Supply Chain Now
Episode 1046

Your whole team needs to win. And they need to know that you care enough that they do win.

-Charles Walker

Episode Summary

Charles Walker isn’t afraid to jump out of the plane and deliver—literally. As a Jumpmaster, Senior Logistics Officer and Master Sergeant (to name a few titles) in the U.S. Army, Charles gained the skills he needed (and more) for a storied career in supply chain management, which is exactly what followed. In this episode, he sits down with Scott to share his reflections on his career, the keys to leadership success, and advice for aspiring supply chain professionals.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain. Now the voice of Global Supply Chain Supply Chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from Those Making Global Business Happen right here on Supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning everybody. Scott Luton with Supply Chain. Now we here with you. Welcome to today’s episode. So today we’re talking with one of our all-time faves, right? A fellow veteran supply chain practitioner that I promise you he’s gonna inform, inspire, and entertain you with his perspective, expertise, and point of view. So, especially on All Things leadership, which is of course one of our favorite topics here at Supply Chain. Now. So with no further ado, wanna welcome in our guest today, Charles Walker, logistics business Development manager with the Ginn Group. Charles, how you doing?

Charles Walker (01:05):

I’m doing great, Scott. How you doing? Great

Scott Luton (01:07):

To see you. I’m doing wonderful.

Charles Walker (01:08):

Great to see you again, man. Always.

Scott Luton (01:10):

You as well. It’s been too long. I, I think the last time you were with us, it was with a, on a live stream. We had you and Greg and Crystal, and I think we were talking about things that Bad Leaders did. Do you remember that episode?

Charles Walker (01:24):

Absolutely, absolutely. <laugh>

Scott Luton (01:25):

Absolutely had a lot of fun. We’ll, we’ll see if we can’t put the link to that one, uh, in the episode notes of today’s, but great to see you back. Um, first off, how are things going? Have you had a great year?

Charles Walker (01:36):

Oh, absolutely, man, I wake up, I’m good to go. Um, I just go day by day, man. I’ll try to get ahead. I just pray about it and then, uh, keep it airborne spirit and keep it moving, man. Uh, you wake up, you should be able to get up and do what you gotta do. That’s just it.

Scott Luton (01:50):

Mm-hmm. There you go. Well, I’m glad you mentioned that cause we’re gonna be talking about your time, uh, in Airborne with US Army. So, uh, a listener. Stay tuned for that. But I wanna start with, it’s been a little while since you’ve been with us, and one of my favorite elements, you know, we’ve interviewed you on our veteran voices. We’ve interviewed you a couple times on supply chain and you know, our, our mothership here. Um, I want to give folks, one of my favorite aspects of all of those conversations is talking about kind of your roots and, and, and where you grew up and some of those key lessons learned and some of the food that you and I both love too much, probably. So tell us, where did you grow up? Cause you grew up in a big family in Alabama, right?

Charles Walker (02:26):

Right, right. I grew up in a, in a, in a family of 13 man, seven boys and six girls in, uh, Birmingham, Alabama. Um, you know, a lot of people are familiar with Birmingham and, and the civil rights movement and all of these things that my, my parents and grandparents went through. So they did a lot to, to raise us with, uh, proper respect for others and discipline, man. So I appreciate my family for that. Uh, most of my siblings are still there. Uh, lost a couple, but, uh, everything is good. I’m from Birmingham, Alabama, man, actually, I went to elementary school there and graduated from Parker High School, a Parker High School, a very prominent high school there, uh, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Scott Luton (03:06):

So, does that make you, I think we talked about this last time. Um, I know this is a very contentious issue for folks in Alabama. Are you an Auburn fan? Are you a Alabama fan?

