Supply Chain Now
Episode 702


I know that technology is critically important as we move forward, but I would tell any young person coming into the industry, always be thinking about people. At the end of the day, it is still freight, and freight doesn't have a personality, people do.

-Griff Lynch, Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority.

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Freight Insider, Page Siplon speaks with Griff Lynch, the Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority. Griff reveals how and why he started his career in maritime freight and what he has learned along the way. Griff has a unique perspective as he has more than 30 years of operational and commercial experience in the maritime industry.

As the leader of the Georgia Ports Authority, Griff oversees the nation’s third-busiest container port, which is reaching record TEU levels of 15% over last year. The Georgia Ports and inland barge terminals support over 490,000 jobs throughout the state of Georgia and contribute $29 billion in income, $122 billion in revenue and $3.4 billion in state and local taxes to the Georgia economy.

Griff Lynch also shares the journey of the Georgia Ports, including:

  • How infrastructure investment is expanding capacity at the port and what that means for the Georgia economy as well as surrounding states
  • What the completion of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project means for bigger ships coming to Georgia
  • How inland rail facilities are broadening port reach while relieving pressure in trucking
  • Creation of the One-Stop Dock, an on-terminal cross-dock facility

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.

Page Siplon (00:31):

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of the Freight Insider, where we are opening the doors of the business of freight. I’m your host Page Siplon. Thanks so much for joining us again. I often say that freight is the common denominator in the complicated math problem that we call our economy. Literally every business is touched by freight, but the how part of how they’re impacted really varies greatly. Some companies exist to move freight, others track it, some manufacture it, others receive it and sell it to consumers. But the business of freight, regardless of how you look at it, it’s complicated and exciting. And frankly, a well-kept secret weapon for business here across the United States. Today, we’ll be diving into the ocean freight world, and to do so, I have a very special personal friend of mine and a guest joining us. He has over 30 years’ experience as a proven leader in the maritime industry, working on port expansion, sustainable profit and productivity models. Uh, identifying winning sales marketing strategies really has done just about everything you could think of in the maritime world and in the freight world. He’s been with the Georgia ports authority since 2011 and for the last five years has served as its top leaders top dog and its executive director. Today’s guest is Mr. Griff Lynch. So welcome to the Freight Insider, Griff.

Griff Lynch (01:42):

Thank you. Page appreciated. Happy to be here.

Page Siplon (01:45):

We’re glad you’re here. It’s great to see you again. It’s been a, we were just talking about, it’s been, uh, it’s been a few minutes since we got together. We have to do this via video, whatever, but appreciate everyone’s world now.

Griff Lynch (01:55):

So we understand. Thank you. Thanks for the invite. Well, we’ll,

Page Siplon (01:58):

We’ll dive right in. Cause we want to hear about your journey and then hear about what you’re doing today at the ports authority, what your team’s up to, but you know, Griff freight has been a part of your life. You’ve been on quite a journey, uh, more specifically the ocean freight world. And from the little bit I know about you, uh, it all started back in New York as a fellow new Yorker, which we don’t probably say too often here in the, in the great state of Georgia. Um, but it all started with the maritime college up SUNY, New York and the maritime college. I mean, just start off with, how did it, how did you specifically dive in and decide to go to the maritime college and then maybe walk us through kind of what your freight journey has been like personally.

Griff Lynch (02:35):

Page, first of all, I think going to give you kudos because I’m going to speak to the group and they’re going to hear my New York accent. Somehow you found a way to get rid of your gas in

Page Siplon (02:43):

The United States Marine Corps and in lots of places literally took it out of me.

Griff Lynch (02:50):

Tell you go way back when I was a young kid, probably in middle school, I went to see a, uh, a training ship come back from visiting international ports and it was at the maritime college. And I, and I think I was in about seventh grade and I said, right then and there look, this is where I want to go. I had never traveled internationally. I grew up in a middle-class family and it was just really appealing to me and I, you know, everybody’s wearing their uniforms and I just thought, wow, that’s neat. And in that decision, I, you know, thinking about it in high school, um, I always had a dream to be a, a tug captain or working on a ship in New York Harbor. Uh, and that was great until when I was during school, I, I secured a job as a, a cadet observer with Exxon, for the summertime for about three weeks and, and realized when you get seasick, it doesn’t work out so well when you work on a ship.

