Logistics with Purpose
Episode 50

There is no true zero carbon footprint out there. There are things being developed. There are alternative fuel sources being developed. There's sustainable aviation fuel, again, not zero carbon footprint, but certainly reduced. But in the meantime, your shipments are causing carbon emissions. And as Eric, our president, says, you can choose to do nothing, or you can do something.

-Linda Kelly

Episode Summary

400,000 hectares of Amazonian rain forest conserved. 40 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions neutralized. 240 projects in 25 different countries. We could go on, but you get the idea. Carbonfund.org is doing big things by making it easy for businesses to reduce and offset their climate impact through the purchase of carbon offsets. Cohosts Kristi and Monica join Senior Vice President of Programs & Partnerships Linda Kelly to learn more about how offsets work, why they work best in tandem with other emissions reduction efforts, some of the reduction projects the organization supports, recent big wins—and three quick ways for any company to get started on their emissions journey.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (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 (00:34):

Hi, I’m Kristi Porter with vector global logistics, and you are listening to another episode of the logistics with purpose series presented with our partners supply chain now, so thank you. We’re excited to have you join us. We’re excited to have another great conversation today. So we’re really looking forward to this. And today my co-host for the episode is my teammate Monica Roesch. Moni. How are you?

Monica Roesch (00:55):

Hi, Kristi. Doing great. Happy to be here. How about you?

Kristi Porter (01:00):

I am good. We’re coming to the a from three different locations, uh, two different countries. So we’re going to have a great conversation about sustainability, carbon offsets and somebody who knows a heck of a lot more than you or I do. So, um, we’re really thrilled to have Linda Kelly who is the senior vice president of programs and partnerships at carbon fund. Um, welcome Linda. We’re so glad to have you.

Linda Kelly (01:23):

Hi, Kristi. Hi Monica. How are you all? Both.

Kristi Porter (01:26):

We are great. We’ve been looking forward to this conversation.

Linda Kelly (01:29):

Thanks. I have as well.

Kristi Porter (01:30):

Yeah. Um, we are just dipping our toes into carbon offsets and sustainability at vector and thrilled to have you guys as our partners at carbon fund. And so we’re excited to not only us to learn more today, but for everybody out there listening to learn more as well, because I love one of the things that you guys say is easy and affordable. Um, I think those are two great details when you’re talking about carbon offsets and sustainability. I think everybody wants to make a difference, but easy and affordable are two really key aspects to making it simple. But before we jump into carbon offset and carbon fund, um, let’s talk a little bit about you. We wanna learn more about you and your professional life. You have a super interesting background that I’m excited for everybody to hear more about. So tell us, first of all, let’s start with those early years in your background, where are you from? Where’d you grow up and what was your life early life like?

Linda Kelly (02:22):

Okay. That means we’re gonna to go way bad.

Kristi Porter (02:25):

You know, these seem to be the hardest questions for people to answer too.

Linda Kelly (02:29):

I I’m actually currently in the city where I grew up, I grew up in Austin, Texas. Uh, one of six children, um, lived here, you know, all through my growing up years. And it was a wonderful, really a magical time to live in Austin. This is, I’m a old, so this was in the 1960s and seventies and we lived way, we started life way out in the country, down on the lake. Um, and one of the reasons that I’ve ended up at carbon funded in the environmental services field is I, my mother was one of the original environmentalists. And so I have, you know, childhood memories and there were, again, there were six of us, of her taking us to a voluntary recycling center in Austin that she helped to establish in the mid sixties. And we would do things like tie up newspaper with twine and flatten aluminum cans so that they could be recycled at this center.

Linda Kelly (03:21):

So that really was a lot of my, you know, early in influences in life. I, I went to undergraduate in Virginia and had degrees in, in, uh, mathematics and economics, my early career. I lived in Houston and Chicago and Connecticut it right outside New York city and worked in human resources. Outsourcing services also did a stint in, uh, residential mortgages and mortgage back security trading. Uh, and then about 12 years ago, I made a, a very intentional career change. I had moved in Connecticut to ver Vermont where I live on 10 acres in a little log cabin and took the opportunity to go back to graduate school. So I went to back to graduate school at Vermont law school and studied environmental law and policy. And that’s really what brought me into the environmental services field. It’s an area where I had done a lot of my personal volunteer work working with, with organizations that were environmentally focused. And so this was an opportunity to enter as a career. And as soon as I graduated from that program, I joined carbon fund and 11 plus years later here I am.

Kristi Porter (04:33):

Wow. Wow, incredible. You such a unique background. So let me ask you, when growing up, did our Austin art have the keep Austin weird motto?

Linda Kelly (04:43):

It came along, uh, it was a little more true then than, but it certainly, you know, came along in the sixties and seventies. Interestingly, the couple that, uh, really came up with that moniker from Austin subsequently moved to Vermont and I actually sent them one in Vermont. So

Kristi Porter (05:04):

Yeah, the, and, and then I picture of when you say like Vermont, New Hampshire, all of those states, and then the fact that you lived in a log cabin, it’s just so it’s perfect and picture us and exactly what you think of. Um, yeah. That’s I have yet to visit those states, but they’re on my list, especially during the fall, but I’m just picturing a syrup label right now with the log cabin and everything. So, and then I love that early sustainability, uh, background as well. Sounds like it was ingrained from the very beginning.

