Greg’s back from the Global Upstate Conference on International Business and Foreign Affairs, where the supply chain featured prominently in nearly every conversation. Now, he’s bringing all the insights straight to Scott in this episode so you don’t have to miss out on any key takeaways. Tune in to hear about everything from the impact of international affairs on business to the possibility of a global minimum tax, what’s really happening with regards to trade with Russia and more.
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Scott Luton (00:31):
Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show on today’s episode, I’m debriefing a dear friend co-host and industry the leader as he returned from a big international event. That’s right. The global upstate conference on international business and foreign affairs was held this week and it was presented by the world affairs council, upstate and hosted by our friends at Furman university home Paladins, right. And the university of South Carolina upstate, which I’m gonna have to look up their, their nickname, but we’re gonna dive right in. Wanna walk him in of course our featured guest, you know him well by now, Mr. Greg White, my co-host of supply chain now where he serves as chief industry and is constantly challenging. The status quo, Gregory, how we doing?
Greg White (01:19):
I’m doing well. Thank you. It’s funny. You mentioned that somebody walked up to me and said, uh, you know, at the conference and said, Hey, I’d love for you to speak to my group. You’re a disruptor. And I went, whoa, is it that obvious?
Scott Luton (01:32):
I love that. They, they know you well.
Greg White (01:36):
Yeah. As soon as I open my mouth, I guess.
Scott Luton (01:40):
So I am, I am looking up the USC upstate mascot. Yeah. And that is going to be, I don’t see a mascot.
Greg White (01:52):
Well, they, you know, they’re a branch campus, so they may not have
Scott Luton (01:56):
Greg White (01:57):
Oh, they are
Scott Luton (01:58):
Spart t-shirts USC, upstate Spartans, Greg.
Greg White (02:01):
So basically the Spartanburgs Spartans cuz that’s where USC upstate is located.
Scott Luton (02:07):
That is right man. It’s trivia, uh, trivia. So folks, uh, you’re gonna be asked at some point in some really cool holding wall bar as you’re playing trivia one day, Hey, who knows for a hundred dollars. Who knows the mascot, the USC upstate, uh, uh, university Spartans. Here’s your answer? So Hey big,
Greg White (02:28):
Always bringing value.
Scott Luton (02:29):
That’s right. So before we get into the key takeaways, we’ve heard a lot of, of feedback already. Uh, I couldn’t make the conference, but you, and of course your partner in crime, at least for this past week, Kevin L. Jackson, which OS are digital transformer series here at supply chain now who Greg is helping to power more transformational tomorrows, you and Kevin were a hit Greg,
Greg White (02:52):
I guess so. I mean, I, I think, you know, Kevin’s, uh, for all of everyone who knows us, they must know Kevin’s bio by now it, but when you hear it pronounced in the physical presence of Kevin and it, it is so very impressive. The Naval academy, three degrees, you know, worked with, uh, military foreign governments, our government, right? Just in, in he’s an adjunct professor, all, all sorts of things that are just so impressive. And his points of view are really, really powerful. So I got to experience that firsthand on a couple of different panels where we were both on
Scott Luton (03:32):
Now, Kevin has sent me a wire. He says that I cannot ask you anything about your time together. There was evidently is some top secret activities. So, uh, we’ll circle back on a, a future, uh, buzz edition. But I do Greg, before we get into key takeaways. Yeah. Uh, I’m not sure how much time you spent there in the upstate of South Carolina, which listeners, if you think of, uh, Clemson and Greenville and Spartanburg, kind of that north Eastern portion of, uh, south, South Carolina is generally spoke, uh, uh, referred to as the upstate. So Greg, any observations, the food, the people, the, the landscape,
Greg White (04:09):
Uh, all of it. Uh, first of all, it, it’s 12 counties in kind of the Northern section of, of South Carolina that they consider the upstate. Uh, I did notice and that everyone was like, what do they call the rest of it? I know I said, I know what they call. I know they call some of it the low country. Right. But I’m not sure there’s actually a formal term for downstate or other parts.
