Supply Chain Now
Episode 746

Everybody knows you're not perfect. They can see where you're struggling. You think they're not, but they can see where you're struggling. So, use that space to step more into that vulnerability and to allow others on your team to shine. Good, successful, healthy teams? They are made up of everyone who is shining in their area of expertise and in their strength.

-Monique Russell

Episode Summary

Do you make important decisions in the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt)? How much joy is scheduled into your daily agenda? Before a supply chain can run smoothly, we all have some work to do on our communication skills – and that includes how we communicate with ourselves. In this episode, communications expert Monique Russell joins host Scott Luton to give us the lowdown on building healthy, thriving teams, no matter your industry. And if you live for a mic drop moment, you’ll love hearing from Monique on everything from honest, effective decision making to connecting Black cultures globally and the emerging promise of free trade. And as a bonus, get the inside scoop on which Nigerian dishes you need in your kitchen, ASAP.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning everybody. Scott Luton with you here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s episode. Got a really special episode. It’s all about communication is an essential component of not only global business, but global supply chain. For sure. However, it’s often overlooked. It is often ineffective and it certainly often assumed that it takes place in the first place. So on today’s show, we’re gonna be speaking with a business leader that brings tons of expertise and best practices to the table, especially when it comes to communication. So stay tuned for a wonderful and informative discussion. Now, with that said, I want to take a minute to introduce our guests here today. Really have enjoyed our pre-show conversation. I’ve enjoyed following our guests across social. It’s a ton of positivity and really good vibes, and you’re going to learn a lot. So our featured guests teaches leaders and teams how to have positive and productive relationships at home and at work using effective tools and strategies.

Scott Luton (01:30):

Get this companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google is really small companies, right? No one’s ever heard of no massive, uh, industry leaders, right? All those and others have collaborated with and trusted our guests to guide them in implementing how it’s successful communication strategies. She’s author of the books, ultimate speakers, God and intentional motherhood, who said it would be easy, probably no one ever at all. And she hosts a wonderful podcast called bridge to you. So you have to check that out. So join me in welcoming executive communications coach with clear communication solutions. OneQ Russell, Monique, how you doing?

Monique Russell (02:09):

Hey Scott. Thank you. Thank you for having me

Scott Luton (02:12):

On your show. Absolutely. Well, you know, we had the, it had to happen, had to go through your agent and get you booked months and months in advance. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. But you gotta, you gotta, you gotta, you got a lot of stuff going on and as we were talking, pre-show, you know, whether it’s your social, whether it’s your podcast, your books, which I’m going to have to put on an order now, uh, anything, you know, your keynotes, all the stuff that you do, you just, you’ve got this magnetic quality about you. So it’s great to have you here on supply chain now and share that and a lot more with our community. So you ready to get started? All right. So when Nate, we’re going to start with the, with the, the easier stuff, the fun stuff, because I want to give folks an opportunity to learn more about you Monique Russell. So tell us, where did you grow up and give us some anecdotes about your upbringing?

Monique Russell (03:06):

Um, I love this question so much because I wish I was there right now on the beach. I am totally a beach lady. Okay. So I grew up in the beautiful islands of The Bahamas. And I mean, as you can imagine, island life is very different. I don’t know if you’ve been there before Scott. Okay. So, you know, you know, that things are very different. The pace of life is much slower and you know, there’s seems to be a little less stressed. People tend to feel like, you know what, when I go to the islands, I’m going to slow down. I’m going to shake off some stress. And for me, when I was growing up, I mean, I felt like that I felt so blessed to be in an environment where I could literally go to the beach every day. And we pretty much almost did. Wow.

Scott Luton (03:55):

Really quick. What, uh, specifically, uh, across The Bahamas, what town or beach or you name it? Where’d you grow up?

Monique Russell (04:02):

I grew up in Freeport grand Bahama, which is the second city. So Nassau new Providence. It’s what most people tend to know about. They go on the cruise, they go to Atlantis, but Freeport back in the day used to be really, really powerful. I mean, it’s, it’s the second city. I mean, you had a lot of happenings going on. Of course it will put the years with the hurricanes and with the economy, things have really taken a toll. So it’s really not as thriving as the way it used to be, but back then it was, it was on and popping.

Scott Luton (04:33):

So, so tell us, I love the picture you’re painting already. And I bet a lot of folks that are listening or watching this, uh, they appreciated that momentary, uh, departure from wherever they are. Um, what else was so really cool and unique and enjoy about enjoyable about growing up in Freeport in The Bahamas general?

Monique Russell (04:54):

Well, I’ll tell you a story because you know, we, I grew up from very, very humble beginnings and I remember one time when we had a fun day at school, I think I probably was about eight. I went to St. Vincent DePaul school and I was about eight. And we had fun day. I don’t know if you, if you guys had this, but fun days where you, you don’t have to put on your uniform, you could buy candy, you could do all kinds of stuff. And so my mom, she gave me $10. Okay. She gave me $10 and she said, Monique, take five to school for fun day and leave five at home. And I was like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, mom, I’m going to take, I’m going to take the $10 and I’m okay, I’m going to be fine. I’m going to be fine.

