Supply Chain Now
Episode 1142

If I'm going to shop for a device, I'll try and find something that's refurbished because I know it's been remanufactured independently versus on an assembly line.

- Julie Ryan, Senior Manager, NA Returns and Remarketing, HP Inc.

Episode Summary

Companies working to achieve net zero carbon emissions across the entire value chain must take urgent and decisive action. Any product innovation has to take into consideration the environmental impact over the lifespan of that item.

Julie Ryan is the Senior Manager of NA Returns and Remarketing at HP, where she has been innovating for more than 36 years. Anyone who purchases a product from HP directly has return privileges. Julie’s organization authorizes those returns and manages the physical operations associated with receiving them, issuing credits, refurbishing and/or remanufacturing the product, putting it in a warehouse, and selling it as a recertified/refurbished product.

In this episode, Julie joins host Scott Luton and Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association, to talk about:

• The public commitments HP has made about sustainability that serve as the heart of their reverse logistics strategy

• Why supply chain organizations need to include a broad range of skills and backgrounds so they can thrive

• Her advice for industry newcomers, especially women

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 (00:29):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, Scott Luton, and of course, special guest host Tony Sciarrotta here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s show, Tony. How you doing?

Tony Sciarrotta (00:40):

I’m doing great today, Scott. I’m feeling special. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:44):

Well, hey, we, I am too. We got a dear friend back with us, and we’re tickled. You know, we love our return repeat guests here, <laugh>, right Supply chain now. And this is a good one. Uh, and better yet, it’s it, uh, uh, she joins us as we continue our popular Reverse Logistics leadership series here at Supply Chain now. So, Tony, as you know, we’re gonna be featuring a business leader that we’ve enjoyed learning from on a couple of past episodes, and individual that’s doing big things, big, big, big things in industry, especially in the reverse logistics space. Tony, you buckled in and ready for a good show here today.

Tony Sciarrotta (01:20):

Absolutely. With one of my favorite people as well.

Scott Luton (01:23):

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. So, with that said, uh, let’s introduce our featured guests here today. Our special guest has been leading and innovating at HP for more than 36 years. Get ready for some great stories and some wonderful business and leadership advice. Please join me in welcoming Julie Ryan, senior manager North America returns and remarketing with hp. Julie, how you doing?

Julie Ryan (01:46):

Hi, I’m good. Glad to be here. And with the two of my dear friends, <laugh>,

Scott Luton (01:52):

Well, great to have you back. Now we can’t, um, these remote interviews aren’t as fun as the ones we were having in person there in Vegas a couple years ago, twice now, so, but we’ll, we’ll make that happen again soon. How’s that sound? I

Julie Ryan (02:03):

Agree, I like it.

Scott Luton (02:05):

And always Tony Red 19, if you play those roulette, uh, <laugh> games, red 19, is that right, Tony?

Tony Sciarrotta (02:13):

Uh, I don’t know if my mother would agree with that. She’d probably say black 32, so I don’t know. It’s,

Scott Luton (02:19):

Uh, okay. Red 19 black, 32. I love that. Um, but hey, kidding aside, I really enjoy, uh, uh, our previous conversations out there. The Arlay, uh, conference in Vegas is held every year. So Julie, great to have you back. Uh, and with that said, though, Tony and Julie, we got a, a couple of new little tweaks to the Julie Ryan story that I’ve uncovered for this, uh, interview here. And Julie, I wanna start with, I didn’t, uh, you know, you didn’t share this with the last couple of conversations. I understand that you, when you were growing up, you moved more than nine times. You attended three different high schools, lived in seven different states. So just hearing those numbers and taking, you know, thinking about my upbringing, I can only imagine how challenging that was. Right. So tell us how that experience impacted your ability and your personal outlook on change and how you handle change.

Julie Ryan (03:10):

Yeah. It, um, well, as a child, um, though it was hard to leave friends, it was always exciting to go to a new city and see new sites. Um, I grew up, most of that relocation was in the Midwest until my senior year in high school actually was down in, um, down to Texas. Okay. Where I have, where I’ve stayed and my teen. So I can, let’s just say I wasn’t really keen on my parents, um, specifically my dad, who continued to get pro progress his career and get relocated in his corporate sales job. But it wasn’t until I landed in Texas, graduated from university, married my college sweetheart, and landed a job at a dream company, new startup, compact computer corporation. But I actually took the time to reflect on, you know, how all those moves impacted me. And we know, everyone knows change is constant and I’m by nature an introverted person, person.