Scott Luton (04:31):
The Midlands state, the Midlands, the, the
Greg White (04:34):
Midland Midlands. Oh, that’s right. You’re a South Carolina natives. So you know, these things from
Scott Luton (04:38):
Aiken, one of the 46 counties that make South Carolina, but you know what, Greg, I messed up. I said, Northeast, it is a Northwest corner. Yeah. Of, of South Carolina. So not, well,
Greg White (04:48):
It’s strange because of south Carolina’s shape, it’s almost all corners. Right. It’s effectively a triangle with a right. But yeah. It’s and, and it was, it was beautiful. And, and actually I have been to firm in universe before actually I’ve been to Greenville and Spartanburg before, you know, I’m a big BMW fan. Right. And they have the driving experience up there, but I’m also, I’m also a Wichita state fan. And, and the last time Wichita state was in the NCAA tournament, we played university of Clemson. Sorry. We whooped him at Furman. So
Scott Luton (05:23):
It was, so
Greg White (05:24):
I have been to that campus before, too, almost the very spot where they held the conference.
Scott Luton (05:30):
So yes. Uh, which I remember that game. I remember you giving me a hard time, but it was well deserved. Cause Wichita Dale was a great team that year Clemson university. So see you Clemson university, uh, is what, uh, from basketball, we’re used to a series of WOS here lately. I got a couple bright spots, couple bright
Greg White (05:47):
Spots. That was a very good team that year. Yes. Clemson team was a very good team afraid to play ’em frankly, it just kind of went our way. So
Scott Luton (05:55):
Well, so let, so did you any, you know, we gotta talk about food just for a second. Yeah, sure. Do you eat any local cuisine that, uh, comes to mind?
Greg White (06:06):
I can’t, I cannot verify that this was local, but there’s a famous steak restaurant in Charleston’s called Charleston called halls. Yeah. And there is also one in, uh, downtown Greenville. Okay. And so that’s, that’s probably as much as I can tell you since Kevin sent you a note, but, uh, we did partake in a, a steak, which I’d like to thank you for Scott. Cause that was part of our expenses and it was delicious. And the downtown area of Greenville has been apparently fairly recently revitalized, which by the way, used to be the home of Furman university and the original tower from the original campus still stands down there on the Rey river. And, um, and it was beautiful down there. We did not get to stay much our, you know, we had a early call every morning. Um, and of course, you know, Kevin is a, he’s a military guy, so, you know, early to bed and early to rise all of that, so
Scott Luton (07:06):
Greg White (07:07):
But yeah, it, it was beautiful. And I gotta tell you, I was, this, this was striking to me. I heard some statistics from a group called one Spartanburg. Okay. Uh, in with is the confluence of their chamber of commerce, their tourism organization. And one more, uh, uh, economic development organization instead of having three they’ve combined them all in one, which gives them three different perspectives, a genius move. In my part, I mean for, I mean, not on my part, a genius from my point of view, uh, because it does create efficiency and, and it also gives them a multitude of viewpoints when courting new companies to come to the upstate of which there are dozens and dozens BMW being the most famous. Right. But Bosch, Michelin, Bridgestone, other, and, and I believe around 65, I have other companies that are located in the upstate from 35 different countries.
Greg White (08:06):
Fascinating. So that was fascinating. Yeah. You know, I had to say, I mean, I literally had to say to somebody, I turned to Ben cubit from trans place and said, that’s, that’s not the Greenville that I used to. Right. So it’s really, really interesting Greenville and Spartanburg, you know, and, and now Greer is, which is a little town town, just east of Spartanburg. Yep. Uh, which has grown by 300% in the last 10 years from 10,000 to 40,000 residents. But, you know, as the head Allen Smith, right, as Allen Smith of one Spartanburg was talking about all of the numbers, they were just amazing. And, and, you know, really interesting to think of the Greenville, Spartanburg metroplex as an area that is growing in such incredible influence. But at the same time, when you, uh, think about the people from upstate international, Rob Rowan, uh, Alex ACUI and Brianna whose last name I’m afraid, escape me from AFL.
