The Intersection of International Culture and Talent in Procurement, Guest Jacinta Taliauli
Episode 662

Episode Summary

“You’re more likely to get a better outcome if you learn and understand the ways that different cultures communicate and how they interact with each other – including the values that drive the culture.”
– Jacinta Taliauli, Senior Procurement Advisor at Ministry for Pacific Peoples

“I love procurement people because they control the cash.”
– Kim Winter, Founder & CEO, Logistics Executive Group

 

Although industries and supply chains are increasingly global, the cultural norms that prevail in each region vary. As we begin to work within those regions, it often becomes apparent that there are cultural differences at the country and even city or regional level. Each person has to be aware of their own cultural background as well as how those tendences align with the people they work with.

Jacinta Taliauli is a Senior Procurement Advisor at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. Her parents moved from Tonga, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean with a population of around 100,000 people, to New Zealand before she was born. Although they moved so she they could raise her in a country with more opportunities, they still raised her in “the Tongan way,” a set of cultural values that combine flawless politeness, deference to authority, and a commitment to hard work.

In this episode of Dial P for Procurement, Jacinta tells special guest Kim Winter and co-hosts Kelly Barner and Scott Luton about:
• The importance of culture, understanding what we share and the nuances of difference between and within each geographical region
• How public procurement differs from private sector or commercial procurement
• Ways to attract talented young professionals to the field of procurement, and the benefits to be realized by having a culturally diverse workforce

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 (00:32):

Everybody Scott Luton and Kelly Barner here with you on supply chain. Now welcome to this episode of Dow P for procurement Kelly, how are you doing? I’m doing good, Scott, how are you doing wonderful. I love these episodes. Of course, our supply chain. Now team does it in conjunction with Kelly and our friends over at buyers meeting point. And today, Kelly, we’re talking about government procurement procurement, a rather unique practice, right?

Kelly Barner (00:56):

It’s very unique. And it’s one of those areas that although I have worked in companies that had divisions to serve the public sector, I know kind of enough. Um, but it’s never an area that I’ve gotten to work in directly. And it’s very unique. So even among the general procurement community, there isn’t necessarily a ton of understanding and it’s partially because it’s not one thing, right? It’s different, depending on the level you add, are you city level, state level, federal as administrations change rules and guidelines and priorities change. So it’s, it’s a constantly evolving thing. Um, but also it provides some excellent ways to give back. So a very important and an impactful area of focus.

Scott Luton (01:40):

All right, you’re gonna have to hold my hand. You’ve already blown my mind with all those complexities, but, uh, in addition to Kelly, who’s a true guru. We’ve got two dear friends. We’re gonna introduce in a minute. Uh, and so stand by for, what’s going to be, uh, a wonderful and intriguing conversation. A quick programming note before we get started, if you enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. And also we’re going to give you a few other, uh, other resources. Uh, one of our guests has a wonderful vodcast that we would highly recommend too. Okay. So Kelly, I’m ready to get started. I’m chomping at the bit. All right. So let’s welcome in our dear friends and featured guests first up, just Jacinta Taliauli. My apologies Jacinta Taliauli who serves as senior procurement advisor at the ministry for Pacific peoples Jacinta. How you doing? I’m

Jacinta Taliauli (02:30):

Great. Thank you. And that pronounced session was great as well.

Scott Luton (02:33):

Well, Hey, we practice hard and really just sent to really thoroughly enjoyed our pre-show warmup time. Looking forward to your POV here today. Now who connect this with Jacinta is our dear friend of the show, Kim winter, founder, and global CEO of the logistics executive group. Kim, how you doing? Hey Scott,

Kim Winter (02:52):

Thanks for asking me to join tonight. Heidi Kelly and Heidi send it

Scott Luton (02:58):

Wonderful. We’ve got, uh, unlike some past episodes where you’ve may have seen Kelly NEI along with Kim kind of serve as cohost today. We’re featuring Jacinta as a, as a star guest, along with Kim winter. So, so buckle up and get ready as we dive in. So Kelly, we’re going to start with our friends, Kim and Jacinta, kind of with our, our lightning round, right? Yes.

Kelly Barner (03:22):

And we’ve got some very good stories. So this is going to be a particularly interesting lightning round

Scott Luton (03:27):

And, and, you know, we touched on some of this and appreciate it. So we’re looking forward to dive a little bit deeper. So just sent a starting, starting with you here. So born in New Zealand, but your parents are from the kingdom of Tonga, right. Uh, so tell us a little about how that unique culture and special culture has played a role in your journey. Yeah,

Jacinta Taliauli (03:44):

So, um, so the kingdom of Tonga is a small island nation in the Pacific ocean with a population of around a hundred thousand people. Um, both my parents were born there and then they moved to New Zealand and their teens, um, where I was born and raised. Um, and also what they’re similar cultural values as well. So I now live in Auckland, New Zealand, which is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. Um, and I would say that my journey between the two places has been less of a physical journey and more of a mental journey, um, finding a way to bridge the two cultures together, especially in my professional life has been a journey for me and one that I am still on. So, um, when I first entered my first corporate role, um, I had realized that I had to adapt some of my cultural practice practices, uh, in particular, how I communicated with people.

Jacinta Taliauli (04:36):

A few examples of these was, um, their communication. So in Tongan, culture of respect is one of our core values. And one of the ways we show this is by not speaking back to people, especially if they’re of higher authority to you, or if they’re older than you even. Um, another one is criticism, um, as direct or negative comments are usually avoided. Um, and one of the practices that I had to adapt to that kind of surprised me was eye contact. Um, as sometimes eye contact can be seen as being too direct or maybe a little intimidating to some people. So, um, and Tongan culture, we do tend to avoid it sometimes. Um, especially if we’re in the presence of someone who is of higher status. So the traditional way, I guess, is it’s expected that you lower your gaze, um, to indicate respect to that person.

