As Florida braces for Hurricane Nicole in the wake of Ian’s devastating damage, many are wondering how to lend a hand to those in crisis. In this episode, Scott and Maureen discuss disaster relief with the American Logistics Aid Network Executive Director Kathy Fulton. Listen in to learn more about how a crisis creates long-term needs long after news coverage subsides, what it takes to serve those needs, how to take a “deeds, not words,” approach, advice for leaders and supply chain students, and more.
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Scott Luton (00:32):
Hey, good morning everybody. Scott Luton and Maureen Woolshlager with you here on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s show. How you doing?
Maureen Woolshlager (00:39):
Good. How are you doing, Scott?
Scott Luton (00:41):
I’m doing wonderful. We’ve got one of our favorite repeat guests that’s out there, certainly moving mountains. We’ve be talking with this industry leader doing big things, especially to help those in need. One of our favorite conversations to have, in particular, Maureen, as you know this very well, our guest, our guest is helping non-profits find the logistics, equipment, expertise, and services they need to make things happen. So it should be a great show, Right,
Maureen Woolshlager (01:06):
Scott Luton (01:08):
So, with no further ado, wanna welcome in today’s guest here, Kathy Fulton, the executive director with the American Logistics Aid Network, also known as Allen Kathy, how you doing?
Kathy Fulton (01:19):
I’m great, Scott. It’s, um, a lot of fun to be with you and Maureen today.
Scott Luton (01:24):
Uh, agree. It’s been too long as you know, we’re big admirers of what you and your, uh, incredible team do. And Maureen, I’ll tell you, we’re tickled to get started, uh, talking back again with Kathy Fulton, you ready to go, Maureen?
Maureen Woolshlager (01:35):
I’m ready. Let’s
Scott Luton (01:37):
Do it. Right. Buckle up. Here we go. So, I wanna start with, before we get into kind of the business of what you do and all the, the great work, uh, and, and very practical work that y’all are doing to help folks, um, um, that, you know, are, that need the help, uh, let’s, let’s back it up a little bit and for the three people that may have not caught one of your interviews out there, or, or a couple of your appearances here, let’s refresh your memories a bit. So tell us about yourself, Kathy. Full.
Kathy Fulton (02:05):
Um, well, thanks for the question because, uh, you know, my favorite subject is always myself. I’m kidding. My favorite subject is Alan, but I’ll, uh, talk about myself in context with that. So I’m the executive director for the organization. Um, and I’ve been serving in that role since 2014. Um, but I hung around, you know, a few years before that as a volunteer and as a, uh, as an operations person. Um, but my background is not supply chain. My background is not disaster. My background is not even nonprofit work. Um, actually an old IT person from a third party logistics company, um, that kind of got voluntold to, uh, you know, hey, there’s this nonprofit that needs help. Um, and it aligned with it, it checked all the boxes for me. You know, it aligned with all of the passions, uh, that I’m, I’m really, you know, excited about, which is helping people, um, using other people’s skills, I guess. You know, I don’t have any skills. I just, I let I convince other, I convince other people to do things. Um, but, but using those skills that, um, you know, that businesses are, are doing every day, um, to help in the nonprofit, uh, and disaster perspective.
Scott Luton (03:24):
So, Kathy, we’re gonna dive a lot more into that in, in just a second. Uh, I love the, I love the phrase voluntold. Maureen, have you ever been voluntold to do anything? I know I have.
Maureen Woolshlager (03:34):
Yes, I have
Scott Luton (03:35):
<laugh> and we’re better off for it, right? Yes.
Maureen Woolshlager (03:37):
Scott Luton (03:38):
<affirmative> <laugh>. So I love that.
Maureen Woolshlager (03:39):
My husband’s in the military, so we get that a lot.
Scott Luton (03:41):
<laugh>. And Kathy, you’re also, uh, very humble. Uh, you, uh, as we all know, Maureen and I are big, being big fans, you’re bringing a lot to the table. It takes a really special, um, um, cross-functional skill set to do what y’all are doing, and you’re doing, Um, your last appearance, we talked a little bit about your upbringing and, and we’re gonna dive into kind of what Alan’s doing and, and all the operations there. But refresh my memory there. Where did you grow up?
Kathy Fulton (04:09):
Yeah, so I grew up in this little town called Naish, Louisiana. Um, home of Steel Magnolias and, um, uh, numerous other, you know, uh, films. Um, but yeah, it was a really unique place to, to grow up in the middle of the country, far from the big city. Um, and I, I think that, you know, a lot of that has informed who I am as a person just from the, uh, you know, the community aspect of the small town life.
Scott Luton (04:39):
So you read my mind of where we’re going in second, but I’m gonna quick take a quick departure cause Maureen and I, uh, everyone knows listen to supply chain now. We love talking food around here. And when I hear the word Louisiana, man, so what’s one food dish that, that was inseparable from your childhood?
Kathy Fulton (04:56):
You know, <laugh>, So my mom is a Yankee was a Yankee, So, um, we didn’t grow up eating a lot of the, the really traditional Louisiana foods, but now it’s, it’s gumbo like, oh, you know, that just, that takes me back more to, more to college. I went to college in the same town where I grew up, but, uh, yeah, you know, good gumbo. You just can’t go wrong.
Scott Luton (05:21):
Oh, you had me a gu, you had me a gu.
Maureen Woolshlager (05:24):
That looks hungry right now. He looks physically hungry. It must be that tasteless water he is drinking.
