Supply Chain Now
Episode 787

I think it's really about more of a mindset than it is a particular educational route, or even an experience route. People that I see that do well in leadership are people that are continuous learners. They're innovative. They're not afraid of experimenting. And they're constantly growing and learning and trying to really put their business forward.

-Christine Barnhart

Episode Summary

If you don’t have 80% of the data you need, how can you meet the tireless demands that define today’s global industry? Verusen’s Christine Barnhart has answers – and none of involve relying solely on ERP. In this episode, Scott sits down with Christine to discuss the need for meaningful communications across partners, practical context in your data and an adaptable growth mindset throughout your career. Follow her journey from engineering to product strategy and hear her expert takes on the need for diversity, new initiatives for solving port congestion and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey. Good morning, everybody. Scott Luton with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Now, today, we’re going to be speaking with a business leader that is helping some of the world’s largest and most successful organizations evolve far beyond their legacy systems and processes, and do business and do business well in a brave new era of global supply chain. So, stay tuned for what promises to be an intriguing, informative, and entertaining conversation.

 

Scott Luton (01:02):

With that said, I’d like to introduce our guest here today. Our featured guest brings more than 25 years of expertise to the table, especially from a manufacturing, purchasing, and planning point of view. Our guest has been named one of the top women in global supply chain by Supply and Demand Chain Executive in 2018, and again in 2021. So, I want to welcome in Christine Barnhart, Vice-President of Product Strategy and Go-To Market for Verusen. Christine, how are we doing?

Christine Barnhart (01:32):

We’re doing great. How are you doing?

Scott Luton (01:33):

Fantastic. I tell you, your ears may have been burning. Members of our team, members of the Verusen team, members of the supply chain market have been talking about you a little bit.

Christine Barnhart (01:46):

You know, as a redhead, it’s hard to stay under the radar.

Scott Luton (01:50):

I love that. Well, for as much as you know about global supply chain, I love already our pre-show conversation. It seems like you bring a lot of personality and passion to the table.

Christine Barnhart (02:01):

Yeah. I mean, I try. I don’t think I can do anything I don’t love, quite frankly. At least not for very long, so yeah.

Scott Luton (02:09):

I love that. So, on that note, before we get into the heavy lifting, let’s talk about Christine Barnhart. Let’s get to know you a little better. So, tell us, where’d you grow up?

Christine Barnhart (02:19):

I grew up in Evansville, Indiana. Heavensville, if you [inaudible]. Beauty of Evansville is, we’re less than three hours from Indi, St. Louis, Nashville, Cincinnati, about an-hour-and-a-half from Louisville, so definitely the crossroads, if you will, of the United States.

Scott Luton (02:39):

Okay. So, growing up in Evansville, and I think you’re the first person I’ve ever met that grew up in Evansville. I’ve always seen, it seems like they’ve got a regular team in the March Madness.

Christine Barnhart (02:51):

The University of Evansville. Go Ace’s. My alma mater.

Scott Luton (02:56):

Okay. Maybe we’ll talk about that in a minute. Let’s talk about growing up in Evansville. Give us some anecdotes. What made it special?

Christine Barnhart (03:04):

You know, I’m a true gen Xer latchkey kid. So, I’m in, like, the second grade going home from school by myself. I mean, it was that blue collar community, but very close knit. You couldn’t really get in trouble without your parents knowing, because they knew, like, everybody in the neighborhood. I mean, it is a great place to raise a family. It’s a little quiet, which is why, for me, as an adult, I love that we’re close enough to do weekend commutes to other places. But Evansville is a great place. I mean, we’re right on the Ohio River, boating in the summer, and things of that nature.

Scott Luton (03:45):

Boating, like skiing, fishing, what?

Christine Barnhart (03:49):

Yeah. Well, I mean, all of the above. Its 175,000 in the city proper, about 500,000 in the greater metropolitan, but still a lot of agriculture, a lot of wooded areas. So, fishing, hunting. I went duck hunting with my dad when I was eight years old, actually on the Wabash, which is very close to us, the Wabash River. So, a lot of outdoor activities, a lot of sports. Sports is huge in Southern Indiana. I played volleyball and softball. My kids are really heavily involved in the lacrosse community, the soccer community. So, you have to learn how to entertain yourself kind of in mid-America, you know, that kind of thing.

