Logistics with Purpose
Episode 665

Episode Summary

“Last year we created almost 37,000 hours of employment for resettled refugees, for individuals with disabilities, for people coming out of homelessness, for veterans, you name it.”

-Jenise Steverding, Gifts for Good

Whether helping Toms scale shoe delivery from a million pairs to 50 million or delivering 78,000 masks to healthcare workers last year, Gifts for Good Chief Impact Officer Jenise Steverding has found a way throughout her career to meld her knack for logistics with a propensity for giving back – and for that, we (and the world at large) are very grateful. Join us as we discuss her fascinating professional trajectory, exciting new software to simplify corporate giving, and how it all started with three envelopes.

Episode Transcript

Enrique Alvarez (00:19):

Welcome to another episode of logistics with purpose. I’m your host Enrique Alvarez. And today I am very excited because we have us your show, a very, very cool guest. And, uh, I’m also very excited because they have a super cohost Kristi, Kristi, how are you doing today?

Kristi Porter (00:34):

I’m good. I’m really excited about this episode. Well, I guess I’m excited about all of our episodes equally excited. It’s just fun to get, to talk to good people.

Enrique Alvarez (00:42):

It’s just fun to actually do this things cause they kind of are uplifting and inspiring. And I agree with you like the days that we actually get the privilege to interview this people I’m just feel great after that. So it’s, it’s a good kind of morale booster for our days and weeks. So go ahead. Why don’t you, uh, well, before we do that, I just want to remind everyone that’s listening to us or watching us on YouTube to, uh, to sign up for our channel. You can listen to us in any, uh, in any podcast, uh, player that you use and you can also sign up for our YouTube channel@supplychainnow.com. You can also listen to our episodes through the website also@supplychainnow.com. Once again, this is logistics with purpose I’m in wreak Alvarez and let’s introduce our guests for today.

Kristi Porter (01:28):

Yes, absolutely. So, um, today we have Jenise Steverding with guests for good and I have been a fan of gifts for good, for a long time. They, um, they’ve been around for about four years and have just completely reinvigorated in my opinion, corporate giving, um, and giving it scale. And now, as I’ve recently learned, you can also buy gifts just as a person like you or me. So I’m really excited to welcome Jenise and hear more about gifts for good. And for those who aren’t familiar, um, before we dive into gifts for good, actually Jenise tell us a little bit about your background and as we were talking earlier, you’ve had multiple giving positions in your background. So, um, tell us more about your childhood and just what inspired you at an early age to start giving back.

Jenise Steverding (02:12):

Yeah. Um, thank you guys so much for having me. It’s exciting to be here on the podcast and I love logistics. Um, I also love giving back. So I will say I came from a family that taught me that like from a very early age, um, I grew up going to church and from my allowance, like I had envelopes and so I could spend a certain part of my allowance that went in one envelope. I had to save a pertinent part that went in another and then a third envelope it was to give away. And so from my

Kristi Porter (02:45):

System or did your parents, were they even before we’re pretty Dame, right? Dave ran.

Jenise Steverding (02:53):

Um, but, but yes, like I was just taught like when you get money, this is how you stewarded and give away out of what you first get. So that’s my earliest memories of like how to manage money, come from that. Um, and yeah, so top by my family, but then I think also it’s just, I don’t know, some of that’s just in you, like my mom will tell me from being a small kid of like wanting to give more, I remember sponsoring a child with world vision. I was in elementary school. Right. But it was like, she, she was, you kept asking me like, why do we have this and other people don’t. So I think that kind of injustice or in, um, things that weren’t equitable were always just important to me and kind of like, just me.

Enrique Alvarez (03:42):

Yes. And so I, any kind of particular, um, moment, or you already told those one from your mom, but anything else that kind of reminded you of, uh, the fact that you had to give a gift back or any kind of go at growing up, like take us through your upbringing if you, if you don’t mind.

Jenise Steverding (03:59):

Sure. I think there was, there was a pivotal moment for me, my senior year of college. So I went to a small liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, but I did a semester in San Francisco and I double majored in sociology and business, which did not necessarily go together in the nineties, but they have sued. They do now. And they’ve suited me well. Like I always felt like there were these two very different side of my brains and I was always trying to reconcile them. And then the early parts of my career that was hard. It has become easier. But I did a semester in San Francisco, um, in an urban studies program. So we talked about, you know, racial issues and poverty issues. And, um, we lived in Pacific Heights, that’s where the homeless located. So this nice part of San Francisco, but I took my internship working in housing projects and I was dealing with the drive-by shootings and then I’d go home.