Julie Ryan (04:14):

And I think by, by moving, um, so much, I had to learn to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Mm. Um, and it, it taught me to leverage and apply my skills and my talents to fit in, especially as a kid and a teen to be active. Um, I wanted to be active in school and in the clubs and the association, it also helped me stay grounded. Mm-hmm. Um, and I’ve applied those principles to my professional career within HP and, and in, even in the industry and conferences. And now, one of the things I embrace with the lens, it is a lens of how can I make this better, um, when I face change rather than resist it.

Scott Luton (04:58):

Mm-hmm. That is, uh, um, it’s beautiful simplicity to your answer there, because as we all know, Antonio, when we get your response, what Julie just shared, you know, change is constant as she shared. And it’s, it’s, it’s happening faster and faster. And our, and, and it’s almost like our ability and our appetite to handle change and our ability to digest it has had to had to continue to grow and, and, uh, improve as well. Tony, your thoughts to what Julie just shared?

Tony Sciarrotta (05:25):

Oh, I think that there’s an, there’s an amazing amount of resilience there with, with Julie and with what she’s gone through. And I have to say, um, leadership, whether you’re leading 10 or 50 people, comes from having dealt with so many different situations in your life. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if, if you just walk down the straight and narrow, um, when you run into a bump in the road, you don’t know what to do. And Julie clearly has run through the bumps and knocked him over and kicked him out of her way. And really proud of, of that approach to it, especially in, in the high speed, high change, high tech industry over the last 30 years. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s just phenomenal. It, the change is unbelievable. And, and moving nine times, seven times, uh, three different high school. That’s just unbelievable.

Scott Luton (06:10):

It is. Yeah. Hey, and I want to add to that, uh, so Julie, one quick follow up question. Cause I think the other thing when I, when I was reading and, and preparing for our interview here today, the other thing that come, that stood out in my brain as I was, uh, thinking about how much you, you, you moved in your upbringing is, I bet you had to put or had to develop skill sets that allowed you to meet people, build rapport Yeah. And do it regularly with, with a lot of new folks in, you know, throughout that part of your journey.

Julie Ryan (06:37):

Right. And, and, you know, as a kid, and I, um, not necessarily at that point was a leader cuz I had to get and meet new friend mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it really did teach me how to adapt, how to be personable and, and get into those friend groups that I wanted to be a part of, versus those groups that come say, ah, here’s the newbie, let’s grab them

Scott Luton (07:03):

<laugh>. You know, uh, I I’m so glad you shared that, you know, re relationship building, even in this digital era as we’ve learned in the last few years, is more than important than ever before. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, you know, those, those folks in my mind at least really stand out. And there’s ability that can kind of create genuine relationships with real rapport and, you know, the relationships are there on the good days and on the bad days. Cause you gotta have both. That’s, that’s right. So thanks so much for, uh, sharing your perspective there. And one, one last question a lot. One last question. Of the seven states, what was your favorite, one of your favorite places that you lived?

Julie Ryan (07:39):

I would go back to Chicago in a heartbeat.

Scott Luton (07:42):

Oh man. What a great city. I’m with you. I’m with you. Yep. All right. All right. So, and Tony, I know you love Chicago. Uh, you and I both enjoy, uh, good food and good music, and Chicago’s got plenty of that. And then some, huh?

Tony Sciarrotta (07:56):

It certainly does. I, I like going to events there. I have to share a secret, Scott, and a little bit of what Julie’s referencing. I have a tendency to be willing to speak at events that are in cities where I would like to go. <laugh>, <laugh>. Um, and this goes way back. I, I got to do this with Phillips and, uh, Chicago’s certainly, uh, a favorite, uh, going out looking for the, the best pizza and of course Portello’s, uh, uh, for the, the great dogs. And, uh, and maybe a Cubs game or two in the middle there. So, uh, great city. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (08:31):

Thank you for making me starving as I think about some of the things I’ve eaten in Chicago. Okay. Uh, so let’s, let’s, let’s keep, um, uh, pressing forward with, uh, Julie Ryan here. So Julie, more than 36 years at HP with 26 of those years in reverse logistics, man, the stories I bet you could tell, and you gotta write a book at some point cuz you got plenty of anecdotes and stories you can share here. Maybe, maybe you some you can’t share here. <laugh>, tell us, for starters, tell us about your current role at hp.

