to get it there, but we also have a little, um, tool that Amanda will drop into comments where we can garner or gather your review there as well. So that’s our June push. We’re not going to beat the drum too hard, but we welcome your support. We really appreciate all the camaraderie we have on these live streams and keep that POV comment, Greg, anything to add there.

Greg White (03:52):

That’s right. Scott’s subscriber raters are standing by. So please punch that keyboard. You

Scott Luton (04:00):

Nailed that every time we’re gonna have a lot of fun with this, this campaign in June, but really we highly value your support. Couldn’t couldn’t do it, would do it at it. And thanks so much.

Greg White (04:10):

Well, I’d, I’d like to make one minor push and that is, Hey, if you’re going to review us, okay, you only need to remember one number and it is five. Okay.

Scott Luton (04:23):

Thanks so much everybody. And

Greg White (04:25):

We right. Be the one Scott Love

Scott Luton (04:29):

Y’all being on this journey with us. Okay. So speaking of back to kind of a lot of our programming, these webinars, which are free to attend, got some powerful lessons learned, you know, Jenny and Greg may not know yet. We just added Mike Wasson, which is a dear old friend here. Supply chain now. Yeah.

Greg White (04:45):

Outstanding drummer as well. Oh yeah. Apply chain gang team. That’s right.

Scott Luton (04:52):

And also when he’s got a little time COO of Tasco, which is on the move. Yeah. So y’all join us for, for real supply chain innovations own June 8th, 12 noon. Nothing in the link to join is in the show notes. And then June 22nd. So Greg, you missed this yesterday cause you’re on the road in Chicago. Uh, enlightening folks. I had this prep call with this team from ping and, and John got solutions and Steve boss, who you see right there, he’s been with ping for 29 years. And his parents were also at ping and they worked alongside Karsten Seoul whole wow. The founder.

Scott Luton (05:29):

Wow. So, so talk

Scott Luton (05:31):

About transformation. You’re going to hear from Chris and Steve about how the ping golf club company, one of the premier, uh, equipment companies in the whole game of golf has, have had to transform how they do supply chain. So join us June 22nd for that. Uh, and, and you may just get some golf tips, not for me, maybe from Greg and these other folks, but not for me.

Greg White (05:51):

You know, I was just talking to somebody the other day, Scott, who is a member at a pretty prestigious club. That one tiger woods was once a member of, well, he actually lived there and he ordered a new set of golf clubs. I’m not named the brand, but it’s not paying. And he is going to be, he’s going on five months waiting for his clubs to be delivered. So the mere fact that you can deliver anything, it seems like these days is, uh, speaks to a great Testament to your supply chain process.

Scott Luton (06:23):

Excellent point. And just to, I don’t want to let the whole cat out of the bag, but 7 million permutations, when you order a customized set of pink golf clubs, seven main permutations. Imagine the complexity that brings, but Hey,

Greg White (06:36):

Right-handed terrible. Left-handed terrible golfer.

Scott Luton (06:41):

We’re going to have a lot of fun with that conversation. No doubt. And then finally, cause I want to get, I can’t wait to get this conversation. We’re having here today with Jenny and Nicci, but it’s just about all official, ready to launch what we’ve got for our global supply chain procurement awards from December 8th, that’s jointly presented by supply chain now and our friends are to procurement and buyers meeting point we’ve, we’ve been working fast and furiously to put together a really unique celebratory event that celebrates what the world’s doing across global supply chain. And for a great reason, w can’t work quaint, quite released this nonprofit we’re partnering with, but they’re really focused on eradicating human slavery and human trafficking. And, and they’re gonna, they’re not only are we working hard to give them visibility and their noble mission, but we’re going to financially support them through this event. So stay tuned. You can learn more for now@supplychainprocurementawards.com and please make plans to join us on December eight for a wonderful, wonderful purpose

Greg White (07:37):

Or sponsor. You want your name tied to this? This is the premier supply chain awards. We don’t make money off of it. We don’t, we don’t this isn’t some technology company or something behind it. This is real objective practitioners selecting the best in supply chain. So

Scott Luton (07:56):

Yeah, that’s a great point. And Lora Cecere sponsor. Yeah, Lora Cecere is one of our four, uh, executive, um, judges that will be insuring it’s not a popularity contest, which is really important to us. So, yeah. Okay. Um, let’s say let’s do a few folks and then we’re going to bring in our featured guests, stay tuned for an awesome conversation. Uh, Peter Boulay is back with us. Uh, really appreciate your sentiment. You shared on the insiders group. Uh, let’s see here, Rhonda is with us. Hello, Rhonda. Great to see you here. And wor is with us via LinkedIn. Great to see you and wor um, let’s see, Peter’s talking about the, the moonshine episode we dropped today. Today’s national moonshine day here in the

Greg White (08:40):

Thank you for mentioning that Scott, because I’m not kidding this conference of highbrow investors in companies all over America. That was the talk of, of the topic Stacy from the, and one of the investment firms here. She was like today’s national moonshine day, right,

Scott Luton (09:01):

Man.

Greg White (09:02):

Yeah. I mean, that was part of the intro. She said, she said, so we I’m glad we got to mention it. That

Scott Luton (09:08):

Is wonderful. That makes my day, uh, almost as much as this conversation. So, uh, hello everybody. Hey, get ready. Get ready to get your comments, your voice, your POV. Ready. Uh, we are going to be kicking off a wonderful conversation here today. I want to bring in, uh, let’s break let’s let’s switch this twice. Let’s first bring in Jenny Froome and then I’m a tee up the, the intro of our featured guests here today. So with no further ado, Jenny Froome COO was safe picks Jenny. Good morning. Good afternoon. How you doing? Hey, Jenny

Jenny Froome (09:37):

Doing welding. Well, preparing myself for the onslaught of winter as you’ll sit there, looking summary

Greg White (09:45):

My word, it never ceases to amaze me that the seasons are reversed. Right. It’s just shocking. Yeah. Right. What is, what does winter mean to you? Jenny

Jenny Froome (09:57):

Winter means it’s lovely during the day bright blue skies and quite warm, but evenings are quite chilly and our houses were mine certainly is not equipped for cold weather. How cold are we talking here? It gets to minus well minus numbers in, in our, in our proper modern, um, measurements of temperature, not your old fashioned Imperial measurements of definitely. Yeah. I love it man.