Jenise Steverding (05:00):

And I was, you know, 20, 21, this kid from a really nice neighborhood. And I was trying to just go like, this is so wrong. And it’s basically based on my zip code of where I live or the color of my skin. Um, and so I really, I was just praying and I just was like, I have to find ways and what I do to make sure that I am making a change and making the world a better place. So it wasn’t always easy for me. I will say, like when I graduated, uh, you had student loans and I couldn’t take certain jobs that I wanted to take. And even working in the private sector, I worked a second job, um, just to make sure that I could pay everything on time. Um, and I, I wasn’t really doing things that I, that motivated me, but I was an early manager and I had two jobs early in my career where I was managing a warehouse and a team.

Jenise Steverding (06:00):

And I liked the functions. Right. It was like the logistics of getting the orders out, getting things on time. Um, so I liked these different functions, but I wasn’t motivated about what’s in that actual shipment. It was like cleaning supplies. Um, uh, cause I worked for this like restoration company for awhile and it wasn’t until, uh, so I had moved to San Francisco a few years, post college. I worked in higher education for a while. So I worked at Stanford school of medicine. I worked as the interim director for that urban program that I had been a student at. And then I decided to go back to school and I went to business school in Milan, um, which was its own logistical feat. Um,

Enrique Alvarez (06:49):

Why not, if you don’t mind me asking, I mean, you said you want it to be in Europe. Is that something that you had come across as someone very structured and you plan ahead and you’re you have a plan?

Jenise Steverding (07:01):

Does that fit in here? I always, I always thought I would go back to school. Um, I was getting older and I was like, if I’m going to do it, I should do it. European schools were less expensive. I could do it in one year as opposed to two. So every six weeks I was starting all new classes and I could do my internship anywhere in the world. And I come from a Sicilian family. So I also was like, why not move to Italy to go to business school? Okay. And then I moved to Johannesburg for my internship and I worked on a, um, presidential project of a urban community renewals. I worked in a township, um, which was a whole other experience, um, for four months and kind of worked on a book with kids. I had 170 kids from the 17 schools and we did a whole project with cameras and kind of seeing life of Alex through their eyes.

Jenise Steverding (08:08):

Um, and then I came back to Southern California and was like, I don’t really know what to do next. And I had a conversation with a couple of people from a university. One was the Dean of that, a business school. And he said, I want you to meet one of our professors of finance. He’s the former CFO of world vision international. And those two people just were very kind to me and made some connections. And I ended up taking a job at a nonprofit called giving children hope we were a big warehouse of humanitarian aid. And um, so when those containers shipments going out, they were to do, you know, or a rural clinic in Zambia or they were disaster relief or they, you know, they was a lot of work done for Katrina. Um, and so all of a sudden it was different for me because these things that I liked in job function, I was marrying with mission and purpose.

Jenise Steverding (09:11):

And yeah, when you’re getting cholera meds out to Zimbabwe for a color outbreak, like it’s a, it’s a different sense of satisfaction. Or for me, it definitely was, um, in 2010 I was deployed to Haiti right after the earthquake. So that was probably one of the hardest things that I’ve had to do. And certainly the challenges, I would say logistics and communication, like those were two things of like, can you get what is needed, where it’s needed? Um, and so those are just two very critical pieces, right after that it was approached by Toms, which was a startup in those days.

Enrique Alvarez (09:55):

If you don’t mind me interrupting you there right. Very quickly before you kind of jump into, uh, the more, uh, more of your career, which by the way, it’s not only fascinating, but incredibly successful, but so while you were going through all these different experiences and you’re in Haiti and, uh, it was, I imagine it must have been hard. Um, I mean, you were absolutely clear that point, that that’s what you wanted to do the rest of the life, right. You didn’t have, because you’d have the business background, you have the MBA, you have all those different experiences in logistics and warehousing and order fulfillment. I mean, were you at that point a little bit more clear as of what you wanted to do? And I ask you this, cause there’s a lot of younger people that kind of see our show. And so if you work to recommend them something like what point did you found out that calling? I,

Jenise Steverding (10:41):

I sometimes think I’m still figuring it out because I think that the jobs today are written very much for like you’re a specialist doing X and that has never been me. And so I think I’ve gravitated to the more startup environments because I’m not necessarily really excellent at one thing, I can jump into a lot of areas. Um, and you tend to find that more in startups, I’m good at problem solving. Like I’ve spent time figuring out what do I, what do I like doing, what do I think I’m good at doing? What are the things that I really hate doing, like putting together deck proposals? Like I’m pretty bad at that. So I don’t want a job that like is going to require a lot of that. So I think I have just tried over time and then I love different like assessments, like the Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram and the StrengthsFinder.

Jenise Steverding (11:36):

Those things have been to me, like focusing on my strengths and not my weaknesses. And if I could strengthen my strengths and I come up high as like, I forget what it is right now, but it’s kinda like being a conductor, like seeing how all the pieces fit together is something that I’m good at. So I, for me, I’ve tried to look at job descriptions through those lenses and go, is there enough of those things? Um, because I think I am more of a generalist than a specialist in a lot of ways and jobs just aren’t written that way.