Monique Russell (05:41):

And so anyway, I took the $10 and I went and I mean, I bought all sorts of stuff. And then next thing you know, like my friends were like, oh, can I borrow a dollar to do this? Can I borrow a lot to do that? And I said, yes. And so I went back home and my mom was like, okay, so Monique, how much money do you have? And I was like, well, I don’t have anything right now, but my friends borrowed a dollar and you know, they’re going to pay me back. And so the long and short of the story is I never got the money back. Everybody enjoyed spending Monique’s Funday money. And, and I will never forget it because I had so much fun. I just had so much fun. Um, and I remember that vividly, but now I have definitely learned from that, you know, don’t take everything all at once climate head and don’t look, oh, I remember she said, Monique. She said, if they don’t pay you back, don’t go chasing anybody for it. She was like, don’t go chasing anybody for it. And I didn’t, I just left it alone. So,

Scott Luton (06:50):

Okay. You’re kind of illustrating how fun it is to give. Right. And rather than just always receive and again, give where other folks can enjoy a few things maybe that they couldn’t get. Otherwise we had field days, uh, in elementary school where I went and in particular, in the earliest grades, I went to St. Mary’s, uh, in Aiken, South Carolina, and for one field day where I forgot to get money from my folks to enjoy ice cream or whatever it was, I went and found the, the, the priest, the father of the school. And I figured, well, he’s got to give me, you know, he’s got to let me borrow money. And, and he did kindly, you know, bless his soul. When I went home and told my mom where I got the money to buy the stuff I did, I just about got the beating of my lifetime. So she felt I was taking it in it better than that. So, but back to your story, I love that. And you know, you were kind of came from, from humble means. So I bet that that $10 from your mother that was a sacrifice to enjoy, allow you to enjoy that fun day at school. Huh?

Monique Russell (07:54):

Oh yeah. I mean, my mom was a teacher, you know, if you think teachers don’t make much here in the United States, tried the islands. Okay. Try the islands. Teaching is not something that you do for money. You do it because you love it. You do it because you want to make an impact. You know, so everything went a long way.

Scott Luton (08:14):

I love that. Okay. That’s a great segue because teaching obviously is a professional needs a lot more recognition and, and higher pay rates. We’ll save that for another discussion. Let’s talk about your professional journey when it, you know, uh, I want to talk about, uh, I know you’ve done a lot of things, uh, during your time, uh, also a fellow entrepreneur, what’s a couple of roles during your journey. That’s helped shape your worldview and, and has had a huge impact on who Monique Russell is here today. Um,

Monique Russell (08:44):

Um, there’s so many squats, you know, I’m like, okay. So, so to come to mind, to come to mind, rising to the top. And one of them is when I was, uh, working in executive support after I graduated from college, you know, my dream was to be an international broadcast journalist. You’d be listening to me, tell stories all over the world on air, and it didn’t happen that way. Okay. So after hundreds of applications, it was a lose, lose battle. And I started in executive support and I didn’t want to be there. And I was like, this is not what I went to school for. I’m too smart for this. I have too much education, et cetera. You know how it is? Your young life just is not follow the path that’s supposed to follow. But what I realized not then, but later is that was sort of a hands-on practical training for me.

Monique Russell (09:40):

So I was able to see a lot of behind the scenes work because you know, you’re an executive support. Nobody considers you a threat. You watch the leaders who go out and they puff up their chest and they look invincible and strong. And then you get to be behind the scenes when they’re just human beings. It titles don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CFO, the CEO, the VP, nobody cares. And because I was already into communications and I was being nosy, wanting to know everything, you know, wanted to be in the know, I would often get asked a lot of times on how to solve problems. You always need at that level, you need thinking partners. You need people who can, you know, you can bounce ideas off of. It’s a lot of pressure at the top. And so that really shaped my worldview in terms of not being intimidated or afraid by any title, no matter what the title is like at the end of the day, we’re all just human beings. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO. It doesn’t matter if you’re the receptionist, we’re all just human beings. And we all have the same needs. That was one thing that I think I will never forget. And it, it shapes how I interact with people today. I don’t really mean,

Scott Luton (10:57):

So Monica, let me ask you a follow up to that, uh, because kind of reading between the lines and knowing that you’re a trusted advisor for so many today leaders and, and, and folks across, uh, the professional spectrum, it seems like that was your first taste of being a trusted advisor to these folks. And again, reading between the lines, it seems like you enjoyed that.

Monique Russell (11:16):

I loved it because like I said, I was, I was nosy. I wanted to be in the know I wanted it to be. I remember when I was interviewing and, um, the lady was like, why, why do you want this? I said, because I like to be in everything. I like to know what’s going on. Who’s doing what, which was perfect for the role, but I didn’t see myself as a trusted advisor. Then Scott, I have to be honest with you. I did not see myself as a trusted advisor. It was only until years later when I reflected, because remember I was like, this isn’t, this, isn’t what I went to school for. This isn’t what I have loans for. You know, hello. I mean, come on. Let’s just be real here.

Scott Luton (11:59):

You know, there’s so much there. We could probably dive into that role and really what you’re illustrating now, how that that’s not what you felt you were walking this earth to do, but it really seemed like it was important for you to take that and experience that for what was later to come. What else, what other role, uh, you said you thought of to, what are the roles really helped shape who you are?

Monique Russell (12:22):

So, you know, I went to school to be a broadcast journalist and right after, well in between that, when I went back to The Bahamas, but I did a short stint in Minnesota, that’s where I went to school. And so I did a short stint in Minnesota where I was doing, uh, some news stories. And then I went to The Bahamas and I spent like a summer and I worked at the TV station and I remember I was doing a story and the story was covering an angle, um, that wasn’t really the most favorable angle to cover because the government, it was, you know, depending on the government who was involved at the time. And so I took the story to my senior editor because everything has to go through, you know, the process and you have to have it approved by the senior editor before it could be read on air.

