Supply Chain Now
Episode 666

Episode Summary

“As long as the value of ransomware is higher than the value of doing things the right way, the ‘investors’ will invest in ransomware.”

– Kevin L. Jackson, Digital Transformers



The Supply Chain Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12n ET each week. This show focuses on some of the leading stories from global supply chain and global business, always with special guests – the most important of which is the live audience!

In this episode of The Buzz, Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton are joined by Kevin L. Jackson, the host of Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now. With his background in all things digital, Kevin points out where AI and concerns about cybersecurity cross paths with common industry discussions about labor and infrastructure.

This week’s Buzz guests and hosts engage in real time with a live audience to talk about:

· What companies have learned over the last year about the power of participating in hybrid events that allow for a combination of in-person and virtual attendees

· Addressing labor as a component of USMCA, based on a complaint about workers who want to have collective bargaining rights in an auto parts factory in Mexico

· The backlog being seen in the Chinese port city of Guangdong: how long it is likely to last? Will it affect the holiday shopping season?) Are getting accurate information about its scale?

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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 (00:00:31):

Hey, good afternoon, everybody. Scott Luton, Greg white, and Kevin L. Jackson with you here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Gregory. How are you doing? I’m

Greg White (00:00:42):

Doing well, but man, that hair looks styling. Scott Loudin

Kevin L. Jackson (00:00:47):

Aggressive. What’s that way the easiest way to lose 15 pounds is the shop.

Scott Luton (00:00:57):

Well, we’re going to touch on where Greg is momentarily, but Kevin, how are you doing?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:01:03):

No, it’s it’s it’s great. Uh, awesome weekend. I mean, we had June 10th, we had father’s day and we had a birthday to celebrate, Hey, busy, busy weekend,

Scott Luton (00:01:18):

Lots to celebrate for sure. And, uh, enjoy as I was saying, appreciate it. Enjoy your bodies, uh, social shares and pictures across, across social media. So, but today’s all about the supply chain buzz. Uh we’re we’re Kevin, Greg and I are going to share some of the leading stories that should be on your radar, uh, across the global business world. Uh, of course we go live every Monday and Thursday here on supply chain now, uh, at 12 noon Eastern time. So get ready, warm up your, your POV. Cause we want to hear as Kevin and Greg and I share some of these stories. All right, so let’s get down to work. We’re going to say hello to everybody here momentarily, but Greg, you gotta let us know we’re where are you? Where are you at today?

Greg White (00:02:01):

So, um, I kind of pre pre uh, previewed this a little bit last week, but, um, I’m at an incubator and amazing coworking and maker space in Wichita, Kansas, my hometown called Groover labs. So, um, the founders, uh, Tracy Hoover and Kurt Grindley, Hance Groover get it. They started a company called Amber waves, um, and they sold it to us robotics. And now what they’re doing is they are kind of the pipeline of tech tech enabled business in, in Wichita. And it’s really interesting because this week I’ll be meeting with a number of people, president of Wichita state university. That’s the first time I’ve done that when I wasn’t apologizing for one of my fraternity brothers doing something, fortunately this is a few presidents in, so I know the Dean of men, which what the title was called back then. The Dean of men does still remember me Dean Dean.

Greg White (00:03:11):

But anyway, this is a great initiative. Uh, of course there’s a ton of infrastructure. Scott you’ve actually lived here in the air force and, um, Tracy and Kurt moved back from Boston after they sold their company and have started getting invested in the tech ecosystem about 15 years ago, decided to start this and invite a few of us founders, um, which is in home Homer’s, um, back to help mentor and advise some of these companies and help to create some connections that help bring the problems to the people that can solve. And just this amazing space. I’m looking out on it now, but it’s just this amazing space, which is apparently a really rare combination of coworking space and a maker space. You can do physical, um, prototyping and that sort of thing here. If you’ve got a hardware type product or just bring your startup here and be able to sit with people who are very talented and experienced every single day to help them get started and feeling awesome.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:10):

They’re happy to be getting back to physical things, you know? Yeah,

Greg White (00:04:18):

It’s fun. It’s funny you say that Kevin, because this is the first time I’ve actually met any of these people in person and they started this in February of 2020. They never really got started and they’re starting over again though. They have been able to facilitate other than physical activities here. So, um, but you know, this is a really entrepreneurial city pizza hut. Rent-A-Center a number of other companies founded here. Uh, residents’ ends. I had my after prom party at the very first resonance and nice,

Scott Luton (00:04:51):

Nice, uh, as a Dean, we’ll remind you fat drunk and stupid is no. No. All right. Well, Greg, I look forward to getting your updates all week a full week in Wichita, including take your shot on Wednesday, which we may touch on later in the broadcast here today. But Hey, in the meantime, let’s make a few programming notes really quickly dive into the stories. Uh, we’ve got our big webinar tomorrow with, uh, the groups from, uh, the group from ping and John Galt. So tune in for, uh, a great journey and story of their supply chain, transformation, millions and millions of different types of golf clubs. They’ve gotten to be prepared and bill of supply chain around. So join us. Uh, registration is still open and the link is in the comments. Uh, Hey, we’re still pushing in June the month of June subscribe and review.

Scott Luton (00:05:41):

So we’re kinda taking a page out of the PBS playbook instead of a, a telethon to raise funds is kind of ongoing telethon, ask you for your, uh, subscriptions to our programming. And of course your reviews, let us know how we’re doing that helps get the word out. And, uh, that’s of course kind of important when you’re a digital, a global digital media platform. Okay. September of course, we’re really proud Greg and Kevin whole team here, uh, to serve as the exclusive virtual provider of the supply chain insights global forum. Now, Greg and Kevin, we’ve gotten a couple of questions around this. So, um, we, aren’t going to be publicly live streaming this event virtually it’s going to be a registration only, um, uh, live stream, if that makes sense. And there’s a better way of putting that, but so you’ve got to register, uh, it’s a hybrid event. There’s going to be a collection of folks there in Tennessee, and then we’re going to be broadcasting, uh, two registrants, uh, the, the, uh, virtual feeds. So y’all check that out the seventh, eighth, and 9th of September, we would love to have you join us yeah.