Greg White (10:27):

So 32, so okay. 32 and below.

Scott Luton (10:32):

Yeah. How can I break out my protractor to make the conversion? I think gender way, welcome back. Uh, always loved this, this almost monthly conversation. We have, uh, love what you’re doing across, uh, that really, really certainly in South Africa, but really across the African continent, love the leaders you bring with you and all the, all the wonderful, real innovation talk about innovation. That’s coming out of Africa these days. I’ve just had a great conversation with our mutual friend, Debra doll yesterday, and, uh, one of her wonderful friends, uh, moose shy, uh, who leads the Kenya association of manufacturers. So stay tuned for that episode, but love your leadership and love our partnership as we work together to do it.

Jenny Froome (11:17):

Yeah, us too. And thank you very much. Always. You bet. All right. So

Scott Luton (11:24):

Amen. Absolutely. Uh, let me recognize a couple of folks that joined us since T squared holding down the Fort on YouTube, ready for the nourishment with a shot of moonshine. How about that debt and Kelvin is tuned in via LinkedIn from Zambia. So Kelvin, uh, welcome back. I think you’re a part of one of our earlier live streams. All right. But with no further ado, Greg and Jenny, we have a wonderful guest with us today. I’m going to introduce her and then we’re gonna smoosh her right on it. So our guest today is an award-winning multiple award winning serial entrepreneur. She’s a passionate advocate for women in transport and in logistics across supply chain, really. And she’s constantly seeking ways to inspire women to engage and get this work together to drive transformation and inclusion. So I wanna welcome in Nicola Scott CEO with commercial transport academy.

Nicci Scott (12:15):

Thank you. How are you doing? Very good. Thank you very much for having me.

Scott Luton (12:21):

You bet. We’re, we’re all excited to have you here really appreciate Jenny facilitating the conversation and Greg you’re smiling ear to ear. We’ve been talking about this conversation for a while, huh? Well,

Greg White (12:32):

You know, first of all, I just think we all recognize that so many great things are happening in Africa. Um, and when it includes inclusion, uh, that’s, that’s even more energizing for us. And of course we know we need some, what should we say? Diverse viewpoints in transportation. Um, it’s crazy time and transportation and, you know, just to have someone with the knowledge and the expertise and the people that you have, Nikki, it’s just great to have you here.

Nicci Scott (13:01):

Thank you. Thank you.

Scott Luton (13:03):

We can’t do things like we’ve always been doing things and we’ve got to open the doors for everybody from all walks of life. And I love that passion. You got, we’re going to dive more into that. So I think we’re going to start though, Nikki, we’re going to get the goods on you a little bit before we get down to the work and heavy lifting, tell us where you grew up in and you got to give us some anecdotes about Europe.

Nicci Scott (13:22):

So I grew up in a very small coastal town, um, lots of mom and pop sort of businesses. And you kind of finished high school and maybe went on to university, maybe joined mom’s business. Um, but nothing really extraordinary happened. You know, it was like just every day was the same sort of thing. But also growing up, I grew up in a highly religious family and very conservative, um, belief system. That lab basically left me feeling very ostracized from society. And I grew up with this mindset. I’ve always been on the art side, wanting to look into everybody else’s labs. That’s resulted in this deep need for acceptance by people from all the religious knows. I was trying to turn them into yeses and I became very driven at the age of 19. I sold my first company, which had created what was her ticket off to the United States to go or pear and lived in New Jersey and New York for almost two years.

Nicci Scott (14:23):

And I was just blown away by the service levels. You know, I, this was 93. So we were still in the sanction time. Uh, it was South Africa had economic sanctions. Madiba hadn’t been released. We didn’t even have McDonald’s and here we, I was staying with a family and they would drop a big bag of dirty laundry on the friend’s scape. And somebody would bring it back a day later, perfectly pressed hanging on a coathanger the butcher would arrive and stuck deep freeze. And I just couldn’t believe the service offerings that were available that I’d never experienced. I mean, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, I mean, these were just experiences one after another. And I, it was, it was honestly, it was a revelation. So I was

Scott Luton (15:08):

Going to ask you, uh, I’m still blown away that you sold your first company at 19, you know, that’s, that is a feat Nicci.

Nicci Scott (15:15):

Well, I, you know, and I was in high school, I redecorated all the bathrooms and all that, the female seating areas and accommodation areas, because I just thought they were all for the ugly and I raised money and we made them come in and have that done. So from a very early age, I think my mom recalls a story when I was three telling my grandmother how I didn’t like her caravan. I mean, that’s how young I had opinions. I, to just sort of coming to you, you know, it’s your love. And I, I didn’t fit into that highly religious mold. I had too much to say I wasn’t subservient enough. And the only way I was going to escape, that was to actually exit and well going overseas. I fortunately didn’t find a husband otherwise I don’t think I would have come back, but I had to come back. But, you know, I think the, the most amazing thing is although they were hard times and it was like a tough upbringing that deep desire to be accepted by society made me want to please people gave me this value system of wanting to really please people, um, all those nos. I wouldn’t allow them to deter me. They became my driving factor and offering anything close to the service levels I experienced in America became my value system in my personal life and my business life that I took on men continue to live with today.

