In this conversation, Helen and Scott discuss:
• Her observations and expectations for the manufacturing industry as we move into 2023
• The critical milestones she has seen AI achieve to this point, and the role it is playing in the manufacturing renaissance that is currently underway
• How the concept of ‘customer experience’ has been misunderstood and the power associated with it when executed well
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Scott Luton (00:32):
Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are. Scott Luton here with you at Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s episode. Now we’ve got an outstanding episode. Today we’re gonna be talking with an industry di uh, dynamo and business leader that is an expert when it comes to digital transformation, cyber security, and a whole lot more. And our guest might just love the manufacturing industry as much as I do. So with that said, I wanna welcome in my friend Helen u, CEO at Tag Advisory Corporation. Helen, how you doing?
Helen Yu (01:02):
Hi, Scott. I’m doing fantastic. Thank you for having me here today. How are you doing?
Scott Luton (01:08):
Uh, I’m doing great. You know, I, we have long admired you and what you’ve done from afar. I think we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate on, on a couple of projects with some, uh, leading technology platforms out there. But I love your perspective and expertise and I can’t wait to share it with, uh, our global, uh, sc and fam as we call it around here.
Helen Yu (01:27):
Thank you, Scott. Likewise. I really admire your work as well.
Scott Luton (01:31):
Well, um, so I appreciate that. I wanna dive in, Helen, on the front end. Um, I’ll usually like to kind of get to know our guests a little bit better, uh, especially folks that may not have had the, um, the opportunity to, um, engage with you and check out all of your content and thought leadership out there. So let’s start with this. Tell us what part of the world did you grow up in Helen?
Helen Yu (01:53):
Well, there are two parts of my childhood. Very early on, I grew up in Chenin, so that’s a city 75 miles southeast of Beijing. That’s the capital of China. China. And then I moved to Beijing as soon as I started elementary school. But I actually grow up, grew up among eight other boys, right. My cousins and my brother. And, uh, I was raised, uh, I was the youngest and only girl, and it was a tremendous experience. Uh, so professionally I actually grew up in the tech world.
Scott Luton (02:27):
Okay. Well, so tell us back to that, um, being the youngest and the only, uh, female and having, uh, eight brothers to, I bet you beat up on them. Is that how that worked, Helen?
Helen Yu (02:38):
Well, I learned how to survive. That’s the, put that
Scott Luton (02:42):
<laugh>. Wonderful. Well, well let me ask you, um, cuz we we’re about to go, uh, kind of how, uh, uh, how the, the tech world kind of shaped your journey, but they’re growing up in those two wonderful Chinese cities, the second one being Beijing. What, um, what activities as a kid did you really enjoy? Whether it’s a game or, or, um, you know, what y’all did together, you and your brothers and cousins, what was a big part of your childhood?
Helen Yu (03:09):
Well, being raised by my grandmother, the most enjoyable moments were the time we had to make our own toys, right. At the time we were not really wealthy, so we have to make everything, for example, making paper airplanes or, you know, playing with kits or making, you know, using the wood piece of wood to make things out of it. Like little toy. We didn’t have Legos at the time, unfortunately, but I, we were all very hands on chasing each other and running around. As a matter of fact, I run really fast and they had to put me in the groups with boys because of the way I grew up. Because we run, I I run away all the time growing up <laugh>. Yes. And then the second part of my favorite verbal part was to listening to story every evening, uh, my grandmother, we all, you know, sleep on the same big wooden bed. And then I would curl claw up to curl up to my grandmother, and she would tell one story every single night. And they’re always a, what’s the mor moral of the story? I was always the one who listened the bus. Right? I was able to listen to it and translate that into something meaningful for me. So to this date, I still remember all the stories she, she really shared, um, man, when I was growing off
Scott Luton (04:30):
That such a special time, I much like you, I revered, uh, my, all of my grandparents and, um, really, uh, cherished those times we spent together. Now it sounds like, um, Helen, not only were you, uh, fast in general, you were a fast learner and able to take those stories and apply them later in your journey. Um, I appreciate you sharing that. Let’s, let’s talk, let’s switch gears and let’s talk more about your professional journey. I think you were about to share there that you, uh, that the tech world really shaped a lot of who you are and, and what you’ve done in your career. Tell us about a couple of positions that really shaped your leadership and your worldview, Helen.