Scott Luton (05:30):
Oh, man. Thank you so much, Maureen. And I’ll just, I’ll put this, uh, sparkling water is my go-to. It’s like a calorie and a half, but, uh, anyway, it’s cold, not just, just not tasty. But anyway. So Maureen, uh, we’re gonna, we’re gonna find out a role model, uh, here in a second on, on more serious, uh, side. But Maureen, if you, when you think of, um, uh, whether it’s Louisiana, traditional, delicious cuisine or something else from your childhood, what, what’s, uh, what, what’s this food talk conjuring up in your, in your mind?
Maureen Woolshlager (05:59):
Well, so I’m actually from up in the northeast, so the food is a little bit of a different type of cuisine. So growing up, we always had scrape on Sundays. I don’t know that I need to tell our viewers what that is. You guys can, um, I don’t actually meat anymore, but growing up, just the smell of scrape takes me back to Sunday breakfast with, you know, my extended family. And, uh, yes,
Kathy Fulton (06:29):
Maureen, because my mom was from New Jersey, I almost said, Well, it’s probably scrapple, to be honest,
Scott Luton (06:35):
Maureen Woolshlager (06:35):
People dunno what it, it is. And I, I know that there’s a lot of interesting meats out there. Um, and it’s, I don’t, I didn’t give up meat because of scrapple is just something I grow
Scott Luton (06:45):
Away. The scrape industry is very appreciative of your clarification. Yes.
Maureen Woolshlager (06:51):
But, but definitely there’s a certain just memory you have when, you know, you think of Sunday breakfasts and, you know, I had a, my extended family close by. And, um, the, the smell of it, it’s not bad. It’s like a bacony type smell. Um, but, uh, that’s, that’s what I think of as far as cuisine. Yeah.
Scott Luton (07:10):
Love that. Uh, and, you know, the military, uh, being in the Air Force, uh, I don’t know if we had real genuine scrape, but we had what they call blank on a, on a shingle. Right. And I let folks, you know, kind of put those, those words together. But, uh, alright, so moving right along, uh, on a more serious note. So again, you have been part, if I, if I piece this together, right? Uh, Kathy, you’ve been a part in some level of Alan’s mission since 2010, Right? Initially kind of voluntold and as a volunteer. And now of course, as executive director. And I’ll point in between that takes a lot of passionate and, and deliberate, uh, mission to help others. And, and as we’re talking kind of pre-show some days I bet, or it’s like top of the mountain and other days as you’re seeing and experiencing some of what folks are going through, you know, you need to have that DNA in your bones that keep you moving forward. So, with that said, who is someone from your past that really inspired you to tirelessly serve others as you do?
Kathy Fulton (08:10):
Yeah. You know, I’ve been really fortunate to have a lot of really just phenomenal role model models. And I’m actually gonna talk about my parents for a minute before I talk about my professional career. Um, because I had the mom who was not the traditional, like classroom mom. She worked and, you know, did all of those things. But she also was able to go out and volunteer and she coached softball and she ran the, the little league, you know, uh, the, the league for the little league. Um, so like, just seeing that a woman in a man’s world, I, I think, influenced me greatly, um, as a kid. And then my father, um, is probably the person who taught me how to love unconditionally and serve equitably. Um, he was a college professor, grew up in the sticks backwoods of Louisiana. Um, and, you know, ended up with a PhD in microbiology of all things. Um, but he had, uh, he, he was the person who talked to the janitor the same way he talked to the president of the university. And for a kid to see that and to understand that there’s no difference, uh, from a human level in, you know, these two people, uh, is, is I think really just had a tremendous impact on me. But, you
Scott Luton (09:36):
Know, really, really quick Yeah, go ahead if I can. Cause I love, I love your answer already. And, you know, over the weekend, I like taking my son, Ben, on Saturday mornings when we try to grab breakfast together, and I do it as we can, and usually you do, we do mom and pop places, but this past weekend we did Wild Flo, Right? Which I’m never gonna turn down to pat him up plate from wla, unfortunately. But hey, that aside, But you know what, I was struck as I went into the waffle, Flo, I noticed something for the first time. They had signs put up in the entrances and those windows, you know, and it basically said to paraphrase, Hey, treat our associates with, with kindness, right? Be nice to our, our team members. And I’m like, Man, I love that on one hand, but on the flip side, if that’s what we have to do, to your point of speaking of just being kind to everyone, regardless of, of your interaction in life, man, it’s kind of, it kind was a gut punch. But, uh, respond to that Cathy, if you would. And then I knew you got another role model or two to share with us.
Kathy Fulton (10:34):
You know, I, I had a similar experience that I, I caught myself in today, Scott. Like, I was, I had some travel difficulties today, let’s just say. Me
Maureen Woolshlager (10:45):
Too, Kathy <laugh>.
Kathy Fulton (10:46):
Yeah. And so, so I decided, you know what? I’m just, I’m gonna treat myself a little bit. I went into a coffee shop, nearby hotel, and, um, like things just weren’t going well. And I, like, I started to snip at the barista, um, and I ca and she responded with like, the most positive attitude, like ever. And it just, it was a punch to me to say, What are you doing? Like, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, you are, you know, uh, in this great city and you’re gonna, you know, be mean to somebody because you’re having a bad day. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s, you know, uh, and I think we all need to to remember that. Um, it ain’t about us, right. Ultimately.
Scott Luton (11:38):
Yeah. Well said, well said. Hey, Maureen, quick, your quick comment along those lines before we get back to, uh, Cathy’s role models there.