Griff Lynch (03:42):

So we had, yeah, we had, well, obviously at the school we did that. I was out on ships for several months at a time, but it tug is a little different and, uh, it was just, it wasn’t in the cards for me, but that really began my journey in the freight world, obviously graduated school in 1988, um, and, and was looking for a job. And I, the first job I secured was working for a company called P&O containers at the time. It was TransFreightLine/P&O and I was stowing or plant was a ship planner loaded and container ships as a central planner. And it was really the first of its kind, uh, at the time, uh, it, it came about as a result of the vessel sharing agreement, sharing vessels with P & O Nedlloyd and Sealand really exciting job, uh, was a management trainee with that company came to Charleston.

Griff Lynch (04:29):

As a matter of fact, back in the, I think it was 1990 for a year, worked down at the port of Charleston and book freight, made sure the booking list is all manual at the time, but kind of did it all at the port. And it was a lot of fun. And then went back up to New Jersey eventually, uh, worked my way into a SeaLand, uh, working down at the Elizabeth Marine terminal and rose up through the ranks there first started working on the, on the dock and, and became a Marine manager with SeaLand and, and, um, actually then went into sales, went into sales with them and got to see a whole other side of the business that these just weren’t containers. And they really had people behind them, the customer. And, uh, and that’s really important to understand that and understand how that side of the business works.

Griff Lynch (05:16):

So I got to see that, and then Maris came along and purchased SeaLand back in 2000. And I just went right along their sign and became part of the APM terminals organization, where I, uh, where I took over the, uh, Virginia facility in Norfolk, Virginia, and was a great opportunity to stay there about eight or nine years. Uh, during my time there not only ran a small facility, but had a wonderful opportunity to be part of, kind of designing and leading and building a brand new terminal had a whole team of people, but I was the project manager. We built a brand new facility state-of-the-art for north America. Uh, we were the first to put a semi-automated operation into, in, at a port or a terminal. It was great. It was a great success at a great team, um, and then moved on and, and kind of just continue to rise up. We took an executive role with global container terminals and then came to the Georgia ports in 2011, as you said, as the chief operating officer. So, so it’s been a wonderful ride for me. I have seen both the sales side, the carrier side and the terminal side of the operation and, um, of the, of the ocean freight world. And it’s, uh, I love the industry. Love it.

Page Siplon (06:29):

All right. So 2011, come back to the ports authority here at GPA. And, um, you know, for those listeners who haven’t been, uh, who’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past decade or so Georgia ports authority is, is to say you’re growing like a weed is probably an insult to fast growing weeds. I mean, you guys have been citing records and frankly, as an industry benchmark for ports nationwide, you know, you talked about Virginia and your experience there in Charleston and imports in California, GPA literally setting the bar for those that, you know, for example, I’ll send some of the kudos for those again, that have been sleeping under rocks GPA, inland barge terminals, half almost half a million jobs throughout the state of Georgia, $29 billion in income, a hundred to $22 billion in revenue, $3.4 billion in state and local taxes, you know, quite a private business, quasi private business enterprise 9.3% of containerized cargo volume, 10% over 10% of containerized exports. So that balance I know is really critical to your growth and your sustainability. And so, and, and, and already you’re, again, I get the press releases. Many of the listeners do, um, record after record month after month COVID or not, um, 15% over last year. Um, how does GPA keep, keep up and keep up with that growth and, and why, why is GPA different than other ports, uh, beyond the ones that you just worked at?

Griff Lynch (07:52):

Great, great, great question. And by the way, when I was not working at the GPA long before I came here, I followed them and they are obviously have had a wonderful history long before I got here. And, and I think that has a lot to do with, with the leadership that was here and also the state and all the folks at the state. There’s just this great coalescence around supporting the ports and Georgia, the likes of which I hadn’t seen until I, until I came here. And so, so that was the first thing. And upon coming here, I kind of learned a little bit more and could see firsthand the great and wonderful things that GPA did and does. And I think Page, to answer your question, what differentiates the Georgia ports, the first thing, and I think the largest thing is that for the container facility and for the break bulk facilities, we are an operating port authority.

