Global planning, project management and global supplier management at Cisco. Global supply chain operations at Northrop Grumman. Founder of Waves of Change, a non-profit focused on driving racial equity through sustainability. You might be picturing a 30-year supply chain veteran at this point, but these credentials are just the beginning of what Rachel Clark is bringing to the profession. A senior at Howard University, Rachel joins us to trace her path from a rural Massachusetts upbringing to leading the Howard University Supply Chain Student Association – and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Find out why supply chain is an inherently human industry full of ethical responsibilities and opportunities, what it takes to be an effective leader, how organizations can create more diversity throughout the industry and much more.
Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now,
Scott Luton (00:32):
And everybody Scott Luton with supply chain now welcome to today’s episode. Hey, I’m really excited about this conversation. We’re gonna be having with a supply chain leader on the move with some new, big ideas for industry. So, uh, stay tuned. You’re going to hear the passion for leadership in droves. A quick programming note before we get started here. Hey, if you like what you hear today, make sure you go find supply chain and wherever you get your podcasts from and click subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing like this interview right here. So let’s tee up our guests here. I had to really call this down from about 18 pages of accomplishments and leadership roles and positions. So our feature guests is a senior supply chain management student at Howard university. She also serves as president of the school’s supply chain management student association. Our guests has completed four successful internships with the world renown Cisco systems organization. She’s also been recognized as a 20, 20 young futurist by the route magazine. She served as president and CEO of her own nonprofit organization that she founded waves of change HBC U Inc. And if that doesn’t keep her busy enough in whatever free time she’s got remaining, our guests enjoys volunteering and giving back, especially at her local salvation army facility. Join me in welcoming Rachel Clark, Rachel, how you doing?
Rachel Clark (01:56):
Hey, I’m doing good. Thank you so much for that introduction where you bet
Scott Luton (01:59):
I had to add, uh, exercise, just so I could get it all in there. I tell ya I really admire, you know, deeds, not words is something we talk around a lot about here at supply chain now, and you’ve got that in spades and I admire that already about you.
Rachel Clark (02:14):
Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. So
Scott Luton (02:17):
We’re going to, we’ve got the opportunity over the next 45 minutes, 60 minutes, however long it takes us to dive into your story. And, and beyond that, hearing your take on, on industry on supply chain and a lot of different topics. So are you buckled up and ready to go? All right. So I like to ask, I like to start a conversation, you know, kind of just getting a better feel for Rachel Clark, the person, and one of those universal questions. I think a lot of folks bond around is, is where are you from? Where’d you grow up? So fill in the gaps, let us know where you grew up and you gotta give us some anecdotes on your upbringing.
Rachel Clark (02:55):
Yeah, for sure. So a little bit about my back. I’m actually from a small town in Massachusetts, uh, so on the south shore for context, pretty rural, my uncle is actually a cattle farmer. So if that gives you any context to kind of the area that I’m from, it was very interesting. I think being from where I’m from, uh, so my mom’s actually immigrant from Haiti and my dad’s of Irish American Indian ancestry. And so growing up, having those experiences, being from a town where my dad’s from this town, his dad’s from his town, his dad’s from his town and apparently his dad’s from Ireland. But, you know, we’ll see, you know, gotta get on ancestry to double-check that, but that’s as the legend goes. And so I have this legacy, uh, from where I come from. And then on the flip side, my mom’s side of the family, she knows she’s new to the United States.
Rachel Clark (03:41):
And seeing that perspective from the immigrant side of things versus a truly homegrown American, I think gave me a really, really unique experience. And then being from such a small town where, you know, it’s not a huge population, a lot of people are also from that area. I think it taught me to get comfortable at an early age with standing out just from how I looked, how I spoke. And again, from my background and as a child, that’s like terrifying, right? Like we brought in, like, we don’t want that. But as an adult, as a young adult, you realize that that’s actually like your super power, because the biggest thing that holds people back is they’re afraid to stand out. They’re afraid to be successful. They’re afraid that their friends are going to look at her blessed think with having that upbringing where you have no choice, but to stand out from the day when you get very, very comfortable being in your own greatness and not holding yourself back to make other people feel comfortable. And so something I’ve grown to be really, really grateful for. And I wouldn’t change it.
Scott Luton (04:39):
No, I think I share it with you. Appreciate you have got this business maturity and savviness about you. That you’re really, I mean, you communicate these things that it takes some people, you know, decades and decades and decades to learn, but I completely agree with you. I think standing out is your superpower when we’re young and it hasn’t dawned on us. That is a good thing, stick out. Right. And stand out and differentiate yourself. But once you, once you have that Eureka moment, which we’re gonna talk more about soon and, and you embrace it, it’s a beautiful thing and it
Rachel Clark (05:11):
Kind of set it better. So, all right.
Scott Luton (05:13):
So a cattle farmer in Massachusetts, your uncle was, is
Rachel Clark (05:16):
That right? Yeah. I gotta tell
Scott Luton (05:19):
Ya. I don’t think I’ve met or heard about 80 cattle farming in Massachusetts, so, uh, that’s really cool. Did you get a chance to spend some time on the farm as a kid?