Scott Luton (04:36):

All right. One more question and I want to move on to some of the things you did before joining the Verusen team. So, one of our favorite things to talk about here at Supply Chain Now is, certainly, food and local culinary traditions and whatnot. So, growing up in Evansville, Indiana, from a food standpoint, what was one thing you think about?

Christine Barnhart (04:56):

Okay. So, this is so redneck, but the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival. Huge kind of street fair. They close off several blocks on the west side of town, about 130 food vendors, almost all of it is deep fried. If you can deep fry, even if you traditionally don’t deep fry it, we deep fry it. So, it’s not good for your cholesterol. It’s not good for your blood pressure, your weight gain, your diabetes, anything of that nature.

Scott Luton (05:23):

But it’s once a year, so that’s okay.

Christine Barnhart (05:26):

It is. And it’s interesting, I went to Munich a few years ago and I understood how this evolved. It’s a very kind of German Catholic kind of part of town. And it’s like a tiny little October Fest, complete with bars and stuff along the streets that have beer gardens and stuff that kind of compliment it. I mean, it’s not like high brow, but it’s like what you look forward to that first week of October.

Scott Luton (05:56):

I love it. It’s real. It’s authentic.

Christine Barnhart (05:58):

And my birthday is in that period. So, it’s multiple activities during the fall festival.

Scott Luton (06:06):

I love it. All right. So, I’m marking it on my calendar, Evansville, Indiana.

 

Christine Barnhart (06:12):

First week in October.

 

Scott Luton (06:13):

First week in October. And it was the West Side Nut Festival?

Christine Barnhart (06:18):

Nut Club Fall Festival.

Scott Luton (06:18):

Nut Club Fall Festival. Okay. All right. All right. So, I want to switch gears a bit, as much as I’d love to dive more into the food dishes that I’m sure that can be found at the Nut Club Fall Festival. I want to switch gears, I want to talk about the 25 years or so you’ve spent doing big things out in the industry.

Christine Barnhart (06:36):

You need to quit calling that 25 years out. You’re making me feel very old.

Scott Luton (06:39):

Well, you know, we’ve got a rule of thumb here, and I almost applied it, but I don’t want to short change anybody. Greg White and I never go over 20 years. We say 20 plus. But I didn’t want to short change anybody. Experience is important, especially during these challenging times. So, we’re not going to be able to do your journey its full justice, but talk about a couple of key roles prior to what you’re doing now at Verusen that really helped shape your worldview.

Christine Barnhart (07:08):

Yeah. That’s such a hard question for me, Scott, because I think I tend to divide my career into kind of two pieces. I have like the first half, which was very engineering oriented. So, multiple roles within Whirlpool, but all kind of with that traditional engineering tool set mindset.

Scott Luton (07:30):

Got you. Whirlpool being the company everybody knows, appliances and you name it, right?

Christine Barnhart (07:34):

Yeah. And I loved Whirlpool. I spent 12 years there. About every two or three years, I was moving on to more responsibility. Like, I’m one of those people that get bored kind of easily. I have to be moving. And when you reach a certain point in engineering, like the next engineering thing, they’re like, “Oh, you don’t have to work with anybody. You don’t have a team.” And I’m like, “Ugh. I don’t know that I want to do this.” So, complete career change. And that was when I really discovered supply chain. Up until about 2008, I didn’t know what supply chain was or that manufacturing was part of the traditional definition of supply chain. So, I think, for me, in terms of a career journey, it’s really marked by those kind of two pieces.

Scott Luton (08:24):

And just to clarify, Christine, kind of what I’m hearing, just to make sure we’re on the same page, kind of pre-2008 when it was mainly engineering and manufacturing. And then, post-2008 where you had, maybe, your global supply chain epiphany. Is that accurate?

Christine Barnhart (08:39):

Yes. A hundred percent. I moved into a planning role with Mead Johnson Nutrition. And what was great about it, Scott, is you don’t quit being an engineer. So, I still had that mindset. I still solve problems that way. And I understood complex processes and I could apply that, but just in a different way to help the business. And it’s really served me well since then. And then, I think for me, that kind of big change going from manufacturing to technology, which is what I did about three, three-and-a-half years ago when I left Barry Global and went to Infor as an industry strategist. So, I mean, there’s multiple roles in through there, but I think it was really more the companies and then just the great support that I got to grow and develop within multiple industries that has really helped me, not just be successful, but be happy. You know, just really be energized and have a lot of passion for what I do.