Monique Russell (13:13):

And I sent it to my editor and he came to my desk and he was like, you’re not running that. You’re not, you’re not just like that. You’re not running that. And I was like, why? And he was like, don’t, you know, who’s in power. And I was like, okay. So, so first of all, Scott, there’s a lot of things around that period time period that happened. And what I realized, I mean, we, we changed the story, things tweaked up a little bit, but what I realized doing the work in The Bahamas and doing the work in Minnesota was that whoever is writing the story, whoever is crafting the narrative is the one that has the control or the influence. And just because it’s on a big platform, just because it can reach a lot of people because you think of media. And a lot of people are very, they don’t know how it works. So they feel intimidated by it. Or they feel like it’s larger than life because you can see it everywhere and not really knowing. It’s just really a few, you know, owners and whatever have you. Um, but if you understand how it works, what I realized then was, you know, it doesn’t matter how big the platform is. The message can still be wrong. It doesn’t, it doesn’t just because the platform is big. It doesn’t mean that the message is right.

Scott Luton (14:39):

Okay. We’ve got to say that loud or for the folks in the back so that no matter how big your platform is how global it is, how universal it is, I mean, Lister, and she’s got how many subscribers you have, how many advertisers, you have the message that doesn’t make the message, right? So I love that. Uh, and it feels like we could have a three hour conversation about these experience experiences that you’re sharing. One, one more followup question. Then we’re going to talk about Eureka moment. So you went from growing up in the Freeport area to Minnesota, which is a gorgeous state, and I’ve been to Minneapolis and twin cities have gorgeous, great people, but goodness gracious. It is cold and snow stays on the ground forever. How did you embrace that? That geographic change?

Monique Russell (15:27):

I was ready to get off the island. So it didn’t matter where I went and the place where I went. If I started off at the college of St. Benedict well, in my family, we have a tradition, had a tradition. I broke the tradition and girls would go to the colleges St. Benedict guys go to St. John’s university. Well, you know what? After my first year I moved to St. Cloud state university, which was the public university in, uh, St. Cloud St. Cloud, Minnesota. So I kind of like, you know, didn’t really follow that whole path, but I was excited, you know, you’re young, you’re going off. My mom saw me at the airport and Nassau put me on the plane and, and I was off. That was it. Like I was, I was off. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to get there the first night. I did have a little sickness, but that was it. And then I got a job as a multicultural student consultant there. They gave me a car. I had a beeper. I kidding me. I had a beeper, literally, literally in one semester I was a new student, international student. And then I was picking up students, international students from the Minneapolis airport. And that’s an hour away. Wow. I love it. That should just give you,

Scott Luton (16:49):

Yeah, it does. It seems like you really wrapped your head around this, this adventure you’re going on. And it being different than what all that tradition had put in place. And it seemed like right away, folks were, you were no longer, you were short in terms of being the new person on campus. You became a resource and I go to, and I’m sure there’s a lot more chapters to that book we could write, but I want to ask you Eureka moments. You know, if the pandemic era has taught us anything, you know, it’s these little Epiphanes and sometimes big Epiphanes we have seems like daily, right? What’s a Eureka moment. Whether it’s one related to those two experiences, big experiences, you had three, I guess, what, what, what you walked us through or recent times, give us a Eureka moment. That’s that, that still weighs on you.

Monique Russell (17:35):

I mean, the one around the platform for me was huge. It is huge. And I think it really gives me or anybody with that mindset and advantage because not everything you’re looking at is gold. Like all the glitters is not, is not gold. And I think sometimes today, especially since we’re so much in a digital focus, we can get sidetracked or confused by looking at things online on social media and not really understanding that. So the big Eureka moment for me is something that I take, not even just from that journalism aspect or looking at the leaders that I supported when I was an executive support. But now as an entrepreneur, I mean, you don’t see people putting their worst moments out there. You don’t that you don’t see that being highlighted in Forbes and Inc and 40, under 40 and all that other stuff, you don’t see that. And so I think that the big aha is to always remember that you’re only seeing one side of the story. You don’t know the full story. That’s, that’s a big one for me.

Scott Luton (18:45):

Uh, a great one. I think that there are so many different ways in situations that that applies to right. Um, whether it comes to conflict, whether it comes to, um, negotiations, whether it comes to, you know, uh, the stories we’re seeing play out across social, that seems like a lot of folks. And, and I’m guilty as charged, hold it back until they’re ready and, and able to embrace kind of being more vulnerable, which of course is a big part of leadership. All right. I feel like this is, I feel like, man, I’ve got my 12 pages of notes already and talking with you, Monique, and we’re, we’re just now all this good stuff, but we’re getting to, to where your expertise, you know, a lot of, a lot of where you help other companies and other leaders. So tell us, we’re gonna talk about communication skills in a minute. So folks, if you’re listening, we haven’t touched a lot on supply chain and that’s okay because we’re, we’re getting to, in terms of communication, that is what powers, as we all know, global supply chains ahead, we’re going to get some best practices from, from a Monique on that in just a moment, but tell us first off clear communication solutions. What does your company do?

Monique Russell (19:50):

Okay. We are a global training, coaching and consulting firm on only focused on leadership and communication skills development. That’s it enter an interpersonal and intrapersonal. So how you communicate with yourself? That’s the inside the inner peace. And then intra is how you communicate with others.

Scott Luton (20:12):

Love it, man. Love it. I could talk leadership with you and communication all day. Um, it seems like you’re, uh, even though you have accumulated and you’re helping others, it seems like you are a tireless student, uh, in study of both right day in and day out. Is he, you strike me, is that right? Do you, do you find new wrinkles?