Enrique Alvarez (12:11):

No. And it sounds like a couple of just knowing yourself, which, um, which is something important. Of course, if you’re trying to decide what career to go to, then you’re, you’re taking risks and, uh, accepting opportunities. Right. I mean they, and then they send you to Haiti. I mean, that probably wasn’t easy. And you still say yes, parolee.

Jenise Steverding (12:29):

Yeah. Well, and I think that’s the thing too, is then as I’ve taken risks, um, I’ve been able to carve out where I’m good and then try to hire for these other skillsets that are my best skill set. Um, but I think you’re right. Taking risks has been a big part of what I have done and that most people aren’t willing

Kristi Porter (12:48):

To do that. But you said earlier about for young people or really for anybody at any stage of their career, having the mentors to help point you see the skills and the things that you can’t see and help point you in different directions and make introductions that’s really important early in your career, but is important at any stage, really. And it sounds like that really helped set you on a path as well.

Jenise Steverding (13:11):

A hundred percent. I have, um, actually just a week ago, I was up in San Francisco with my 90 year old friend because when she was 65 and I was a college kid in the housing projects, that woman walked with me and cried with me and invested in me. And she is still one of my best friends to this day. So I am grateful for having mentors. I try to collect good people. Um, and I try to also be a mentor to people younger than me because I know how pivotal it has been for me and my career. Um, and just my personal life. Yeah.

Enrique Alvarez (13:50):

Well, I’m go ahead. So continue then you actually get approached by,

Jenise Steverding (13:54):

So yeah, they’re crushed by Tom’s. I actually said, no, I wasn’t interested in talking to them. Um, when I first got the email and then I decided to talk to them, um, and honestly one of my hesitations was like, oh, I’m getting out containers of medical aid. I had just come back from Haiti. How can I go to sending out shipments of shoes? Right. So for me, that was a hard, like a hard transition. Um, but when I had my first conversation with them, I realized they were very, very invested in how do we do this? Well, how do we give, um, products strategically? So I was working for a gifting kind organization. So I knew all about product donations, right? And this like very specific niche of gifts in kind, which isn’t a term, a lot of people even know. And for Toms at the time, it was percent of their business model and they didn’t know the term.

Jenise Steverding (14:55):

Um, and I was talking about air dose standards and these things that, you know, were kind of different for them. And I knew I had, because I was working for an international NGO, I knew the criteria that international NGOs were looking at. And so I also saw it as can we push the industry of product donors to give better. So we did a few things different. Um, uh, we gave new shoes made to order. We didn’t give like the leftovers, which is, I’m not saying there’s not a place for that, but it is how most product donations are given by corporations, right? It’s like, we don’t need this, so let’s get rid of it. Yeah. Surplus. And, um, and the, I mean, it’s, I’m glad people are doing something good with surplus, but we had a very different strategy. And we said, we actually want to understand what the needs are.

Jenise Steverding (15:51):

And we want to produce some deliver based on the needs, because this is an out of my surplus where you are building this into our mission and our business model, we then paid ocean freight, which is not something that most product owners do. Right. And then it was one step further. And I don’t know another business doing this. And I remember being a part of like those early conversations of how do we get this through? We said, we’re going to give you a certain financial amount for every pair, a per pair amount so that we can cover last mile distribution expenses. So we went really above and beyond what I, any company I’m aware of really did. And then we also began in our application process where we’re looking at not just like the logistical infrastructure of, can you handle a container of shipments and all these things, but we looked at your program, how can this have be integrated into your programmatic intervention?

Jenise Steverding (16:49):

Can we measure programmatic impact? We actually funded an impact, a randomized control trial to understand the impact of shoes, which was something that usually isn’t done. And we did mapping. So we made sure that if I’m giving to this program and that program, and there are anywhere near each other, that we were mapping at all and making sure that they were talking to each other, because we didn’t want like one kid getting three pairs of Toms from three different organizations. Um, so we tried to be really thoughtful in, um, in what we were doing and, um, and gave, you know, scaled it from a million pairs to 50 million pairs. And, um, in the, in the four years that I was there, um, from there, I went well, once

Enrique Alvarez (17:38):

Again, what was, what was the position that they were hiring you for it? Because it was,

Jenise Steverding (17:44):

It was called giving account manager,

Enrique Alvarez (17:47):

Which they didn’t even what that was, but they needed someone with logistics and

Jenise Steverding (17:52):

Hi mean, Hey, we’re figuring it out. Right. It was like you were in the early days, it was like people were taking shoes in a suitcase to some community that they were going to. And then as the sales took off, there needed to be a lot more structure and about, you know, how do we give container loads, not suitcases all. Um, so there was a lot of that had to be built.