Jacinta Taliauli (05:28):

Um, so those are just some of the, the communication or the cultural practices that I had to adapt to, although small, um, I had to adapt to because working in business becomes very challenging when you struggle to make eye contact with people or have, um, trouble taking criticism even, um, and out of respect, um, find it hard to challenge people and ask questions. So there was a lot of learning, unlearning and adapting that I had to do to get on a place where I felt comfortable speaking up and voicing my opinion and meetings and where I felt comfortable, you know, looking supplies in the eye when negotiating with them and where I felt comfortable to take criticism as

Scott Luton (06:09):

Well. Uh, you know, I really appreciate you sharing that, uh, because all, all of that was really in my blind spot. So, so I’m going to come out of this knowing a lot more, but I know you said it was kind of a small adjustment, but those are, those are big, you know, uh, as we were talking, kinda appreciate about some of the, our norms, how we were growing up when you’ve got to adjust so that you can be more, um, effective in your role. I mean, those are some, some big adjustments, so I appreciate you sharing those with us. And, and, uh, we want to, um, if I can, apart from their cultural journey, I’ve just gotta ask you, uh, now that we’re, we started the show, you shared one thing that you’re passionate about, where you spend some of your free time, would you indulge us here?

Jacinta Taliauli (06:52):

Yeah, so I do have an interest in cook boxing helps me take my mind off work afterwards and, um, just, just a relax and, you know, step away from that work environment afterwards. So that’s something I enjoy doing afterwards.

Scott Luton (07:05):

I love that. I love that. So don’t mess with Jacinta. Alright. So Kim switched over to you and let’s talk about your journey. Uh, so tell us about where it began and then of course, where you are today is it’s a story in of itself.

Kim Winter (07:22):

Sure. Scott, well, it’s, it’s a long, long time ago then my journey started, but I’m also a Kiwi. So a descender and I are distant cousins of some sort, whether they are K and they are small country of 4 million people or so. So I was born in the fifties, I’m a baby boomer. Um, and I was born in Wellington, just centers in Oakland, which is the biggest city. Um, but Wellington is the bureaucratic and cap political capital and that’s a very university town. So I was bought up in, uh, uh, in a really good environment, New Zealand, we all play sport, um, uh, to, uh, to an addiction level. Um, many people will know we’ve got the most famous Sabrina B team in the world, the all blacks, which has, uh, within this group, some, always some famous Tomlins, uh, and Samoans and, uh, Molly, uh, members, uh, more so because of the, uh, the strength of character and the strength of a physique of our Polynesian cousins.

Kim Winter (08:15):

So, uh, it’s an exciting sport to play. Um, so Wellington, uh, educated there, uh, sort of degree. They’re always worked from a very early age working class family, um, mum and dad. It was a great upbringing myself. My brother, we got involved in natural history. We have a fantastic country, awesome, natural beauty, volcanic areas, lakes, mountains, you name it, there’s everything, beaches, whale, sharks, creepy things. And, uh, I got bought up there and, uh, I ended up in Australia. So, uh, I graduated, uh, with an MBA and then ended up over on Australia and set up logistics executive group, which the global CEO of, and we’ve been going for 22 years now. And, uh, we co co-host and collaborate very closely with supply chain now or wherever they’re in Atlanta.

Scott Luton (09:04):

Well, and we, uh, are very appreciative of that relationship. And I’ll tell you, Kelly, you can probably attest to, you know, there are folks that you meet in your journey that are ultimate bridge builders, right? Uh, from a cultural standpoint, from a business standpoint, from a sense of community standpoint. And, and, uh, just since that, we’ve only known each other for a little while, but I’m going to Kim and Kelly for that matter for a while. And both of y’all are wonderful bridge builder. So I really admire that about you both. Um, Kim, one additional, I want to follow up before I toss it over to Kelly here. Hi, how are you, how have you balanced that tongue and culture and, and, and that New Zealand upbringing with the demands of the business world? Yeah,

Kim Winter (09:46):

Well, quite frankly, the multicultural nature of New Zealand, uh, I’m sure that, you know, there are challenges from time to time, um, or especially with our distant history of when colonialization occurred in New Zealand. Uh, New Zealand is one of the only countries where the indigenous population was never completely stuffed to gated by the European. In this case, the English, uh, conquerors, if you like, they’re never conquered New Zealand. The Polynesians were very strong, um, and very, very capable, uh, warriors, uh, all of the nations, uh, uh, Tongans Samoans cook Islanders, uh, around seldom, south Pacific, very strong navigators, very sophisticated cultures and tribal cultures. And, uh, so that, that’s just part of who we are, that’s where the tongue of the pheno people of the land. And, and disinterred perhaps talk more to this, uh, who sell from their experience, but I’ve always been, uh, very, very pleased to being bought up in the multicultural team-based and sporting sort of environment where everybody’s treated equal.

Kim Winter (10:48):

We’re very egalitarian. We don’t have an elite class system in New Zealand, so we all eat off the same plate and fight off the same pitch. Um, to me that I’ve never even thought about, frankly, their questions, Scott, it’s a really incisive question. Uh, there is no balancing for me about any culture where they are business in New Zealand. And even though it’d be an out of New Zealand, I’m a resident of, of several countries. Uh, to me, it’s just part of the deal. It’s what we do. We are a multicultural society has no impact for me that it never has in terms of business.