Monique Russell (20:34):

Oh yeah. You hit the nail on the head and that’s actually one of the values that we embody in the company. Integrity is definitely one. Do you do with you say, you’re going to do, how are you going to treat your customers? Transparency is another one. Like we have to keep the lines of communication open. If there’s a problem, you know, are you stuck somewhere? These things also help determine like who would be great for company culture. And then, I mean, absolutely continuous learning and development, because if we are not continuing to develop, we can not help our clients continue to develop. The world is changing, it’s ever changing. So even though there’s some staple aspects of communication, the environment has changed. And so how you respond to the changes in environment is key.

Scott Luton (21:24):

Okay. Gosh. So much to dive into there. Let’s talk about the communication skills and we’ll kind of focus in on that. Cause that’s, that’s a big part of, of effective leadership, a big part of, of organizational success. It’s a big part of just being a human being, which is we need that in doses these days. So when it comes to communication skills, Monique, let’s talk about some of the, either the best practices that you see or that, that you help individuals or organizations with, or, and we don’t have to name names, but talk about some common mistakes that you see happen with both quite a bit.

Monique Russell (22:00):

Yeah. We not gonna name names.

Scott Luton (22:03):

That’d be fun though with it,

Monique Russell (22:05):

But listen. Okay. So communication is so broad. And so we have to be able to point to exactly the skills that we’re looking to develop now, uh, on the interpersonal side, these skills can be in the areas of effective delegation. For example, you may find that you’re struggling to let go. You’re struggling to guide your employee. Maybe you’re not even sure about the work itself. And so it, it creates that fuzziness delegation is a big one. It’s tied to a lot of your emotions and how you feel about this process. There’s tactical pieces for sure. But then there’s the definitely that emotional piece that’s tied to it. One skill, your time management, that’s another interpersonal skill. How are you prioritizing? These are all time managers. These are all leadership skills, right? So how are you, how are you prioritizing? How are you, um, connecting with what it is that should be done first, next should, should be ignored.

Monique Russell (23:09):

Should, should shouldn’t even be on your plate. That those are things you’re recharge and renewal is another skill. And this is one that people tend to ignore a lot, but we really can’t ignore it because we’re in a state where a lot of people are facing burnout and it’s easier to prevent the burnout and take preventative measures. So for example, Scott, if you know, you’re having a long week next week and you have a lot of back-to-back meetings now would be the time for you to look at your calendar and see how you can plug in renewal, renewal periods. Like I don’t care what you got to put green purple, whatever, put in renewal periods in your calendar, because it’s communicate into your brain. I’m intending to do this. You may, or you may not do it, but chances are you’re going to do it. So building in the recharge and renewal process, even processing, giving you downtime, that’s inter personal. These are just a few examples, right? You know how you’re processing things on the inside.

Scott Luton (24:10):

So let me ask you really quick, um, when it comes to, so th that’s the best practice certainly for us to embrace and, and, and to do it and practice that ourselves when it comes to leaders that are, that are charged with getting production and results and whatnot, how do you find them? The more successful ones, um, helping their teams be sure that they, you know, as you, as you put it, those renewal periods, whatever color, how, what, how do you see effective leader has been able to help their teams through the same?

Monique Russell (24:43):

Okay. So now we’re moving into interpersonal, which is how our community, which is, which is perfect. It’s a great question. That’s exactly where we’re going. We focused on the inter and now we’re moving, uh, intra. And now we’re moving to the inter right? How we connect with other people. Here’s the thing. If you don’t have your intra personal communications, solid, if you don’t understand, if you don’t have that, self-awareness, it’s going to be difficult. If not impossible for you to motivate your team for you to get things done with people who will choose to follow and respect you, not just because you’re telling them what to do and it’s their job, but choose to follow and respect you. So the most successful leaders, they have an understanding that you’re always going to have people problems because people are complex. Number one, number two, you have to be able to understand how you communicate, how they communicate, what motivates them, what their values are.

Monique Russell (25:44):

And you have to be flexible. You have to be like very nimble. Think of like the ballet or the person who is like, I don’t know, Berlin in yoga. You have to be flexible in your mind. And that’s very hard to do. If you’re not aware, there’s no judgment here. If you’re not aware of how your previous exposures to leadership are influencing how you now lead today, you see there has to be that awareness of how am I showing up? Why do I feel like I need to take the work back from someone? Why do I feel I need to call someone five times a day to see where they are, or email them to, you know, constantly that’s micromanagement, but maybe you were exposed to that when you were growing up, maybe in your home, your parents were on you. No fault of their own.

Monique Russell (26:36):

But they were like, okay, looking for ways to correct. Not connect, but looking for ways to correct. Oh, no, that’s not how you do it. My job is to show you that you’re doing it wrong and show you the right way. Right? So that’s your exposure to leadership. And so now you’re in the workplace and you feel that, okay, I have to look for what’s, what’s not working and show you what’s right. And I have to do it constantly. So your whole ring, and you’re having a micromanagement style of leadership, right. Which may not work for everyone.

Scott Luton (27:11):

So amongst others, I heard two things important there. One of the earlier points you’re making is you gotta, you gotta kind of help yourself and invest in yourself before you can truly most effectively help others. So you gotta work on your own communication and leadership skill. It’s one, things are hurt. And then the second thing are there. And then you want her to put way in this, in, in the thing in a healthcare environment are heard, uh, someone I interviewed not too long ago, talked about how folks nurses and our healthcare professionals have to put that ventilator on themselves before they go to work. Otherwise, you know, they’re helping others at a great detriment and risk to themselves. And, and there’s lots of, of, uh, transfers and, and applications. And, and, and it relates to a lot of different things when it comes leadership. Just one thing I heard.

