Logistics with Purpose
Episode 90

I love America. I don't think I could have started Vivoblu in India. I wouldn't have that opportunity in Thailand. I would not have had that, that opportunity to Rwanda or Iraq. It's very difficult to be an entrepreneur in other countries unless you already have an amazing amount of funds or a group of people who are willing to fund it.

-John DeYoung, Founder and CEO, Vivoblu Inc

Episode Summary

People all over the world struggle to access clean water, a necessity for survival and something that many people take for granted – but not John DeYoung, Founder and CEO, Vivoblu Inc. Since he was a teenager, he has wanted to make a difference in the world. His story began in the slum streets of South Korea, but today he is blessed to serve children around the world by providing them with access to clean water. In this episode of Logistics with Purpose, John joins Kristi Porter and Monica Roesch to share his entrepreneurial journey and talk about the many things he has observed and learned in his world travels.

 

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:02):

Welcome to Logistics with Purpose presented by Vector Global Logistics. In partnership with Supply Chain. Now we spotlight and celebrate organizations who are dedicated to creating a positive impact. Join us for this behind the scenes glimpse of the origin stories change, making progress, and future plans of organizations who are actively making a difference. Our goal isn’t just to entertain you, but to inspire you to go out and change the world. And now here’s today’s episode of Logistics With Purpose.

Kristi Porter (00:00:36):

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us for another exciting episode of The Logistics With Purpose Podcast. I’m Kristi Porter with Vector Global Logistics. Joined today by my infrequent, but always exciting partner in crime. Monica Roche money. How are you?

Monica Roesch (00:00:52):

Hi, Kristi. Very good. Thanks for having me here again. It’s always great to see you here.

Kristi Porter (00:00:58):

You too. And we have been chatting behind the scenes. We’re <laugh> Super excited to hear John’s story, to hear everything that he’s up to. Yeah, he’s, it’s really a remarkable story and everyone’s going to love it. It’s really a story of ingenuity and a story of sort of just Yeah. The, the consummate entrepreneur as well. So, money. Tell us who we have today, and we’re gonna get this conversation started.

Monica Roesch (00:01:24):

Yeah. Before we jump into the full name, I’d like to tell you that he’s an entrepreneur, as Christie mentioned, he has trouble more than 31 countries all around the globe, always looking for ways to deliver clean water to people in need. And well, he makes water filters. So without further ado, let’s welcome John de Jang, c e o of PBA Blue.

Kristi Porter (00:01:46):

Welcome. Welcome.

John DeYoung (00:01:47):

Thank you guys. Good morning. How is everyone doing? <laugh>? So

Kristi Porter (00:01:50):

Good. So good. You and I have, thank you for having me here of meeting in person a couple of times. Yeah. But in this format. So I’m excited for more people to hear your story than just me this time. So <laugh>. So yeah, we’re gonna give everybody a crash course on you and Vivo Blue and all the exciting things that you’re up to and how you make water filters of all things, which isn’t the most like, exciting topic in the beginning, but that’s gonna be totally changed by the end of this conversation. Um,

John DeYoung (00:02:19):

Everyone’s gonna look at clean water, <laugh>. Yeah.

Kristi Porter (00:02:21):

Clean water. So, to tell us, start us off by talking a little bit about you before we jump into Vivo Blue. So tell us a little bit about where you grew up in your childhood. It is something everybody’s gonna want to hear.

John DeYoung (00:02:33):

Yeah. So, you know, the origin story of everyone I think is really important. My origin story is not too, too unique, but it is different. I was born on the streets of South Korea, and I am a orphan and an abandoned child. Um, we don’t know my name, my birthdate, my mother, my father. We know nothing about me. But we do know that I was found on the, uh, steps of city hall in Sioux Juan around the age of 4, 5, 4 and a half, something like that. They didn’t know my age, so they’d have to do one of those adult tests probably. But I was causing a little bit of, uh, trouble on the steps. And that hasn’t changed. Foreshadowing

Kristi Porter (00:03:14):

<laugh>,

John DeYoung (00:03:15):

<laugh> always trying to try to stay in a little bit of trouble all the time. But the local police or local officials took me and put me in a government orphanage, which was, which is the, you know, that’s according to the agency. The adoption agency. Then after that orphanage, I was moved to another orphanage in Seoul, Korea through an agency called Holt International. And then my, uh, family, Vince and Carol De Young adopted me when I was around five and a half or six years old. So that’s sort of the story. The origin of, you know, gave me my name John de Young, and then that’s my first, uh, name. So the orphanage actually gave me a name and it was MSU Lee, and they gave me a birthdate. So, what’s your birthday? Uh, it is January 6th, 1942. We try to make sure no one knows my age. You know, Asians hold their age really well. <laugh>.

Kristi Porter (00:04:08):

I was wondering one of those situations where, here we are, we hold on to 29 or 39 as long as possible where you could actually, if you wanted to repeat the year over and over again, and then age out. <laugh>. Yeah,

John DeYoung (00:04:22):

<laugh>. Yeah. But January 6th, it’s my birthday and it’s really neat. And I’m a Christian, you know, I was born and raised in a Christian family, and one of my friends one day they was like, Hey, so your parents gave you, or like the orphanage gave you a birthdate January 6th. And then I said, yeah, yeah. And they said, have you ever read the verse, John one, six? And I said, I have, but what does that really say? He goes, so we looked in the Bible and it literally says this John one six. And there was a man sent from God, and his name was John. That’s the whole verse.

Kristi Porter (00:04:51):

Wow. Wow.

John DeYoung (00:04:53):

<laugh>. Wow.

Kristi Porter (00:04:54):

So

John DeYoung (00:04:55):

That happened in my later years when I was at church, and one of my friends was like saying that I thought that was Oh my goodness. Right. Oh. So, but ultimately, I think that what is really neat about the origin story is as my mother was a nurse, a children’s doc nurse, and a pediatric nurse. And she said, when I came off the airplane in Chicago, so back in the day, you didn’t like go get your child. They just flew <laugh>. So I’m just flying by myself from Korea to Chicago, and I get off the airplane and the agent was there with me to guide me and all that. And he just sort of pointed to my parents and said, those are your fam, that’s your family. And so I went, I mean, it just, you know, that’s a very, it’s a much, I don’t know that even today that fascinates me, what was going through my head.

John DeYoung (00:05:41):

Six years old. Yeah. My mother’s house. Tiny. Yeah. I was tiny malnutrition. And I had a lot of parasites and worms. So I was about six years old, supposedly. And my mother said it took months of medication and to get the worms, the tape worms, the parasites outta my body, I mean, they were coming out in the fold. I was about the size of a toddler three, so I was about half my size. Yeah. So my father said, and my adopted father said, I could hold you in my hand. You are so little, but you were like six. And we just couldn’t figure. We were like, yeah, you know, he’s six and he can talk, but he’s so tiny. <laugh> like a toddler. And so, but then I became healthy and my parents did a really good job and I grew up. And so when, when I look at that, I, I, I, I sensed my, well, I was probably on the streets drinking water and whatever mm-hmm. Eating food from whatever and sleeping on the streets for many, many, many years of my life. And so it’s been a, so it’s a really cool how it comes full circle over time that we just jumped 90 years, but how organization or a or a filter comes back where we’re serving children just like me in the streets all over, around the world and in the slums and in the villages and in some pretty remote reasons. So it’s been a blessing. It’s been really awesome. And I’m glad I’m doing it, you know. So,

Kristi Porter (00:07:04):

Sounds like you went in the right place with a mother who was a nurse as well for the, the shape that you were in. Right.

John DeYoung (00:07:09):

Right. I mean, it’d been different if she was like, like a lawyer. My dad’s a lawyer, and then she was like, I don’t know what to do with the kid. Yeah. But she was, yeah, a wonderful mom, a pediatric nurse. So she knew how to nurture me through the next years to help me catch back up. ’cause I was a really tiny kid. And even when I was, I remember even being in middle school, like maybe fifth or sixth grade sort of, but like, I was just always really small mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I don’t think it was really till high school where I actually started to grow in that. And when I was just a really quick note is I even went and got, I had, I had a back problem and I got my back X-ray, my spine x-ray when I was like a senior in high school.

John DeYoung (00:07:46):

’cause I was wrestling and I always had this back pain I couldn’t figure out. And my spine had to fully become bone. They had, they found a whole section of three vertebrae near my tailbone that the x-ray couldn’t pick up. ’cause it was soft cartilage. Wow. So I, I think now I have bone <laugh>, but even at that age, we don’t, we didn’t even know that maybe all my developing was still happening as a young man, a young boy in that. And so that was, yeah. I was wrestling and I was having so much pain in my lower back. I couldn’t figure it out when they discovered that, um, there was my three sections of my spine was still kind of soft. Wow. And that’s really interesting. Like, when you think about that, like when you think about water as a child, slums streets, food malnutrition, what does that do to the develop developing process of a human being? And, you know, we discovered things later in life, so Yeah.

Monica Roesch (00:08:43):

That’s crazy, John. So this is an amazing story. And also I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.

John DeYoung (00:08:51):

Absolutely. So

Monica Roesch (00:08:52):

I’m just grateful that now you are taking all of this and turning it into something amazing to help other people. And I was about to ask you about a story that helped you shape who you are and what you do now. I mean, you already told us a couple of them, but I’m wondering if you actually remember like another story that shaped you or like an eureka moment where you said, I wanna do this to change the world and help kids like me.

John DeYoung (00:09:23):

Yeah. So 2008 when I came to Denver, Colorado to teach, I used to be a hip hop dancer and a filmmaker. So that’s super

Monica Roesch (00:09:33):

Linear career path. Yeah.

John DeYoung (00:09:35):

<laugh>, it’s, it’s exactly, I like that. Super linear, like right. And, um, I had a dance studio in Michigan and did a lot of martial arts and stuff, but, and gymnastics and power tumbling. So I was sort of in that world over there, plus film and marketing totally connect. And then, but in 2007, I came to a, a really cool school here in Denver called Ballor Christian High School to start their film and day program and just see if there’s a way that we can really spice up the arts. Right. In a really unique way. That year, that summer in 2008, the Shortterm mission director, Terry Adams, is just a wonderful man. He is, Hey John, you wanna go to Calcutta, India with me and lead a short term trip with the kids? The kids like you. It’d be kind of fun. I’m like, yeah, where’s Calcutta?

John DeYoung (00:10:19):

He’s India. I’m like, sweet, where’s India? You know, like, yeah, I, I know it’s over there. But that’ll spend a lot of time on geographical maps. So we end up going and I’m there to be a part-time leader or like a co-leader, and I bring our film equipment so I can just sort of document what’s going on. Right. And when we were in the slumps of Calcutta, the things that captivated me was the amount of open sewage. Everything is open sewage there, and the trash and the, just the slum of Calcutta is un it’s just unbelievable. Like, people are stacked on top of people. Mm-hmm. And there’s poop and pee and water, and it’s just slime and everything everywhere. It’s everywhere. It’s you, you’re just, you’re, it’s like on your skin and it’s in your nose and it’s just everywhere. 10 million people in the slumps in just one city.