Greg White (09:09):
I do know that when you think about the work that those people non-government organizations, as well as the governments have put in it is to be expected, I suppose, because they have such a great group of quality international people who are working on improving what is now all of their homes, some of ’em from other states, some of, many of them from other countries. Yeah. And some of them from right there at home, in fact, the mayor of Spartanburg, Jerome rice, my newest favorite mayor wore a blazer and a polo shirt and was from, uh, you know, the Northern end of, of town. Yeah. Um, a lifer and had come from being a neighborhood kid to, to being a city council person to, to, uh, facilitating the building that we actually did this in. They call it the George, which is the George Dean business and economics college. Wow.
Scott Luton (10:06):
Greg White (10:06):
Um, but first of all, the George, I mean, what a cool name go to the George and make a left. Right. I just thought that was great. But anyway, uh, mayor rice was a great facilitator and a couple of, of other, uh, local political leaders were great hosts for us there as well.
Scott Luton (10:22):
All right. So man, you were taking copious notes a lot. I feel like I was there now.
Greg White (10:28):
Not, not a one, you know, I never take notes, but that’s how impactful it was clearly. I mean, it was really that impactful, I think maybe because, you know, in my ignorance, so unexpected for, you know, I mean really if our fans around the world who thinks of the upstate, who even knows what the upstate is of South Carolina, I was truly impressed and surprised. And at the same time in hearing from the quality persons that we all I heard from thinking, why am I surprised? And why haven’t I, uh, thought about this before? So,
Scott Luton (11:04):
Well, you know, uh, as you probably know, better than I maybe, uh, cuz since you are a BM w enthusiast, when the late great governor Carol Campbell, one of his, um, biggest legacies was recruiting that B w uh, plant to South Carolina, I wanna say it was the late eighties could have been the early nineties, but regardless that was a big, that was kinda like George, uh, Georgia got me thinking that Georgia now that was kinda like Georgia getting landing in Kia, you know, Kia changed, not just the region. It really changed the state. Well, very similar predated by a few years was the BMW investment in the CS, South Carolina. So who knows, we’ll have to get the full story in the later episode. One last question, before we get some yes, sir. To some of your, um, your big panel discussions and sidebar conversations and key takeaways. I thought, you know, if you’re a house of cards fan, and I don’t know if you’re, I don’t know if we were talking about this. Yeah. We, we watched it all that final season was kind of, yeah,
Greg White (12:01):
But I never got there after Kevin Spacey was off. I never went back, but I’ve always felt like I should. So no spoilers,
Scott Luton (12:09):
No spoilers, no spoilers, but season, uh, I’m sorry. Chapter three of house of cards they featured the POID. They didn’t call it that on the show, but it’s in Gaffney. It’s like a peach,
Greg White (12:21):
The big peach.
Scott Luton (12:22):
Yeah. The big water tower. Yeah. That’s, that’s what I thought. I just pulled up on Wiki on Wikipedia and they call it the POID or the peach or Mr. Peach or the moon AFF all interesting bunch of interest names. Did you pass by that?
Greg White (12:38):
No, that is, uh, north of where, where I was, as I recall, and between, uh, between, uh, Greenville and Spartanburg, I took side roads, uh, dark and in the rain, nothing like driving on windy, dark road, unle roads in the rain, um, to, to get you to, to drive the appropriate speed. And, and I did
Scott Luton (13:03):
Greg White (13:03):
Is good. I know how that must sound crazy, but I actually did
Scott Luton (13:07):
Well a little trivia again, uh, Frank Underwood, who is Kevin’s space’s character in-house of cards. It all started, he was from Gaffney, South Carolina and, you know, fictionally in the series. So, and that’s where the peach or the big peach, whatever your favorite nickname is, uh, is, is appears in an episode or in that series. So, uh, all of that beat that as it may beat that as it may, Greg let’s get to the heart of the matter. Uh, yeah, that was three heavy, heavy duty today say you and I have had a chance to debrief a little bit, um, before your appearance here, what, what a co what are a couple things that are really sticking with you after three days of, uh, international discussions?
