Supply Chain Now
Episode 763

As a newer entrepreneur, sometimes it feels like you're shouting into the void. And I think being a woman in manufacturing, no matter your role, sometimes we feel like we're one of very few.

- Stacey Schroeder, President and Founder of EVelop

Episode Summary

Although manufacturing has come a long way on the diversity front, women still represent a minority of the leaders and entrepreneurs in the industry. It is therefore all the more important for organizations like ‘Women in Manufacturing’ to hold educational and networking events so that women can connect with others in the field to lear from their experiences and career journeys.Stacey Schroeder is the President and Founder of EVelop, and Coral Huffmaster is a Value Improvement Project Engineer at Polaris Industries. Both are heavily involved in the Women in Manufacturing organization regionally and at the national level as well. They joined Scott Luton and special guest host Allison Giddens, President of Win-Tech, for this episode to share their key takeaways from the 2021 Women in Manufacturing summit.Of particular importance are Stacey and Coral’s observations and comments about:– Why it is critical for all innovators to have someone who will challenge their ideas, tell them the truth, and force them to think outside the box– Approaches to attracting bright, aspiring young women to consider starting careers in manufacturing and engineering– How they think manufacturing can be changed for the better, creating opportunities and success for all individuals and companies

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 (00:31):

Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton and special guest host, Alison Giddens with you here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show Alison, how are we doing? I’m

Allison Giddens (00:41):

Good. Cause we’ve got some fun people today.

Scott Luton (00:43):

We do. And, and you know, uh, you’ve been doing outstanding world-class facilitation work lately. He had great shows, great shows in production still. And this is going to be another one. This one, Alison, this conversation kind of stemmed from your experiences at the women, the manufacturing summit 2021, right?

Allison Giddens (01:01):

Yes. Yes. We’re excited. It was held in Cleveland. Uh, this year it was supposed to be held in Cleveland in 2020, but we all know what happened then. So we took a pause and pretended like it was the 10th anniversary all over again. We had a blast.

Scott Luton (01:13):

I could tell partially through, uh, uh, stalking you on social media and enjoy your social media feed. Next year. I’m convinced we’re going to send a film crew with you and we’re going to produce a can festival documentary. It’s gonna be a wonderful thing. Uh, Allison looking forward to getting y’all’s key takeaways here today with two special featured guests. Are you ready to introduce them? Let’s do this. All right, let’s do it. All right. So first up we’ve got Stacey Schroeder, president and founder of evil up with, uh, Stacy. How are you doing?

Stacey Schroeder (01:46):

I’m so glad to be here. Thank you, Scott. And Alison, thank you for making this connection. I’m looking forward to it today.

Scott Luton (01:53):

We are too. We are too hard. He had lots of fun in the pre-show and you’re joined by coral Huff master value improvement project engineer at Polaris industries Coral. Hey, doing, Hey Scott. I’m good. How are you? I’m doing wonderful. And looking forward to learning a lot more from you, Stacy Alison here today. But before Alison, before we get to the heavy lifting, let’s have a little fun. Let’s get to know Stacy and Coral a little bit better. How about that?

Allison Giddens (02:19):

You’re going to like these two, I promise.

Scott Luton (02:21):

All right. Wonderful. Wonderful. So let’s start with you Stacy. So we’ll usually, you know, that, that universal question that often serves as a great level setter and usually leads to great questions. Uh, our stories rather is, Hey, where did you grow up? So Stacey, tell us, tell us where you grew up.

Stacey Schroeder (02:37):

Yeah, so I grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan. So I am a motor city girl, a gear head at heart. Um, my mom and dad met through a mutual love of cars and it’s continued through me. Uh, I moved to the fancy state of Ohio after I graduated from Michigan state because the economy was already starting to tank in Michigan. So I’ve been in Ohio since 2007 and I’ve been a Cleveland resident since 2011, and I’m really happy to be in the Midwest.

Scott Luton (03:06):

So I’ve got to ask you, there’s a national pizza campaign, commercial campaign going on right now, all about Detroit pizza. Now, is that a thing and where can we get authentic Detroit pizza?

Stacey Schroeder (03:17):

What’s funny is I just had my birthday and when I went up to see my family at the end of August, I requested buddy’s pizza. So buddy’s, in my opinion is the O G. So they have, uh, an old world, uh, pepperoni and cheese mixed. They’ve got like a Motown pizza. They’ve got all those old school flavors. Nice deep dish buttered crusts. Not to be

Scott Luton (03:40):

You’re killing me, Stacey. All right. I love it. Uh, we’re going to take you up on buddy’s pizza and if you ever, Alison, uh, got a rule of thumb, if you ever not sure. What question to ask during an interview ask about pizza. You can’t go wrong there, right? Um, all right. So Coral, same question to you. And we’re gonna circle back and make sure folks in which I’ll do professionally as well, but Coral tell us where.

Coral Huffmaster (04:00):

Yeah, so actually it’s funny. I am also from a small town outside of the Detroit Metro area. So it’s, it’s a small world because yeah, we, we connected, even though we were from similar areas, but not until we lived halfway across the country from each other. So, um, but I, I did, I grew up, uh, on the, the north side up in the thumb area of Michigan and, uh, lived there for, for the better part of my life. Went to school, worked there for a little while in automotive before I moved down here to Huntsville, Alabama. Yup.

Scott Luton (04:38):

Space, but not space capital or rocket capital.

Coral Huffmaster (04:44):


Scott Luton (04:45):

I love Huntsville.

Coral Huffmaster (04:46):

I have liked it a lot too. Yes, it’s very nice here. Um, but I do miss the good pizza. Yeah, Stacy’s right.

Scott Luton (04:54):

Well, um, I’ve heard a lot. I have not been to Detroit. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been in Detroit, but I heard a lot about a resurgence that’s taking place across Detroit and both of y’all are nodding your head. So things are, are changing and opportunities for all now, Detroit.

Coral Huffmaster (05:11):

Absolutely. The downtown area has, has come a long way in the last several years. Um, just a number of big companies and individuals have come together really and done a lot to build the city back up.

Scott Luton (05:28):

I love it. Of course, as we all know the automotive automotive industry, which is, you know, like any other industries is, is, um, has been challenged in ways, very common and very unique and Detroit of course, intertwined with the industry. So, um, we’ll, we will see if we can get some computer chips around here. I think things will be better off for everybody. Uh, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed in that regard. Uh, one last question for, uh, uh, get Alison back in here and Allison, by the way, have you ever had real authentic pizza? No.

Stacey Schroeder (05:58):

And you know what? I just realized, I forgot my lunch. So now I’m really hungry.