John DeYoung (00:11:19):

10 million. I mean, the, the Denver population is just like 2.7 or something like that. I mean, imagine that 3, 4, 5 times. And it’s, and it Calcutta is smaller than Denver. And so there’s just that many people just around. And I’m filming in the slums, and this young boy looks in the camera and I’m looking through the lens and he just looks straight into the camera. Right. It’s one of those like National geographic moments. And I, I am telling you the sort of truth just pierced my soul. And is you’re gonna serve these people like you are gifted in certain areas of telling story or whatever, but this is the people you’re going to serve. And it really wrecked me. Like I came home from Calcutta, completely destroyed, my worldview was just smashed, nuclear bombed, whatever you wanna call it. And I had to put it back together again.

John DeYoung (00:12:21):

And in order to put it back together, I had to go back. Right. I’ve been to India 27 something times, 28 times or something like that. Since then in 2008, I’ve been to 30, now I think I’m at 36 or 37 countries. And we’ve been all over the world filming and documenting not just the poverty, but just culture, like how people do what they do on every culture. And in that there’s been like this poking and prodding, like, you’re gonna be involved in a global, you’re gonna be involved in something global and it’s going to, it’s gonna change children like you. And so that didn’t know what it was. And that’s when we started Vivo in 2019. And again, India was a huge part of that because my wife and I started a nonprofit in India in 2014. Right. She came to India, she, her heart was changed and we, you know, are working with a pastor there and a whole community.

John DeYoung (00:13:17):

And we just started working with them and building schools. Right. Bringing the children to schools and bringing them and educating them and giving them clean water and food and all that stuff. So that’s just sort of started the wheel of vivo blue. And it really was just, I’m telling you, I’m in the, this kid, he might have been like 13 or something like that, just looking straight at the camera. And he’s just looking at the camera, like deadpan, like a total National Geographic film photo. And like all of this stuff were like, downloaded in me and said, someday this is what you will do. And I just didn’t know what it was because I was still a teacher at Valor, so.

Monica Roesch (00:13:54):

Well, and did you ever keep in touch with him? Or did you see him

John DeYoung (00:13:57):

Again? Yeah, he’s part of our community. He actually, this young boy ended up, we ended up coming to our school and to our church and to our community. And he works part-time with our kids. So he’s also on our soccer team and all that kind of stuff as well. He’s, he’s a little bit older now. Well, that would put him probably, let’s see, 20, he’s probably 28. And he works with Bi U and some of our other people. Yeah. So he is in and out and all of that stuff. Still lives in slums, but is totally connected to our community. And anytime his family needs anything, that’s what our humanitarian company in India does, moment and global. So we, we do that and we, whatever the community needs, you know? Amazing. So that’s sort of there. Yeah. We’ve kept, we kept in touch with him, his family, I think his father died, had a really rough, rough, rough, uh, season there with his dad, but his mom and his family, we, we take care of whoever is in our community, so, yeah. Incredible.

Kristi Porter (00:14:50):

Well, let’s bounce back a little bit. <laugh>, <laugh>, we talked a little bit about, you kind of belonged over, oh, a hip hop dancer, martial arts school teacher, and then humanitarian organization founders. So let’s get a little bit more of that backstory as well, because <laugh>, as we discussed, you’re not gonna be teaching any curriculum on this is exactly how your life goes, because that is a really unusual path. So let’s talk a little bit about your personal career and how it sort of led one thing to another.

John DeYoung (00:15:23):

Oh, that’s great. I, so I think I, it starts with my father. My father is a, a very successful lawyer. My mother is successful pediatric nurse. My older sisters were really good at what they did. They were classically trained, they’re very smart, and just excel that stuff. And so there was a little pressure as a child you think, like, how do you, where do you stand in the de young, sort of like ladder of success. But at the same time, my parents were very kind because they knew nothing about me. I mean, you just get a six year old kid. My, I didn’t even know anything about me. Yeah. I didn’t even know what I liked. I didn’t know whatever. So I picked up the violin really young. Didn’t like the violin, but like sports, I really, really ended up in sports. So I did a lot of sports, a lot of martial arts and all of that.

John DeYoung (00:16:10):

And then when I was young, in order for me to pay for my martial arts class, my father was like, go make your own money. So I’m 12 years old, I’m raking leaves, I’m cleaning windows, garages in the neighborhood, knocking on people’s doors. Like, Hey, I’m judge down the street, five bucks. I’ll clean your garage. Whatever it was. That’s, so my entrepreneurship was really for my father saying, go make your own money. Yes, you can. You can do this. A lot of kids nowadays don’t buy their first car. I bought my first car. It was a like a, maybe a $1,500 Plymouth Horizon. Do you remember this?

Kristi Porter (00:16:42):

<laugh>? It was a two

John DeYoung (00:16:43):

To, it was gray on top, red on the bottom. It was the ugl. It was just a box ugliest thing ever.

Kristi Porter (00:16:50):

<laugh>. Yeah.

John DeYoung (00:16:51):

That was my first car. So I just, I did what I had to do. So I’ve been a little bit of a scrapper all along the way. I became a dancer around, I went to Calvin College, dropped outta college, realized I liked working, I just liked working. I didn’t, I wasn’t good sitting down mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, just to learn for six hours or eight hours, I think I, I, I really struggled. So I liked to be very tactile and all that. So my first job really out of entrepreneurship is I was cleaning ocean yachts in Holland, Michigan. And that’s what I started doing. I started just cleaning boats with a friend. We were making some money. I took over the company, did that, left, and then just, I’ve been doing that. I started dancing when I was about 21 years old in hip hop. 24, launched my first dance studio.

John DeYoung (00:17:34):

27, expanded into the second studio that we had ended up in power tumbling, junior Olympic coach, all of that kind of stuff. Hired my martial arts teacher who’s doing that. We did a lot of cool stuff there in our complex. So we had preschool, gymnastics, uh, power tumbling, martial arts, dance, all the good things, right? Fun, fun. That. And then I ended up leaving that into, going into filmmaking. One of my friends was like, Hey, you’re pretty good at marketing. You built your studio pretty good. Would you help? You know, one of our friends with film. And so I started learning about filmmaking and all that. Helped that company grow. Five x sort of moved on and then took those experiences and then came to Valor Christian High School to start in, in, in poking into the dance. And that from there, I started traveling internationally, like truly.

John DeYoung (00:18:21):

And then kind of got addicted to it, <laugh>. Um, and then seeing the world and seeing other cultures and other people. And, um, from there, uh, from teaching at Valor, having a small marketing firm where we do websites, branding, marketing, design, all that stuff. Helping valor launch a lot of their marketing as well. It really was just around 2014 when we, after I’ve been to India quite a few times, working with Pastor Ma Hadeb, we assumed in partnership, let’s work together and do this better. And we, and now we, he went from one small school of I think 30. Um, now we have about 600 students. Wow. We have five schools. And we have a women’s empowerment program where we’re, uh, telling, uh, educating young girls out of early marriage. You know, getting married at 12 is not healthy. Going to school, finishing school, finding a vocation and, and working their way out of their poverty.

John DeYoung (00:19:17):

Obviously providing clean water in that, but nutrition, food, education and, and all that. Even the young boys, we have a program there. We, we work through soccer, football, through them and then teach them how, how to their walk them, walk alongside them, out of their addictions and, um, teach ’em how to be, uh, men of God. Right? Like, this is what a man is. This is how you treat women. This is like the things, right. And all of that. So doing a paradigm shift for these young boys is like, wait a minute. I don’t just get to abuse the girls. No. So <laugh>, how about I abuse you? You know, just kidding. But we really sit down and talk with these young men because they, these young boys have not, no one’s come alongside them and said, Hey, let me challenge you in a couple of your life patterns or your thinking patterns.

John DeYoung (00:20:06):

And if you think this way, it’s gonna create trouble along your life and or keep you a slum boy. Right. Right. And so that the mentality and the heart behind these young boys and what we do there is we really come alongside them, love ’em. Right. And then take care of their needs so that they have an opportunity to go, oh, why do you do this? And we’re like, well, ’cause we actually want to teach you how to be a good man. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right. Super, super, super good. And so that’s, those are the things we do. Plus we just teach kids all over the place. So it’s sort of fun. And that then became the Christie the water thing, because one of the things is what do you guys need? And they said, we need clean water. And it never dawned on me what,

Kristi Porter (00:20:48):

Yeah.

John DeYoung (00:20:49):

The water coming outta the slum pipes and out of the well isn’t good enough for you, <laugh>. I,

Kristi Porter (00:20:57):

Yeah. Right. Yes. I don’t,

John DeYoung (00:20:59):

I would never that, but for you it’s good. But yeah. You know, and so that really was fascinating that I would sort of walk into clean water two four, 2014, 15. And then over a couple years around 2019, we started Vivo blue. So, yeah.

Kristi Porter (00:21:16):

I’m curious too, you’ve been on a few to a few dozen countries now, which few people have the ability to do that. Um, what else are you, obviously you’ve learned some of these humanitarian lessons and that’s where Veeva Blue came from, all of that. But I’m curious about some of the other just lessons you learned from being exposed to that many cultures and kind of what jumped out at you for either commonalities or differences.

John DeYoung (00:21:41):

I think there’s, uh, here, here’s something that’s really unique. And I was just talking to my mother-in-law about this. Um, I was like, you know, when you get older <laugh>, I said, I would love to invite you to me and my wife’s home. I said, I think what I’ve learned a little bit in the, the, my travels is, uh, I think I’ve experienced more relational equity in the third in the developing countries than I do in America now. We, we really like relational equity here, like being in a relationship. But in the countries that I’ve been to, being in a relationship means something a little bit different. Right, right. It, it’s very integrated into their daily walk. And in that, I also have seen some patterns that we have in America versus let’s say even I was just in Iraq and I was just talking to my buddy there and I’m like, what do you guys do with the elderly people?

John DeYoung (00:22:39):

They go, we c they come home, we take care of our parents. Uh, he goes, what do you guys do in America? I go, we send ’em to arrest <laugh>, we go see you later, <laugh>. And it’s not all the time, but I, that that was it. The other thing is, I think that we, the difference, and then I could tell you about common commonalities, which I, I really appreciate, Christie is like, I’m able to, in Calcutta or Africa, just walk into almost any home and say, hi, how are you doing? Or just walk into a neighborhood or whatever. And I feel completely safe just walking around and my wife is punching me in the shoulder going, you can’t just do that. And I’m just walking in from slum house to slum house saying, hello, Nama, stay, come on ocho. Right. And they, they come out and they go, oh.

John DeYoung (00:23:20):

And so I’m drinking their chai in their house. I’m having snacks and I have a translator. And they’re telling me their whole life story instantly. Yeah. And then I get a chance to tell them mine. Mm-hmm. Right. And, and, and there is a unique connection ’cause I am from the streets that I too can say, there was a point in my life where I, I would’ve been just like your kid <laugh>. So that does draw that in a little bit more. I think relational equity is just so integrated in their work. They’re their, everything that we do, we kind of compartmentalize things and say, okay, mom’s over here. Work is over here. My faith or whatever, my religion is over here. My children over here, my wife’s over here. Like we, we put it all in different little boxes and then we still get a chance to look at it all.