Greg White (13:47):
Well, so this was international affairs and international business. The two things that really stood out to me were this, the juxtaposition or confluence or whatever you wanna call it of international affairs and international business, if they aren’t obvious to everyone, or weren’t obvious to everyone before they should be obvious now. Um, and I expected that, you know, you and I talked a little bit about that. And when we were talking about the conference on some of the shows leading up to it, we talked about how exciting we thought that was, would be, but it was much more impactful than I ever could have known it. You know, uh, I sat down with, uh, a leader, uh, Kevin casidy from the international labor organization, which is a, an organization obviously that talk that represents labor around the world and his discussion and the international perspective that he had was truly impressive and really made me think about supply chain’s impact on that. And, and another one of our fellow panelists was, um, bill Gifford, who is the head chair, president CEO, whatever it is of the world affairs councils of America, the parent organization to Rob Owen and his organization, the world affair council of the upstate or upstate world affairs council, I believe so had just got back from Doha, a, an international forum on business and world affairs with some world leaders there and certainly, um, you know, powerful influencers and business persons from all over the world.
Scott Luton (15:29):
So really quick great was based on what you’re sharing here and based on our previous couple of conversations and, and Kevin’s feedback, the mix of the quality of the attendees and the panelists, and just the, uh, the perspective that was represented by that was a big part of the value of the conversations. Would you say
Greg White (15:50):
Huge? Uh, I mean, bill himself is, is an incredible influencer lives in DC, works with the government David Cassidy as well. We had ambassadors and former ambassadors and consoles general from many countries around the world. We had a three star air force general from Denmark who is in charge of sent coms central task force, which is 45 countries who are jointly combating terrorism around the world. Who’ve joined the United States since nine 11 to battle terrorism around the world. So we talked about not just, not just foreign affairs as diplomacy, we talked about foreign affairs as things like migration, labor, actual, uh, the possibility of conflict, you know, where are we with Afghanistan now? What, what are the military? What is the potential military impact in the south China sea of what, what China and the us are doing constantly sort of rubbing elbow, right? Agitating one another there, right?
Greg White (16:55):
The recent, uh, the recent play for attention from rocket man from, uh, Kim Jong UN who launched yet another missile into the, into the, uh, straights of something near Japan. So he’s not forgotten while Russia, China and Ukraine take take center stage. Um, we talked a lot about, um, things like that, the tactical and strategic aspects of military operations and, and the tactics that some of these countries are undertaking as well as the social impact and the diplomatic impact and the economic impact. And that’s just the first point is the confluence of all these things, Scott. So the second thing that I really observed was supply chain in every single discussion, every single discussion that we had, people who knew nothing about supply chain, people who had never even heard of supply chain two years ago, people who admitted when I asked, uh, the audience, their eyes glazed over whenever the topic of supply chain was brought up prior to 2020. Um, now it’s in the forefront of everyone’s mind. And even I, you know, having been in supply chain and, and you and I have, and others have advocated for supply chain to have this seat at the table. Even I was, uh, taken aback as I realized the realization that people had had over the last couple of years and the breadth of impact of supply to chain on diplomacy, on economic policies, social policies, um, military action and policies. Right, right.
Scott Luton (18:38):
So really quick speaking of that, you know, we talked months ago and I have to go back and find the show, but you and I were talking about, uh, I think it was a predictions show or something maybe at the end of 2021. And we’re talking about 20, 22 and you and I both were talking about folks. This is, uh, largely, I mean, there’s, there’s lots of, there’s still regional conflicts and, and that kind of stuff, but largely, you know, there’s no large, uh, massive scale invasion or war or conflict. And so all these challenges and supply chain, you know, didn’t have to worry about that. Well, welcome 2022. And, and we’re starting to see, you know, and, and we’re trying, and hopefully no number one, hopefully not only is the blatant Russian, uh, and atrocious Russian aggression in Ukraine, hopefully it comes to a stop, but also we hope, hope it, it, it, it, uh, cooler heads prevail and we’re able to contain it, but, but just think all those places you just mentioned, of course, the south China sea, which is not just China, to your point, you’ve got North Korea rattling, some sabers called lack of attention, but just
Greg White (19:48):
Taiwan has, which I found out at conference Taiwan has greatly increased their defense budget because of this, because they see, they see that China is using Russia as somewhat of a crash test, dummy to figure out how the world will respond to this kind of aggression and probably determining their actions in Taiwan based on how world responds and the impact that it has on Russia.