Julie Ryan (09:00):

So currently I have, I have North America, which is Canada and us, um, returns, it’s an end-to-end organization. So when we’re HP’s predominantly an indirect company, so, but anyone that’s purchasing products from us directly, um, has returned privileges. So they come back to us. My organization authorizes those returns and the physical operations of receiving it, issuing credit, refurbishing, remanufacturing the product, putting it in a warehouse and selling it as a re certified refurbished product. Mm.

Scott Luton (09:37):

Tony, um, based on your experience, both with, you know, leading the RLA and then some what you did at Phillips, a lot of that I bet you can, it brings back memories. I bet. Tony, any, any thoughts about Julie’s current role there at hp?

Tony Sciarrotta (09:51):

Uh, absolutely. And, and, and Julie’s perspective is, is a lot like mine. Um, you, it, the brand is yours and, and you have responsibility for it. Yeah. So it’s not just the mentality of liquidate the stuff, get rid of it when it comes back. It’s, it’s the mentality of take it back, make it right, make it look good, and then own the relationship of going back to the consumer a second time. Mm. Um, that’s Julie’s, uh, perspective. Her company supports it, it’s the right approach. It’s what we did at Phillips, you know, it was easier maybe to give an allowance and say we don’t want it back. Um, but that’s not the right answer. And, and I appreciate Julie and her, and she fought for this too, because when you deal with some of these major companies, Julie, they want an allowance. They demand it sometimes, and HP and, and your group sticks to its guns, takes it back.

Scott Luton (10:47):

Julie, I’m gonna give you an opportunity to respond to that.

Julie Ryan (10:50):

No, it’s, it’s, our brand is a billion dollar, um, logo and it’s very, very important that we protect that. Um, you know, there’s a lot of investment that goes in at the, when on a new sale, but even more important when it becomes a second secondary device, um, protecting who it sold to the price margin and, and, um, avoiding gray market mm-hmm. And sustainability. Right. Getting, keeping it from the landfill.

Scott Luton (11:23):

Well, and I’m glad you mentioned that, cause more and more, thankfully, one of the great trends out there is that is, uh, buyers and consumers value that more and more. And of course that’s a trend we’re all leveraging out in the industry to drive more change faster. Right? Right. Good change faster. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, alright. So 26 years in reverse logistics. Um, you know, and, and you know what, we’re breaking cardinal rules around here, as you know, may know Julie, and I know you know, Tony, uh, Greg and I like, like to keep it, um, more than 20 years, right. We never go over, cause it, you know, we age all of ourselves <laugh>, but we, so we broke those rules, but 26 years in reverse logistics alone. That’s, uh, just by wrapping our head around that you were a trailblazer and, you know, before reverse logistics was recognized like it is today. And I know that’s an ongoing, um, a battle where we’re all waging Tony to get, you know, to get more and more recognition formally for it. But who or what, Julie influenced your journey and got you in to reverse logistics almost 30 years ago.

Julie Ryan (12:23):

It was more of a what? So I was a project manager at the time and, uh, working at Compaq and was asked to lead a project to centralize what was, uh, receiving remanufacturing and sales in three different areas, physical areas in the city of Houston. Mm. So centralize that, bring it into one location. And as I was doing that, I really got intrigued by the business. And once we were implementing it, there was a gap. There was a need for someone in business planning and strategy, set some accountability. And so I defined, I created the role, interviewed for the role, got accepted for the role, and have not left the space.

Scott Luton (13:18):

That is, that’s cool. That’s good news, Tony. That’s more than good news. That’s great thing. I mean, you know, uh, not only is that, lemme think out loud for a second. Not only is that seeing the opportunity and putting in the headlock jumping on with, with both feet and running with it, but 26 years of driving change and innovation and improvement. What an incredible trite record. Tony, your thoughts on what, how Julie talked about what got her into reverse logistics.