Scott Luton (09:47):

I love it. And kind of fulfillment as well, being fulfilled and rewarding.

 

Christine Barnhart (09:50):

Yes. A hundred percent.

 

Scott Luton (09:52):

All right. One last follow up question and then we’re going to talk about what you’re doing now and Verusen, who has been on the move, for sure. You mentioned you’ll always be an engineer, which I think is a really cool thing. I am not an engineer. Math and Advance Math was not for me, and that’s okay. So, if there’s one thing though that your average non-engineer might take and apply when it comes to problem solving or getting through a day, if there’s just one thing that you wish you saw more of, what would that be, Christine?

Christine Barnhart (10:26):

Ask questions over and over and over. And don’t ever be completely satisfied that there’s only one answer because, generally, there’s not.

Scott Luton (10:37):

I Love that. If you don’t ask questions, you’re typically making assumptions. And most assumptions, I think, are probably inaccurate.

Christine Barnhart (10:44):

We know that idiom, right? You and me.

Scott Luton (10:48):

All right. So, let’s talk about your current role at Verusen, again, Vice-President of Product Strategy and Go-To Market for Verusen. Let’s flip the script, what does Verusen do in a nutshell?

Christine Barnhart (11:03):

We are a supply chain intelligence platform. So, really taking the data that you have today that often is in multiple systems, it’s not harmonized, it’s disparate. And helping you through AI and machine learning, actually, glean insights out of that data. We’ve really, you know, started focused on the MRO side of the equation. And, now, we’re moving into direct materials, which is a big part of the reason that I came to Verusen now. Because I’ve been associated with the company for, probably, close to three years as part of some kind of industry sharing when I was at Infor, and loved the premise of the company, but really needed it to kind of grow a bit before my skillset was really appropriate.

Scott Luton (11:53):

Well said. The material truth is one of my favorite phrases when folks in Verusen join us. But, you know, that’s the state we live in. Everyone’s got their own spreadsheet. And these days, their own system, different platform, different layers, and stuff. And we can’t move fast enough if everyone’s using a different set of numbers. So, that alignment for organizational velocity is critical.

Christine Barnhart (12:17):

Yeah. I mean, it’s a lot of taking what you created, which was probably not a data lake, a data swamp, and really making it more useful.

Scott Luton (12:27):

Okay. I’m slow to the game. Sometimes I’m the last person to know. I love data swamp, because I’ve heard data like a thousand or a million times. And data swamp is probably in reality, oftentimes

Christine Barnhart (12:39):

I can’t pay credit. Lora Cecere, she used that and I’m like, “Oh, my God. I’m stealing this from her.”

Scott Luton (12:47):

Okay. Kudos, Lora. Good deal. All right. So, let’s talk about now what you’re going to be doing. It sounds like to me, you know, you’d already, on some level, in some measure been, had been collaborating and had relationships at Verusen. So, while it’s a new role, a lot of the relationships and challenges, perhaps, it’s the same old game. So, what are you going to be doing on the Verusen team?

Christine Barnhart (13:12):

I think my role is, really, to help the various teams and functions within Verusen speak each other’s language. Which, I’ll tell you is a common thread throughout my career, because development and product management and sales and marketing and customers, they all speak different languages and how you say something matters. You can have a great product, but if people don’t understand what it is, they don’t know that they need it and they don’t know why they need it. And so, I think, for me, that’s a big part of what I bring. I think, it’s really helping bring kind of the industry. Hey, I’ve been in maintenance. I’ve been in production and operations. I’ve designed products. And so, I can say, “It’s not really how people do that. Let’s think about that differently,” you know, that kind of thing.

Scott Luton (14:05):

I love it. And one last thing, as you mentioned harmonization earlier, and that’s one of my favorite words, it just kind of brings a great visual. And I swear there’s got to be a commercial there for data harmony, kind of along the lines of the famous iconic Coca-Cola commercial in the ’70s. We got to jump on that and make that happen. Okay. Data harmony, and I’m going to save all of our listeners and not sing it because I am not known for my singing exploits.

Christine Barnhart (14:36):

I can’t sing either so I’m going to leave it there too.

Scott Luton (14:38):

Okay. All right. So, the state of global industry is big, we’d be here all month if we had to really peel all the layers of the onion back. Let’s just talk when it comes to the state of global industry and kind of the current state, what we’re seeing right now. What’s a couple of things that you’re really tracking maybe more than others?