John DeYoung (00:24:05):

But we get to kind of pull out the boxes when we want. And I think what I’ve discovered traveling, I’ve seen even transformation in my heart, is that it’s starting to really mix right. And it’s cool. It’s really, really, really, really cool. So I think that’s, I love America. I love coming back. ’cause I get reminded how blessed we are <laugh> and the opportunities that we have here. I don’t think I could have started vivo blue in India. I wouldn’t have that opportunity in Thailand. I would not have had that, that opportunity to Rwanda or Iraq or whatever. It’s very difficult to have opportunity advancement entrepreneurship in in other countries unless you already have an amazing amount of funds that just fund it or a group of people who are willing to fund it. So it’s very difficult to start some things in other countries I discovered in that.

John DeYoung (00:24:55):

So, but all that to be said, no matter what, humans are humans. We all desire connection and everybody wants to matter no matter what it is. Right. Everybody wants to matter. I’m walking, this is one little story and I’ll tell you, I’m, I’m, I’m, a couple years ago, right before Covid, I am walking in near our school and there’s a couple alleyways that are really dark, but they’re like three girls sort of by the train tracks playing this game with rocks. And I’m sitting there and I’m looking at them and it dawned on me, I know that street game. I know that like, it flipped. So I walk over and I sit down with these young girls. One of them has to, happens to be in our women’s group, right? She’s 14 years old, named as the Roma. And she’s like, John, come. And so I go sit down with the her and two other girls and she points to these rocks.

John DeYoung (00:25:48):

Now a lot of kids know how to do this, but it was a really unique thing. ’cause the visual was, I’ve done this, sit on the concrete floor by the dirt and play this game. And I’m playing this game where you toss up the rocks, you pick up one, you toss up the rocks, you pick up two, you toss up the rocks, you pick up three, you do this whole game thing, and then you throw ’em down, you do this whole thing with your hands. And I did it, we probably played for about an hour, and Juma just leans into me and says, just thank you for taking the time to do this. And what it showed me wasn’t I, the rock part was just a vehicle to build a relationship. And she mattered enough as a slum girl who has in her head, no hope of a future, that another guy named John would spend one hour with her. And it mattered to both of us to play and laugh together. And I think that’s what I discover is that even in America, we’re pretty isolated. My wife is a counselor and I mentor a lot of high school and college kids. And you just wanna spend time with them to know that, you know, their existence matters and there’s a purpose behind everything. And so that’s like we were saying, there’s no coincidences. There’s no coincidences. Everything is for a purpose. I am here to build a relationship with you. So that whatever that is later on,

Monica Roesch (00:27:16):

It’s just amazing. And thanks for sharing all of these lessons of lives and experiences and, and for taking a second just to remember and remind us all how everyone matters. And everybody

John DeYoung (00:27:30):

Matters.

Monica Roesch (00:27:30):

Every has a way to add up. So far we have talked about a lot of topics, different trips, different initiatives. But I, I’d like to just highlight a little bit that Be Blue is an incredible initiative and it goes beyond just delivering clean water. Yeah. Because it profoundly touches the lives of Congress individuals around all the world that sometimes are in desperate situations. For those who may not be familiar with it yet, could you please tell us what exactly is Viva Blue and what you do there?

John DeYoung (00:28:01):

Yeah. So Viva Blue, we are a, um, design manufacturing, water filtration company that is really being innovative to reach the world with the, um, products of clean water products, right? Our very first product is what we call sort of our core family. It’s a small filter that’s about, I don’t know, five and a half inches long. And one of the things that, the reason why we were compelled to do the vivo blue water filtration is, uh, again, being in India, our children and our families and our schools needed clean water. ’cause of all the diseases and sicknesses that they were, uh, experiencing more than almost 4 million children. And people die a year because of contaminated water globally. That’s just a lot of people. That’s a lot of people that has unnecessarily dying just because they can’t get a glass of clean water. That just, that blows my mind that in that sense, I’m blessed.

John DeYoung (00:29:00):

I got to live off the streets, right? I could have died at any moment from diarrhea, dehydration within days. You know, you have, you can live about, what, three minutes without air, then you’re dead. Four minutes. There’s some people who can do it for like six if they’re underwater, but they’re really cool. But you can only live a few minutes without air, then you’re dead. You can only live three days without three and a half, four days without water. And then you pass on and then, you know, weeks without food. So we are, water is number two. Without air, you die without water, you die with food. You can figure some things out. And we built this filter utilizing and innovating the hollow fiber technology. So hollow fiber is just, basically, it’s a membrane that is like a tube, like a straw with multiple micro holes in it.

John DeYoung (00:29:44):

And so it, it’s a barrier filter. And so the water that’s contaminated lays on top of that fiber or that tubing and all the contaminants can’t get through the, the micron holes. So the only thing that does pass through are the minerals in the water. So that allows it to sort of, uh, use gravity to eliminate the big particles and the contaminants. So when we were working at building filters in India, we used a lot of filters in the past that required additional steps of back flushing, back washing, or whatever you want to call it, extra apparatuses that you had to use to maintain the filter. And we love, we bought many of ’em. And, uh, we trained the people to do it. What we discovered was, um, many of the apparatuses and extra components and the maintenance steps were just too complex for an uneducated 30 year old mom who’s typically doing all the work.

John DeYoung (00:30:44):

Anyways, <laugh> women rule the world. I am telling you, wherever you go, you, you may think, yeah, this is sort of it. But in partnership with men, good men, women can like literally rule the world. It’s unbelievable. So when you’re in a, a country like even Cambodian, I’m walking this the, in the village or like this one community, and it’s on stilts ’cause it’s just over this sludge of just gross swamp area. It’s all women and their children. The guys are out there getting drunk, doing whatever they want. And so I’m, I’m hanging out with girls, I’m a dancer. I get it. It was cool. I was very comfortable, right? I just hanging out. A lot of women and their children were talking about like how we could help that community. But this hollow fiber, when I was talking to the women, whether it was in Rwanda, you know, Cambodia or India, they, they wanted something that was really, really, really, they just, I gave ’em a ton of examples.

John DeYoung (00:31:35):

Like, you know, I give them this filter or that filter. And then three or four months later they’re like, we don’t wanna do this. It doesn’t work. So coming to the failure point, it, it was really an issue. And so that’s why we developed this particular filter with the mindset mindset and asking the end user, what would you want it to do? And they didn’t know the rinse part of it. They just didn’t wanna maintain it. They’re like, can you just make it easier and can it fit in any bucket? ’cause that’s all we carry, right? We carry Jerry cancer bucket. So just make it so easy that we can do it right. Otherwise we’re just not gonna do it. Right. That makes sense, right? They got too many other things to do. They are working every day. These women are working every day to try to make a dollar, try to make two bucks so they can feed their children that day.

John DeYoung (00:32:22):

The last thing they’re gonna do is go back and do a 15 minute back washing process on a water filter. And their normal is this, my tummy hurts all the time. Sometimes I throw up because the bugs are so bad. And the viruses and the, and the chemicals are so bad in the water. Many times they just puke. They just puke up their food in the water. But it’s normal. They have diarrhea constantly, right? They’re always running and they’re always in cramps. So it’s like, Ima imagine having like menstrual cramps 24 hours a day for 40 years of your life. That’s what it is. ’cause your tummy is just used to it, right? So you get the normal is continual pain, continual diarrhea, throwing up, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and all the other things along the way. And then some people just die. That’s the normal.

John DeYoung (00:33:03):

That can’t be the normal <laugh>. Yeah. That cannot be the quality of life that, that these people live in. So that’s why we discovered, or we invented or innovated the hollow fiber filter, making it see, so making it transparent so you can see it, right? You can see the fibers and then you can rinse it. And that’s all they have to do is rinse the filter for 10 seconds whenever they feel the need to clean it. Now we do say it’s best to do it every day. If you can count to 10 and agitate it and water done, that’s all you need to do from now on. And you’ll have water, clean water for years. So that’s the innovation behind it. And we’ve been able to partner with amazing nonprofits, NGOs, all around the world who have been able to take our filters, put it in whether into their programming, their schools or disaster relief.

John DeYoung (00:33:55):

And in that sense as well. So we also discovered it’s the filter was good for disaster relief because you can see the filter, you can rinse it. So even if you were to get water from a mudslide, it would still pull the water out and then you can rinse the but off <laugh> and just do it again. So that’s sort of what we learned and discovered is, oh, what’s, what’s good for the, I said, 40 year old woman taking care of her five kids and grandma and uncle and, and nieces and nephews also worked really well in the disaster relief scenarios. Like in Haiti and the Philippines and all that stuff. Turkey and Syria, we have our filters there too. Ton of filters in Ukraine, lots of filters. So yeah.

Kristi Porter (00:34:34):

Yeah. I want to, so you talked about it and you, I learned a lot about water filters and talking to you <laugh> times said, know most of the people listening water filter is not a new term, right? So, and you, um, pretty much all of us can just walk into a store, order one online or whatever. You’ve explained a lot of what makes yours or a lot of what makes your technology work. The thing I’d really like you to hone in on for those who, again, are familiar with the term, probably have used them in their humanitarian projects or maybe camping as money does or in their homes or wherever. Um, you talk a little bit more about not only how yours works, but really why yours is so different than almost the as kind from you. I learned it’s kind of like almost a monopoly behind the scenes, right? Everybody kind of uses a version of this kind of standard model which you improved on. So people may think, oh yeah, I know what he’s talking about. I can run out to the store and get one. But really they can’t because yours is completely different and has been innovated on. So I’d really like you to also hone in on not just how yours work, but what sets yours apart.

John DeYoung (00:35:43):

Yeah, that’s a great question. So the hollow fiber membrane technology is nothing new. Um, organizations like Sawyer Life draw, all of them use it. It’s a basic white, a uh, membrane is a plastic membrane. Like I said earlier. It has all of these holes. What ours is, is a little different. It’s because it’s in an open cage, right? Most of the other filters you’ll see are enclosed cages. And then it’s, and it is a closed encounter, uh, closed, uh, container so that you don’t really see the fibers. Right? Now more companies are starting to show the fibers, which is good because if you can see the fibers, if you can see it, you can trust it. If you don’t see it, you don’t trust it. Like, imagine this, if you could never, ever see your car’s engine ever, you’d be like, I just don’t know what’s going really on.

John DeYoung (00:36:29):

And you, but it makes a weird noise and you’re like, ah, <laugh>. And you can’t open the engine ever. ’cause if you do, then you’ve exposed it to something that will stop the actual car from running. We just gotta be. So that’s what it’s, we made it is you can see the engine and not only see the engine, but you can clean and rinse the actual mechanism that cleans the water and that. So that’s sort of the way that we did it. The other thing that we looked at was, uh, we worked with, um, Colorado State University here with water. Like I would say like, like water behavior. I learned a lot in this business. I learned a little bit about the way water behaves. Like this is the nature of water. It, it, it wants to, um, water wants to always bond with something, which I didn’t know.