Monica Roesch (05:33):

Yeah, that’s awesome. And you know, a lot of places and have done tons of things from mats to environmental stuff. So why, wow. And I wanted to ask you, uh, if there’s another like specific story or lesson from your childhood that has shaped you to who you are today and what you’re doing now. I mean, I know that your mom inspired you a lot since you were a child from what you just told us that, is there anyone else who inspired you or another story that you’d like to share with us about your childhood?

Linda Kelly (06:08):

Well, you know, again, my childhood was very much focused on being outdoors. You know, when you grow up in, in Texas, a place that’s so warm most of the year and we lived on the lake. So we did a lot of swimming and water skiing and fishing and those types of things. Um,

Monica Roesch (06:26):

15

Linda Kelly (06:26):

Fascinating grandmother on my father’s side, my grandmother is one of 12 and actually grew up most of her years in a ranch near, um, son, Louis POI in Mexico, where my great grandparents raised their 12 children. So my grandmother really grew up in that part of Mexico, again, very much in, in the outdoor living and outdoor setting. Uh, she later went to college in Texas, met my grandfather, they married. And then my, my grandfather was transferred to Mexico city to open the first Chevrolet dealership. So my father moved there when he was two. And my grandparents lived in COIA con, which is a, a sub, well, it used to be a suburb of way south of Mexico city. Now it’s in this

Monica Roesch (07:14):

Now

Linda Kelly (07:15):

Again, very much, you know, living on a ha with horses and, and very much an outdoor focus. So I really think I had that my entire life, a very close connection with being outdoors, being in nature. My mother was a big birder and still is, and has been her whole life. And so that, that really does draw you out into nature. And I think that made me interested in conserving and protecting our natural environment. Yeah.

Monica Roesch (07:45):

Especially when you know, like outdoors in different countries. Uh, well I know San Louis POI and Mexico city and Kohan is just beautiful. It’s no way in the outside of the city now that it’s beautiful to go for walks and be different cafes parks and Sal Louis Poti has LA, which probably, you know, it’s full of different, uh, trails and hacks and a lot of waterfalls lakes, beautiful, like tur, um, wire. It’s just amazing. And then that you go back to the us and you have like all of these mix of getting different outdoors in different countries. It’s just amazing that you, that you’re doing what you do now. So, wow.

Kristi Porter (08:34):

Sounds like you definitely prefer, uh, picturesque environments though, so good for you.

Linda Kelly (08:39):

Yeah. Yeah. And again, it, one of the nice things about carbon fund and something that, that our team that we all agree on, you know, we wake up each day and feel like we’re helping.

Kristi Porter (08:49):

Yeah.

Linda Kelly (08:50):

We’re doing something positive, isn’t it?

Kristi Porter (08:52):

Yeah. Well, before we jump further into carbon fund, um, let’s, you mentioned a few of your previous jobs, um, and careers before joining the carbon fund staff. So, and they spanned quite a wide variety of industries as well. So how did you kind of navigate one to the other? What took you on that path?

Linda Kelly (09:11):

You know, some of it was relocating with my husband was moving for his job. And so I often had was the, what we used to call the trailing spouse, but I was the one who typically had to change careers. Um, so, you know, some of it was just kind of luck and timing. Oh. But I had a pretty broad background with underpinnings of mathematics and economics. And so it was pretty easy to, um, pervade those skills into different industries

Kristi Porter (09:40):

And why math and economics, I ask as someone who is really challenged in both of those areas. So how did you end up pursuing those two studies?

Linda Kelly (09:49):

Well, I, my undergraduate degree was at a liberal arts college. And so that was to me, the most business oriented degrees that I could pursue. And, and it turned out to be, you know, very beneficial. I, I still use those skills very much today with carbon plant. We do a lot of calculations of carbon emissions. So, you know, those, the mathematics skills do come into play.

Monica Roesch (10:14):

Wow. Yeah. And going back, uh, you mentioned that you have a masters of environmental law and policy. Uh, so after being in math and all this economic stuff, what made you want to pursue this advanced degree and what are some lessons that are very important that you learned as a result of this?

Linda Kelly (10:36):

Yes, again, and it was a very intentional desire to change industries. And so I knew while I had lots of good business background, I didn’t have the academic training in environmental services or environmental policy. And part of it was, I was living in Vermont and Vermont law school offered this master’s program. It’s a one year master’s program. So it was a fairly simple program to pursue. Uh, and it, and I got to go back to campus as a 50 year old, which was a lot of fun. And wow, you know, spent a lot of time getting to know my professors because it’s a fairly small campus, but the train was very much focused on, you know, various governmental regulations in the United States, in other countries, you know, environmental protection agencies, regulations, and how those regulations get enacted once laws are passed. So it was very good training in very kind of broad, but practical ask of what goes on in the environmental services industry. And again has definitely helped me in my work at carbon fund.

Kristi Porter (11:48):

Yeah. So you’ve been at car. I mean, it sounds like definitely carbon fund is the culmination of all these years of study and practical experience and family experience. So how did you find them? How did you end up there and what have the last, uh, I guess 11 years you said, what, what has that been like, especially as that industry, the sustainability movement, carbon offsets, everything has changed dramatically, especially as far as awareness over the last decade, what is, what was that journey and experience like? And, um, what has the last decade been?