Charles Walker (03:16):

Well, you know, uh, it’s, it is a split. You gonna be either or, but I’m a Bama fan all the way, man, <laugh> so that I’m, I’m, I’m a, I’m a bammer

Scott Luton (03:25):

All day. Well, Nick Saban, I don’t think he can fit any more trophies into that massive trophy case. I mean, he is, uh, talk about a generational, uh, hall of Fame coach and team. Y’all been rolling? Um, yeah. Okay. So growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, gosh, a family of 13, I can only imagine the meals y’all had together and how much fun that had to been growing up. Um, let’s talk about food for a second, because last time you were with us, I think we were talking about, uh, barbecue, one of our mutual favorite, uh, dishes. What’s one food dish that’s inseparable from your childhood growing up?

Charles Walker (04:02):

Actually, we did, we talked about, uh, barbecue in a place called, uh, old Plantation Barbecue in Birmingham. It was a very known place there. Uh, but my main foods is like, uh, you just southern cooking. Um, uh, Scott, uh, in the south, you know, you, you, most of the things are fried and fried chicken, pork chops. And my mom, she, she, she made a meal outta whatever we had. Uh, sometime we, she’ll go to the vegetable garden and get things, and she taught us early on how it’s always something to eat in the house. You just gotta find it and creative. And so she was a creatives person with that many kids. She had to, you know, do what she had to do. So I’m very appreciative of her and how she raised us with the discipline. Uh, some values that she said, you gotta graduate to be in my house, and then you have to make some outta your life. So I think that stuck with me as a kid, and I just developed it as I got older, you know, and food was one of the main things. Uh, uh, breakfast oatmeal early in the morning, you know, you got oatmeal, you know, so a lot of people’s like, make oatmeal, like Yeah, you had that almost every day. It was cheap and they could feed a lot of people.

Scott Luton (05:07):

Right. Well, that’s what I was thinking. I, man, I couldn’t, you know, we’ve got three kids here and, and with me and my, uh, my, uh, better half Amanda Luton. Right. And yeah. And gosh, I think I have a hard time making ends meet. At times. I couldn’t imagine having a, uh, a household with 13, uh, kids. So I’m sure it was a regular, uh, a regular part of, uh, daily focus how to, how to, um, uh, make things go further. Right. Especially food.

Charles Walker (05:36):

That’s right. And, you know, you gotta look at the, the times, you know, right now, we have evolved from a lot of the times with technology and things like that, uh, and just the way people think. But back then, uh, they had large families then had to embrace the struggle. You know, like it wasn’t a struggle to them, it was just a way of life. You know, I gotta feed my kids. I gotta ensure that they get the things they need so they won’t have to live the life that I live. So a lot of times we, and I look at my mom and grandmom now, they, they, they put a lot of time in so saying, Hey, I’m gonna give my kids the things that I didn’t have. Right. But they was really giving us things. They did have, like, self-respect, discipline, and things of that nature that we need to live a long life. And then we get all those things. We, we, we reflect on it when we get older. Say, Hey, mom gave me more than food. She gave me the, the, the values of life that I can keep living and keep going,

Scott Luton (06:29):

Man. I love that strong, uh, strong upbringing that, uh, filled with values and core values that clearly have stated with you, uh, and maybe impact your daily behavior now and, and put you in position to pass those on, is what I’m, some of the things I’m hearing. Um, so let’s shift gears here. So cuz we could talk about probably southern cuisine for hours on end. I bet you and I could compare a lot of different recipes and favors. Absolutely. But let’s shift gears. We’re gonna touch on your time, uh, again, in the US Army Airborne, and then we’re gonna touch on, um, uh, both supply chain lessons learned from that time and leadership, uh, your leadership advice for these uncertain times. So what, backing up, what made you want to join not only the Army, but what also prompted you to want to leap outta planes?