Christine Barnhart (14:58):

I think, first and foremost, I love that supply chain is now part of the vernacular. Like, my family finally understands at least sort of what I do. They’re like, “Yeah. I couldn’t find toilet paper,” things of that nature. So, I think that that’s actually a really positive thing. I think, as painful as it’s been to live through the pandemic, there’s some really positive things from a supply chain standpoint. And part of it is just putting a mirror up to us. We were having disruptions. People were chasing demand. And we had what we thought were isolated problems.

 

Christine Barnhart (15:36):

And what COVID has really shown us is, we need to be much more intentional in how we design our supply chains – plural – because every company has multiples. It’s not one size fits all. We have to be much, much more intentional about it. And, by the way, they’re constantly changing. So, I love that a couple of weeks ago on one of your podcasts when Lora Cecere was talking about 20 percent of companies are act actively designing their supply chains. So, I think that that’s part of it.

 

Christine Barnhart (00:16:08):

I think the other part is that, it’s really shown us that we have to have much, much better, more meaningful communication with our trading partners. You know, the multi-enterprise business networks, or supply chain operating networks, or whatever you want to call them, digital supply networks, there’s multiple names, they’ve been around for a while but they weren’t really being leveraged fully. They weren’t being adopted across multiple industries. And I will tell you what I saw is that, companies that were collaborating with their customers and collaborating with their suppliers and their carriers, they did better. And I think we need to see more and more of that as we kind of go into the future.

Christine Barnhart (16:44):

And then, I think the third part of what I’ve seen in global supply chains is, people are finally recognizing that ERP isn’t enough. ERP is great. You need that system of record. There’s definitely business processes that are best suited to ERP. But finding an expert in an area where you have a problem is really beneficial to your business. You don’t have to have all subject matter experts for everything that you do. You can supplement your workforce with people like us. We understand materials, and MRO, and direct materials, and we can help you attack that area. And there’s somebody else that, maybe, can help you on the freight visibility side. So, I think that’s been one of the really great, great outputs, is, people are more open to having those discussions.

Scott Luton (17:43):

All right. So, a couple things I heard there we’ll go backwards – on that last point, is, practical context. And it’s like, if you’re talking global business, it’s not one piece of context you would truly need. You would need all types of context. And your ERP is not enough because, oftentimes, it doesn’t have the type of practical context so many unique companies need. And then, going back to your second point, Christine, what you all but implied was, how much more trust we need. And I think what we can do is use that communication very deliberately, transparent, effective, timely communication to build meaningful trust across your supply chain. And then, as we all know, trust, once you’ve got it, you can move mountains. And that’s where we are right now in global supply chain.

Christine Barnhart (18:34):

A hundred percent. I mean, the other caveat I think to that, Scott, is, it is trust, but it’s also just the data. Like, 80 percent of the data that you need to operate your business doesn’t reside in your business. So, you’re not effectively communicating and collaborating with your trade partners. You’re sub-optimizing.

Scott Luton (18:53):

Excellent point. Okay. And no one wants to be suboptimal, right? Is that the appropriate conjugation of that term?

 

Christine Barnhart (19:01):

I think so.

 

Scott Luton (19:01):

All right. Okay. I love your perspective there. So practical, so been there, done that. I want to shift gears though. So, the White House, President Biden has recently announced, Christine, that they’ve got a new action plan to help move goods. A lot of the new activity, I think, it centers on about $17 billion in ports funding. But in particular, they’re going to take action over the next, say, 35 days or so to award a little over $240 million in new contracts, maybe related to ports and our infrastructure for supply chain. So, what’s some of your takeaways there?

Christine Barnhart (19:38):

I think it’s a great start. I don’t think it’s everything that we need to do. You know, I was in long beach last week just getting goods off of the ship. It doesn’t actually get it into the country where people live and distribute it. So, I think there’s a lot more that needs to happen. I think, we, as a country, need to look at how are our ports configured? Does it make more sense to have, maybe, rapid transit away from the port to more inland distribution kind of pick up areas? So, I think there’s definitely more, but I’m super excited that we have funding to at least start to make those investments.

Scott Luton (20:18):

Good point. Hey, at least, it’s being talked about at the executive levels across the globe. And you make a great point, it’s not all about getting the containers off the ships. You know, we’ve heard of 25 miles of train backup coming into key hubs, far inland. It’s a holistic ecosystem.