John DeYoung (00:37:12):

You just think h t O is here and it just goes on. No, actually bonds with salt, it bonds with minerals, it bonds with iron, it bonds with something and it just carries it along, right? But water always wants to carry along another piece of water. So it’s just like a bunch of buddies like, Hey, let’s go. It’s a party, right? Water’s just a party. That’s all it is. Water’s a party. What you wanna do is keep all the bad guys out of the party, right? And that’s what hollow fiber actually, right? <laugh>. You don’t want the bad party members. You only want the good party members to come through. And so that’s sort of what the hollow fiber does. Hey, we all wanna go down the same direction. We all are heading toward this thing. Water’s really good, let’s keep these guys out. Right?

John DeYoung (00:37:48):

That’s all it does. Very simple in that sense. The other thing that we discovered is, as we were talking to the university was like, well, water not only bonds and draws other things along. If you confuse the water, which I didn’t know, you could confuse it, right? You didn’t know you could confuse water. It creates, it can slow the flow rate and or cause just some issues with the hollow fiber along the way. And if water comes in a small tube, small space goes into a large space and then back into a small space inside that container, there’s a lot of swirling going on, right? There’s a lot of, uh, party, let’s just say that a lot of things are going on and it can slow down the actual flow rate. And so what we decided to do with, uh, them and we were educated on is if you can just keep wherever the water starts at this level, right?

John DeYoung (00:38:39):

This opening, it goes through and it stays that the whole way water will ac actually accelerate, right? And it’ll push through and it’s coming. It’s just, it’s having a good time. So what we did is when you take the fibers on this end of the, you want me? Sure. I can just do this. This will make it a little bit easier. ’cause then I can also do a visual. There you go. All right. So when you look at our fibers here, you can see it. And we’re also one of the very few, if not the only one that says, Hey, all you have to do is replace the cartridge. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, after a couple years, three years, you just only have to replace this. You don’t have to buy all of this stuff again. And then you just put it back in. There you go.

John DeYoung (00:39:17):

But so when you see this, you’ll see that the fibers are viewable and all you actually have to do is just rinse it in water and it’s clean again. So I think it’s brown, brown is bad, white is good. That’s also a thing that we also wanted to make sure that the, uh, women in the developing countries knew is like, Hey, when it gets a little, there’s a little bit of discoloration. Just rinse it and make sure it’s white again. Like rinse it till it’s white, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, five seconds, whatever it is. White, white is good, brown is bad. Made it real easy for them to non-educated. So the fibers here are here’s your party happening. All water’s coming, contaminants, sit, sit on top when it comes through, you have 1200 fibers dropping water into this container here. And it comes out right at this diameter.

John DeYoung (00:40:03):

This diameter is exactly this diameter. And so the water never actually gets interrupted in our flow, right? So that allows our water to flow as fast as it can according to gravity. Now it flows a little slower in Colorado because we’re at a mile high. But if you take it down to Florida, it flows. It’s quick. I had one organization Operation Blessing clock it one liter in 22 seconds. They said it was unbelievable. It’s faster than a refrigerator. And they did it right near the ocean, right? And so they were like, that’s the fast. I said, that’s the fastest I’ve ever heard of it. It’s typically up in Colorado about 45 seconds for a liter of water, which is still fast, really good. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> still pretty fast in that. And so that’s sort of it. So when water is pushing through my fibers, if we don’t disrupt the flow, it’s just gonna go right.

John DeYoung (00:40:55):

Flow is gonna flow, is gonna go wherever it wants to go, but it’s always gonna go fast. And so that’s something that we did. The other uh, situation is we discovered with university and some water science is, if you ever have, I had to do this again, now it’s good that I have it. If you ever have dirty water and this side is clean water, you never wanna go water only travels one way dirty to clean. You actually don’t ever wanna go the other way. Right? It’s like your oil filter in your car, right? Oil goes through it. All the bad stuff. You actually don’t wanna push oil back through your oil filter, right? So it’s actually, I’m not trying to dis anyone that’s anti-scientific, which I discovered, right? I didn’t know that. Right? They’re like, that’s actually anti-scientific. You actually don’t ever want, imagine if the water system in the city of Denver or city of Aurora was like, okay, we’re gonna do the water this way.

John DeYoung (00:41:50):

Oh, let’s everyone give us your dirty water, we’re gonna shoot it back through. It doesn’t work. Right? It doesn’t work. So the uh, level of contamination and the risk of contamination is really, really high if you ever push it back through one. If you use a syringe, how do you know that’s sterile? Right? The kids in India, were using it for the monsoon water. And then that’s when the mons, hey, that water’s been in that syringe has been in poop water. We’re not gonna put that back through the filter. So imagine that the first thing a kid does is takes that syringe and goes, water gone. And they’re just like making it into a party. We’re all about the party, right? So that was the other thing. If you lose the syringe, well then that filter that doesn’t have the ability to clean it just now has to f for itself against the condition of whatever water they’re in.

John DeYoung (00:42:36):

And if you ever open it, now your filter’s done. Right? So there’s just a lot of these, uh, uh, things. And so we just make it so that one, you can see it two, you can rinse it three, it’s fast. Yeah. Right? Those, so those are some of the things that we learned along the way. I had no idea or no clue that I was getting into this kind of stuff. I just wanted to clean, I wanted to clean bottle of water <laugh> Yeah. For my children and my school. And I actually was nervous to do it because I didn’t know if I wanted to create a business around it. Or do I just wanna build just a few for my own N G O. Right? Right. And that’s sort of the thinking process that I went through. And then I met Convoy of Hope in Midst my developing this, and we sent them our prototype and saying, is this good?

John DeYoung (00:43:29):

Like, if anyone knows it’s Convoy, right? They’ve been in this industry for 20 plus years, 30, 40 years. And I’m like, if anyone knows about whether Water Filter could work or not, maybe they know. So I met the, the global director through a friend of a friend, and then we started talking and they said, yeah, we’ll take your prototype. They didn’t think we’ve, we could improve anything upon what was already been made, right? And then a year and a half later they’re like, wow, that actually, John, it’s faster, it’s easier, and it’s all the things that they, they wanted. And they said, well, we’ll try a few. So that was a really, really, so then I’m like, oh, do I have a business? I, you know what I’m saying? So that’s sort of where we landed and yeah. So there’s a lot there. I’m sorry, I just rambling. No,

Kristi Porter (00:44:16):

That’s great. Very good stuff. I hope the, uh, next video that you produce is all about the Water party. Yeah.

John DeYoung (00:44:22):

Yeah. <laugh> thinking about a short film just called Water Party. Yes. And it really is about, here’s the other thing too that is a, a great metaphor in your life is if you have a life party, hey, keep the crap out. That’s right. Right. Bring the friends and bring your neighborhood, bring your community around you that is going to support you, love you, care about you matter. And they come alongside your purpose and you come alongside their purpose. And we have a party that’s the water party. <laugh>, it’s a water party of life. <laugh>,

Monica Roesch (00:44:54):

I like this. Water Party of Life.

John DeYoung (00:44:56):

<laugh> Water is life. So we just need to put the word party in there, right? Yeah. Water Party is life. So <laugh> very

Monica Roesch (00:45:03):

Easy to remember. Yes. Yeah. Also talking a little bit about your website there, you mentioned that Be Blue is built to last designed to serve. Yeah. And this also highlights the exceptional design that the filters have, but also it tells about the, the, for every purchase you provide clean water to a family in need during an entire year. And that’s just amazing. Not many companies or nonprofits have the capability to do it. So I would love if you could share us more about this really meaningful giving back program.

John DeYoung (00:45:42):

So here’s how we actually do this, and I don’t wanna give away my secret, but I would love to have other for-profit water filter companies think about this. ’cause this is how we serve the three and a half billion people who need clean water, right? I’m only gonna serve so many, it’s gonna take 50 companies like me to actually help. So maybe it’s good that I share this. So here’s how we do it. It’s really easy. So there’s a lot of nonprofits out there, a lot of nonprofits out there that would love this filter or a filter like it, right? But they can’t afford it right now. What they can’t afford is something in their budget. These things are expensive to make, right? They, they, they last a long time. The technology isn’t cheap, but it, they can be. They, they, they, they cost money.

John DeYoung (00:46:29):

And the for, and the companies and the manufacturers that make it have to make money so they can make another one and they can innovate and create and make the world a better place. So that’s just normal. People get weird about it. Like, whoa, what? You’re trying to make money? No. Yes. We’re trying to create a good sustainable business. So you’ll see that we have a huge discount for our NGOs. I mean, our NGOs that purchase these that can afford these, they, they get a, they get an extensive discount. I think the retail value of this used to be about $67, but we’re bringing it down to about 55, 57. It’s sort of like what a retail Amazon filter is. And a lot of NGOs can’t afford that, right? So we carve out money from that purchase of retail, we carve out a percentage and it goes into this pot over here.

John DeYoung (00:47:17):

And then when an N G O says, Hey, we can only afford X to purchase, guess what we do? We come along and subsidize that filter. Right? And so what that does is people are like, oh, you send a whole filter? No, we couldn’t send a whole filter for eight bucks. Right? That doesn’t, that’s impossible. What I can do is an N G O comes and says, Hey, we want a hundred filters, right? But we can only afford this much and we can carve out that money and we give ’em more <laugh>, right? Because they can’t afford the price of even the ngo because there’s a lot of NGOs that are out there, but we can only afford X if we can. And I’m like, oh man, I really have to sell it for here. We’ll carve out this. And we come alongside them. So we, we have a subsidy program, right?

John DeYoung (00:48:02):

And we get the subsidy. So let’s say a convoy says, Hey, we can only buy X. And I’m like, man, let me see if I can carve out some of my money and see if I can give you an extra couple hundred. That’s the way we gave them 600 into Ukraine. We gave them 600 filters to Ukraine. We ended up giving I think 600 to Convoy in Ukraine. We gave no, I think we gave 400 to Operation Blessing, 600 or 800 young life <laugh>. So we’re able to come alongside these NGOs and say, Hey, let’s just serve more people. Right? If I can give you eight bucks here for a filter, 10 bucks here for a filter, seven bucks here, um, that, that’s actually how you come alongside the N G O. Then n G O has skin in the game. We come alongside them and that filter gets delivered.

John DeYoung (00:48:46):

And so that’s sort of it. Now I say only a year because I don’t wanna overpromise, underpromise and overdeliver. So if our filter lasts three years, awesome. Yeah, I think it does, right? We have these filters in India. They’ve been lasting since 2019. They’re still alive. Wow. Now they’re not as pretty as this. They’re the first iteration. And I see them and I’m like, are they still working? And they’re like, yeah, now they’re slow, slower, but they still work. And I’m like, wow, do you want a new one? And the women are like, no, it’s good. We’ll wait till it dies. Right? I’m like, because I can just give you, you want me a new one? They’re like, no, it’s good. <laugh>. So we’ve given a lot of new ones back to our Indian community, but many of the women are like, it, it works great. Still. The first ugly version you ever made, which was so clumsy, still works. And I’m like, that’s really neat. Yeah. Really, really neat. Yeah. So that’s sort of thing. So that’s how we do it.