Griff Lynch (08:42):

And so we are obviously a part of the state, but at the end of the day, we’re not just leasing out our land to a private terminal operator. We work in conjunction with some, uh, with the ILA and the stevedores who are down on the dock, but we facilities our systems, our investments, our capital projects, and our people who are operating the cranes and the yard cranes and, and helping the cargo move. And I think there’s a lot of, there’s a great deal of pride, uh, both in the GPA and outside the GPA and the state, um, in doing that. And I think we’re pretty good at it. And, uh, as a result of that, yeah, and I think, you know, as a result and we have been, and I got to thank folks like Doug Marsh and, and Curtis Foltz and governor Purdue, governor Deal, and now governor Kemp who have been fantastic in the legislature, right.

Griff Lynch (09:29):

Who have been fantastic in supporting the ports, but at the end of the day, uh, the other thing that we’re doing is we’re looking out there and we’re saying, okay, what do we need to do to continue to be relevant? And what should we invest in? And the team has done a wonderful job of staying ahead of the curve and something that Georgia ports has done that has led to its success is we have invested in long lead time items, heavy capital, capital intensive, and made a bet on the future for years now. And every time we’ve made a bet, you know, knock on wood, it’s come out to be successful.

Page Siplon (10:07):

Pretty good odds to bet on the GPA.

Griff Lynch (10:07):

Building new freight, getting new cranes and births, but these investments are massive, uh, hundreds of millions of dollars. I think we, we like to tell folks in the last 10 years, we’ve invested a billion dollars in our ports and that’s risky and that’s coming from our cashflow, right? That’s, that’s on the GPA. We’re not getting help to do that. It’s, it’s on us. Uh, we run the port like a business, and we have done that for years now. And, and that’s a good thing because we’re expected to get a return so that we can invest further. Um, so, so those are the things that I think differentiate us. And then you add all that up. We got a lot of land and, and what was done 20 years ago was to convince the shippers, to build distribution facilities in Savannah. And also obviously Atlanta is a major part of our success. And so having this closest container terminal to Atlanta, having a major distribution for [inaudible] capacity right here in local Savannah, um, have been real strengths and having that direct line of communication, not only with the ocean carriers, but also with the BCS, like those that you service as well, that come to us directly and say, Hey, do you have more space for having some challenges over here on the west coast? Can we come? Yeah, absolutely. Come on. So that’s been the story of the Georgia ports.

Page Siplon (11:23):

Yeah. That’s a great point. You know, just, I used to say it all the time, you know, the ports, the cargo that comes from wherever it comes from China, Europe, all over, you know, a lot of it wants to come to Savannah and a lot of large major shippers have built distribution centers and stuff in Savannah, but you know, it also wants to go all over the Southeast, all over the east coast, all over the country. And so how does, I mean, so the investments you’re talking about just for people that aren’t familiar, obviously you’re improving your, your berths. Um, but you’re also doing a lot of, I mean, I’ve read some press, a lot of our listeners have on the investments that maybe you don’t think as much of a port investing in, like you said, hundreds of millions of dollars. I know your, your rail facilities on terminal and also in outside the Savannah area, maybe up in the Northeast Georgia area. Maybe talk a little bit about that.

Griff Lynch (12:08):

Five years ago, we embarked on converting our existing on dock rail, which was good for its time, but we were quickly filling up and needed to advance it and create more capacity. We decided to build what we call the mega rail. And it’s, uh, it’s really going to turn out to be about a $250 million investment when it’s all said and done. Yeah, it’s big. But when it’s done, what it will do is it, it moves our capacity from 500,000 containers a year to 1 million rail containers a year. Right. So that’s just, that’s going to be the largest on terminal rail facility in north America. And I would tell you, it’s 78% complete. Now we’re using it. It’s working really well. We hope to have it fully operational by the end of this calendar year. So, yeah, that was a major investment in, why did we do that?

Griff Lynch (12:57):

We did that as you pointed out to support, I think two things, three things, number one, truck power is limited and people working in trucks are limited. So it’s a resource issue there. So we wanted to have alternatives for our customers to connect their freight to wherever they’re going. It’s not all in Georgia, right? A lot of it is Atlanta. I said, as big a location that was number one, one number two is we have a plan to build network Georgia. And the first level of that was what we call the ARP, the Appalachia regional port, which was up in Northwest Georgia. And we’ve taken, we invested with the state and with the Murray county in a small inland rail facility, which gets service via CSX directly to our terminal. And it’s turned out to be a tremendous success. We opened a little over two and a half years ago coming up on three years in August.