Scott Luton (11:22):

I love it. And of course, I don’t think you mentioned that that now, uh, you called to buy a home, which was a big part of our last episode, which was fascinating. I think Kelly and I both learned a ton about just, you know, the biggest thing that stood out was the innovative spirit of that market and, and the, the, uh, how they’re acting on it. It’s not, we’re not talking about new ideas. We’re talking about new, new things are putting into the market and acting on all new ways of doing things and solving problems. So love that we might touch on that little later on, but Kelly, so great. Great question. I got to Kelly Kelly question for that, uh, or credit for that question, Kelly. Um, so where are we going next? So from

Kelly Barner (11:57):

Cultural journey to professional journey, um, Scott, you’ve probably noticed by now that for every new procurement guest we bring on, there’s always this one question we want to know the answer to because everybody has a different story. So Jacinta, I happen to know in advance that you have a great story. How did you end up finding a career in procurement? Yeah,

Jacinta Taliauli (12:18):

So I studied operations management and supply chain at the university of Oakland and all dollar. There was some mention of procurement during my studies. I still don’t know a lot about it. I knew it was, um, this, this, this aspect of supply chain. Um, so during my last year of university, I saw an opportunity come up with a group called two Batar, was looking for a Pacific person who studied supply chain for an internship. Um, I kind of sat down in my classroom thinking about this and I looked around and I was like, oh, wait, hold on. That’s me. I’m just a big person who studied supply chain, um, because they weren’t that many students, um, who majored in supply chain and also really any Pacific Islanders who even studied supply chain. So I started my career as a procurement intern and nylon, and really enjoyed the professional procurement. Um, but before that, I hadn’t really thought about, um, where you got the food that you were served on an airplane, um, had come from or how the cabin interior, um, gets inside a plane. So that was all new to me. And I found it really interesting. And four years later, um, stolen, there were professional procurement.

Kelly Barner (13:27):

And yet in a way we sort of met you before we met you because Kim shared this excellent speech that you gave him a video of the speech with us. And one of the highlights of that speech is the moment where you define procurement or you explain how you define procurement to others in your life. Um, can you share that with us now?

Jacinta Taliauli (13:48):

Yeah, sure. So I actually had no idea how to explain it to my friends or family. They would ask me what I did for work. And I would say I work in procurement after seeing them with puzzled faces. I try again and try other different answers like sourcing, but they’d still look confused and then I’d say, oh, I’m a professional shopper. And they’re like, what, what does that mean? Um, so I decided to settle on, I buy cool stuff because sometimes I do actually really enjoy buying stuff. Um, especially in the public sector roles, by public voting, um, say housing, um, lots of awesome it goods and services and stuff. So that’s what I decided to settle on. I buy calls stuff, and that’s how I explain for cumin

Kelly Barner (14:32):

Now jeopardy wants to do right now. That’s like recruiting. Yeah.

Jacinta Taliauli (14:37):

Yeah. So, um, yeah, that’s been my definition now. Um, yeah. And a simple way of explaining it as well.

Kelly Barner (14:44):

And that video that we got to see. So that was a speech that you gave, uh, to patella gala dinner, um, which, you know, is the internship program that helped you find procurement, but it’s an organization that you have stayed involved with. Can you tell us just a little bit generally about the internship program and the role that you serve there and why doing that kind of work is important to you? Yeah,

Jacinta Taliauli (15:07):

Sure. So typically is an organization that provides employment opportunities for, um, Maori and Pacific students. Um, their vision is to grow Maori and Pacific leaders for a greater outfit or a New Zealand. Um, so just disclaimer, I don’t work for them, but I do. Um, I took part in their internship program, which provided me with my first step into the corporate world. Um, something that I probably would have had trouble with had I tried myself because there are barriers which are biased against, um, Maori and Pacific communities. Um, unfortunately, um, so this is why programs like Tipitapa are really important. There is no company yet listed on the New Zealand stock exchange, even that has a Maori or Pacific CEO and only 17% of new Zealand’s top 60 firms have an executive who identifies as other then European. So I think it’s really important that we address these inequalities so that we can fill these knowledge gaps and reap the benefits of diversity and support business scarf. So, um, it’s also been really important as me as well, um, so that we can address these areas of, um, and areas as well and areas of inequality there are for wanting Pacific people to enter the corporate world and hopefully make it easier for, you know, the next generation

Kelly Barner (16:24):

And even the fact that that’s being tracked now, right. Obviously you would like to see more diversity or local ownership leadership at the, at the C-suite level, but the fact that there’s an awareness, and then there are organizations like to patella that are working to change things. It, you, the work may not be done, right. Um, but you’re definitely moving things in the right direction. So it’s an important organization clearly to be a part of it smartly. Now, Kim, I’m not imagining that you have a story that is necessarily going to compete. Procurement’s a little bit wackier from a corporate perspective, then supply chain is, um, but how did you end up specializing in supply chain logistics?

Kim Winter (17:07):

Thanks, Kelly. I’d just like to say that I love procurement people because they control so much and they control the cash. So my business at global consulting for them, global consulting firm and a in logistics and supply chain, uh, we, we love procurement people and deal with them, troll the cash.

Kelly Barner (17:26):

That’s a good alternative just into somebody asks you, I control the cash,

Kim Winter (17:32):

But in, but in answer to you a quick question to a question just quickly. I mean, I just rolled into it. I mean, I was doing a degree undergraduate degree in Wellington in the seventies. Um, I’ve been playing professional rugby in the U S uh, prior to that, and I came back and thought I’d, you know, get a bit serious and, uh, and did a degree. And, um, and while I was doing that, I was driving trucks. And then the guy who was driving the truck, left the truck, left the business and I took it over and then the company went contract. And then, so I had a contract at a very early age and I was driving the truck at 17. The illegal age was 18. So I drove for half a year illegally. Uh, it was all, it was all good. And then all of a sudden I’ve have about five, 10 years.

Kim Winter (18:19):

I had about eight, nine trucks. And, uh, I had my own trucking company. And, um, from there in about getting recruited, uh, sold that business. And I got recruited by, uh, an airline on, by TNC, which is now sealer and probably owned by somebody else now. Um, but Jay and I and an airline. So I was general manager at a very early age for central New Zealand for airlines and said, air freight, uh, got picked up by merchant bank to set up telco in Australia. And then, uh, from the, from 1999, I set up my own business logistics, executive group consulting and logistics, supply chain hate hunting, mergers, acquisitions transformations. That was the journey. It’s been a quick 66 years.

Kelly Barner (19:00):

And I stand corrected because the typical procurement career journey is a little bit swirly. It’s a little different than HR finance marketing, but I will give you honorary procurement career journey status because illegally driving a truck to young while playing professional rugby, that counts,

Kim Winter (19:17):

We’ve recruited a lot of, we’ve recruited a lot of procurement people. So I understand the craft and the whole being of procurement very, very well. We recruited them all over the world.