Greg White (00:06:47):

In that. And you can’t afford her, but don’t have budgeted like so many companies, don’t Kevin, the, the travel money, you spend five grand to be there. You can pay a much lesser cost and be there virtually. I think it’s pretty cool to see, uh, companies doing this sort of hybrid model. And of course, where else would we expect that innovation then from Boris to Siri, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:07:11):

Oh yeah, absolutely. The other thing I’m seeing companies actually realizing a lot more return on their investment by participating in these, these hybrid events, you can get more people in form. You can interact with more people and it really increases your ability to build and leverage your network. So I would strongly recommend companies that, you know, this is, has not been on your radar to really look into participating in a virtual point of view. Yeah. Excellent

Scott Luton (00:07:44):

Point. And it’s going to be highly engaged and that’s, that’s, that’s the name of the game? Just like our live streams, you know, while we are going to have the feed from the speakers and the breakout sessions and networking, all that stuff, we’re going to be engaging the folks that sign up and hopefully bringing them into the stream as well and getting their takes on what they’ve heard and what they’re talking about. So join us in September. Okay. So before we get to the news, we’ve got, I think four or five stores we’re gonna walk through here today. Uh, I want to say hello to a few folks, Greg and Kevin, we’re going to start with pat who’s tuned in from, uh, Ontario, Canada via LinkedIn. Pat. Thanks for getting out out ahead of us. That’s exactly. If you’re a first timer to the stream, we’d love to know where you’re tuned in fans of pat. Welcome. Look forward to your perspectives here today. David is with us, Dave and hope this finds you. Well, my friend you’ve been busy. Uh, Greg’s nodding his head. Uh, David, this must be like five or six of them. Uh, he’s cloned himself. He’s been all across the social, uh, uh, sphere here lately. Oh no. Jeff Miller. Hey Jeff. Great to see ya.

Scott Luton (00:08:53):

Great. Um, all right. So, um, Avinash Naik if I got that right, I have a national Nick. Hey, if I mispronounced that, I apologize. Hey, we’ve all been there, right? Needing that job. Um, get connected with the folks in the cheap seats. We’re also going to give you some market Intel that you, hopefully you can use to put some irons in the fire, but all the best to you and let us know where you’re tuned in from two Peter bow lay all night and all day, Peter enjoyed, seen your pictures you sent of your father’s day, or maybe a previous father’s day, or maybe you just looked that good. Uh, Peter looked like 27 years old. Uh, all we need is

Speaker 5 (00:09:30):

A that’s Scott. He was 28 last week,

Scott Luton (00:09:42):

Three Musketeers on the digital trans. Wow.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:09:47):

I didn’t know musketeer. How about that? Xavier or something?

Scott Luton (00:09:53):

Uh, but great to have you here, Peter, uh, Abdul, uh, hello, E uh, Malique rather Malique from Malaysia. Hey, great to have you here via LinkedIn. Uh, let’s see here. Mervin is with us. Hello? Mervin. Hope this finds you well, by the way we tried Amanda, put it in the comments. There was a dish that Mervyn suggested in our insiders group on LinkedIn and Amanda found a recipe and it was delicious. We had it the next two nights. Really sure it is. Yeah. I saw

Kevin L. Jackson (00:10:25):

Some things that better when they marinade right. The first night. And then lasagna is like that the second night

Greg White (00:10:35):

You are so right. Nothing like spitting in the fridge overnight to get that flavor into the pasta

Kevin L. Jackson (00:10:42):


Greg White (00:10:44):

Chicken and waffle pot pie. Oh man. It sounds great. Yeah. I got to figure out how to make that happen. I mean, looking right now, I can tell,

Scott Luton (00:10:57):

So Kelly Barner host of Dow P for procurement is with us. Hello, Kelly. Hope this finds you well. And of course Mohib who Greg’s and me connecting with, uh, this week a

Greg White (00:11:07):

Couple of times. Yeah. Yeah. I owe him a lot of things. Thanks for meeting with the people at, um, a couple of big programs at Wichita state, uh, the supply chain masters program leader, and one of their top, um, one of their top professors who’s who I’ve met with before. Great team and the president again, without an apology, at least until I have to apologize after the meeting.

Scott Luton (00:11:34):

Well, uh, Mohit, we look forward to hearing more from you and, uh, hearing from what you and Greg had got cooking up this week. Okay. Folks, and it hill it, everybody else and see Nick and Bob and, and kit and, uh, many other folks. Welcome, welcome. Look forward to today. There is, everybody’s chomping at the bit after a long weekend, but let’s, let’s get into gentlemen, let’s get into some of the news stories that we’re tracking. So I’m going to lead off with a couple of stories here, and I’m going to kind of give the reader’s digest version, and then I’m going to circle back and get both Greg and Kevin’s taken and some takes from folks in the cheap seats. So up first here, according to this Roger’s report, us trade officials have filed a complaint against an auto-parts factory in Mexico. Now here here’s the gist of it. The complaint was related to the trodden next facility, which is in the border city of Matamoros.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:12:29):

Yeah. That’s a big focus on labor,

Scott Luton (00:12:36):

Uh, specifically questioning if workers have the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, uh, Mexican officials have already responded and have accepted the U S requests for review of the situation. So here here’s the, here’s perhaps a bigger takeaway. We’ll see how the investigation goes, but the bigger takeaway, I think two things when it comes to the U S MCA, right first the trade agreements, labor provisions, which NAFTA didn’t really address in that long running trade agreement. So then this is, this is already the second complaint, uh, just since it’s been ratified and in place. So labor is a big part of the trade agreement now. And then secondly, the U S MCA establishes a rapid response mechanism for labor complaints and violations. And, and it, it, it manifests itself as, uh, how quickly the Mexican government has gotten back and, and, um, acknowledged and accepted the complaint and the request for review. So, um, Greg, what’s your key takeaways here? Well,

Greg White (00:13:36):

You know, it feels like we’ve almost forgotten to talk about USN CA I recall, um, at a trade show, which seems like forever ago, now that we were talking with the, uh, consul general from Mexico in Atlanta, the Southeast, you know, in charge of trade for the Southeastern us. And he was very excited about it. We were very excited about, I think we kind of lost track of it, but Hey, it’s clearly working if this kind of interaction happens and the response comes that rapidly, then that is a fantastic advancement and intent and exactly what we intended, right. This partnership, um, in north America, I think we’re, you know, being in the states, Canada and Mexico, we’re in, in north America, uniquely situated to have only three countries on our continent. Right. And, um, to be able to coordinate that was, I think a lot easier than a lot of us expected though. It took some years to, you know, kind of slogging through NAFTA to figure out what we ought to be doing differently, but when they put it together and then they put it to you such, just so encouraging.