Griff Lynch (13:45):

Um, there was nothing there, no business. And since that time, GE appliances has open a facility there. Other plus you’re servicing the carpet capital, the flooring capital now of the world up in Dalton, right? So we we’ve been really impressed today. We started with zero containers. I think this year we’ll probably wrap up with about 35,000 containers moving around. And when you think about the truck miles, that we’ve just talked about getting converted, you’re talking about tens of millions of truck miles now, not happening. So sustainability-wise, it’s even better on that side too. That’s the second reason I think the third thing is we have customers saying, Hey, you all have a lot of capacity on the terminal side. We want you to help us connect inland, even further than Georgia. We want to get to Memphis. We’d like to get to Chicago. And so the mega rail allows us to do that. And that’s going to be a longer play for us. We have to make sure we have, it’s not just up to the GPA. We have to ensure the railroads, the class one CSX and Norfolk Southern want that as well. And they’re working with us. And so I would say been a tremendous success. And, uh, we’ll handle this year. We will handle about hundred and 550,000 rail containers at the GPA.

Page Siplon (14:55):

With capacity to go to a million capacity, to go to a million you’re halfway there. That’s incredible.

Griff Lynch (15:01):

It’s a wonderful, so we’re growing, it’s growing at a good clip last month. We’ll, we haven’t shared those numbers yet, but our rail was up almost 40% year over year for the month. So it’s a, it’s all good stuff and really coming, but that’s that, as you pointed out, that’s a long lead that project will take five years from kind of conception to delivery. Um, and so that’s a long lead time and it’s a big dollar bet, but again, it’s something that I think will pay off for, in the long-term for the GPA.

Page Siplon (15:28):

Couldn’t come at a better time. I mean, all the, all the press that’s out there now, you know, my business is in trucking a lot and, you know, good people are hard to find the capacity shortages on trucking. You know, I mean, you got to have trucks to get that final mile, right? Trains aren’t pulling up to stores. So it’s a, it’s an ecosystem at it all fits together.

Griff Lynch (15:46):

Obviously the trucks were never going to go away, but we need to take advantage of the resources we have. And, and that’s the beauty of this, where you, as you pointed out, you get it to the final mile, then you have the shorter haul connected to its location. And, and, uh, I think it’s working out pretty well.

Page Siplon (16:00):

Yeah. Best use of the assets, the resources you have in the industry, not just in your own, in your own business.

Griff Lynch (16:08):

Another one I want to share with you while we’re speaking, is we just recently announced a one-stop dock and that is we’re going, you have got to give Robert Morris credit for the naming of that, but, um, he’s our chief communications officers for those who don’t know, but, but this, this idea is, you know, in our values, one of our values is creativity kind of going out into the supply chain, identifying what’s needed, how we can help. And the Georgia ports is hearing from our customers. The BCO is that there’s not enough cross dock space in the, in the area. We have a, we have a large amount of warehouse. We’ve gone from 70 million to 80 million square feet and last year, but a lot of it’s the big box stuff. So, so we said, Hey, we’ve got some land close to the port. How about we sit down and take a look at building this and really do it right.

Griff Lynch (16:57):

And provide a sustainable solution, highly electric, right? Electric machinery trucks, and so forth. And we announced recently, we’re going to do this. And I’m really excited about it. We’re going to build a 300,000 square foot cross dock. Um, and it’s just up the road from our terminal. We’ll have about 300 doors. We think we can handle, uh, approximately 200,000 containers a year through that one building. And then there’s an opportunity to build another one adjacent to it on the same piece of property, really excited about this. And I’m hoping my hope is that this’ll be kind of a seed bed for others to come say, why aren’t we doing the same thing? And I mean, when, I mean others, I mean, in the area that this is really this crosstalk is really the need that, that the, the ocean carriers have and the BCO is because they want to get the container back. They don’t want that container to go far into the hinterland cause they need, we all know they need those containers back in Asia or whatever markets rinse and repeat and get them back and do it again.

Page Siplon (17:52):

And that’ll be something the one-stop dock again, Robert great and great title, but the one-stop dock, um, that would be something that GPA, just to be clear, that GPA owns and operates

Griff Lynch (18:02):

So, okay. No good question. So just to be clear, we’re going to build it. We are designing it right now with a three PL who actually works on our facility today. We’re going to move them out of that, building into this building and grow their business so that they’ll operate. At least in that case, the lease the building. Look, we’re not experts in that component of the industry. We know it, but, but, but we will provide the Georgia ports. We’ll provide the dray back and forth and be the connector from the terminal to the, uh, to the, uh, warehouse, which is I’ll call it near terminal. Will ultimately have a roadway in terminal roadway, interterm roadway, connecting the facility to the terminal itself. Yeah. Yeah.