Christine Barnhart (20:40):

And then, I hear constantly we have a truck driver shortage. I will tell you, we have a retention problem. And I think we need to look at solving the retention issue, the working conditions, how they’re paid and incentivized, the type of facilities that we would expect truck drivers to have access to. And a lot of that also relates to attracting more minorities and females into freight movement and trucking. So, I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done there.

Scott Luton (21:14):

Agreed. That’s a great segue into what I want to pick your brain about next. But first off, congratulations again for being named one of the top women in global supply chain. Quite an honor, twice no less. Some of the feedback we’ve heard is, “Hey, I want to be known as one of the top supply chain practitioners.” Not top women. And then, I hear on the other side, “Well, it’s important to highlight the fact that these are women movers and shakers making stuff happen.” The good thing is, is these conversations are taking place as practitioners and leaders and organizations feels like, it seems like, with some results, are trying far harder and more creatively than what we’ve seen in decades past. To your point, take hold of the opportunity that is bringing much more diversity to, not just global supply chain, but global business. So, I want to get your thoughts around this.

 

Scott Luton (22:10):

So, first off, when we talk about the need for more diversity and global supply chain, let’s first – for folks that may not do it because it’s the right thing to do – talk to about the bottom line impact it can have, that more diversity can have, Christine.

Christine Barnhart (22:26):

There are just numerous studies that show that when you have a more diverse leadership team – because I don’t think we could just say workforce. I think it’s leaders. When you have more diversity in your leadership team, you are more creative, you solve problems better. And it absolutely impacts the bottom line, 20, 30 percent over a very large swath of different industries and businesses. So, it’s almost impossible to argue with the data. But I think you have to look a little deeper because it’s not just gender diversity. It’s not just, maybe, identity or orientation diversity. I think they have to be really intentional to make sure that it’s diversity of race – yes – diversity of gender, but also diversity of background, and diversity of education, and diversity of your cultural influences. Because all of that really matters. The more diverse the team is, the higher the probability that they’re going to have different kinds of ideals that will feed off of each other and allow you to solve a problem much more creatively.

Scott Luton (23:37):

That’s such a great point, because while study after study that you allude to, that we’ve seen out there from the big four to other think tanks, and other organizations that have done it for themselves based on their own initiatives, plenty of bottom line and trackable bottom line impact. But to your point, some of the things that aren’t as easily tracked is how we do solve problems differently that may never be captured by some of our metrics, perhaps how we develop products differently. There’s so much more beyond the bottom line. But also with the bottom line, better diversity in all its forms, as the point you’re making, can bring to organizations.

Christine Barnhart (24:20):

And I truly am a believer that supply chain can make the world better. And I think how we do that is by really embracing multiple generations, multiple genders, multiple orientations and ethnicities. Because then, we have multiple perspectives represented and we can really, I think, make step function changes in how we design products and how we move materials and all of those things moving forward.

Scott Luton (24:53):

I love it. Okay. Completely agree with you there. We broached the topic of diversity. you talked about especially leadership teams. And what I’ve seen a lot of data on lately is, you know, when you look at supply chain, there’s a lot of diversity that enters, but then as you go up from frontline and entry level to the next managerial level, and then eventually up into the C-suite, that’s when the disparity really becomes so much bigger, and with the opportunity. So, speak to it a little bit, where do you see some of the biggest opportunities for diversity?

Christine Barnhart (25:33):

I think we’ve seen some inroads, which I’m very happy for. But especially in technical companies, manufacturing companies, I think, we need to be a little bit more prescriptive. We want women in leadership, but we don’t want them siloed just in H.R. and marketing. You want them in supply chain, maybe the chief supply chain officer, the chief development officer, or whatever. So, I will tell you, I have a little bit myself a personal bias. When I’m looking at companies that I might want to join, I’m like, “Well, are the only women that they have kind of in these two functions?” And then, based on the company, how much power do they really have in terms of the culture and kind of shaping where things go. So, I do think we need to be a little bit more prescriptive. We want diversity in the C-suite. We want it across multiple functions, multiple areas.

Scott Luton (26:30):

Yep. Great call out there. And by the way, to your last point you made, folks, if you’re looking to hire talent, and as everyone’s trying to really pick apart to build the best talent attraction equation, you got to really take to heart what Christine just shared. Folks are looking. Folks are observing. They’re seeing where leaders and maybe the true home of power is within organizations. That’s a great call out, Christine.

