Veteran Voices
Episode 93

One of the hard things about transition is you don't know what struggles you will have. So put the right pieces in place now, and surround yourself with the right people, so when the bottom falls out they can speak truth into your life and help guide you to start taking steps forward.

- Jeremy Stalnecker

Episode Summary

In this episode of Veteran Voices, host Mary Kate Soliva welcomes Jeremy Stalnecker, a Marine Corps veteran and CEO of the Mighty Oaks Foundation, to the show.

Listen in as Jeremy shares his journey from military service to working with the Mighty Oaks Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps veterans, active duty service members, and first responders deal with trauma. Stalnecker discusses the importance of having a supportive community during the transition from military to civilian life, and the need for veterans to take care of each other. Learn how important it is for veterans to seek help and utilize available resources during their transition period, and so much more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:02):

Welcome to Veteran Voices where we amplify the stories of those who’ve served in the US Armed forces. Presented by supply chain now and the Guam Human Rights Initiative, we dive deep into the journeys of veterans and their advocates, exploring their insights, challenges, impact, and the vital issues facing veterans and their families. Here’s your host, US Army veteran, Mary Kate Saliva.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:00:33):

Hello everyone. Welcome to Veteran Voices. I’m your host, Mary Kate Saliva and here at Veteran Voices I love to interview veterans who are serving beyond the uniform. And you can get Veteran Voices podcast wherever you get your podcast from. We are proudly part of the supply chain now family and in proud partnership with the Guam Human Rights Initiative, the nonprofit that’s near and dear to my heart. And you can learn more about that great So without further ado, I’m super excited to welcome to the show a guest, Jeremy Stecker, who is a Marine Corps veteran. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Welcome to the show, Jeremy.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:01:13):

Thank you Mary Kate. Really appreciate it.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:01:15):

And I know that your experienced season podcaster, so for those of you who are just listening, like Jeremy’s in the studio, very professional looking studio top notch. And here I am in my dining room, so this is great here. I feel like it should be flipped around here. I’m super excited to have you here. And I just wanted to ask, I love kicking off veteran voices with motivational, if you could, you told me you weren’t going to sing, but I’m still going to ask you on the spot if you want to. I know Maureen’s have great voices, but maybe that’s just karaoke at the lounge.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:01:59):

Yeah, I think there has to be some adult beverages involved in the good singing for Marines. But no, I am not a singer, but I do have a quote I can share if you’d like

Mary Kate Soliva (00:02:09):

For me to share. Great. I’d love to hear it. Yes.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:02:10):

So one of my favorite quotes, there are a lot of ’em, I actually keep a quote book, but one of my favorites, and I come back to it again and again is from Viktor Frankl who wrote the book Man’s Search for Meaning. It’s an incredible book. He was a psychiatrist and author very young during World War ii, writing a book on psychiatry and a lot of things. And he was interred, he’s a Jewish psychiatrist, intern in a concentration camp, lost his family, an incredible story. But he makes the statement and it’s a great quote, he says this and I’ll read it because I can’t remember every word, but everything can be taken from a man. But one thing, the last of the human freedoms to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way, when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. I think that’s a great quote.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:02:59):

It is a fantastic quote and I love that you actually brought, you’re the first one to specifically reference that book, but that’s a book that I have bought many copies of because when I was going through the worst, probably the worst year of my life, I was actually given that book I a professor and it was definitely eyeopening and definitely changed my mindset at that time. And I’ve given it away as gifts. Yeah, I have as well a soldier. So thank you for highlighting that. I think it’s an incredible quote specifically that one too because we talk about why we served and sort of the freedoms that we’re fighting for, but those accolades, those titles, those ranks don’t mean anything. They can be stripped away, taken away, and then what do we have at that’s left over and that attitude. So thank you for sharing that.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:03:48):

Yeah, that’s right.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:03:50):

I wanted to segue and go back to where you grew up. I think this is a very important piece about where people started from and remembering their roots. And for me as a storyteller, adamant with my family, Guam as well, we’re very adamant about our roots. And so I think that piece is important that’s often not talk about when talking about the veteran and the heroes journey. So I’d love to hear more about where you grew up and a little bit of anecdotes from that time.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:04:17):

Yeah, I grew up in southern California in a very small town. People who are familiar with Southern California, we always think of Los Angeles and San Diego and to the east there’s a community called Hemet, California. It’s in a valley, very agricultural, a lot of dairy. And that’s where I grew up. My dad was actually a pastor. He pastored a church, a little small church in the community there. And so as part of my growing up, people always ask how do you go from a small town in a pastor’s home to being a Marine? And I learned a lot of things and people that grow up in small towns, I think there are a lot of values maybe that are instilled in you that may not be present everywhere, but things like community and things like service and things like giving back to those around you.


That was something that my dad, my mom really instilled in me and my two siblings. And somewhere along the way, my dad gave me a book. I was probably 11 or 12 years old. It was an old book that he had had. He found it in his parents’ house when he was cleaning their house out at some point. And he gave it to me and it was a book of stories about congressional Medal of Honor recipients in World War ii and it was written to boys in the sixties, so true stories, but told in a very simple way. And I read that book and I read it over and over and over again. So somewhere in my mind when I was a young teenager, 13, 14 years old, I connected these ideas of service and community and giving back with these stories that I had heard of heroism and doing something for people outside of yourself and being a part of something bigger than yourself.


And it really connected to me. Those two ideas came together and for me that started to point my life toward military service. And even growing up in a pastor’s home, kind of the family business is church, which is funny, but it is where you come from and that’s what people do and that’s what our family had done. And so talking to my dad about my desire to go into the Marine Corps was an interesting conversation, but he got behind that and helped me get there. So yeah, I grew up in a great home. I feel very, very fortunate for the parents that I had and the family that I had and the opportunities that I had as a young person that really in so many ways made me who I am today.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:06:38):

I love that. And I love the piece about with your, because I’m sort of picturing kind of the rural area where my grandmother’s at now on the farm in the eastern shore of Virginia, just in a very small town where they run into the folks that they know that some of them were born and raised in that same church and there’s five churches and the numbers of their congregation are so small, but they’re too stubborn to leave their church to go how down the street to the other one. But they all know each other and they all support one another, but they’re very adamant about their church. And I remember that during service being out in the field, it’s like you have a Bible in one hand and a rifle in the other, and I’m with chaplain, there’s like a conflict here each side is on. So I love that you share that and that very open with that. And I’m sure that conversation with your dad was really interesting. Did you have other families, like a grandparent or aunts, uncles that served, that had any kind of familiar influence to you?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:07:43):

So it’s funny because my grandfather was in World War ii and that was a different era, but the story is, and I wasn’t there, but the story is he had to lie to get in. And so he was actually deployed to Europe and he was in the army when he was 17 years old. He was a truck driver. And so I know that about him and once in a while that part of his story would come up. I grew up around my grandfather, but he never told stories about it, never talked about it. It was just kind of a part of his life.