Scott Luton (20:14):
Well, with all of that, and I don’t say this lightly, but gosh, if we thought, I mean, given all the potentials, if we thought it was challenging, you know, let’s kind of hold our breath a bit over the next few months, uh, or, or maybe, I mean, longer than that clearly, but, um, you know, cause it could be, it could go from the what’s that from the, from the skillet to the fire, is that the phrase
Greg White (20:38):
From frying pan into the fire? Yeah.
Scott Luton (20:39):
Thank you very much.
Greg White (20:40):
That’s an old, uh, schoolhouse rock thing. Is it out of the frying pan and into the fire?
Scott Luton (20:45):
Well, the weight of the conversations, Greg, I mean, you’re always a, a deep thinker anyway, but man, the, the weight and the gravity and the, um, truly the global nature and, and, and purview and positioning of, of these discussions, man, it feels palpable based on kind of what you’re bringing to the audience here. What else, what else still sticks with you?
Greg White (21:08):
Well, you know, you mentioned hope and you know, all of that around what’s going on in, in Russia and Ukraine, let me assure you, none of these people, none of the diplomats or military leaders, they weren’t hoping at all. They were planning, they were creating, uh, provisional schemes. They were, uh, predicting, they were some bill Gifford for one was vocally and loudly, uh, protesting. And, uh, and I mean, this is a man with a significant voice, by the way, loudly protesting and, and decrying what, what Putin is doing in, in Ukraine. But the interesting thing is that while we foreign affairs, amateurs and observers, while we sit and hope and think, and, and, and worry, many of the people that were at this conference are taking some sort of action, either diplomatic or diplomatic, preparing for military or military consulting with diplomatic or overt or covert action in regard to this.
Greg White (22:15):
So there is so much going on behind the scenes of diplomacy and they are deeply, deeply intellectual people. Um, I mean, uh, if I have rarely felt out classed that I’m a genius, but I have rarely felt out classed mostly because I stay in my lane, but I was a bit outta my lane. I must confess at, at, you know, as regards foreign affairs, but I felt completely out classed by the likes of bill Gifford and Kevin casidy and others there. Uh, as we talked about it, uh, general Hendrick Larson, uh, from Denmark and CENTCOM. So
Scott Luton (22:52):
We’re transparent bunch foreign affairs. It’s not my bag. I you’re saying it’s not your bag either. Yeah. And we’re, it’s good to know that these pros that know how to navigate through these times and hopefully help cooler heads prevail are at work. I’ll tell you Greg, a few weeks ago, not take us off the subject, but a movie you gotta see if you haven’t already, uh, on Netflix, there’s this movie called Munich Munich, the edge of war. And it’s based on true story. Have you seen, have you seen this?
Greg White (23:21):
I haven’t, but I, I bet I know what it’s about.
Scott Luton (23:24):
Yeah. It’s in the days just prior to it’s when Neville Chamberlain visits and the, you know, the big agreement with, with Hitler and it shows all these diplomatic behind the scenes and man, according to the movie war was just, you know, it was so close to being averted and so close to a certain party within Germany, kind of taking power back away from Hitler. But, uh, I’m not a historic, I’m not a, uh, that’s, that’s a lot of deep history there, but check it out, Munich, the edge of war. Yeah. I’ll do that, man. And I watched that and there are so many parallels to some of what we’re seeing now as the non non global diploma is the expert that, uh, that I am
Greg White (24:07):
Well, I have to tell you, I mean, you know, I studied political science and particularly Soviet politics when I was in college. And I have to tell you, I, I do see a lot of parallels. The, the, the tactic that the English and, and Europeans took largely in world war II was appeasement. Let’s give him something and hope he doesn’t go any further. And I see E some significant parallels in how we’re approaching, what Putin is doing. And appeasement did not work. In fact, the policy was called appeasement prior to world war II. That’s right. And I see some significant alignment with the appeasement of world war II and hoping that cooler heads prevail, which they nev they are not go going to. I mean, there, there will unquestionably be some sort of counter aggression to, to end or put a fine point on the end of, or the boundaries of what Putin is doing today. Um, it may not be battle, but it will certainly be a position of military might that says, this is your new, even if Ukraine becomes part of the, of Russia or becomes a puppet state like Belarus, there will be a, a significant measure of military strength shown to assure him that that is the edge of his domain. Mm.
