Supply Chain Now
Episode 986

If we don't look after our youth, then what is our future? And that is something that's true of any industry.

-Jenny Froome

Episode Summary

In this special episode, host Scott W. Luton focuses on one of his favorite subjects: Good News. Here, Scott shares a great “Do Good” initiative by our friends at HelloFresh and Pratt Industries; he touches on the recently averted (for now) railroad labor strike; and Scott welcomes in his dear friend Jenny Froome to share a few key takeaways from the recently facilitated 2022 SAPICS Young Professional & Student Conference. Jenny & Scott are both big believers in the importance of investing in the “Now Generation”, which is good for all of global industry.

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 (00:34):

Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to the show today. We’re sharing a few thoughts on one of my favorite topics. Good news. Some of our listeners may be familiar with my related weekly message on Friday mornings on LinkedIn. And if you’re not, Hey, connect with me or follow me on LinkedIn and join in those weekly conversations. I’d love to hear your thoughts, but today let’s dive in to some good news. Now for September 19th, 2022, uh, first a great initiative hit my radar over the weekend. Hello, fresh, which is the largest meal kit provider in the us. Hello, fresh is partnered with Pratt industries, which is the fifth largest corrugated packaging company here in the states. The organizations partnered with a food rescue organization known as second helpings, Atlanta working together. They launched a meal donation program in August, 2021 to provide meals to individuals and families in need throughout Metro Atlanta.

Scott Luton (01:39):

The program is entitled meals with meaning and it just surpassed quite a milestone. As over 500,000 meals have been distributed to those in need and better yet, all organizations are committing to continuing the initiative throughout 2023. Hey, great work all next up. Hopefully you’ve heard by now a railroad labor strike has been averted as a deal has been reached late last week. A labor strike in the railroad industry here in the states, would’ve been exceptionally disruptive as about 30% of all goods travel via real in the us now had a strike taken place. It would’ve been the first railroad strike since 1992, some 30 years ago. Now Hal 1992 is 30 years ago. I have no idea. Goodness gracious, rail workers though, back to the story are seeking quality of life improvements via pay healthcare and work schedule changes amongst other things. But important note here, rail workers are voting on the tentative agreement.

Scott Luton (02:45):

This coming Thursday morning, which would be September 22nd, all 12 rail unions must ratify the new contract. Otherwise a labor strike would be imminent. Now some insiders are fairly concerned about this, this last hurdle. So we’ll see how that goes. But in the meantime, I love this quote from the late colon Powell quote, never lose sight of the need to reach out and talk to other people who don’t share your view, listen to them and see if you can find a way to compromise in quote, such a timeless truth there for our third and final topic here today on good news. Now I invited my dear friend, Jenny fr to share a few thoughts. Now, many of our listeners will recognize Jenny as an executive leader with SAP picks, which is a wonderful industry association doing great work all across Africa. Jenny is also my co-host for our ongoing series here at supply chain. Now that is aptly named supply chain leadership across Africa. We have had some of the best conversations with a few of the brightest minds in global business, going back a couple years now, now recently, Jenny and her team held the 2022 SAEX young professional and student conference all to engage what I call the now generation of supply chain and business leaders. Now I’ve invited Jenny to share a few key takeaways in observations related to the event, the participants Inex work in general,

Jenny Froome (04:21):

When you’ve been doing something for a very long time. Um, it’s very easy to get bored or disillusioned or wonder why it is that you are doing what you do. And I’ve worked with pics for a very long time, um, over 20 years and every single year, since we launched the young professional and student conference initiative, it gives me that shot in the arm, that excitement, that positivity that sometimes is needed, especially over the last few years where, you know, we’ve all wondered what’s gonna happen. The, the young professionals, the students, the people who have chosen to get into supply chain management, never cease to excite me. Um, there’s such an enthusiasm. There’s such a unaware of what the degree they’re doing or what the, what the job that they’ve decided to do, the journey that it’s gonna take them on. And it’s been such a privilege for me to have been able to watch a lot of people, um, who, whose professional development, um, has just, has just gone on exponentially from when I first met them.