Linda Kelly (12:20):

Yeah. And so I found carbon fund just through a job posting, oh, not know the organization, nor did they know me. So there was no referral or anything. It was just kind of a, a cold job posting back when you could still do that.

Kristi Porter (12:32):

Yes.

Linda Kelly (12:33):

And once I joined the organization, it was very much just on the job learning. Yeah. Talking those first few months. I definitely remember every time I went to pick up the phone to call one of the businesses that worked with us, I thought, okay, you know, I don’t know what kind of questions I’m gonna get or whether I can answer them, but it was very much on the job training, understanding why companies are making these decisions. And the work that we do is pretty much exclusively in the voluntary

Kristi Porter (13:05):

Yeah.

Linda Kelly (13:05):

Carbon offset or carbon neutrality space. So we’re not dealing with businesses and organizations that are required, right. By any kind of regulations to make these choices, to pursue carbon emission reduction in their business operations and to pursue carbon neutrality for some of those emissions, this is strictly something that businesses are doing out of a sense of obligation to the environment out of priorities that match their own business ethic and goals. And also as a marketing tool to appeal to their clients, their customers, their own employees, their stakeholders, their investors. And I think that’s really been one of the most gratifying developments to less with, to experience over the past decade plus is that that movement is just continuing to grow. Yeah. And it’s continuing to strengthen. I mean, I, I feel that the chief sustainability officer position at a company or anything to that equivalent, that’s like the Csuite job of the 2010s and 2020s. And, and hopefully continuing just the way, you know, chief technology officer was around the, the entry into the two thousands. So that emphasis and the importance of having an environmental sustainability program within a company of any size of any industry has really, uh, continue to strengthen and grow and has really supported our work and our efforts.

Kristi Porter (14:42):

Yeah. And those who are not familiar, let’s give, um, as we had to do for ourselves a little bit, can you give us just a carbon offsets 1 0 1 and kind of just tell us a little more about the mission and process, um, that happens over at carbon fund.

Linda Kelly (14:57):

Sure. Do you want me to start with just a general overview of

Kristi Porter (15:00):

The let’s do it. Yeah.

Linda Kelly (15:01):

And then I’ll talk a little more about, about carbon credits

Kristi Porter (15:05):

Sounds

Linda Kelly (15:05):

Carbon fund.org foundation, and then a half you’re all 5 0 1 C3 environ, nonprofit. We were founded by Eric and Leslie Carlson, a husband and wife team that were working in us, governmental energy efficiency area, and really had the vision to create an organization that would make it very simple and very affordable for businesses, organizations in institutions, foundations, and individuals from any industry, any location in the world, any size to work with us, to understand their carbon footprint assess their carbon emissions from various operations, pursue ways to reduce those emissions, very important stuff. And then for those companies that want to do more are that want to be able to make a claim of operational carbon neutrality in some part of their business or across all of their operations, they can make donations to carbon fund. And we use those donations to support third party validated and verified voluntary carbon off to projects around the world that have gone through very strict reviews in order to be established to international requirements and maintain their operations to those requirements.

Linda Kelly (16:23):

We use those donations to purchase from those validated projects, their verified carbon offsets in the same quantity as the missions that the business or the donor is looking to neutralize. And we purchase those credits, all of which have their own unique serial numbers. And then we retire those serial numbers on the registry, the public registry that the standard for the project maintained. So that those mission reductions that project has achieved are used. They’re permanently retired from the marketplace. And so what is that really doing? What does that really mean? If a business comes to us and they’re shipping goods, and they’ve got a hundred metric tons of carbonide emissions that we can calculate as a, with those shipping, the shipping of those goods, the sea shipments, the ground shipments, the rail shipments, whatever the source is. And they want to be able to say, we’ve, we’ve neutralized the negative environmental impact of causing those 100 metric, tons of carbon and docks that emissions to be released into the air.

Linda Kelly (17:34):

They make your donation to carbon fund. We go to a project like a wind energy project in India, or a small hydroelectric project in Chile. That’s producing electricity through hydroelectric needs rather than coal or a rainforest conservation project in Brazil. That’s present preventing rainforest from being clear, cut for agriculture or livestock grazing, and instead are protecting and improving the health of that forested land. All of those projects are doing something to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions go into the air. And those projects that go through this process to be validated and verified as a voluntary carbon offset project, then are able to unitize those quantities of emission reductions. And they are units of metric tons that simply the, the, and if it’s used globally and they’re issued serial numbers and they’re able to sell those carbon credits. And that’s how that project gets its funding to go forward and to continue to operate it. It is funded by the sale of those credits. So the emissions caused by the company in one location are effectively neutralized by the reductions in emissions created by the project. That is that through its activities is reducing carbon dioxide emissions. That’s kinda the, the simplest way I can put it. Yeah.

Kristi Porter (19:04):

And carbon fund was one of the original carbon offset organizations launched. Isn’t that correct? Where

Linda Kelly (19:10):

We’re one of the earliest and certainly one of the earliest that that is a non non for profit.

Kristi Porter (19:15):

Okay. That was, yeah. I was also gonna ask kind of, now that we have seen, of course, especially over the last two decades, more, uh, organizations like this, bring up what continues to be a differentiator for carbon fund. We researched multiple options before we landed with you guys really loved what you were up to, but from your perspective, I’ll also let you Mark A. Little bit as well. So tell us a little bit more about, um, yeah, just the, the differentiator that, um, you know, why people like us come to people like you. Sure.