Maureen Woolshlager (11:45):
Yeah. Cathy, I was gonna say, when you had said, um, love unconditionally serve equitably, that, was that how you, you said it? Yeah. Yeah. I, I wanted to write it down because I thought that was just a great motto to have regardless of where you are and what you’re doing, um, to not apply any sort of prejudice to, to any sort of relationship or interaction that you have and kind of, you, you don’t want to have those reminders when you’re not doing it. But it’s a good motto to have
Scott Luton (12:16):
ISN though. And we’re all human.
Maureen Woolshlager (12:17):
She’s straight, right?
Scott Luton (12:18):
Yeah. We all have those moments of weakness, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what a great call out Maureen. And now we have our podcast title. We’ll see if that sticks. <laugh>. So Cathy, Love you’re gonna offer. That’s
Kathy Fulton (12:31):
Scott Luton (12:32):
That is right. So you were gonna offer, I think, one other, one or two of the figures, uh, from your journey.
Kathy Fulton (12:37):
Yeah. Just, just one other, and, you know, you can’t really talk about Alan without talking about our founding president, Jock Mens, um, and another person who loved unconditionally and served equitably. Right. Um, and Jock unfortunately left us way too soon, nine years ago this year, which is astonishing to me to think that it, that it’s been that long. Um, but he, you know, Jock had this way of breaking down silos. Um, and so much of the work that Alan does is working between businesses and nonprofits, or businesses and government. Um, and I think every day, um, there’s something that reminds me of Jock, and I know that my decisions are, are influenced by him. It’s just a reminder that, you know, he had a way of, of showing, Look, we’re all on the same team after a disaster happens. We want people to eat, we want them to be hydrated, we want them to have medical care, and they need a place to stay, Right? That’s it. Um, it doesn’t matter, uh, how it happens, whether it’s government providing it, or businesses providing it, or nonprofits providing it, it all takes logistics, and we can all figure out how to do that better together.
Scott Luton (13:50):
I love that, Kathy, and, uh, Maureen, your comment there, and you can roll, Let’s roll right into our, our next segment here with Kathy Fulton.
Maureen Woolshlager (13:56):
Yeah. Kathy, so I was gonna say for our audience who might not be familiar with Alan, would you be able to just give us a background of who they are and what they do, and then kind of into your role as executive director, maybe what your favorite aspect is, or kind of give a bigger picture for the group so they can kind of tie in what you’re saying with all the other touch points we’re talking about?
Kathy Fulton (14:18):
Yeah. I, and I hope it comes through that, um, who I am or, or that who I am as a person greatly influences how the organization works. And I hope that that’s the same for all leaders that, you know, um, that, that they bring something good to their organization. Um, but I, I’ll talk a little bit about what we do. Um, and, and honestly, it’s a few different things, um, but all of them are focused on helping communities that have just experienced a really bad day from a disaster. Um, and so, you know, after a disaster, a lot of nonprofit organizations will go into this, into communities or nonprofit organizations that are already in the communities, um, to help with cleanup efforts or to help with, um, providing food or shelter or hydration. Um, and we are working with those nonprofit organizations, uh, to help them find access to donated or discounted logistic services.
Kathy Fulton (15:13):
I, I, you know, on the, the flip side of that, we’re obviously that requires businesses who provide those services. So we want to make sure that those businesses themselves are staying in business, and that means getting the information that they need to keep their own supply chains moving. If they’re, you know, putting the oxygen mask on themselves first. If, if they’re not helping their own, um, employees and their own business, then they can’t help, uh, other people in their community. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and then finally we work with government, uh, you know, as we’re in touch with businesses all the time and nonprofits all the time. Um, and so we want government to understand, hey, what’s really happening with supply chains during disaster? Um, government has, you know, scarce resources, right? They, they, I mean, from a, I should probably qualify that to say they can spend a lot of money and get a lot of things, but what they have at their disposal initially, um, is small.
Kathy Fulton (16:10):
And we don’t want them cannibalizing private sector, you know, preexisting supply chains, right? So, yeah. So, you know, we want government to use those resources wisely. Um, and then we do a couple other things. Like we, we have educational activities. We bring all of our industry association partners together every couple of weeks to talk about hot topics. Um, and I think the thing that I love doing the most that I get this from my dad is just bringing people together, whether they’re public, private, nonprofit, um, building those relationships that, um, support resilient communities. You know, we can bounce back faster from a disaster. So I just, I mean, you know, you asked about like, what’s my favorite part of it? And it’s seeing how all of that comes together and the good things that happen when, um, when a disaster occurs.
Scott Luton (17:04):
Marine, Love that. Huh? I was just gonna say, I, I think, uh, all three of us here are involved in, uh, in, in charitable initiatives, right? Of all sorts and, and, and, um, scopes and whatnot. But I can only imagine, Cathy, the, and Maureen, love to get your take here. Can you imagine when you see, you know, the results of weeks, hours, days, weeks, whatever, you know, marshing cutting through all the, and um, I’m gonna say red tape. I don’t, that’s not a slam on any aspect of the whole ecosystem. It’s just, it’s really just, you know, or different organizations, different people in different parts of the solution. And they all probably struggle to communicate and, and really get the most out of what are limited resources out there, there. So after all of that work to see aid get to where, and the people and the families that, that, you know, they’ll benefit so much from it. I can’t imagine Marine a more fulfilling part of what you do day in and day out, huh?