Scott Luton (27:59):

And then the second thing that you really touched on there, here a moment ago was being self-aware enough to understand what has impacted almost your subconscious approach to leadership and communication. Right. And go bingo. Okay. And that meant no one ever tells me that I always get it wrong. So thank you so much money. Uh, this is fascinating stuff because it really it’s like a, uh, if you, if our conversations a batter, you got a little bit of, you know, practical, been there, done that. You’ve got a little psychology. Of course, I’ve got, um, a lot of proven and S and methodologies and kind of the study of it all. And it’s just a, it, I bet you can bake just a wonderful, highly successful communication cake. You ever heard about a communication cake? Little bit of this little bit that kind of like,

Monique Russell (28:47):

And I will eat it. If you show me where it is and if it has chocolate, I will eat it

Scott Luton (28:54):

Exactly. I’m with you. All right. The analogies aren’t just coming easily today, Monique. Sometimes some days are better than others. Hey. All right. So before we move forward, cause I want to talk about kindness and some great knowledge you dropped earlier, but what else, when it, when it comes to best practices, mistakes, um, missteps, or, you know, those shining examples of just wonderful communication and leadership, what else comes to mind?

Monique Russell (29:22):

Well, I think some people feel like they have to be perfect or they, they have to present perfection as a leader. Um, you know, when I was supporting leaders, I will tell you it’s an enormous amount of pressure. It’s an enormous amount of pressure and people who are leading there’s need all the support they can get. And so when I, when I think about, okay, what is something that is always coming up, it’s that, that feeling of needing or wanting to come across as perfect. And that’s a very big, big burden to bear. So I will say to those that are listening and watching, you know, everybody knows that you’re not perfect. They can see where you’re struggling. You think they’re not, but they can see where you’re struggling. So, so, you know, use that space to step more into that vulnerability and to allow others on your team, to shine, you know, what the good, successful, healthy teams they are made up of everyone who is shining in their area of expertise and in their strength.

Monique Russell (30:27):

And so if you feel like you have to take it all on, um, you’re robbing yourself and you’re robbing them of that opportunity. So that’s one thing, the perfection and the vulnerability piece is also a challenge. And then another thing that I would say is just really not taking time for themselves. The work is so full. It’s so busy your day to day back to back, you know, you get into this routine and sometimes even if you want to slow down, you don’t know how you know, and I can relate to that because I have a, had a lot of workaholics in my family who were very successful, you know, by certain standards, very successful. But sometimes when you want to slow down, you know, you need to, but you don’t know how. And so it’s like your body’s almost taking over for you. Right. You know? So my thing is, get yourself surrounded with other people, other people who are in your same sphere, or who are in the same role who are open to sharing small mastermind groups, small business groups, and also get yourself an accountability team. You know? So that’s something that I see a lot of leaders, uh, tend to forget, or they tend to miss

Scott Luton (31:42):

Going back a moment to kind of burn out and folks just work around the clock. We’ve all probably been there at some point. Some of us are still there, uh, probably at different times. Would you also suggest a best practice because you know, one of the things you said is you may not even realize you may not even realize how many hours in a day, how many hours in a week, you know, through the weekend that you’re putting in, do you ever advise people to call Tom out and, you know, going back to that schedule, you were talking to earlier just kind of self assess or analyze where you’ve spent the time that week did you, would you advise that?

Monique Russell (32:16):

I definitely would advise that because now you’re getting a better view, a more realistic view. You just feel like there’s one thing between feeling and actually having that data. Right. So having that data tells us, okay, I spent six hours in meetings every single day. And I spent another four trying to get the work done. Something’s a little off here. Or you may feel like you’re spending more time. And when you actually look at it, you may just be multitasking and realizing that, well, you’re not getting anywhere. You’re not making much progress, but if you start to single focus, you may be more effective. But I say, you want to look at your calendar and look back at the things that brought you joy, look at the next week or the few weeks ahead. What are you looking forward to? What are you not looking forward to? What’s bringing you joy that, you know, it’s going to light you up and what’s not. And if the percentage of things in your calendar are things that are not bringing you joy, how can I bring more joy into my schedule, whatever it is, how can I go skating? How can I go swimming? It doesn’t even have to be work-related. How can you put more joy into your schedule so that you are intentionally a reset in that balance?

Scott Luton (33:30):

I love that it’s such a, an important lesson learn to also keep front and center and not forget. You know, a lot of folks have different takes and opinions own, uh, Steve jobs. The name did come to me and I we’ve all seen his, his store and their stairs. Some really cool things. And there’s some not so cool things, but one quote that always come back to that, I think he’s dead on to something. And, and I’m, I’m, I’m not gonna say verbatim, but basically it’s as important to say no, as it is. Yes. When it comes to being a leader, because to your point, if you say yes to every volunteer opportunity, every project, every service project, or project at work, you know, you’re going to be spread so thin with no time. And, and, um, and probably not do a lot of those things, not well. So saying even though it’s tough for many people, certainly myself included to say, no, it’s really an important part of leadership. Right? Monique.

Monique Russell (34:22):

I agree. And I think a lot of times when people are struggling to say, no, one thing that is a common mistake is not understanding their communication style, not understanding, um, you know, how others communicate, because that also plays a factor. It creates that awareness that, you know, what, if you are somebody that just likes to help people, or you like to please people it’s going to be harder to say no. So it’s important to recognize, okay, why am I really saying yes. And then you take on so much, so much. Some of us are prone to doing this more than others. And so it’s important for us to look at that science and say, okay, uh, like I said, everything is not accurate. You take it, you take what you can and you utilize it to make your life better. So I think that once you are able to identify your communication, Scott style, it makes it easier for you to determine how to move forward.