Rachel Clark (05:28):
Yes. So, uh, growing up it’s been, I definitely had a more, a hands-on kind of always was playing outside. That was always like my things. You can usually find me a nine years old, probably climbing a tree or getting muddy. So plenty of scars across my body from, uh, growing up in that kind of environment. But it was good. I think having that background, even my grandfather actually recently passed away, but he had his own business. He was an electrician. And so he had six kids and what my dad’s, every one of those kids, it was like child labor laws, which would have been like going off, cause at a young age, they were like on ladders, like screwing in like bulbs and doing all that stuff. So my dad grew up with that same kind of work ethic, you know, standard middle-class, but really that hard working, you know, you pull yourself up, you do the best you can and you get that work, something so unique to that specific, uh, people. And so he passed that onto me. So I was definitely mowing the lawn. I would do the front yard cause there were no Hills. Uh, and so I was always treated kind of in that way, but it gives you one heck of a work ethic. It’s been a pretty interesting childhood for sure. Yeah. Yes.
Scott Luton (06:38):
Lots of appreciation for hard work ethic. So let’s talk about your first formal job. Where was that?
Rachel Clark (06:44):
Yeah, so my first job is arguably still actually my favorite job that I’ve ever worked. I was 14 years old and I was working at Dunkin donuts and it was pretty much the best way I think I could have started my career. And I’m very open to that because it’s not very luxurious and a lot of my peers didn’t have to work, but I did. And I think the best thing about working at Dunkin donuts specifically was the people that you met. And I think at a pivotal age, at 14, I was exposed to a very wide variety of like life paths all at once. Because when you work in fast food, you have some people that are like something that are working that are, you know, have multiple kids and they’re just trying to make ends meet. And then you have some coworkers that are retirement age, like four to finished retiring.
Rachel Clark (07:31):
And so they’re working there. Then you have some other like knuckleheads that are like, you just put up money to save up for your first car. Like they don’t care about the world. And you have some people that chose not to go to college that are people that we would have never met any in any other context, like totally different. And we’re all just packed into a coffee shop, trying to make like a caramel latte and before the line and people get mad at us. And I think having that being forced to work with people in such close quarters and you would have like nothing in common with it teaches you so much, I think. And especially age, do one, not to judge anybody because if you take the time to really hear people’s stories, you realize it’s very easy. I think to say, don’t go to college or don’t and when you actually meet them and you hear your story, you guys that that’s never this. And I think society as a whole, we put labels on people so easily, but having that experience at a young age, meeting those people I learned early on, we’re not all that different. And so having that, Jen having that understanding was something that I was able to have in me. And I think even now as a leader, being in corporate America, doing these things, it’s still something that I look back on and I still use those values that I learned from that very first job in my everyday, so much
Scott Luton (08:44):
Good stuff there. We could spend the next couple of hours, just, just diving deeper in what you just shared. But you know, it reminds me several things you shared there. Um, as I waited tables, my college career and you know, that’s a hard job, that’s a hard job. And unfortunately, a big reason why it’s hard is some of the people you have to wait on. Right. Um, but after, after the end of those double shifts or after the end of that really challenging lunch where you might’ve made 17 bucks in tips, but worked, you know, your rear end off it, it always, uh, I had this one moment of clarity where, you know, bless her. Those that really work hard and bust her knuckles, you know, putting in a full day’s work and, and there’s few things as rewarding and, and, and as grateful that we should be of, of, of those people that, that fuel the services industries or fuel, whatever it is. Right. Um, and it sounds like I also liked how you met people kind of across the, from all walks of life and, and all stages of their journey. So I can only imagine some of the stories Rachel, that you could write from your time at Dunkin donuts. She could probably write a book here today.
Rachel Clark (09:51):
Oh definitely. And even, I don’t want to get too off topic, but even one person, uh, I just want to shout out because I actually was assigned, I had to write a MC hero essay. It was like my sophomore year high school. And I actually wrote it about this person because when I was at Dunkin donuts pizza shop, that was next to us. It was like one of those two in one type buildings and name was John. And he would always come in and do, would always order, uh, iced. Machiatto like all the time. So we knew him as like that guy that always got it. And one day we just decided to talk to him. And by the way, he was probably early thirties, like working at a pizza shop, you know, it’s not the most glamorous role to mom. And we were just talking about our lives and he told me, he was like, yeah, honestly, between you and me, I used to sell drugs.
Rachel Clark (10:32):
I should do this. I had the cars, I had the girls, I had all this. And one day I was so deep into my addiction that I was like, I was either going to make a change or I was going to die. And he told me, he was like, that’s why I got this pizza shop gig. And he was like, everyone looks at me like, I’m a nobody, but they have no idea that I on the outside. And it spoke to me because that’s true here. It was like, when you can have everything and you turn it, not only are you putting it away, like it’s easy to be a hero, like a fire. Well, it’s not easy. But you know, we look at heroes like firefighters, nurses. It has that aspect of like, wow, like, they’re this like do good or citizen, but we look at people or we look past people and fast food and things like that, where it’s like that job could be them choosing drug, dealing for them, choosing crime, nothing with like no from society, just because it’s the right thing to do. I thought he definitely changed my life. That was someone I had to shut him out. Cause I still talk about him to this day. I don’t know where he is now, but hearing his story in his perspective changed my life for sure. Wow.
Scott Luton (11:31):
So speaking of folks that may be consumers, all of us are consumers. All of us may, may have looked past some point in our own journey. Folks that make up global supply chains, right. Folks that drive the trucks that pick and pack the items that, that weighed on us, uh, in retail locations, you name it, all the folks that make up global industry. So with that said, when did kind of have that moment of clarity where you, you kind of dawned on you, there’s this supply chain behind everything? When, when was that for you?