Kristi Porter (18:18):

Nobody has heard of social enterprise model at that point. I mean, social enterprise just wasn’t, you know, Toms was certainly a leader in that complete model. And, you know, so you guys having to figure it out was certainly paving the way for lots of organizations to come after you.

Jenise Steverding (18:33):

Yeah. Well, and there were more like financial models, right? We were actually dealing with product and, you know, future models for Toms. It was maybe more complicated messaging. Like when we sell a pair of sunglasses, we give sight to someone in need. Um, and that was more, that was harder for people to understand. But from a logistic standpoint, it was like we were writing a check to deliver one of a few different interventions. Um, and so it was much easier. Whereas on the shoe end, like we had to have a team of people that managed it, it shipping the shoes, making decisions, going into the field. I mean, I piloted giving shoes in, um, refugee and IDP communities. So I, I spent time in like east Africa where we were in Rwanda. I went to Congo because I’m like, this is a conflict zone. Like, what are the things that sitting in my office and Santa Monica, I don’t know. Um, we need to understand it another level. So yeah, we did, uh, we did a lot of that just to see how is this working and make changes. So like when I saw, oh, the boxes are falling apart or this or that, like this was really hard for the person trying to do distribution. And then we came back and we, do you remember

Enrique Alvarez (19:52):

One particular story or something that kind of, um, you can share with the audience regarding logistics and how you solved it, something on the lines of what you were just saying? Yeah.

Jenise Steverding (20:04):

Uh, yeah, I mean, I remember when someone on the shoe production side made a decision that like we were, we had originally been giving an Eve sizes and all of a sudden they changed it to American shoe sizes. And, um, we didn’t know that. And then she started showing up in the field and it was very confusing because American shoe sizes for kids go to like 13 and then back to two and then up to, you know, adults, whatever. And we’re dealing with people that don’t understand the sizes that maybe can’t read. And one of the things that we did, or like a size, you know, 13 child and a size 13 are very different, so huge confusion. Um, when you’re pulling boxes and doing distribution, and now you’re really far out and like, you don’t have the right thing. So we actually started putting an imprint on the side of the box of how big the shoe was. You could just look at it and go, okay, that’s a 13, but it’s this big versus this big, um, to try to just like, how do we problem solve? Um, so those are some of the things that, yeah, we got to be kind of in the early days of how do you give away millions of pairs of shoes? Well, that will fit, but aren’t hurting local markets. You know, all of those things you have to think about. Um,

Kristi Porter (21:29):

I never loved those giving trips, by the way. I tried several of those giving trips, sadly, never chosen, but that’s okay.

Jenise Steverding (21:38):

Yeah. Uh, they was always, that was a highlight for staff staff who got to go and, um, yes, and sometimes people from the outside. So, um,

Kristi Porter (21:48):

Well, thank you. Let’s talk about what you’re doing now, uh, guests for good. So for those who aren’t familiar with, you guys tell us a little bit about the history and Laura starting it and the model and process for you guys and just a good overview of guests for good.

Jenise Steverding (22:07):

Yeah. So gifts for good was founded in 2017. So there’s two co-founders, uh, Laura Hertz and Jerry Eisenberg. And they were actually studying at USC getting their masters in social entrepreneurship. And it started as a class project and it started as a, Hey, we think that, um, if we focus on the issue of homelessness and like new homes, cause they both had somewhat of a real estate background, um, they’re like every time a new home is sold, there’s a closing gift given. And what if those closing gifts helped to support the issue of ending homelessness? Um, and that was the original premise. And, um, and then they began involving the idea and in kind of spring of 2017, I went to the social enterprise conference and I heard Laura give her little 62nd pitch on gifts for good. And it sounded a little bit like Tom’s marketplace that I was familiar with.

Jenise Steverding (23:02):

So I just went up to her afterwards and said, Hey, here’s a number of brands that you might want to talk to about your project. And I didn’t think too much of it. She took my card and then, um, she kept emailing me. And so I eventually had coffee with her and it turned into a two hour conversation and we both had lived in Johannesburg and she’s like, you need to join us. And I was a little like this isn’t a company yet. You know, there was no bug site, this wasn’t a thing. Um, and yet somehow, uh, that summer, uh, I joined the team and we launched the business October 20th, 20 when we sold our very first chain. Um, so that became our birthday. And, um, I will tell you, and sometimes they can talk about these things without crying. So forgive me in advance.

Jenise Steverding (24:00):

But October 20th of last year, 2020, um, I was at our fulfillment center and we had maybe 10 people, kitting boxes for a custom order for Snapchat. We were doing something for their global workforce and I’m going three years ago, we filled the key chain. And now there are all of these people here with barriers to employment. Um, some of them coming out of incarceration, some of them coming out of homelessness and they’re all working on this big project and we’re getting all of these boxes out to 20 countries and it is really amazing. So I feel really blessed of what we’ve been able to do in the last few years. So we are focused on the corporate gifting space. Um, we try to curate product that makes sense for that space. Um, all high quality products that we don’t want to be kind of that sometimes.