Charles Walker (07:18):

You know, it is strange how it happens, you know, like sometime our life just unfold for us in, initially I left home, uh, my mom was very proud, the first one in the family to, to go off to college. I went off on the Pell Grant back then, it was the Pell Grant, uh, for, uh, lower economic families to go to, to H B C U school. I went to Talladega College initially. And, uh, after a certain period of time being there, I think maybe my junior, sophomore, junior year, the Pell Grant actually ran out. And then I was like, knowing that my mom had put it, we gotta do something productive in life. I, I decided to listen to the, um, the military. Um, and when I scored on the, uh, on the asvab, what came up was like, you know, infantry, all that comes up. But it was, uh, equipment records and parts specialists, which

Scott Luton (08:07):

Was like, so really quick. So Charles, really quick for our listeners, when you say asfab, if I, if I can remember that correctly, as a fellow veteran, that is gonna be your ARM services vocational assessment battery, I believe is what that stands for. And listeners, basically what that is, what he’s talking about taking that test is every, um, entrant into the armed surfaces. They give you this test to figure out where, what skillsets you have and where you might be presenting the most value to the military. And, uh, and that really, uh, has a big impact on what you end up doing in the military. So, is that right, Charles?

Charles Walker (08:41):

Absolutely. Right. And, uh, you know, you, you, you, you do a testing, uh, evaluation of which, uh, military occupational specialty come up the mos they’ll place and say, well, which one of these you want to pick? Or whatever. And when the guy, guy explained to me about supply chain, uh, supply sergeant logistics, uh, accounting for all the property that the commander has in the unit, that just resonated with me because I always wanted to, uh, know and be accountable for everything that appears. You know, I, I wonder how parts come to your house or house. Somebody delivers something and you get what you you asked for. And I wanted to be a part of that. It was just innate, my innate spirit, I think it was. Yeah. So I picked that.

Scott Luton (09:21):

Okay. All right. So tell us about, um, um, some of the things you did as part of US Army Airborne. Cuz I bet it not many of our listeners are gonna be able to relate. I mean, you’re, you’re one of a very special few.

Charles Walker (09:35):

Oh, yeah. And actually, I, I stumbled into, uh, applewood operations. You know, as a child, I was afraid of heights. And, uh, when I was, uh, when I went through basic training at, uh, up in Missouri or Fort Leonard Wood Missouri, uh, one of the drill sergeant was talking to us about, um, the Airborn one needed more supply chain professionals to, to go airborne. And fear immediately came over me. I’m like, dude, I’m scared to go to Six Flags, you know, <laugh>, uh, and everybody in my family was like, so I raised my hand and me and my buddy battle buddy, we said, man, we’re gonna go. I’m like, uh, I raised my hand and they moved us. We left AIT t and, uh, Fort Lee, uh, at the training they sent us right down to 37th, fifth range of battalion. Uh, and they was like, yeah, you guys are gonna be our new logistic teams, but you gotta go airborne.

Charles Walker (10:22):

And I’m like, uh, the fear, fear set in immediately, you know? But, uh, they did, they did a special thing with us to get us over the fear. Uh, it’s like a, a psychological test where you go out and watch everybody coming from the airplanes and everything like that, jumping out. And then you, you watch the planes land. And, and I just got excited about that. And then I said, yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and go airborne. You know, man, they gonna set you apart from everybody else, man in logistic field. So that’s what I wanted to be, I wanted to be on with the elite guys, you know? Cause I saw ’em, I went down seeing the guys at the Range Batal, that’s like, yeah, I wanna be like those guys right now. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (10:56):

Yeah. Well, you know, I love that. Um, and I can only imagine, um, uh, so, you know, arguably, or maybe inarguably, I don’t know, the military invented logistics, right? They basically invented supply chain management in many ways. Um, and there’s some interesting, um, uh, historical writings on kind of where all that originated going way back in ancient times. Um, so clearly with when they basically invited you to join Airborne, you and your battle buddy, as you put it, um, that value that the military puts on logistics expertise and SAP supply chain expertise is, uh, evident once more. What, why did, why, um, did they identify any specific needs of what they needed in Airborne, uh, you know, that you brought to the table?