Monique Russell (35:24):

You can then create your filter questions. And one of the other things that I think a lot of leaders struggle with when it comes to saying yes and no in the workplace or in their business is not knowing what to say or how to say it. I don’t want to say no. Cause it feels so, you know, this person did something for me. So I’m saying yes, out of obligation or making foggy decisions, right? Fair obligation, guilt. Those are those. When you’re making decisions out of the fog, then they’re not really helpful for you. So the language of, of knowing what to say and how to say it, Scott is essential because the truth is a lot of people, they go home and they talk to their friends and their spouses about, I don’t know what to say to this person. Why don’t you think that I should say this, we spend so much time saying, how should I say it? What should I say? And that’s where the opportunity comes to stand out with your communication.

Scott Luton (36:21):

I love that. Um, and I’ve never thought about it that way. I’ve never thought about how, if you’re a people pleaser, which some, some folks listen to this can, can relate to, especially if they’re really honest with themselves, how that will just, you’ll almost revert or, you know, uh, your disposition will be say yes all the time. So to being able to acknowledge that and self-assess that, and use that fog, what was the fog

Monique Russell (36:45):

Fair obligation and guilt

Scott Luton (36:49):

Fair obligation and guilt folks got to embrace that, especially when it comes to decisions, leadership, and communication. So a fair, a fair obligation and guilt, right?

Monique Russell (37:02):

Yeah. Yeah. You don’t want to be making, you don’t want to be making decisions out of that. Fog from fear, from obligation and guilt. That’s not where we want to be making decisions from. We want to be making decisions. Yes. Fear, fear. Like I’m afraid.

Scott Luton (37:20):

Oh, I was thinking, I was thinking back when you said, you know, they’ve done me a solid and I owed them. I was thinking fair, but it’s fear obligation.

Monique Russell (37:29):

Yes. F E a R fear obligation is okay. They did it for me. I need to do it for them. Yeah.

Scott Luton (37:36):

I love okay. That’s a big lesson learned here today. Um, I hate to, I love, but I hate to move on. Cause I feel like, gosh, there’s so much more that you can teach and share about both leadership and communication, but for the sake of time, I want to get to this next topic. Are you good at anything else? Any periods you want to put on the end of that sentence when it comes to leadership and communication today? No, we’re good. You’re good. Okay. All right. I never know when a mic drop moment is going to come from Monique Russell. I’ve already had three here, three or four here today. All right. So when you hit my radar earlier, as I was talking about earlier, you know, you’re a great social follow great podcast. Keynote consult a trusted advisor, some of the biggest names around the world, but I saw something. I picked something out of, of a, um, a greater message you are sharing. And you shared this on LinkedIn. You said, quote, kindness is still a business skill. Learn it and implement it in quote. So a couple of questions there first up. What was your, why w why did you, what prompted you to share that message?

Monique Russell (38:41):

Well, um, because I am meeting on a daily basis with so many people, you know, and when I hear the stories and I hear the challenges I say to myself, you know what, just a little bit of kindness can go a long way. And kindness really is a choice. And I think in today’s landscape, you can see people being kind with volunteers and donations and, you know, things like that. That’s what everyone typically expects. But what I’m talking about is thinking that, well, you know, this person came a few minutes late to my meeting, and instead of me just taking it personal and just having such a nasty attitude, you know, just because this happened, I think that day or the day before I posted that three, at least three people that day, uh, they shared just how flustered and overwhelmed and, you know, just upset at people. And I’m like, you have no idea what’s going on. You don’t know where people are, you know, give a little grace, give a little compassion, you know, you might need it to,

Scott Luton (39:52):

So what would it cost?

Monique Russell (39:56):

You go, you can be a little proactive and guess what? When someone remembers how you treat them, that’s good for business. They will remember you. They will refer you, you will stand out. It makes it easier for you to get more opportunities.

Scott Luton (40:13):

We got a little saying that as seamlessly stole from our small group at church PTK every day, PTK every day, patience, tolerance and kindness PTK every day, because it doesn’t cost you anything. Okay. I love that. So as a followup question, especially we’re recording this session here today on a new holiday, new to you, and may I think national do something Conde. I may got that wording right wrong, but that’s okay. The, the thrust of it is, is do something nice today. So what has been one, your favorite acts of kindness that you’ve seen here in recent months,

Monique Russell (40:48):

The recent months for me, you know, I’m in the leadership skill, a skill space and communication space. So for me, what I’ve observed and I really admire is when I see people who are with those big platforms, who a lot of folks look up to and they admired, and they say, you know what? I didn’t feel like doing something today. I, you know, I was in a funk today. I’ve seen actually a couple of posts like that. And I, I felt like, wow, this is so kind because we’re living in a world where people are wanting to put pressure on you. And first of all, you don’t need anybody to put pressure on you because we can put pressure all by ourselves. We can have a whole pressure community in our head. That’s right. Invisible and feeling like I’m not keeping up, I’m not doing what I should. I’m not being present. And to see someone that you follow you admire and you respect, and you think that everybody in the world has it together, except you to see someone come out and say, Hey, today was a day that I just felt like crap. I think it gives others permission to relax. And I find that to be a very kind act.