Rachel Clark (12:00):
Yeah, I think it was what I actually probably got involved with the supply chain students association, because a big part of our role is we do recruitment just because a lot of the students that are coming in, they’ve never heard of supply chain. They don’t know like they’re coming in as like marketing or finance. Right. Those are usually the two most popular majors because just people know them. And we had to find a way to break it down to actually explain supply chain and kind of the way that I do it is supply chain is the chain of events. It takes to create a product and get it to the customer. Right. Like add it’s very, very basic. Right. And I think when you break down like that, I think the pieces of a supply chain become a lot clearer because it’s like, what are those chain of events that almost like dominoes right? Then we need to have happen. And it really made me look at it from a different perspective. Cause you look at like a cotton t-shirt right. You have from like cotton fields to the people who are going to process the raw materials and you know, so on and so forth. And so that was kind of the first time I really broke it down and deeply understood it probably that are later than I should have. I was like a junior in college, you know, the first time it clicked,
Scott Luton (13:02):
We all don’t know what we don’t know. Right. And you know, I never toured a manufacturing facility until after I was out of college. And even though my grandad retired as a machine operator from Kimberly-Clark and I miss that opportunity to sit down and learn firsthand from all of his experiences. But you know, you just don’t know what we don’t know. And the most important thing though is you had that Eureka moment and gosh, it was clicking and, and now we’re which we’re about to walk through how important it was and, and the impact has had on your life and your journey thus far, including what’s next. So with that said, so you’re a senior at Howard university, iconic Howard university set to graduate in the spring.
Rachel Clark (13:40):
Right. I guess. So, uh,
Scott Luton (13:43):
I’ll give you, we’ll knock on wood early, early, you know, high five. Congrats. That is awesome. And you’re gonna, you’re majoring in supply chain manager, right? Yes. Okay. So we’re gonna talk about the student association in a moment and, and some of the things, but why, w why did you choose supply chain management?
Rachel Clark (14:02):
Yeah. Uh, so I mentioned earlier a lot of those students that just have no idea what it is, and that was actually me. My mom tried to tell me about it early on. I kind of brushed her off. You know, when you’re in high school, you think you, you know, everything, you know, I didn’t really take her serious. So, um, actually when I got to college, I didn’t even want to be in business. I actually thought I wanted to be in engineering. So I have nine years robotics experience. So I was competing in a Lego league. And then I moved on in high school. I competed in first robotics league. Uh, so I’ve competed. My team’s actually been to nationals two times, uh, during my high school, which was really great experience. So, uh, I personally, I worked on the electronics team and, uh, everyone on my team was going into engineering.
Rachel Clark (14:41):
It was kind of, you know, if you’re a robotics nerd, you’re gonna, you’re going to go. It’s like the natural next step. Uh, you know, it’s just kind of the expectation. And it wasn’t until maybe my junior, senior year, we had to do like this like aptitude tests, you know, in high school where they basically say, you know, these are the majors we think would be a good fit for you based on X, Y, and Z do the quiz. And, oh gosh. Yeah, I scored terribly. They were like, do not go into engineering. You’re bad at math. You don’t like science, it’s not going to work for you. It was like, I think one of the last things, I think like law enforcement was under it and like legal, and then it was like engineering. Like you’re like, just stay away from those things. It’s not for you probably because of my like intense ADHD. Maybe
Scott Luton (15:20):
You think, do you think that is just a bad test? Do you look back on that, that advice you got was that accurate or was it, you know, ’cause, I, I got, I got to tell you when I, when I first went to college, my first couple of visors had a big impact on my, on my collegiate time and really where I ended up doing early in early years, I look back on that they didn’t really know me and we never sat down and talked about, you know, what I liked to do and where my skill sets were and my gifts and my non gifts. So I’ve always tried to be careful when I’m in, certainly with my three kids, you know, do you look back on that and was all that accurate? Was all that good? Honestly.
Rachel Clark (15:57):
So I’m an engineer right now. I’m not an engineer on my job title. I’m not an engineer on my major, but I think like an engineer, my background is an engineer because I build things. I fix things, I solve problems, but if I had majored in engineering, I was not going to pass calculus. I’m just like, oh, I just know myself. And I think the test I see, I see what you’re going. And I agree. I think some of those tests mean limiting. I think in my case, it did save my GPA because I think if I had actually majored in it, it would have been a problem, but I don’t think engineering itself left me. If that makes sense. Thinking like here stays with you. For sure.
Scott Luton (16:34):
I love that. Uh, and secondly, that calculus is no joke I’m with you. It was not meant I was not meant to be a mathematician. So
Rachel Clark (16:43):
I’m with you. Yeah, for sure. But, um, but yeah, so when I, when I got to that point, I wasn’t sure what I was going to major in. So I just decided to do management, uh, cause it’s basically, it’s like undecided of business, right? Like it’s not too specific, but I don’t want to be undecided and fall behind in credits. And, uh, it was then our first week we have like the summit where each of the majors, it’s almost like a major fair, but it’s like a presentation. So the department heads will speak about it. And you know, I heard about finance and I thought the same thing, I was afraid of the math and the technical side, same thing with accounting. Didn’t really speak to me. I was kind of interested in marketing, but I was a little bit worried about the job stability and I’m not the most artistic person.