Scott Luton (00:14:47):

Agreed. Okay, excellent commentary there, Greg. Kevin, how about you?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:14:51):

Well, you know, I think it’s very important to understand, uh, or have these types of capabilities to be able to better monitor labor its use its capability and, and, and across our borders, but something that I don’t think we’re going to talk about as far as a news item, but I read earlier this week that of 40% of the job losses and the labor, or due to the implementation of artificial intelligence. So as artificial intelligence is going to expand across just about every industry. I think these types of complaints are going to increase and we’re going to have to figure out how to sort of moderate between a company, leveraging artificial intelligence in order to improve quality and responsiveness to the industry. Because we all expect to just think about what we want and then a drone to drop it on our front porch. Right. Right. Or if it’s actually anti-trade or anti-union, so this is going to be a difficult thing to monitor. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:16:05):

Agreed. And the main, the question is are bots and drones allowed to freely associate and collect bargaining. We’ll see. Um, but excellent points, like kind of the, both sides of that new store that y’all presented there. Uh, and it’s, it’s, uh, it’s, it appears, it’s a great start to, you know, the first, what, six months or so, uh, of us MCA adoption. And I love the, um, the communication between governments of the parties, uh, and you know, to protect our workers. That’s gonna be important regardless of what the topic is. Okay. Moving right. A long, uh, let’s talk about, um, ports, cargo containers, ships, do we have to speaking of global trade, of course the ports on the west coast have gotten beat up Phil. It feels like forever now, right? Because of the backlogs, but as reported here by CNN business, Chinese ports are having their own issues.

Scott Luton (00:17:09):

So again, here’s the gist of this story. And it was a pretty extensive story off to check it out over at CNN business, but a Corona Corona virus outbreak of course took place in Southern China a few months back. And it at course created a lack of available labor, right. To unload these ships. Uh, and it led to of course, ships and container sitting in ports added to the backlog right now, this mainly impacted the ports across the Chinese province of Guangdong. If I said that, right, Greg and Kevin Guangdong one John going, uh, perhaps, uh, yeah. Oh yeah. It’s quandong yeah. That’s where we got it. Um, I’ve got a knack for, for creatively mispronouncing things

Greg White (00:17:58):

Pretty well. They’re high marks.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:18:00):

Gavin actually gone down. I got a story about that. That’s the only place I’ve been expelled from a country was in Guandong.

Scott Luton (00:18:11):

Wow. We’ll have to dive deeper into that story. Uh, ports across the Southern province of going dong have seen the biggest impact the now the outbreak has been contained, but that’s no longer the story. You know, the ports and workers are back at it, but some of these ports aren’t back at full capacity, uh, like the port of Yan tin, uh, and at the end, of course, the damage has already been done. Right. So in the ports, in this area are seeing their biggest backlog since 2019. So Kevin, I’m gonna come to you first. Um, any, any thoughts here?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:18:48):

Well, first of all, you may not recognize gong dong, but it’s right there near Hong Kong. I’m sure you’ve heard of Hong Kong and so much trade. It comes across the border. Uh, there, um, this could be huge globally. Um, and in parallel to this, there’s really been a crackdown and information and pre-information, and in Hong Kong, uh, as the, uh, central government has taken more control of the information there. So w this is going to drive a reduction in information, uh, from that area. So we’re hearing about this stuff now, but think about what we’re not hearing about and how that may affect the global supply chain. That’s what I’m worried about. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:19:45):

Excellent point there. Kevin Gregory.

Greg White (00:19:47):

Yeah. I can tell you that if we’re talking about it now, it already has impacted holiday shopping because a lot of holiday inventory traditionally starts landing around the second, the beginning of the second half of the year, right. To get positioned, um, for distribution or retail, be that retail physical or more e-commerce. Um, so if we’re hearing about it then, and it’s still going on, it will most definitely impact the availability of holiday goods. Um, and, and, you know, to Kevin’s maybe put a finer point on what Kevin’s saying. Of course, China is lying to us about the, uh, the extent and the depth of this. When I say China, by the way, I mean, Chinese government.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:20:29):

Right, right, right.

Greg White (00:20:31):

Um, so, um, we don’t know what the truth is. And if you look at the statistics around, um, if you look at the statistics around, uh, coronavirus in China, they haven’t gone up appreciably since the beginning of Corona virus when they reported around 80,000 deaths. So you have to wonder too, whether this is some sort of concerted effort either by the Chinese government, or maybe even by shipping lines to constrain availability yet further, because as we’ve had reported by some of the freight forwarders and brokers and, and, uh, people that we work with, like Enrique in fact, are containers are three times what they were in the past. Uh, so, you know, people are paying, they are willing to pay to get this stuff shipped and it’s, they are, um, you know, in a country with literally billions of people where they can literally order them to do anything that they want them to do. They could simply provide the labor to get this work done if they want it to,

Scott Luton (00:21:39):

Uh, excellent points there, uh, from you both, uh, you know, I want to also add some perspective in, according from the article, uh, that port of the anti-Iran the disruption there, uh, it’s, it’s been unable to handle some 357,020 foot containers. Um, and you know, the, the disruption there has already surpassed the Suez canal disruption in terms of overall freight volume. So, um, but as Greg mentioned, the damage has been done. We’ll see, just to what degree?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:22:08):

Oh, for sure. The other thing is that send Jen is they’re involved on province also, and that’s the largest manufacturer of smartphones globally. And that’s it.