Charles Walker (11:42):

Yes. Yes, they did. They identified that, uh, uh, they wanted the, uh, logistics, uh, operational teams to be, to be airborne and be able to get supplies and equipment or wherever the guys needed and soft and the special operation forces. They needed guys that could do some of the same things that the special operation forces could do with the same mentality, but be there on right on time and place where they needed it at. So they need you to have specialties skills outside of just your mos. They wanted you to be able to, Hey, if we need you to jump in and set up a tactical operation center or handle supplies and equipment on hand, you have to be able to do those things. That’s a logistics team. And so I thought that was special and that we got the recognition for that as well.

Scott Luton (12:26):

Man, that is awesome. Uh, bringing logistics and supply chain know-how, literally to the, to the front lines and, and, um, you know, boots on ground right there, knowing all the conditions, not guessing it at a command center somewhere. I can only imagine the efficiency and the gains overall and the immense value that that has to, you know, have you and, and your fellow logistics pros right there with the, the special ops teams and, and the rest of the airborne units.

Charles Walker (12:53):

Exactly. And you gotta look at it, if a guy can jump out a preferably good airplane, a lot of his fears gonna be out the way when he gotta have supplies and equipment in place. Uh, because he’s already showed that he can conquer fear, uh, because of, if you can jump outta airplane and trust your equipment and trust your, your battle buddies, uh, of course you can get the equipment in a place where it need to be at all times. So, yep, that’s special.

Scott Luton (13:17):

All right. So moving more directly into that supply chain conversation, and now that, you know, you’ve been in supply chain since you separated, uh, from the Army, um, for years now. What, what’s, uh, if you were to think of a short list of things that the Army really instilled in you, uh, especially like supply chain lessons that you’ve applied since, uh, in your career as a practitioner, what are some things that come to your mind? Charles,

Charles Walker (13:43):

I, I really, man, I really think, Scott, you know, I, I’m big on the, uh, the three Cs man, but, uh, no communication, proper communication, collaboration with others, and then just cooperating with people. But as I get older and this flat chain feel, I’m looking at caring, you know, the empathy and, uh, the loyalty to ensuring that everybody’s succeed on your team. Man, it is like, you know, loyalty. Like, we look at it as loyalty to a personal whatever. I look at it as loyalty to a bigger, uh, field where everybody win on your team, man. Like, it’s not one guy win. When you got a team, everybody gotta win. Uh, it’s a win-win situation on the team. So I say caring, empathy, and then loyalty to the fact that your whole team needs to win, and they didn’t know you care enough that they do win. You know what I’m saying? So that’s where I’m at with it now.

Scott Luton (14:33):

I love that. Uh, and as I recall, there was a, and I cannot remember her name, uh, I bet, I’m sure you can. There was a full bird colonel, I believe that, uh, you served under, and she was an inspiration to you. And, uh, and she ended up, I also, I believe, jumping outta planes too, too. Who, who was that person again? Charles,

Charles Walker (14:53):

That was, uh, Colonel Eugen. Sne, yes. She was the, so she was the socom g4. Matter of fact, every holiday, as a matter of fact, on uh, Thanksgiving, she’ll send the whole team still, uh, uh, a text message of, you know, she said, I’ll go in battle with you guys right now today, again, this is just recently we talk on a regular basis and we just, um, do buddy checks still to this day. Uh, she was an inspirational logistics, uh, quartermaster leader, uh, no fear at all. Um, able to, to lead, uh, logistic team of all males, you know, all us are seniors and nnc NCOs, I think the lowest ranking person on our team was an E seven. Uh, and we had, uh, uh, <inaudible> Special Operation Support Command, had a logistic operational team that worked, uh, to support the one 12 Signal Battalion, and then the five two a support battalion. And we supported all special operation forces. So she was very, I followed her leadership for quite a while to learn from her, uh, and watch how she dealt with pressure. See, cuz I like to look at leaders and see, when you put ’em in a pressure position, what decision do they make at that time? So I studied that a lot. Yeah.