Scott Luton (06:04):

All right. It’s gonna be a torture Alison hour. Here we go. Um, um, all right, so Stacy one last question, and then we’re going to get Alison to lead us through some key takeaways that you all have uniquely kind of experienced as well as maybe probably some common takeaways from the women’s summit, 2021, but, um, let’s make sure folks know what y’all do professionally. So Stacy, tell us about what you and, uh, the develop team do.

Stacey Schroeder (06:29):

Yeah. So thanks for asking Scott. So I’m a manufacturing person at heart. I’ve been in manufacturing since 2007. Started as an engineer, worked my way up the ladder at public and private and big and small companies, uh, worked for a couple of national manufacturing nonprofits to get more awareness and exposure to the challenges of small and mid-size manufacturers. And then in November of 2019, I thought this is the time to start my own business. So my crystal ball, maybe wasn’t the best, but, you know, I took the leap to put out my own shingle. And, uh, the majority of my work is in two key areas. So the first is I deliver leadership development through a partnership with the Institute for management studies. So we support around 200 organizations internationally within Michigan, greater, uh, Pennsylvania and Ohio. We’ve got around 20, across all sectors. And then within the evil up bucket, I do a lot of consulting. So really I’m an educational partner for groups like women in manufacturing. I also have done some work on additive manufacturing with the Ohio state university, and some other partners got a project with the Northeast Ohio, regional sewer district, and really anything that’s in the manufacturing and operation space. I love to partner to design and deliver programs that meet needs and help people be successful, not only in their current role, but also for their future roles

Scott Luton (07:50):

Well said, and we all have manufacturing here. So, uh, you’re definitely kindred spirits. Thank you for sharing Stacy coral. How about you?

Coral Huffmaster (07:57):

So, uh, so similar background, I am an engineer, um, industrial engineer by education, uh, worked in automotive for a supplier for several years up in Michigan and, uh, worked to support multiple locations in the continuous improvement and material flow area. And then I transitioned to Polaris, um, about two and a half years ago, came down to Huntsville and have been working across a wide array of different product lines. Uh, we work on value improvement. So how can we make the vehicles, uh, more, more value add to the customer, um, making sure that we’re aligning to what they

Scott Luton (08:44):

I’m looking for improvement is a journey and with no finish line, right?

Coral Huffmaster (08:49):


Scott Luton (08:50):

Yes. And, uh, it’s good to, if you’re going to be on that journey, it’s good to be with, uh, smart engineers that love math and are much better at math than I am. So we’ll have to dive into some of those projects later on. Um, but thank you, coral and Stacy, thanks for level setting. I think that’s helpful for kind of, uh, folks to process what you’ll share, kind of do what y’all do. So thank you both. All right. So Alison, I’m going to pass Baton here as we walked through some key takeaways from whim, the Williams summit 2021.

Allison Giddens (09:18):

Yes. So primarily one of the reasons I, I really wanted to get you introduced to these two amazing women was, is also because not only do they do some terrific things in their own local chapters with women in manufacturing, but they’ve been involved in the national chapter as well. So the summit, um, to kind of give your, your listeners here a little bit of some, some context, um, there is a, an event that we have every year and it’s typically held in a different city. So we’ve taken Nashville, we’ve done Denver. Um, we’ve got Atlanta in 2022. So set going ahead, mark your calendars. Um, but typically during summit, it’s about two and a half, three day event. And the very first day, uh, you have the opportunity as an attendee to attend one of many tours there in the area. Um, there’s a host committee that helps to coordinate these things.

Allison Giddens (10:10):

So, um, whether it’s Toyota or Vitamix or, uh, we, we had an event though. We had a summit in Hartford, Connecticut where some of us toward Pratt and Whitney, um, they’re all different, really, really awesome, small and large companies that we’ve had the opportunity to check out. So in terms of women’s summit, that’s how the event gets kicked off. So the bar is always set really high. We always have keynotes and then we have breakout sessions. And so the, the great thing about having these two in this conversation are that all three of us likely went to different breakout groups throughout the event. And so we got to experience a lot of really cool perspectives and insights of other women in the industry. The challenge, I think, in the Wim space and coral and Stacy, tell me if you think I’m on to something here, there’s kind of a challenge in Wim has to, has to, um, offer inspirational opportunities and reasons to, you know, get us really motivated.

Allison Giddens (11:09):

But there’s also that balance of we as women in manufacturing, we want some technical stuff too. We do want a little bit of insight into the manufacturing space. And I mean, I know corals and engineer and you know, there, there is a little bit of, okay, I’m not just here to hear somebody’s story. I’m here to remember why I love manufacturing in the first place. So I was curious, I want to kind of throw it to let’s, let’s kick it to Stacy first to see, um, what, what couple, two or three takeaways did you have from the event as a whole, um, just things that are gonna stick with you for a little while. Yeah, that’s a great question, Alison, and I want to circle back to your comment around the technical side of it. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Uh, I am a nerd at heart. I will

Stacey Schroeder (11:53):

Be, even though I do mainly workforce development, you’ve seen my LinkedIn, it’s all about additive. It’s about material science. It’s about aerospace. It’s whatever catches my interest. So if it involves making something I’m all in. So I think that’s an opportunity for whim, uh, to definitely enhance the programming. Um, I will say as their consultant that builds a lot of their educational programs, I’ll take that nugget. We’re building a survey to go out today to members to ask about what kind of skills and knowledge they want in next year’s virtual learning series. So I’ll put some space in there for some technical ones. Um, in terms of TIG takeaways, you know, I was putting my pen to paper. I’ve got a post comment on my LinkedIn later this week. That’s talking about it as well. I think the first one, we had a keynote from a woman who is a manufacturing leader, a company owner, a grandmother that didn’t look old enough to be a grandmother.

Stacey Schroeder (12:49):

And she was talking about how important it is to get a personal board of directors. And as a newer entrepreneur, a newer business owner, I felt like that was just what I needed to hear, because sometimes it can feel like you’re shouting into the void. And I think being a woman in manufacturing, no matter your role, sometimes we feel like that, right. We’re one of, one of one or one of a few. Um, so the roles that she really highlighted, I’m going to read them because they’re so critical. In my opinion, she said, do you want to find that expert, somebody that’s really a functional expert in your field. You want that truth teller, that person that will just give it to you exactly what it is that innovator, that person that’ll make you think outside the box and throw some crazy ideas at you.