So there was my grandfather and then I had a couple of uncles that served in Vietnam. Not a great situation as it was for a lot of folks. And so it wasn’t the type of service that our family pointed to or went back to or said, you can be like your uncles. It was just something that happened, that was a thing that took place and that was it. Not really. And my dad, as patriotic as he is and very conservative and his views didn’t serve in the military. And so yeah, I honestly was filled with dread is a little bit dramatic, but I was very nervous to talk to my dad as a teenager like, Hey dad, is it okay if I do something other than what you’re doing? And he’s like, yeah, do whatever you think you’re supposed to do. And I said, well, I think I’m supposed to enlist in the Marine Corps. He’s like, there’s no way you’re supposed to listen to the Marine Corps. You got to do something else, right?

Mary Kate Soliva (00:09:12):

He’s like Backpedaling. I didn’t mean

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:09:14):

It that way, maybe not anything. But it was really important to my parents because of how they were raised. My dad is very educated, but his entire college education to his master’s degree was as an adult with a family. So he did all of that kind of night school and that kind of thing. And then my mom did as well. So my mom has an MBA from a good school here in California. My dad has a great education, but they did all of this working nights and all of that. So it was very important to them that my sisters and I had the opportunity to go to college out of high school. And so the only kind of stipulation he put on me was, you could do whatever you want, but we want you to go to college, we’ll help you do that. And so I did. And because of that, I ended up in a commissioning program and people say, why’d you become an officer in the Marine Corps? Because I had to go to college anyhow, that was my only answer. It wasn’t like a big dream or

Mary Kate Soliva (00:10:05):

Anything, the conditions, that

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:10:06):

Was the condition. I had to go to college anyhow, and they thought that was a good idea. So yeah, so that’s what I did.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:10:13):

Well, I was going to say, I’ve had guests on the show that said it was the billboard and I’m like, kudos to the marketing team. That’s like how to do, it’s the one and only and quotes that you see on the billboards that gets you to join. And I do love the question, especially for the Marines as to why the Marine Corps because I do get it sometimes where people tend to go Air Force and then they were on a two hour lunch break and so that’s why they went across the hall to the Army or something. But yeah, if you didn’t have that direct influence in the military and your family, what was it about the Marine Corps that drew you to them?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:10:51):

I’ve been asked that a lot and I’ve thought about that a lot. And I guess I don’t specifically know the answer other than I never had another thought about another military service. Two things. One was the branch of service was always the Marine Corps in my mind and in the Marine Corps it was always the infantry community to me. And again, I don’t know exactly where that came from, probably movies or something, I don’t know. But I just always thought if you go into the military, you become an infantry marine, that’s what you do. And so it was never a thing for me where I was like, well, maybe there are other options. And I never talked to another recruiter. It was always that one thing. So for me at first was I went to enlist in the Marine Corps and then I went to college, I learned about a commissioning program I could get involved in and just went that route. So yeah, it’s a funny question because some people are, I saw the uniform or they came to my school or a specific thing

Mary Kate Soliva (00:11:47):

They pull up challenge, none of that.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:11:50):

I don’t know what it was. Something planted it in my young brain and I’m sure it was some kind of marketing, but subliminal messaging. Yeah, subliminal messaging. But it was always there. It was always there.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:12:01):

And again, I love that story that you even had the ability to choose. And so how old were you then when you signed up?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:12:11):

I was, well

Mary Kate Soliva (00:12:13):

You went to the commission,

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:12:15):

Right? Yeah, I went through commissioning program. So I actually went to Officer Candidate School. I was 18, it was right after my freshman year of college. And the Marine Corps has, it’s a split program. So you go to OCS twice over two summers of college. And that’s the program I was in. So what year was that? 1996. I went to Officer Candidate School and eventually graduated was commissioned. Well,

Mary Kate Soliva (00:12:39):

I appreciate that you shared the date as well. Not everybody does, but with regards to what was going on in the world at the time, definitely can impact and things were heating up and I think that that’s an important piece in comparison to even for those that are joining now, the eras that we end up joining and why what was going on in our world is definitely a factor. And so imagine that with school too. You’re getting ready to commission probably keeping an eye on current events. And where was it that they ended up sending you when you first commissioned?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:13:19):

Yeah, when I first commissioned, I went through After Officer Skin at school, I was commissioned and then the Marine Corps has for all marine officers go to the same first school six months long. It’s called the Basic Officer course. And regardless of where you’re going to end up, every young new second lieutenant ends up there. So I went to that school in Quantico, Virginia. And then because I ended up with an infantry contract, I went to infantry officer course, same place in Quantico. So I spent a really unpleasant year in Quantico, Virginia and then

Mary Kate Soliva (00:13:54):


Jeremy Stalnecker (00:13:54):

Yeah, beautiful state. The whole area is nice, but when you spend all of your time getting rained on or snowed on, it was terrible.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:14:05):

Being out from California, I just find that Californians just don’t like it out this way. The East Coast is gross to them.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:14:14):

It is a little bit, the humidity is different, but I actually went to college in Florida so that I enjoy the East Coast. I’ve always liked it and I owe Virginia until I ended up spending a year in training there. But I’ve gotten over that now that I’m back in California. But I was sent back to California and it was kind of funny. I always say I spent my entire life trying to get away from my hometown and ended up being stationed at Camp Pendleton, not too far from where I grew up. And so I was running with my family again and stuff, so, so I ended up with First Battalion, fifth Marines based out of Camp Pendleton here in Southern California.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:14:55):

Oh, that’s great. I definitely owe, I feel like a bit of my life probably to a Marine from Pendleton. It was nearly attacked by a homeless individual about a year ago, and he was in civilian clothes, but he stepped in between me and this guy who was charging at me doesn’t know me from Adam. I just looked at him and I was like, you’re a veteran or still serving. And he is like, why is that obvious? I was like, you’re a Marine, aren’t you? I was like, I just have to say this story real quick just because I was so impressed by him. But when the homeless individual was charging at me, I didn’t know if he was going to stab me or whatever he was. But as he was coming at me, the Marine stepped between me and him and shoved me out of the way. I’m in a dress, my suitcase, waiting for my Uber. And the homeless guy said, have you ever thought about dying? And the Marine was like, I have actually.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:15:53):