Scott Luton (42:06):

Um, I love that, you know, on my end, we’ve got a farmer’s market in Monroe, Georgia, that we were big fans of. And unfortunately here in October, it’s, uh, it’s coming to the end of this year, season. One of my favorite things I’ve seen my kids do here is, is pick up either a loaf of it, inexpensive, but homemade sourdough bread from the farmer’s market or blueberry pies, or even tomatoes. And then, you know, we’re talking like a four or six bucks spend, right? Nothing, nothing massive. Um, and then take it to the neighbors. You know, it’s just that simple, inexpensive, but a deliberate gesture has, has created some of the coolest conversations. So, but, but whatever you do, I bet you subscribe to this, whatever you choose to do, do something right. And do it deliberately, right.

Monique Russell (42:53):

Do it deliberately. It really is a choice. And you have no idea how it creates that ripple effect, you know, and how, how it impacts that other person there’s people have done it. To me, there’s been days I’ve been out and someone has done a kind thing or it’s, it doesn’t have to be something big and massive kindness is done in the little acts of acknowledging and noticing and communicating. So, yeah,

Scott Luton (43:20):

I’m with you a hundred percent, a hundred percent. And we can talk, we can talk about all these topics for, for hours only. And we have to have you back. Monique. I want to, as we start to kind of come down the homestretch of our conversation here today, we’ve covered a lot of ground, but there’s no shortage of news developments, issues, challenges, leadership, uh, innovations, you name it technology. But what’s one thing in the, in this global business era that we’re navigating through right now, that’s really been on your radar more than others.

Monique Russell (43:51):

Well, you know, I’m, I’m a global leader. So I am looking at the merging or I guess the expansion of a hybrid work, right? So a lot of people are in this space where they want to be entrepreneurs. We have this dual, dual preneur space where you’re working a full-time job and you’re growing a business on the side, which I love, I welcome it. You know, you can change your life with options like that, right? So I’m looking and tracking the ways in which organizations are embracing. Some of, some of them are embracing this and others, not so much because, you know, change takes time. And, and just looking at the dynamics, especially for entrepreneurs who want to play on a much larger scale who want to play on a global scale, the continent of Africa is where a lot of, um, especially Nigeria, Ghana, you see Facebook, you see, you see a lot of companies now swarming the continent, looking for different opportunities and talent and innovation.

Monique Russell (44:57):

And so when I think about a global trend or something, that’s changing, I’m looking at trade policies across the continent, Latin America, the Caribbean, the U us. I’m looking at the barriers. I’m looking at some of the policies that have been recently introduced to make the ease of trade, the sale of goods easier, um, for smaller business owners, this has been an enterprise space primarily, right? You know, this happens all day long every day, but if you, as the smaller medium sized business owner can now tap into opportunities in other countries, how much more jobs can you create? How much more opportunities can you create? How much more philanthropy can you do? So that’s one thing that I’m actually really excited about and looking forward to,

Scott Luton (45:48):

We are too, and on the echo, uh, w we see a lot of that happening globally, but to your point, across Africa and all the many countries that make up the continent of Africa, you know, we’ve seen, um, I don’t, I can’t, I’m not remember the details, but there was a great trade deal that every country with the exception of, uh, Eritrea may have said that wrong yes. Has signed on to. So we’ll see if we can’t get that delegation to default, but that’s going to help

Monique Russell (46:14):

Free trade agreement. Yes.

Scott Luton (46:16):

We hear a lot. We do a, um, a series on supply chain leadership across Africa with our friends and, uh, and Johannesburg at St. Pics. And one of the big lessons learned you want folks, at least what we have found. And what they’ve told us is when folks think of Africa, they think of, of one country just like oftentimes when folks think of United States and think of one country, but it’s 50 states that are very, very different, you know, different, uh, you know, there’s, there’s different policies that govern all those borders, just like an Africa, different all these different countries. And it takes a, I was going to say, it takes a village. It takes a massive effort to put in place the mechanisms that free up the trade in and free up the, the exchanges, whether it’s it’s best practices, marketed, you know, market Intel or products and services themselves.

Scott Luton (47:01):

So that’s a really neat to see, and I completely agree with you based on what we’ve seen from afar and up close with these conversations to innovation and the business opportunities, and the thought leadership coming out of Africa is, is it’s remarkable, intriguing times that we live in. For sure. So, Monique, I can’t let you go, uh, we’re going to ask you, we’re gonna make sure folks know that connect with you, but, but you’re part of your family, your dad’s side. Uh, you mentioned Nigeria and we’ve talked, talked a little bit about food on the front end, but we were talking pre-show about a couple of dishes that your father’s side w if you’re ever, if you’re ever around them, where unions maybe, or maybe whenever you would venture back, you mentioned fufu. So tell us for, for the few folks that may not know, or maybe I’m late to the party, tell us what that is.

Monique Russell (47:50):

So it’s really, it’s yam. It’s like, uh, it’s in the cassava family, it’s a yam and the way that it’s made, it’s made in a way that it’s actually pounded. So it’s with the hot water and you have a mortar and it’s actually pounded, and it gets into this yummy doughy consistency. It’s just a staple and it’s extremely filling and you can eat it with sauces or stews. And I love it. I just absolutely love it. I mean, it’s, it’s not something that is like, oh, so fancy

Scott Luton (48:25):

It’s, you know, bread oftentimes is not fancy, but man, it can really make a meal.

Monique Russell (48:30):

Oh my God. Yes.

Scott Luton (48:32):

Yeah. It sounds like fufu is a, is a, is a very comparable, uh, now, since we, um, I’m trying to figure out what we’ve mentioned, pre show and what we didn’t mention. So I’m going to a salad, conch salad. You knew where I was.