 

Scott Luton (00:26:57):

So, now one of my favorite questions to ask all of our guests is – consider it, Christine, you’ve got a captive audience. Let me paint a picture. You’re at the Ritz Carlton up in New York City. And you’ve got their finest event room. And you’re the keynote. You’re the star of the show. And in that room, you’ve got a thousand captive audience members that are either in school or maybe they’re new to the industry, and they’re really trying to figure out from someone that’s been there and done it. How can they get into executive leadership roles, especially in supply chain, any advice?

Christine Barnhart (27:34):

I don’t think there is a single journey. I think that it’s really about more of a mindset than it is a particular educational route or even an experience route. People that I see that do well in leadership are people that are continuous learners. They’re innovative. They’re not afraid of experimenting. And they’re constantly growing and learning and trying to, really, push their business forward. So, I don’t think there’s a single path. I think there’s multiple paths, which I think is exciting. I mean, that ensures that, you know, we have multiple perspectives. And I don’t want everybody in supply chain to be an engineer. I don’t want everybody in supply chain to be supply chain oriented. I think we need that mix, because it’s different mindsets, different skillsets. I don’t need everybody to be good at math. I need some people to be really good at communication and those type of things.

Christine Barnhart (28:31):

So, I don’t think that there’s one path, but I do think it’s growth. If you look at me, yes, I have an undergrad in electrical engineering, but then I supplemented that over. I did, you know, advanced project management. I’m certified in project management. I did Six Sigma Black Belts. And I did APICS and ASCM. I’m certified in production and inventory management. I did all those things. And then, I got to a level in the company that I needed really to understand more of the finance and business context. And I went and did a weekend executive MBA. That was challenging. I was just over 40. I had two young kids. But it was the right time for me to grow and accelerate. If I would’ve done that MBA right out of college, I don’t know that I would’ve gotten as much value from it, because I was able to ask questions to challenge my professors. It was more of a three-way learning triangle versus that kind of two-way. It was me learning from peers, me learning from professors, that kind of thing. So, I think it’s just that continual growth, just getting dirty and digging in and trying to figure out a better way.

Scott Luton (29:50):

I love it. And part of your answer, you talked about timing. It seems like, to me, generally speaking, there’s such a rush to get every degree and certification and other learning experience without, perhaps, – at least often as the case – understanding kind of what you want to do and then working backwards to make sure you get the right ones. So, to your point, you don’t waste that critical time that no one has enough of, and the resources, and the money that goes along with investing in yourself. But that right timing and understanding what’s the right program, and then how are you going to apply it, and what’s that return going to be like. It sounds like that was a regular part of your thinking there.

Christine Barnhart (30:30):

You know, it was. And I actually feel really bad for the millennials. It was starting with gen X and then the millennials and now gen Z, we’ve sold them on this idea that everybody has got to go to college. It’s the only path to success. And I look at some of my mentors when I was starting out at Whirlpool, many of them, yes, they had degrees when I met them, but that’s not where they started. They started out in an apprenticeship, or they started out in the military, or they did these things that helped them mature and grow and kind of figure out what they like to do and what they were good at before they ever went and got a college degree. And so, I think, especially in the United States, we have to reexamine the model and the talent.

Christine Barnhart (31:20):

And I think there’s a ton of opportunity to start to nurture at the high school level. You know what? You want a program, you’re really good with computers, let’s start getting you that training now. Not everybody needs a liberal arts education. I feel like it’s time. We know that we have a labor shortage in the United States. It’s really time to kind of own up to the fact that it’s not one size fits all. And that we have saddled an entire generation with debt that is not proving to be an obstacle that they can very easily overcome.

Scott Luton (32:02):

Well said. It’s time for a next generation approach, certainly, to how to be equipped. All right. So, as we start to wrap up – by the time our conversation here publishes, you’ll have been to, I think, a big event, big trade show conference. We’ll have to debrief you next time when you get back – so Verusen is on the move. Folks, by the way, they’re hiring left and right. And, clearly, with folks like Christine, they’re hearing top talent. Be sure to check them out and check out the website. But, Christine, given your journey – and I love that you said everyone’s on the same journey. That’s such a great truth from this interview – where you’ve been, some of the biggest, most recognizable companies in the planet, to a team that is on the move, new headquarters is where I’m talking to you from here today.