Page Siplon (18:39):

That’s great. Yeah. Again, that’s again, the ingenuity and the, the private industry focus, you guys take as a, as a quasi public agency is, is incredible. And like I said earlier on our listeners know, you guys really are a benchmark, and you’re just another example of you guys doing that and showcasing that, you know, the last one that I’ll, I I’d be remiss cause I was, you know, involved in it. I think everybody that was in Savannah and knows that you, like you said, the port’s not going anywhere. It’s kind of geographically located because it’s a port. Well, that means a lot of water. So we’ve talked all about the, all the insight inside the desert side, you know, rail and trucks and transload facilities, one-stop docks, but what about, you know, deepening the water?

Griff Lynch (19:21):

I had not mentioned that, that I, that I feel shame that you had to point that out for me. No, thank you. And you were very helpful. And then it goes back to your time down here and so many work. And so really excited to say that the Savannah Harbor expansion program, which is now coming to fruition, we have been working on this project for over 20 years now, uh, by the end of this year, the deepening project, which deepens our river from 42 feet at mean low water to 47 feet inner Harbor. And then if you go out of harbor 45 to excuse me, 44 to 49 feet, um, that that component is done. That’s all happening now and that’s needed because we we’ve, I think most of you have heard the story about the bigger ships, as a matter of fact, if you’re not getting stuck in the Suez canal, and you’ve all seen that we talking about it, but the, but the bottom line is the CMACGM will have the Marco polo coming next week. And it will be the first 16,000 TEU ship to call the east coast. And it’s coming down the coast right now. So here on may 26, but really exciting stuff. Yeah. And so the project completes this year.

Page Siplon (20:27):

Well it’s yeah. So just put it in context for listeners. So 16,000 TEU ship, if you look back two years ago or five years ago, what would be the largest? What would be the big headline?

Griff Lynch (20:38):

I would say that let’s go through it. And in my time I’ve been here 10 years now, when I started here, the largest ship we had was an 8,000 TEU vessel somewhere around there. Uh, so what, the first big shift that happened was the Panama canal expansion was completed in 2016 and literally the week that it was completed, the first 9,000 came. And then after that a 10,000. So that was just four to five years ago. So five years we’ve gone up, we’ve gone from an 8,000 to now 16,000 TEU ship. Right. So, I mean, that’s amazing.

Page Siplon (21:15):

With the deeper water, with SHEP and, and the capacity improvements you’re doing on your berths and all the other great investments you’re making. What, what do you, what do you think is, is there a ceiling on the size of vessel that could come? Yeah.

Griff Lynch (21:27):

What we’re doing now is we’re we look out 10 years, we’re planning for a vessel that could go up to 20 plus thousand TEUs. That’s going to take some work. We’re not, we’re not there yet. We have a bridge deck that we’ve got. So things like that. We’ve got to work on some things, but that’s kind of in our sights now. And I think that would be the largest that would come because that’s largest on the water. And I’m pretty sure that most folks would say, they’re not going to get much bigger than that. 20 plus thousand. Yeah. Yep. There’s probably a level of efficiency that you max out at. But yeah. And one of the things that I think that what’s happening in the industry is these really mega vessels are taking a week to turn around. So there’s a downside, there are economies of scale, but at some point in time, the pay offs, just not there. So I think that that certainly from an ocean care’s perspective, great. But from a shipper, Hey, if that ship is important, it derives Monday and that’s not sailing until Friday. That’s a real problem. Right? So, so something that industry has to wrestle with.

Page Siplon (22:25):

No, that’s a great point. A lot of it’s an ecosystem. And so if we look at the investments you’re making, and I don’t know if you can put a number to it, put you on the spot a little bit, but you know, what will be effects? You know, we, I said earlier, you know, some of the highlights, you know, $22 billion, 120, 20, $22 billion in revenue, three and a half billion dollars in state and local taxes. So the return use your word on those investments. What does that mean for local businesses? What does that mean for the economy of Georgia?