Yes, I have you.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:15:56):

He’s like, this is when crazy meets crazy. At the same time they were just like, and the individual back to way. I think that’s funny. He just saw it in his eyes that his response. But he was from Pendleton and that was again my marine shout out to Pendleton.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:16:14):

Well, good for him. Not all Marine stories are good ones, so I’m glad that was a good one. That’s good

Mary Kate Soliva (00:16:19):

We got out of there safely. But the thing about maybe that was if you weren’t too far from that camp again, the influence of the Marine Corps there. So I’d love to hear, okay, you’re out of Quantico and even though you wanted to see everything you ended up back in California, but let’s fill in some of the gaps there with your time in service. So what would you say would be a highlight of where you went particularly or an assignment that you had?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:16:46):

Yeah, my active duty time was all with First Battalion, fifth Marines. And man, I knew I was blessed at the time. The leadership was incredible. It’s funny, you can find yourself in a good leadership environment and you may not realize that that’s not the norm. And I was in this incredible leadership environment and I just thought that’s how it always was. And I learned later that that’s not how it always was. And I was a platoon commander, loved that and had great staff NCOs who helped me and trained me and really guided me incredible opportunities. My first deployment was in the Marine Corps, we call it 31st mu deployment. We go to Japan, actually went to Guam for a while. We did some training in Guam. Beautiful, beautiful. I’ve told my wife so many times I’d love to take her there and spend some time there. It’s just so beautiful. Thank Guam and Australia. And that was my first deployment and that was kind of a traditional Marine Corps deployment and

Mary Kate Soliva (00:17:58):

Sounds really rough. We had a plane,

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:18:00):

Marine was terrible.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:18:02):

Plane of Marines showed up the day before liberation in July, and I was like, the whole island basically shuts down a party. So I was like, let everybody know the Marines are coming. Yeah,

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:18:12):

Man. Guam was, so we had been in Okinawa, and I’ll just tell you this because you’re from there, but we were in Okinawa and that environment is not great for Marines. It’s very restrictive, it’s very closed down and it’s tough. So we got on a ship and we did some things. We were supposed to train in Guam, which we did end up doing, but we trained for two days I think, and I think we had almost three weeks of leave. And as I’m a history guy. And so the Marianas campaign is a big deal, the study of that and the island chain that’s there. So much history in Guam. And then the Diving’s great, the people are great, A lot of great places to eat and to spend time. So it was in my adult life, that’s definitely a highlight of places that I visited and been and it was great for us. Thank you so much for that. But I digress. Yeah,

Mary Kate Soliva (00:19:04):

Was amazing. Well don’t digress. No, I mean obviously we make a whole episode on it, but I really appreciate that because I’ve come across so many service members who haven’t, and especially if I’ve come across a marine or a sailor that hasn’t been through Guam but ended up in the Pacific somehow I’m just like, how have you not been on Guam yet? So thank you so much for that plug there. It is a beautiful place to visit.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:19:25):

Yeah, beautiful place. Full of history, full of history, incredible people. It was one of those times that at that moment in my life it was such a special thing and I think that’s probably why I have thought so fond back on it overall of these years. So that was kind of a standard Marine Corps deployment. That was in the year 2000. We came home and nine 11 happened. And so we went really from this kind of peacetime Marine Corps, nine 11 happens and the whole world changes. My job changed as well. I stayed in the battalion, but I became what we called, we organized a platoon and what was called the counter mechanized platoon. So 84 Marines, I had all of our hardback Humvees again, this is 2001, 2002, ended up 2003 deployed to Iraq. So it was no armor or whatever. We just had our hardback on vs.


We had heavy machine guns, all the toes and antiar stuff. So our battalion decided to put all of that into one platoon, which it normally is not. And that was mine. So again, I didn’t realize how special that was and how amazing it was to be a part of that. We had two years to train before and then in Iraq. So I was with Marines for a long time. We trained for a long time and I don’t know if I could say highlight of my time in the military, but I feel extremely blessed to have been a part of all of that. And it was pretty amazing. And that eventually took us into Iraq at the beginning of the war.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:21:07):

Wow. And that time were you, because I know on the officer side of the house it’s a bit different. It’s not like being listed where we were coming up to re-up or reenlist at that time. Was there any doubt in your mind at that time about leaving the Marine Corps? Were you thinking at that time I’m going to be a lifer?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:21:28):

Yeah, and that’s a big part of my transition story. I had come out of a peacetime Marine Corps and there were highlights like my deployment, other relationships, other things. But anyone who lived through kind of peacetime military service particularly I think in the infantry community, it’s a very hard time to serve. You train a lot and that’s great, but there’s so many problems, so many issues, so much administrative stuff you’re dealing with because you have young men, young women who, I mean for me in the late nineties, early two thousands, young men who are 17, 18, 19 years old and they have very little oversight or supervision and it’s just one problem after another. And so then you have the training issues and the training challenges and all of the other things that come along with a peace time footing of a military. So I had come out of that and when nine 11 happened, we immediately, our battalion immediately spun up.


We were given the order to get ready to go and support. At the time it was special operation stuff in Afghanistan and we were going to be security and a lot of other things, but we were going to support what was happening there. And so we did. And nine 11 happened in the next several months was just solid training, live fire training. I mean it’s intense. It then Christmas Eve we’re pulled off that mission and told that we’re now going to, in a year go back to Okinawa. And if people can remember back to that time, we thought that the war was going to be over quickly. And so as an infantry battalion, it’s 1200 Marines, right? It’s not a small unit, but as an infantry battalion, we’re now going back to Okinawa for a standard non-combat deployment. Everything that happened in the nineties was over quick, so this is going to be quick too.