Scott Luton (16:03):

So, Colonel Sneed, if you’re listening, uh, clearly you’re an inspiration to Charles and, and many of the folks that, uh, that worked and served with you. Um, and Charles, that kind of takes it back to, uh, at least what I heard there, um, one of your biggest lessons learned was, was, uh, you know, commitment to team, commitment to all team members winning and advancing and opportunities for all. And it see, and of course, the value of, um, that buddy check you mentioned, which is common lingo in the military. Yeah. Uh, I’m not sure what an equivalent would be on the, you know, the private sector or the civilian side, but just making sure your colleagues are taken care of. You know, so many folks as a pandemic has taught us. Charles, I’d love to get your take here. So many folks, um, suffer in silence or suffer by themselves alone, and, and they’re really isolated. I don’t know about you. I saw that time and time again. Even some of the interviews we did, you know, some of remote interviews where you could tell folks had been by themselves for so long and it had impacted their mentality, but the value of that buddy check or, or, you know, picking up the phone and reaching out or dropping by and, and seeing people and saying, Hey, how you doing? Tell what you know, what’s going on? And, and, and just, uh, engaging with your, your fellow colleagues. The value of that is immense. Right?

Charles Walker (17:18):

That’s right, man. And, and, uh, it’s gotta be sincere, man. They gotta, they gotta know you mean it, you know what I’m saying? Cause people can feel, man, it is, you know, like you saying, like, man Angelou said, people might not forget how you treated them or what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. And then sometimes you can call somebody and it be the right voice at the right time. The voice that they need to hear and uplift them and say, Hey, you know, it’s gonna be okay because we are all going through something. You know, people might show exterior a week, everything is fine, everything’s fine. But man, you gotta balance your family. You gotta balance, balance your health. You gotta balance your finances. You gotta balance your job. And then you gotta keep everything in balance. And then you gotta balance your own mind, man.

Charles Walker (17:57):

Because I would call it the super computer man, because whatever was on your database, man, hey, you change the software anytime. You know what I’m saying? So you just gotta look at it. You gotta look at it like, Hey, man, but I’m gonna share this with other people because there’s no need for me to know something that’s gonna help somebody and keep it within, you know what I’m saying? It’s not right. And I don’t, it don’t make me feel right. So I just always check on people, you know? And you never know, man, you could save somebody life, man, because the military people, we, we deal with things differently than a lot of people. We seen a lot. We’ve experienced a lot. And when we see a lot of foolishness, external foolishness, we, we can’t deal with that like that. We have to be in a controlled environment where we got an objective and a mission, and we know an instate is in, in, we can see an instate, not just chaotic foolishness. We wanna know, right? You want me to do this, it’s the process. I’m gonna follow your process. And you, my leader, you should have that process already mapped out and I’m gonna follow you a hundred percent. That’s the way it’s

Scott Luton (18:58):

All right. So, uh, Charles, from our previous conversations, you’re a big time reader, right? You’re reading books all the time. You got big love and passion for reading. What is, um, what’s one of your favorite recent reads maybe this year?

Charles Walker (19:13):

The one recent read this year, I’ve been looking at the 48 Laws of Power. Um, you know, Robert Green, he breaks it down from the ancient times to now. Um, and how people can use power or misuse power or power is a, is a it is, it is, it can create a man or a mouse, you know what I’m saying? Because of the fact that there’s so many ways you can use your power. Uh, we all have power, uh, but it’s just how you strategically use it to uplift people. And then if you uplift other people, you uplift yourself. You know, it is just, and I look at, I, I listen to Jim Rome almost every day, and people that really live life, uh, that I want to live. So I study them. Uh, I got a library that a lot of people wouldn’t even believe, but a lot of people that know me in the military know I was a reader. Uh, I always read, and I like to know, uh, from my own standpoint how things work. Instead of listening to a lot of people, I like to study and show myself approved about it. So mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s different books I read, uh, depending on my feelings and my mood early morning, I’ll go into it and I try to share it on LinkedIn. That’s mostly what I try to share with others, uh, of how we can get, we can endure it through these challenges that we face. We just gotta know, stick together,

Scott Luton (20:26):

You know? Yeah. I love that. And I see that all the time on LinkedIn, folks, listeners, if you’re not connected or following, uh, Charles on LinkedIn, you’re missing out. We’re gonna have a link to that, um, in the episode. Uh, notes. Okay. So what I heard there, uh, I heard Jim Ron, and, and that’s r o h n, right? That’s one of the folks you listened to, to, um, and then Robert Green. Is that the, the book you mentioned? What was the name of that title again?