Scott Luton (16:38):

All right. So that we’re starting with a huge bang and there’s so much, so many follow up questions we’ve got, but I love at the core of it. And Greg I’m tossed at you here as we move down professional journey back at the core of it. I love how you were intent on carving out your own path and not listening to those that, that we’re encouraging you to do traditional, you know, that traditional path or wanted you to do certain things you really forge your own way. And I think that that is a great lesson for anybody. And certainly one we’re sharing with our kids here on the home front, but Greg, what did you hear there?

Greg White (17:14):

Yeah, I think that outsider’s perspective is exactly what we need a supply chain, right? Um, today, you know, today, Scott, I paraphrase something you shared with me the other day, tradition is peer pressure from dead people, right? Best practice is the best excuse for this is the way we’ve always done it. That, and I feel strongly that, that, that we lean too much on that term, best practice in supply chain. Our practices can be a lot better and the world and technology and data and viewpoints, um, Nicky like yours, allow us to take that outsider’s perspective and to look at things differently and to approach them differently. So I’m curious aside from your upbringing, you know, in the various roles, your time in the states, um, you know, tell me about some of the things that impacted, how you view your professional viewpoint on the war.

Nicci Scott (18:08):

So, um, returning back to South Africa around 21, um, I, I came back because my visa expired and I was committed only to working long enough to get my another visa and to buy another ticket overseas. Emily, we’re not in a good place financially. Uh, and I felt like I had an obligation to help them. And I, I worked for working for an organization, but I could quickly see that the organization did not, not only share the same values, but that had no real purpose. You know, they were just simply doing labor brokering function. They didn’t look after their people. And three months in company that the kind of client that I was servicing was a major car rental company called Ava’s Tacoma. And I approached the con of the manager and said, look, I believe I can offer you a turnkey solution. I’m sure those weren’t my words then, but they are today, a turnkey sitting there and I don’t want to very much, I hadn’t gone off to university. I had a well, 12 years of high school. I would to you as a school and not told you as a high school, that sounds terrible. Um,

Greg White (19:15):

So supply chain, Nick, he used to run,

Nicci Scott (19:22):

Um, he said to me, well, Mickey, if you can get a co uh, if you can get a contract, um, and get bank finance, you know, we’ll support you. Um, what does big smile? And I went off to, um, a local bank, secured finance, and within a month I was in business and my job was to manage the distribution of the car. And it will be a calls from the major depots and from the airports to all the other Depot. So overnight, um, the car rental companies basically have, and look at all the bookings for the next day. And they shift a fleet to all those major city centers. My job was to get the fleet to those city centers. And I started with Ava’s quickly moved into two or three other car rental companies. And within 18 months I had five branches open 250 drivers working for me.

Nicci Scott (20:10):

I was too young. I mean, I was 21. I was too young to drive the vehicles myself. I wasn’t insurable. I had to be 25 to drive the vehicles. I was nicknamed the ice queen because I was really so cold and so hard. I’m trying to play a role as a, such a young woman in an industry that was waiting for me to fail if I could put it to you that way, because he was like, what is this woman actually doing? Yeah. And I did that for a while, about five years. And then I realized I wanted to make a change. And they were at that stage were a number of major, big car carrier company. So these are the companies that have trucks with trailers that you can stack because on the back, these guys had ignored me. I mean, they were operating as a cartel.

Nicci Scott (20:59):

No one was, uh, um, they all had organized their rates and their, you know, specific routes. I came in with a 19 minute turnaround time. From the time you gave me a telephone call to me having a driver at your Depot to pick up a vehicle. This was unheard of because the industry was used to a five day turnaround time from pickup to delivery of the vehicle. So that turn key operation in sharing the vehicles, finding the drivers, applying the petty cash for the whole route. All of that basically became something totally new to the industry. And on top of that, I was able to grow not only grow exponentially, but moving to a separate industry, which was the commercial vehicle industry. So I started offering the same service levels to the commercial transporters. So this would be moving a big man or a Mac Evolver a scanner. So all the big cracks. Oh, well we moved vehicles from up to top of Africa. It’s it has, it was an incredible logistics pavement in a very short term.

Scott Luton (21:59):

All right. So Greg, before you move forward, Jenny has not her head numerous times Sierra, I think. And it looks like she’s, she’s building her own 17 pages of notes as I am Jenny what’s w what’s one thing that Nick has already shared that really gets you going,

Jenny Froome (22:14):

Oh, well, I mean, I’m still getting back to the selling her first business at 19, so I’m pretty slow to catch up on that. I had to do a good job for my jewel not to hit the ground, but you know, I, going back to that being 21 and presumably very beautiful and just being, having to be a tough woman in what’s traditionally a man’s world, hats off to you for actually sticking at it. And I know that there are multiple women listening to this who probably will have experienced the same sorts of things. So, you know, full of what an inspiration

Scott Luton (22:49):

Well said. Uh, Jenny well said, and, and Greg, the story doesn’t stop there.

Greg White (22:54):

Yeah. I think that, first of all, I love the way Nikki, you put it playing the role of the ice queen, right? You had to, you had to sort of put on that identity, whether you felt it or not because of the hurdles that existed in the industry. And I think a lot of people have done that. I think, you know, I think young professionals today are fortunate to live in a world where they can actually be themselves and, and still succeed right. Where people do want them to succeed rather than wanting them to fail like you’ve experienced. So, um, it’s encouraging, it’s interesting. The words you chose, I wonder if that was intentional or, I mean, did you feel like it was a role at the time, or do you realize that it is a, it was a role now? No,

Nicci Scott (23:40):

I think it was, I posted liberate a time, um, you to come on that amount of drivers, because by that stage, we had, well over 250 drivers, we were moving convoys every single night, uh, worth a couple of hundred million. And I was self-insuring all of those vehicles, we had catastrophe insurance, but for the most part of it, it was my liability. So I became very hard into the risk that I was exposed to became very systems and process driven, um, to mitigate the risk of moving these vehicles across the country. Most of those vehicles moved overnight because of the last minute. It was just in time deliveries that we would maintain. Um, and there’s no winder for planning as such. So the co my success was in having good systems in recruiting the right drivers and having, we didn’t have proper tracking systems. So we brought in satellite tracking units from Australia, they were about the size of a motorbike helmet.