Linda Kelly (19:47):

And so I certainly, I think the fact that we are a nonprofit organization is a D differentiator of all of our financials are on our website and readily available. So we have a very transparent operation. We’re also rated by organizations that evaluate charities, like guide star and charity navigator, and we maintain the highest ratings for the highest level of transparency with the, those organizations. So the nonprofit status is certainly one feature. The fact that we’ve been around for 18 and a half years.

Kristi Porter (20:19):

Yes. Yeah.

Linda Kelly (20:20):

Got so much experience in this industry. We are a lean team. We’re a small team and we’re a highly tenured team. There’s, there’s only seven of us.

Kristi Porter (20:30):

Okay. Wow.

Linda Kelly (20:31):

Two employees join last March. Oh, the first two hires we’d had in 10, the other five of us. Of course, Eric has been here since the beginning, but the other five of us have been here 11 plus years. So we are a highly tenured staff. We all have graduate degrees in our very, our respective fields. Uh, so we’re highly tenured and highly trained. Yeah. At what we do. Um, if Eric was sitting this chair, he would also tell you that he is a stickler for excellent customer service. And so we are extremely responsive to, it is very rare that you won’t hear back from one of us within a couple of hours of sending a note or an inquiry. So we are highly responsive. Quite often, we get an inquiry from an organization and we respond and they tell us, wow. You know, you’re the first person that answered us. And we, that’s definitely part of our focus. It’s also part of an environmental organization’s mission.

Monica Roesch (21:28):

Yeah. That’s, that’s just great. And I want to, well, there are two things that you have mentioned that I would like to go back to. Sure. First, the last one, I mean, this proves you being only seven people for 18 and a half years doing this amazing year. It, that we can make a lot of difference and impact positive impact in the world on our own. Or even if we’re not a very big organization of, if we don’t have like a ton of people that is joining, but the seats are very important. And like, if we join airports, even if it’s just a small out of people together with the, with consistancy and more time, we can make a lot of good impacts. So congratulations and having such a great team, doing all of this great work for all these years and, and being a, a high quality team and high responsive.

Monica Roesch (22:25):

And also, I wanted to tell you, you were, are mentioning that one of the, the things that you like is that, um, there are companies that are trying to work with you because of their own ethics. And because they’re trying to do something good, not because they’re obligated to, and that’s actually one of the reasons why we decided to, to partner with you, you guys, because we are trying to make well, we, we are in the logistics industry and we’re trying to make a good impact with our logistics, uh, logistics with purpose. So that’s one of the main reasons that we partner with you. Um, only, well, we have been working together only for a couple months now, but I also remember when I was doing this research of different of setting companies. Uh, and I found you, yeah, you were very, very responsive because I spent a lot of time trying to reach to others and didn’t get, um, response, but you guys answered all of my questions and send me some material to read and to underst, and even to look at, um, of the different projects that you were doing in different parts of the world.

Monica Roesch (23:36):

And that’s just amazing because you are neutralizing the, um, co two tos in a lot of different parts of the, of the world. And that’s great. It again, proves that you can make a lot of impact from anywhere. So, well, sorry. I’m just so happy about this and so excited. Yeah.

Linda Kelly (24:00):

I’ve done a good job. Yeah,

Linda Kelly (24:02):

We we’re so appreciative of companies live vector global logistics that chooses to work with us. And just to give you kind of a summary of what we’ve accomplished together with all of our donors and business partners, we’ve worked with about 3,300 different businesses, organizations, institutions, we’ve received donations from about 750,000 individuals in our history. Those donations have done more than just carbon offset projects, but that’s about 70% probably of what we do is support carbon offset projects to date, we’ve supported 240 different projects in 25 different countries. Wow. Across all types, energy efficiency, renewable energy land and force conservation reforestation projects together with our donors and supporters. We’ve neutralized about 40 billion pounds or 18 million metric, tons of carbon dioxide emissions by supporting these projects and what they’re accomplishing. So it’s a team effort.

Monica Roesch (24:59):

Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, we are still learning because we’re in the first stages of working with you guys. So I wanted to ask you what have been some of the biggest challenges and misconceptions of getting more companies involved with your work? Well,

Linda Kelly (25:17):

You know, there’s, if you read the news, if you paid attention to the cop 23 last fall, there certainly are two sides of the fall thought process about carbon offset. One thought process is this is letting companies off the hook. This is allowing companies not to do anything about their own operational missions. They can just go out and buy carbon offsets and get off the hook. The other side would be the side. The position that we take, which is carbon offsets and carbon offset projects are not the answer to the negative impact of climate change on our world, on our environment. But they are part of the solution. And our organization’s motto is reduce what you can offset, what you cannot offset, what you can’t. And we stand by that. So we do require companies to be making steps, to reduce their emissions. Most companies that come to us already are working on that.

Linda Kelly (26:17):

And so we, we always say, we want to be last. We want you to work really hard to look for alternative operations within your business, that will reduce your carbon footprint before you start looking to purchase carbon credits in order to neutralize remaining emissions. So we really do wanna deal with what currently. So currently when you ship products, there is no zero true zero carbon footprint option out there. There are things being developed. There are alternative fuel sources being developed. There’s sustainable aviation fuel, again, not zero carbon footprint, but certainly reduced. But in the meantime, your shipments are causing carbon di emissions. And as Eric, our president says, you can choose to do nothing, or you can do something. And so by supporting carbon reduction projects, you are doing something you are helping those projects. Again, projects that go through these direct validation and verification requirements have to prove that they will be dependent upon the funding that they get from carbon selling carbon credits or the project would not go full. So that’s really the other side. I don’t think anybody in the carbon offsets industry or any project developer would claim that they have the answer, but we all believe that we’re part of the solution.