Charles Walker (20:52):

The 48 Laws of Power.

Scott Luton (20:54):

The 48 Laws of Power. Yeah, man. Okay,

Charles Walker (20:58):

Man, it’s little deep. And then he breaks it down on the right, on the right side of the book. He breaks down what, what it’s saying. It is like, it, it’s sort of like he writing it in parables, uh, a story within the story, but you gotta get the story within the story. It’s just not face value. There’s a message in there for you, and then how you make it applicable to your own life, and then how you see others doing the same thing that he’s, that he’s expressing. So it’s a great book, man. And, and most people that, people that you meet on LinkedIn that are real smart people, I pay attention to a lot of ’em strategically search ’em out. I, I know they know about that book.

Scott Luton (21:35):

Okay. Uh, well, we’re gonna check it out. So, Robert Green, looks like you’re doing some good work out there if you’re listening. Um, okay. So Charles, we’ve, we’ve really been talking leadership, the whole conversation. I mean, it started with, uh, sounds like your, your folks in Alabama and what they, how they raised you and, and the, the values they instilled in you to the time in the Army, uh, your time in the Army, and who you served with and who you worked for with, you know, Colonel Sneed and the impact, uh, all those folks good folks had on you. And then of course, now we’re talking about, um, depending on who you talk to, we’re either in a recession or heading into a recession, right? Um, and, and for a lot of folks, there’s a lot of the uncertainty continues, right? We’ve been through the pandemic, uh, globally, and, uh, and we all know the, the, um, turmoil and, and, um, the tragedy that that, uh, that inflicted on so many people, of course, global supply chain had to find a way to do business much differently. And, um, I think that’s one of the silver linings of just how out of sheer necessity, the innovation that, um, uh, that the pandemic fueled, uh, across global business, really. Um, so let’s talk about, in all, with all of that said, with, uh, economic uncertainty and, and so much more as we move into the new year, what are two or three leadership principles you believe are more relevant than e than, than, uh, you know, during different times?

Charles Walker (23:01):

Well, for me, everything you mentioned, Scott, is external to me. Everything, everything, you know, like I look at, I read about American history and, and the history of different countries, uh, they went through worse things than that. You know, pandemics, uh, recession, uh, depression, you know, if you look at depression, created more millionaires than, than, and people who realize, uh, because those people didn’t look at the external factors that was going on or the noise, uh, people can predict anything. They can say, okay, we have earthquake next year. Am I gonna sit here and worry about an earthquake next year? No, I’m not that kind of person. So what I do, I focus on me and what I can, what I, I can control and what I can do. And then every leave stress for me, you know, I don’t sit there and think about, oh, oh, they say, oh wait, monkey P is out. Me. What’s Monkeypox? I don’t know what monkeypox is. I don’t wanna know. So I don’t, I don’t entertain those things. I just, I just entertain things in my mind that I pray about, and I focus on those things, and all the other noise just get silenced for me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, a lot of people, they focus on the news. They focus on what could happen. I focus on how I react to what happened. You know, that’s what I so

Scott Luton (24:13):

Power, the power of focus. The power of focusing on what’s within your control seems to be a big, uh, a big part of your overall approach. Is that right?

Charles Walker (24:20):

That’s it. That’s it.