 

Christine Barnhart (32:51):

Midtown. Midtown, Atlanta.

 

Scott Luton (32:53):

In Midtown, ATL. That’s right. Before we close and before I make sure folks know how to connect with you, if you had to pick thing that most excites you about where Verusen is, where they’re headed, what they’re doing to change how supply chain happens and takes place in 2021 and beyond, what’s one thing that really excites you the most about what you’re doing now?

Christine Barnhart (33:16):

I think that what I’ve learned since I’ve been here is, it doesn’t have to be complicated. We have the tools. We have the technology. Companies have the data. It’s just applying the tools and the technology to make the data useful. And it doesn’t take a team of 20 people a year to implement something that you can then start to get value on. I think that selectively partnering and leveraging technology, there’s a beauty in that, and we can solve problems. We can solve problems quickly and I’m super excited about that, because look, I’ve lived through the big ERP implementations, two years over $100 million invested. And I’m not saying it wasn’t valuable because it was. It was valuable, but it solved part of the problem. It didn’t solve all the problems. And it sure didn’t help make the supply chain agile and resilient. It gave us a foundation. I think foundation is critically important. I don’t want to see us throw the baby out with the bath water. But we have to start to embrace micro applications, edge technologies to really take that move forward.

Scott Luton (34:35):

Excellent point. Folks, you got to find a trusted resource for harmony, and velocity, and a lot more stability, and, undoubtedly, a lot more core curve balls that are headed our way in global supply chain in 2022 and beyond. Okay. Christine, as advertised, as I mentioned your ears have been burning. I’ve heard a lot about you and your journey here. I’m so glad that we had finally a chance to sit down and get to know you a lot better. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you. So, Christine, what’s the easiest way?

Christine Barnhart (35:06):

I think the easiest way is probably on LinkedIn. So, just type in Christine Barnhart. I’m the only one generally that comes up. I’m definitely the only redhead so you should be able to find me. Or you can actually get to us on verusen.com as well. So, either is a great way to get in touch. And I know I fit in, in this org because everybody is generous with their time and they’re motivated by the right mission, which is, I want to make it better. I want to make it easier. So, I think all of us are always open to a conversation or communication and whatever we can do to help, we definitely will.

Scott Luton (35:45):

I love it. And they love to compare notes. They love just to have the conversation. Because they love what they do – and I say this with all love and affection – they’re big supply chain nerds like we are here. We love to talk about what’s going on. And we’re going to make it easy. You’re going to be able to connect with Christine and the Verusen team one click away if you check out the show notes of this episode. Team on the move, Christine Barnhart, really a pleasure to get to know you here today and share some of your observations with our audience.

Christine Barnhart (36:15):

The pleasure is all mine. I appreciate you inviting me on. And I always love to talk about this kind of stuff. So, thank you.

Scott Luton (36:22):

We’ll have you back soon. Christine Barnhart, Vice-President of Product Strategy and Go-To Market for Verusen. And, also, the pride of Evansville, Indiana. So, we’ll have to learn a lot more about that in the months to come. Okay, folks. Hopefully, you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. Christine, it’s a pleasure to chat through. And she strikes me as someone who kind of tells it like it is. So, we need a lot more of that in global leadership these days.

 

Scott Luton (36:51):

But, hey, for now, be sure to check us out at supplychainnow.com for more episodes and conversations just like this. But most importantly, we want to challenge you and all of our listeners and our team to do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you right back here next time at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (37:12):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com, and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.

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Featured Guests

Christine Barnhart is the VP of Product Strategy and Go-to-Market for Verusen, a supply chain technology startup, leading a new era of supply chain by shifting the landscape of how global organizations approach their supply and materials management strategy and challenges. Working closely with Product Management, Sales, Marketing and others within the organization, as well as customers, she is tasked with ensuring that Verusen is delivering market-leading innovation to our customers. Prior to Verusen, Christine was the Senior Director of Product and Industry Market Strategy for Infor’s supply chain solutions. Christine brings over 25 years of expertise in manufacturing, purchasing and planning from companies including Berry Global, Mead Johnson Nutrition, and Whirlpool. In 2021 and 2018, she was recognized as one of the Top Women in Supply Chain by Supply and Demand Chain Executive. Christine has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Evansville and completed her MBA with distinction at the University of Louisville. She is certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) through APICs (ASCM) and as a Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute. Connect with Christine on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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