Rachel Clark (17:23):
And I kind of was like, you know, not sure about like that side. And so they kind of went one by one, but when they got to supply chain, it caught my eye because the department head referred to it as the engineering of business. So immediately I was like, oh, this could be something I’m interested in. And they talked about, you get to work with the engineering teams, you get to work on a lot of those projects. You guys are like this, but you don’t have to do any of the hard stuff, which I was yes. And you can make a lot more money. So that was something that I was just like immediately very intrigued by. But what really sold me was the opportunity that not the department had didn’t speak about it, but that I was able to identify, which was the opportunity to make the world a better place on an ethical level.
Rachel Clark (18:07):
And I felt that supply chain was the area of business that I can make the biggest ethical impact in our world and in corporate America out of any other major. And that’s something we’ll probably get into later, but that’s something that’s very important to me that what I’m doing is changing the world for good. And it’s not just filling my pockets, but it’s filling the world’s that positivity, uh, that we need. And so that was what really sold me, was the opportunity to make a positive change, make some good money doing it and have some good job security. I think those were my three biggest selling points and I still got to be a nerd with none of the math classes.
Scott Luton (18:41):
Oh gosh. All right. Where to start. So I love what you just shared. And I would just say the engineering of business. I love that phrase. I love the calling that you’ve identified. And also, you know, we’re talking about just earlier today on a live stream, you know, because of supply chain in the profession and the industry, to your point, they are in a unique position to address some of the greatest challenges, new and old. And one of the cool things that I love about supply chain is it’s, it is full of doers, right? So naturally we don’t want to talk about the problems big or small, you know, we want to, we want to address them. And, and I, I, can I get a sense from some of your answers already that you love solving problems? So let’s look so, um, gosh, there’s so much to talk about. So little time with you, Rachel, so far, what’s been your favorite experience as part of the, uh, your, your time with the, uh, within the supply chain management program?
Rachel Clark (19:37):
I think the best experience that I’ve had is really getting to work within the supply chain student association. So this year I’m actually getting service president, but I also served as president last year, uh, which is I’m very grateful and thankful that I was voted twice. I think that’s, you know, it means a lot to me, but I think getting to work on the recruitment side and helping people find a passion between what they do, I think that’s has to be the most rewarding. Like I think if I wasn’t in supply chain, I’d probably be in recruitment just because that’s a foremost service in itself because you can get anybody prepared for a job, right? Like there’s tons of certifications online. Like you can get hired with a strong work ethic it’s possible, but can you love what you do? Can you be passionate about what you do? And can you go home at the end of the day at work and feel proud of who you are and what you’ve done and giving able to give that gift to someone or help them find that within themselves? That’s something that I think has been the most rewarding, I think, is helping people find their calling and their passion. And it just happens to be supply chain.
Scott Luton (20:42):
Love it. Okay. So let’s go back for a second and let’s just let’s level set a bit so that the supply chain management student association S C M S a, which fits in perfectly because we love our acronyms. And so tell us, tell us, so you’re, you’re a two-term president, which is a feat and accomplishment, right? You said you weren’t good at the marketing side. Come on, tell us what, what does it do? What does the group do?
Rachel Clark (21:05):
Definitely. So pretty much we have a lot of, we focus mostly on job placement, um, and getting students paired with also scholarships. So we do a lot on helping companies actually come into Howard university. How do they recruit, how do we actually get them paired and getting students paired with not just a job, but a passion, a career goal? Um, so that’s a huge role, but we also recruit students for the major, just because unfortunately for us, it being in supply chain, not a lot of people are coming in supply chain majors. So we’re actually mostly transitional. So most of our students started with something else and transitioned over. So we get a lot of students to do that. And then also we don’t just leave them hanging. Right. We assist them, uh, getting them adjusted, getting their coursework and newly, we actually just launched an Instagram page.
Rachel Clark (21:49):
So we’re focusing more on that, uh, getting those resources out during different channels. Um, and also focusing on general body meetings. So like we have a meeting, for example, coming up with Deloitte, they’re going to be able to help come in and teach our students about how to get prepared for the upcoming recruitment season. So we host a lot of those types of workshops, textile events as well. So really just focusing on getting students in, getting them placed with jobs, but in the, in the in-between making sure they’re actually qualified. How do we get those skills in them? Um, and also getting them introduced to networking wise to all those amazing companies that love our supply chain students that have,
Scott Luton (22:21):
Wow, it’s like the ultimate connecting organization with a bend toward the supply chain management profession, which is a wonderful thing. Okay. So two, two last questions I’ll own this, uh, your time as president. Uh, the first question is, is there one, clearly you have a passion for helping others find their passion, but also helping others find resources and opportunity and whatnot. Is there one that comes to mind? And during your time as part of S C, M S a, you know, that you were able to connect, you know, an opportunity or a resource with a particular colleague or student, or you name it, that that really said, Hey, this is why I do this.
Rachel Clark (23:02):
Definitely that’s a hard one because I feel not to toot my own horn, but I feel like very proud. Like, I feel like I’ve been able to help a lot of people. So it’s hard to pick just one, just one, because I think it’s, I guess, okay. I do, I can pick one, cause he’s my mentee. I have a mentee. His name is Cameron and I actually switched him over. He was international business, got him converted his freshman year over to supply chain. Oh man,
Scott Luton (23:25):
I’ll make a note business school happy.