Kristi Porter (27:50):

I love them. Yeah. I love it too. Yeah. And you mentioned, uh, it all the great things that your partners along with the, your team have accomplished. So wanted to also give you an opportunity to give a shout out. Can you give us a few name of the companies that have joined this effort? I know there’s a lot of really recognizable ones. And then, um, I also know that it, you know, tell us a little bit more why you mentioned a little bit earlier and maybe you can expand on it a little bit. Why individuals and companies, why they’re joined, you know, I, I would assume interest has skyrocketed over the last 10 years since you’ve joined. So what is that interest? So who are a few of your great partners that you’re working with and why do you think interest has skyrocketed over the last couple of years?

Linda Kelly (28:32):

Well, we’ve, again, we’ve worked with an awful lot of organizations, so I’m just gonna pull some off the top of my head. Uh, so for instance, we work with Amazon on their climate pledge friendly initiative, which is they product level carbon neutrality program where our certification that a product itself has fully neutralized its carbon footprint is one of the sustainability certifications that Amazon rec recognizes. For many years. We’ve worked with some big names in the transportation industry. We with Amtrak and jet blue for 10, 12 years, and jet blue has been a real leader in neutralizing, you know, fuel consumption for all of its us domestic joint. Wow. Just as an example, um, we’ve worked with Bristol Meers, squid. We’ve worked with, um, Dell work with Motorola. We work with, uh, financial investment firms, like the Carlisle group within your industry. We work, we are very proud to work with vector global with this logistics, but we work with ch Robinson and we work with convoy and we work with Flexport it and we work with flock fleet. So there, there has been more interest yeah. In the logistics industry over the last few years, we also work with, you know, a one person entrepreneur yeah. That offers a consulting service or has created their own product. So we work with businesses of all sizes from, you know, all corners of the world.

Kristi Porter (30:08):

Yeah. I love that. It’s easy to see on your website. I, to be honest, I would never have thought as an individual of going to your website and looking at carbon offset. So I was really surprised and excited to see that, that, you know, as one person you should, knowing how you can make a difference, how you can offset, how you can calculate. Um, and it’s really easily broken up on your website as well. Like, are you under 20 people? Are you under this many people? Um, do you wanna offset your company’s travel in addition to shipments or anything like that? So it’s a really, there were a lot of really fantastic tools on there. And, um, as you said, the original vision was also to make it, uh, easy, accessible, and as money pointed out, one person can certainly make a difference. And it’s very easy to figure out what your impact is and how to take that step in doing something about it. So congratulations on, um, one of the reasons that a great process,

Linda Kelly (30:59):

Sorry, one of the reasons we offer all those options is we try to make the company where they are

Kristi Porter (31:03):

Yeah.

Linda Kelly (31:04):

Own sustainability journey. So we don’t demand or require that you join at certain levels. There are different program benefits sure. That we offer, depending upon the level of carbon neutrality that a company is seeking, but we, we will meet a company wherever they are in the journey. And one of the reasons we’ve had such long term partnership relationships is we just continue to progress with you on that journey. Um, I would like if I made to bounce back to another differentiator, this is something that we didn’t didn’t really come up previously. But another reason that I think a lot of businesses choose to work with us is that we not only support work carbon credits and source them from projects where we have no direct involvement, but our team also has always been in the project development area. So in our early years, we helped create some forest conservation projects in the United States. More recently, over the past eight to 12 years, our team has worked with local environmentalists, local landowners in Brazil, in the Western state of ocre Brazil, a long tributaries to the Amazon river to confirm conserve rain, forested lands there. So we’ve helped to create and establish

Kristi Porter (32:23):

Yeah, these

Linda Kelly (32:24):

Projects that are reducing carbon dioxide emissions by avoiding the destruction and the degradation of critical Amazonian rainforest. Obviously not only because the Amazon rainforest is the lungs of the earth referred to as the lungs of the earth with its carbon dioxide sequestration, but it’s also the richest area in on the earth for biodiversity and flora and fauna. And when you’re protecting rainforest land, you’re protecting habitat where the creatures that live there, we’ve also worked with the local communities that live on the, as lands and built schools and provided, uh, sustainable agricultural training courses and employed some of the local, uh, villagers into the projects and provided medical care. So there’s also, when you’re dealing with forest conservation based projects, there’s also a lot you can do for the surrounding community itself. So that expertise, the fact that we are also project developers and our team has written thousands of pages of the reports and documentation, you have to submit, get validated and to go through the annual or bi-annual verifications to prove that the project is still doing what it’s supposed to be doing. And, and the third party inspections and monitoring reports. So we we’re on both sides of the table, if you will. Yeah, we can, we can determine that a project is of high quality in doing the right thing, because we know how to read and review those documents, which we’ve written for our own projects. So that’s also a, I think, a, a big differentiator and, and an important part of our expertise.