Kelly Barner (19:28):

Yeah, well, in to that idea of collecting people, um, somewhat connected to what we’ve been talking about. You have a large following, you have a large personal network, you have a large following on social media. Um, from my conversations with you, my read is that it comes to you naturally, any influencer or connector status that you might have. Although many people now are sort of deliberately trying to set out and make that their, their primary focus to build up that influencer status. It seems like yours has come across naturally. Um, any thoughts about this sort of rise in the notion of the influencer, um, and any advice that you might have for people that are looking to build up their networks? Absolutely.

Kim Winter (20:09):

Absolutely. So just quickly, um, to us, uh, sharing information has been absolutely key in 22 years in the community of the ecosystem of supply channel logistics. We made a, if it right from the word go to go to events, wasn’t so much online. And those days, of course, uh, internet, LinkedIn, what have you, it wasn’t anywhere near as preeminent. Um, so we went to conferences and ended up being speaking at conferences then ended up for the last 15 years. I’ve been emceeing conferences, uh, all over the world. We’ve been promoting them on Everest channels. And the biggest learning I had over the last two or three years has been supply chain now. And that’s, I started to see Scott and, uh, and Greg white, uh, on the waves of being the CNN and Atlanta of supply chain and logistics. And I learned my craft and my trade of doing interviews, which we do. And some, we join you guys, but, um, and we would just keep on sharing information, kept on sharing the love, Kate on telling stories and talking to people. I just sent her, talking to people who are interesting, got a journey, got a, got a garden path that they’re walking down to share with people across the supply chain, as much as more people to get involved and understand supply chain.

Scott Luton (21:25):

So Kelly, I got to interject, I know we’re going in a different direction here, but, um, so Kim, there’s a coup there’s a commercial and kill. You might remember too, in the, in the eighties that I grew up on, it was pretty famous where, and I came here, which from, it was, it was an investment firm and there was a guy that would, would have this catch phrase of, we make money, the old fashioned way we earn it. And when I heard Kelly asked that question about, you know, how you’ve accumulated that, that, that wherewithal and that, um, you know, the network and, and just the, um, you know, that your influence, your answer was spot on that you, you have earned it and it comes from a very genuine spot. And that’s what I’ve loved about. I believe folks do it right way versus tequila’s point about folks that jump out because they want to be the, you know, the, the, the, the, the flavor of the month, this influencer thing, it comes from being a resource and being an educator and being a connector and being haven’t been there and done that. So I admire that. And, um, I appreciate everybody’s kindred spirits here in that regard, but Kelly, uh, is it time to shift gears and talk more, a little bit

Kelly Barner (22:31):

More about procurement supply chain culture?

Scott Luton (22:34):

Okay, wonderful. I wanted to make sure I was on cue there. Sometimes I can, I can get ahead of myself, but, um, and there’s, and by the way, there’s a lot more to just centers and Kim’s personal journeys left to, uh, bring that out in, in, in a follow up episode, but Kevin was sick with you, and we think about supply chain and procurement, or with the ladder folks that have the cash as you put it another t-shirt, isn’t what things there seem really universal and what things there seem very localized, um, uh, in, in those spaces.

Kim Winter (23:04):

Well, you know what Scott took to us, uh, having, I don’t know what it is, 13 offices around the world being in business for 22 years. Uh, and that being essentially a consultative type of company, which also has the talent management executive search in it, um, what w we, we see everything through the lens and the scope of being universal. Now, now sure. There are localized scenarios and localized cultures and languages and mores and respect and various things sort of descend. It was talking about before. And, uh, again, uh, Polynesian culture is, is enormously rich in some of the bad, uh, types of values that you would ever want a culture to have. Quite frankly, in the more that Polynesian spurt and culture could be circulated around the world, that better to the point, um, of, you know, what things seem universal and what things seem localized.

Kim Winter (24:02):

The world has become enormous sweep, shrunk. Somebody shrunk the world. And as much as we hear about divisiveness and we’ve had political rise ups on the right wing, around the world of all of these different countries, my personal belief is that’s going to be an aberration. I believe that people will see the common sense with being there and certain countries, some big ones that we know of, where we’re seeing a reversal back to collaboration back to cooperation back to the need for universality, and instead of the illness and supply chain, I see as a platform, if you like an analogy for the value and the necessity for collaboration and for universality, uh, supply chain in itself, logistics and itself, procurement activity is all about the sum of the parts and dealing with different people in different elements of businesses, countries, governments, to be able to get the best result, not only for the shareholders, the community, the ecosystem, and, uh, the employees, themselves and companies. So, uh, my view was supply chain is the epitome of universality.

Scott Luton (25:14):

I love it. I think it is, uh, to your point, I think global supply chain is a, um, you know, it’s a universal solvent, you know, what our, what our claims that title, but I think it’s supply chain, you know, you cut through differences, you cut through different, you know, where you are, you cut through even roles, uh, you know, just talked about kind of, you know, the various tiers of leadership. It really creates this, this, this, um, global community around getting stuff done, right? No, as we’ve said, a thousand times, no product, no program that that is, that can be applied to any supply chain organization. So, Kim, I, uh, I agree with you in, in a lot of what you shared there, um, let’s, I want to take it a step further though, because just like just sent to was kind enough to walk us through some of her, um, um, key considerations she had to make from a cultural standpoint. So that, so that was for the greater good. And for her, you know, for her to be able to, to act effectively in her role, what do you see Kim, when, when we, when we were reflecting on our own parts of our own culture, things that we may need to adjust similarly for, you know, various other people around the world, anything come to mind? Sure.