Stacey Schroeder (13:33):

The sponsor that person that’s at a position where they can help you, right. They can carry as they climb and then the vault. So that safe space where you can put those things that maybe aren’t the best for public consumption, but sometimes you just need to get them out. So that was my first big takeaway. Alison, those are good. Did you already have like people in your head who fit some of those and do you find that you kind of had gaps, so you don’t have to tell us which ones those gaps were? Did you already catch yourself? Yeah, absolutely. You know, when I was working at different companies, I think it was easier for me to identify those individuals, but now that I’ve moved on and right as I was moving on is a couple months later COVID happened. So it made it a little bit challenging to maintain those relationships in the way that I wanted, which was face. Um, so starting to rebuild, got my map on the whiteboard to try to fill those gaps. Right.

Scott Luton (14:28):

So if I could just add something really quick, I think the phrase keep it real may be a bit of a old fashioned phrase these days that hearkens back to the eighties or nineties or whenever. Um, but it has never been something more valuable and to have, I think Stacey called it the truth teller amongst your, your inner circle and your, your personal board of directors, someone that gives you sometimes it’s, um, it’s the helpful encouraging inspirational truth. And other times, as we all know, equally as powerful at the brutal truth, right. Something you don’t want to hear that is so valuable to have, I believe so, Stacy, I appreciate you sharing that short list of what sounds like a great recipe for forming a personal board of directors.

Stacey Schroeder (15:13):

Absolutely. For sure.

Allison Giddens (15:15):

So what else did you, did you catch?

Stacey Schroeder (15:16):

Yeah, so I’ve got two more. So the second one was the talent strategy breakout that was with Kathy Steele, who runs red caffeine. And what caught my ear was this aligned. She said, she said, people want to work with people, not companies. And my reaction is yes, yes, yes. A thousand times. Yes. Right. As a customer, whether I’m dealing with, um, you know, the coffee shop down the street, the doughnut shop down the street sometimes, or a big company. I want a person, I want a person that cares about me. And within my business, you know, I’m a company of one doing workforce development. So you’re getting my attention. You’re getting my experience and brain space. So to me, building and maintaining positive, healthy relationships are absolutely mission critical.

Allison Giddens (16:14):

That’s cool. That’s a really great observation too. And sometimes it’s tough because that intersection of our industry, when it comes to process efficiencies, sometimes the personal one-on-one doesn’t fit the automated. Okay. Well, XYZ happens. Therefore ABC needs to happen. So that’s a, that was a really, I would think I was in that session too. I took a lot of notes.

Stacey Schroeder (16:35):

She was sharp. Absolutely. And then my last one, I was so thrilled to see Cheryl Zack giving her a presentation on influence. And the main reason was when I was building whims, new empowering women in production program, she’s one of the women that we tapped. So she donated her time to deliver a session for women that are in production and production support roles on influence, impact, and inspiration. So when I saw her at the front of the room at the summit, I asked Audrey if I could introduce Cheryl and like, I’m so excited to see her in person get out of the way Audrey. I want to introduce her and tell the world just how amazing she is. And what I love about Cheryl is she’s one of the most research-based presenters I think I’ve ever seen, but it’s not dry it’s research that then she directly ties to actionable ways to be more influential. And she shows that some of our natural defaults are actually the worst ways to get the results that we’re looking for. Um, so meeting her in person, getting to tell the world how awesome she is and then hearing all the great questions people have for her was absolutely in the top three. For me,

Allison Giddens (17:50):

That’s a great list. That’s awesome list. And before I, before I toss it to coral to get her three, I, um, I wanted to also note that what Stacey’s talking about, the program and Stacy correct me. If I’m putting words into your mouth wrong here. Um, the program offered by women, new manufacturing that Stacy’s helped develop is empowering women in production. And what that is is she, they saw a need for, you know, you have these, these different leadership opportunities where, um, women in Suisse suite C suite or, or management can have the opportunity to fly somewhere and go to something or be on a zoom, live talking to people like we are right now on, on, on this meeting. But there are several, there are plenty of fantastic, phenomenal women on the production floor that really want and need to develop their leadership skills and their growth potential. And so this program allows them to do so in an on demand way. So th th that content is so cool because it pulls from these subject matter experts. Anything else, Stacy? Did I cover that? Right?

Stacey Schroeder (18:54):

You nailed it. It’s a new program. We have, I think 86 women, it’s a 20 week cohort program. Uh, Alison tactfully didn’t mention, but she is one of our presenters as well. So she did a great session on building relationships and networking. We’re getting really good feedback. We’re learning a lot about how to improve the delivery and it’s something when plans to do once, maybe twice a year, possibly more

Allison Giddens (19:18):

We’ll move forward. So coral, what about you? What kind of takeaways from the winds summit did you grab?

Coral Huffmaster (19:23):

So I have a couple and, and I want to, I want to circle back a little bit too, to the comment on, on the technical things. Um, one, one of the things, one of the ones that I went to was, um, empowering your team for innovation. Uh, the presenter was also an engineer, very technical background, the presentation while I loved it was very technical. And there were, there were a lot of eyes glazing over in the room, I think. Um, so I, well, I thought it was great and I think a lot of the other engineers in the room thought it was great. Um, I, I would say, you know, maybe being a little bit more clear on, on which sessions are kind of more technically minded, um, might be, might be helpful to some people, um,

Scott Luton (20:12):

We need a color-coding when we’re transporting chemicals on our interstates, right. We need, we need some color coding. Right.

Allison Giddens (20:20):

I liked that idea. Like a, like a, more like a levels of technical.

Coral Huffmaster (20:25):

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I, I loved that session and I thought it was great. Um, but I think it was, it was not for everybody. Um, so that, that was, that was good. Um, the other thing, you know, you kind of touched on like the, the group being able to, you know, kind of get out there and do something, being able to participate in the community service project was really one of my favorite things. I mean, that was, that was a 30 minute session out of three days. That was probably some of my favorite 30 minutes. And for a lot of reasons, I love the impact to the community. I loved the, the collaboration. I mean, I was in the first shift,

Scott Luton (21:05):

So coral, what, what was the community service project?

Coral Huffmaster (21:09):

So we, so we were packing meals for children across the state of Ohio for children’s hunger Alliance. And, and the fun thing about that was that we had a couple of assembly lines go in, basically that we’re putting the boxes together and such. And so, you know, you’ve got all these women in manufacturing who are out there blowing through, packing up these meal kits so fast that they had to stop us early because they wanted to have enough left over for the rest of the shifts

Allison Giddens (21:39):

I was in that first group.

Coral Huffmaster (21:42):

It was great. And so it was so funny because you see like these people coming together and using what we do every day to do something really good for the, for the community. So, um, I loved that part of it. And I think that was new for this, this year.