Helen Yu (05:07):
Sure. Well, instead of talking about my position, let me talk about the two pivots I made in my career. The first pivot, pivot was from a encounter to a being grower. I actually started my career as an accountant and financial analyst, and I learned to code as a Hyperion consultant and one talented design and implement hundreds of financial planning applications working alongside the CFOs and CIOs. So my financial background, self-taught technical skills and consulting experience enabled me to pivot to a bean grower later on
Scott Luton (05:45):
The second. Hey, really quick, Helen, if I can ask, um, that, that requires, and I love how you put it there, from a bean counter to a bean grower that required that pivot required a ton of courage and probably willingness to take that leap. Yes. Where’d you find that inner strength?
Helen Yu (06:02):
So, the inner strength is really comes from how I was raised by my grandmother, right? You have to be able to step out your comfort zone constantly knowing that you are not the best at everything you do, and be willing to be a beginner for everything, right? So the curiosity is out there really for me. You know, in order for you to become the best, you have to take yourself out of being the best and being the newest, uh, being the learner. And that’s really the how I was able to pivot. And then understanding that, you know, there’s, it is a journey. Being the, you know, really being the best may not be the goal, but the, it’s a journey for you to learn and grow. And to me it’s like learn and, and grow learning and growing also are all the inter, inter interchangeable, um, in my entire career.
Helen Yu (06:57):
And the second pivot I made was from a business executive to an entrepreneur, right? Think about, I run the Oracle BI consulting practice, post-acquisition. And then, uh, at the time, uh, Keith Block was e v P of sales. So under his tooth large, I learned the nuances of enterprise solution sales at Oracle. So I then learned marketing and SaaS at Adobe and successfully really led the startup to scale up challenge at Marketo. So my journey led me to recognize the critical gap patterns in growth driven technology startups that prompt me to become an entrepreneur. So the these two really pivot, enable me to become a servant leader and curious, courageous multiplier.
Scott Luton (07:43):
Um, you’re talking my language on so many levels, how much time you got, Helen, I’d love to die, <laugh>, we’re gonna take next three hours. What incredible powerful pivots. And you know, one of the things that really stuck out, uh, uh, stood out to me as you were sharing both of those, um, was just how much of a constant learner that you are you, it’s like you soak up new, new knowledge by the hour. Is that, is that accurate?
Helen Yu (08:08):
I really, I’m a learner. I say life learner or I always like gravitate to the new things. And then really, you know, anything I read constantly, I talk to people all the time and, and just, that’s, uh, that’s kind of what I do as a natural or a naturally on a daily basis.
Scott Luton (08:31):
Well, uh, Helen, you’re gonna inspire a, as you already do, but you’re gonna inspire a lot of our listeners with what you’ve already shared. Uh, and I bet you agree there’s no finish line when it comes to learning and learning new things, professional development, new challenges, especially as I know you can relate in, uh, as an entrepreneur. Um, so I want to pivot this interview, <laugh>, uh, um, let’s talk about, there’s, there’s three topics I’d love for you to kind of weigh in with your expertise. And the first of them, you and I both are, uh, big fans of the manufacturing industry. Um, so starting there as we approach the new year, uh, hard to believe 2023 is just, uh, two weeks around the corner. Um, what are some of your manufacturing industry observations as we move into the new year?
Helen Yu (09:16):
That’s a great question, Scott. There are two, uh, let me share two observations. Number one is, you know, with inflation supply chain disruptions and geopolitical conflicts, we’re going through a renaissance manufacturing in the us AI in smart manufacturing, iot, ot, going to be the front and center of the competitive and sustainable advantage. In this new era, I expect to see waves breakthrough innovations throughout the supply chain and manufacturing processes. Number two, you know, the labor store, uh, shortage remains a top challenge. I wrote, wrote about that recently there will be 2.1 million unfilled jobs in manufacture by 2030, an automation and autonomous machinery will be inevitable. So, you know, to me there will be massive opportunities for innovation and transformation for manufacturing.