Kim Winter (26:26):

Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve had an opportunity to, whilst you’re talking that if things are clicking in my mind, but before I do that, I just want to say the reason that I was so taken just center by your speech was not only the manifest, uh, authenticity with what channel I was just sitting on LinkedIn and I was scrolling through, and there’s a thousand clicks here and there. And all of a sudden, I see this Polynesian woman speaking with authenticity genuineness you obviously a little bit nervous at the beginning. You had a big crowd there, but your story got rolling. And within the speech of, I don’t know, about three or four minutes, you made me laugh. You made me cry. You made me feel proud to be a new Zealander. You, you made me incredibly proud of the fact that a young woman coming from a culture that is, I know in Poland and the Polynesian culture, especially Tongan culture, very traditional, that you are so forceful and respectful and what you said, and I’m going to recommend it. I’m going to make sure we get the link on here for people to go and see that speech, because I was seeing Tik TOK speeches, and I was a speeches all over the world. And this is one of the best speeches all over the seat. So I’m really,

Scott Luton (27:40):

Is there, well, Hey, a little nice little known fact, by the way. And Kim, I love that you, you shared that, uh, heartfelt feedback is we had to go through just sent his agent. They get her booked for this episode, because she’s in the Hollywood’s fear. Now

Kim Winter (27:56):

That’s a good point. We’ll ask you a point. And I went down a rabbit hole later, but it was a worthy one, right? Uh, so, but quite simply in 30 seconds or less, um, you know, how do we, how do I reflect on culture that, that may help me deal with other cultures? I’m sorry, I’m almost the wrong guy to talk to because I’m, I’m on, I’m totally agnostic in terms of culture. I’m a New Zealand, citizen mama. I’m a legal resident of Hong Kong, uh, Australia. And you, by where I am tonight, up until COVID, I traveled 50 to 60 international flights a year. Um, and I just am always have, and many, many new Zealanders. And, you know, we’re not a perfect society, but aware a sight, more perfect than many. And we talk, communicate, and we don’t get out there and have wars and fight.

Kim Winter (28:43):

Um, and a big part of, uh, top Polynesian culture, moldy culture is to sit down and speak genuinely with respect to each other and solve their problems that way. Um, so to me, it’s very much, I just, every culture we see whim embrace, uh, talk at the top of the show, we had a function going at my place here tonight a little bit earlier, we had seven different cultures. Um, the meals were placed in four different sorts of religious texts. And, uh, you know, it’s just to me, to me, supply chain compresses, all that. If you’ve got the right attitude, the platform is there and supply chain and procurement is a very key element of that supply chain. As we know, whereby it’s irrelevant. I don’t care what culture people are or race they’re from or what gender they are. It doesn’t matter. It’s where we’ve got a job to do with, if we respect each other for who we are, what we are and where we’ve come from, we can all go to a place which is going to be a much, much better place for society. All

Scott Luton (29:46):

Right, y’all see that wall behind me. I’m ready to run through it. Now that Kim Kim has got me got that, that was very well said and very genuine, which is a big part of, of, of everyone here at this conversation and love it. Um, okay. So one, I do want to make one last, uh, note on this conversation. Cause I think, you know, awareness, it’s awareness, you know, what we all do or what we all say or how we approach business. It may be very normal and it may be, you know, we were talking about some, some normal things were related to our upbringing pre show. I think it’s just being aware and being willing to be aware of how others may perceive it and, and just like Jacinta was so, um, uh, considerate in terms of her making her adjustments, that we all have to be willing to, to, um, take steps like that. So I admire that. And thanks for, for answering my question, Kim. Okay. So Kelly, I’m not, I’ll tell ya so far. I’m have to go get some popcorn in a minute. Where are we going next?

Kelly Barner (30:46):

We’re actually going maybe from awareness to context. Um, so just since, uh, one of the things that we’ve gotten to know about you, and I think the phrase that, that you have used a few times in our conversations is the tongue and way. So you talk about the fact that you were born and raised in New Zealand, but your parents brought you up in the traditional tongue and way, and it’s something that you have purposefully set out to learn more about as an adult. So we’ve talked a little bit about Tongan values, um, but what has your journey as an adult been like to deliberately explore maybe the root of some of those values and the root of that way of living and how you’ve consciously chosen when you’ve talked about the eye contact, you’ve talked about some of the cultural things, but what made you go off in search to understand more about that?

Jacinta Taliauli (31:37):

Yeah, so, um, definitely it’s been quite interesting now working in a role where I do work full and organization that serves specific people. Um, I’ve had to relearn some of those practices to make sure that I’m still showing respect and humility when I’m working with specific people. Um, so like I mentioned before, I’m still on that journey, um, to finding a way to bridge those two cultures to get that. But I think it’s just important to know that, and we’ve touched on, you know, some of these key driving, um, key driving values for especially Polynesian cultures, like respect and humility and, um, collaboration as well. Um, but let’s just get to know that there are different cultural practices when you deal with different groups of people. So I would say if you find yourself doing business at this situation, I think you’re more likely to get a better outcome if you’d learn and understand the different ways that different cultures communicate and how they interact with each other, or even some of the values that drive the culture as well. Um, so a lot of my journey about learning the tone culture as an adult has been going back to those values, going back to those fruits. Um, and it’s just been interesting. Yeah. Like I keep saying, like trying to bridge, you know, the wisdom of the elders and then my cultural values together, but it’s definitely been an interesting journey so far. And

Kelly Barner (32:59):

Part of it’s the language, right? Because even in this brief conversation, we’ve talked about certainly the Asia Pacific region or Asia pack, if we’re, if we’re abbreviating things, we’ve talked about New Zealand, we’ve talked about Australia, we’ve talked about Polynesian cultures, but then you work at an organization specifically focused on Polynesian peoples. So there’s all of these different groups and granularities. Um, clearly the further down you get, the more complex it is. Um, can you help give us a little bit of context? So obviously we know Asia pack is a region. New Zealand is a country we’re hopefully good there. Um, but when you start looking into, you know, what’s the difference between new Zealanders Pacific peoples Polynesian cultures? How complex is that landscape?