Monica Roesch (00:49:41):

It works. And I like to jump in and interrupt a little bit because it’s great to see. I volunteer a couple of times in different situations of my life. One of them was an earthquake in Mexico. Okay. Um, the people that were more in need, like we were there to help them to try to get stuff out of their homes and get, move the rocks and follow the orders of the people who knew what they were doing. We were just there to help and deliver food and stuff like that. So I remember being like super, super tired, like all sweaty up all day, like moving rocks from here to here and just trying to find a way to split what we’ve got between the, the women and the men and children. And at that moment, this lady came, we were there to help her and she was like, Hey guys, uh, here’s water for you.

Monica Roesch (00:50:37):

And I made you tacos, <laugh>. And we were like, dude, we’re here to help you. You just lost your house. You are like sleeping in the street and you have nothing and now you wanna give us back like what we’re, what we brought. So the second you mentioned that these people tell you, wait, my filter’s still good. It just, the flashback came because it’s the people that needs the most, that also gives you back the most. And that is just beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. And that also makes us keep our feet like in the floor and remember how lucky we are and how much we need to give back to others. And that’s exactly what you’re doing. So

John DeYoung (00:51:23):

Thank you. Amazing.

Monica Roesch (00:51:24):

Yeah.

John DeYoung (00:51:24):

Well, that’s awesome that you’ve been able to be experience sort of a disaster because you can learn so much from it. I went down to Louisiana, right to the bayou right by, right on the shores during Ida Convoy of Hope. And I partnered down and we worked with a local church to just meet people and give them filters like this. One of the things I learned again learning <laugh>. I am, I’m not an expert. Oh, remember, we’re going back to hip hop. Alright, just kidding. So what, what I learned in IDA in Louisiana was when a disaster happens, people do tend to leave the area a little bit, right? They move away to the more safer areas. But what also happens is then the resources are pushed to the edge, right? And it’s hard to get the resources into the center of the location and all that.

John DeYoung (00:52:15):

And so what typically happens, as I understand it, again, I’m just a, I’m a beginner in this is water, food, medicine, and how tents and stuffed tarps sort of enter that thing. So now you’ve got semis just coming in, right? And then you have electrical people, you have firemen, you have, and so what happens is that little town obvi almost a can with the people there could double triple in population. So think about that, right? Like just, people are just coming in to help. There were people everywhere in ida, like I was down there. There’s just, there’s trucks and cars and car, whatever, and all of this stuff. People really hoping, and there’s just a long lineup of humanitarian aid trying to get in, which is good. Then as we’re leaving, I just saw millions, if not thousands, if not millions of just plastic bottles everywhere and just trash.

John DeYoung (00:53:05):

So the other thing that happens in a disaster relief, is it just that city kits hammered, right? With food boxes, plastic bottles and all that stuff. Now I know Coca-Cola and Pepsi goes like, Hey, here’s a million free bottles, but they’re dumping those million free plastic bottles into the neighborhood of La Fuge or La foia, wherever we was, a very French little town that we were in. It was right on the bayou. I even drank the bayou water for the people. I took my filter and dumped it up and then drank it straight from the Bayou. And they’re like, ah, dead people live in there. And then they were like, what? And they took the filter. They, they thought it was amazing. But you have all that laying on the ground, and then you got millions of dollars afterwards of cleanup and they’re picking up the plastic, this filter or a filter like it, again, I’m not the only solution.

John DeYoung (00:53:55):

A filter like this eliminates plastic for that family for the whole time of the relief. So family, uh, hurricane hits Ida, there’s a family. You got a mother and a dad, you got three kids. They line up at the local church, they get a little bag of food and they get one thing of six bottles of water and that’s it. And what do they have to do? They come back the next day, they get their little bag of food, they get six bottles of water that they have to brush their teeth, drink, wash their hands, cook whatever they’re doing. And they do this over and over. And then in, in Ida, what the, it was weeks, it was months. And I was there I think two months afterwards. Eight weeks afterwards. It was still trashed, still everything, right? And it still took me an hour and a half to get in there.

John DeYoung (00:54:48):

Phones are off, no cell phone, all of that. So you look at all this, you go, Hmm, how do you even serve people here? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, we were a little bit, I was a little bit shocked. Like, this is hard. This is really hard. We’re giving away buckets. And a gentleman walks up to me and he is a little drunk and he’s, Hey man, you got a generator? And I go, I, I actually don’t. He goes, I haven’t had electricity in three weeks. I haven’t been able to do anything. Nothing works in my house. It’s half destroyed. One of my room works. Do you have anything? My do you have a generator? And I’m like, where would I even, where would I even get a generator? Like it just, right. And so, yeah, we can stand as a viewer pretty far away and say, okay, yeah, let’s just send ’em 50 bucks of water bottles.

John DeYoung (00:55:36):

But you don’t realize it costs $300 to clean it. And you put a burden upon the community, upon the local governments, along upon the church, upon the people to say, oh, yeah, we’re gonna help you. But when it comes cleanup time, good luck. Yeah. Right. It’s pretty rough. Yeah, it’s pretty rough down there. And if you think of Katrina, they’re still working on Katrina. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right? And so this filter one way stops the plastic, millions of bottles of plastic that everyone’s, oh, climate change, blah, blah, blah, blah. Global warming. Well, if you wanna call it that, I’m, I have a solution. Just kidding. <laugh>. But that’s, that was really cool for me to learn. And I was tremendously educated like you were when you were down in Mexico. Wow. Right? When you’re here, it’s so different. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It’s like, uh, I always, always joke about, I don’t wanna be, I don’t wanna be judgmental, but I always joke about, I, I love football, I love N F L football, but I’m like, would I ever be the person to put on the pads to get hit by a 285 pound linebacker at like 90,000 miles an hour?

John DeYoung (00:56:48):

No. But what’s easy for me is to stand in a bar, having my chicken wings going. Why didn’t he dodge him <laugh>?

Kristi Porter (00:56:55):

Yeah.

John DeYoung (00:56:56):

Why didn’t he just move, move? Why didn’t he juke him and go to the right? Like he would’ve got hit if, if I was

Kristi Porter (00:57:02):

On the field,

John DeYoung (00:57:04):

I think I would just implode. If I got hit by one of those linebackers, you would just, he would hit me and I would just vaporize. Right? And so we have to be careful. It was fun for me and it’s been very powerful for me to be on ground. Yeah. I did the whole five kilometer walk in Rwanda with a jerry can on my, uh, one on my back and one in my arms. And I’m like, this is exhausting. This is ex, I’m sweating. And these kids are doing it like it’s no big deal. And they’re laughing at me. ’cause I’m the, I’m basically white guy. I’m just a white guy, white hero in Rwanda trying to do the water thing. So I can experience it once for myself and go, wait a minute, this filter does what, how does it participate in this journey? Yeah. So, I don’t know. Just, those are the things that have been really fun for me to do. I am, uh, I’m a, I’m a, I just like to learn and, and, and experience it myself. So.

Kristi Porter (00:57:57):

Well, of course, another big learning opportunity you’ve had in the last year and a half is Ukraine, which of we of course love supporting and talking about as well. So I am curious on a couple of fronts in Ukraine. One, what are a couple of the takeaways you’ve had from visiting there and meeting people, seeing things on the ground, as well as just kind of, you know, you were talking about Rwanda and Ida and all of this. What was a couple of, from your, also just your work on the ground, what did you learn? How did you need to adapt to make it work there? What were people needing? What were kind of the conversations that you were having?

John DeYoung (00:58:35):

Yeah. Oh man. Ukraine rocked my world. I took, I’ve been taking my friends there. And we went February 20 when it, was it February 24th, something like that was when the wars started, right around that. It may been 28th. It was right in the 20 or something. Yeah, 24th wasn’t until April. When was it? February?

Kristi Porter (00:58:54):

February 24th. 24th.

John DeYoung (00:58:55):

Yeah. That

Kristi Porter (00:58:56):

Was when we met on that day. Yeah. That was when we were at the conference together. <laugh>. Yeah.

John DeYoung (00:59:00):

Exact. Oh my goodness. Holy cow. We were in, uh, Georgia. Yeah. That’s, that’s cool. See, the reason for everything in April, my wife and I were talking about the Ukraine war a little bit. Just like, what is it about I, like, I don’t know if anyone really knew what was going on. I think we only know what the media shows us. Uh, and I remember coming outta my office and I really felt God telling me that you’re going to Ukraine. And I’m like, what? So I told my wife, so I guess I’m gonna do a fundraiser for Ukraine. And she’s like, I’m sorry, what? And I’m like, I think I’m gonna to Ukraine. So May 5th I leave. We do a fundraiser. We raise enough money to bring about 3000 filters. And we created, between mid-April and May three weeks, we created a portable backpack. Me and my team, my manufacturing company, I called them up and said, listen, you have five days to build something that is gonna work with this filter.

John DeYoung (00:59:55):

And it’s gonna be, again, nothing new. I’m just making it a little bit different. I didn’t innovate, I didn’t make bread, I just cut it differently. And we’re gonna make a backpack. So we made a, uh, vivo blue backpack, portable 10 liter backpack that actually fits with this unit here. And, and within five seconds you have this connecting to my backpack. And the filter is in the backpack. And again, to clean it, all you gotta do is rinse it inside the backpack and that’s it. And so we created a 10 liter backpack, took it there. And when we got there in May, it was much different. It was a little bit different in May than when I went in August. In May, I sort of committed to maybe not going across the border ’cause it was so hot and there was a lot of stuff going on.

John DeYoung (01:00:36):

But when I got there, we realized that at the border of Ukraine and Poland, right? I mean, there are just people, there are people everywhere. And I’m like, what is chaos? Right? And then there’s these sections of like solitude and quiet, and then you look over there and it’s chaos. And then there’s like five NGOs over here and it’s really quiet. And I was like, that’s fascinating. No one knew what was going on. Everyone’s trying to do their best. Just like I said, when it comes to a disaster, people just come in and they’re, everyone’s doing the best they can. So kudos to every organization there. There’s not one that didn’t help. So I’m really excited about that. Then I met with Young Life, convoy of Hope. We met with all of these people saying, what’s the need of water? And they knew the need of water was probably, let’s say level five.

John DeYoung (01:01:21):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? But they didn’t really, it didn’t really become, no one was educated the need of water till, uh, maybe a month or two later where it became, oh no, it’s level eight. Like water’s actually a thing. Russia has done a really, really, really good job of destroying infrastructure, which we didn’t know. The first thing, there was an article, I think in, and it was either like The Guardian or New York Times where they said, Russia, the first 30 days blows up five water plants, electricity, infrastructure. And they just like missile these things because it forces the people out of that area, right? You have no water, you have no electricity, you have no gas, what are you gonna do? Right? So that’s sort of the situation there. So we learned as we went there and we dropped off and we carried me and my friends, like literally with like duffel bags.