Maureen Woolshlager (18:04):
Yeah. And Kathy, I wanted to ask for your team. Is it, what would it be like half and half volunteers and people on staff? Or what’s the breakdown of that so people can understand, you know, the, the sort of resources that go into just the organization that you’re working in running?
Kathy Fulton (18:22):
Yeah, that’s a great question. We’re actually really small team. Um, so I’m the only kind of full-time staff. And then we, we work with, um, some contract staff to help with, um, some of our communications activities. But all of our operational activities are done by volunteers, right? So that logistics coordination work, the, um, you know, matching the, the request to the, to the donation offers, just staying in touch with everybody. That’s all volunteers. And that’s because, you know, logistics and supply chain people are natural problem solvers. They gravitate to like figuring stuff out during a disaster.
Scott Luton (19:05):
So much truth right there. And you know what, Maureen, I don’t think I’ve ever, I think I’ve learned something new. I think Cathy, I’ve, I’ve been fortunate to spend, I don’t know, three or four different episodes with you. I never knew that. Uh, so I can only imagine, uh, goodness gracious, the, the blessed star, the volunteers, I think was one to be outta tunes that that capture baby. But, uh, I love that. Um, so speaking of, and Maureen, you got to cover your ears cuz I’m gonna, uh, I wanna, uh, get Kathy to speak to something. Uh, anyone that listens to our podcast knows that I’m a big fan of Maureen and the Vector Global Logistics team. I think there’s very few organizations, um, that really they are intent on serving the greater good, far beyond just creating revenue far beyond of just solving problems. And, uh, love the DNA in that, in that culture in the organization. So, Kathy, uh, enough of that, uh, Scott, but, uh, Kathy, I think Vector was recently recognized by something, by your team, so if you could speak to that a little bit.
Kathy Fulton (20:07):
Yeah, yeah. Um, yes, yes and yes. Um, everything you just said. So, uh, every year, uh, Alan recognizes businesses who are doing exactly what you said, using their resources for good. So the work that they do every day to, to make money, to make a profit, we wanna recognize the ones who go beyond and are using those skills to make a difference. Um, and so this year Vector received our award for outstanding contribution, uh, to disaster relief efforts for all of the work that they’ve done, um, supporting the war in Ukraine, or supporting the response to the war in Ukraine. Right. Um, and what I really love about, um, and I don’t, I, Maureen, I don’t even know who, who actually nominated you guys, um, but we
Maureen Woolshlager (20:53):
Kathy Fulton (20:54):
Actually <laugh>, but I’m so glad
Maureen Woolshlager (20:56):
Know we had to go Nashville and you and I got to be in person and it was
Kathy Fulton (20:59):
Great. I I am so glad they did. And Scott, I’m gonna, you know this about Maureen and, and Enrique already, but what I love about the recognition is whenever, you know, I, I talked to Maureen and Enrique for the first time about it. The first thing they said was, How do we do more? You know, we’re very proud of, of what we’re doing, but we don’t wanna stop. We, we wanna be able to, to do more. And I love it when businesses are thinking from that abundance mindset rather than a, a, you know, a position of scarcity. Oh, Cathy, Honor. Oh,
Maureen Woolshlager (21:33):
Scott Luton (21:35):
Yeah. Uh, I really appreciate what you shared, Cathy. And, uh, you know, it, the kindred spirits here, uh, you know, between the two of y’all, your respected organizations, uh, I mean that this is how, uh, you join forces to move mountains. So I’m a big fan of both of y’all here and what you do. Cause it’s not lip service, right? Y’all go to work, do the work, go to work, go to work. Uh, Maureen, why don’t you, if any response, uh, from what Kathy shared, and then, and then we’re gonna dial it in on, uh, some of what Kathy’s been Cathy and her team have been experiencing here in recent, uh, weeks.
Maureen Woolshlager (22:07):
Yeah, no, I mean, Kathy, it’s great to see you again on here and be on the show together. Um, as we met last month in Nashville when Ellen presented the award to us, um, and I think this is a great avenue and audience to kind of share more of the greater good of what Alan’s up to. And so kinda considering recent events, I know that there’s another hurricane in the works right now, crossing our fingers that, um, it doesn’t grow to be the size that we just saw with Ian, uh, last month or the month before. But would love for you to share some of the things that you saw and the work that Alan did, uh, because that was, and still remains to be a, a major event, uh, that happened to, you know, a large group of, of our, the population here in the US and down in Florida. And, uh, I think it would be a great opportunity for you to, to talk about what you guys are doing there.
Kathy Fulton (23:01):
Yeah. It, um, so where do I even begin? You know, the, the, what we saw in Florida, I think is gonna end up being somewhere around the maybe fourth or fifth most costly hurricane to ever hit the United States. Um, well over, uh, 50 billion in damages at this point. I haven’t even seen, you know, the latest number. Um, but we had massive flooding. We had, um, you know, so, so many houses were, were affected. Um, so many businesses were affected. And I had, um, I live in central Florida, so I was able to, to go down and visit some of our partners, um, some of, of our non-profit partners who are doing the, the work down there. And just, you know, I, I’ve been to areas affected by disaster before, but I think because it’s my home state, um, it, it, it was a little closer to home.