Jacinta Taliauli (33:50):

Yeah, it’s quite complex because, um, there were a lot of different, each culture has its own different values. Um, and I think that Polynesian culture, um, just as a contrast is definitely more laid back than the rest of Asia Pacific, where sub countries in the region, um, operate in a much more fast paced and agile environment. Um, I think Cannes touched on it before. There’s way more emphasis and way more value in those face-to-face interactions rather than doing business over email. Um, so definitely from a Polynesian perspective, um, that’s how you would communicate if you’re dealing with Polynesian suppliers in the region, um, uh, those face-to-face interactions would provide you with more value rather than, um, doing things over email, but those are just some of the differences, but I think that at the end of the day, there are some similarities across at the Asia Pacific regions in terms of the respect that we do have for our individual cultural values. And I think that’s a similarity that’s shared across the region. Yeah. And

Kelly Barner (34:56):

Those are all particularly important being in public sector procurement, because you’re not necessarily dealing with a cult with a customer, you are dealing with a community with a culture. Um, so, so let’s talk a little bit specifically about public sector procurement. Um, what is it that you enjoy the most? You know, you talked about some of the different categories of things that you get to spend the cash on Kim, um, that people working in corporate procurement might not be. Um, but what is the part of it that you particularly enjoy?

Jacinta Taliauli (35:31):

Yeah, so most of my career so far has been working for the public sector in procurement. Um, so this one on my own, I, I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone that organization or anything, but I’ve enjoyed procuring a different range of goods and services from public housing to public voting. Like I mentioned earlier to social nit services. Um, so I think working in the public sector for me and what’s driven me to, um, work in this area, it’s been a rewarding way for me to give back, um, and also influence how these goods and services are procured for, um, you know, for the public and making sure that they provide value to people and making sure that they are delivered on time and in a respectful way as well. Um, I think that’s really important, but working in the public sector has definitely been, um, a way for me to give back. Yes.

Kelly Barner (36:26):

Have you had an opportunity to sort of be a user of any of your own work? You know, you talk about roadwork projects, have you gotten to interact as a member of the community with any of the things that you’ve been involved in from a procurement perspective?

Jacinta Taliauli (36:39):

Yeah, so I would, I would say definitely at an early age, you know, surrounded by state housing, um, public proceedings and went to a state high school. Um, so I think having seen how those, and I was a big use of public services as well, public libraries, I love public libraries, public gardens, um, all those kinds of things. Um, I was a huge user of it when I was, um, a child. So I think to be able to be in a position now where I can be a part of that process and where I can influence how those things have been delivered is, um, as why I’m in this professional health procurement now. Um, and it’s been really interesting as well, just to make sure that when we’re part of this, we make sure that we communicate with the community, um, and get their ideas and get their input as well on how we can deliver better services for everyone, which

Kelly Barner (37:35):

Is so incredibly important, right, Scott, and in terms of helping everyone be successful, whether it’s the community that you’re procuring things for, or the individuals that you’re working with, um, where are we taking the conversation from here?

Scott Luton (37:49):

Yes. Uh, excellent. Uh, and by the way, if y’all hear dogs barking, it is a Ruby in decks over here that don’t like, whatever is being delivered. That’s right. Talking of helping people that one of our favorite topics here, for sure, from a career standpoint, you know, helping people find those positions where they’re going to be successful and they can, they can, uh, actively contribute and, and, and be fulfilled. Right. Um, so Kim, I’d love for you to weigh in on that. I mean, you and your team are amongst other things you all do. You’re certainly certainly a masters at doing that speak. How does that, how do you, how do you approach that? How do you make that happen?

Kim Winter (38:30):

It’s all about supply and demand. And, you know, as long as I’ve been in business, which is a paper run at the age of seven, um, I’ve always loved the ability to be able to spend money. Uh, as soon realized you actually have to earn money to spend it so that didn’t take too long to work out. And, and so, uh, for me, uh, it’s all about service. If you, don’t, no matter what you’re doing, who you work for, who you work with, who you’re serving, at least you have a service mindset. I believe you’re going to struggle. Um, it’s, it’s really that way. And this, you, you believe in community, unless you think of your fellow man and woman, um, then you, you, you don’t get it, then you’re not going to be successful at anything you do business or socially or any other other thing I know it just might say here that we’re talking about cultural issues earlier on, of course, and then the Polynesian cultural landscape, I must say right here right now, I want to put a shout out on a shaman league.

Kim Winter (39:29):

My house, one of my housemates at university of Victoria university in Wellington, my undergrad degree, and the early years was a lovely 19 year old Samoan woman. And her name is fear mayor, not only Marta alpha, uh, and she was the King’s daughter at that point. And he was the prime minister. And yesterday she, uh, I think, and, uh, just sent a, you may be able to help me here. And, uh, I posted this on LinkedIn. I’m very proud to see that the political coup that is taking place in the kingdom of, uh, Samoa currently, uh, think has been usurped. And the rightful elected representative of the people is FIA mayor, which is a role title, no only, uh, Marta offer. Correct. Asunder sounds correct. Yeah. So there’s been a battle. It’s been a bit disconcerting amongst the Polynesian nations, not the least of which is New Zealand.

Kim Winter (40:26):

Um, and, uh, yes, but I, I, I house made it with her for a year and an undergrad degree. I learned so much about service from her because she’s always been servicing her people, serving the people. And I learned about the cultural differences there as I’ve carried that forward. Uh, I’ve seen that irrespective of what you’re doing when you’re doing it in terms of finding, putting people in roles. It’s, if you’re good at what you do in your skill and you’re experienced, and you’re authentic, then clients, and we’ve got probably four or 500 clients currently globally, tier one and tier two clients around the world, private and public sector that will come to you. Uh, if you’re genuine and open, if they know that, especially if you’ve got probably the world’s biggest database outside of us, of supply chain and logistics personnel over 22 years. And so it’s really just supply chain, uh, supply and demand stop. It’s it’s not difficult if you’re passionate about what you do.

Scott Luton (41:20):

Yes. I appreciate that. And you’ve kind of, you’ve already kind of spoken to my up question, um, earlier to comments and then a little bit in your answer there, but I’m gonna give you an opportunity that in case we miss anything, you know, when you, when you were talking about and placement across cultures, across geographic regions, across various teams, y’all have here, there, and everywhere, different needs, different sectors, um, you know, how do you, how do you compensate for all that, um, all that variance? Sure.