Jenise Steverding (25:06):

And like, and nothing against fair trade. So I don’t mean this in the wrong way, but sometimes it’s not always what feels like a business gift. Um, so we’ve tried to focus on really premium products, um, that really target a specific budget, right? So I like to say that businesses, this is a line item on your budget already, and we’re just turning it into a budget for good. So like first and foremost, I have to meet those gifting criteria. Like it has to be something you’d want to send. And then by the way, every product has a story behind it. Every product we work up front, I manage all of our partnerships and operations and we work up front with each of our vendors. There’s a two stage application process that we have, and we try to quantify something that can be measured for every product so that we can, you know, let a business know like this is what you’re going to create when you want to send these 300 items. Um, but also for our own, you know, internal, um, you know, impact reports. We know we can look at the course of a year based on our sales. And we know last year we created almost 37,000 hours of employment for resettled refugees, for individuals with disabilities, for people coming out of homelessness for veterans, you name it like, because we know how long a lot of these products take and we’re working with a lot of workforce programs. Um, to me that’s like, it’s really amazing. So that’s,

Enrique Alvarez (26:44):

That’s our model. It’s unbelievable how much you’re giving and how much you’re making a difference out there. Um, and you mentioned this, uh, hours of employment is, uh, is that the main premise? So just walk me very quickly. So let’s say I, I have been to your website. It’s amazing. I actually went into buy a bunch of different things just because they’re so cool. If I do pick like this pat backpack or, or, um, something I go by it, then what happens? So what happens? What’s the, how do you, how does that end up into it depends on the product depends

Jenise Steverding (27:16):

On the product because right now I’m working with over 50 different, um, non-profits or social enterprises. And what we don’t want to do is dictate a model to them. What we want to do is understand their model, um, and make sure that it fits with us, um, and make sure that there is something that can be measured. So I have blankets that are made from recycled cotton and plastic water bottles. So my measurement there is around recycling. I’ve got product made with remanent fabric. I have backpacks that help fund bed nets. So there’s a certain amount that goes to an organization that is tied to something specific. Um, so it really depends, but we do work with a number of nonprofits and most of the nonprofits are doing job training programs. And so I do have a lot around the hours of employment, but I would say that is not exclusively we’re funding, you know, clean water programs for some of our products, um, again, using recycled materials. So it just depends.

Enrique Alvarez (28:25):

Great. And I see again, that you’re not only empowering women, helping children, creating jobs, helping the environment, improving health, helping animals, even. So it’s like very well-rounded portfolio of, uh, organizations and causes that you’re, that you’re passionate about, which one, which is the first one. I mean, since you started you guys launched it, what was the first, uh, I guess homelessness. So you already mentioned it, but the first product that you kind of launched you now have 50, you said more than 50.

Jenise Steverding (28:55):

Uh, we have over 15 vendors, I have over 500 products. So we launched with all the lovely, uh, probably 20 organizations. Um, so we had a variety of products. Many of those vendors are still working with us today. Um, and then I’m continuously, I probably, you know, add five to 10 every year at this point. Um, just because it is such a, such a process. Um, and, uh, there’s the operational components too. And how do those systems talk to each other? And if we’re dealing with like bulk orders, that need to be customized, we want to understand people’s capabilities because at the end of the day, there’s a lot of logistics to this, right? It’s like this has be branded and it’d be at an event at a certain day. Um, we have to manage all those timelines and we need to understand capacity of organizations so that we can hit, hit all of the important, you know, milestones along

Kristi Porter (29:55):

The way. How do you choose there’s so many nonprofits, so many social enterprises, so many products out there. I know, obviously you said quality is one, but with so many out there and having to vet them, how do you choose who actually gets to end up partnering with

Jenise Steverding (30:09):

You? Yeah, I mean, it really is the reason it’s a two-stage application process. Is there some top line criteria? And so we have a very like short application, um, upfront. And for people that don’t meet those top-line criteria, we let them know. We don’t want to, you know, make anyone spend too much time. Um, some of it has to do with, you know, is it the right product for us? Do we have enough demand for this type of product? I don’t want to spend time on a partnership if it’s not something that our customers are asking for, um, or other criteria, some of it is around systems integration, um, some of it’s around impact and measurement. Um, so we look for some of those things. If people do meet those, they get passed on to the second stage. They send us samples so we can see it.

Jenise Steverding (31:00):

And then there’s a more extensive application. And then, you know, I do calls with people to make sure I understand and we’re aligned and then an onboarding process. So it, um, it takes some time we try to do a lot of the work upfront so that it is pretty seamless once we’ve kind of launched someone new on our site. Um, but it’s a lot of upfront work to make sure that, Hey, this is gonna work for everyone and it really has to work for everyone. So that is something that is really important that, um, um, we, because we do work with a lot of nonprofits, like I’m not trying to push people beyond what they can do. Like I want to make sure they understand what our customers ask for and how we work and make sure that it really does work for them. But I mean, we have organizations like we really grew last year with the pandemic.