Scott Luton (00:22:18):

Yeah. So, um, now while you can

Speaker 5 (00:22:21):

That’s right. So Christmas

Scott Luton (00:22:24):

Get your, um, cell phones for gifts. Okay. Uh, I want to share a couple of great comments here. Um, let’s start with, I’m a pass that one with Peter, Peter. Good trout. Now I gotta skip over that

Speaker 5 (00:22:38):

One. says,

Scott Luton (00:22:40):

Hey, if you have a little speed boat, you qualify for being a Marine carrier.

Speaker 5 (00:22:44):

Now how about that? Great. Um, David

Scott Luton (00:22:47):

Wants to hear, uh, your story. We’ll have to dive in deeper, maybe on a veteran voices episode, Kevin. Now Peter does talk about the, the Liverpool, uh, port. There is, uh, I can’t click on that, that link, but it says it’s imploding as congestion grows clearly, uh, Jeff Miller, uh, says AI fuels the accelerating trend of job loss through organizational efficiency improvements and restructurings, and less through familiar, familiar labor efficiency improvements. Kevin respond to Jeff’s comment there. Well,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:23:24):

Wonder thing is that, um, the AI is enabling the, um, automation and the automation is affecting the labor. Uh, it’s not about labor efficiency. You just don’t need more labor. If you can get, you know, uh, robots to do, uh, the labor totally improvements in AI or making their robots better.

Speaker 5 (00:23:49):

Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Greg White (00:23:51):

And, you know, I think in a lot of cases too, it is serving labor to some extent, because it’s doing what’s dirty, dark and dangerous, right. Which is why people stay away from manufacturing, for instance, in droves. I mean, the truth is in a lot of industries, it’s not costing jobs, it’s replacing jobs or it’s filling jobs that people won’t take

Kevin L. Jackson (00:24:12):

Take. But then the challenge though, is, is scaling up, scaling the workforce.

Greg White (00:24:21):

Yeah. You’re dead on that’s right. And I think we, I think that Kevin that’s strikes me as a significant gap in, in how we need to change education and, um, technical and, and, um, workforce training, right? People skilled and more look at $15 an hour. It is now inevitable that hamburgers will be made by robots at McDonald’s. So, so, but that still leaves work for people to do at McDonald’s. We just have to get people skilled for what that work is.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:24:53):

I hate to go on a tangent, but problems in the United States is, uh, the ability to teach you new skills on apprenticeships, right? Countries like Germany. This is part of their culture to bring people out of school, to give them a Prentice jobs that suits stem, what they need to do in real life here in the United States. We don’t have that as a culture. We don’t have that in our training programs or education programs. So it’s going to hit here much worse than in other countries. Yeah,

Greg White (00:25:30):

You’re right. And I hate, I’ve spoken with a lot of educators. Who’ve expressed that same frustration. You didn’t express his frustration, just fact, but they do have it as frustration because they’ve seen the German model work rails, Shula, where you learn a trade gimnasio and where at high school level, you go on towards a college path. And we have pushed students towards the college path to the extent that they’re even before COVID, there were millions and millions of skilled trades jobs that were going on fulfill Mike Rowe and his dirty jobs initiative. Um, you know, I mean that, that’s our, maybe that’s our best great hope of trying to get people into these jobs in the workforce. And frankly, a lot of these jobs are significantly higher paying than jobs that college students are taking out of college two times the salary. Alright. So, uh, we did, it was good. Kevin, when we’re remote, he can’t cut our mice anyhow.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:26:34):

Right? Exactly. Hey, Hey Scott. Okay. We’re going to go over time today. Just that’s accepted

Scott Luton (00:26:43):

Good stuff. Brandy says, Hey, I think that was the same argument used during the first industrial revolution. Good point there branding as Aliyah, uh, agrees with her. Great to have you both here. Um, also now Marvin poses, an interesting question, and Greg, I’m gonna start with you since he, he, he mentioned you is, is not balanced possible. Uh, I remember Greg giving an example. He says, in case of autonomous carriers that the last mile delivery or short hauling should be left to the truckers. Only.

Greg White (00:27:15):

What about the example he’s specifically addressing is long haul, autonomous trucking, but then something like a port captain, right. Who comes in and, and in, in the case of Atlanta, maybe pulls it off. The truck pulls off the side, it’s I 75 and 2 85, and then a port gap in someone who knows the, the roads of the city then drives it the rest of the way to the delivery point. So there, I think there is, there is some opportunity for that. I think Mervin the point that Kevin and I were just talking about is I’m not sure that we’re at least in the states Mervyn’s in Ireland. So airline. So, um, at least in the states, I’m not sure that we’re equipped to up-skill or enable in that case, that would actually be a boon to the trucking industry because they’re, I mean, they’re getting fewer and fewer drivers every year and that’s because people don’t want to drive so far away from home. So it happens to fit there in other industries. It’s maybe not as, it’s certainly not as, as simple a fit as, as that. And it’s going to take, um, a bit more work and the concern being, not that the work can be done, but whether, at least us infrastructure and education is enabled to do that. Right. This incident. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:28:31):

Excellent point. Kevin, anything to add?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:28:33):

No, I’m turning this off.

Scott Luton (00:28:42):

Charles says, oh man, you got to buy your number two pencils and coats now, uh, out ahead of the, yeah, that’s a good point.