Kathy Fulton (23:58):
It’s an area where I’ve vacationed before my husband’s family, uh, had had, you know, his, my mother-in-law was from there. So, um, just seeing that, And, you know, one of the things about flooding events is that people have to literally gut their houses, right? They have to pull everything that was on the floor up to however high out, and it’s out on the curb for everyone to see. And that is, it’s heartbreaking. Um, so, you know, you, you gotta think they, they didn’t have power. Their houses were flooded. Um, so they needed, you know, they needed access to hot meals, right? And so we were able to help, um, a number of organizations with their feeding efforts. That meant helping them find donated transportation to bring in the food that they cooked in these big, massive outdoor kitchens. It also meant groups like the food bank who are there year round, um, uh, and are now dealing with people who were never food insecure before.
Kathy Fulton (25:03):
This disaster has just pushed them over the edge. Um, and so now the food bank has seen double the demand. So we’ve been helping them with things like material handling equipment. You never, uh, you know, you never know the value of a pallet jack to a business. It’s a pretty minor expense on the books. But to a nonprofit who’s able to move, you know, three times as much as they were able to before, it’s huge. Um, and now we’re starting to move into, you know, like the, the, the, the daily feeding activities are, are kind of moving along. The food banks obviously are still there, um, but we’re looking more what we call recovery efforts. And that means things like helping people, um, rebuild their houses, right? Um, so we expect that there will be the need to move lots of building materials. Um, just last week we helped, um, the Habitat for Humanity Organization, um, move a truckload of mattresses.
Kathy Fulton (26:04):
Um, and I, I’ll just, if I can take a moment, um, when I had gone down to Fort Myers, um, I happened to, I needed to go check out this location, um, where they had set up what’s called a fuel point of distribution. I needed to go for some research purposes to get some pictures. So I’d driven by there and I said, Hey, there’s a mass feeding site. I probably ought go get some, some photos, just check on them, introduce myself, see if they need anything. I drove through this neighborhood, it’s called Harlem Heights, and, um, just randomly drove through this neighborhood. But when Habitat for Humanity contacted me, I said, Hey, why does this address, like where we’re delivering these mattresses look familiar? It’s literally driven by this community center. Uh, you know, and so when you think about that, like, you know, why, what put me, who put me in that community to see what that need really was, and, you know, I’m motivated to do my job anyway. Um, but really that motivation and that story that I could use to, to tell the, the trucking company that it, you know, eventually helped with that. Like, I, the need is there. I saw the mattresses pile on, on the side of the road. Um, and we’re always, I mean, we’re still working on Ukraine efforts, you know, had conversations this week, you know, it’s, there’s, there’s, it’s not gonna stop, Right? Right. Um, so yeah, lots, lots of activities happening.
Scott Luton (27:29):
So, you know, um, the, I think one of the things, so you’ve, you’ve, you’ve kind of talked about some of what you’ve personally seen and, and what had to be some heartbreaking journeys. Um, you’ve talked about some of the things, uh, that you’ve been involved with, the team’s been involved with to, to get, uh, to get done, get relief efforts where they need to be mattresses and, and, and more. Um, but talk about the current needs. So it’s a long pass when the tv CR and, and again, not to pick on anybody, but after, you know, all the, um, tv cr, you know, as a news cycle moves on, let’s just say it like that. And, uh, the imagery that we saw in the earliest hours and earliest of days, once that leaves our television sets and our laptops and whatnot, the need continues and it persists. Speak to that, if you would. And then also some of the great, uh, aspects of your site where it allows folks to really get, um, sees specifically where they can help a pallet jacket, as you said a minute ago, everyone takes those things for granted unless you don’t have one. Right? So speak to, uh, current needs and the need to, you know, keep finding ways of helping long beyond the new cycle and how folks can, can jump in and help.
Kathy Fulton (28:41):
Yeah. Yeah. You know, I mentioned the statistic and you know, how costly this was. Um, and I, I know sometimes when people think about southwest Florida, they only think about the, you know, the shiny beaches. Um, but this has a real impact. Uh, it’s also, uh, uh, one of the counties that was affected, uh, is the oldest county in the nation. Um, and so you have a lot of people who are older than 70, older than 75, right? Those people who are on fixed incomes don’t necessarily have access to the resources. They’re gonna need help, not just rebuilding, but just getting their lives back in order. And that’s not something that you can take care of in a matter of weeks. That’s something that takes months and years. And, you know, the organizations we’re talking to are looking at, you know, three to five year horizons at a minimum Wow. To be working, uh, in southwest Florida. I mean, just the, you know, I was driving the other day near my neighborhood, um, and happened to take a road that I hadn’t taken in a while and just saw all of these blue roofs and we’re, you know, one month, month and a half after the hurricane now. And they haven’t been repaired yet. So it’s not, it’s not something that just happens overnight. Um, and
Scott Luton (29:58):
When you say blue roofs, you’re talking about like tar?
Kathy Fulton (30:01):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, um, roofs that have been damaged, you know, even my, my, we were very fortunate, but even, you know, my, my poor neighbor who’s, who’s older, um, you know, she still has damages that, um, you know, were kids are over there, you know, helping her clean up every weekend. So, um, it, it’s, it’s just, it’s not something that’s gonna go away quickly. Um, so I want people to know, like we’re, we’re in it for the long haul. We’ve committed to groups like Habitat to for Humanity, Um, uh, groups like the Food Bank, who are, you know, true passions of the community. They’re there year round, uh, day in and day out. Um, and help, we’re, we’re committed to helping them for the long haul, right? Um, and the way that that we do that is we post those, those needs, whatever those requests may be, we post on, on our website a a.org/operations. Um, and it’s also linked just from our homepage, allen a.org. Um, and you can go and see, hey, what’s needed right now. Um, and that changes daily as new requests come in, or, you know, new donors pick a pick them off the top of the list, and, uh, and we make that match. Um, we just move to the load of wheelchairs today, actually, which is, uh, also something that you don’t think about, right? Um, but there’s, there’s gonna be needs, uh, and ways to help for a long time to come.