Jenise Steverding (31:51):

Um, and I have organizations that said, you know, you helped keep our doors open. I had dinner with one on Monday night. She said, you really kept us alive your, your orders, your demand. Um, so those are the things that again are just really, really exciting, um, for us to be a part of and for our customers too, because every product they get, they, um, ship tells a story. So the feedback they get from their gift recipients is, um, really meaningful because it’s building a stronger bond between the business and their customers or the business and their employees. So it really is sort of impact, um, uh, I’m more on the vendor side than the client side, but it really is impact all around, goes

Enrique Alvarez (32:37):

Way beyond just kind of giving something material, right. I mean, you’re really, you’re really promoting, like, uh, giving back and paying forward and becoming a better a hundred,

Jenise Steverding (32:48):

A hundred percent. And we launched a gifting software last year called gift forward. So we’ve actually made it really easy for a business that, um, uh, they don’t have to come up with that one item that 300 people want, um, and get the 300 addresses. They can actually launch a campaign based on their budget. We’ll deploy a branded email to those 300 people when they give us those email addresses. And then that gift recipient will be able to like, see this video. We can brand the video and then they pick out what they want.

Enrique Alvarez (33:24):

That is great. I mean, I wish I would have heard of this like many, many years ago, cause it’s always such a pain, right. As a business owner, I totally understand what it entails to do the right thing and try to, to give something to your customers and appreciation or your employees, but at the same time, it’s a nightmare to go through all the addresses and confirm the addresses and selecting the right presence. So this is, this is great. Tell, tell us more about this.

Jenise Steverding (33:49):

So again, it’s called gift forward. It’s our, it’s our gifting software. Um, we constructured around budget. That’s how we sell it. How many people to, what collection value? Um, we get the assets, we brand the campaign. Um, we deploy the emails and then those gift recipients get to pick out what they want. So we, we see it as reducing waste of like, you’re not getting something you don’t want cause you’re picking out what you do. Uh, you’re putting in your own shipping address. So we know where to ship it. You can send a thank, you know, right after you put in your address, you can send a thank you note to the person who sent it. And if for one reason you don’t want one of the many fabulous physical gift, you can turn it into a, um, impact donation. So you could fund planting trees or meals to kids in need. Um, uh, if like you just don’t actually need anything more. Um, and then for the clients, they can, you know, log into their portal. They can see if, you know, what’s been delivered, they can read the thank you notes. They can, um, see what the most popular items were, but they can see their impact. Um, so we’ve tried, we’re trying to, you know, revolutionize gift giving, um, an added package. That’s

Enrique Alvarez (35:10):

Fantastic. And actually that kind of tees up my next question, very, very nicely. And of course, we’re going to give all, we’re going to add all the information as of how to contact you and your company. And of course the, uh, incredible software that you’re describing, uh, uh, at the end of this interview. But, uh, you spoke a lot about the revolutionizing this industry and trying to give back to more people more efficiently, easier for, for everyone. So what trends have you kind of seen in corporate giving? So if you take a couple of steps back and kind of through your amazing experience, um, throughout the last couple of, uh, projects that you have, um, led what, what’s the, what’s the trend here and how do you see the competitive landscape and other companies? What do you see in the,

Jenise Steverding (35:58):

I mean, 2020 was hard for everyone, right? Like it was a really hard year. And I think, you know, we didn’t know what was going to happen. We worked with a lot of live events and all of a sudden those were gone and we really didn’t know what was going to happen, but we saw so many businesses wanting to reach people in new ways, um, because it was a hard year, but they didn’t want to be wasteful. Like they really like those budgets really meant something in 2020. And so we saw an increase because all of our products did good, you know, so they could still make someone feel good while doing good. And I just think that’s going to grow. And again, the, the ability to kind of measure what’s being done and issue those social impact reports is something more and more people are, um, wanting. We did become a certified B Corp last year. There was a tremendous growth in businesses wanting to become a benefit Corp certified B Corp corporation, which means it’s like that external measurement. Um, you know, are you doing good for giving back? Are you doing good for the planet like this outside measurement? And I’m definitely seeing a trend to that being important, not just on your philanthropy, but across your whole business. So I do think that that’s just going to continue

Kristi Porter (37:24):

The cool thing about your software, especially in the middle of the pandemic is you didn’t know where somebody was working, so you might not have all your employees and mailing addresses. And even though, you know, the work landscape will continue to change as we shift back to some being in-person some being hybrid, all of that kind of, so that’s another fantastic outlet for companies.