Greg White (00:28:53):

I’m looking at the date here and not at the time back to school is probably already in stock. Yeah. Well, I mean, you might be right with, with smart phones and other electronic devices. They are probably behind the curve. So you can,

Scott Luton (00:29:08):

Well, great to have you with us here, memory, uh, and by the way, Mervin, great. Appreciate that question. Um, and Nick says, uh, Nick hope this finds you. Well, the main difference here is that the us has more road to cover, compare to Europe. And there are certainly, yeah, I mean, that’s a great point. And then in the bigger sense is Greg and Kevin both were speaking to there’s, there’s a really big and unique geographic, um, unique dynamics as it relates to, uh, whether it labor like Greg and Kevin were talking about, or the infrastructure or you name it. So it’s not one size fits all our one challenge fits all. Um, okay. So for the sake of time, there’s a lot more, we could talk about this. I know, but for the sake of time, I want to move into the next story here. And Kevin, let’s see here, where can we talk in cyber? Uh, Congress here in the states is looking to beef up cybersecurity efforts and infrastructure. So tell us more about this here, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:30:02):

Well, when you, when you hear somebody talked about infrastructure, you think about roads, you take about your no trains. You take about bridges. Maybe, maybe you’re thinking about the electric grid. Um, but you really also have to think about the internet because that’s a key part of our entire national infrastructure and the internet has been really attacked, uh, with ransomware. Um, and, uh, the supply chain it’s really being under attack with, um, uh, software issues with software and the new administration it’s really been, oh, I mean, we, we had a problem with all on the east coast being shut down for six days. Um, so they’re, uh, they’re, they’re really being forced to, you know, do something then think fortunately.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:31:03):

Yeah, exactly. Uh, so they have issued a lot of these cyber security executive orders to try to protect the security of the internet, these executive orders and directives and policy changes. Uh, now I’m not saying that that’s the wrong thing to do. Um, and in some ways it’s probably the right thing to do, but we really need to think more because, uh, we’re trying to catch up to a problem that’s been around for years that has been ignored for years. And Congress is not going to be left behind doing, doing things without thinking. Right. So then changing up all kinds of laws around the cybersecurity agenda. Um, now, um, I am happy that they’re, they’re finally doing something right, but there’s been like 115 cyber security related bills trying to work through the legislative process. Okay. Because of this, this, uh, cyber security crises right now, they think it just happened last week. No, it’s been here for geek. Uh, so, but you know, so not thinking enough. All right. And these bills are ranging from, uh, digital integrity of the pipelines to enhancing a electorial system. No politics than that. Of course. But I mean, this all goes, also goes to the supply chain. Um, so, uh, this hap is going to affect everybody. Right.

Scott Luton (00:32:47):

Well, and Greg coming to you next, um, you know, w one of the thoughts we’ve shared a couple of times, is it really cybersecurity issues? Haven’t reared their head as much as they could have throughout, throughout the pandemic? I mean, of course there’s been some big noticeable attacks, but, uh, what are your thoughts here, Greg?

Greg White (00:33:04):

Well, Kevin’s better equipped to address this then than I am, but I can only recall when we were in Charleston, Scott, um, S CAC AIG conference, right. And we saw a speaker from the UK who was saying, it’s not whether you’ve been hacked, it’s when they will activate it. And, you know, with things like social engineering scams that take $40 million for one PO off of an unnamed, but largest in the country, um, automotive company, or, you know, or other efforts. I mean, you know, the well-known issues like target, who I think basically that was someone who sweeped swept their parking lots or mowed the yards that there, um, that you know, that there are a thousand ways into companies. And I think we’re just waiting to see how people will activate it. And of course, they continue to actively try to attack this. And I think it’s pretty credible. At least the FBI says it is, this was a Russian organization that was backed by the Russian government, um, to do this. And despite their earlier claim, the FBI claiming they got all of the ransom back, they did not get all of the ransom back has been discovered that they only got 2.7 of the 5 million back. And Kevin, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this paying the ransom yes or no. So,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:34:31):

Yeah, I believe first of all, no, I don’t think you should pay the ransom, but there’s always a balance between, uh, the loss of paying the ransom and the loss in value because of loss of trade or loss of value of, of, uh, effect on overall society. We’re in a position now, unfortunately, because we have not addressed the cyber security issues, uh, that, you know, in the short term, it may be better to pay the ransom, uh, you know, it’s cost benefit analysis. What can I say, right. But we need to really fix cyber security so that ransomware doesn’t pay.

Greg White (00:35:18):

I think, I think it’s worth every company to figure out what their ransom number is and, and spend that amount. Some, some portion of that amount on doing more frequent backups, because even in the case of colonial, they got to fix the fix didn’t work. And they still had to back to like two or three days prior because they weren’t backing up frequently. And, um, companies need, they need to take both the blocking. And I think this is probably where so many companies have the gap. They need to take the pre preventative measures, but they also need to take just like in supply chain, they need to take the responsive and resiliency measures and recovery measures as seriously as they do the preventative measures.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:36:04):

Right. It’s that cyber security hygiene, but it’s supposed to be doing anyway. It gets you in trouble.

Greg White (00:36:12):

We just like having Jackson on fire right there you are. So right. I mean, you are, that’s just frustrating. It’s gotta be frustrating from your standpoint, Kevin. Cause I can tell you that watching companies ignore the, the fragility of their supply chains for decades has been frustrating for me and Scott.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:36:32):

You don’t back up right. Come on, man

Scott Luton (00:36:40):

Know, uh, sorry. It was a weekend while the FBI is advocating as both of y’all are to not pay the ransoms. I saw where the ransoms paid could be claimed as a deductible, a deduction. Wow. These policies. And we’ll talk more about it, but I gotta, I gotta share some of his comments folks first when he’s back with us, uh, from Indonesia. Great. Have you back Winnie, let us know what you’re seeing from a cyber or a port standpoint.

Greg White (00:37:09):

Yeah. Indonesia, that’ll be really interesting to hear what you said, right?

Scott Luton (00:37:12):

Peter says, he’s unclear on how bills or legislation will change some twit clicking a bad link in the first place.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:37:22):

That’s so training. That’s not good.

Greg White (00:37:27):

And you know, it’s funny because I just took a look at a company, uh, just like late last week that wants to, uh, disabled twits from clicking those kind of, of clickbait and dangerous files, but still preserve the integrity of, for instance, the email or whatever. So I think, I think technology will come up with an answer for a lot of those problems. Yes.