John DeYoung (01:02:08):

We’re crossing the border with filters, <laugh>. We get in a little car, we drive to Chini, we learn a little bit about what’s going there. We sat with a bunch of refugees. We, uh, serve them food, learn their stories, where they came from, how far they walked or how far they walked, trained hi hitchhiked, walked, trained, like just stuff. And I just learned that, again, I don’t care what your political personality or where you’re at, it doesn’t matter. Human humans suffer and there’s, we should just come alongside them no matter what it is. Right? I don’t care if you’re a communist, if you’re a Democrat, if you’re a Republican, if you’re Muslim, Christian makes no difference to me. You’re a suffering human being. We’re gonna come alongside you. It’s the right thing to do, right? It’s the right thing to do. And, um, put everything aside.

John DeYoung (01:03:00):

So that’s what I learned there in Ukraine, was like, I don’t care what the story of the war is, I’m sitting here. People are shot, people are dying and people are suffering. So that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna serve those people. We, when we went back in August, I actually then at, at near the end of August, we decided to go deeper with my team. And we went to Odessa, we went to Micko life, we went to Bucha, we went to iv, we went to the places. I ended up only a few hundred yards from the Russian line just to do what we’re doing and stuff. And while we were in the bunker of a little bunker, like I’m I, I go down the steps and I’m like, this is, oh, what’s that movie with Tom Hanks Saving Private Ryan? Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

John DeYoung (01:03:44):

Yeah. Oh, like, I’m not kidding. There is an elementary school blown up holy, destroyed the bunker underneath the school. And there is this amazing national geographic picture of a swing set, par black with the bomb, whatever par partial of it is destroyed. I’m not kidding you, I couldn’t take a picture of this ’cause I’m not making it up. There’s a tricycle blown up on the floor right by the swing set. So the whole swing set’s black and tarnished because of the bombs and the bullets and stuff. And then this tricycle’s just broken and it’s just in this thing. And this is where the Ukrainian soldiers are holding up. So to me, I’m like, there’s children being shot and killed. So then we go down into the bunker and I’m walking in this little narrow hallway and there’s bottles of water, right? And there’s bullets and there’s guns and missile, rocket launchers and things that I don’t know much about.

John DeYoung (01:04:45):

Now I look over to the right and there’s a communication guy. He’s on a headset and he’s literally doing morse code. And I’m like, I’m in a movie. Yeah, I love movies. I make them. So then I’m walking down and then we end up in the mad back room, this little bitty room, probably I would say eight by 10 80 square feet. And there’s two bags and there’s the medic. And so I’m, so then I spent some time telling her, these are the water, could you use them? And she’s like, oh my gosh. Like we have to ration our water bottles. ’cause we only get water once a week if that. And if we don’t get it, we’re going and we’re digging to get water. We have to dig to find the water table. So she’s like, this is amazing. And I’m like, okay, yeah, you can go to the river now and just, there’s a river like two kilometers down the road and you can actually put it on the back and take 10 liters.

John DeYoung (01:05:34):

We gave her a couple hundred filters and backpacks while we’re doing the interview. There was a man coming, being pulled, and he’d been shot twice in the leg. And I, and he, they’d pull him in and they stopped the interview. And I, we back outta the room. And then I realized, how close are we, <laugh>? How close are we? And they’re like, they’re just over there. And we had to get a truck really quick, drive really in, we had to drive in really fast, put ’em in a truck and drive them back three minutes. Wow. So I said, team, let’s wrap it up, <laugh>. And so being there on ground is a perspective, is changer. It’s a transformer of your heart, your mind and whatever. Everyone’s talking about Ukraine all the time in the war. I’m telling you, they’re being killed. They’re being shot, they’re being trafficked. They’re being all the things you’re, you have some sort of suspicion on it’s happening. I know the government’s doing their government thing, whatever, fine. But there’s millions of people suffering. And so that’s what a company’s about. Just throw that aside. Say it doesn’t, none of that matters. Let’s just get in there and help some people. So

Monica Roesch (01:06:46):

Thank you. And Ian, talking about precisely Ukraine and that you were there, you were also asked to create a filter that could remove some chemicals, if I’m not wrong.

John DeYoung (01:06:58):

Yeah. So we’re working on, yeah. So we’re working on a UF filter right now under the sink. And this was actually sort of, uh, we’ll say this prompted and, and, um, ignited by Iraq. So I went to Iraq, uh, herbal Iraq just to meet my buddy there to see if there’s an opportunity for us to give some filters to this, uh, refugee camp that has about 40,000 people in it. And, um, he is really involved in anti-trafficking. There’s a lot of that going, well, there’s a lot of trafficking going on in Iraq, but where these wind are coming out, they’re being put sort of into these remote areas. And sometimes water’s tough to get by. And if there is a river or a lake nick by, or if there’s piping still in the water in Iraq isn’t very safe. They’re discovering there’s a lot of chemicals, a lot of things in it.

John DeYoung (01:07:48):

Uh, and first and foremost just contaminants. And so we went there and I took my filter and backpack there, um, thinking that initially this could help the people. And that, and this is another thing is like every situation may deter, may, may ask for a different type of filter. And I went near their water plant and did a video so the, uh, water ministry could look at this. And I drank their water right out of the river and, uh, with a backpack and all that. But when, when we sat with the water minister in Iraq, he’s, this is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like this. And the fact that you drank it, there is, that’s, nope, I wouldn’t even do that. Like, so that was a, it was a testament to the filter, but they wanted something that actually worked with their systems, housing, whatever, and that, so we’re working on a, uh, ultra filtration filter that is under the sink with another activated filter that would come alongside it, still making it very cost effective soap, lower income families can afford it to have clean water for years, RINs able, all the things in that.

John DeYoung (01:08:53):

So that’s what we’re working on right now. We would love to, uh, be able to launch that soon and see where it goes. But yeah, just trying to work those mechanics so that it, it again aligns with the fact that we are serving the world, bringing clean water to the people who need it. We’re still innovative and simple and it’s versatile. Very, very, very, very versatile in that. And the other thing is, is this filter’s kind of versatile. I didn’t even know how versatile it was. Were people telling us how they were using it? And I didn’t know you could. People are like, well this is what I’m doing with it and it works. I’m like, never knew you could use it that way. And then, so there’s multiple ways that people are using this. What’s great about this is you can just dump this in a, let’s say you’re in a, a boiler alert situation or I don’t know, whatever.

John DeYoung (01:09:36):

You can put this in the bathtub and just drink it. You can put it in a toilet and drink it. You can drink it straight from here, whatever you want. When we did it in Ida, there are some people we ran outta buckets. And so some people are like, well we have a rain catcher tarp. And I’m like, yeah, you know what? Just put this in the tarp and it’ll just drain the water out. And they’re like, it siphons water. I go, it siphons water. That’s the cool thing about our filter is it siphons the water versus like, you have to push water through it. It actually sucks it out. So out of your container,

Kristi Porter (01:10:07):

Incredible. Yeah. Every day sounds like a learning experience on the job

John DeYoung (01:10:11):

Every day. <laugh>,

Kristi Porter (01:10:13):

And we’ve talked of course, you’re a huge advocate and very passionate about the, um, humanitarian side and how it can be used. It is. So let’s mention to everybody, it’s a commercial product as well. Yeah. <laugh> that anybody can buy. And we encourage you to do that. And also speaking of another learning opportunity, you have both the for-profit side, you have the non-profit side. How have you, what have your experiences been? How is it different? How is it the same? What is that? What have been some of the surprising moments in running both sides?

John DeYoung (01:10:44):

You know, it is sometimes I feel like I have schizophrenia and then I’m just getting split. Personally, I don’t, I don’t trust me. Well, may maybe my wife thinks so, but my heart doesn’t change, right? Whether I’m working the manufacturing side of vivo blue or if I’m talking to the N G O side of India or globally or, or the nonprofit side where we’re trying to help other organizations gain, get more filters and be able to serve more people, the, the heart of it doesn’t actually change. But what is interesting is the end user purchaser or whatever changes a slightly along the way in that. And one of the things that I’ve learned is you’re just sort of going to Veeva Blue. You’re just gonna get what you get. What’s cool, what’s what people say about me to, to some extent is you just kind of get John, John is John, whether he’s in India or in a boardroom meeting even my board members are like, <laugh> slow down.

John DeYoung (01:11:45):

You know, <laugh>. But it’s sort of that, you know what I’m saying? Like you just kind of get vivo blue. You kind of get John D. Young where you go or you get, you know, one of my other partners, Terry, you just get ’em. That’s just who you get. And, and I like it ’cause we’re not trying to be anything. We’re not. Right? I’m not trying to say that I’m gonna solve the world problem. Like I said earlier, it takes all of us, I hope all of these organizations who are doing water filters and go, Hey, let’s modify that a little bit and um, see if it actually serves the people better versus I’m not gonna let go of my idea, right? Just let it go. And then if someone comes up to me and says, Hey John, what about this? Would you ever think about doing that?

John DeYoung (01:12:24):

I would absolutely consider it. Right? And so that’s how we kind of ended up in the Iraq thing with the new filter anyways. He’s like, well, we don’t like your filter. I mean, we like it, but we can’t use it. Right? How about this? Oh, that’s interesting. You know, in that sense. So I do, I have learned collaboration is unique. Yeah. Uh, I know NGOs are difficult sometimes to partner with. ’cause they, they have a, sometimes they can have a mindset of scarcity. And I’m a little bit more of an abundance sort of mindset saying like, Hey, if, if, if the resources aren’t there, let’s just go find some. Right? And if you don’t find it great, let’s go over here and try to find some more. Right? I mean, it, it’s around, there’s plenty of money on the planet. Money’s not the issue. It’s the heart, right?

John DeYoung (01:13:05):

There’s more money, you know, go, oh, America’s in, you know, whatever. No, no, no, there’s more money. Trust me. Right? Like if you were to take 1% of all the professional players in the N F L and basketball, you could probably serve, solve world hunger. You really could. You really, really could. There’s plenty of money to do that. Because if you were to do it in a way that that empowers them and you teach ’em agriculture and you do some things that they themselves do it and you did it over like a 10, 15 year period, I bet you would take a bite outta crime on world hunger. And then if you did that, if you took another 10, 5%, 1% of all the politicians in America, right? Probably serve the water issue. You know, there’s plenty of, money’s not the issue. It’s the heart of man.

John DeYoung (01:13:51):

Heart of man is the issue, right? That’s where I come to sort of in my n g O for-profit world. ’cause as I walk through it, at the end of the day, money’s never been actually the issue. ’cause I can go get, I can sell this to a, to a consumer and then take up money and then give it to an NGO O Like that’s not the issue. It’s just whether or not the consumer’s willing to do that. Right? It’s just, that’s where it, that’s where it sort of lies in that sense. I’m not guilting anyone to like buy my filter, do whatever you want. I’m just saying that we together, right? Imagine this, let, let me just say this. If 1%, 1%, 1% of the world, which would be what’s 1% of seven, 8 billion people 80 million, right? Is that right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yes. If 1% of the world that’s 80 million people gave a hundred bucks a year, cool. What could we solve? Pretty much everything. Everything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Monica Roesch (01:14:50):

And it’s

John DeYoung (01:14:51):

Time. Not in one year, but you slowly build into it. You learn the practices, you learn how to do it, you teach, you come alongside, you partner you love, right? And you do it in grace and you do it out of mercy. And you do it out compassion and empathy. Like real empathy. Go to Africa and walk five miles for a bucket of water and then come back another five miles and then drink poop water and get sick. No, no. Not allowed. If 80 million people did that, you think they buy one filter for a child? Probably would mine fine. Somewhere else is great. I don’t care. That could change the world. 1% of the world would give $100 intentionally to a community or to a family. Somehow the world would change. It’s not, money has never been the issue. It’s the heart of man. So

Monica Roesch (01:15:51):

Interesting.