Jenny Froome (05:41):

And, and it’s just it’s so, so, so rewarding. I can’t describe how much of a pleasure it gives. Um, and, and really just to change that one person’s idea of what supply chain management truly is in the real sense, because they’ve spoken to somebody who’s working for a logistics provider or somebody who’s working in procurement or somebody who’s working in the public health distribution space. There, there are just so many different angles that, that maybe universities don’t don’t teach them. And, and I, you know, I’m not gonna desk universities at all, cuz I think they do a wonderful job, but it’s that being able to be that link maybe between academia and private and, and work and to try to focus on job readiness and enable these people to give them the right skills and the right mindset. You know, we, we talk about EQ and, and the whole soft skills, which I, I still don’t think should be called soft skills, but we talk about all of that, but what do we teach the young people of today?

Jenny Froome (06:56):

And I think that that’s something that, that just came through this year, particularly so strongly. Um, and, and I really found that to be a, a true highlight of, of what we do. It’s exposing the young people to things that are not just theoretical. They’re not just books. Education is so much more than textbooks and I, and I’m very proud to be associated with an organization like say books that, that takes the time to expose these young individuals to, to, to a future that they might not otherwise ever have known about. So in a nutshell, that’s really what excites me about the young professional development that SAP does. You know, just talking about people whose careers I’ve watched since they, they, they sort of started their journey with SAP really. Um, we’ve got some, not so young people anymore, but they came to their very, very first SAEX conference as, as young recruits and then our CEOs of multinational organizations.

Jenny Froome (08:10):

Um, and, and that’s amazing. It is amazing to watch. It’s amazing to watch them give back as well, you know, to have somebody who’s been a member of pic since they were in their twenties now managing multinational organizations, but they still take time to come to an online event or back in the day when we were doing face to face, which hopefully we gonna be able to do again very soon. Um, they, they took, they take the time, they take the time to mentor and to guide and to share their experiences and to share their passion for, for this profession. Um, and I think that that, that never ceases to amaze me just that, that willingness to give back to a profession that they’re passionate about. Um, and, and it’s, it’s incredibly, uh, motivating to, to, to see that firsthand. So SAP is the professional body for supply chain management in South Africa.

Jenny Froome (09:08):

And it’s been going since, uh, I think it’s 56 years. Um, and during that time it’s managed to build such a, such a vibrant and dynamic community of supply chain professionals from, from all industries and public and private sector. And it’s one of those organizations that’s, it’s driven by volunteers, um, and the volunteers spend their time giving to the community. And I mean, you know, Scott, you know this because you were, you were one, um, once upon a time and, and you’ve done your earned your stripes as it were. Um, and it’s, and it is always amazing to see how volunteers will give up their time, roll up their sleeves and help an organization like SAEX because they understand the value of it. And, and they themselves have either grown through the, through the organization or their company’s profile has been enhanced by association with this organization for, for so many reasons.

Jenny Froome (10:20):

Um, and, and I think that the young professional initiative that Sepik started is almost a culmination of all of that. It’s where it should have started. It’s where, it’s where, um, it’s where it all, it all stems from, because if we don’t look after our youth, then what’s our future. Um, and, and that’s something that is true of any industry. Absolutely. You know, any, not even industry, just life isn’t it. Um, but, but I think that, you know, we were a little bit slow getting off the, off the blocks, and we’ve really only formalized this, this whole initiative over the last 10 to 12 years, um, where we started the annual conference and we have, um, mentoring sessions. We’ve got some fabulous, uh, individual members old and young, and I, you know, old, we’ve got some pretty old members too. Um, but you know, they, they, they have been allocated, um, young professionals who they meet with reg on a regular basis and they help them through the sort of the, the, the complexities of, of starting your career.