Rachel Clark (23:28):
Yeah, for sure. I’m very competitive. I like to win, but, uh, we were able to get him over and he actually was working for Cisco this summer. So we were working in a same company this past summer. And I think that was a really unique experience because I was able to see not only him come through as a student, but actually working him. So seeing him fall in love and getting to see that, and it was really good. I was able to mentor him throughout his internship and getting him excited and he wants to work more on the people side of things. He’s definitely more of a people person. And I think sometimes in supply chain, we forget that before we’re numbers, before we’re products and move forward parts, we are actually a human industry. And if you lose the human part, there is no strength in your supply chain.
Rachel Clark (24:09):
And I think for him, we’re able to get him tailored. Uh, so he was actually able to work under one of my mentors when Cisco. So not only was I getting paired with the job he’s working under somebody that I know was going to feed into him and lead into him. Uh, and he actually just made his final LinkedIn posts saying about, oh, my internship ended. I love my experience on these looking forward to his upcoming. I think seeing him grow through it was really, really positive for me, especially really up close, getting to actually work with him this summer. So that was
Scott Luton (24:35):
A really powerful, wow. So Cameron, if you’re listing congratulations also beyond all the opportunities to be able to be mentored by you, Rachel, that’s gotta be quiet and opportunity based on the homework we’ve done. So second question to that, that kind of tees up perfectly because my hunch is that you’re very aware and deliberate about the legacy you leave on anything you touch or lead or are part of. So when, when, after you graduate from Howard this spring and you look back on the, the imprint you’ve made on the organization and the legacy you’re leaving behind, what’s one aspect of that that you’ll be most proud of.
Rachel Clark (25:16):
Hmm. That’s a good question. I think one of the things I’ve had to learn, like, I feel like my art experience is divided up into like two parts. Like I feel like in the beginning of my journey, I’m going to learn just how to be a leader within myself and like, trying to understand, like, what does that even mean? Like I was not in high school. I was, even though I was a robotics nerd, I wasn’t a four point of student. Right. I was not president of anything. I was just there to have a good time to do the things I like to do now. And, uh, coming into college, I never came in thinking, oh yeah, I want to be like the supply chain person. Or I want to be this leader and lead this light. Like I came in, I had a 2.5 my freshman year, which I’m very open about talking about, because my major GPA is almost a 4.0, but coming in, I really struggled.
Rachel Clark (26:00):
I didn’t know what I was doing. And I had to kind of learn, okay, I know I’m passionate about these things. I know I want to make an impact, but I know how to do it. So my first half was just figuring out what the heck, like, what does it mean to be a leader to me, what do I actually want to do? But what I learned was none of what I did was going to matter if I didn’t leave leaders behind me to continue on the work. It doesn’t matter how good a leader you are and that’s in business and clubs and, and anything because if your organization can’t function without you, if it depends on you, you’ve actually failed as a leader because a real leader creates leaders in their wake and they need to be able to function without you. And that’s where I am starting my senior year, but also my junior year with my nonprofit, with a supply student association, like even being able to serve as president this year, I’m like, well, I can’t serve a third term.
Rachel Clark (26:47):
So how do I train the people around me? How do I get them inspired? Because if I graduate and there’s no other Rachel Clarks, granted, they’re going to make their own legacy. Hopefully they’re even better than me, but if I don’t leave them in my path, everything I’ve done has been for nothing. And that was a really big, um, change in my mindset. And it’s something that I’m completely focused on my senior year is I feel like I’ve made good ways in my career. I’m very proud of the things I’ve done, but I’m going to be most proud if when I leave, it’s able to continue onto the same quality if not better. And if it doesn’t do that well, I don’t think, I think I did something wrong. So that’s where I’m at right now.
Scott Luton (27:23):
Love it. Okay. Gosh wise, beyond your years. Okay. Let’s talk about your nonprofit that you formed. You mentioned a second ago, waves of change, HBC, U Inc. So what does it do?
Rachel Clark (27:35):
Yeah, so, uh, so ways to change is a non-profit organization and it’s dedicated to engaging the black community and the environmental sustainability movement. So we do that through education, advocacy, and service, and it’s really been a passion project of mine, but it’s turned into something I think a lot more. So we actually just opened up a third chapter now. So we have a chapter at Howard university, a chapter in North Carolina and T we’ve actually just expanded to Prairie view a and M down in Texas. And it’s kind of at the point where it’s like leaving my hands. It gets becoming its own thing. But really, even though it’s an organization, we do a lot of community service work at its heart. And ironically, I was talking about how I didn’t really like marketing, but maybe I do because it’s really a marketing a function more than anything because it’s our goal is to redefine the image and the brand of when you think of sustainability.
Rachel Clark (28:27):
Because usually if these just think of environment sustainability, and there’s nothing wrong with this, but you’re probably gonna think of saving the turtles. Don’t use straws, go vegan. Like you’re probably gonna think about animals. That’s like usually the first thing that comes to mind and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’m all about, I mean, I don’t really like turtles, but I’m all about saving the animals. Right. But what my organization seeks to do is redefine that in turn environmental sustainability, as a people issue, and specifically as a minority issue, because the thing is, especially in the black community, this is something that’s barely talked about if at all, but when you look at issues like red lining, or you look at issues like how black children are more likely to not only have asthma, but die from asthma than any other race. When you look at, for example, you know, tying it back to supply chain, but you look at access to fresh fruits, fresh vegetables.