John DeYoung (01:15:52):

Oh, did that get your <laugh>? I’ve been one. There’s, there’s a couple 1% organizations out there saying 1%. I’m like, man, I just want 1% of the world to dive in. Then that other 99% you can go do what you wanna do. No guilt, no shame, do whatever you wanna do, fine. But if 1% could rise, if 1% come on people, let’s go. I’ll do it. I’ll start it. Ty, you and I, let’s go. Yeah, we’ll start the 1% campaign and see if we can get a percent of the world to give 1%, which is a hundred dollars. Which is what? Which thousand dollars or less. If you make $10,000 or less, you only have to give a hundred bucks. That’s it. Or more. 10,000 or more. Sorry, my bad. If you make 10,000 or more, you give 1%, which is a hundred once a year, that’s all you do. We take that money and we actually start solving things like a Rubik’s Cube. Yeah.

Monica Roesch (01:16:40):

And it would be just amazing. And the good thing is that there’s a lot of good people also trying to do good stuff and doing the best they can in nonprofits and for-profits and daily and making the difference. Just trying to help the person next to them. And I truly believe that at some point, I mean difference is been made every second. We just need to keep encouraging it until we achieved bigger stuff. And now I have another interesting question for you. Are you ready,

John DeYoung (01:17:12):

Uhoh? How interesting do I have to answer? I’m just kidding. It’s

Monica Roesch (01:17:16):

About you. So hopefully you find it

John DeYoung (01:17:17):

Interesting. <laugh>.

Monica Roesch (01:17:19):

So since October, 2018, vivo Blue has sent 350 filters to Rito region in the Amazon rainforest. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Which is fantastic. That’s just amazing. And it’s not just about providing filters, they also training on maintenance and equipment repair. So could you please share more about how these support contributes to a long-term purpose and sustainability for the communities in the region and others where you give back?

John DeYoung (01:17:48):

Yeah. So when we work in countries like Amazon or Peru or we just sent 3,600 filters to Peru to one three communities I think. And that what we’re discovering is because of the simplicity of use of our filter, right? The simplicity of it, it creates a ecosystem. It comes alongside the ecosystem of the community, right? So let’s take the Amazon for a minute, right? You got people living in the Amazon, they’re going to a river to get the water and they’re doing it in the rainy season, dry season or whatever season they’re in, right? If it’s the, if it’s the rainy season that water is com outta control and it’s muddy and it’s ’cause it’s just rushing through dry season’s probably a little less and all that. But in that, when people are gathering and drinking clean water, which is sort of a base foundation of life, right?

John DeYoung (01:18:46):

It changes the ecosystem of the person, the family, and the community. Let me explain that a little bit. The person can go to work or go to school. I think the World Health Organization says contaminated water is like 40% of the children will, like a child only goes to school 60% of the time. ’cause 40% of the time they’re sick, right? And so you’re getting only a level of 60% of interaction, 60% education, 60% opportunity. If they get clean water, that child goes to school till 90, 95% of the time. That just changes the whole ecosystem of that child. Then if they’re eating any type of food, <laugh>, the nutrition actually stays in the body and it doesn’t just run out the other side, right? Because diarrhea just runs all the nutrition through the dysentery diseases. So now you’ve got a child or a mother or a father who now is not only staying at work, right?

John DeYoung (01:19:49):

And making money, they’re healthier and the nutrition is staying. So now you don’t have this malnutrition dive over time you’re actually starting to sustain. And hopefully over time they’re starting to become healthier, they’re growing, the bones are getting stronger, the muscles are being reunited, things are working, the brain is working, right? The the child who has the baby fat in the brain is actually working right? And they’re not falling asleep at school ’cause they’re dehydrated and all of that. Then you have that. So now you’ve just changed the ecosystem of the whole family. So if the mom is going to work, who’s making money? The mom, how much money are they gonna make? I think World Vision says it literally puts an average globally in the developing countries. 12 to $15 into the family a month. So now you’re talking about 150 to one 70 change, right?

John DeYoung (01:20:44):

150 bucks when you’re making a buck 50 a day is a lot of money, right? So when you’re looking at that and you’re making an average of let’s say $40 a month, that’s three months worth of salaries that you’re actually increasing into your own family’s income. So I don’t know what everyone makes who’s watching this. So let’s say you make $50,000 in a year, imagine a quarter of that just added as a bonus. ’cause you drink clean water, that’s what you get. You’re saving that much more money ’cause you’re actually making it to work. If you are paid for every hour that you work, right? And then you’re sick and you’re sitting in your, on your bed puking and having diarrhea, you can’t go to work. You lose that money every day. And so what this does is it puts the money back into the pocket of the family, right?

John DeYoung (01:21:27):

Well now you got this as you know anything about communities globally in the developing areas, who’s working the community? Oh, it’s the mom <laugh>, it’s the shop owner, right? It’s the dad who’s has the little Thai shop down the street. Now you’re helping the whole community. ’cause what, wait a minute, I got an extra 150 bucks a spin. And you’re creating economy in that ethos, in that ecosystem of that little small community. ’cause everyone is now healthier right now. We would like to get higher quality food in as well, but let’s get water in first. So that’s sort of it there. Then you have this other mechanism that’s a little bit of the side, it’s a side mechanism is that, wait a minute, how much money does an average mother spend on a child that’s sick in medicine and the hospital, right? Oh, child is sick.

John DeYoung (01:22:14):

She has to go to the doctor. Right? This let, let talk about the economics of any, she has to go to the doctor. Doctor wants 20 bucks. That’s two weeks worth of salary just to see the kid. Then she has to go buy, I don’t know, $6 worth of medicine for the child because the doctor knows she can’t afford the $50 medicine. So he has to give her the $6 medicine, $3 medicine. Right? So she’s not working. She’s paying the 20 bucks to the doctor. She’s paying six bucks for the medicine. She goes home, kid’s not going to school because of bad water. So you can see how that just de degrades and then it keeps them in poverty. Like it is a oppressive mechanism. Contaminated water is a oppressive mechanism to just push the family down. And what we do is we alleviate that.

John DeYoung (01:22:59):

Right now the mom isn’t going to the hospital, she’s not paying 20 bucks to the doctor. She just made an extra 150 a year and she’s not buying medicine. Kid’s going to school. She goes to work, she’s spending money at the try shop. All because there’s no contaminants in the water. Like we don’t even think about that in America. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if my wife, she’s a counselor, if my wife was sick three, two days a week, she’d lose 40, 25% of her income and I would be taking her to the hospital or the doctor every other month. ’cause it would get bad, right? It would get bad. Well, sooner or later it’s gonna get really, really, really bad. And then I spend the money and then there’s a chance that if I don’t get her to the hospital in time she dies. We don’t live there.

John DeYoung (01:23:46):

Right? But there’s 3.5 billion people who do <laugh>. So the heart of man has to change. So we care about that one child, one filter, one family, one filter, one neighborhood. I don’t care. Put this in a 50 gallon bucket, serve 10 families. Fine do it. But serve. So it really becomes, that is like travel the world to Italy. Awesome. But take a moment and and go see some of the outskirt things and how other people live a little bit. Right? Or I go to Albania, right? I love Albania. It’s so beautiful. The food is great. Coffee’s amazing. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. But then go hang out with aromas or basically the gypsies. See where they live, how do you serve them? It’s great that I get a cup of coffee and go get some fresh fish, but I, me and wife, we can go see the Romas. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, take a day. Just take a day, go serve someone. Right? So, I don’t know.

Kristi Porter (01:24:44):

I love it. Well you’re trying to, obviously we talked about a lot of countries, you’re getting things all over <laugh>. You do not have, as we’ve discussed a background in logistics, you’ve learned a lot on your feet. So in trying to get things into so many places, so many difficult places, whether it’s disaster or just developing country, the whole thing, I’m curious, what are one or two of the biggest logistics challenges you’ve faced in getting things to complex regions? And how are those solved? What have you learned along the way there?

John DeYoung (01:25:15):

I think one of the things is I’m learning and have been brutally taught, <laugh> educated brutally that logistics is difficult. Every country, every community has their version of humanitarian aid and their version of border regulations crossing the line, crossing the county, crossing the country customs. So logistically, my recommendation to anyone listening to this is don’t do it unless you partner with someone like Vector. Right? Because, because you just don’t, you’re gonna, you’re going to spin your wheels trying to figure out what that agent wants and why you’re gonna, you’re going to have migraines over it. So it’s a little bit easier to come alongside, uh, a logistics partner, um, in that, and I’m plugging you guys ’cause we’ve been through some difficult stuff through Ukraine and or India or some other things that we’ve done. Uh, Peru was uh, another one that we did with you guys, you know, and all that.

John DeYoung (01:26:29):

So, uh, yeah, you guys have to ship those 3,500 uh, filters, right? To Peru. And the other thing is, when it comes to technology and getting things across the board, we put global trackers live minute by minute global trackers on those pallets. ’cause those were very, very important. The client who needed the filters also knew when it was coming to the port. Like there’s just all of that information along the way. I learned all, I’m learning the acronym, sometimes I’ll get an acronym. I’m like, what is that? Like what do you mean <laugh>? Right? And I’m like, what is that <laugh>? What is that? It’s like a lot of my mentored kids are like saying, they say something, I’m like, what’s F Y I or whatever it is right now. I know that. But back in the day I was like, what is that? What is for your information?

John DeYoung (01:27:14):

Why can’t you just say, well for your information, right? Um, <laugh> in one. But yeah, I learned a lot. And, and, and one of the things is it’s never fluid, but it’s way more, the level of success and the chance of success is better when you partner with someone like that. So I just think that that’s what you wanna do. Whether you’re a manufacturer or shipping something and quantities or whatnot, it’s because the education and knowledge is there. You don’t know how to deliver in Iraq. You don’t know how to deliver in per, you don’t know how to deliver in Ukraine. You don’t know. Everyone’s got a different idea, right. In that. And so that’s sort of where, well we logistically it is, it can be a nightmare. And it also partnering with someone can make that nightmare. You can wake up from the dream, right? And uh, you go, oh, right. Because the, the goal is everyone’s goal is to get that product in, in my case, water filtration to that human being who needs it. And so to partner with an organization that sort of is like, okay, we have the same vision and goal and mission as you. Let’s do this together and come alongside it. ’cause I’m sure there’s been a few things that were like, you guys were even like, oh, why do we need that paper? But we need it. Right? The custom agents, I want this paper.

Monica Roesch (01:28:22):

Yep.