And we missed the war and the thought of going back to time military and staying in a peace time. Military for me was a very hard thing to get my brain around. I going to leave the infantry community, go to some kind of a b billet, whatever that would be before I would come back potentially as a company commander down the road. And I couldn’t think about that. I couldn’t do that. And so I really felt like it was time to, I learned what I had and I was thankful for it, but it was time to go do something else. And I had the opportunity to, the church that we were attending, I said I’d never get involved in ministry. The church that we were attending, my pastor offered me a job. And so I said, all right, when I get back from this Okinawa deployment, I’ll leave the Marine Corps, my contract would end, I’d resign my commission and go to work at the church. So I’d made that commitment. So I was headed out the door and then at the last minute, literally, I think we were supposed to go to Okinawa in January and in December we were told, no, now you’re going to Kuwait. And the entire world changed. And so employment again, mission accomplished, this thing’s done, there’s not going to be any more war. And so I felt very good about leaving into what I thought would be a peacetime period.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:24:56):

Did you have any, and thank you for sharing that piece because I think it’s an aspect that we don’t necessarily consider in transition of what’s going on in the world. Even during my transition, the pandemic was going on, it’s not necessarily a time of, and it was right around the time of the withdrawal as well. So it’s not a lot of things going on. And so that can also be a factor too. I had buddies that were going to get out and they decided to stay in because of the jobs, the unemployment rate that was going up at the time and the looming pandemic that we thought wasn’t going to be long at all. And so that does play a factor. And I am curious if during that time did you have anyone sort of take you under their wing during that time of service, whether at war, at peace, I feel like when we’re at a time of war, we’re not really thinking about, I guess what we would call the fluff, the fufu stuff about talking about our feelings. They say while we’re in. But I find that when we do have those moments of periods of grace that we’re able to find those mentors and somebody who does take a sunder. So I’d love for you to share if you do.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:26:06):

Yeah, I have some great mentors, some people that I still look up to and some that I still reach out to that helped me during that period of time. And I’ll say a couple of things I guess at that moment in time for me. So then I decided to get out and then I end up in Iraq and we were part of the initial push into Iraq. Our battalion is the first marine infantry battalion into Iraq, first KIA of the war, Lieutenant Shane Childers of one of our Marines. We made our way to Baghdad. April 10th, 2003 was the Battle of Baghdad. That was our infantry battalion. So my whole world changes because I had made a decision to get out. I had put my paperwork in to get out, I had talked to the people I needed to talk to. And now I’m one of a handful of company grade officers in the Marine Corps that has combat experience. And so I went from being a pretty good infantry leader to now being someone who is an asset that can be used in schools in different places and different billets. And so I now had some of the people that I’d always looked up to coming to me saying, I know you’ve decided to get out, but we’re going to put your paperwork in so you can stay in. And so I found this real time of friction in my heart and in my mind trying to understand even what I was supposed to do.


My very first company commander when I came is now a two star general Cal Worth. He is the CG of Third Marine Division. He’s done all kinds of things, but at the time he was a captain, he was my very first company commander, and I learned so much from him. And just as fate would have it right, he ended up staying in that battalion much longer than he should have. He became the executive officer of that battalion. And so I’m having these conversations in Iraq about resubmitting paperwork. And in Iraq in 2003, we didn’t, I’m not talking to my wife, I’m not making these decisions with any kind of input from people outside of the military. And I remember coming out of this makeshift office where again, someone else I really respected is like, you’re making a mistake. You need to stay in. I resubmitted your package for orders without you asking me to.


I mean, it just kind of this whole thing, and it hit to my pride because that really meant something to me that was very important to me. But I was really confused. And I walked out of that office and I remember at the time it was major worth kind of met me. He was going in and I was coming out. He’s like, come here, I’ll talk to you. Alright. And he just looked me in the eye and he said, you need to do what you think is right. Don’t let anyone else push you one way or the other. I believe in you and I believe you’ll make the right decision. And he’s had a profound impact on my life before that and since then. But it was that kind of clarity that he had that he spoke into my life. And I know it seems like a simple thing, but someone just saying, look, do what you think is right.


Don’t look at all the circumstances in this and don’t second guess yourself. Take the path that you believe you’re supposed to eventually caused me to continue to leave the Marine Corps and continue on. Our battalion commander at the time, Fred Padilla retired as a two star as well. And we have kept in touch over the years and he’s been such a blessing in my life and just someone that has continued to speak truth through 20 years of just a relationship outside of the military. So some of those men and others have been an incredible voice in my life. And it’s funny how you meet these guys when you’re young and they’ve continued to speak into me and into my life and my family, my career, everything that I’ve been a part of,

Mary Kate Soliva (00:30:04):

That’s like a true real life story. A band of brothers right there. Yeah, I think of just what you all have experienced, and that’s what I mean, it goes back to the origin of just why we refer to each other as brothers and sisters in service. Because the family that initially we didn’t choose because the Marine Corps or whatever branch, it was sort of mandated. You get people from all walks of life.


We wouldn’t have sat together in the outside world. But then it changes us what our assignments are, where we go through together and suck the suck as they say, and just what we come out the other end and lifelong friendships, relationships. And I am curious, I wanted to circle back to that piece about how you said you didn’t even talk to your wife or anybody on the outside. I think that that is also a common thing that we tend to deal with in service of getting advice from those who haven’t actually hung up the uniform yet. And I’m curious if after you got that advice from him, did you start opening up at that point to get feedback from your family or was it still very much a decision you were making solo?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:31:14):

I think it was a solo decision. I’ll say circumstantially. I didn’t have access to a phone, I didn’t have access to a computer. And all of that came, but that wasn’t something, I think during my time in Iraq during that deployment, I must have spoken to my wife maybe for six minutes over the deployment. And that was only when I could bum a satellite phone off of a reporter for a minute or two. And so I just didn’t, we wrote letters, but that was, I sound a million years old, but we wrote letters and I

Mary Kate Soliva (00:31:49):

Think it’s so romantic. I’m over here like, oh, I hope you kept the letters.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:31:53):

Yeah, I have a box of letters. And a lot of that was her updating me on her and the kids and all of that. But we had already made that decision to transition out. And so really the decision I was trying to make, am I going to follow through on that decision we had already talked about and already worked through and I had made with council or am I going to take us a different direction? And so again, speaking back to the peacetime military, that was a big aspect of it for me. Resident said, mission accomplished. So even though we’re in Iraq, we marched our way to Baghdad, the fighting has stopped this thing’s over. Even if I stayed in, I’m not going to continue to be a combat guy. So it probably just is time to get out. And so that was, I guess the conflict within me and the friction within me.