Nicci Scott (24:44):

They were massive. And they sat on top of a truck, like a big lot. So you would think it was a lot of the drivers hated carrying them. I mean, and you said a lot, this is about the size now, but anyway, I said, they, we had to bring these in. We had to find communication systems for the drivers, because this was, you know, it was, we talking about not 2000, a cell phone technology only came into south African about 94, 95, 96, somewhere around there. So, um, but I honestly, I look back now and say, I could not have done it without my family, because they all played such key roles. And as the youngest in the family, I became this matriarch and that became an additional responsibility as looking after everyone. And I want to say to the woman out there that you actually don’t need to be everything to everyone, as much as you’re going to try to do that.

Nicci Scott (25:35):

You know, I had children, I gave them to my husband, literally, as I came out of theater tenancy. Yeah. Right. This is your job. I’m going back to work. And I had, I didn’t feel guilty until somebody told me I should feel guilty. You know, what happened to that? And I was actually a psychologist when she was asking me for the dates of when did my child roll over and when did she sit like, hell no, that does tell, do this. So it’s like, don’t get so caught up in trying to play a role for everyone. You know, you do go actually based where you can and you bring in people or you have family that supports you in the race. And I think that that is a message that I would really like women to hear today.

Scott Luton (26:16):

Wonderful and, and loud and clear and well-received and what a wonderful message. I want to share a couple of comments from our, uh, dear members of the community in the cheap seats is, uh, I think Peter Bowly coined. And then Greg, we’re going to skip ahead for the sake of time, because I want to get the whole story out here and we can dive into CTA. But first as Rhonda says, so relatable, kudos, Nikki, for keeping at it with confidence and conviction, well said that let’s see here. Peter says I would have rather taken ice queen over some of the commentary he received for speaking troops. That’s a great point. And Brandy says, yes. And welcome Bradley. Great to have you back. She says, yes. I was constantly being told to be more empathetic by my male bosses in supply chain who had no empathy, raise your hand.

Scott Luton (27:04):

If you had it, you got to deal with that. And Rhonda, thank you very much. Love these cheap seats. Hey, we love them too. We love who sits in them and all the POV that we get out of them. So Rhonda, thanks so much. And I’m going to follow up one last comment here from Rhonda our call, having to work really hard to gain respect in an industry at 26, that was very male dominated in athletic departments, mostly compose, compose of older men. So many stories for sure. Some very fun to recall and some not. So pleasant, thick skin helped and along with strong female mentors. So will said there, Rhonda, thanks for sharing a lot more to that story, Greg and Jenny, but Jenny, you know, at this point I want, I want to talk more about CTA, so let’s dive into the business.

Jenny Froome (27:46):

Yeah. It’s one of the most exciting, um, introductions that we’ve had. And I have to give a shout out to Ted for actually introducing safe picks to Nikki and Nikki to save things. And I’m just really excited about the work that the commercial transports academy is doing and the whole intent behind it. Um, Nikki, why did you form it and what was, yeah. What was the, why really? What was your why around that? It was the absence of women, you know, the one time moved out of car wrinkle and focused all my business attention in the, um, trucking environment. Um, I had to be very cautious of how I employed drivers and w I, you know, because we moved a brand new truck off the production assembly line, we had to make sure we delivered that vehicle in that same condition. So it required me to employ drivers that today could drive a brand new actress three tomorrow.

Nicci Scott (28:48):

They would come into, um, Europa three technology of an FAW. The next day, there could be back into our Volvo on Euro six. And these drivers had to be able to handle all these different vehicles. It required a skill set that is not really known. Most drivers have one truck and trailer, and that’s the end of it for a certain period of time. But in all the time I was doing this so that everybody started the CTA and it was just no woman coming forward. Um, in the boardroom, I was very often alone. And if I wasn’t, if the woman were in procurement or they were in HR may be admin, but they, they weren’t female entrepreneurs a study done by MasterCard in 2019 X confirmed those that in the transport sector, women still make up less than 10% of the businesses that supply into the transport and logistics sector. And I couldn’t understand why women are so afraid of this industry because it’s in our differences that we actually thrive in the sector because we have different thoughts and different ideas that we bring to the table. So my why was to make sure that I could create a company that could embrace the challenges and barriers that women are encountering and find solutions to those, to bring woman. And coming back to that, not accepting a no as an answer was the main driver behind this. So

Scott Luton (30:13):

Greg, if I can get you to weigh in here based on what she just shared and her why, and I love how the differences make us all stronger, kept me exactly how she put it. But Greg, what’d you hear there that that really inspired you?

Greg White (30:26):

Well, I mean, I think it’s a delivery on the promise of mentoring other women, right? I mean, I think the thing that we hear, we talk with so many women in supply chain, who’ve got similar stories. We talked to a lot of men as Peter just pointed out who the older guard have held down. I wouldn’t say without discrimination, but they’ve held the old guard have held down the new generations significantly, probably definitely disproportionately towards women and minorities. But I think that, you know, we hear a lot of women say, I need female mentorship. I need female guidance. I need someone on my team pulling for me to help me through this. And this delivers on that with, you know, resounding for. So that’s the impactful thing is to deliver on that, to see the need in the marketplace, to recognize it. You need it yourself to recognize that others need it and then to deliver on it is just so powerful.