Griff Lynch (22:52):

Well, yeah, I think you can. I think we were every, and you’re pointing out, which we appreciate every couple of years, we, we tap into the, uh, Terry college school of business. We say, Hey, can you help us understand the economic impact study? And, and what we’ve seen is that the number of jobs touched in Georgia kind of fall in line with our TEUs. So when we hit 300,000, excuse me, 3 million TEUs, we touched about 300,000 jobs. When we hit 4 million TEUs, it was about 400,000 this year, we will surpass 5 million, two years annually. And last year the Terry college school of business said, yeah, you’re right at 494 and they’re not related. And that they, they, there is a scientific method that they use to calculate it, but it turns out that, you know, every 10 TEUs or so is a job.

Griff Lynch (23:42):

It is a job. And so, so the bottom line is, um, you know, we think we’re building a facilities here that, that we can stretch. We think the next four to five years, they can go up to 8 million TEUs. And if we do that, that translates into 800,000 jobs touched in Georgia. This is warehousing manufacturing, trucking rail, you know, on the ports and off the port, not just on GPA, obviously. Right? So we, we were really excited about that. And that’s one of the, while we’re looking for return on projects, those are significant things that we consider as well. It’s not only about the return, right?

Page Siplon (24:18):

Well, those are, those returns are important to the job. Absolutely. Something that popped in my mind is just for listeners to put it in context, you talked about, you know, doing 5 million TEUs, that’s amazing. And doing, going up to 8 million, how does that compare to some other, other ports? I don’t think they’re competitors, but like New York or Virginia.

Griff Lynch (24:35):

Yeah. Yeah. So I think what you’d see is where if you look at port complexes, that’s why I like to do it. So LA long beach has really, there are two different ports, but they’re one complex servicing a host of customers and a bunch of terminals. They’re the largest New York, New Jersey. The second largest LA is probably in that 15 to 16 million TEU market. New York is probably in the 8M TEU right now, somewhere around there. And we’re going to come in at 5M TEU Charles Charleston’s half was number three and we’re number three, number three at the five, I would say number four, you know, you’re, you’re talking about, the Pacific Northwest, right. And Tacoma, Seattle Tacoma, Virginia. And they’re kind of in that, that battle knit, they would probably be a little, little bit, probably about 60% of the size of the GPA.

Griff Lynch (25:27):

Right. And then drop off from yeah. It’s, it is, the Charleston will be about half, so yeah. Those, and then it goes down from there, you know, so yeah, those are the kind of, but you look at the four corners, right. So you’ve got Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, Northwest would be kind of the top four locations for handling freight, container freight, and Houston. I, I should have said Houston’s in there as well. Uh, so yeah, that’s just container freight and not total tonnage, because obviously there’s a lot of break bulk ports and ports handling bulk and down in Texas. And, um, you know, things like this, or that might be larger in tonnage than that.

Page Siplon (26:09):

Well, from what I remember, I mean, and just to build on that a little bit, I mean the non-containerized stuff you guys do is nothing to sneeze at either. Right? Automobiles. Yeah. We’ve got

Griff Lynch (26:19):

The second largest. Let me say this. We go back and forth between second and third largest auto port between Jacksonville and, uh, really Brunswick, uh, we’ll handle over 600,000 automobiles this year and some of the top brands, great stuff in Kia. Right. Being a Georgia company, Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo. And so this goes on and on, but yeah. Great stuff.

Page Siplon (26:42):

Yeah. It’s pretty amazing. All the stuff you guys are into ,we’ll look Griff. I mean, we could probably go on for another couple hours talking about all this stuff you’ve done and are going to do and, you know, wish your team the best. I always like to end up with, you know, sort of what’s next. And you’ve already talked a lot about the future of what GPA looks like, but you know, you’re well, on your way on your journey, um, you’ve got to, you’ve got a bunch of journey left in. Yeah. Just looking at, just looking at you, right. And a lot of great stuff to do. Uh, but if you could go back in time and this, you know, the freight journey time machine, if you will, and go back to the Griff Lynch, who’s um, just getting out of high school, going into the maritime college up there in New York. What, what advice, or what would you tell the young Griff Lynch starting his career?

Griff Lynch (27:21):

You know, it’s, it’s an, it’s an interesting question. And I’m going to give credit to one of our board members who has said this. I won’t say his name. He might not want that, but it’s not my line, but I believe in it. And, and the, the line is this, enjoy the journey. And I can tell you for me personally, I can say, honestly, I didn’t always enjoy it in that I was worried about this or that. Not that I didn’t love what I did I did, but it was more about, you know, the concerns and the worries. And sometimes you just gotta be in the moment. And my, my daughter says this all the time. Cause I’m always thinking, you know, even with the family, what’s next, where are we going next? Right. Be where your feet are, enjoy what you’re doing do to the best of your ability. And, and um, and even in the most challenging times, just take it all in and know that in each thing we all know through adversity, we learn the most. Right. So yeah. There’s success and there’s learning. Yeah, exactly. So for sure.