Monica Roesch (34:02):

Yes, that’s great. And well, I was just about to ask you about some wins that you have, um, had from your work, but you kind of win that question

Linda Kelly (34:15):

Win. Yeah. The seven 50,000 acres, about 400,000 HEC of Amazonian rainforest is a big win.

Monica Roesch (34:23):

Yeah, definitely. That’s, that’s just awesome. I love to visit the Amazon’s sometime it’s on my bucket list. So I I’m, I’m really glad to have more knowledge for when I visit, but besides the Amazonian project that is huge and amazing. What is another, uh, project that you would consider like a, win, a very big win for what you’re doing?

Linda Kelly (34:49):

You know, there’s, there’s a lot of projects around the country that we’ve supported on the, on an ongoing basis. So we’ve seen projects that for instance, in the United States projects that are based on a, a landfill that then decides to establish itself as a methane gas capture project, and they have to install the piping and the equipment that’s used, suck that gas down out of the landfill. So we work with projects that have done just that step and others that then go, so the next step and capture that methane gas, run it through scrubbers and processors into a generator and generate electricity.

Monica Roesch (35:31):

Wow.

Linda Kelly (35:32):

And others that have gone even another step further and installed bio digesters that receive food production waste. Wow. So in addition to the methane gas, they’re capturing landfill, they’re able to receive additional food production waste like slurry from a tomato packaging company. That’s cool. I

Monica Roesch (35:55):

Will have never, no, imagine that.

Linda Kelly (35:58):

So it’s, it’s when we work with these projects kind of year over year, it’s interesting to watch them evolve. Yeah. Uh, a lot of the forest conservation projects in the United States are what’s considered improved forestry management projects. And so they’re implementing new techniques that improve the don’t just conserve the land, but they prove the help of the land. And so they’re clearing invasive speech and they’re doing strategic timbering to open up the canopy of a forested land to allow more trees to grow. I mean, sometimes you do have to call out the older trees that may be in poor or health in order to allow more trees to grow. So it’s, it’s been very gratifying to watch those types of projects that are actually increasing the carbon dioxide sequestration of that forested land, because they’re improving the health of that land. Um, a lot of people have heard about things like the efficient cooks stove projects that we see across African countries and some countries in Asian, some countries in central America that are bringing a new technology to an area that’s had a very traditional lifestyle of heating and cooking over an open fire gathering, fire wood, burning firewood, releasing carbon dioxide emissions, not to mention creating caustic, smoky environment for that family.

Linda Kelly (37:29):

Yeah. Just, you know, impeding lung health and vision health, et cetera, because of burning woods and bringing these if efficient cook stoves into those communities so that they have an alternative method. Now, there are other projects that have actually developed technologies that make it really, really simple to take available water from streams and rivers and lakes that might otherwise not be completely potable, not be completely to drink, but through very simple filtration technologies delivered those equipments to communities that’s vastly improved the health of that community, not wheeling that water and reducing the carbon di at emissions through burning wood and they’re instead using these filtration cross. So it it’s very, uh, rewarding to work with these new concept and these new ideas right now in the marketplace. There’s a lot of conversation about carbon removal projects. Most of these are still very much under development, but there are technologies that are being developed that hopefully will figure out how to literally suck carbon dioxide emissions out of the air. Other projects that are looking at permanent sequestration by pumping those emissions underground. Not so sure about that one myself we’re watching the development. There are projects that are helping, uh, small land owners and farmers look at regenerative agricultural methods and how those can become carbon offset projects. There are projects that are considered blue carbon that are more focused on or shore based conservation of mangroves or Pete Moss, et cetera. So there’s a lot that’s continuing to develop in the marketplace, which again is very exciting.

Kristi Porter (39:27):

Do you have, um, since companies get to choose the types of projects they invest in, have you seen any trends for the types of projects people are most interested in right now or the areas geographically? Either?

Linda Kelly (39:40):

Yeah, that really depends on each company. Okay. So often a company is matching that to other aspects of its mission or its goal or its ethos. And so if a company sources, products from a certain force of the world, they may choose to support renewable energy projects in that part of the world. If they are a, um, food beverage company, that’s very plant focused, then they may be more interested in forest conservation or reforestation projects. If it’s an industrial technologies company, then they may really wanna focus on some of those newly created technology that are doing the same work using less fossil fuel or creating pure emissions. So it really does vary quite widely. The challenge that, that we have is that voluntary carbon offset, mark, uh, projects are not on every corner of, so we have a lot of companies that say, we want something in our backyard and we have to say, there’s nothing in your backyard,

Kristi Porter (40:44):

In your backyard. Yeah.

Linda Kelly (40:45):

So we have to say, instead of that, you know, what about this option? So that is a big part of what our team does is constantly work with the project developers, the project owners, the project marketing firms that we know, and the business partners and new businesses who come to us with their choices and preferences and have to, we have to try to aggregate all those donations, match them up with the available projects and their available inventory and try to get the best price both for the project and for the business partner.

Kristi Porter (41:19):

Yeah. So you’re little eco matchmakers. Yes.

Linda Kelly (41:22):

Yeah, we are.

Kristi Porter (41:24):

Um, so we talked a little bit about the past in your past as well. We talked a lot about the present, but I’d love to hear you have such a unique background, not only educationally, but experience wise, and then having been in this industry and seen it explode over the past decade. So I’d love to hear either trends you think are coming down the pipeline for the future. Maybe what you’re hopeful for, but looking ahead, what is it, what is it you see or maybe even want to see?