Scott Luton (25:28):
So I wanna, uh, I, I’m gonna take one more stat. I bet you’re still kind of processing a lot of what you heard, but also a lot of what you shared because you were there speaking on, uh, I believe supply chain panels. You may have been on some tech panels. I was still trying to navigate through all the, all, you know, three days worth of, uh, of sessions, but yeah, one, give us one more thing that really sticks out based on, on what you were being asked or the expertise you were sharing, or some of those conversations you were, you were part of kind of sidebar.
Greg White (25:58):
Yeah. I think the, one of the sidebar conversations, well, uh, a sidebar conversation that I had frequently was the freedom and openness of discussion that we had at this. There was nobody pulling any punches, if they felt strongly about, about Russia. They said, so if, if it a matter of fact, discussion around China or Russia or supply chain or world labor or whatever needed to be had, they said it and, and nobody apologized for it. And I think it was, it was good because I know I could tell we are not all, uh, aligned necessarily politically, but, but we were all free to speak our mind to say our peace and to, you know, and to know that while an intellectual, uh, argument might be made, no other argument would have, was made and nobody was shouted down and nobody was, you know, nobody was silenced or whatever you call that. Uh, the thing that everybody hates, uh,
Scott Luton (26:59):
Oh, not erased
Greg White (27:00):
Canceled. Yes. That’s it canceled. But the, I, I think that was really powerful. And then, you know, in addition to that, it was just the breadth of topics. We talked about global migration. We talked about the possibility of a world, minimum tax, global minimum tax, so that every country agrees to tax every business and individual to at least some minimum level, I presume. And again, like you said, I’m still processing this cuz that was way over my head, but to help alleviate some of the things that companies do to avoid taxes in high tax jurisdictions, like the United States and the UK and Australia and others.
Scott Luton (27:39):
So to kind of level up the global playing field, I guess, would be one of the motivations there
Greg White (27:44):
Mostly it’s a money grab by the big countries. Okay. But yes, you, you can call it whatever you want, cuz it, it does, by the way, this, this was the one takeaway I took from the two takeaways. I should say one, it does by virtue of this, uh, global minimum tax and at least what is proposed today, it does announce by the C’s that they own you, that they own their citizens. Not that their citizens are free. Wow. People, you know, we had a, I had a long discussion about that at our table and we all wound up agreeing. We didn’t start out agreeing, but we all wound up agreeing that that’s essentially what it said. And the other is it works to the disadvantage of some of the smaller countries that woo companies to locate there
Scott Luton (28:28):
Greg White (28:28):
Because Ireland Cayman islands though, it’s hard to have any sympathy for the Cayman islands, but Mait other countries that have, have, uh, have beneficial tax structures that allow these companies to avoid legally avoid, uh, the tax structures of maybe their domicile nation or, or primary nation of operations. Um, but it does work to the significant disadvantage of hundreds of companies where it benefits dozens of countries.
Scott Luton (28:59):
Wow. Okay. So folks, if you’re tuned into the video version of this conversation, I apologize call as the pollen is getting to me. Yes. I’m coughing, I’m drinking. I’m trying to keep it everything out of the mic.
Greg White (29:11):
You’re making me thirsty
Scott Luton (29:12):
Actually. Yeah. I’ll tell you this pollen is record breaking here in Georgia this year. All right. So Greg, I know that we’re not, you know, we never planned on doing it justice in 30 minutes. I’m sure we’ll talk about more, uh, Eureka moments and takeaways in upcoming, uh, additions of the buzz. Uh, love those. So as we wrap here, I wanna make sure folks know how to connect with you and, and hang on, hang on, wait a second time out. Cause I wanna go back to something you published today and we’re gonna wrap on this. Uh, and then we’ll, then we’ll get folks to connect with you. Cause this was talk about not pulling punches and by the way, it is beautiful and a blessed thing to have a bunch of smart people in, in a venue like this. And there’d be plenty of disagreement that that’s the definition in many ways of freedom and they can all share and you can agree to disagree, even if it’s most passionate, you know, it’s really important.