Allison Giddens (21:59):

It was, it was, it was brand new and they had come in and they said, I think by the end of it, all we had packaged 2000 meals, I think was, that was phenomenal.

Scott Luton (22:11):

It was, was there a gong involved?

Allison Giddens (22:14):

No, there was no gong, unfortunately.

Scott Luton (22:16):

So we’ve done something similar here in Atlanta and it wasn’t the, the kids hunger lines, I think, is what I heard their coral. Uh, it let’s see, it was, uh, rasa gets hunger, I think was a group here based here. And they had a very similar exercise. And, uh, I think after we finished each box, they’d, uh, someone would be able to hit the gong. And it’s just this little, that sounds really exciting. But when you’re, when you, when it’s high energy high activity, there’s a spree decor, you’re doing good, you know, uh, between gong and some and some good music and some of course, great fellowship. I can see how that’d be a wonderful highlight of the event in choral, by the way, to have a team of production operations and manufacturing experts, no wonder you can have really efficient, uh, supply chain efficient production lines, but it comes a pack in these things.

Coral Huffmaster (23:06):

Yes, it was, it was an awesome group. And honestly, I don’t know if, if anybody would have been able to keep up with your gong, we were cranking them out so fast.

Allison Giddens (23:16):

That’s awesome. So what other, what other takeaways besides that? Fantastic. 30 minutes, which you’re, you’re absolutely right. That was, that was a highlight. What else did you get?

Coral Huffmaster (23:25):

Yeah, so, um, the, the other one, I want to reference one of the other keynote speakers, um, wonderful lady. Uh, she, she talked about, um, D and I in kind of a, a unique context, which really, really hit home for me in, in a lot of ways. Um, you know, I, I don’t want to go too much into, into the details. It was a little bit personal. Um, but basically, you know, she has a child that has special needs, and she talked about the difference between, you know, I guess the difference, which first between diversity and inclusion and how you really need diversity before you can have inclusion. You know, a lot of people kind of wrap them all together as like one package, but you, you have to have one before the other, because if you don’t have that unique blend of perspectives, you can’t really be inclusive of any unique perspectives.

Coral Huffmaster (24:26):

So, um, kind of putting it in that context, you kind of see things a little bit differently. And then also, you know, thinking about how many other things aside from just, you know, we, a lot of times we associate just gender race, age, sexual preference. Those are like the really big ones that everybody’s talking about, and those are important things, but there are so many other things that they give us a diverse background of perspectives. Um, you know, people who have different backgrounds grew up in different areas, you know, work in different industries, things that, you know, went to different schools. There there’s a whole array of different things that we don’t really think about when we talk about diversity and inclusion and trying to make sure that people from all, all backgrounds are, are feeling included in the group. Um, so that, that message really kind of struck me. And I liked how she described D and I went, uh, I guess when it’s working as a mosaic of entirely unique tiles, that all come together to form one image. So I thought that was really nice.

Scott Luton (25:43):

That’s what a gorgeous visual you paint there. Um, coral and I got to Alison, I think we’ve referenced this before and we’ve interviewed, uh, Dr. Steve Sterling, uh, on supply chain now, um, a couple of times, and he leads map, which is a great nonprofit, which helps get, um, medical supplies around the world, especially the, um, uh, children and families with kids that, that, uh, don’t have enough resources. And he grew up in post-war Korea back in the sixties and was, was, uh, afflicted with polio. He eventually immigrated, um, to the states and to your point choral about that D and I, um, he spoke, um, pretty powerfully about how he got on with a big pharma, big name brand company. And they were great at diversifying the, uh, their recruiting and, and diversifying the talent and all types of folks from all walks walks of life to join the team.

Scott Luton (26:40):

But he said they were really bad at they’re there, uh, including them on act in, in, in activities that, um, that are, they’re also diverse, right. That, that, um, that everyone can feel at home and then participate in. So it really, I think that’s a great call-out coral because they are, as you put it, they’re packaged together all the time. But, uh, I think as leaders, we need to kind of, um, take one step at a time, right. Um, and in, in our, in our efforts, so great stuff there. Cool. So, Alison, um, I don’t wanna, like, I don’t wanna jump the gun here, coral or Stacy before we, we kind of turn the tables and Alison and get her key takeaways. Anything else either one of you would like to share?

Coral Huffmaster (27:21):

The only other thing that I had noted that I found as kind of an interesting pattern throughout the couple of days was the role of mentorship that came up in a variety of different sessions. And, and personally, I’ve been kind of working on a similar program within my organization, and we’ve talked about doing something within whim and just kind of hearing that peppered throughout a bunch of different sessions and some different ways that people are approaching it. I think it’s just really exciting to see how that can, uh, explode somebody’s careers in, in some ways, and just be a great book.

Scott Luton (28:01):

I love that kind of how it can be the Huntsville, the rocket city of folks’ career. Right. And what a great segue, because Alison, you do a ton of work in the mentoring space and that doesn’t go unnoticed, uh, and, uh, really appreciate what you’ve done, uh, with, you know, you’ve kind of taken lemons, which has been the last couple of years and have found a way to offer remote internships and mentorship opportunities. So I love that, but, um, Alison speak to, you know, something Stacy or coral shared or share your own key takeaways from Wim summit 2021.

Allison Giddens (28:32):

So yeah, they, they covered all the good stuff. So, no, I’m just kidding. Um, there was, there was, there was so much good stuff. One of my favorite breakouts, um, and it, it’s always this case when I see, um, Jenny Drescher and Ellen Feldman or Bronto of the Boulder group, when I see them speak, I’m like, oh yeah, I’m going to go to that one. Um, they are phenomenal. And they’re always a very engaging breakout group that they’re the kind of leaders who will say things like, okay, we’re not going to sit down everybody. We’re going to stand up and do this. And you’re like, oh, geez, oh, I really don’t want to do this, but it ends up being like the best time. So they spoke to resiliency versus adaptability. And the fact that we have, we’ve heard nonstop, you know, resiliency and COVID, but really where we should be hanging our hat on as adaptability, because adaptability is navigating ambiguity.

Allison Giddens (29:27):

And that is the learning to live in the gray space. That’s, that’s the part that is ultimately helps you get to the next step. Um, they talked about all the different levels to that and what that would entail. They talked about, um, different assessments that you can take to actually learn. Um, how good are you at living in this gray space? Um, that, that, to me, that stuck with me hard. Um, but the other takeaway I had, and I believe both Stacy and coral have alluded to this. It was the people, it was the being in person. It was the, um, yes, the sessions were phenomenal as they always are. I mean, Wim to me when summit, every year, I’m like, oh, that was the best one. Oh no, no. That was the best one. They, they always get better, better. Um, it just seems to me like you can’t substitute the real life attendance at these things.