Linda Kelly (41:50):

Well, again, I think we’re very excited by out some of the new areas for project development,

Kristi Porter (41:56):

Creative. So

Linda Kelly (41:56):

Expansion of both the available number of projects and inventory projects, but also the type of projects. There are a lot of new, well, not new, but, but newer, let’s say, um, sustainability efforts that are focused on things like nature based solutions and net zero emissions. And so there’s a lot of emphasis on not just carbon dioxide avoidance or reduction, but on true removal. And so again, this is where new reforestation AF oration projects, which take years to establish and have some risks. The project has to has to thrive. It has to avoid natural disasters in order to thrive. And it takes five to 10 years for that project to get going. So some of these newer technologies, again, some of the carbon removal strategies that we talked about, some of the, uh, I’m very excited about some of the projects that are geared to smaller tracks of land for private land owners to continue to be able to conserve their 20 or 50 or a hundred acres of land by again, employing improved forest management to increase the carbon dioxide sequestration of those smaller tracks of land.

Linda Kelly (43:15):

Um, as well as things that farmers can do, regenerative agriculture methods. So a lot of those new trends we think are very exciting. They’re all needing to get through some processes. There are new standards, new verification programs that are being established for these newer technologies. So it’s a little bit of a race. Yeah. Can the, can the international standards come up with best practices for these newly developing options and strategies for carbon emissions, removals reduction rations? So that’s certainly an exciting trend. I think continuing the spread of the emphasis on business operational sustainability is very important. And again, I’ll, I look to your industry, the logistics industry, clearly, you know, you’re, you’re an industry that that does kind of work as a group. Yeah. Know that, that there’s been an awful lot of logistic companies that have come into wanting to make these programs available to your client. So not leading it to your client to figure out right, but creating a program, then you can offer to your clients.

Kristi Porter (44:28):

I tell you about that too. You’ve mentioned a couple of times right now, of course, offsets are optional. Do you foresee a time when it is not optional? When it will be a requirement, people should go ahead and start taking those steps. Of course, we recommend that anyway, but just curious, see optional being left on the table, or you think things will change.

Linda Kelly (44:48):

You know, we, we continue to hope. Yeah. That various countries will pursue some federally regulated, uh, carbon emission reduction strategies, including the United States. So we know those discussions are still underway. When I was going through my graduate program in 2009 and 10, there was a lot, there were a couple of different bills about carbon cap and trade programs and carbon emission, uh, ceiling and reduction programs. And those did not make it through us legislation, but we know that those conversations continue. And so we certainly hope so. And yes, it’s going to behoove a company to begin their journey. Uh, what concern me the most, a few years ago was we started seeing a lot of companies and I’ll use a American football analogy. Do what I consider throwing the flag down the field and saying we’ve committed to be being carbon neutral by 2050.

Kristi Porter (45:49):

Yeah.

Linda Kelly (45:50):

Okay. That’s great. But if you don’t start today in your reduction strategies and in identifying areas that you can’t reduce, that you need to neutralize now, so that you put into place the discipline and the budget, you’re gonna wake up, it’s gonna be 2050 and yeah, it will be unachievable. So we do love to see company he’s taking these steps and beginning this process. Again, another reason that what the logistics industry and what companies like vector global logistics is doing is so important because you’re giving your clients that step. You know, you’re, you’re saying at the moment, we’ve reduced as much as we can through energy efficient vehicles and fuel cetera, and the best rooting and the best logistics management, we’re still emitting. And so here is our way to help you yeah. Neutralize those emissions so that, you know, that’s, that’s a very important step.

Monica Roesch (46:46):

Yeah, it definitely is. And Linda, we’re getting to the end of this episode, but before we go, uh, I have two more questions first. Uh, if some of our listeners wanted to volunteer with you, cuz there’s a lot of reasons to reach out to you and to connect, uh, for taking the first steps, uh, to working with carbon fund as a company, but also for trying to volunteering the areas, for example, in the Amazons or te or other places where you’re doing great stuff even here in Mexico. So if anyone wanted to volunteer, is that possible? And how would they do it?

Linda Kelly (47:27):

Yeah. So we get this question a lot, um, with a lot of environmental nonprofit organizations, there are great volunteer opportunities. For instance, we support tree planting projects, but the projects we support, we do not run. There are other organizations and these are huge scale projects. Um, let’s take the Amazon. For example, our team just got back from three weeks in the Amazon about two weeks ago, it’s first time they were able to go there in two years. This is, you know, a flight, a Jeep ride, a dugout wooden canoe, uh, hip high rubber venomous snake boots. Wow. This trip up, I think every single member of the trip either got injured or became ill. So I mean, this is not easy. This is the jungle.

Monica Roesch (48:18):

Yeah, yeah.

Linda Kelly (48:20):

Gone. So it’s frankly, it’s usually not very possible to volunteer onsite. The other example would be either one of those, nothing, uh, landfill gas capture projects I mentioned, or a wind energy farm. Those are commercial operations. You know, if you’ve ever had a volunteer come into your organization, spend more time keeping them out of harm’s way than you do. Yeah.