Scott Luton (30:09):
All, all those perspectives, uh, can assemble like that. So that’s a beautiful thing. But today, so every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on LinkedIn, if you connect with Greg white or follow Greg white, you’ll see his commentary, supply chain commentary, and folks, he lays it out there. He doesn’t pull any punches. He tells you what you need to know. He tells it to your Frank and direct and sometimes it’s a smack in the face, no pun. I’m not even gonna reference any, um, um, current events, but today Greg was all out how you were really, uh, separating maybe a popular fiction when it comes to sanctions against Russia to reality. Yeah. So really quick let’s, let’s let’s if you could UN unpack that in a nutshell. Cause I think folks need to really understand that.
Greg White (30:57):
Yeah. So one of the headlines recently has been, and, and thankfully this is a heard that the, the us is, has suspended trade relations with Russia. That’s not at all what has happened, but that, but in, and I’m sure that nobody meant to, uh, misinformed people. But what has actually happened is that we have removed the most favored nation status of Russia, which means they are so object to tariffs and restrictions that companies or that countries, which are not favored trading partners of the us Iran would be a, a good example of that and other, um, often bad actors, but sometimes just not, uh, diplomatically in favor companies or countries. I keep saying companies. So the perception that could have been made in some of the unspoken language in the, in the article, um, was that we had cut off trade with, with Russia, which, which we have not done at all, right.
Greg White (31:58):
What we have done is we have temporarily suspended this most favored nation status, not revoked it. And I know that a lot of thought went into whether we would suspend or revoke it because I believe that constitutionally, or at least legally, once we’ve revoked it, we cannot reinstate it. So that may be why they suspended it. But the important thing to understand from that is we’re what this pointed out to me is how we are playing chess. Our diplomats and leaders are playing chess here in the west are checkers. Sorry. And, and how Putin is playing chess because he’s going to recognize the temporary nature of this thing. And he’s gonna, he’s going to continue to test our will to suffer because essentially what uh, suspending trading will do is in a number of key factors, nickel, oil, wheat, other other products that we get on average around 10% of our imports from Russia, it will create a shortage of about 10% of our demand and which will of course raise prices in an already inflationary space.
Greg White (33:04):
So, you know, what, what this creates is some sacrifice on our parts. We’re gonna pay more, we’re gonna have less availability. It’s gonna hurt us as, as consumers and Putin has for a long time. And again, I said, I’ve studied the Soviet union. So I know John, I know Vladimir Putin and his, his, uh, strategies from yeah, from all the way back to the eighties. So he knows that our constituency, our citizens can put pressure on the government and cause them to break falter, lose favor for certain policies because it causes too much pain to the voter. And the voters are how they get elected in Russia. It’s not the same, even though there is an election, it’s a sham and he is effectively an autocrat and dictator and, and he doesn’t care what his, his constituents think or say protest do or, or how well they do in their livelihoods.
Greg White (34:05):
So it’s a different world for him and he’s testing our resolve with this. And I think the, the upshot of this Scott was really, and, and I’ve done a couple of posts like this, preparing myself probably, and, and others mental that we need to be prepared to sacrifice for what will, in retrospect, after we’re through all of this seem like a very, very short time, but it will be very painful. In the meantime, we need to, we need to prepare to sacrifice, even if it’s only just prices. I’m not even talking about putting on a uniform and going to Europe or in anything like that. I’m just saying endure inflation, endure shortages, you know, accept that certain things can’t, or won’t be able to happen because we are making a principled stand against the second, most dangerous world leader on the planet. And if we don’t do it against the second, most dangerous world leader on the planet, Vladimir Putin, we will embolden and enable the most dangerous leader on the face of the planet.