Rachel Clark (29:16):
Why is it more expensive, harder to access in certain areas? When you look at quality of life, there’s so many issues in the black community that stem from environmental sustainability. It’s just not given that name. And when you don’t put a name to it and people don’t know that they’re victims of something, you can’t fight it. And so that’s something that we seek to do is redefining kind of what sustainability looks like, changing, how it’s viewed. It’s more than an animal issue. It’s a people issue. It’s a race, it’s a minority issue. It’s a class issue. Um, and bringing in those terms and pushing that to the forefront. And then every student that we interact with volunteers with us granted, yes, the volunteering we do is important, right? We’re picking up trash, we’re doing cleanups. That’s great. And it helps for the day. But the real impact is if I’m able to turn that one, volunteer, turn that one, day’s work into a lifetime of advocacy, into a lifetime, a passion that goes a lot further than a couple pounds of trash will pick up. And so that’s our goal is that everyone we interact with becomes aware of this opportunity or whatever they’re doing with us with a newfound sense of understanding education and a passion that they can take into their own careers, into their own communities and into their own lives and families
Scott Luton (30:24):
Wonderful. That is abs is so needed. It’s so needed in many communities, but I love how you tie it back to some of the unique challenges, um, that certain aspects of our, of our, uh, of our country and of our society are experiencing. So waves of change and congrats on the expansion. Third, your third chapter, I’ve also seen some many media coverage of the cool things you are doing. Um, but I love, I love your why as you very distinctly, uh, laid out there. So let’s, we’re going to kind of use this as a segue. Can I use what you just shared as a springboard fill in the blank here? So global supply chain would be better if
Rachel Clark (31:01):
Yeah, I think global supply chain would be better if it was seen as a human industry than a product in part industry. And I say that, and we’ve kind of brushed on that earlier, but, uh, it kind of ties into everything we’ve talked about and the opportunity that global supply chain has for humanity rather than just looking at part numbers and things like that. So even a great example, um, for the human side of supply chain is just thinking about supply chain and sales, right? You can have the best sales person of all time, but if our supply chain, if we don’t have a good relationship with our customer and we’re constantly being delays and we’re not getting their product on time, it doesn’t matter how good of a sales mark, our supply chain. Doesn’t also have that emphasis on report. Does it also have that emphasis on relationship building that lack of trust doesn’t matter how good you sell.
Rachel Clark (31:51):
It’s going to fall apart. You’re going to lose the customer. And I think sometimes we forget that just as we train our salespeople and our sales staff, to be able to build a report, to be able to build those relationships, how we’re able to communicate. We have to make sure that in our supply chain, as we train those people, we’re instilling exactly the same values, the same emphasis, the same trainings, if not even more so, because you can have a lackluster salesperson, but if they have a great relationship with supply chain that can override that as well, supply chain is really the background sales can’t do anything without us. I just want to say that you can sell anybody, anything they’ll actually get you the product. I mean, you’re out of luck.
Scott Luton (32:29):
So it’s gotta be about the human factor in, in supply chain. I love that. And it’s so true. You know, even in 2021 here, the age, the digital age, digital transformation is still, it is still with all the latest technology immersion. It’s still people that make it happen. People that solve the problems, people that get stuff moved, where they needed to be own time at a certain price. And as we’ve already spoken to that are addressing some of the biggest issues of our day. And including some that have been, have been largely ignored for, for quite some time. So clearly your passion, like I told her about it on the front end, the passion and the ideas and innovation and the sheer leadership, you know, it just, it uses out of your Rachel. So let’s talk about two. We’ve already touched on sustainability that clearly that’s something you’re very, uh, so really important to you and its growing importance, not only the industry, but also consumers, which is a good thing, right? Because that gets us, that draws more change, right. And draws more sustainable change in sustainability, which is kind of funny to say it like that. But it’s true. Let’s talk about diversity in supply chain for a second. So talk about your passion for the topic and talk about, just give us some observations on, on some of the challenges you see some of the, maybe some of the progress that’s been made and then some of the areas maybe were, we’d like to see more change.
Rachel Clark (33:54):
Definitely. Um, I think one of the biggest challenges when it comes to diversity and supply chain is just a lack of exposure. Um, I think that’s something that you could say for a lot of different areas, but actually having an understanding of what is supply chain and then also our access within specifically historically black colleges and universities, just to having accredited programs and programs that are resilient and robust. And also making sure that some of these top supply chain companies are coming back, uh, to invest because if you really want to focus on specifically, I mean, my area of expertise I’m going to be biased is going to be African-American recruitment just because that’s what my experience is in. But really when you look at any type of diversity in any of the numbers, you have to make sure that we’re making an intentional effort to one, be able to recruit, but also to retain.
Rachel Clark (34:43):
And then the next step is once we have them they’re avoiding and breaking those glass ceilings, because you can have, for example, a big thing that, uh, we talked about Howard, but just amongst ourselves is a really big red flag. When you look at a company for recruiting is if you only have diversity at the associate level, because what that tells me is that there’s a glass ceiling that I can’t push past. And so that diversity, I think it has to go all the way from associate, but all the way up into those C-suite because we’re going to hit ceiling and what’s going to happen is those are going to struggle with retention because they’re going to company where we can have those investments or even worse, you get people pigeonholed. And what happens is when you get into that rut, you’re not going to invest in your own personal development.