Allison Giddens (30:20):

I mean, even, even in 2020, when whim did a virtual version, which was great, but the substance was terrific. The content was great. Um, but the in-person stuff, I mean, to be able to have a side conversation with someone out in the hallway that ends up being, you know, Hey, yeah, I’ll meet you for lunch. And just a little bit, those kinds of things, you can’t substitute that. So I think that really, that stuck with me the most and it kinda made me appreciate it a lot more. I was less likely to run up to the room to go check emails. I was more likely to stick around and I’ll, I’ll look at my phone down here while I’m catching up with so-and-so

Scott Luton (30:56):

Love it. Okay. So as good as Cleveland, 2021 was, um, I’m just going to go out only the big, old and say Atlanta 20, 22 is going to be the best one ever. So, all right. So, um, all right. So we’re going to talk about Eureka moments here in a moment really quick though, just going around the horn really quick. Uh, we just got back from our first in-person, after a long time down in Miami, uh, uh, GPO called Omnia partners hosts today, uh, connection 2021, I got an echo what, some of what you shared there, Alison, to be back in person, you know, and, and have break bread with folks and, you know, catch up in some cases, hug, hug, and, and, and, you know, connect in personal net human impersonal level. That was, uh, that was like a big old breath of fresh air. Wonderful. And it sounds like there was a lot of that in, uh, Cleveland, right?

Allison Giddens (31:52):

Sure. Yes.

Scott Luton (31:53):

Okay. Alright. So let’s circle back around to Stacy and Allison. You’re not getting out of this question, you know, I know you’ve shared some Eureka moments only on these shows with us, but you’re gonna, you’re gonna have to offer up another one because Stacy, so if you’re listening to the replay, Allison’s shaking her head and say, no, but Hey, these Eureka moments, uh, are some of the best lessons learned. So Stacy, I want to, you know, better piffy any that you’ve had at some point, like we’ve all had these last couple of years, give us a Eureka moment.

Stacey Schroeder (32:26):

Yeah. I mean, for me, it’s that success is personal. So when I was working at companies, we had corporate objectives, we had targets and then they would roll down to different departments. Then I would have my goals once I hung that shingle out as a business owner, or that comparison game is strong at times, it’s hard not to look at others in a similar space and think, wow, how are they doing what they’re doing? But then I realized, do I want to be doing what they’re doing? What’s more important to me. So I think getting really clear with yourself that success is personal is totally fine. It’s valid, it’s necessary. It drives so many of my decisions about what I say yes to what I say no to and how I choose to invest my most precious resource, which is time, you know, we’re never guaranteed tomorrow. Um, and I think it’s just so important to, to take that time, to reflect on what’s most important to you and what do you want to be remembered for? So to me, it’s, I want to be remembered for how I make people feel and the value that I provide. So that’s where my fire comes from. It’s from helping people be successful. So anything beyond that is tangential.

Scott Luton (33:52):

I love that. In fact, um, that reminds me of, uh, w B E Q I think, is the channel based up in the, the, uh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. And they, of course, that’s where Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers neighborhood originated, and they’ve done a great job of keeping, keeping that alive and well. In fact, every Friday I think is like a Fred Friday hashtag campaign and they drop quotes and stories and pictures. And one thing you said there, Stacy is, um, is front and center of how you make others feel. And that is like a Fred Rogers. Isn’t him. I think I’ve seen that once a month. And it’s so important, you know, to be aware of that, you know, that that’s, that in and of itself is a luxury. So I really appreciate your answer there, Stacy, what a great Eureka moment success is personal. All right. Coral, uh, Stacy. Um, well, look at me, I’m about to create a, I’m about to say that Stacy set the bar, but Hey, it’s personal, it’s personal, right. So coral, what, what, uh, give us a Eureka moment from your last couple of years.

Coral Huffmaster (34:55):

I, yeah, I don’t, I don’t know if I can really top that Stacey, but, um, I, I think I, I would maybe piggyback off of it a little bit because, you know, kind of what I, what I have found here recently, um, not only is success personal, but, uh, what we view as success and what we want to do and how we want to, uh, you know, support others and, and be in this world can change if you, if you want it to. And so, you know, a little bit of context, you know, here recently had the opportunity to, to, um, look, I was looking into a different position and that didn’t work out and, and they kind of said, well, you know, we’d really love you to have some more experience in this particular area. And I said, you know, I don’t really want more experience in that area.

Coral Huffmaster (35:49):

And it kind of made me really kind of go back and say, maybe this isn’t really the direction that I want to go. And I, and I was able to reflect a lot on what direction do I really want to go to? And when I kinda came up with what I think I want to do, which could always change again, I’m sure. But, um, you know, I, I reached out and talked to different mentors and friends and family and people that know me and they, and I thought for sure, they were going to be like, you’re crazy. Why would you go like, you know, 180 degrees? And they were all like, oh, you know what, that makes so much sense for you. And it’s just kind of funny how those kinds of things like, oh, okay, maybe this does make sense, you know? And it just kind of really makes you feel like, okay, yeah, you started down this path and this path is going great. It’s, it’s, it’s doing just fine. But if you decide, Hey, you know what, I really just want to go take a left turn here and make a different path. You can do that. And it’s okay. And even if it sounds crazy, that’s probably the best idea.

Scott Luton (36:56):

That’s my girl. I love that. Um, you don’t owe anybody an explanation in, in so many different ways. Uh, and that’s one of the things that comes to my mind. So, so Alison and I flipped the tables before you share Stacy and coral, both to have, uh, given us points to ponder. I’ll be thinking about this on some of my windshield time tomorrow. Uh, what are some of your reactions to what Stacy and coral has shared here?

Allison Giddens (37:23):

I like it. I, I think that the, they’re both essentially saying that success is personal and that it’s okay to change your mind. There’s no law that says today, my success looks like this, and tomorrow it’s going to too. There’s no law that says that. And I think that it’s, you’re incredibly light years ahead of so many people who are all, when you say, when you recognize, okay, that’s not, I don’t want more experience in that. So therefore, maybe that my initial end goal, maybe that’s not really my end goal after all. I think that that’s incredibly perceptive and you’re going to save yourself a lot of aggravation. You know, then there are a lot of people that stick with something simply because while it’s always been their dream and therefore it’s still the dream today. So I think that Eureka moment for me, um, kind of, um, looks down at those, those, those meaningful, um, observations by saying, I’m very grateful to the opportunities like this, where people devote their time to have these kinds of conversations.