Page Siplon (28:13):

And you know, the other sort of future question, if you were giving advice to the next generation, cause there’s a lot of folks, you know, we, we struggle as an industry trucking in particular, uh, to find that next generation of folks that come into our, into our industry. What if you were going to give the sales pitch, if you’re going to be the Robert Morris right. Of trying to sell and brand, you know, what our industry does, what, what would you say would be the most exciting or rewarding part of our, of our industry of freight?

Griff Lynch (28:38):

I know that technology is critically important as we move forward and embracing technology, but I would tell any young person coming into industry is, you know, always be thinking about people at the end of the day, it’s still freight, doesn’t have a personality, people do. Okay. And there are people it’s like, I, when I, when I started, you know, it was a big, there was a big, um, awakening for me in my career. When I went from operations, into sales and operations, we were looking at just efficiency, get the containers on the ship, get the cargo on. And, and sometimes if it made sense, dollars and cents wise, we cut the cargo. Right. I never really had to deal with the customer on the other side when that happened and I was much younger then. But, but once I got to be on the other side, the liner side, and so more about the customer, learn more about them.

Griff Lynch (29:27):

I think it was really important for me to learn and recognize that there are people making decisions about, and this freight by the way, is critical to their business and them running their business. And sometimes I think we can lose sight that because we’re looking at a steel box or we’re looking at a wire cable, right. So just know that, that, I think for young people, it’s really important to understand how the decisions, what the decisions you make, how that impacts downstream a customer of yours. And, um, and we’re still doing that every day today. And so there’s businesses been about people it’s about servicing customers and making sure we can get the product on the store shelves at the end of the day. And that’s what people rely on us for. And so you need to understand that and, and enjoy and embrace it and make sure you’re always talking and learning that never stops. Right.

Page Siplon (30:16):

That’s great advice, Greg. Thanks. It was great again. Great to see you again, look forward to seeing you soon in person, um, and wish your team continued success. As you said, we’re all counting on you here in the freight industry to keep, uh, keep building and going and creating all that infrastructure that’s doing has such an impact on not just Georgia, but the whole, the whole nation. Um, if not just the east coast, for sure.

Griff Lynch (30:38):

Thanks, Page.

Page Siplon (30:39):

It’d be again, a great, great to have you. We could go on forever. Griff. How could our audience learn more about GPA or connect with your team? If they’re interested in learning more about maybe working for the GPA.

Griff Lynch (30:51):

What I would do is encourage you to go on our website, Uh, we also have Facebook and we’ve on social media as well. We are posting jobs there. We have a whole human resources section and just daily updates and what’s happening in our world. So we’d love for you to check that out and, and, and you can always look us up and call us if you have any questions. And if you’re in the area and you want a tour and you’re in the business, we, we love to provide those as well. Really educate folks on what’s happening here in Savannah and Brunswick.

Page Siplon (31:19):

Yeah, definitely take Griff up on that. It’s a sight to be seen if you’ve they say, if you’ve seen one port you’ve seen one port, and if you can only see one, you should go see Savannah. That will wrap up another episode here of The Freight Insider. If you like today’s episode, make sure to subscribe. So you won’t miss the next episode with great executives on their journey. Like Griff Lynch, the executive director of the Georgia ports authority. Thank you again for joining us and remember to enjoy your own freight journey. It can be a long one, but it’s exciting. Thank you.

Intro/Outro (31:48):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.

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Featured Guests

Griff Lynch is the Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), a 1,400-person strong gateway for American commerce. As Executive Director, Griff oversees the nation’s third-busiest container port and second-busiest auto port complex in Savannah and Brunswick, respectively. In addition, Griff oversees GPA’s two inland terminal operations in South and Northwest Georgia. Together, these facilities comprise one of the largest economic engines in the U.S. Southeast. As a proven leader in the maritime industry, Griff brings more than 30 years of operational and commercial experience to his role. He currently resides with his family in Savannah, Georgia. Connect with Griff on LinkedIn.


Amanda Luton

VP of Production & Host

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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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