Rachel Clark (35:29):
It’s going to make it harder. If you know, you’re not going to get the promotion, you’re not going to be putting in a hundred percent of your work. That’s human nature. That’s just in general. So to get the out of your employees, to get the best out of diversity and recruitment and have to make sure that there is a clear pathway that you have access to goals past that glass ceiling and that diversity doesn’t just end at the associate level. Um, so that’s a really big one when I just think of it and that I know that we need to work on being to expand and challenge and grow within ourselves
Scott Luton (35:59):
Sidebar. Uh, cause I want to follow up on a lot, what you just shared. We’ve got a, quite a storm coming through and when that happens, sometimes I lose internet connectivity. So we’ll keep, so if you, if I disappear, well, we’ll reconnect it on the side, but going back to what you shared there, I think I love how you said it. It’s a huge red flag when there’s only diversity at the associate level, you know, because we all know you look at any study, whether it’s public private, you name it. You know, there’s not enough diversity in the boardrooms, right? There’s not enough, uh, all voices from all walks of life in the boardroom. And, and I love, you know, we got to acknowledge that any problem before we can, we can get to work on it. Right. And so clearly I love kind of the conversations you are having, um, when it comes to diversity, uh, from a thought leadership standpoint from, from, you know, what you’ve identified are some of the greater challenges so that we can put, uh, an effective action plan, right. And drive real change. Right. That’s what it’s gotta come down to. Right.
Rachel Clark (37:01):
That’s true. Yeah. No, I couldn’t agree more.
Scott Luton (37:04):
All right. So Eureka moments, you’ve already kind of shared a couple of things that sounds like Eureka moments, but what else comes to mind, especially, and we haven’t touched on a whole bunch of this, um, this pandemic environment that we’re all fighting through. Right. You know, some places better than others, but we’ve got to get a whole globe, you know, the whole global society into the true post pandemic environment. But whether it’s a Eureka moment, Todd, to the pandemic or something prior or a business, a moment of clarity, what would be one that you haven’t shared yet?
Rachel Clark (37:34):
I think Carol will walk with me because it’s a little weird, but a really cool Rika moment, easy go. And I promise I have a life, I think, outside of business, but it just happened to, uh, related. But in my head I was like, wow, the best training for sales or for building rapport in business span, Uber driver, if you want to talk about having an elevator pitch or being able to make connections right. Within a short amount of time. And being able to think of Uber is like the perfect trainer, because I was, I was in this particular ride and I’m guys awesome. Like he’s, we’re having a great conversation. Like I feel like I’ve known him for a thousand years. Like, oh my gosh, like I had to check myself like, okay, don’t trust strangers, but it was so easy to feel comfortable, uh, with this person.
Rachel Clark (38:24):
And it made me realize I’m like, wow, this is such an amazing training. Like if you really want to get good at building report, drive Uber for a couple months and challenge yourself to have conversations with strangers. And also think about the skillset it takes to read the room without turning around. Because as an Uber driver, you have to be able to tell if somebody wants to talk, if they don’t want to talk and trust that if they’re not, and all you have is your rear view mirror and you can’t really look into it cause you don’t want to crash. Right. So the skillset of being able to read a room, read energy with literally basically being blindfold, being able to actually connect person and then also having engaged in conversation, knowing nothing about them and knowing you would never see them again, get making sure they have a good time.
Rachel Clark (39:05):
That is like ultimate business training. And I feel like nobody talks about like how amazing that is. So I was thinking to myself, I’m like, wow, when I get a car, like I should do this. Like I should practice this. I feel like I would get real if I just did this just for a few months. So if anyone is listening and they try it out, definitely reach out to me. I’d love to hear how it goes. Cause I was just thinking like, wow, that is like the best sales training program of all time driving Uber.
Scott Luton (39:29):
I love it. You know, we’re going to have to relearn how to be human after we get through this, uh, this period. Right. And we’re around each other more and, and we can get back to establishing and developing rapport in person because it is, I agree with you. It’s a really, regardless if you ever go into or don’t go into sales or is this important when it comes to leadership, right. Just getting the buy-in of what of your vision and, and what you believe needs to be done and getting buy-in on your, on your plan and you name it. So I love that. I think, I think much like I think waiting tables maybe for that same timeframe, four months would be good for everybody. I think being an Uber driver would be good for everybody too. So if anyone takes Rachel’s advice up and that gives us, it gives us a shout.
Scott Luton (40:15):
Okay. So one of the final things I want to talk to you about before we make sure folks we’d let folks know how to connect with you, Rachel. So your fourth internship at Cisco, a world renowned company, always, you know, usually I think it’s either fortune or Forbes, whoever puts out the most admired companies globally, Cisco is always top five. They’ve been, they’ve hit number one ranking. And that’s just one of their many different attributes and awards. So you’ve been there though. You’ve been in the mix, you’ve been part of the team. So what’s special about Cisco and what have you enjoyed most about your, uh, your internships?
Rachel Clark (40:50):
Definitely. Yeah. I’m super grateful for the experiences that have habits, Cisco. I mean their Gardner one supply chain in the world, I think for the second year in a row now. And they’ve been number one place to work, I think two years in a row or one week. I know they’re very high up. Yeah. I think getting that I think is really good because you kind of what to do. Right. And I think that’s valuable is getting to the, kind of how the masters do it, like what’s going on behind the scenes. And so to learn a lot, I think one of the things that I’m happy that I did, which, um, I know a lot of people have different opinions on it, but even though I’ve had internships, I’m my fourth right now with Cisco, I’ve been in a different role every single time.