Jenise Steverding (37:45):

Yeah. And for virtual conferences too, because you had the email addresses for who came through a virtual conference, but whereas you might have handed them, you know, a gift box or something when they came in the door, like everything just had to be done different. So the software was a great solution for a number of businesses. Yeah.

Kristi Porter (38:04):

Speaking of you mentioned it earlier, you released your impact report. Um, I love that you guys included some many cool, tangible things. Like I even love to like rides to, you know, breast cancer, um, chemo treatments, and there were so many very tangible things. And then so many, just little cool assets that you were able to measure, um, like that as well and measure impact in so many ways. So what are some of your successes either from just measurement standpoint, or maybe as you said, some of your partners were able to in business. So tell us just a few more of your,

Jenise Steverding (38:38):

Yeah. So I, I do this impact report every year. One day, it will be automated. Let’s say it requires me looking at every single order. Um, so it probably took me a good two weeks in 2021 to look at what happened in 2020. Uh, but because we do have a measurement for every product, um, we are able to do those things. So I actually printed it. You know, some of my, my favorites, um, we provided almost 1800 kids with a full year of school supplies. Um, we funded over 85,000 meals to kids in need. Um, and a lot of those with the organization, I used to work at giving children hope, which works with, um, a lot of families who are, who are homeless here in Southern California. So, um, I already mentioned all the hours of employment that we created. Um, we gave, we funded lifesaving vitamins for a year for over 182,000 children. Uh, we planted over half a million trees. Um, we did some work with COVID last year, we had some new partners. So we gave over 78,000 masks to healthcare workers. But some of our total cash contributions was over $400,000 in 2020 as a three-year-old business. So it just, again, for me was like just really fun. I mean, it’s a lot of hard work, right. But fun to be a part of going, like we’re doing all this through gifts giving, right. Like it’s cool.

Enrique Alvarez (40:13):

No, and you should feel incredibly proud. And so, so should the entire team, um, because yeah, it’s been, it’s amazing. The impact that you’ve made is incredible. I mean, clearly the more you give, the more you get right. As they say.

Jenise Steverding (40:26):

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, it was a fun year,

Enrique Alvarez (40:32):

Dave, if you consider your experience again, so not only, uh, gifts for good, but, uh, and your career as a professional, uh, do gooder and, uh, giving back to people, uh, what are some of the lessons like the top three, if you will, uh, that some of the lessons that you’ve learned, some of the things that you probably would advise other people to do in similar industries or that wanting to get involved, some of the things that they probably should not do, um, what are, what are your lessons? I mean, I

Jenise Steverding (41:00):

I’d say I have a good work ethic. It’s something that I was taught early on, but something that not, not everyone has. And I think if you’re gonna go in this line of work, like a really strong work ethic is important. Um, cause it, this doesn’t just come right. It takes a lot of, um, grit. I’d say don’t be above doing anything. I mean, I started at Toms. I was emptying my own trash can like, again, I think people have this perception, um, but you can’t be above rolling up your sleeves and getting it done. Especially if you join a startup because customer service, phone calls ring to my cell phone, um, it matter what your job is like you do it because all those interactions are important. Um, and kinda like do find, try to find the things you’re passionate about and try to understand yourself. Um, I know for me, like I, like I said, I geek out over all these tests, um, but kind of learning more about myself and going, do I see alignment with what I’m being asked to do and or can I take a risk and carve out those things that I’m good at so that I can give these other things I’m not good at? You know, we can carve those out for someone else.

Kristi Porter (42:13):

Thank you. Thank you for sharing. This has been fantastic as someone who has known about the company for awhile, I still learned so much. So thank you for being here with us. Um, and for anybody who, um, is now inspired to, to buy in, to give back either as an individual or as a company, um, let everybody know how they can connect with you and of course, order from gifts for good as well.

Jenise Steverding (42:34):

Yeah. So you can visit our website, which is gifts for good.com. Um, we have a phone number on there, (877) 554-1550. So you can call us, you can email us@helloatgiftsforgood.com. You can follow us on all the social media at gifts for good HQ, um, all of the ways that you can reach us. And we would be happy to, to work with you. Yeah.

Kristi Porter (43:01):

I love that you guys even have, like, you can help somebody, you have the ability to speak with a gift expert and help somebody find what works for them. So for anybody who feels overwhelmed, that’s a really cool feature,

Jenise Steverding (43:13):

Too. Exactly. You might even get me if you follow that, I’ll help you pick out it. Yeah. They saw that you

Enrique Alvarez (43:19):

Can, you can chat with someone. You can also schedule a demo. I’ve been trying to search for the, um, for this, uh, gift forward software. Where w where can someone find it on the web? Oh

Jenise Steverding (43:31):

Yes. Our gift forwards software is under, let me pull the website up. I believe it is gifting solutions. Um, under corporate gifting, you’ll see gifting software. Um, so that will kind of walk you through, um, how the software works and then under corporate gifting, there’s also like the services. So we do, you know, branded box and custom gift sets for clients. Um, and we can, you know, we mostly ship domestic, but we have some international brokers. If you know, people are shipping things all over the world, um, that are kind of experts in that. So we can do small orders to large orders. Thank you

Kristi Porter (44:13):

So much for your time, Denise, and for sharing more about gifts for good. This was incredible. And I know our listeners will love it too.