Kim Winter (41:49):

Well, it’s a great question. And it’s, it’s it’s reality is that every nation, every culture, every country has a massive, massive differences about them. And unless you’re somebody who really gets it, that it takes the time to work hard, to understand, to learn the language. Um, for me, basic on about a dozen different languages, basically every country that we deal with or every region, um, then you’re not going to get, unless you show them respect their basic core values that comes back round back to what your cinder was talking about. Respect all of those core values that are very, very strong in the Polynesian culture. Um, I’ve carried with me since a very, being very young and I’ve found as a natural, a natural thing. If you like, they’re just understanding cultures, people get it. If you show respect the main IMC conferences again, now face-to-face to last week and, uh, have done several hundred conferences.

Kim Winter (42:51):

I agreed in seven or eight languages, every conference. So I find out what cultures are there. I show respect. People understand that it’s not just off the top. It’s not just a nuance. It’s not just cliche is you open your food. Um, and it’s, it’s being around that culture and understanding what’s important, you know, Thailand, Indonesia, we’re recruiting at the moment, um, in Taiwan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Asian, Asian countries are extremely challenging. And if you don’t understand the respect issues there, you’ve got no chance of doing business, right? There’s just no way you can make a slip up in one second. This is going to screw you for a year.

Scott Luton (43:31):

Thank you very much. And, and I can, and Kelly and I can both attest to what Kim sharing, because it spills over into the emails and the touches between the touches and kind of prep for conversations like this. It really, you go the extra mile to really share that understanding. And I really appreciate that. I need to, I need to do a lot more of that. Um, but Kelly, I want to, I want to turn the table. I know what you’re going to take it in a different direction in a second, but a big part of what Kim just shared there was about respect was about respect. It’s another one of those universal solvents, for sure. And we were just talking earlier today about a little lack of respect amongst some conversations that, that, that we weren’t privy to, but other folks were having. And when it comes to doing business with folks and it comes to procurement conversations, procurement supply, you know, all that stuff, respect goes a long way almost regardless of what culture is across the globe. Speak to that for a second, if you would.

Kelly Barner (44:21):

Well, you know, and it’s interesting because I’m, I’m, I’m sort of reflecting back, you know, you sort of have a sense of how far we through the conversation, what are we hoping to draw out? And I think maybe one of the things that I didn’t truly think about until this moment is that as much as it’s important to focus on culture and community, whether you happen to be talking about Pacific peoples or procurement versus supply chain at the end of the day, that respect and those human connections come down to an individual level, right? And so Kim, your ability to connect with different communities and people and companies and ways of working ultimately comes down to you being sort of a, a gregarious, outgoing person that loves diversity and embraces that in others, right in Jacinta, you’ve taken procurement and made it your own. And you’re an amazing representative of the kind of work that we can do both for communities and companies around the world. And I think to an extent, especially when you’re talking about something as fundamental as risk and not risk, respect, and mutual, um, consideration, it’s an individual responsibility that each one of us has, you know, to be aware of the others around us. Um, because diversity has a lot more to do with nationality and skin color and culture and language. It really comes down to how each of us sees the world and how we choose to interact with it.

Kim Winter (45:50):

Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and just, just to, to cut in there, uh, Kelly, and in regard to that, you taught your talk about the importance of, um, understanding and the value of, you know, issues through the supply chain for me and the side of the business, where I’m running it on the recruitment side, it’s even more significant and important than that because I’m carrying the hopes and aspirations and dreams and desires of people in my hands, um, as to whether I’m able to position them in the right role for them and their families, so that they can move forward and have the life that they seek to have. Um, and, and if I fail to do that to the best of my ability, and I failed to understand, uh, the client needs the, the cultural understandings in particular, um, or any aspects about that, whether it’s a procurement person that I’m placing or an operations person, a BD, or whether it’s, uh, any form of, uh, logistics or supply chain, if I don’t get that right. And I don’t optimize my effort, my work for that person, uh, I can, I can completely, uh, change that person’s life in the wrong way as opposed to doing what we’ve done several thousand times in 22 years and hopefully changed it in the right way.

Kelly Barner (47:09):

Absolutely. No, absolutely. Um, and just send that if we, if we take what Kim has said and sort of bring this whole conversation down to an individual level for you, um, you know, the way that time zones work, this is, you know, uh, late afternoon for Scott Nye, it’s midnight post party, as he said for Kim and his gathering. And you’re actually just getting ready to start a new day. Um, and so you’re going to come off this conversation and get ready and go to work. Um, what is your day to day? Like if we bring it down to that individual level, what is it that you’re heading off to do today within your role in procurement for your community based on the work that you currently have going on?

Jacinta Taliauli (47:53):

Yeah, definitely. So, um, work today and going to work after this, we’ll be straight onto the computer checking emails and things, but a lot of it is identifying how we can make everyone’s lives easier through procurement. And I know that sounds super cliche, um, or super, super cheesy even, but I think procurement has, um, there’s an opportunity there to identify how we can make the lives of the public easier through the way we interact with our internal stakeholders, but also how do we make sure that we’re working with, um, suppliers, any culture, how do we make sure that we’re working with suppliers in a respectful way? Um, so that’ll be kind of the mindset now I’m going into work today. How do we, how can we work with everyone in a respectful way today?

Kelly Barner (48:43):

And that is something we can all aspire to achieve.

Scott Luton (48:45):

Yes. And it’s only cheesy if you don’t mean it. I think there’s, there is authenticity in, in spades and this conversation and, and, and, uh, you know, cam to your point, we’ll absolutely make sure we include the link to Jacinta’s, uh, keynote and address in the show notes to this episode. Um, cause it was, it was very powerful and I, I love the range of emotions that Kim shared earlier and Jacinta, you got to, we got to keep a microphone in front of you. I mean, you’re really an inspiring figure and I, and I really appreciate your, uh, you know, your, your, uh, transparency with us here as part of your journey and Kim, the same for you. Um, all right. So the trillion dollar question, because due to inflation, um, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with both of our dear guests and friends here today. And just since I want to start with you, how can folks connect and compare notes and who knows, maybe invite you to a keynote, one of their upcoming events.