Scott Luton (31:18):

Well said, well said, Jenny, I’m gonna come back to you right after I share a couple of these comments here. Oh, lobby is with us. Once again, it’s been a little while since we saw our dear friend. Oh, Alabi welcome. Uh, via LinkedIn, look forward to hearing your POV on today’s conversation and Brandy ads. Uh, she’s speaking to Peter here, but I think it’s really relevant. We also need to change the perception that strong men are good leaders and strong women are and that’s Brandon or

Greg White (31:44):

Ice Queens. Yeah, that’s so true. I totally agree with that. And

Scott Luton (31:50):

Peter also adds never fear to fail, especially if you fail, fail forward. Excellent point there, Peter. Okay. So Jenny love to get your take on, on this segment. And then of course, we’re gonna drive a little deeper with getting more advice from Nikki.

Jenny Froome (32:08):

Sorry. Yeah, everybody’s got on my mind now. Um, just again, you know, the, the whole concept behind CTA. I think one of the stories that you told me when we were talking was that for it, for example, in South Africa, there are two in the whole of the country. They need two stops that actually cater for women truck drivers from a facilities point of view. And that really resonated. And the more that I, the more that I talked to you, the more that I just understand what a, an unsung backbone of, of the supply chain actually the, the commercial transport industry is. And I think that it’s really important that people like you can, uh, work with people like us to create a platform of, of knowledge and recognition. And I know that Scott and Greg are doing an awful lot of, of this spotlight, not, not in Africa alone, but in America.

Jenny Froome (33:01):

And ultimately I guess the rest of the world. But from, from your point of view, you, you talked about women being frightened of, of, of the profession. What would your advice be to women? I know that there’s, that, that you mentioned the bit about it’s, it’s our ability to do things differently and to think differently that should make us shine in this professional. Um, what, what other advice have you got for, for individuals looking to get into? Look, I, I, my greatest champions in my career have been men. I have always been very supported. And I think, you know, when you act with, when you’re thin tick in the way you handle, um, people and you come from a place of integrity and honesty, it’s very easy for all organizations to work with you. Going back to my previous company, you know, in 2013, I had the most horrific internal fraud in the business at the hands of a serial fraudster, and I should have seen it, but my focus was elsewhere.

Nicci Scott (34:04):

And I was looming over me, was the potential closure of my business. And I sat with my customers and these were like a blue chip companies, you know, as I said, Mercedes-Benz Volvo, South Africa [inaudible] and they had every right to basically cancel their contracts with me. Instead, what they did is they say to one of them actually said, Nikki, how can we fund you to keep your business going? And they did one, did another, um, turned around and said, we trust you enough to know that you’re gonna work through this process and that we just have to keep in touch with you. And I think it’s that, it’s that, you know, you, you all your own brand, and depending on how you conduct yourself in business will decide on whether those dividends pay off when you actually need that support. Because it’s a journey in business.

Nicci Scott (34:56):

It’s just fraught with so many challenges and obstacles. It’s not all easy. And when you do, you know, when your hand is down and you need that support from your customers or your suppliers, I got that in spades. And it allowed me to re pivot my business and sell it in 2018 to a JC listed company, bringing me straight back to the CTA, where at the wall, I’m getting to do something a little less stressful than, um, truck driving. And it just sticks. And I committed to developing female commercial truck drivers. We have less than 1%, and I don’t want to say a few. I don’t know, I know she’s not listening, but for those in her Ellen voice of woman in tracking USA is one of my absolute icon. She has done so much. And I’m, I spoke to her a couple of times, her energy and her compassion and her commitment to making it possible for women, truck drivers, to thrive, whether they’re owner operators or whether they driving for an organization.

Nicci Scott (35:58):

I have taken that model and that mindset and brought that to South Africa to make sure that I can do the same, um, for women here. And we have just recently, and I hope I’m allowed to talk about this because I’ve gone off subject here, Janie. But when you have landed funding from USAID, once again, thank you us. And we will be developing 915 women for the sector. So a 495 truck drivers, 120 professionals in 300 entrepreneurs. And that will be women in the supporting the entire supply chain industry. But for me to bring truck drivers in DACA, um, Jenny was saying is that we have to fix the ecosystem because there isn’t one. So at this point, women can only do short-haul deliveries. If they were to do long haul, they would have to go from, uh, because, uh, employers deeper to deeper because there’s no track stops for women. There’s only two truck stops in the whole of the country. And we talking about, oh God, I don’t know how big South Africa fits into the us, but it’s massive. The space that we have to cover with two truck stops. So when you look at that and you think, well, how are we going to change that? It’s in conversations like this, it’s creating that awareness. It’s bringing all the parties together that are involved in logistics and saying, right, we need transformation of a sector. And that’s what I hope to do.

Scott Luton (37:27):

All right, this is, this is really exciting. I got to share a couple of comments here, as you got to that kind of inflection point. And wasn’t sure if to proceed or not, while Peter says, Hey, go, go, go, go, keep talking. And Brandy said, Hey, we saw a little giggle from Greg and Scott there, but really this is your show, Nikki. We’re here just to make introductions and recognize our audience, but very inspiring. And, and you know, there’s a lot of talk about what needs to change. There’s a lot of talk about the solutions and the things we need to do to create change. And then there’s folks who go out and do it and they go out and do it. And they risk. They put their own skin in the game and make the risks and with no guarantees, it’s going to go anywhere.

Scott Luton (38:07):

And that’s what it takes. That’s what tastes changed. Anything, whether we’re providing opportunities for all folks and changing these ratios are so, you know, traditional and, and really meaningfully with outcomes, put net as Sandra McQuillan has said, you know, leaving that ladder down and that door open for others to, to, to walk right through it and walk through those doors and windows of opportunity. So I love what you’re doing. I admire the skin in the game. You’re putting us off L entrepreneur, and I hope that you’re gonna inspire armies of other entrepreneurs to do the same thing. Cause Greg, you know, we are fortunate to hear a lot of those stories where entrepreneurs that are, they’re oftentimes even new to global supply chain, they see the opportunities as he, the problems, whether they’re societal or whether they’re related to the craft as you put it. And they, they, they bust through and, and they get a lot of resistance as, as everyone here is talking about, but that’s where, that’s where the gains are made. So Greg, what are some things that Nikki shared that, that you really enjoyed?