Scott Luton (10:15):
Agreed. And, and I, I enjoyed, so listeners, if you have not connected or or follow, Helen, you we’re gonna have, make sure her social, uh, media profile is really easy. One click away in the episode notes. But, um, I loved your, uh, perspective on, uh, man manufacturing talent shifts, both the challenges and how companies are reinventing, uh, how they address it in many ways. And, uh, you mentioned AI on the front part of your answer. Um, I really enjoyed you if I get this right. And, and Helen, please correct me. You kind of laid out a timeline, uh, kind of in, in some ways showing critical milestones of how AI has advanced over the years. I love that. I’m a big business history nerd as well. Um, but you’ve shown it, it continues to evolve and lea and make big leaps ahead. Speak to, um, kind of how you’ve seen it evolve, uh, via that, uh, perspective you shared.
Helen Yu (11:10):
Well, I actually started deploying AI since five years ago, right, at the biggest global banks. And I, uh, happened to start working with this AI company, uh, as a conversational AI company. So, uh, really getting my hands on AI taught me, um, to, to really understand, right? You know, when it comes to ai, we all know data is so critical, right? But then you cannot ignore the, the, the factors important factor of be, you know, trust, right? It is the psychological impact on human is really gonna play a major role, continue to play a major role. You think about how we’ve evolved, right, from just computer programming to now human-like response from the chat, G P t when it comes to ai, it’s fascinating to see how much we have evolved in the past, even 10 years, massive, um, improvement or massive evolution. So to me, you know, especially when it comes to manufacturing, we talk about, you know, it’s really, we’re gonna have a lot more breakthroughs in the next even five years or even two to three years.
Scott Luton (12:23):
Uh, I’m with you. I I maybe, uh, next two to three months, it feels like at times. Um, hey, speaking of ai and, and we’re gonna switch over, uh, to customer experience in a minute. Get some of your thoughts there. Um, there’s a great movie, uh, and I, I’ve, uh, to our listeners, you’ve probably heard me, uh, talk about this before. It’s called her h e r, and it, you know, what I’m talking about came out like in two, 2013. And, uh, have you seen this movie as well, Helen?
Helen Yu (12:48):
Isn’t that twice? Oh, really enjoyed it.
Scott Luton (12:52):
Me too. It really is so fascinating, especially, and I’m not, not ruin the ending for everybody here, but how, where that ends, especially in the last 30 minutes or so of the movie, man, it’ll, it’ll leave you, uh, if you watch it in the theater, watch it at home, whatever, it’s gonna leave your mind racing with all kinds of questions in terms of the art of the possibles. That that’s what, uh, uh, that’s what it did for me. Helen, you.
Helen Yu (13:15):
Yeah. You know, believe it or not, we all live in the world where we have, you know, either Siri or, you know, uh, Alexa or Google Home or Apple Home, right? We all live in the world without noticing that we’re dealing with her or him, uh, at home constantly. And I think I’m gonna see more of those happening, uh, in the coming years.
Scott Luton (13:39):
I agree. I agree. Um, uh, all right, so I gotta leave. There’s a thousand questions I love to pose to you about ai, but for the sake of time, I move into one of one of the other things that you’re a big fan of and, and an expert, uh, thought leader around customer experience, right? It’s a, it’s, uh, really interesting how the formal practice of, of cx, uh, has really, you know, business leaders are looking forward it everywhere and, and how-to guides of how to really, um, elevate the whole customer experience. So what do you, um, any thoughts about how do you see this customer experience, uh, space evolve?
Helen Yu (14:14):
Well, having been a C-suite executive in customer experience over the years, I’m really passionate about this topic. Um, that’s being said, there has been quite a bit of misconception when it comes to customer experience. So let’s first get aligned on what exactly it is. Customer experience to me is not responsibility of a single department. It is a culture of accountability that requires vision, leadership, and investment in a company-wide competency, right? And for companies to master customer experience, they have to build overarching competency. And then, and also B2B customer experience can be very complex. It is important to understand your customers. What that means is that you have to know what is their perceived value on your product and services. Why did they invest in you in the first place? And then you gotta have a active listening pass to constantly understand what they’re talking about you when you’re not in the room, right?