Now, I will say as I transitioned and we could talk about that, but as I transitioned, I didn’t have help and I was eventually forced to get help. And essentially I did my best to destroy every relationship in my life along the way. And so that’s something that I think has changed a lot. There’s at least an acknowledgement that that transition process is a difficult one. In 2003 when we were transitioning, literally here’s how it went there, had classes set up, but as an officer, I showed up for the class and my paperwork was signed off and I turned around and walked out the door. I didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t do any of the things I was supposed to. I just got all the stuff signed off and I left. I came home, I came home from Iraq 30 days later, I was completely out of the Marine Corps and working on a church staff. And there in between that it was everybody went on leave. I got out and my service is done. And as you can imagine, the bottom fell out pretty quick after that. Yeah,

Mary Kate Soliva (00:34:03):

Well that’s why I wonder too, like you said, you were able to step right into the church community, a community that I even spoke this morning with someone who’s going through her transition right now off of active duty and she doesn’t have any, she’s not sure where to go and reestablishing that sort of community, especially when you’ve had that bond and level of trust that you have to your left and and now you’re with all these other people who don’t understand where you’re coming from, they can’t relate, how could they possibly. And so that piece, did you find any sort of serenity or peace in knowing that, or as you said, your buddies were on leave, I’m sure that they’re still keeping in touch with you, the things that they’re going, was there a part of you that was like, I want to go back?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:35:01):

Yes, there certainly was. Okay. So I left the Marine Corps and my whole life had been pointed toward military service. That’s all I had wanted to do. I did. I grew up in the church community. I was a part of a church. That’s how I transitioned into a church after the Marine Corps. But I did not understand this, and I do now, but I didn’t understand this at the time that my whole identity was wrapped up in that job in not just wearing the uniform, although that was a big part of it, but being that guy and then leading in combat and that environment, now one cares who you are. No one cares what you did in the military.


I went from people trusting me, people that I trusted and looked up to trusting me to make life or death decisions, to put people in the right place to do the right thing. When we were in Iraq in 2003, the forward edge of battle was wherever my vehicle was, I was navigating for our battalion, we were making our way toward Baghdad. And since I was navigating for the entire battalion, 1200 Marines stretched over a couple miles, wherever we were was the front. And again, I know a lot of that’s changed. I know things are different, but that was my situation. And so when I came back, I felt like I had earned this level of respect that I had wanted to have my entire life. And now I don’t have it anymore. Now I’m working on a church staff. I’m trying to get volunteers to do what they’re supposed to do, and I’m trying to just work through this stuff that I should understand and I don’t really understand.


And then I would handle conflict in the workplace with these other church staff members the same way I did in the infantry community by screaming and throwing a fit and knocking things over. And I became very destructive and I just became a problem. And then I took that problem home and I was frustrated and angry and loud and obnoxious and threw things and broke things at home. And a church community seems like it’d be the right place, but for me, until I was directly confronted it, and I want to be careful because that should be a place where that help is found. And it could have been if I had asked anyone for help, if I had said I need help. It was also 2003. We weren’t talking about trauma. We weren’t talking about post-traumatic stress. No one was aware of the fact that this is what it looks like when you come home.


No one asked me if I was okay. No one even ever attributed my recklessness to my military service. I mean, it’s crazy to think that now, but no one looked at it and said, well, maybe we should. No one ever said that. They just thought I was just out of control. And so there were a lot of other things going on at the time in the world, and certainly even in our church community. But that being said, it was my pastor and some other good men in the church that finally came to me and said, dude, you’re out of control, man. We want to help you, but you can’t keep doing what you’re doing right now. And so my comfort wasn’t so much comfort as it was confrontation, and that became comfort later. But yeah.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:38:19):

Well, that’s sort of the response. I know you said being careful, but with how you’re saying it, the church community should be that way with much a different face. But I think they also recognize about meeting that person where they’re at, and sometimes just that level of how that person communicates. And I even had an E eight one time tell me that when he talked to me and correct me, and he’s like, Silva, you got to do it this way. He’s like, I appreciate that. I never have to yell at you. I just tell you. And then you’re like, Roger that and do it. But he’s like The knuckle jackers over there, these guys over here, I got to yell at them. They only respond to being yelled at. And there’s, you use that word, that confrontation and that confronting you. They couldn’t sugarcoat it.


They had to tell you what it is, what they were seeing, and they spoke that language, which is the world that you lived in. That’s the language you spoke in. That’s right. And so I think that piece is important too. It’s like we want to come in there from this relatability, but it’s like no one’s going to understand us, but meeting us where we’re at and then being able to speak in that language that we speak is so important. And I mean, that’s why I feel like the reunions, I know that doesn’t happen all the case, but especially for the combat veteran have been so important that I’ve seen for so many of my buddies.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:39:38):

Yeah. Yeah, that’s huge. We just had our, I guess it was a year ago now, our 20th anniversary of the Battle of Baghdad, and there were like 600 people there, and it was amazing. And to get everyone together and people outside of the military can’t connect to this, really, it’s not like a class reunion. There is such a bond that’s just so hard to explain to people. And you see these people 20 years later and it’s like, no time has passed. And you have, in a weird way, you have more in common with these guys that you spent two years with 20 years ago than you do with anyone else in your life. And it’s crazy. But yeah, it is very, very helpful. It’s a real encouragement. Yeah.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:40:25):

Well, I love that you just met with them too. And the thing that’s interesting that maybe this did happen, but we didn’t touch on it, is whether during that time when your pastor in the church community approached you, did you at any point in that time reach out to any of those you had served with? Was there any No. Yeah,

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:40:44):

No. So one part of all of that, I think, and what kind of aided, you asked if I wanted to go back. When I came home, it was the middle of 2003, and I know not everyone has this timeline right on their brain. But about seven months later, the first battle of Fallujah kicked off, and the Marines that I had served with that were still in redeployed, and were a part of the first battle of Fallujah. So I’m having a hard time figuring my life out. And then in the middle of that, I start to hear about some of these young marines that I had served with being killed and some other things that had happened there. And I felt like I had abandoned them. And there was a lot of guilt that went along with that. And so a big part of moving forward for me was not staying in contact with anyone. And eventually about 10 years later, I had one of those marines reach out to me and he’s reconnected me with hundreds of other marines. It’s been an amazing thing, but absolutely not. And I dunno if it’s embarrassment, if it was, I dunno what it was, but no, I couldn’t stay in touch with them.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:41:58):