Greg White (35:11):
Xian ping of China, who is U who is using Russia. As I said earlier, as a crash test dummy to discover how much subjugation, how much aggression, how much repression the rest of the world will endure to avoid conflict or sacrifice in, in their personal lives. Hmm. And so that, that what I was really doing was calling on the citizenry to be prepared for and to accept that they will have to sacrifice to keep these two rogue illegitimate and dangerous leaders from attempting to overtake the world. That’s the unsaid part that news organizations are not saying when they’re talking about this could define the new world order, right? They are afraid to say it because they don’t wanna scare the citizenry and it’s appropriate because their government agencies and they reach everyone. But, um, I just wanna reach a handful of people who reach a handful of people who can dis discuss this and, and share it in context to say, you know, to, to do it without, without getting hysterical about it. Right. And that’s, that’s really the purpose. And essentially the, the body of what I shared in my commentary today.
Scott Luton (36:35):
Well, check it out. He tackles, uh, Greg tackles some of the most challenging topics and issues and cha and developments of our time, whether they’re a little more geopolitical like today, a lot of times it’s supply chain and, and a lot of times it’s, it is the real story in supply chain. In fact, we, we should point that title cause Greg, you do a lot of demystifying and I enjoy that in analysis. So check it out, make sure you can you, and, and then in link to this, uh, on this episode page, you’ll have be able to connect directly with Greg follow Greg on LinkedIn or other, other, uh, social channels and stay tuned. Cause Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you have, uh, Greg white standing and delivering with reliability and consistency and plenty, plenty of challenging the current status quo. Okay. So Greg, beyond that, beyond LinkedIn and Twitter, Gregory S. White at Gregory S. White, anything else you’d suggest for how to folks connect with you?
Greg White (37:35):
I, I think, uh, LinkedIn is probably the best way. I’ve gotten a little bit more diligent in trying to get to all the messages that I get each day and try to respond to them. Um, if you have a question or an idea or something like that, that you’d love to share, just put it in the messaging and, and, uh, you know, we can connect deeper on it.
Scott Luton (37:55):
Wonderful, wonderful. One of the best, uh, Greg white, thanks for spending time. Uh, this afternoon, right on the heels of your return from the upstate of South Carolina, where it’s happening, a lot of things are happening up there.
Greg White (38:07):
It’s amazing. It really is. And, and impressive. And, um, and thank you for, you know, letting me share this. It was an honor, frankly, to, to share time with these diplomats people, frankly way outta my league, but it does show you how supply chain has, has a seat at the table, a seat at the global table, not just the corporate table and how important and how recognized what we do and what we do means to the world, not just to the companies that we work for or
Scott Luton (38:38):
Serve. Hmm. Well said, I wanna, uh, I wanna wrap on one more thing and that is so our dear friend at, uh, enure Avarez and the vector global logistics team. Yeah. Uh, supply chain now, and vector have partnered up with plenty of other folks to really find an effective and practical way of leveraging the logistics and really the supply chain community to meet real vetted needs and targeted needs in Ukraine and Poland and elsewhere. Uh, so folks, you can learn more about that initiative. Probably the best place is just, uh, check a out vector gl.com. You’ll see the stand with Ukraine information and links a lot more information. They’re doing great work. Uh, and Greg it’s it’s, it is, uh, one of the best parts about this journey we’re on is to rub elbows and stand with folks like that, that are that epitomize deeds, not words, and are helping folks in need.
Scott Luton (39:34):
So you’ll check that out. You vector gl.com, Greg white. Thank you for your time here today. I look forward to the buzz coming up right around the corner. Folks, you can check that out, live and bring your voice every Monday, 12 noon Eastern time, uh, on supply chain. Now, wherever you connect with the supply chain out on social, uh, on behalf of our entire team here, this is Scott Lou and Greg white signing off for now, but Hey folks to the Russian people and the China people, Hey, continue to find your voice. You probably aren’t. Aren’t hearing us right now. Cause the governments don’t let don’t let right, uh, dissenting opinion in, but it’s not about the people it’s about these really bad actors as, as Greg was, was, uh, pointing out that are hurting hundred of people. Uh, but whatever you do, folks to our listeners around the world, we’re asking, imploring you to do good to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we see next time, right back here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community, check it out. All of our firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
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.
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!
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
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.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.