Greg White (39:08):

Uh, well, the stunner is, you know, I’m constantly reminded of Africa, Africa, Africa, right? We talked about this on the last show that Jenny was, you were on, uh, you know, of the availability of certain products and various types of things. But I had not thought of an entire country with no women’s facilities in it. I mean, virtually an entire country might as well be too is such a small sample as to be virtually meaningless. So I had not even thought about that as a possibility. And now I’m reflecting on as I’ve stopped in whatever loves country stores or pilot stations here in the states, um, which are plentiful, of course. Right. I’m thinking of, of whether I did at some point or even do now see women’s facilities in those or, or what, but yeah, that’s it, things like that, that, you know, they’re just stunning, frankly, to me, but to realize that’s what you’ve got fight through, as well as the social and the cultural issues, the physical infrastructure is tough.

Scott Luton (40:13):

It’s like a blind spot constraint. Cause I’d never thought about that either. You know, was

Greg White (40:17):

It hard to keep that in your perspective? I mean, you know, it gives you some idea and as Nicky you experienced, you clearly experienced it. Supremely privileged, American like, cause I didn’t even know, I didn’t, I didn’t ever have the butcher show up at the house when I was, but, but just the relative, the relative luxury and ease of life that we have here relative to even argue in arguably the most civilized country in Africa, South Africa, right? I mean, it’s the most European of all of the African countries. And for, for them to have this kind of infrastructure challenges, it’s just stunning, frankly. And it goes to the challenge that Africa, all the countries of Africa face. But I think it also goes to, and we talk about this a lot and Nikki, I hope this is encouraging. Um, but it also goes to the fact that things like cell phones came to Africa late.

Greg White (41:14):

So they didn’t experience the same thing with cell phone banking. You know, the issues around banking, 80% of the entirety of the continent at one time was completely unbanked. So they skipped the entire banking system in number of countries in Africa and people transact things with their phones and other devices rather than have bank accounts. And maybe there is some way for you, Nikki and your organization to leap over the constraints that we have become because of an established infrastructure and really paved the way, not just for women, not just for transportation, not just for Africa, but maybe even for the world, if there is a way to break through the, you know, the whatever ceiling, the, the, the tradition and, and best practice of, of global supply chain, I feel like there’s a great opportunity to just look at it from your outsider’s perspective and really change things dramatically. Thank you, Greg.

Scott Luton (42:14):

Yeah. And Nick, I’ll give you a chance to respond and then we’re going to kind of move the conversation the more bigger picture, what, what comes to mind.

Nicci Scott (42:24):

So there’s, you know, um, we have an opportunity right now and it’s, it’s not great for all, but it works for us. So one of the biggest challenges we incurred when I started training a woman was finding employers that were willing to take on women because it’s just, you know, they don’t have facilities that don’t have policies, you know, she’s going to fall pregnant, God forbid going to have a baby. And then, you know, you know, not just one, maybe she has three or four and then we’ve got to deal with maternity leave and it was and listened to all of us. And now that dude’s really, um, you know, the response I’ve ever heard, they were born at some point. And, um, there wasn’t one that, you know, that’s, it’s just a naivety. And so they so often the procure in our procurement, the HR recruitment process is so skewed towards the recruitment of Maine simple things like a short woman, short lady to kind of climb into a truck, you know, the crack itself.

Nicci Scott (43:34):

Many of them don’t have the seats that are adjustable enough to be able to get somebody with short legs to the front of that vehicle. So they are physical constraints. They’re all social constraints is soccer, social constraints. And, and the most amazing thing of all with all of that is women are so good. So the programs that we’re running, we’re running a program with Volver tracks, where we are developing woman on a project called iron woman. We are developing owner operators. So these women will own their track and get a contract with a mining company called Lafarge, a French company for five years. And I will be developing their entrepreneurial skills over that period of time. We’ve got UAS aid and we’ve got other companies and all of them are now gearing. They, they really looking at their businesses from the inside out and saying, how do we make it possible for women to not only enter, but to remain in this industry? And I think that’s incredible. I’m just gonna chill.

Scott Luton (44:34):

I love that, Nikki. I couldn’t wait for you to finish that point, cause that is a wonderful, uh, mantra to live by and work by lead bond and certainly put on back of our t-shirts. I mean, really, cause you don’t want, we don’t want anyone just to break in. We want them to break in and thrive in and in a sustainable fashion. So that’s a really important point. I want to, um, I want to share a couple of comments and I, and I got to share a thought that came out of our recording from yesterday. Uh, let’s see, Andrew says very proud to be associated with Nikki and the CTA in this project. So Andrew, thanks for being here with us, Mary, Hey, Mary Cummins, hope this finds you. Well, there are hundreds of us companies in South Africa, including GM and cat, and she mentioned, uh, she spent two weeks there and it really enjoyed it, but lots over com for quality.

Scott Luton (45:19):

And you know, I think we all see opportunities, right, regardless of where it is, but a great point there, Mary let’s see here and Francisco, to be honest, I was not even aware of the 10% that referenced you referenced earlier. Nicki. Great to hear you’re pushing to make things happen, Francisco, excellent point. And thanks for being here with us. One last thing, by the way, Peter loves, I love this dude. Really. That’s going to be, that’s worth the price of only that Nikki, because that response really just implies how D how dumb let’s just call it face it, concern question that that is, but I got to share this yesterday. You were born at some point, dude, and you know, a couple of those comments from Nikki had to wait and I looked over at Jenny to make sure it was okay to laugh. So once Jenny laughs I can laugh, you know, uh, cause I wrote cognizant uh, those kinds of things.