Scott Luton (00:37:56):

Uh, either either technology or Kevin L. Jackson,

Greg White (00:38:02):

Talk about that company as a matter of fact. So let’s talk about that offline. Definitely need your insight,

Scott Luton (00:38:08):

Kelly Barner. Great to have you again. Uh, he said, uh, she says, and companies don’t just have to ensure their own cyber security. They have to ensure their first and second tier suppliers that they have plans as well. Excellent point there, Kelly, big show, Bob Bova is with us. He says, as digital transformation continues, cyber attacks will accelerate and become more negatively impactful. I don’t see the government being ahead of the hacker community because a step behind and he thought it’s, uh, Kevin, Greg,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:38:40):

It’s a, it’s an arms race, right? There’s an arms race.

Greg White (00:38:44):

It’s an arms race. And our opponent has no laws to constrain them from, from, you know, continuing to increase their armament.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:38:54):

And as long as the value of ransomware is more as higher than the value of doing things the right way, the investors will invest in ransomware. It’s a mark. I mean it’s capital

Greg White (00:39:11):


Scott Luton (00:39:13):

Uh, let’s see here. Memory says, companies always seem to be always playing a reactive role in cybersecurity as opposed to being proactive and security is everyone’s responsibility. Lots of head nod in there. Um, okay. So LA, great to have you here via Facebook. You are, you must be reading our notes because we’re going to be moving straight from cybersecurity. And we’re going to be talking about, uh, more supply chain tech and specifically blockchain because Kevin, um, we, it looks like we’ve got another wonderful practical use case and here we’re talking cattle supply chain. So move us into the next one.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:39:58):

Well, before we do move into that, I’m wondering, I’m wondering to declare this a memory party because, because I don’t, I want you to tell me how much of your beat you’re there in Joburg down there. And I want to know how much you, your beat comes out as Zimbabwe because MasterCard blockchain is increasing the visibility to the catalyst supply chain and they’re using blockchain to get it, to improve the livestock supply chains in Africa, through what they called E livestock global. So this is leveraging MasterCard’s blockchain technology. They have traceability, and this is directly to the cattle farmers in Zimbabwe. So this gives dais, uh, farmers more control over the origin and health records of their herd. They can provide proof of governance to increase the value of the cattle. And so that can help them support the sales growth projection memory eats a lot of beef there in Joburg and, uh, health records.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:41:09):

So they can access financial backing using their last dock as collateral assets for loans. So you can see how all of this links together in India economy, the buyers on the other hand can get guaranteed quality and a ability to mitigate the risk, uh, because was a recent outbreak of a tick-borne disease. And in 2018, which led to the calling of like 50,000 head of cattle and it really damaged the reputation of the pliers in the region. So, so a memory that you eat beef, you may not even eat beef. You don’t care about this. Well, that sounds

Scott Luton (00:41:57):

Like this. Uh, I’ll try again here. It sounds like this practical use case is a complete and utter success. Anyone, uh, I had to do that just for Tom Raftery, uh, who did not like the, the, the move segue, but, um, a lot of comments here. I want to do this here. Um, so would love y’all’s comments on blockchain would love your comments on, on, you know, beef and how do you think this might change your experience there and Winnie, uh, you know, kind of in the broader, uh, cyber, uh, sense. She says, I believe globally, there’s this attitude of, yeah, I know, but it won’t happen to me until it does most companies that are multinational know the importance of cybersecurity, but it’s still a challenge to make small and medium enterprises in Indonesia to be aware of this. Uh, Kevin, your thoughts.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:42:46):

So I don’t think it’s limited to Indonesia, um, small businesses, the number one target of these, uh, ransomware perpetrators, because they know the small businesses can’t afford to not be in business. So, um, that’s number one, target, uh, the larger businesses, they at least make an effort at protecting the networks, but they are hard targets. It’s the small businesses that are soft targets

Greg White (00:43:15):

On the small businesses are often the gateway to the large businesses, right? Like the target example. We just, if you can, if you can break into some lawn services system, you know, into their accounting system and, and somehow get into target or whomever through that are much, much easier target. Even considering what Kevin you said is companies are just simply not diligent enough. So, right.

Scott Luton (00:43:44):

Um, a lot of good thoughts. I want to share a couple of other comments here. Nick says it’s a circle economy. Uh, that way, going back to that, the cattle supply chain, um, memories answering your question, Kevin, I will admit I’m not aware of it. Uh, we’ll give, we’ll give it a look because livestock is a capital with better risk than money in the bank.

Greg White (00:44:12):

How many, so how many catalysts Bitcoin

Scott Luton (00:44:18):

Tom says he’s coming across several really interesting use cases for blockchain in the agri sector?

Greg White (00:44:24):

Well, you know, it’s been being done for a while, um, in the seafood industry, right. In Indonesia, by the way. Um,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:44:30):

And calling me across

Greg White (00:44:33):

Yeah. Verification of my favorite word, Scott provenance provenance.

Scott Luton (00:44:39):

And then here, we’ve got two to kind of, um, uh, different comments here. So Charles says COVID allowed him the opportunity to shift from wet pack to dry age, local source beef. Interesting there, Charles, but then Tom says he hasn’t eaten beef for a long time because of its horrendous environmental consequences. So different strokes, different folks for sure. Um, let’s see here, Susan Walsh. Hello Susan, the classification guru. Is there some dirty data? I bet there’s lots of dirty data across several of these stories we’re talking about. Right? Greg and Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:45:14):

Yeah. Clean it up, clean it up.