Jenny Froome (11:31):

And there are some mentorship, mentee, mentee, mentor, relationships that have been ongoing for many years. Um, and in fact, we sort of got next next gen mentors, which is very exciting. Um, I really have been doing this for too long. Uh, and so it’s, it’s that, uh, it’s that, it’s that initiative, it’s that passion, it’s that, um, commitment that really is just so or inspiring. We did our annual, uh, conference this year. We did it online. Um, we had over 170 people register, I think. And over the, over the course of the day, we had around about a hundred people pop in and out of the online platform. It’s a great platform because it’s got these networking tables that you can actually really see people and, and chat to them. Um, I think we’ve all experienced those now, but the engagement was outstanding. It really was, um, from, from the mentors and the, and the, the, the mentees, uh, we had one young lady who really just learned so much that she was quite overwhelmed with emotion.

Jenny Froome (12:45):

By the end of the day, we had a program that was filled with amazing subject matter experts, supply chain professionals who were talking about when they first started and what they look for as an employer, and really sound Sage advice about, you know, so you’ve got your degree, you’ve got your two pieces of paper, don’t go to a company thinking that they now owe you a job and a promotion and the, the window office, um, or the corner office, you know, this is where the hard work starts, keep your humility. Um, and I think that that resonated with so many people in the audience, um, because it is so important. You don’t know what it’s like to work your way up through an organization. Um, there is so much more to learn about a career than the qualification. And so that was very interesting. And we, interestingly enough, this year, we had a lot of, a lot of women supply chain professionals.

Jenny Froome (13:54):

The program was truly, uh, truly a proud making moment to see the diversity on that program. Uh, and, and we, we littered it with litter. That’s the wrong word, but we, we populated it with some really good, uh, specialist knowledge. So the, the whole demand driven, um, angle, uh, which was something that was, was really, uh, put into a context that was not, it was not like school or university. It was practical knowledge from a, from a somebody who’s done masses of consultations on, on the subject in huge and small organizations who could use his practical experience to explain why it’s so dynamic, why it’s so important. And, and, you know, you could actually, you could actually feel the enthusiasm from the presentation. We had another, um, another person talking about artificial intelligence and, you know, the overriding and I think somewhat reassuring message, which is that we can be as, as complex as we like with as much technology as we like, but we mustn’t take the human out of, out of the supply chain.

Jenny Froome (15:10):

Um, artificial intelligence is not going to replace humans. It will hopefully make humans lives easier. Um, and you know, that, that was a, that was a great message. We had a, a fantastic, uh, presentation from Dr. Patients and <inaudible>, who’s a leading woman in the mining industry. And there aren’t really there. Weren’t when she first started very many, uh, people, very many women in the mining industry in Africa, um, let alone, you know, internationally or African women internationally. So she’s a real trailblazer and what an inspiration, uh, that, that, that she gave to, to young people in, in the audience, always the, our past president, uh, ki she’s started her own, uh, foundation and is doing what she’s absolutely passionate about, which is helping the young to get job ready. And she always talks about, you know, make sure that you wear the right clothes, make sure that you are, that you look appropriate for the, for the environment that you are hoping to get a job in, or the environment that you want to go and work in things that we as adults.

Jenny Froome (16:26):

I think so take for granted that youngsters know about. And I, I don’t want Sam patronizing, cuz I know there are lots of youngsters out there who know it, but equally there are a lot who don’t and we do assume a lot when educating youngsters, I think how to, how to make sure that your CV stands out. We need to know that at any age, but it’s particularly important when you are young because the things that you don’t think are important actually could make the difference. You know, they, they could give somebody the, the implication or the indication that you are a natural leader because you, I don’t know you captain the hockey team or, or something along those lines. And I know a lot of kids who don’t include that on their CDs because they don’t think it’s relevant. Um, we have a, a, a wonderful relationship with an organization called the people shop who are absolute experts in, in recruitment and, and executive search.

Jenny Froome (17:25):

I think it’s called, I’m not sure. Um, our chairman of our young professional committee, fantastic young man called co fellow. Um, he, he’s actually now working with them, which is very exciting. And we had, we have had two super interns. Who’ve been working with us throughout the, the winter, uh, in the lead up to the sacreds conference. And, um, one of them actually found herself a job at the St pits conference and we’re actively working to try and try and help our, our other young lady secure employment before her contract is up, but to learn from them. You know, I remember listening to, I think it was Kim winter actually, who talked about upward mentoring as well as downward mentoring in that we, we gray haired old S um, we can learn from our new recruits, our young professionals, as much as they can learn from us.