Allison Giddens (38:28):

So people like Stacy, people at coral, your time is valuable. You know, you could, you could go make more money somewhere else, but you don’t get hours back. And I’m just grateful for the opportunities to be able, whether it’s, whether it’s you Scott facilitating these kinds of conversations. Um, and to be able to hear from my own peers to say, okay, have coral thinks that maybe I’m not crazy after all. Um, or if Stacy says this, I mean, I’ll come across that too. So maybe I’m not totally off base here. So I think that that’s my, my Eureka moment.

Scott Luton (39:00):

I love it. Um, a lot of good stuff here, I’ll tell you that, that simple question has created some of the best moments in these episodes. Right. Um, and, and sometimes it can be, these were a little deeper than sometimes we get, you know, some of them are real simple Eureka moments, right. That, uh, um, that, you know, we’ve all maybe thought about a thousand or a million times, but going back to where we started, it’s all about the context and you can’t have the same thought in a different moment in time, moment in journey, and they have a wholly different impact. So a lot of good stuff here. Um, okay. We’re going to finish. Remember back in, uh, probably elementary school, probably not middle school, probably more elementary school. We, uh, sometimes quizzes, especially, um, for some reason, reading an English comes to mind, uh, where folks had to finish, you had to finish, uh, fill in the blank, right? Fill in the blank is where I’m going with this. Alison Finland apply. It’s not,

Allison Giddens (39:58):

It’s not Madlibs.

Scott Luton (40:01):

That’s a great analogy. That’s right. Um, but it’s, so I want to give, uh, with a little bit of structure, I want to kind of give the answer just open-ended right. So the, the start of the sentence and Stacy I’m coming back to you started the sentence is manufacturing would be better if blank, finish that sentence.

Stacey Schroeder (40:24):

Oh, that’s an easy one. If people knew just how broad the opportunities are within manufacturing. So I’ll give a quick story. So I got the chance to volunteer in person, which I’m so happy. We’re back to volunteering in person. I went to talk to the local vo-tech high school to the students that aren’t assigned a particular career track yet. So I’m walking by the room where they’re building a mini house. I’m walking by the room where they have a diesel truck tore apart. And I’m walking by the room where they’re welding and I’m talking to these dozen or so 11th graders. And that’s all I did was share my story of how I went from somebody that was a bus girl at an Italian restaurant to a house painter, to an engineer. And just explain how every time I raised my hand for an opportunity or to learn something, the answer was yes, take if there’s too much to do and not enough people.

Stacey Schroeder (41:18):

So if you show the desire, if you show the right attitude, the sky is literally the limit within manufacturing and it’s the backbone of the economy. Uh, that’s my personal, very strongly held belief that it’s important to know how to make things. And I think we’re the more we can do to build stem and steam education from, you know, conversations at the dinner table, to things in the community, all the way through people, you know, in their thirties, forties, fifties, that might want to change careers. Manufacturing always has the doors open and there’s always amazing things to do there.

Scott Luton (41:55):

Okay. Did you hear that last? There’s so much good in Sarah, but manufacturing always has the doors open. It’s almost like a waffle house. Is that inviting? Right? It really is. Cool. Uh, I really appreciate you sharing that Stacy and I I’m, um, I’m a big fan, you know, my time in global supply chain, most of it was in manufacturing or supporting the industry and my grandad, uh, retired as second. Uh, so he retired as a machine operator with Kimberly Clark and we never sat down and talk about manufacturing, you know, cause I I’d never stepped foot into a manufacturing plant until sadly, uh, after college. Right. So I never had a chance to hear firsthand and has experienced it. So, um, you got to get those conversations when you can get them. But Stacey, I really appreciate you sharing you filling in the blank on that sentence. Choral. Same question to you. And again, Alison we’re coming to you. Next manufacturing would be better for some reason. I feel like given you turn signals today, Alison, I’m not sure. I’m not sure why, but coral and we’ll come to you. Next manufacturing would be better if blank.

Coral Huffmaster (42:57):

Yeah. So, uh, very similar man, Stacey, you’re like just right, right ahead of me every time. Yeah, for sure. You know, getting past this, this mindset that manufacturing is, is just automotive and heavy equipment. Um, you know, when I was, when I was in college, I used to work for the career services group and we would go to like high schools and Texas tech schools to recruit, um, for the college like college fairs. And they would always send, send me, they’d always make sure that they got one of the female engineers out there because, um, they would always make me go talk to the, to the girls at those schools. And one of the things that I, that I always loved doing was saying, you know, all the, all the time, they’d be like, well, I just, I just don’t really care about like cars.

Coral Huffmaster (43:46):

And I’m like, okay, you know, so like what are you interested in? And pretty much anything they could tell me, usually it was something like, like, like doing hair and makeup and I’d be like, okay, well, so you use a hairdryer, right? Like, you know, that, that has to be produced and designed, right? Like mostly it’s men that do those kinds of things because there aren’t females to do those things, even though females are the ones that use them. And so just kind of like having resetting that mindset of literally everything you touch on a day to day basis has to be manufactured. And so whatever it is that you, that you use on a regular basis that you love to use, you can go into that area. And in the other dealer, other little piece of that, I think that there’s also kind of a little bit of this manufacturing is like dark and dirty and dingy.

Coral Huffmaster (44:41):

And, you know, nobody really wants to go out and do like the hard physical labor out on the floor and stuff like that. But there’s so much more to, to the job opportunities for one thing. But then also, you know, a lot of places, thanks to partly the pandemic, partly lean manufacturing principles, government regulations, and automation, all of those things have really driven this new culture of, of cleanliness within manufacturing. Um, sometimes it’s, it’s, it’s government regulated, but a lot of times, you know, even, even some of your, your automotive and in metal fabrication type facilities are dramatically more bright and clean led lights and shiny floors and all of these things because that’s, that’s kind of the way of the business now. And, um, it’s, it’s not, it’s not as, you know, dirt, dark and dirty.

Scott Luton (45:44):

Yeah. Well, you know, it’s been said and I’m, I can’t remember who said it. Um, it certainly came out in some of these manufacturing studies that have come out in the last five years as the talent gap, uh, has emerged, right? All these open positions, which is a reality based on almost any metric you look at. Um, but the parents it’s been said that the parents are kids first consultant, right. And we’ve got to reach the parents who may be thinking of, of generations way long ago, where, where, uh, the norms were different in manufacturing industry. So coral as, as you stated, and Stacey, and then awesome as you’re nodding, your head environments have changed and evolved dramatically. And there’s a ton of opportunities. There’s a ton of opportunities outside of, you know, there’s still some in any industry, you can find some very traditional, you know, we’re Tom, does it seem like it’s moving, but so much has changed. And there’s so much opportunity, uh, with some exciting technology, um, cutting edge, uh, forward looking aspects of global manufacturing. So well said there coral, alright, Alison, feel free to partner here. If you would respond to what Stacy and coral have filled in the blank with, and then we’ll, uh, have you fill in the blank as well.