Scott Luton (00:45:17):

Right. And Susan, great to have you let us know where you’re tuned in from. I want to say you are in the UK, let us know. Okay. So, um, what are we talk? We gotta move. We gotta move from cattle supply chain in our last 15 minutes or so of the supply chain buzz because Kevin, you’re a part, I believe of a really big event coming up this week. Right? Tell us about, um, the global conference, uh, via the Tia.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:45:44):

So yeah, starting tomorrow, it’s going to be the telecommunications industry association. That’s having the global conference and members meeting. And one of the highlights is a focus on the first ICT specific global supply chain security standards. So they’re really focusing on, uh, protecting the communications and telecommunications, uh, industry supply chain, but these cyber attacks on arise, they have over the past years, I’ve been part of a team that has been, uh, uh, drafted what’s called the, uh, SDS or supply chain security 9,001 standard. And this standard is to actually help companies be able to keep better records and information and provenance on the cybersecurity of every device that connects to the global network. All right, now don’t get scared. You know, everyone say, well already do ISO 9,001. Well, we’re not replacing like ISO 9,001. These are the supply chain specific items that not thousand one like by ISO does not address.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:47:10):

So it’s built on top of, uh, the ISO and, um, it’s scheduled to be released later this year and in the United States, at least the, uh, the government, uh, the U S government federal government has stated that, you know, as I’ve talked about later, they’re laws coming out to protect supply chain, including, and the ICT industry. So either the industry does it itself, or the government is going to do it in this, you know, in one of these 115 laws that they haven’t thought about, what do you want to happen? So this is going to be a process-based standard with measurable and verifiable, um, uh, metrics, uh, that providers and suppliers for businesses, governments, and consumers can actually use and leverage. And they got some heavy hitters, a us Senator to Senator Lou John from New Mexico chairs, the subcommittee on communications immediate, broadband’s going to speak FCC commissioner Jeffrey starts, uh, the associated administrator for international affairs with the national telecommunications information administration and T I’m going to speak. And also, uh, Walter Kapon 16th, the rector of mist. So the industry is really focusing on this digital supply chain as well,

Scott Luton (00:48:39):

Love that. And folks, you can learn more at T I, a We’ve enjoyed, uh, uh, Kevin and I enjoyed a recent webinar with the kind of great folks over at TIAA, a few about a month or so ago. Um, but, but Hey, I love the voice and the role they’re playing in, um, strengthening the infrastructure that, you know, keeps global supply keeps global business, keeps global humanity moving. Right. Um, okay. I want to wrap with just a couple of quick comments here from the cheap seats, and then we’re going to circle back and we’re going to hear what Greg’s got planned this week. We’re gonna hear what Kevin’s got planned this week, and then we’re going to call it a day. Let’s see here. Um, so Susan, uh, she’s in the UK, she’s a Scott living in England. How about that?

Greg White (00:49:24):

I want to understand what you say in England. That’s a great question. Really struggle with Scottish accent in England. That

Scott Luton (00:49:31):

Is a good question. Uh, let’s see. When he says in, in, in, in Indonesia, gosh, since COVID-19, there’s been a significant rise in cyber crime, so you’re seeing it locally. Uh, Nick says, Hey, you gotta have better weather than here in Scotland. Uh, they’re hinting paints the picture of the weather you’re seeing here lately. We’ve had a pretty bad tropical storm come through and really create a lot more havoc than I think most folks expected here in the states, especially the Southeast. Um, let’s see here. I want to, I do want to go back to one thing. I don’t know if I can grab it. Um, let’s see here. Uh, Mervin had mentioned it and I probably prior to buried to date, but now I mentioned on the front end, how in our inside of the group via LinkedIn, we’re talking food, right. What kind of threw the question out there that, um, you know, what’s your favorite dish in your neck of the woods or restaurant or what have you, so Mervin shared, uh, an, uh, an Indian dish that we made the chicken dish, right? Well, ma Mervin and Mandy were talking and Mervin say, Hey, glad you liked it. And I hope Gracie gave it a great review. So is our middle child that has got some culinary prowess at an early age. And, uh, even when we make Raymond for ramen, whatever, I’m correct all the time for our kids, they’re always grading me on.

Scott Luton (00:50:53):

Oh yeah, that’s right. Well, making everybody aware of Gracie’s harsh reviews, w quiet, quiet,

Greg White (00:51:03):

Scott. I think Vicki can help you. She does this thing called souped up ramen that the kids love. So I bet she’d be willing to share that recipe.

Scott Luton (00:51:13):

Oh, wow. About that. Okay. I’m going to have to check that out and Vicki, yes. We want to get Vicki. So we’re going to do a lot more of, um, food stories and stuff so that we can all kind of take a break from all the other issues we’re talking about here today. And I hear Vicki is, um, kind of like a, a secret chef, one of her stories and recipes out. Um, I hear a new show, but at the very least, uh, some nice Kendrick, why change Amanda? Like that? I heard her laughing, uh, around the corner from

Speaker 5 (00:51:48):

Me. Um, so let’s,

Scott Luton (00:51:51):

Um, I want to get a snapshot. So both of, y’all got some, some big weeks, a big week planned here this week. Um, Greg, you’ve got take your shot amongst other things coming up on Wednesday. Give us a little sneak peek of that. Yeah.

Greg White (00:52:04):

So, uh, we did this in April and we’re trying to get on a month monthly cadence with this, but, uh, we’re going to have three founders of supply chain tech shows or supply chain tech companies take your shot as a tequila sunrise series, where they will pitch in three minutes, their entire livestream dream in front of three, very knowledgeable judges and take the feedback whether they like it or not, you weren’t there to what their business pitch is. It’s an incredibly, um, high pressure environment. It takes guts to do it. Nick and I talked about that all weekend and, um, and the, you know, our judges are knowledgeable, so biology openeth, and some of you may know is a venture capitalist, our general partner at, um, at tuba or venture capital. And we’ll be doing it live in the same room with me, so I can kick him under the table if you become a Mr. Wonderful. And, um, and Robin Greg, the CEO of road sync, she’s obviously very knowledgeable, uh, founder and Enrique Alvarez from vector global logistics, one of the top supply chain lines, just in my opinion, especially in physical logistics, uh, out there. So, uh, you’re not gonna be able to snow anyone in this. You better be right.

Scott Luton (00:53:27):

Well, uh, we look forward to that. Uh, take your shot. I don’t think I’m, I don’t think I messed up again and said, take your pitch.