Scott Luton (24:22):

Um, clearly from what you shared earlier, uh, the power of empathy and, and, and caring for others is a big part of your approach. If you’re speaking to other leaders or, um, folks coming up through the ranks, you know, um, recent graduates, you name it. What else would you, from a leadership, a practical leadership, uh, perspective, what else would you add to your priority list right now?

Charles Walker (24:44):

I would just say the main thing is trust and believe in yourself. You know, um, you know, we instinctively know what we want to do, uh, and we know what we can do. You know, stick with grab, grab one or two things that you do very, very well, and you enjoy doing it. Um, you know, you might just want to be around a lot of people and uplift them or whatever. If you enjoy doing that, and you would, and you would do it for free, stick with that. But that’s really your passion. Uh, when you go out and try to step outside of who you really are, then you’ll pretend to be somebody else, and then you’re not gonna be happy. So what I do, I, I enjoy people. I enjoy expressing with people and sharing because of the fact that some of the things I learned in life might help some of these young people out here that’s doing things that’s crazy to me. But they don’t, they don’t have the foundation of, of grew up like I did, or they didn’t have those leaders in the military that took out time with me and accepting me for who I am. Right. So I have to go back and share that with other people too. And that’s what I do, man. I tell anybody, stick with what you would do for free. Mm. And that’s your real passion. And that’s where your money at <laugh>, that’s where your money Yeah.

Scott Luton (25:56):

That’s important for everybody, right? Everybody wants to be successful. Um, right. All right. Uh, two last questions here. And, and, uh, the first one’s related to what we’ve been talking about, um, in between supply chain management and leadership, um, for folks that won’t, what advice would you give, um, folks we’re thinking like, um, students in college or maybe even high school, and they’re considering what career fields, uh, to go into? You know, you and I both are, are very, um, we’re, let’s just, let’s just put it plainly. We’re big supply chain nerds, right? Big supply chain fans. Absolutely. How, how would you, um, advise students on why to enter the supply chain management field as a career? What would your answer to that be?

Charles Walker (26:45):

It would be simple for me, because of the fact that I would say, look at the problems that touched you. You know, like, look at the world and like, look at supply chain. Look at Amazon. If you ordered something off Amazon, right? And it, it didn’t come as you saw it, or your friends said the same thing, you said, Hey, you know what, Amazon, it looks like this on the internet, but it didn’t show up like that, right? So you should be thinking, how can I fix that? Because, you know, people pay you to fix problems, man. The world is for whenever you see a problem, that’s an opportunity, that’s a job for you, really, because, uh, people that solve problem get paid. When people say, uh, how he make more money than me? When he solved problems, he solved more problems than you, man, <laugh>, it’s simple. You don’t solve no problem <laugh>. So, uh, and I just tell people that, look for problems, then you find opportunities, period.

Scott Luton (27:37):

And supply chain touches anything. You, you’ve got no shortage of problems either you’re reacting to, unfortunately too often, but more and more you’re proactively avoid helping to, uh, helping organizations and supply chains avoid. So I, I love that. Uh, be a problem solver, make a difference, move the needle and, uh, come join us in, in global supply chain, trade industry. Um, okay. So Charles, always a pleasure connecting with you. Uh, Charles Walker with the gen, um, no, the Gin group. The gin group. A hard G. Yes,

Charles Walker (28:09):

Sir. Yes, sir.

Scott Luton (28:10):

Um, how can folks connect with you, Charles?

Charles Walker (28:12):

Hey, they connect with me at, uh, at c Walker gin group.com. That’s my email, my personal email, and also on LinkedIn. I don’t know if by hard, because LinkedIn is just an innate thing that I do. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s more spirit based for me. Um, when I feel something that I think, uh, my followers, uh, would benefit from, I post it, man. I don’t have no certain time. I don’t look at how many followers or none of that stuff. I just said, okay, I’m gonna put that positive energy out there that I feel right now for me. And I, I think that my base of people that I follow as well will feel it, um, and connect with it. So I don’t, A lot of people say, well, thank you for 17,000 followers. Thank you for a million follow. I don’t, I don’t know how many followers there are, uh, because, uh, I just connect with the right people like you and I connected you and I connected, man. It was just, it, it was just, I, I feel like I create the people that show up in my life, man. Uh, if, if I, if a clown show up in my life, hey, I gotta look at myself. You created the Clown Man. So <laugh>, uh, and I, and I, I do it like that, man. That’s just the way I am, man.