Helen Yu (15:18):
And then also, you know, providing that consistent, reliable experience is much more appreciated than something, you know, out of the blue surprise, right? And then I also learned that customer loyalty is really fragile. And brands, you know, the brands’ employee experience will have a direct impact on their brand reputation and the correlation on that, on the customer loyalty, right? Some of the recent events, you can tell already, people decide to leave you. If you don’t, your employees are not being treated fairly. And because people have a choice or companies have a choice to decide who they wanna work with. So that shared value between you and your target customers or brands are super important for you to understand.
Scott Luton (16:06):
You, we could talk about this for hours. Uh, uh, I love, um, uh, how you started with talking about how it’s not a single individual’s responsibility, it’s all the team members in, in terms of optimize, optimizing and protecting the customer experience. And then also, I, I love how one, one of the things you shared there is, uh, customers, they care about all certain, uh, all, all sorts of types of their experience, including, as you mentioned, how these big brands, well, big and small brands take care of their own team members. Uh, that’s a great call out. I, one quick follow up question, and then we’re gonna move to, um, uh, talking a little more leadership. Do you see in this omnichannel digital commerce world, you know, era, we’re, we’re moving in, uh, we’re already in <laugh> and, and evolving in, do you see that as, uh, more challenging to protect that customer experience? Or do you see it kind of on the other side of the spectrum where it opens up new doors of wowing the customer? What’s your take there?
Helen Yu (17:06):
Well, I always see that as an opportunity, right? I think this is the time, especially when, you know, the, you know, with the current economy, those are the time for the, the companies to really do something different and re re revisit, reset, right? What they’re doing, and then reflect and then really emerge as a leader in driving better customer experience. Tons of opportunities out there with a technology advancement, with talents being available, right? Some of the talent being more available due to the tech layoffs. This is a moment to seize the opportunity and then become a better leader in, in the marketplace.
Scott Luton (17:47):
Yeah, well said. I love that, that, uh, the glass certainly, uh, half full. Uh, I love that. Um, okay, so let’s talk leadership. You know, that’s that overarching topic. It, it, it’s related to everything. Uh, um, at least that’s how I look at it. Um, so you may be like me, Helen. Uh, I’m a regular student of leadership practices as a, as an entrepreneur, as a business leader, and just as a, as a leadership nerd, I’ll call it. So if, if you were speaking to, um, uh, let’s call it, uh, uh, thousands of college students or high school students that are about to graduate and enter the world, and they want to, they want to do big things like, like you’ve done Helen, uh, and of course that requires great leadership skills. What’s a couple of critical, uh, leadership practices that you would, uh, share with
Helen Yu (18:37):
Them? So I would share three things. Uh, the first one is being present. It’s really important for any, any of us to be present, whatever we’re doing, either making a presentation or, um, really interact with a friend or a colleague. So the ability to focus on something right when they’re in the moment, focus on that intensely and the ability to collect the information you needed and then make decision, uh, in that real time. So that to me is number one, no matter what you are doing, um, what major you select in what field you are in, this is really a very important skill for any leader or anybody. Number two is the ability to think out of the box, right? You think about, we all have, sometimes we’re innovative with, I would say, seeing the forest not only to to be in the trees, but also step out of the trees to see the forest.
Helen Yu (19:36):
The ability to do that is really help you to see the bigger picture rather than just focus on all the things, you know, that bothers you. And to me, it’s like, forget about the to do list. Think about the to be list, right? Ah, what you wanna be. Love that as a human. And, and then the third way is to go explore life, disconnect, right? Once in a while and get lost in nature, in life, in whatever hobby you decide to do or in a book. So to me, as a human being, no one wants to interact with someone. All you talk about is one thing, right? You people wanna interact with someone who is interesting, who has more breadth of experience, and then they can learn from, think about it. Like for example, when I work with companies, I do a lot of research.