Jacinta Taliauli (49:36):

Yeah, sure. So feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn, just send to the tele Ali.

Scott Luton (49:40):

It’s just that easy. We’ll include that link in the show notes too. After one click here, uh, love that Jacinta and then Kim, your gosh, you’re everywhere. Folks can’t find you and they’re going to other problems, but Kim, how can folks connect with you?

Kim Winter (49:54):

Multi-platform uh, yeah, so LinkedIn is the be all end all and much of a media these days. So can winter K I M winter, uh, on LinkedIn, our website for logistics executive is the logistics executive.com. Um, and, uh, you can see Bob probably put my email for people who want to contact me underneath as well, but, uh, yeah, I’m, I’m, LinkedIn’s the place. I’m also the, uh, the chairman and founder of Oasis, africa.org.edu, Oasis, africa.org AU at dot freedom from poverty for, uh, three education over 8,000 kids in the slums of east Africa. So you’ll find me on that website as well.

Scott Luton (50:36):

Well, we’re going to have to have you back and dive into that as one of the various projects initiatives that you’re a part of that I have not learned a lot more about. So we’ll tee that up for our next conversation that appreciate, appreciate what you both do. Uh, really appreciate the, the give back to give forward and, and really how this conversation I think is going to help folks, uh, be more aware on a variety of levels. Um, so thank you so much, uh, just since, uh, Telia ULI and Kim winter really appreciate y’all here today and Kelly, um, so many, uh, you know, 17 pages of notes. We always kind of kid about that. Talk about that’s not cliche, but really this was, um, I love how you, you kind of put this, this conversation together. You know, we’re, we’re, we’re well known for how we prep for conversations and, and they’re authentic conversations, but, you know, you gotta, you gotta find the right angle and, and, and, and the right creative. And really, I love how we’ve kind of blended this, uh, as a mixture between the cultural journeys and the professional journeys, because there are so many ways they intertwine Kelly

Kelly Barner (51:33):

And, and maybe, maybe I’m spilling a secret here. Maybe that has a lot to do with my own philosophy. The procurement is ultimately the people business. No, we’re not human resources, although we work with them a lot, right. But whether it’s us as a team, the executive team, a community that we’re serving through the public sector, suppliers, internal stakeholders, um, at the end of the day, we’re ultimately helping people and working with people. And if you don’t truly love the people that you’re working with, and of course, show them respect. As we heard today, you are never going to save a dollar that’s worth having.

Scott Luton (52:08):

Yeah, couldn’t have said it better, uh, spoken like a true champion procurement is, is for the people, love that, uh, and be sure to check out, of course, buyer’s meeting point and art of procurement we’ll include those links as well. Great, uh, communities that Kelly leads and is part of, and Kim, we didn’t mention your vodcast. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with that. We’re working. We find that yeah.

Kim Winter (52:28):

Logistics, executive TV. So, yeah, thanks for that. And again, learn my craft off the master. So, uh, we’re really, uh, really pleased with the way it’s going. And, uh, but I really thought that, uh, when I first came up with dissenter, I thought she’s too big for just us. We’ve got to get her on the supply chain now. So, uh, agent sends their respect to you. Uh, thanks so much for joining us, really enjoyed talking with you again. And, uh, I can tell you right now as the career professional globally, you’re going to have an amazing career.

Jacinta Taliauli (53:00):

Thank you, Ken. Thank you, Scott. And thank you Kelly, for having

Scott Luton (53:02):

Me. You bet. And I couldn’t imagine a better way of closing the conversations on that note right there. Cause there’s lots of consensus. Uh, but Kelly Barner always a pleasure to have these dial P for procurement conversations that love that series right here at supply chain. Now really appreciate our friends here are old and new. I loved the, what y’all do and all of your contributions stay tuned for a lot more of Kim winter here at supply chain as well. And, um, on that note, Hey folks, um, hope you have a great week wherever you are. Hopefully you found this conversation to be inspiring and uplifting and, and, you know, give you some learnings that maybe were in your blind spot, like, like so much was in mine. Um, and you could find more about supply chain now@supplychainnow.com or wherever you get your podcasts from. And Hey, you gotta be more like Jacinta and Kim and Kelly would challenge you to do good gift forward and be the change that’s needed, whatever you do. And we’ll see you next time right here at chain now,

Intro/Outro (53:57):

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

 

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The Intersection of International Culture and Talent in Procurement, Guest Jacinta Taliauli

Featured Guests

Jacinta Taliauli is a procurement professional who has worked for various organizations in the New Zealand public sector. She got into procurement through a program called TupuToa, which provides professional opportunities for Māori and Pacific tertiary students in corporate, government and community organizations. She is now a Senior Procurement Advisor in the New Zealand public sector working towards delivering positive outcomes for New Zealanders. She is also a finalist for the Young Talent award in the CIPS Australia & New Zealand Excellence in Procurement Awards 2021. Connect with Jacinta on LinkedIn.

Kim Winter is the founder of Logistics Executive.  Kim is an acknowledged specialist in Executive Recruitment across Logistics and Supply Chain sectors. He has held senior executive positions within international Logistics, Supply Chain and Freight organizations during his 35-year career. Kim often speaks at international conferences/events and regularly contributes thought leadership to industry media. He has been involved in a number of Disaster and Humanitarian Logistics initiatives and is the founder of not for profit organization www.oasisafrica.net.

A dynamic and engaging senior executive with 35 years of leadership experience spanning Corporate Advisory, Executive Coaching, Public Speaking, Search & Recruitment across the Supply Chain, Logistics, FMCG, Retail, Resources, Industrial, Disaster Relief and Humanitarian sectors. Kimble has built an international reputation as the founder (1999) of Logistics Executive Group which delivers Whole of Life Cycle Talent Management including Search & Executive Recruitment, Corporate Advisory, On-Line Education and Executive Coaching / Mentoring.  A regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, he is a professional Master of Ceremonies, frequently invited to Chair international events on contemporary/future industry trends and leadership issues.  Connect with Kim on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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