Scott Luton (29:18):

No, um, I can, I can vouch for that. Charles, you and I have known each other for, you know, going back a few years now, and I’m a big believer and a big fan of your approach to LinkedIn. Um, you know, cause it, it clearly is genuine. It comes from the heart. There’s a ton of expertise. There’s a, there’s a ton of give back based on what you’ve learned. And, and perhaps one of my favorite parts is it’s, it’s very inclusive and inspirational. So folks, make sure you’re connected with or following Charles Walker, and we’ll make sure we have a link to that, uh, in the episode notes,

Charles Walker (29:53):

Okay? And make sure they follow your show, Scott, because you guys, you, you guys don’t know the impact you have on supply chain personnel, man. Uh, I showed a couple of videos here in my, in my, in my job here to these guys. They didn’t, they weren’t familiar with it. I’m like, dude, there’s a lot of good information here, man, that we can, you know, in, in the supply chain business or, or government contracting, uh, you guys, you touch on pain points for government, uh, uh, agencies. And you actually, you giving a solution. If people look, listen to you, you guys are or are looking at pain points. And when you relieve pain points, that’s a contract, man. So there’s so many ways to do it, but a lot of people, I use LinkedIn for the, the smart people out there because actually I hate, I paid for all these degrees I got because LinkedIn is an actual degree. If you listen to it, you get the right people and you connect with them, they’ll share some information with you that you didn’t get in the university that you paid for. So you gotta look at LinkedIn as a tool of smart people that gather together, and they are willing to share. They care enough about you, and they’ll loyal you to your success. So that’s what make it is to me.

Scott Luton (31:06):

You know, I wonder if degrees are, are part of the next phase of the LinkedIn business plan. They might as well. They’re doing everything else, you know, but to your point, uh, I bet they roll that out soon. Uh, and charge of pretty pinning for it. We’ll see Charles, uh, yeah. But hey, I always enjoy our time together. I really appreciate what you do and, and the good and, and the positivity and the constructive, uh, contributions you put out there in industry. So thanks so much, Charles Walker with the again group. We’ll make sure folks connect with you.

Charles Walker (31:35):

And I appreciate you. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it is, uh, it’s heartfelt, man. I appreciate you. And remember that common sense is the new PhD.

Scott Luton (31:46):

Okay? Hey, <laugh>, I like that. I like that we’ve got lots of T-shirt isms every time we get with, with uh, Charles here. But hey, listeners, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this, really frank, um, and, and hard driven conversation here with the one and only Charles Walker. But hey, it’s all about deeds, not words. You gotta act on this good advice you get. But regardless, uh, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, we wish you nothing but the best. Hey, do good, give forward and be the change. Be like Charles Walker. And with that said, we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (32:19):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain Now, community. Check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.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.

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Featured Guests

Charles Walker is a military retired Army Master Sergeant with over 20 years active duty in Special Operations Logistics. Served in mainly Special Operations Units including Task Force 160th, 10th Special Forces Group (Germany), 112th signal Battalion, 96th Civil Affairs and Special Operations Support Command, lastly Special Warfare Training Group. He worked in organizations SAIC, Raytheon, Stanley Associates, RGTS and a few others in Program Management Logistics roles. Presently working as the primary business developer for a minority owned, female, veteran small business. Our mission is to acquire government, state and local contracts related to supplies and equipment related to organizational needs and requirements. We have gained much traction with the requisitioning of PPE items required in support of the COVID pandemic. Our capabilities include all logistics supplies and services with warehousing, transportation, storage and distribution being our core components.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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