Monique Russell (48:46):

Well, let me not talk about the count solid from The Bahamas.

Scott Luton (48:52):

So whenever you land, you said you asked the first day you got, you got to get Conex salad.

Monique Russell (48:57):

Yeah. I’m actually hoping to get some, I can’t wait. I don’t know what I’m going to get back there, but, uh, I need it. It is something that is, is so refreshing. I literally can just eat that all day.

Scott Luton (49:11):

Well, all right. So beyond that, the, the conch, uh, seafood, uh, itself, what else? Let us, I’m assuming there’s some citrus in there. What else?

Monique Russell (49:21):

Oh yeah, you could make it however you want. So it’s, it’s cut up, you know, it’s, it’s in the shell, you take it out, put the lime and everything on it. You clean it off, you cut it up, you put onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers. You can put some lobster in it. If you want a combination salad and you know, you can put a little pepper, some people put mayonnaise and mix it up and it’s just, it’s so good. It’s so good. Scott. It’s so good.

Scott Luton (49:46):

I’m so glad you brought I’m I’m I’m gonna, um, I know what we’re having for dinner tonight, or we’re going to have a very global cuisine night and it’s going to be delicious, but I really appreciate you coming in and, and, and sharing all that you shared with us and appreciate you having a little bit of fun with me here on the, on the back end, as we talk about food and cuisine, but let’s make sure folks know how to connect with Monique Russell know you’ve got a ton of projects, uh, a business that’s blowing up all kinds of, you know, of course the pilot start with a podcast. So bridge to you really quick. What is the podcast? What’s the main thrust there and where can folks tune it?

Monique Russell (50:21):

Okay. So it’s bridge to you, colon understanding and black unity. And so the whole premise of the podcast is to create diversity and inclusion among black cultures. So cultures in the Caribbean cultures, in Africa, cultures, in the United States and Europe to create understanding diversity and inclusion among black cultures. So I highlight guests who shared their very awakening stories of transformation of how they viewed other cultures. Maybe it wasn’t so positive. And what was the awakening moment for them to shift the way that they saw things or how they interacted with others. So it’s, it’s a show that is really tackling some oftentimes polarizing topics in a very safe and productive way. Wow.

Scott Luton (51:13):

Oh gosh. And, and folks can find that wherever they get their podcasts from, right. That’s right. And that’s bridge to you. And that, that is not Y O U that that’s the letter U and then the, the rest of the podcast is

Monique Russell (51:27):

Understanding and black unity

Scott Luton (51:30):

Of that. Okay. But those sound like some fascinating conversations and I appreciate they are to have them and to have those, what can be challenging conversations, creating that safe space takes a true expert facilitator. And I bet you’ve got that, uh, been truckloads when they clearly,

Monique Russell (51:47):

But a job I’m the best for the job.

Scott Luton (51:51):

All right. Check that out. Let’s um, anything else? Uh, clear communication solutions. Where can folks learn more about that?

Monique Russell (51:58):

Yup. Claire communication You can also reach me on my other website, Monique, but the best place is really just connect with me on LinkedIn. You know, I’m on LinkedIn every week. You can send me a message, you know, just hit the connect button, personalize your invite, let us know that you heard me and Scott chatting and that you love the show. And then let’s keep the conversation going. I love it.

Scott Luton (52:25):

Okay. So much fun, really. I mean, this is one of my favorite topics and I love, I love the altitude at which you have, uh, and you demonstrate your expertise and your perspective on these topics. So, uh, I’m sure, I’m sure folks love to listen to your podcasts, engage with you. I’m sure that’s not a challenge in your, in your world. Let’s um, all right. So folks, you got to connect with Monique Russell, check out her podcast, check out a website, check out what she does, but Nick, it’s a pleasure to have you right here on supply chain. Now where leadership and communication, like all aspects of business and society. Gosh, we need it in droves, in global supply chain, that breakthrough, these massive challenge that we have. And Monique, I think you have, uh, delivered a, a truckload of, of best practices and ideas here today. So thanks so much for your time.

Monique Russell (53:15):

Thank you to Scott. I really enjoyed our conversation today

Scott Luton (53:19):

And that now let’s go get some conch salad and food. You ready? Hey folks. Uh, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. Monique Russell is a pleasure to learn from and to communicate in conversation with, be sure to connect with her. Be sure to check out her firm or podcast, everything she’s got cooking. I promise you will not be disappointed. And if you enjoy these types of conversations, Hey, check us out splotch and Find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from, but most important, most important. If I have one thing that I’d love for you to leave from this, this podcast is do good gift forward. Be the change, be just like Monique Russell and the world would be a better place with that said, we’ll see you next time. Right back here on supply chain. Now. Thanks for [inaudible].

Intro/Outro (54:03):

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

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Featured Guests

Monique Russell is the communications expert you want on your team. She teaches women leaders and teams how to have positive and productive relationships at home and work using effective communications tools and strategies. She is passionate about serving Black and Women Employee Resource Groups, organizations like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, the Centers for Disease Control, Verizon, Intel, Equifax, and the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International, trust Monique to guide them in implementing communication strategies that foster connection, community, creativity, and courage. You can too. Monique has 20 years of experience in the science of Communications and leads Clear Communication Solutions – an international training, coaching, and consulting firm that focuses on confidently communicating from the inside out. She is the author of the Ultimate Speaker’s Guide and the book Intentional Motherhood: Who Said it Would Be Easy, and host of the Bridge to U podcast. Subscribe to the podcast: Bridge to U Visit her website: Connect with Monique on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

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

Donna Krache

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

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

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Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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