That was interesting. I do wonder if that would’ve been any difference. But like you said, at that time, there wasn’t a name for that. We weren’t using post-traumatic stressor. I mean, even now they’re trying to drop, they’re working to drop the D at the end. So it’s not disorder. I mean, there’s so much more. We have such a long way in understanding that. And the world was a different place. And I think sometimes, at least for me, in asking for help, it was a matter of they’re already focused on doing their thing, they’re already in it. They’re not going to have time to mess with what I’ve got going on. That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. So I would love to hear your advice and guidance. I know your transition is nowhere near, like I said, the resources that are available, the post nine 11 veteran today. But what would you say to those, we have listeners who are going through transition right now. What would your advice be to them?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:42:54):

I guess it would depend on where they are. I think one of the things I had going


Have a wonderful wife, and we had a good relationship before all of that happened. And I was in a church community, and so I did, it took me some time, but I had the people around me who would eventually confront me and help me get moving again. So one of the big things in transition is you don’t know what struggles you will have. So put the right pieces in place now, surround yourself by the right people. Now, people who have an understanding of where you’ve come from, maybe they’re other veterans, sometimes they’re not. But that can be helpful. You speak the same language, and


Hold you accountable. So surround yourself with the right people and then make yourself accountable to the right people. Give some people that care about you and your life permission to speak into your life. And you can do this when the bottom falls out, but that’s recovery. You’d rather not have to at that time. It becomes harder. Put the right pieces in place before whatever challenges you face or you’re going to face, you start to face and then take advantage of the resources, I would say of the other people who have already been through the transition. We went from not having really any resources to having so many resources. You don’t exactly know where to turn. Talk to some people that’s true. Talk to some people who have worked through it and ask them what helped them and pick a path and walk down that path. So I think surround yourself with the right people. Get some people who can speak truth into your life and who can help guide you and then start taking those steps moving forward.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:44:40):

No, I think that’s really valuable advice. And like I said, not everybody’s doing the reunions, and it doesn’t have to be this formal, formal event at a hotel banquet hall, but it is just even getting together, having a barbecue like camp, fire out back, go fishing, getting up with some of those that can relate or who did deploy with you. I find that that’s the era that’s transitioning right now, at least the career wise. And we would think that the ones who are needing help or the young ones who don’t have a whole lot of a work experience, but it’s actually the senior ones, the officers that are walking in and they’re just like, here, sign here and I’m out. And it’s like, no, no, no, sir. You should really sit down. How about the front row here? Actually, you probably need it more than everybody else in this room, or our command sergeant majors, our gunnie that have been here career who have been in for the 20, and they don’t know anything else and their whole identity, especially if they joined as young as you joined. So I think it’s important. So great feedback there.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:45:43):

I’ll say this, just my own story. So I left the Marine Corps, I left active duty in 2003 and had a little bit of reserve time, but for all intents and purposes left in 2003. I had never been to a va. I had never put in any paperwork, I’d never done anything. I left the Marine Corps and I took my service record book and put it in a cupboard somewhere until about a year ago. So that was a long time ago. Oh my


Goodness. And it was a few people in my life. I work for a veterans organization, maybe we’ll talk about that. But I work with veterans all the time, every day. That’s what I do. And finally, some of those who are close to me, look, man, you’ve got to take care of this. You can’t keep not dealing with this. But it goes back to exactly what you just said. It’s easy, particularly if you’re a little bit senior or you’re in a different place, to just kind of blow off the help that is available and not take advantage of it. And then you’re going to really need it at some point. So yeah, that’s a good piece of encouragement,

Mary Kate Soliva (00:46:48):

But I just love it coming from you because it is sort of that hardened tested combat veteran as opposed to those when they don’t, for the army not having the patch on your shoulder, it’s like, what advice can you give me? You haven’t done anything. So there is that level, especially when they have those who are in the front of the classroom to do those classes, who are DOD civilians or just civilians in general. And it is hard, I think, to be able to sit there and listen, even though we’re going to be hanging up our uniform and putting on civilian clothes, it’s so hard to think that we need any kind of guidance or advice. And that’s a great segue, as you mentioned with the organizations. This is where I’d love to talk about how you are serving beyond the uniform or how you’ve been serving beyond the uniform. So I’d love for you to share a bit about the organization, the work that you’re doing.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:47:39):

So I had served in church work for a number of years, and part of moving forward for me, as I mentioned, was kind of walking away from my service. Not that I was ashamed of it or anything, but just not staying connected to people. And I’d always been proud of the fact that I went to combat and I brought the Marines that I took there, brought them all home. We had some serious and brought those guys home. It was miraculous, and I was very grateful for that. I’ve always been proud of that. I have a picture hanging over my desk of my platoon in Baghdad. I love that. I always looked to that with a lot of pride. And about 10 years after I left the Marine Corps, one of my Marines reached out to me, and that was the first Marine that I had served with that ever reached out to me. And it’s not anyone’s responsibility to do that, but it was 10 years. And he reached out through social media and he said, Hey, I met this guy who’s starting this organization for veterans.


I was in ministry, so I know that’s kind of where you come from. I don’t know what it’s about, but he’s having a hard time. He’s getting started having a hard time getting people to attend. And so we know each other. So he asked me if I could get some of our old platoon together, so would you come to this thing? And I said, sure. So 10 years after I came home from Iraq, I found myself in the mountains of Colorado around a campfire with about 10 of the guys that were in my platoon. So I was their platoon commander. They were in my platoon. And a lot happened there, and a lot was said there. But what I learned was that that picture that I’ve always looked to with pride, I started to learn about some of those guys that had been killed in combat. I started to learn about some of those marines that had taken their lives when they got home, and if they didn’t take their life, were struggling or had family problems and on and on and on, you could go. I mean, we know all the problems that veterans struggle with. And that was the first time in my life I was confronted with the reality that when you hang your uniform up in the closet for the last time, that doesn’t end your responsibility to,


If we don’t take care of each other, there’s no one else to do it. I mean, in America is so good to veterans and cares for veterans, and we’re blessed, but at the end of the day, it’s us that has to take care of each other. And I had learned so much, and I had gained so many tools and resources and knowledge and understanding, and I learned in that moment, I still had a responsibility to those guys who were no longer young Marines. They had families of their own and they were doing their own thing, but I still had a responsibility to, again, this other marine veteran was starting this organization, Chad Robo, and he said, he’s a super charismatic guy, professional fighter, and he’s like, I can get people together. I just need help writing curriculum and structuring this program and doing this stuff. Will you help me? And so we started working together. That was in 2012. And we have a nonprofit, an organization called the Mighty Oaks Foundation. We work with veterans, active duty service members and first responders now and their families