Linda Kelly (48:47):

So frankly, it’s not usually possible to do any onsite volunteering with a voluntary carbon offset project because of the size scope, scale type and location of these projects. What we work with companies to do quite often is to create challenges within their workforce. And so come up with certain goals that your workforce can and implement and challenge each other on reducing the amount of paper that you’re using in the office, reducing the, the number of times that you drive that you commute to the office rather than Walker ride or take public transit or ride a bike. So we, we can help companies come up with those kinds of internal challenges, which frankly in some ways are more effect because that’s, that can make lasting impacts and changes within a company’s own operation. And then they can use those reductions to raise funds, to donate to one of the carbon offset projects. So that’s, that’s more often the type of volunteer activity that we help with.

Monica Roesch (49:50):

Good. That’s the are interesting. Yeah. Also, and so hard to do it and well, so hard to go to the different places as you mentioned. I, I, that was not in my mind.

Linda Kelly (50:03):

Yeah. There’s a lot of logistics involved when you, when you’re looking at forest conservation.

Monica Roesch (50:08):

Yeah. And well, how can our listeners connect to you? And well, of course take their first steps with carbon fund as a company or as an entrepreneur.

Linda Kelly (50:18):

Yeah. I mean, they certainly can contact me directly. We have a website with various ways to get in touch with us. And as I said, we’re more than happy to talk with any business, any organization about their journey in sustainability and really help find their be best path and best starting point. So I don’t know whether you wanna want me to say my email address or you simply wanna provide it as part of the,

Kristi Porter (50:44):

We’ll put it in the notes, but everybody can of course go to carbon fund.org and it’s, their website is extremely nav, easy to navigate and Linda’s info is right there.

Linda Kelly (50:53):

Yeah. And we’ve gotta contact us page where you can tell us sort of the subject that you’re interested in and that gets rooted to the, to the correct. One of us to get back in touch with you

Kristi Porter (51:03):

And then curious as well, just as we wrap up here, we’ve talked about lot of different ways. I love that you brainstorm with companies to figure out how to create change, um, for their teams internally and, and create behavior change as well. Often people want to do something, um, but they don’t know what to do. It’s overwhelming if you, especially, if you have a large company or a large workforce, um, you have lots of business goals. How, what is a good small first step for somebody to, for one of our, our listeners to take, as they’re thinking about, um, all the ways they can help, should help want to help, but what is kind of the most practical, actionable advice you’d give somebody to get started? And

Linda Kelly (51:44):

So again, we’re talking about a company. Sure.

Linda Kelly (51:47):

Yeah. So again, for companies, the first, I think the first step is to, to understand your own operations and where you’re causing carbon dioxide emissions to occur. So anywhere that you’re using a fossil fuel, you’re causing carbon di emissions to occur, you are you own, or you lease or you rent office space, that’s single electricity and heating fuel of some sort. So there’s one place that you could identify your missions. Your employees are normally commuting to the office and locked in business, traveling again until the technology provides us with zero carbon footprint travel, that’s creating travel emissions, your shipping products, products are being shipped to you that you’re using or products are being shipped to you as part of your manufacturing process and then your shipping out product products. And so again, this is where your, your global logistics firm comes into play, but until we completely neutralize emissions associated with product shipments, that’s an area yeah. That you can focus on. So those, those are probably the three biggest, easiest

Kristi Porter (52:57):

Yeah.

Linda Kelly (52:57):

Areas for any company to approach.

Kristi Porter (52:59):

Perfect. Yep. And there are calculators on your website that again, make everything really easy to use and easy to figure out. Um, thank you so much for your time, Linda. This has been great. I know money and I probably learned a lot just sitting here for the last hour listening. Uh, you certainly have a breadth of experience and we’re, uh, we love partnering with you guys. We’re excited to keep it going further and keep educating ourselves, our team, um, our clients on how they can get involved. But thank you for all the terrific work you’re doing. We are so appreciative. And thank you so much for joining us today.

Linda Kelly (53:30):

Right? Well, thank you both for hosting this. I really appreciate it. And I guess since this is airing in April earth month,

Kristi Porter (53:36):

Yes.

Linda Kelly (53:37):

Wonderful time to get started if you haven’t gotten started yet.

Kristi Porter (53:40):

Absolutely. There’s no better time. Well, thank you. And thank you for everybody for listening or tuning in. Um, if you enjoy the logistics with purpose episodes, then be sure to hit subscribe and we’ll have another great conversation for you soon. Thanks so much.

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Featured Guests

Linda Kelly is a business development and partner management professional with over 40 years of experience in developing and growing partnerships that result in long-term relationships and expanded revenue results. At Carbonfund.org, Linda develops and maintains business partnerships to expand the organization’s relationships and revenues supporting their portfolio of carbon emissions offset projects. She works with business partners of all sizes to ensure that Carbonfund.org’s programs meet the climate change mitigation and sustainability objectives of partners. Linda also manages the Certified Carbonfree® Products Program, which is part of the Amazon Climate Pledge Friendly Initiative. Linda holds a Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School, magna cum laude, as well as undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and in Economics. She has held previous business development and client relationship management positions with major financial services and global human resources consulting firms. A native of Austin, Texas, Linda is an active member of various environmental and community organizations in her Central Vermont community. Connect with Linda on LinkedIn.

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.

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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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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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.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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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.

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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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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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Greg White

Principal, 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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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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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. 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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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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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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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

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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Ben Harris

Host

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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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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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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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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. 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).

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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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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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