John DeYoung (01:28:23):

Why

Monica Roesch (01:28:24):

You get to know a lot about regulations around the, the globe. Yeah. Every, everyone has different laws, different requirements. And it’s kind of like the world, like you were mentioning, we sometimes we don’t imagine like how different things are in other countries or how difficult. And it’s the same for example, in in America, in the us in Mexico, in a lot of countries we just need digital documentation for custom experience. And then there’s countries like Africa for example, where you need to literally ship the original documents from the steam steamship line and make sure that they arrive on time to an address. And I mean, you’ve traveled a lot probably know how the addresses are there. It’s like the references are like, yeah, it’s the building with the black door behind the one with the green. That those are the reference that sometimes we need to give in order for the documents to arrive. So right. We really put our heart into it. So thanks a lot for trusting us and for letting us help you all of this amazing magic happen.

John DeYoung (01:29:33):

Yeah. It’s not easy. You guys don’t have an easy job ’cause you’re dealing with, like you said, different not only regulations but different personalities. You, you’ll come across a custom agent who may understand what it is that’s happening and they’re a little bit more forgiving and gracious. But then if you have a custom agent that’s looking for money, looking for payout, looking for power, and sometimes they just don’t like their job. Sometimes I wonder do they even like their job? ’cause that sounds like he’s just an angry little man, right? And so there’s that. And so if the agent is like, I’m not gonna release it because I now need the letter from the N G O with you and this and that, and then it sits on their desk while they’re having their chai. I’ve seen this. And you’re like, why are, why, what are we doing?

John DeYoung (01:30:19):

How are we gonna get this across? He’s like, it happens <laugh> and it is mind blowing, but it, it happens. And so yeah, you’re right. So because you guys have the same heart and vision and mission to like move not just products but aid and whatever it is you’re moving. And I don’t know, I’m sure you’re working with a lot of companies with different types of things, but the Yeah, it matters. It, it really matters. And, and, and I don’t have the time to try to email the custom agent exactly what it is he needs. ’cause one usually, I don’t know what it is that he’s asking for. I’m like, I’ve never even heard of it. I don’t wanna do eight hours of research on it. Try to build it, try to make, it just makes no sense. So I, I think that in again, in partnership, in mission, in purpose is probably the best way to do business.

John DeYoung (01:31:07):

So I think that Vector could be a company that just says, we’ll just ship anything anywhere, anyone, and blah blah blah blah. And you could probably make some money with that. That’s great. And you probably have a good business. But if you think about logistics with a purpose, it get, it hopefully gets you up in the morning. ’cause you know what you are doing is providing a service not only to a company such as mine, but you’re actually providing service to an end user. Whoever that end user is that needs that thing a product or whatever it is along the way, aid or anything. And I think that there is a way to partner with organizations like yours that have a purpose. It makes it a little bit easier to have these conversations. Right? I don’t think it’s, I don’t think it really feels great if you’re to work with a logistics company and they’re like, we don’t care what you serve.

John DeYoung (01:32:02):

We just want you to pay the bill. I’m not sure if I wanna work with them. Right. I don’t know if anybody would like, can you imagine if you’re like at a restaurant and they’re like, we don’t care what you eat, just pay my bill and gimme my tip. People would be like, we’re really interested in eating here anymore. Right? Right. And so I think that because you guys are like, Hey, where’s it going Ukraine, John, we love the fact that you’re serving the refugees military or whoever needs it and all that kind of stuff. Working with organizations, you are, we also partner with many of the partners you partner with. Yeah. How can we help?

John DeYoung (01:32:38):

Just makes a lot more sense to me. And logistics is really about A B, C, D E F G H I J K Z and it lands, right? But if it’s linear and it has that purpose, my sense is it’s gonna arrive a little bit. ’cause people care about that. It’s gonna get there. And if it’s logistics with no purpose, then it’s just chaotic and it’s just, you’re just throwing dirt in the air, I guess. I don’t know. Yeah. It gets there. You know, just pay the bill when it gets there. You’re like, you just lose. Right? I mean, if, if we partner with you and things, I get excited about it. I’m more interested in working with you guys more. If you guys didn’t care, I’d probably go somewhere else. Just so you know that to be honest, I’m driven by that type of things.

John DeYoung (01:33:22):

And I like to work with people who are driven by those types of things. And I’d probably do a couple projects with you. And if I was talking about logistics girl, Valerie a little bit, but what do you think? She’s like, ah, I kind of weird <laugh> or whatever. I’m like, let’s find another company that caress about what we do. Right? That just makes sense. That just really makes sense. They, you don’t have to care about my company, but you care about the end result of what it is that’s gonna happen. Um, people getting clean water, people’s lives being transformed and what a cool way to do that by utilizing logistics as a tool and a mechanism to transform and impact millions of lives. I mean, I, I would love to see a metric from you guys if you guys ever sent it out saying We have touched, been able to touch 450 million people with our logistics.

John DeYoung (01:34:11):

Can we touch another million with you? Like how could that be for you to go, well we’ve been in business for this long, we’ve been able to partner with this many people and these organizations, this is how many people they’re touching. These are the products we’ve shipped maybe more than half a million people, but we’ve been able to impact if you’re sending t-shirts. Yeah. Right. I don’t care if you’re sending t-shirts. ’cause I tell you what, when we give t-shirts to our Asha Girls in India, new t-shirts to them, they are excited ’cause they’ve been wearing the same shirt for seven months, the same shirt. And we give them a new one, they’re pumped. We just did it last week. I have pictures to show you. Usher girls, they got, they all came from Baylor University, right? Kids from Baylor University went to my nonprofit in India and served them and gave them t-shirts. Wow. These young girls, 90 girls,

Monica Roesch (01:35:06):

Right? That’s beautiful.

John DeYoung (01:35:07):

That’s the power.

Monica Roesch (01:35:09):

Going back to what you mentioned, yes, we do have, um, uh, global Impact Report that Priti is in charge for that also. I, she’s in charge of so many things. But that one is pretty important because sometimes, especially my team and I, that we do a lot of work with different nonprofits, like for food aid or books or stuff for schools in different countries. I mean, that’s part of what motivates us to do our work every day and to be sure that what we do matters. But then when we see the global Impact report and we put it in numbers and in results, it’s not just, oh yeah, we had this pretty cool shipment in <inaudible>, or Oh yeah, we did this for Ukraine. No. Now it comes to what you just said. We’re impacting all of these lives. We’re helping, we’re not a nonprofit, but we have the power to reach a lot of places around the globe. So why not use it to make the difference? And that also helps us to invite other companies to see us and say, Hey, here we are. This is what we do. We’re trying to help you. Just let us help whatever we can. And it’s pretty cool.

John DeYoung (01:36:26):

I think you’re right. I mean when you look at, you know, I think it’s wise for, it’s even wise for me to do impact metering, right? That’s where some of our NGOs or some of our, our board members are interested in. What’s the impact that you have? It’s awesome that you have a manufacturer for-profit manufacturing company, but how many lives are we really changing with that? And in that, how much money are we saving? How much plastic are we mo mo moving and all that kind of stuff. And so those are the things that we look at and go, all right, if we were able to do that and get along, come alongside communities. And when you say, what country did you say? Bria Fasu A fossa. What is that?

Monica Roesch (01:37:03):

That’s,

John DeYoung (01:37:05):

Yeah, I think we have four filters in there. Yeah. Really? Which is an African company I never known about. So I was like, huh. Which,

John DeYoung (01:37:13):

Interesting. So yeah. But all that to be said is like, who knows? I mean, who knows where it’s gonna be? Yeah. Um, where it’s going. And it really is, it’s really, like I said, I just go back to the, it, it’s, it’s purpose-driven. I love the fact that you guys are a purpose-driven logistics company. You have, you wake up and you go, how can we make a world a better place? How can we make partnership easier? How can we make our company better? How can we make it better for vivo blue, other companies along the way? Otherwise, like I said, you’re just a logistics company outta chaos. So

Monica Roesch (01:37:42):

This has really

Kristi Porter (01:37:43):

Been a remarkable conversation. Thank you so much for sharing just who you are. Your background. Viva Blue, uh, it was certainly just an ongoing education for us as well. And it is something so many of us take for granted each day. And so it’s really amazing to hear, as you talked about, how it can just transform not only one life, but a community and how kind of all of that has a chain reaction effect to who we all are around the world. So thank you for being just an, an advocate for the issue and for all you do at Veeva Blue. So for people listening and watching, we want them to find you. We want them to support you. We want them to donate or buy or partner. How do they find you? How do they do that?

John DeYoung (01:38:29):

The way that they do it is, if you go to Vivo Blue this with no e, it’s just a u.com V I V O B L u.com. Um, you can purchase our filters there when it comes to the N G O and supporting, just email me. You can click on our impact page and it goes straight to me. And so if you’re like, Hey, I wanna donate some filters and, or hey, I’m an n NGO O that wants that 20% discount, or whatever it is, we wanna, you know, bring some of your filters into our community. We love to try ’em out. All that stuff. So you can just directly, I, I’m pretty accessible on that website. Come to me and, and, uh, I would love to hear your story, what you’re doing in the, uh, communities that these organizations or people are working in and what your heart is and seeing if we’re a match and if we’re a match, let’s partner up. Let’s do some cool stuff. Let’s build some impact. Let’s, let’s change lives. So

Kristi Porter (01:39:17):

Absolutely. Thanks.

Monica Roesch (01:39:18):

That’s just awesome. Well, thanks a lot Christy, for hosting this amazing episode. Thanks Jennifer. All of what you shared today, it was a blast to have you here, <laugh> and for

John DeYoung (01:39:29):

Watching. I hope so. <laugh>. Yeah,

Kristi Porter (01:39:31):

It was, it was,

Monica Roesch (01:39:33):

Yeah, it was. Thanks everyone for joining us today to the audience and stay tuned for our episodes and learning more about Logistics with purpose.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

John DeYoung- Since he was a young teenager, he had always wanted to make a difference in the world. His origin story starts from the slum streets of South Korea, and he’s blessed to be serving the children around the world with clean water.

Monica Aurora Roesch Davila has a Bachelor’s degree in Management and International Business from Universidad Panamericana in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She has work experience in purchasing, logistics, and sales for automotive companies, and is currently working at Vector handling some non-profit accounts and helping them achieve their goals. She also develops new accounts and plans with them the better routes and strategies for them to have efficient and cost-effective operations.

Monica believes that everything we do matters and that we can make a difference and impact the world in a positive way with our daily actions, so she tries to do her best every day.

Hosts

Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

You May Also Like

Click to view other episodes in this program

Additional Links & Resources

Learn more about Logistics with Purpose

Learn more about Vector Global Logistics

Subscribe to Logistics with Purpose

Check Out Our Sponsors

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.

Connect on :

Vicki White

Controller

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

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Kim Reuter

Host

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Allison Giddens

Host

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.

Connect on :

Billy Taylor

Host

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.

Connect on :

Tandreia Bellamy

Host

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).

Connect on :

Marty Parker

Host

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.

Connect on :

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!

Connect on :

Jake Barr

Host

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.

Connect on :

Marcia Williams

Host

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.

Connect on :

Constantine Limberakis

Host

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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!

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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’.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.