To their service in the military, their service in their first responder community. A lot of people who are struggling with trauma outside of the military, it started when they were kids. So now we’re even addressing a lot of that. But we have week long programs across the country. We have close to a thousand students a year come through one of those programs. And we talk about trauma, we talk about what it means to move forward. And practically what that means is there are a lot of clinical programs. We’re not a clinical program. And so there are a lot of clinical helps and clinical therapies, but we really start with how do you move forward in spite of what’s happened to you and what is your foundation? What are you building your life on? And we’ve had over 5,000 students come through one of those week long programs. And then we speak across the country on topics of resiliency and some of these trauma topics and other things that we’ve been involved in. So yeah, it’s interesting for me now to look back because not only have my struggles when I left the Marine Corps, but the fact that I just walked away, okay, that chapter of my life is closed. I can’t go back to that. That’s where I spend every day. So yeah, it’s been an interesting,


Interesting journey.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:52:12):

I’m super excited about this and I was like, gosh, I wish you had more hours for the episode. I really want to ask about, was there a time where you didn’t identify as a veteran? If people were like any veterans in the room stand up kind of thing. We have any veterans, we’ve got this 10% off, whatever it is. Did you actually identify as a veteran at that time or any period where you didn’t?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:52:40):

Yeah, so even that stuff I struggle with now. I mean, my wife is always yelling at me. You pull into Lowe’s and they have the veterans parking spots and I’ll park right next to it. She’s like, why don’t you park in the veteran spot? Or yeah, someone asks you to stand up or there’s something else just, and that’s pride, I’m sure, but I still struggle with some of that. I’ve never ran from my service though. I’ve done a lot of public speaking. And so my story has always been part of my story. It was just in my mind a chapter that’s closed. And even you started off with this, and this is right once a marine, always a Marine and Marines will fight over. If you say former marine, what do you mean? We’re always a Marine? No, you used to serve and you’re not anymore. We got to be clear on that. But even that idea, I never really identified with that. It was like, no, I did that thing, but I’m not doing that thing anymore. And so it’s taken me a lot of years, and again, I’ve been working with veterans for a long time now. And to get to the point where a closed chapter, it’s just one chapter in the book, but it is probably a life defining, not probably, it is a life defining chapter.


And I talk about this a lot, but you see a 90-year-old veteran with a ball cap on that says they were in World War ii. What has that 90-year-old guy done in his life? But that two and a half or three years he spent in combat 70 years ago. That’s the thing that defined his life. And I never understood that. I definitely understand it now in your service defines who you are, how you think, interact with other people, and that’s not something to be embarrassed about.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:54:28):

No, and I appreciate that you mentioned with the Marines because I was like the few of the proud. So you mentioned your pride. I feel like if anyone is with that, it is the Marines and I feel like it’s ingrained in you all, especially for the enlisted when they stand on the yellow footprints. Yeah, that’s right for the first time. But there is that sense of pride. But I think just being able to put the ruck down and just know that you don’t have to carry that load anymore and that there are people who want to help, they just don’t understand. And I can see the frustration sometimes in the people who love us and their desire to help and just not knowing how to reach or how to pivot that. So like you said, sometimes it’s just over a campfire in the back with a couple of beers and they’re just being able to open up and share things that we were not able to share before with other people.


And so that’s really powerful and I love the work that you’re doing now. I think that resiliency piece is so important that that’s not part of the curriculum when it comes to basic training or it’s just the mission first and then don’t leave anyone behind, but there’s not this sense of resiliency or even that survival piece. We don’t even call it that post transition. And I feel like we’re going through periods of transition. You don’t have to find your dream job right out the gate. I like that you said what you’re doing now isn’t exactly what you’re doing right when you hung up the uniform. So I love to hear about you. You were talking about all the people that have gone through your program as far as how folks can get involved, if they can sign up or how they can help and support.

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:56:09):

I appreciate you asking that. So a couple things about our program. I refer to it as top-down instruction. We don’t bring in professionals to talk to the rest of us about how we need to live. Every one of our instructors and team leaders. It’s a very structured program, but everyone who participates in the leadership of our program started as a student. Everyone came through as a student. And then beyond that, we have a long training process to get someone to teach classes and lead. And what that does is it creates kind of this environment where everyone in the room has a similar background to you and the person standing in front teaching a class on whatever they’re teaching on, it’s very much, I know where you are because I’ve been there. I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m a little further down the road than you and I want to help you get there. We’re going to work together to move forward. And so it’s a great environment and a lot of veterans, active duty service members are certainly welcome, but a lot of veterans have found that comradery that they haven’t experienced for a long time in that room. And they’re able to let the walls fall down, bust through the facade of I’m okay and all that. And just be honest because you’re around a lot of other people who are exactly like you. So that’s the environment.


The program itself is a week long. We have five facilities across the country. Facilities are ranches and conference centers, that type of facility, beautiful places. And it’s very comfortable of course of five across the country, but it doesn’t cost anything to attend to get there. We cover all of those costs. We do a lot of fundraising to make that happen. And so all you have to do if you’re interested in attending is go to our website and fill out an application. Our website is Mighty Oaks, mighty Oaks And you fill out an application and our team will take care of all the logistics and everything else.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:58:07):

Oh, that’s great. And would you say a pretty big mix across all the branches?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:58:13):

We do. We started out, so two Marines started this program, and so everyone, we knew everybody. We started with Marines,

Mary Kate Soliva (00:58:23):

Great start to a business plan, right? Started with two Marines,

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:58:26):

So we only knew Marines. And so for years it was like everybody was a Marine, right? But now the field, yeah, we have hundreds of people every year that attend. That’s crazy. And it’s all ranks and rates. And again, now adding law enforcement and first responders, fire and police. Yeah, it’s very diverse. And so it’s been pretty neat to see. And even you mentioned this earlier, more and more senior leaders, senior enlisted, but also officers and senior officers. We’ve had one or two generals come through the program. And man, it’s been fantastic. In that room. You’re not any of those things, right? You’re just Joe or Sally or whatever. You’re not, any of those things. Those things don’t matter. And I think people are hesitant, but then they get there and realize, yeah, nobody cares. So it’s pretty neat. Yeah, it’s pretty neat.

Mary Kate Soliva (00:59:20):

No, love that so much. Thank you so much. Mighty Oaks. And you said Mighty Oaks They can find out more information. So thank you so much. I’d love to, if individuals could get ahold of you, I know we said my people call your people, but if there’s a way that our listeners could reach out, even if it’s through social media, what’s the best way for folks to reach out to you?