Jenise Steverding (44:21):

Thank you guys so much for having me. I, um, like I said, uh, the name of the podcast, logistics with purpose, like I love it and I it’s so true. Like logistics is such a huge part. I would say a theme of my career has been purpose, but it’s also been logistics, right? Because like, and we’ve seen that like with vaccine distribution, like if you can’t get it where it needs to be when it needs to be, it doesn’t matter. Um, and it’s the same with like our guests at holiday time. I’m like, if they don’t get there, when the people want them, like it’s a problem. Um, so it’s that, that has definitely been a theme of my career logistics and purpose. So I’m super excited to be here too.

Enrique Alvarez (45:04):

We are, we are humbled and inspired for having you here. It’s been an amazing conversation. Uh, again, you can, with our full support, whatever you guys are doing, it’s amazing. And I hope a lot of other companies and organizations out there are not only listening to what you’re doing, but hopefully they can follow your footsteps. Cause, uh, cause you’re a business model and your overall kind of a purpose driven organization is really, really making a big difference in the world. And congratulations. It’s incredible. Thank you for giving us some time to duct today.

Jenise Steverding (45:35):

Thank you so much for having

Enrique Alvarez (45:37):

Me. Thank you. And for everyone else, that’s listening to another episode of logistics with purpose. Don’t forget to sign up if you, uh, if you’re interested in listening to conversations like the one we had with Jenise at gifts for good. Please join us once again. This was the and Kristi Porter and

Speaker 1 (45:54):

We’ll see you. Thank you so much. [inaudible].

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Distributing the Gift of Giving at Scale with Jenise Steverding

Featured Guests

Jenise Steverding is the Chief Impact Officer of Gifts for Good: an innovative and socially conscious startup whose mission is to disrupt the world of business gifting. As an agent of change for both large corporations and smaller companies alike, Gifts for Good’s digital platform is the only resource in the corporate gifting space that curates premium, posh, and purposeful gifts that give back. She leads impact strategy and brand partnerships for Gifts for Good, ensuring all curated, premium products meet the company’s impact and product standards. Steverding previously served as an early member of the TOMS® Shoes Global Giving Program where she led the giving account team to scale their global shoe-giving platform from 1 million to 50 million pairs of shoes distributed through impactful nonprofit partnerships. She also was the first head of impact at a tech company, Pledgeling, and held a senior role at the Special Olympics World Games – where she oversaw the development and implementation of corporate sponsorships and cause-marketing programs with Toyota, Google and Westfield, among many others. Jenise studied business and sociology at Westmont College and later earned her Master’s in Public Management at SDA Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Connect with Jenise on LinkedIn.


Enrique Alvarez

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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Billy Taylor


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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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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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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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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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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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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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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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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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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Allison Giddens


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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera


Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) 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. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

Currently working as Sr. Staffing Analyst within the S&OP team in Mexico at the biggest ecommerce company in Latin America: Mercado Libre. Responsible for workforce forecasting and planning through the analysis of demand, productivity, capacity, cost & time constraints. Sofia self identifies as Supply Chain Ambassador, sharing her passion for the field in her daily life. She has been recognized as upcoming thought leader in the field and invited to participate in several podcasts (Freight Path Podcast, Supply Chain Revolution Podcast, Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Industrificados) to discuss topics such as digital transformation, automation and future skillsets for supply chain professionals.

She is a frequent featured guest at Supply Chain Now and appointed co-host for their new series Supply Chain Now en Español. Global Ambassador for ISCEAs Sustainable Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSSCP) and keynote speaker at World Supply Chain Forum 2021 by ISCEA Indonesia.

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Karin Bursa


Karin Bursa is the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year and the Host of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast powered by Supply Chain Now. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it), Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and share their success stories. Today, she helps B2B technology companies introduce new products, capture customer success and grow global revenue, market share and profitability. In addition to her recognition as the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year, Karin has also been recognized as a 2019 and 2018 Supply Chain Pro to Know, 2009 Technology Marketing Executive of the Year and a 2008 Women in Technology Finalist. 

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Vin Vashishta


Vin Vashishta is the author of ‘From Data To Profit’ (Wiley 2023). It’s the playbook for monetizing data and AI. Vin is the Founder of V-Squared and built the business from client 1 to one of the world’s oldest data and AI consulting firms. His background combines nearly 30 years in strategy, leadership, software engineering, and applied machine learning.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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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 a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. 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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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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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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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

Director, Customer Experience

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

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


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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