Helen Yu (20:28):
I get to know what they’re, they, what perceived the value, and then if they like horse, I’m gonna go learn about horse riding, right? Right. I mean, you have to really understand the human, at the end of the day, the interaction is about the human interaction and what matters to Scott, for example, right? And then, so that’s very important to know. And no matter what you do in the what field you’re in, you have to really learn to understand what matters. The value, perceived value is from the person you are interact with, and always add that value. And another do that. You have to disconnect and explore, learn more beyond what you are doing and what your degrees, um, taught you,
Scott Luton (21:12):
Man. Um, we could talk leadership as well. We’re gonna have to book, we’re gonna have to book, uh, more time together. Helen, um, I love where you started about being present because, um, it’s ever more challenging in this, you know, with everything, uh, texts, social emails, unit, whatever, at our fingertips, it’s easy to be distracted. Uh, and, uh, I think the best people I’ve ever worked for and worked with have that ability to your point of being present in the moment and, and making you feel important and what you’re sharing with them being important in their priority. The other thing you maybe think of is, um, um, not making assumptions, right with your, your, uh, second point there, you know, kind of thinking outside the box. We all assume as humans, we all assume so much. And I think one of the dangerous assumptions we can make in business is how we think things work. And sometimes you gotta call Tom out and, you know, value stream, map out things, or just have conversations with different functional areas of the business to really blow away those assumptions so that you can really make things easier and more successful for all members of the team, right?
Helen Yu (22:21):
Scott Luton (22:23):
Okay. So, uh, Helen, I appreciate your expertise and perspective on manufacturing, customer experience and leadership. And we’re gonna have a, we’re gonna have a sequel to, to, to, uh, today’s conversation. Um, I want to, um, you’re, you’ve got so much going on, I wanna level set with, uh, where you are serve as CEO o at TAG Advisory Corps. So tell us what does that business do?
Helen Yu (22:47):
Yeah, I actually started a TAG advisory as a growth accelerator, uh, five years ago. And then during pandemic, I pivoted to guiding organiz organizations through digital transformation, strategic planning, cybersecurity risk management, go to market optimization and influencer marketing. I’m also a host with CXO Spice podcast, and that’s a platform for industry thought leaders to share their perspective on innovation and how to make it real.
Scott Luton (23:19):
So, um, Anne, I love your reg. Uh, first off, uh, I like all of your various content, you know, um, uh, it really, uh, it stops and makes you think, uh, that’s one of my, one of your, uh, attributes I love the most. Uh, what is the name of the LinkedIn newsletter that you put out? Uh, LinkedIn articles you put out regularly?
Helen Yu (23:40):
Yeah, it’s called CXO News. Uh, CXO Spice Newsletter. The reason I name it CX O Spice, because the target audience is CX o, they’re the decision makers. Spice has a meaning, right? Uh, s I mean, name is inspired by Iron M my favorite, uh, Marvel. Um, so s is really the, uh, scenario or scope of the discussion. And then p stands for point of view and then I is, um, really represents innovation. Uh, C is for C, X O and then E is execution to how you make it happen in real world.
Scott Luton (24:19):
I love that. I never knew his acronym, uh, <laugh>. I thought it was about the, the spicy nature of the conversations and the hot takes. So I love we we love our acronyms around here, uh, in the world of supply chain. Um, alright, so folks gotta check that out. Uh, check out the podcast. And then the other thing I wanna suggest to people, cause I’ve got two copies of your book, uh, on the way to it to me now, and your book was entitled, ascend Your Startup, conquer The Five Disconnects to Accelerate Growth. And it’s been really well received. It has won awards at, uh, the New York Book Festival. It’s been a Wall Street Journal bestseller even, and I’m probably even leaving some out. So clearly it’s resonated with the market. Tell us, um, Helen, what was your why of writing this book?
Helen Yu (25:06):
Well, the why behind a Sunday Mount a space camp was to keep a secret promise to my grandmother, and I was leave her ashes on a tall mountain. I was raised by grandmother, and before she passed away, she said three things to me. Stay special, make the world proud, and spread my ashes to a tall mountain. So grandmother was my world, right? She always give and never ask anything from others. So writing this book is to honor the great and resilience grandma taught growing up and honor the great resilience it takes to scale a startup.