Scott Luton (46:14):

But anyway, so moose shy Cooney ha is the, and I think I’ve got that right. It came really close. Hopefully he’s chairman of the Kenya association of manufacturers and C K L Africa’s uh, group CEO. And he really made a point and I’m not gonna do it as eloquently as he did. But in talking about the, the opportunities for industry across Africa, in entrepreneurs and leaders, you name it, you know, they have a unique opportunity not to do it. Like other parts of world has done, including all the mistakes had been made and he re, and that really was something that I hadn’t really thought of. You know, they’re going to like the banking that Greg pointed out, you know, to do that, that we still in large degree, don’t have here. They can go back to Nikki where it all started. They’re going to forge your own path and they’re going to, they’re going to do it in an innovative and different manner.

Scott Luton (47:03):

And they’re gonna be able to avoid many of the, uh, huge mistakes that, that other parts of world made. So I think that’s, that is inspiring at least to me. Cause it, it goes back to, you know, forging your own way and doing it on your terms and doing it in a new creative way. So appreciate Nikki, what you’ve shared along those, those lines here. But Jenny what’s before where I take it more bigger picture what’s what’s uh, Greg and I have kind of both shared about what our favorite parts here, what, what have, uh, really enjoyed.

Jenny Froome (47:31):

Yeah. I’m with Peter about the dude really. Um, I’d love to, I’d love to have been brave enough once upon a time actually to be that, that ballsy. And I’m going to take lessons from Nikki. I just, I love the idea of the sustainability of this, of this project. And it’s the, it’s the building, it’s the starting the building blocks. And as somebody said in the comments, I can’t remember who it’s so easy for us all to sit and talk. Um, and I think that, you know, the last couple of months or 18 months or so, there’s been a lot of talking because action has been hard. Um, and, and, you know, watching what Nikki has achieved in this time, this is real action. This isn’t just talk and you know, it’s really exciting that, that I hope we’re going to be along for the ride for a while to come. So it’s exciting.

Scott Luton (48:19):

Absolutely. Uh, Jenny loved that. And Greg, before I go big picture, I know as a, as a serial entrepreneur yourself and, and, and are used to putting that skin in the game and building it and, and, and you know, all the things that go with that, that’s got to resonate with you, right?

Greg White (48:35):

It takes guts. It does, but it really takes guts when you don’t have the underlying infrastructure, the underlying systems or underlying cultural support that you have in the states or other, I don’t know what to call it. Uh, not, not to, not to pigeonhole South Africa, but in the typical first world country, you have an incredible infrastructure, right? And cultural norms that are more acceptable of that, whether you are male or female, but certainly more if you’re female. So to have overcome all of that and do this and, and to proudly frankly, where the moniker of ice queen and, and yet to realize that it was really only a role to play, not a person that you are and to, and to take that person and turn that person into someone. So giving and so uplifting to other women and professionals and, and the profession. I think that’s just, it, look, that’s what we all strive for in the end. We all want to make a lot of money and then give back that’s that’s really, um, entrepreneurs never, they never stopped in any way anybody giving is great.

Nicci Scott (49:46):

Um, and Greg, on that point is that, you know, one thing South Africa has that sets it apart from some of the other first world countries is the number of statutes that have been implemented that support women and support initiatives to bring women into the boardroom, to bring woman into non-traditional occupations with Arthur statutes, we wouldn’t have achieved as much as we have, so we might not have everything right on one element, but we do have this massive draw from government recognizing the value of woman. The other thing that has made it possible for me to achieve this is the little ecosystem that I have built around me in my supply chain. So my current projects to develop female truck drivers, you know, we, we take them from driving this sort of the dinky cause up to having a commercial truck driver’s license. And then from day they do some theory around being a responsible truck driver.

Nicci Scott (50:42):

And they there’s a cup a couple of weeks of theory, but it’s in a key partner that I have. And it was Andy. That was actually on the call just now one logics, which is a, also a JC listed organization. Um, and a specifically a division called track logics who bought my company has allowed me to place my learners at their premises to get work experience. So when my ladies finished, they a couple of months of training, they can drive up to 13 different brands of vehicles. So when you go for a job interview, um, they not, um, overshadowed by an overwhelmed by the vehicle that they’re coming into. They literally just be able to overcome the confidence issues, but we it’s just, you know, without those people, without those epics coming on board and setbacks has given us a special membership. So all of my students on the USA project will become members of, of, uh, set pigs. And it took me many years to understand that I was part of supply chain. I saw myself as transport and logistics. I didn’t see how I fit it into supply chain. And I, I mean, in hindsight, when the more I got involved with supply chain, do I realize that I’m actually supply chain, I’m not transport and logistics. And I think that that was a revelation on its own.

Greg White (52:06):

That’s common. It’s really very common to S to think of it that way. I, I think, I think we’re starting to think of supply chain is kind of the overarching principles because we hear it from people in manufacturing all the time as well. We don’t have anything to do with supply chain where to manufacturing. Right. And I think we have to think of supply chain as the overarching principle in all of these things is segments of the supply chain, including retail. Right. So it’s a new world.

Nicci Scott (52:34):

It is a new world. Yeah. Um,

Scott Luton (52:36):

I’ve been on mute. Sorry. I was agreement. So I saw your head nodding. Yeah. Supply chain is the business. As, as Jeff has coined. I mean, it there’s a supply chain for, for everything. And even in the content and information aspect, they’ve got their supply chain there. So, and as our dear friend, uh, Dominic, uh, his Winkle’s shared and we just lost Greg, uh, Jenny, no product, no program. Right. And we’ve referenced that a thousand times is so true. Okay. I want to share a couple of comments and then we’re going to make sure folks know how to connect with Jenny and Nicki. And we’ll see if Greg rejoins us. He was on a, um, he’s doubted him from the road in Chicago, I think in, in a makeshift, uh, conference room. So we’ll see if he can regain first off prince is, uh, uh, from Africa, the democratic Republic of Congo is looking for an opportunity in supply chain, even an internship.