Rachel Clark (41:35):
I’ve mixed. Think you should just, you know, get four years experience in the same thing. Uh, that way you can come out, you can get into like a higher level position. But for me, it was very important that I was able to gain my own personal professional development, that I was able to see things from that perspective and understand the supply chain. So I moved around a lot. I’ve worked in planning where I’m working on the customer things and that’s the supply chain I’ve moved on the other side, I’ve worked in global supplier management where I’m not dealing with any customers. I’m dealing with suppliers, we’re dealing with the Silicon shortage. How do we balance that I’ve worked in project management now I’m working at a new role. Again, I’ve been able to dance around. But one of the things they liked about Cisco was that I even had the ability to do that in the first place.
Rachel Clark (42:17):
They were very accommodating with me being able to try something completely new the spaces, every single Cisco inter pad and something that I started out bad at things that I’m bad at me, the chance to overcome that weakness and gained some strength in it. And they could have easily been like, you know, we would prefer if you stayed, you did a great job planning. We would love to keep in planning, but they’re always very supportive, very open from her point in catering to my needs, for what I want professional growth. And I think as a company, that’s something that businesses can learn from is how you invest in your staff, your growth brew, dreams, their goals. You’re going to build that emotional kind of equity with them. I think you get a lot, a lot of respect for a long way to do those things.
Rachel Clark (43:02):
Um, and I feel very grateful and then also you’ll let people like, they always forget people do a better job when they do something they want to do. Right. That so much like when you just let people do what they want to do, you’re fine though. Wow. They’ll do a great job. And I would do of course, no matter what, that’s just my work, you know? But, um, that was something that I was excited to come to work because I knew I was going to something that I was weak with. I received the mentorship on training to gain the skills that I needed. And now when I go into my career, whether, you know, whether my Cisco, where there was somewhere else where I’m working for myself, all the great thing that I gained
Scott Luton (43:39):
The rotational and, and how you, you know, you’re doing different things throughout the four different internships and all the different areas. You become a much more, well-rounded not just leader, but also a practitioner. So you’ve got such a, um, I mean, between your background and your leadership capacity and, and, uh, capabilities, and then the experiences you’ve gained via, uh, Howard university and the program, and S C M S a and Cisco, you’re going to be a dangerous leader. You’re going to be like a secret weapon for some organization, maybe a not so secret weapon, hopefully, you know, I’m really, I’m blown away because I think back when I was a senior in college, it was beer and pizza, you know, but you’re, you’re set a new standard and at a time when we needed a new standard in so many different ways, so Rachel let’s make sure we get you connected with any of our listeners. So what’s the easiest for folks to reach out and connect with you. Rachel
Rachel Clark (44:33):
Is so probably the best way to get in touch with me is LinkedIn. I know Rachel Clark is pretty common names. If you search Rachel Clark Howard, a university, uh, you shouldn’t be able to find me and I’ll be very happy to connect. If you want to stay in touch, just shoot me a message over LinkedIn. That’s probably the best mode of contact.
Scott Luton (44:49):
Wonderful. We’re gonna make it easy. You’re one click away. So if you go to the show notes for this episode, you’ll be able to connect, uh, be the hyperlink right there, connect with Rachel Clark. You’ll be able to, uh, not just compare notes with her, maybe check out waves of change, where she’s, gosh, you’re also an entrepreneur already, what are you not doing? Right. So that’d be the shorter interview, but admire that really appreciate them. I’m so glad we got connected and hours not, you know, we’re just scraping the surface here, but we’ll have to have you back, especially maybe after you graduate and, and, uh, keep our finger on the pulse of all the cool things you’re up to.
Rachel Clark (45:21):
Scott Luton (45:23):
You bet. Rachel Clark, thanks for your time. Really enjoyed this discussion. And again, Rachel serves as president of Howard university’s supply chain management, student association, uh, founder of waves of change, and much, much more. So I have enjoyed our time. So thanks so much, Rachel, Hey to our listeners, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this inspirational, informative, intriguing conversation, as much as I have to be sure to check out more conversations like this at supply chain. Now, wherever you get your podcasts from, or you can learn more VR lab firstname.lastname@example.org. Now one of my favorite parts, Hey, got a challenge. You like we challenge our team every single day. Do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed to be just like Rachel Clark and the world would be a lot better place on behalf of our entire team here, Scotland and signing off for now. Have a wonderful rest of your afternoon. And we’ll see you right back here on supply chain now real soon. Thanks. Bye-bye
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our email@example.com 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.
Rachel Clark is a senior supply chain management major at Howard University. On-campus, Rachel serves as President of the Howard University Supply Chain Student Association and is a Fall 2020 initiate of the first African-American business and professional sorority, Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Incorporated. Off-campus, Rachel serves as CEO and Founder of her nonprofit environmental service organization, Waves of Change HBCU, Incorporated; and was recognized as a 2020 Young Futurist by The Root Magazine for her sustainability work. During the summer of 2020, Rachel founded the first National Black Voter Registration Day in the United States on August 28th and was published in “Many Facets: America’s Women Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment” for her voter engagement work. Rachel recently completed her third supply chain management internship with Cisco Systems, and looks forward to working within the technology industry post graduation. Her passions include diversity and inclusion, and she seeks to diversify the supply chain management industry on a global scale. Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn.
WEBINAR- State of the Supply Chain Report – Priorities for Building Resiliency in Your Supply Network
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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
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.
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, 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.