Scott Luton (25:46):
Um, man, uh, and to honor her wishes and, and to share, um, her love for others by helping others through, uh, all the different ways, your book, your podcast, all of your content, uh, your advisory services that you do. I bet she is extremely proud. And, uh, and you know what, Helen, the way I look at it is we’re all just getting started, right? We’re all just getting started. There’s so much more to come. Um, alright, so folks, um, if you wanted, so Helen, folks wanna connect with you. Maybe they wanna, um, uh, work with you, collaborate with you, have you come in as a keynote. I know youll do a lot of keying, uh, a lot of different content. What’s the easiest way for folks to connect with you?
Helen Yu (26:28):
Well, thank you, uh, Scott. I mean, they can always find me through LinkedIn. Uh, as you we mentioned earlier, I publish weekly CXO Spice Newsletter on LinkedIn. They can also find me on Twitter. My handler is Y u uh, Helen, Y u and then I also have a CXO Spice YouTube channel. They can, you know, Google, CXO Spice, Helen New, it will pop up. I also have my personal website, tag advisory.com. By the way, I launched my books through N F T version as well. So if they want a copy of my book with Autograph, they can DM me. Uh, you know, they can purchase a book from me directly or through Amazon, or they can go to the website to even grab a copy of M N F T. So there are a lot of o uh, options out there.
Scott Luton (27:20):
It’s everywhere. It’s taking over the book scene and I can’t wait to read it. Uh, and then again, folks, that was a send your startup conquer the five disconnects to accelerate growth. Um, Helen, as I suspected, um, you know, 30 minutes or so, whatever the recording time is here doesn’t do you justice and doesn’t do your journey justice, but I’m so glad that you’re able to carve out some time and spend, uh, with us and, and share your expertise and thought leadership and perspective, including those two big pivots with our global audience. Thank you so much, Helen, U C E O at, uh, tigon Advisory Corporation.
Helen Yu (27:56):
Thank you for having me, Scott.
Scott Luton (27:59):
All right, folks, man, uh, I know about you, but I’m ready to run through the wall back behind me. I love Helen’s journey. I love how she’s shared it and really centered a lot of, a lot of what she does around those critical lessons learned, spending time with, with, uh, her family, all the brothers and cousins, but especially her grandmother. That really resonates with me. Uh, folks, hopefully you enjoy this episode. Be sure to find supply chain now, wherever you get your podcast from, subscribe, you don’t miss anything like this with, uh, this episode with, uh, Helen u You can finance on YouTube. Hey, as, as Helen mentioned, that’s the easy place to engage in content. Uh, add your comments, you name it. On behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, hey Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change, be like Helen u. And with that said, we next time right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.
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Helen Yu is the founder and CEO of TigonAdvisory; Host of CXO Spice podcast and a wall-street journal best-selling author. She drives growth for tech companies from start-ups to global titans like Oracle and Adobe, and helps CEOs achieve multibillion-dollar revenue growth and record profitability. She’s a board advisor to fast-growth SaaS companies and is on the board of the Global Cybersecurity Association. She is named as top 50 women in Tech by Award Magazine and was ranked a Top 30 thought leader by Thinkers 360, and a top 10 digital transformation influencer by IBM. Her CXO Spice podcast was named top 70 podcast you should listen to in 2022 by Thinkers360. She’s spoken at SXSW, TiECon, DMS, Money20/20 and NAMIC. An avid adventurer who trekked to Mt. Everest base camp and ice climbed glaciers, her book Ascend Your Start-up: Conquer the 5 Disconnects to Accelerate Growth won first place in business category at New York book festival and firebird award in addition to wall street journal best seller. You can subscribe to her weekly #CXOSpice newsletter https://lnkd.in/gBpfAfxt or subscribe to #CXOSpice podcastYouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/HelenYu. You can also follow her on Twitter at @YuHelenYu. Or follow Tigon Advisory at https://tigonadvisory.com/ Connect with Helen on LinkedIn.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vice President, Production
Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.
Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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’.
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.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
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.
Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
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.