Allison Giddens (46:59):

Alright. Sounds good. Well, it’s funny, the three of us did not consult each other on our answers beforehand. I’m just letting you now. Um, because it’s funny that my fill in the blank was manufacturing would be better if schools started priming kids earlier. And I think the common denominator here is marketing for manufacturing and getting in front of kids sooner. And whether that’s teachers, counselors, parents, whatever. Um, I think that’s definitely the common theme

Scott Luton (47:29):

Agreed, huge opportunity. It feels like, um, uh, let’s say it feels like anecdotally, it feels like we’ve made some, some gains, uh, in terms of changing that, um, uh, in some cases it’s a stigma in other cases, just to persona or the manufacturing industry seems like we’ve made some strong, small strides, but we still have, gosh, we got so far to go. And a lot of folks in to hear what each of y’all have shared here, even if they only listen for what’s in it for them really, and that’s a win and what’s in it for them, guess what? There’s lots of opportunity to make good money, great careers, great benefits, uh, own and learn a lot of new stuff. That’s going to benefit your career even if you’re not spending 40 years in manufacturing. So I agree with you.

Allison Giddens (48:14):

I, I also look at it from those baby steps. We take in the hopes that the four of us really are our representatives as it were prophets, apostles of manufacturing, where w just by us having these conversations, or just by somebody who knows us, and we therefore kind of defacto become the manufacturing representative in their heads. Now they know that we exist and then we can put on, we can show and display what manufacturing really is. I mean, I, I probably eat off my own shop floor then before I would my own kitchen at home. I mean, really depends cause I got cats at home, but now I really, I think that that’s a, um, I think that’s key and it’s a slow boat and it’s frustrating because if we don’t see immediate change, sometimes it’s hard to stay the course. And um, I think just by all of us representing manufacturing, that’s, that’s key to change in that boat, the boat direction.

Scott Luton (49:16):

Well, you know, Alison, if you had dogs at home, it’d be a lot cleaner, a lot cooler household just saying, just saying It’s scientifically proven, trust me,

Allison Giddens (49:30):

Dog hair, cat hair. It’s not like, oh no.

Scott Luton (49:33):

So, um, all right, we gotta, we gotta circle around. Uh, Alison, I could, I could, uh, we could have all kinds of things again. I’ve got to point out in every episode, if you’re not connected with all three, certainly I’ve all three of our panelists. Uh, you’re missing a huge opportunity, but firsthand simply because I’ve just met Stacy and coral. If you’re not connected with Alison, I follow her on social. You’re missing out. You’re missing now a true modern day humorist, the sexy funny. All right. So Stacy, uh, Stacy and coral, I want to wrap here, make sure folks know how to connect with you, but first, if you do this part or as we wrap, uh, first off, um, your a final message file, uh, think of it as a challenge. Think of it as, Hey, out of what we’ve talked about last hour. Here’s one thing too. You got to walk away with, uh, whatever it is. So your final thought here today, and then let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you, Stacy.

Stacey Schroeder (50:27):

So for me, it’s all about caring as you climb and making sure that you’re paying it forward, whatever that looks like for you. So for me, that looks like connections with local nonprofits that engage with youth and with underserved populations. So give folks a Google, maybe it’s college. Now, I think they’re national it’s groups like towards employment, it’s nonprofits like youth opportunities, unlimited it’s things like the United way, junior achievement. We can go on and on. If you Google economic development, manufacturing youth, or some combination thereof for your area, you will find a way. So really trying to make it a point to donate time, talent, or treasure in whatever mix makes sense for you. And as coral said, it’s okay for that to change in the future. It doesn’t always have to look the same every day or even every year. And in terms of staying connected.

Stacey Schroeder (51:18):

Uh, so I’m a busy lady. So I’m going to throw out quite a few ways to stay in touch. Uh, my personal LinkedIn, it’s easy to find me. I’ve got the pink hair with the rainbow street. That’s the profile picture. So once you see it, you found me, um, I do work for a couple of companies. So the first one is my own company, envelop LLC. Our website is build E Velop We have a LinkedIn page that’s really active. We have a Facebook page. That’s active. We have a YouTube channel as well. And then for our regions, that’s Michigan Northern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania for the Institute for management studies. I also manage a lot of their social media. So you can find IMS on LinkedIn. You can find us on Facebook. You can find us on YouTube as well. And if you want to follow me on Instagram, it’s really dogs, fast cars and margaritas it’s stick shift chick.

Scott Luton (52:07):

Wow. Okay. I love that Stacey, man, we should’ve, we just started the conversation there, a missed opportunity. Now I’m kidding. Really appreciate your time here today. And folks, you gotta connect with Stacy. We’ll try to make it as easy as possible by listing a lot of those things in the show notes. Okay. Coral, uh, and have really enjoyed both of y’all through y’all’s perspective, but uh, appreciate y’all, uh, making us feel like we’ve been in Cleveland, uh, for, for some of the last couple of weeks here. So choral give us your final thought. And of course, how can folks connect with you?

Coral Huffmaster (52:39):

Yeah. So final, final thoughts, I think just do, you know, do what makes you happy and, and don’t worry about, you know, what other people think, oh, you know, you work in manufacturing. Oh, isn’t that like kind of dirty isn’t that like long hours and stuff. It’s, it’s great. Honestly, it’s so exciting. And, and you can, you can do whatever you want. You can be in a, a thousand different industries in, in a thousand different roles and functions and, uh, and just, you know, go out there and, and, you know, maybe, maybe if you are a little nervous about potentially being a minority in one of those groups in any way, shape or form, you know, like, like I said earlier, you know, you have to have diversity to have inclusion. So get out there and put yourself out there and, you know, just walk right in the door. You, you can, you can do that. You can bring that into, into, uh, a new team that needs that, um, and, and just have fun with it and, uh, and enjoy, enjoy your time here.

Scott Luton (53:55):

I love that. No permission slips needed, uh, choral. Thanks so much for bringing that part of the conversation. And how can folks connect with you?