Jenny Froome (18:24):

And I think that that’s a really relevant sort of thought process because I’ve learned so much from both of them in the time that they’ve been here, questions asking, why do we do it this way? Why don’t we do it a different way from a messaging point of view, you can’t, you can’t message on social media to, to attract young people’s attention in the same way that you do the more established, uh, individual, all these things, which I know if you read lots of books and things, which I never have the time to do, you can learn, and there’s a science behind all of it, but isn’t it so great to be able to learn it from the real people who are actually wanting that messaging? I think it’s been a huge privilege and, uh, and I’m very fortunate to do what I do. Um, in, in, in this particular, in this particular space, I met a fabulous young lady at the, um, young professional conference last week, who, I dunno if you recall, and I know you’ll remember Nikki Scott, but, um, Nikki founded the commercial transport academy here in South Africa and has been working with U S a I D, and a number of, um, private sector organizations to educate and empower women, truck drivers, but also in leadership roles, not just the practical skills of driving trucks, but in, in leadership and management.

Jenny Froome (19:56):

Um, and there was one of her graduates, one of the graduates from the college who was at the student conference and SAP PEX has worked with CTA and their graduates, a given, uh, young professional membership at SAP PEX for the, the duration of their time with CTA in the hope that they will then, you know, take the, take the initiative and, and take out their own membership later on. And, um, this young lady was so enthusiastic and just really gave SAEX such credit for giving her that extra boost in her at the start of her career, by introducing her to different people in different industries who all have different experiences and being able to learn from those experiences. And, and remember, this is, is all online. These last three years, has it been three? Yeah, two and a half years, it’s all online. And that’s what I think that I’ve underestimated is how brilliant it was to be thrust into this environment where we had to go online.

Jenny Froome (21:04):

We didn’t have a choice and the people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve nurtured as a result of the, this online connectivity, um, really has made me appreciate the fact that it has a value for a very, very long time to come. And particularly in, in the space of the, the young supply chain professionals, it’s almost second nature to them now, and they’ve used it so wisely to build their communities. And they’ve all learned how to use LinkedIn effectively and how to, how to network online, which is, which is a great skill to have, I think. Um, and I know that there’s a, a certain generation that really struggled, um, during the, the lockdown months and years. So it’s, it’s so wonderful to be able to feel positive about the ability to connect online rather than it being a Drudge. And, you know, we’re, we’re obviously a little bit behind the, the, the states and Europe and in our sort of release back into the real world.

Jenny Froome (22:10):

And we were fortunate enough to have our annual conference in June face to face, but masks were still compulsory and how quickly we forget those things. But another great initiative by pics is to invite students and have them sponsored to the annual conference. And I really hope that we can expand on that and we can get private sector to really come to the party and give these young professionals that experience of, of the safe annual conference, because there’s very little like it. And it really is an opportunity to connect with people who will be useful to you later on in your career, or currently have got answers to the, to the personal and the professional questions that you have. So it’s a, it’s, it’s a really great thing to get the feedback from these, these students to sort of how much it’s opened their eyes to what supply chain management actually is. And of course we know it’s everything, but they didn’t really know that they didn’t really know what it was until they sat in a presentation and they realized that it can, it can change the world. And I think that that’s it get, they leave feeling empowered and proud of the decision that they’ve made to join this profession.

Scott Luton (23:42):

Hey, thanks so much, Jenny really appreciate all that you shared there. And of course, the great work you and your team do. Hey folks, that’s where I’ll wrap up. Today’s good news. Now, episode, thanks so much for joining me and for tuning into our supply chain. Now programming on behalf of the entire team. This is Scott Luton, challenging you to be like the one and only Jenny fr, Hey, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see next time, right back here on supply chain now. Thanks. Shavan

Intro/Outro (24:17):

Thanks

Intro/Outro (24:17):

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

Featured Guests

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

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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