Maureen Woolshlager (31:26):
And, and Kathy, with what you were saying with being in some of the older communities in the us, you know, it seems like there’s also just a need for physical help, physical labor, because if you’re 75 and you need to clean out the contents of your flooded house, it’s very different than if you’re 35, um, to be able to do some of that on your own. Um, so now there’s, you know, multi-generational assistance that’s needed if, you know, your, your children live near you and they have to do this to their house, but, you know, you might need the help as well. So,
Kathy Fulton (32:00):
Great point. And, and it affected a large, I mean, I think there are 24, 25 counties that have active federal disaster declarations. Um, you know, Yeah. I don’t even know how many people live in Florida these days. We’re growing, you know, a thousand new people every day it seems like. But, um, you know, that’s a, a big part of our, our population, uh, you know, all the way from, you know, way down in the keys, up to, through Jacksonville, right? Because it just, you know, it hit, um, just such a, a tremendous part of the state.
Scott Luton (32:34):
Um, alright, so we’re gonna pick your brain on some advice here in a second, but I wanna move, one of the questions I was gonna start to wrap with up to where we are now, um, cause we’ve already alluded to a couple different things. Um, you know, there’s a great page on, and I think you, maybe it’s the operations center. I’m not sure how you couch this page, but it is, you know, we love our details and specifics and global supply chain and logistics, that whole space. And it lists out all these various needs, you know, from, from, uh, what I’ll call smaller and maybe more technical to some, some bigger scope, uh, needs. So check that out at Allen a, uh, Allen a.org. Is that right, Kathy?
Kathy Fulton (33:12):
That’s right. Allen a.org.
Scott Luton (33:14):
But speaking beyond that great portion of the site, if, um, if folks were just ask you, Kathy, hey, how can, whether we have volunteers that need to be volunteered, all kid in there, but, you know, volunteers, resources, supply chain, infrastructure, money, whatever, how would you answer the question? How we can help?
Kathy Fulton (33:35):
All of the above. Um, I would say, um, logistics, services and equipment, uh, we’re gonna need them. Uh, you know, even if it’s not for Florida, there’s probably somewhere else in the country. So if, you know, if you wanna make an offer, we will find an organization that can, that can use what you have. Um, we always, I, you know, mentioned a lot of our work is done by volunteers. Um, and we always love to, to put people to work. And that could be anything from communications, uh, to, um, you know, doing logistics, coordination activities. Um, and then we ourselves are a nonprofit. We’re 5 0 1 c three organization. Um, so those financial gifts help us continue to do the work that, that we need to do. Um, and it helps, you know, it’s just a force multiplier for every dollar that comes into Alan, We’re able to move, um, north of $70 worth of humanitarian aid, just man. Yeah. The leverage there is pretty phenomenal, phenomenal. And it’s because of the business community who, you know, joins behind us to, to support the, our work.
Scott Luton (34:46):
You know, uh, and Maureen, this goes out being said in this wide world of, you know, why so many different non-profits and, um, you know, there’s tons of overhead and some, right? And not name names. You know, we’re, we’re being very positive, positively minded here, but I love what you just shared there, Kathy. Cause if you wanna, to any of our listeners, you wanna feel good about, you know, where your dollars and how far they go or resources you donate, and how far they go, and go back and listen to that segment. So if I got that right, for every dollar, you can transform that into what Kathy,
Kathy Fulton (35:23):
North of $70 of, of humanitarian aid.
Scott Luton (35:26):
Wow. Okay. Maureen, why don’t you, you react to that and then we’re gonna shift gears and pick, uh, get some advice from, uh, Kathy, or how about that, stretching those dollars out. Um,
Maureen Woolshlager (35:38):
Already I was just thinking what other contribution can you make that has such a large return on investment? And, and, you know, when you’re contributing or donating, you don’t expect the investment to come back to you. You’re making an investment in something else. And so, you know, $1 turning into 70 or $75, um, that helps others that, that’s pretty amazing, Kathy. So kudos to you and your team and, and how you make that happen. So we’re here to help spread the word for you.
Kathy Fulton (36:11):
Yeah, Thank you for that. And, you know, I think it’s really important that we, I mean, supply chains are global, right? And so, uh, maybe this disaster was in Florida, Maybe it didn’t affect your, you know, your individual supply chain directly, but the next one might. Um, and so keeping those resources prepared and keeping, uh, you know, and just keeping the lights on, knowing that, hey, somebody’s out there looking out for you when, when something bad happens, maybe we need to help your employees the next time we’re here for that
Scott Luton (36:46):
Man. Love that. All right. So folks, learn firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s a L A N a I d.org. I get that right, Kathy, You got it. I failed plenty of spa. Uh, I
Maureen Woolshlager (36:59):
Was about to say, Scott, were you in the spelling bee?
Scott Luton (37:02):
I was about to add to e to a, but it’s not No, E allen a a i d.org. That’s right. Okay. So on a much lighter note, uh, we get a lot of feedback around, um, when we, we, we, uh, pick the brains for advice for our featured guests. So there’s two ways I wanna ask this question. Cathy and Maureen will welcome your comments based on Cathy’s responses. So, as we all know, shouldn’t shock anybody. Business leaders are constantly reviewing, especially in recent years, their risk mitigation approaches, contingency planning, modeling, you know, they’re hiring chief risk officers, which is a, um, you know, as long as, as it driving outcomes, I guess that’s a great move. Um, all for not just 2023, but far beyond, right? So what is one piece of advice, Kathy, you might have for business leaders going through those, those exercises?