Jeremy Stalnecker (00:59:46):

The best way for people to reach out to me is probably through social media. I have a personal website. It’s just my name, jeremy And on that there are links to Mighty Oaks and all of our programs of course, but then all of my socials and all my stuff, I have a blog. I have a couple podcasts I’m involved with. So using my name, jeremy, you can get in touch with me. And yeah, I’d love to hear from anyone who has questions or needs our resources or whatever.

Mary Kate Soliva (01:00:11):

Thank you. And I guess last plug would be for you, because I already a big fan already just in this episode of yours and just wanting to know, I know that you’re public speaker, author, all these things as far as public speaking engagements go, are there particular type of audiences that, or is it just all over? Just please give me your shameless plug for

Jeremy Stalnecker (01:00:33):

Yeah, my shameless you. It’s kind of a little bit of everything. So I speak to a lot of church audiences. I speak on leadership. I’ve written leadership books, so I speak on leadership in corporate kind of environments. And then we do, I do, and we do a lot of military resiliency speaking, so going to active duty units and speaking on resiliency and those topics. We put out a lot of resources, write a lot of resources, just did a resource on suicide and veteran suicide specifically. So we talk on a lot of the, it’s pretty broad, but yeah, check out that jeremy website and a lot of information is there as well.

Mary Kate Soliva (01:01:17):

Thank you. Well, I sort of feel like this became more of an oral history because I think just not everybody has a unique story, but not everybody can talk about things that we’re literally reading in our history books, like you’re talking about Baghdad, battle Baghdad, then Fallujah, and just things that this next gen, I had a soldier show up to drill a couple months ago that was like, Sergeant, I just graduated high school. And I was like, oh my goodness. I’m like, what do you mean to graduate high school? So they’re sort of reading about what we were going through, where we had buddies that were coming back and they were living it, and you’ve lived it. And so I just really appreciate, I’m honored to be here to listen to your story and experiences and thank you for sharing that with us.

Jeremy Stalnecker (01:02:07):

No, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity. It is important, important that we can share our stories and encourage each other because again, I think we’re kind of what we have, and so we need to lean on each other to move forward and flourish, not just survive, right? We don’t want to just survive. We want to move forward in a really positive way. So yeah, I appreciate the opportunity.

Mary Kate Soliva (01:02:27):

Thank you. And onto our listeners of fleas, check out Mighty Oaks and Mighty Oaks and also Jeremy Snicker’s website in this book and get ’em to come speak. Just a wealth of knowledge. And as you said, maybe we’ll see you Jeremy parked at the Lowe’s parking lot in the veterans parking with your ball cap on.

Jeremy Stalnecker (01:02:47):

We’ll see. We’ll see.

Mary Kate Soliva (01:02:49):

I feel like there’s a threshold that we cross at a certain age where that it, yeah, I think

Jeremy Stalnecker (01:02:53):

You’re right. Yeah, I think you’re right. I’m not going to care anymore.

Mary Kate Soliva (01:02:57):

Exactly. But thank you so much. I’m so honored. And again, folks, thank you for joining us here today on Veteran Voices. Again, I’m your host, Mary Kate Saliva. We hope to see you next time again, where you can get your podcast programming from. Veteran Voices is where we interview Veteran serving beyond the uniform honor that Jeremy joined us as he certainly is doing just that and grateful for his team over at Mighty Oaks. And also, again, we are a proud partnership with the Guam Human Rights Initiative. And you can learn more about that great nonprofit advancing research on human rights issues impacting Guam in the Beautiful place to visit. Thank you, Jeremy, for that. Plug earlier. And again, as we always say here on Veteran Voices, do good, pay it forward and be the change that’s needed. Thank you, and we hope to see you all here next time. Take care.


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Jeremy Stalnecker seeks to help others answer one of the toughest questions we all face, “How do I move forward when my world is falling apart?” Jeremy is the Co-Founder of the Mighty Oaks Foundation, dedicated to helping America’s military warriors and their families who are suffering from the unseen wounds of combat, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a Marine Corps veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, he developed significant leadership skills and was awarded the Veteran Navy Commendation Medal with “V” for Combat Valor. Following his military service, Jeremy transitioned to ministry, counseling at Coastline Baptist and serving as Senior Pastor at Bay Area Baptist Church. Combining his military and ministry backgrounds, Jeremy now leads the Mighty Oaks Foundation full-time, focusing on veterans and helping them adjust back to civilian life and deal with PTSD from a biblical perspective. He is an accomplished author and inspirational speaker, often discussing topics related to leadership and discipleship. When not working, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or preparing for an upcoming Ultra Marathon. Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn. 


Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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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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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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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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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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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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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Sofia Rivas Herrera


Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) 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. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

Currently working as Sr. Staffing Analyst within the S&OP team in Mexico at the biggest ecommerce company in Latin America: Mercado Libre. Responsible for workforce forecasting and planning through the analysis of demand, productivity, capacity, cost & time constraints. Sofia self identifies as Supply Chain Ambassador, sharing her passion for the field in her daily life. She has been recognized as upcoming thought leader in the field and invited to participate in several podcasts (Freight Path Podcast, Supply Chain Revolution Podcast, Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Industrificados) to discuss topics such as digital transformation, automation and future skillsets for supply chain professionals.

She is a frequent featured guest at Supply Chain Now and appointed co-host for their new series Supply Chain Now en Español. Global Ambassador for ISCEAs Sustainable Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSSCP) and keynote speaker at World Supply Chain Forum 2021 by ISCEA Indonesia.

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Karin Bursa


Karin Bursa is the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year and the Host of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast powered by Supply Chain Now. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it), Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and share their success stories. Today, she helps B2B technology companies introduce new products, capture customer success and grow global revenue, market share and profitability. In addition to her recognition as the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year, Karin has also been recognized as a 2019 and 2018 Supply Chain Pro to Know, 2009 Technology Marketing Executive of the Year and a 2008 Women in Technology Finalist. 

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Vin Vashishta


Vin Vashishta is the author of ‘From Data To Profit’ (Wiley 2023). It’s the playbook for monetizing data and AI. Vin is the Founder of V-Squared and built the business from client 1 to one of the world’s oldest data and AI consulting firms. His background combines nearly 30 years in strategy, leadership, software engineering, and applied machine learning.

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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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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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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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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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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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