Scott Luton (53:29):

He’s a student in the, um, it was on a master’s program, uh, for supply chain management at Pantheon. So prints connect with folks, uh, you know, w w we, we, uh, pride ourselves on hoping to be serving as a, as a, um, a connector organization. And hopefully you’ll reach out and connect with folks at a minimum on LinkedIn. We’ll see what we can, we can, um, shake the trees and, and find Peter says, going back to our earlier point, put up or keep the crap traps as Peter puts it. I love that. Um, alright, looks like Greg is back with us, Greg. Good, Greg, how are you doing

Greg White (54:08):

Bragging on doctor? And, uh,

Jenny Froome (54:17):

I thought you’d gone for cheesecake

Scott Luton (54:20):

As Jenny stated that it truly takes

Scott Luton (54:22):

A village, and hopefully you got gonna bring, bring all those goodies back with you. I’m very jealous, but it truly, it does take a village across and it takes a wide variety of folks and, um, leaders from different walks of life to, to, to, to work together, to change things and to support each other while that changes is, is being, um, uh, in, in, in very difficult manner is, is being made. So I love, love this conversation we had here today. Let’s make sure Nikki that folks that want to connect with you and, and connect with CTA, what’s the easiest way for that to happen.

Nicci Scott (55:00):

It’s probably to go to our website, um, which is www.chappenedthalfana.ceo died say day from there, you will find my contact details and you will find my email address. Um, yeah, I think my phone number is even listed on my website and also LinkedIn, um, commercial transport academy on LinkedIn would also be another one.

Scott Luton (55:26):

Wonderful, well, uh, Nikki really appreciate what you’ve shared here to appear today. Um, really appreciate your time, but Jenny let’s make sure folks can connect with you and, and all the great things that say pics is doing these days.

Jenny Froome (55:38):

Yeah. Um, thanks very much. And I will say again, this is the fastest hour ever. Um, I knew this would be fast, but it’s just whizzed by. Yeah. So say fix, you can contact us. It’s www dot [inaudible] dot org, or find me on LinkedIn or on Twitter, more, quite, quite active on both. So, um, look forward to, and prince Kadana meaning small, small, small boy or small child in Sweeney, please by all means, reach out to me and I’ll see what I can do. I’ve got some nice contacts, non DRC.

Scott Luton (56:10):

That is wonderful. That’s what it’s all about. And of course they, pics has gotten their big annual conference coming up in September, I believe is that right?

Jenny Froome (56:18):

August, end of August 24 to 26th of August. Uh, and hopefully we can reprise this, this, this gathering because Nikki’s going to be speaking and hopefully, um, we can have some time with Scott and Greg as well. Well, all online one day we’ll be in Cape town. What can I say

Scott Luton (56:38):

Soon, soon, but what a home run speaker add to that, uh, outstanding lineup that you always have Jenny. So, um, you can find out more information about that event at St. picks.org as well. Right? Okay. All right. So huge. Thanks to Nicky Scott. Let’s see how it sounds. Boss. Pull my notes from the other show. As I was reminding myself what points I wanted to share, but Nicky Scott is CEO CEO with commercial transport academy. Nikki, thanks so much. Of course, big. Thanks of course, to Jenny from COO of safe picks, we look forward to reconnecting very soon.

Nicci Scott (57:13):

Thank you. Thanks. Thank you so much. God. Thank you.

Intro/Outro (57:19):

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Supply Chain Leadership Across Africa Featuring Nicci Scott with Commercial Transport Academy

Featured Guests

Nicci Scott is considered a pioneer, defining new frontiers in the field of Transport and Logistics. As an experienced serial entrepreneur, she boasts six business awards, a MBA and she is a mentor for the Cheri Blair foundation. Nicci is a passionate advocate for Women in Transport and Logistics and seeks to inspire women to engage and work together to drive transformation and inclusion. She is currently the CEO of the Commercial Transport Academy which specializes in the development of commercial drivers with a focus on females, the development of female professionals in the supply chain, transport operations, logistics and warehousing environment. One of Nicci’s many contributions is the support and assistance she provides through specialized programs to entrepreneurs to scale their businesses by establishing solid foundations whilst following the best industry practices. She is also the founder of Zolabix (Pty) Ltd, a business that focuses on compliance and road safety through self-regulation. She has a demonstrated history of working in the Transport and Logistics industry displaying top skills in Leadership, Negotiation, Operations Management, Freight and Road Transportation. As a strong business development professional, she successfully negotiated the sale of two highly successful businesses, of which one was to a JSE listed organization. Connect with Nicci on LinkedIn.

Jenny Froome is the Acting Chief Operating Officer at SAPICS – which is the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management in South Africa but working with countries around the world to have Supply Chain Management recognised as a profession. She started her professional career in the UK as a secretary and then moved to event management. Little did she know that as an event manager she was actually practicing supply chain management every day! In 1997 they managed their first ever SAPICS annual conference in South Africa and the rest, as they say, is history! Now managing the SAPICS annual conference – the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals – as an online event until we get control of Covid-19. We long for the opportunity to get back to face to face events. In the meantime we keep our community connected. She is on a mission to shine the spotlight on supply chains in Africa and the wealth of supply chain talent that is available on the continent.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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Vicki White

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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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Allison Giddens

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.

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

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.

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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 reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

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.

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Chantel King

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.

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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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Katherine Hintz

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.

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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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