Kathy Fulton (37:51):
Yeah. Um, I don’t think anything’s gonna get any better in 2023. Uh, you know, unfortunately everything I’m reading is that, um, uh, it’s, the turbulence is still gonna be the name of the, the game. Um, and I think my advice is, um, it is twofold. Don’t get so caught up in dealing with your current crisis that you forget to plan for the next one. Um, because there are some, there’s some midterm and long term things, uh, beyond the current inflationary pressures and worries about recession that, um, that I think, uh, our supply chains really need to be thinking about from a commodities perspective and access to, to equipment and changing governmental landscape. Um, so, uh, you know, on the flip side of that, or hand in hand with that is really, um, pay attention to the expert reports. Um, you know, Scott, I know you do a lot of reading and synthesizing, and I so appreciate, you know, the materials that, that you share. Um, but how do you figure out what those macro trends are, why you still figure out what they mean for you on a micro level?
Scott Luton (39:03):
Right? Uh, Kathy, that is, uh, golden advice. Uh, Maureen, your comments based on that first piece of advice.
Maureen Woolshlager (39:08):
Yeah, I was just gonna say, it’s very easy to get caught up in what is immediately in front of you, and you do need to do a little bit more digging and research to kinda see maybe some historical trends or think two or three steps beyond the immediate issue, um, in order, like you said, to course correct or plan, uh, for the next crisis or the next challenge, um, both personally, professionally, kinda, it’s, it’s all encompassing, I think. Um, but it’s very easy to get caught up in what’s right here in front of you Yes. And not step back and try and have like a bigger perspective on it and kind of see some of the other things that could come in and, and pivot the problem one way or the other.
Scott Luton (39:52):
Agreed. It’s so easy to get caught up in the headlines, Right? Right. And, and, and read that seven or eight or 12 words or whatever, and stop, you’re digging right there. And as, as we’ve really spoken to earlier in this chat, uh, about the need related to Hurricane Ian, if folks all stop to the headlines, man, we’d have a second disaster or maybe an ongoing disaster. We already have our hands full as is. So dig, dig, dig, look for that context and, and what, what the, the truth is out there. Um, okay, so Maureen and Kathy got one more question for you as we get some, hopefully some free advice. Uh, Cathy may send this invoice. We’ll see, uh, we’ll, we’ll knock it out too. But students, so all of our student listeners, whether they’re high school, they’re matriculating to college, it always surprises me whenever I can say the word matriculate. Cause it does not roll right off your tongue, right? But as these, as these folks are trying to break into global supply chain or really global business, any industry, and then, you know, uh, uh, go up through the ranks, right? Become senior leaders like y’all, Kathy, what is one piece of advice you’d have for them?
Kathy Fulton (40:54):
Well, I would say you couldn’t choose a better career than supply chain right now. Uh, you will be in demand with a, with a, a supply chain degree. Um, but I, I would say my, my real advice there is, um, make sure that the company that you’re chasing or the company chasing you aligns with your personal values first before you consider your professional goals. Cuz if it, if there’s dissonance, you know, with the company and your personal values, you’re gonna be miserable. Um, and it’s gonna slow down your career rather than advancing it,
Scott Luton (41:33):
Uh, Kathy. So it’s gonna be, if those two things aren’t aligned, you’re gonna feel the daily battle between what your job is and what you wanna do and what your values are in life. That is great advice. Maureen, uh, put you on the spot a little bit. If you had, if you had to speak to, you know, these students trying to find their way, what, what would be a, a simple piece of advice from you?
Maureen Woolshlager (41:54):
Well, Kathy, I feel like you gave me like an underhanded softball pitch on that one, just because I work for a company that kind of fits all those, uh, criteria. But one thing that I would say, because I did not study logistics or supply chain in college, I mean, I went, I went to Emory and I studied international studies in Spanish. So me getting into this field was, was luck. But I would say in retrospect, you know, one way to be successful in this field or any other is to seek out those areas of the field that you aren’t as comfortable or familiar with. Doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in it, but to become familiar with it, learn the terms, learn aspects of it. Because I do think that it is important if you specialize in something to also become a generalist in the larger part of that industry. Um, there’s a great book I’m reading right now about why generalists thrive in a specialized world. Um, it’s called Range. You guys should check it out. I haven’t finished it, but it’s, it’s pretty good. Um, there’s no plug. I don’t get any money from Amazon on that or anything. I can
Kathy Fulton (43:06):
Maureen Woolshlager (43:06):
Uh, but I think that it fits like both personally and professionally. Uh, the more well-rounded you are, the more that you can contribute and bring differing perspectives and ideas to the table, which only help, you know, an organization progress. I don’t think that they ever hinder it.