Greg White (00:53:32):

You did not. Bailey

Scott Luton (00:53:36):

Mentioned it in the comments. So take your shot. Here comes a Wednesday at 12 noon Eastern time. Yeah. Greg, if you want, as, as I go to Kevin next, if you want to grab anyone that wants to say hello from Gruver labs here in the last few minutes, feel free to pull them

Greg White (00:53:50):

In. I think we’ll have to do that next week, I think, or next, or maybe on Wednesday. They’re yeah, they’re busy. Cranking it out here.

Scott Luton (00:53:58):

Yeah. Okay. Kevin, so tell us about what you got, uh, up your sleeve this week.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:54:04):

So, um, as I mentioned earlier, Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m going to be with the Tia and, uh, um, my company, uh, told her network solutions, TNS, where we are unveiling a, uh, what we call it, the enhanced MEI D, uh, which is a blockchain enabled capability to, uh, track the provenance of telecommunication devices and equipment, including, um, RFID tags, uh, sensors, uh, anything that connects to the wireless network. So you can improve, uh, stop, uh, supply chain, tracings, proper security and all of that. So we have a boost there, uh, virtual books that we’re, we’re going to be, um, uh, Manning. And then on, uh, uh, also this week, I’m going to get the opportunity to, uh, interview, uh, Mr. Praveen, Raul, who is the managing director at IBM for blockchain analytics and partnerships then know, think about what he’s going to be able to tell me about how IBM is leveraging blockchain globally for cloud analytics, uh, and the IOT technologies to solve industry challenges around managing guess what supply chain and procurement. So that’s going to be a huge, and, uh, we, uh, we’re, we’re going to, uh, try to get that out, um, later, before the end of the month. So, uh, on the next digital transformers, cause he is a digital transformer, they missed that

Scott Luton (00:55:50):

One, but I think we’re going to try to get that out on Monday. So stay tuned folks for a great conversation there. Um, Hey Kevin, I don’t know if you can let this cat out of the bag just yet, if you can’t just kick me under the digital

Speaker 5 (00:56:01):

Table. Um, but you’ve

Scott Luton (00:56:04):

Got to, you’ve got a trip coming up to Galveston. Can you share?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:56:08):

Oh yeah, yeah, absolutely. So as, uh, as, uh, many of you may know if you’re not in a state, you probably know, uh, June 10th has been, uh, designated as a national holiday now, right? A little bit of a us, uh, history, uh, United States had a civil war and, uh, uh, at the beginning of the civil war, president Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation that free all the slaves in succeeding states. So loaded known fact, it didn’t apply to the states in the north that also added slaves like Maryland, uh, but only applied to the states, uh, in the Confederacy. So, um, the, uh, the north, you know, won the, the overall war, but the very last battle was in Galveston, Texas, and the slaves there in Galveston heck didn’t know anything about the math, the patient proclamation, obviously. So on June 19th, when the union forces defeated the Confederates, that was the first time they heard or knew that they were actually free.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:57:24):

Um, so that was June 19th and that’s June 10th, right? Uh, national holiday of freedom, uh, in, in the United States and the actual courthouse where, uh, in Galveston, where that actually occurred is going to be turned into a historic, it’s already a historical monument, but that’s going to be turn into a Juneteenth museum. And I’ve been asked to be the, uh, technical advisor for technology. That’s going to be used to create a virtual experience around the June 10th, um, exhibit. So stay tuned for more on this. I’ll be down in Galveston, um, uh, in July, uh, first week in July. And hopefully we’ll be able to do some, uh, love, uh, reporting.

Greg White (00:58:22):

And thanks for spearheading that, man. I really, I look forward

Scott Luton (00:58:27):

To that, to all of the content out there and learning a lot more. Um, you know, uh, I’ll, I’ll tell you, I saw one of my friends say over the weekend, uh, so many of you, all he was saying are late to the Juneteenth party. I’ve been celebrating it for decades, where have y’all been, and, and I gotta tell ya, um, I’ve learned a ton just in the last few days about the history of kind of what you painted there, Kevin, and we’re looking forward to hearing about your trip and being a part of how we can create some content there around, uh, that awesome, uh, initiative. So thanks for sharing. Yeah. Okay. So, uh, folks make sure, so Greg tequila, sunrise, uh, that is a, um, while there’s lots of tequila, sunrise programming here on kind of the mothership supply chain. Now you can also find tequila, sunrise, wherever you get your podcasts from such. So stay tuned for the next big season, which is going to launch in August. Is that

Greg White (00:59:18):

Right, Greg? That’s right. So we’ll take a little summer break. Well, except for the, take your shot right there for the live stream, we’re going to keep doing those. So

Scott Luton (00:59:27):

That’s right. Uh, so, so, uh, stay tuned for that. And then you’ve got digital transformers that Kevin leads here, uh, and, and, and find that, and many other things that Kevin’s a part of, uh, across social, uh, and stay tuned as we, as we roll out some new campaigns and shows just around the corner and Peter I’m with you. Uh, he says, now, at least I know what Juneteenth is all about. Thank you, Kevin. Well,

Greg White (00:59:50):

A big thing in Canada, right?

Scott Luton (00:59:52):

That’s true. Um, okay, so we’re going to let Greg get the work and Kevin’s got both of these folks have a, have a big week folks. Thanks so much for tuning in today. Really appreciate everybody’s comments. Sorry. We couldn’t get to all of them. Uh, stay tuned on that food initiative. We’re going to give folks a chance to connect and in other ways beyond supply chain, so more to come on that, uh, more to come on to the July, um, professional development session that Peter bullae will be part of along with some other friends. Um, and on behalf of our entire team here, Greg and Kevin and clay and Amanda of the folks behind the scenes have a wonderful week, uh, you know, challenge everything this week. Uh, that’s going to be the theme, but most importantly, do good gift forward and be the change that’s deeded. And we’ll see you next time right here

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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.

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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 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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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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Kim Reuter

Host, The Freight Insider

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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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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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

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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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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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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 & CMO, 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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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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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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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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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

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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