Coral Huffmaster (54:03):

Uh, definitely the best way for me is, is LinkedIn. Um, I do not have pink hair, but I have very curly hair. So you’ll, you’ll find, find the picture with the curly hair. Yes,

Scott Luton (54:13):

I love it. So it’s just that easy LinkedIn, uh, and really appreciate you and Stacy dropping into here today. Okay. Alison, uh, man, start to finish a really strong conversation. I think, uh, a thought provoking conversation and an empowering conversation. One of the big themes being, uh, it’s okay to say no, it’s okay to change your mind and you don’t need anyone’s permission to do what you want to do. So that’s, I don’t know about y’all it gets my, my blood pumping for sure. It gets me ready to run through the wall back behind me. But Alison, what w what would be one of your key take your, um, you know, last thoughts here, and then how can folks connect with you?

Allison Giddens (54:52):

I think the overarching theme for me has been that you make time for the stuff that you want to do. And if that means rewriting your version of success, or, uh, diving into a career that you never saw yourself going down, then it is what it is like coral said, do it, do what makes you happy and define your own success. And, yeah, I’d love to connect with anybody I’m on LinkedIn, pretty active there. So find me Alison Giddens. Um, I don’t know how many of Al’s and gins are out there, but he’ll figure it out because your listeners are smart.

Scott Luton (55:26):

They are much smarter than me, uh, and present company illustrated, uh, illustrative of that. Um, Hey, when tech Inc, when tech Inc, uh, hit my radar, y’all been nominated, or maybe you received a word already up and nominated for a big prize, right?

Allison Giddens (55:42):

Yeah. We got nominated for a Georgia business journals. Best of, so we’re under aerospace manufacturing and people can vote through Halloween. I believe so,

Scott Luton (55:52):

Man, it’s big news. Well, congratulations. Uh, that’s just the latest, uh, trophy to add to the, uh, the trophy case. Uh, we’ll see if, if, uh, the Braves can’t steal a page out of your chapter later today, when we’re recording this folks, the Atlanta Braves are facing the Milwaukee brewers, uh, towards the end game for their NLDS. So we’ll see how that plays out. Um, but nonetheless, uh, Stacy Schroeder, thank you so much for your time here today. Of course, president and founder of Eve eLeaP. Thank you

Stacey Schroeder (56:23):

So much, Scott. It was such a pleasure to meet with you and Alison, thank you for setting that up and coral. I learned so much from you today and at the summit. It was really a pleasure.

Scott Luton (56:33):

Thank you very much, Stacy, make sure you all connect with Stacy, uh, across social, uh, choral Huff master, uh, with Polaris industries. Thanks so much for your time as well. Yes,

Coral Huffmaster (56:43):

You, this, this is really exciting. And to your point, empowering, just to, to have these kinds of conversations and just really honored to be included in, in this. So thank you very much.

Scott Luton (56:56):

Well, thank you. Are you in bro? You and Stacy brought a lot to the table here and given folks plenty of things to process, uh, either on their commute home, there’s not as many communities these days, which is, is not a bad thing here in the Metro Atlanta area. Is it Alison? Nope, not even a little, not even a little, uh, and uh, we have already laid out how to, uh, folks, how to, uh, folks can connect with Alice and gins as well. So a big thanks, Alison, for your help and your facilitation, your leadership helping make today’s episode happen.

Allison Giddens (57:26):

Absolutely. Thank you, Stacy and coral for humoring me, as I said, Hey, why don’t you upon this podcast with this guy? I got crazy looks, but I’m glad. I’m glad you decided to trust me enough.

Scott Luton (57:38):

Oh, Hey, I had a blast and I really appreciate, uh, not just, um, the thoughts and thought leadership and perspective everyone’s brought to the table, but Hey, as we reference quite a bit, it’s a really important to maintain a healthy sense of humor as we get through these, these crazy times that we’re experiencing. So big, thanks again to Stacy coral and Alison here. Folks, hopefully you enjoyed this episode as much as I have be sure to check us out at supply chain. Now that com or wherever you get your podcasts from subscribe. So you don’t miss conversations like this one right here, but most importantly on behalf of our entire team here, Scotland and signing off for now. Do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed. Hey beaches, just like Stacy coral and Alison will be a better place. We’ll see you next time. Right back here at chain.

Intro/Outro (58:21):

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Stacey Schroeder is a dynamic, energetic workforce development professional, with a passion for making things run more smoothly and efficiently. She thrives on partnering with clients and coming up with solutions that improve their business and the lives of their employees and end customers. She is a trained engineer, with advanced degrees in manufacturing and operations management, logistics, supply chain, and Six Sigma methodologies, as well as a certification in adult training and development. She has worked in manufacturing since 2007, with staff roles in engineering and quality and leadership roles in operations and training & development. She has worked in the learning and development space, within manufacturing, for over a decade, and approaches it with a systematic, practical approach gained from my engineering and operations background. She first worked with The Institute for Management Studies in her roles at Swagelok- and is proud to be the exclusive partner for our region. She has experience in a number of large manufacturing companies, across multiple industries in both the public and private sector, as well as experience at two national non-profit manufacturing trade associations. A snapshot of companies she has worked with includes Owens Corning, Avient (Formerly PolyOne), Swagelok, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ford, Kaplan Test Prep & Admissions, the National Tooling, and Machining Association, and the Precision Metalforming Association. She is an active mentor and scholarship funder for College Now Greater Cleveland, a volunteer and donor for Valley Riding’s Therapeutic Riding Program, and a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Stacey is a Board Co-Chair for the Women in Manufacturing Ohio Chapter and was recently appointed as a Board member for Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U). Stacey thrives on helping solve her clients’ challenges, and she looks forward to helping you with your workforce development needs. Stacey resides in Cleveland, OH with her furry partners-in-adventure, Betty and LeeLoo. When she’s not designing and delivering great training, Stacey enjoys making art, reading new books, and listening to podcasts, exploring new coffee shops, breweries, and distilleries, watching sunrises and sunsets on Lake Erie, participating in car shows, and tinkering in her home and garage on a variety of projects. Connect with Stacey on LinkedIn.

Coral Huffmaster is currently a project engineer for Polaris, Inc. where she manages design-to-value projects across multiple vehicle lines, as well as managing a team focused on driving improved collaboration across the Engineering Operations organization. She is also a ambassador for Polaris’ internal women’s resource group, as well as a board member and Region Lead for the Alabama chapter of Women in Manufacturing (WiM). In these roles she focuses on the development and networking of women throughout her organization and region. Prior to Polaris, Coral was an Industrial Engineer for a tier one automotive interiors supplier, working with the manufacturing team at multiple sites to improve material flow and production efficiency. She received her bachelor’s degree in Engineering Management Technology and her Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Western Michigan University. Connect with Coral on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Allison Giddens

Host, Supply Chain Now

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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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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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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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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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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

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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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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & 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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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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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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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

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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