Kathy Fulton (43:24):
Love that, that that gives me hope for my career. Because like, I, I always feel like I never go deep on things like being a generalist, and now I’m happy I’m gonna check out the book Rains,
Maureen Woolshlager (43:36):
Right? Yeah. You know, I, I, I heard about it or I read something about it, and I thought that specialization right now is very, it’s a term I read about all the time, and I’m like, is it a generational thing that, or am I just missing the boat? And does this make me not, how can I contribute more to the company? How can I be more valuable, you know, individually and as a collective part of my organization? And, and I read it and it’s, I don’t think that’s, it’s generally intended as a business purpose, but, um, and I’m sure if you Google, you could find the, the name, it has a nice teal blue cover. Um, but yeah, I’d recommend it and, and for a lot of the listeners to check it out. But the concept remains, you know, um,
Scott Luton (44:19):
The song remains the same as Led Zeppelin once, same years ago, right? Range. Just y’all check that out. Um, and I would just add, uh, kinda along the lines of what both y’all both are sharing, you know, is so valuable and such time well spent to be exploring your horizons, exploring new pools, right? New parts of the, of the, of the, uh, ocean, right? And as Crystal York would say, she said on, on a show a month or two ago, I dare you, I dare you. So I dare to explore those horizons. You never know where you’re gonna end up, whether you’re a generalist, a super generalist, or someone that really focuses in on any particular area of global business. There’s value and all those, and all points in between. Okay, So I think we tackled this, but make sure you know, folks alan a.org. But, um, Kathy, how else, you know, beyond checking it out and getting involved and contributing on whatever level, as Greg White says, it doesn’t matter. Give small, give big, just give, Um, but how can folks connect with you and, uh, the Allen team?
Kathy Fulton (45:19):
Yeah, on our website, Allen a.org, our social media is pretty much Allen a across the board. Um, that’s the best way to find us. You know, there’s forms to fill out to, you know, if you wanna volunteer or donate, um, all of those things. And then people can just, you know, contact me directly, hit me up on LinkedIn or your favorite social media site.
Scott Luton (45:37):
Love that. And folks, as Kathy mentioned, um, you know, it, this, this current, some of the current disasters from Ukraine, uh, to Florida, to all other points, um, uh, Cuba and beyond, uh, may not have impacted you and your organization, most importantly, your team, but maybe the next one will. And, uh, it’s good to, it’s good to give forward as we say here and give proactively so that, um, um, and we can help those in need now or, uh, down the road. So thank you so much, Kathy. Uh, Maureen, uh, how can folks connect with you and the good folks over at Vector Global Logistics?
Maureen Woolshlager (46:13):
Um, if you can spell my first and last name, I will make Scott do it because I don’t wanna test him anymore on his spelling today. Uh, you can find me on LinkedIn or Facebook or Instagram. Um, but also more importantly than than Me, you can find vector vector gl.com. And from there you can normally access any, any of our employees directly from the website. Uh, so, and I’m sure that you always have all your blue hyperlinks and all of the,
Scott Luton (46:42):
Maureen Woolshlager (46:43):
Scott Luton (46:44):
This. So the episode
Kathy Fulton (46:45):
On board, My
Scott Luton (46:47):
<laugh>, Maureen, love that. Again, appreciate what you, uh, and the whole team do, uh, big fans there. Um, Kathy, thank you so much. Uh, exec director with the American Logistics Aid Network, also known, better known perhaps as Alan, uh, doing critical, critical work to help out so many different communities. Um, Kathy, thanks so much for your time here today.
Kathy Fulton (47:08):
Yeah, thank you and Maureen for having me on.
Scott Luton (47:10):
You bet. And speaking of Maureen, wonderful and always enjoy these, these shows where you join us. And most, more importantly than that, love your good work. Um, deeds, not words, what you’re always, you and the team are always up to. So thank you for what you do there, Maureen.
Maureen Woolshlager (47:25):
Awesome. Thanks for having me.
Scott Luton (47:26):
You bet. Okay. To our, our listeners, man, this is like a masterclass on a variety of levels, uh, of real leadership of, of, with limited supply chain in there, but really more, it’s more than just supply chain. It’s recognizing and rolling up sleeves and, and get the work, uh, with whatever you can do. So hey, check out Allen a.org, Jump into the fray. Uh, find a way, find a level that you can help support it with, with your wherewithal, resources. Whatever you do. Again, deeds, not words. Let’s take action together. On that note, uh, Scott Lut, on behalf of our team here at Supply Chain Now challenging you do good, give forward and be the change. Hey, be like Kathy Fulton and Maureen Walsh, Schlager, and on that note, we see next time right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.
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.
Kathy Fulton is Executive Director for American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN). She leads the organization in delivering logistics information, services, and equipment to ensure communities receive nourishment, hydration, and medical care during crisis. Ms. Fulton’s passion is the intersection of supply chain and emergency management, focusing on the critical role logistics and supply chain professionals play in disaster relief. She serves on national workgroups focused on efficient coordination of logistics activities during disaster and was a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine consensus committee on “Strengthening Post-Hurricane Supply Chain Resilience.” Preceding her work with ALAN, Fulton was Senior Manager of Information Technology Services at Saddle Creek Logistics Services where she led IT infrastructure implementation and support, corporate systems, and business continuity planning.
Maureen Woolshlager started her career at McMaster-Carr’s Management Development Program working in sales, marketing, distribution operations, finance and accounting. After McMaster-Carr, she spent a year managing operations in one of Target Corporation’s warehouses before finding a role within a small management consulting company in Denver, Colorado. She worked on large projects for international food and restaurant companies and advised on account management, business development, operations management, warehouse operations, continuous improvement and distribution center operations, and procurement/supplier/inventory optimization. She has spent the last 9 years living in Belgium & Germany where her husband has been stationed as a US Army officer. Maureen has her B.A. from Emory University. She earned a certificate in Management & Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania & her M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here: https://vectorgl.com/
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.