Tony Sciarrotta (13:45):

I I love it. Uh, Julie goes back to the time where, what w like we said, there was rarely someone in charge of returns. Mm-hmm. Rarely someone in charge of what we called reverse logistics and, uh, the influencing skills needed for that role. Uh, as one of the great things I admire about Julie is clearly, and the project manager background. I mean, look at me. I came outta sales and, and they said, go fix the returns problem. Julie’s like, I see a problem, I’m gonna create the role. Mm-hmm. And, and fill it. And it’s just, that’s a great story.

Scott Luton (14:17):

Uh, agreed. Let me ask you, uh, Julie, I, uh, I’m gonna ask you this pre-show, but, uh, being a project manager, did you have more of a technical degree path, uh, in school and early part of your career?

Julie Ryan (14:29):

No, I w I had a finance background. I have a business degree in finance, so very, um, I have a process mind, you know, very process oriented. So that’s what intrigued me going into project management from a sales ops role. Um, but then I quickly said, I gotta own this. I gotta get in this space

Scott Luton (14:50):

<laugh>. That’s even better, Julie. Yeah. And I, I love that answer even better because combine your finance background, prior to 26 years of doing big things in reverse logistics to what Tony said, he had a sales background to what we know out in the industry, more and more, we’ve got lots of engineers and data mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, technologists and, you know, that are all finding their way into reverse logistics. I think it’s, that’s a beautiful broad spectrum of different folks from all walks of life and, and, um, uh, professions that can find their way to create value in this. Emer emerging was too strong and this growing industry of reverse logistics. Tony, your quick response there.

Tony Sciarrotta (15:29):

I was just thinking, Scott, of saying that, um, you know, we talked many times about talent and and nobody grows up wanting to be a reverse logistics professional or returns director. Not yet. Exactly. Uh, but here’s a clear case of someone who 26 years ago, uh, decided I do wanna be a reverse logistics person and, and own it. And, and I also know, um, Julie, if your background is finance, you’re one of those people smart enough, cuz I, I didn’t figure this out. You’re one of those people smart enough to see what the impact is to the bottom line and build the value case for that role. Um, the challenge at, at Phillips and many companies is, okay, we’re losing money here, so, you know, what are you gonna do to stop us from losing money? It’s like, all you can do is, is reduce the loss overall, but you add value and, and you clearly knew how to build that financial case. Uh, proud of that.

Scott Luton (16:24):

It’s, it’s so needed. Uh, especially, uh, in reverse logistics, returns management and global supply chain. The financial professional financial leadership’s doing is, is so needed. And we’re seeing more and more as y’all might be seeing it as well, more and more folks that come the industry are getting, you know, minors or dual degrees in the financial side is covered. That’s a great thing for, for a lot of different reasons. Okay. So I just mentioned returns management. So some of our new listeners to this series, some of the new folks that may be relatively new to reverse logistics, they may not know that returns management is a, is a, is a big part of the overall reverse logistics universe. So question for you, Julie. This is one of my favorite questions that Tony and I were gonna pose to you here today, is how has your career impacted your buying and returns behavior as a consumer? Cause we’re all consumers.

Julie Ryan (17:13):

Yeah. I am extremely proud and very loyal to a refurbished product and having firsthand of manufacturing and remanufacturing, um, product and and processes. I strongly believe in the quality of a certified refurbished product. And I’ve been in many situations both at work with our IT department and in actually in retail stores defending a refurbished product over anew. Um, and I’ll look, if I’m going to shop for a device, I’ll try and find, um, something that’s refurbished cuz I know it’s been, um, touched and, and manufactured remanufactured, um, independently versus an assembly line. Mm

Scott Luton (17:58):

Mm I love that. Julie, Tony, what would you add to, what’d you hear Julie say there? And then what would be your addition to it?

Tony Sciarrotta (18:05):

I, I tend to agree with, with Julie, I wish I could get my wife over to this side of the fence, um, regarding refurbished and, and we really have to work on better terminology. I I’m starting to like the term pre loved, uh, at least in the apparel space that works well. And then, uh, you know, renewed. Um, we just, we need better terminology. Um, vintage, uh, well vintage doesn’t apply in electronics, but we just, we need some important good new language to communicate what Julie’s saying about the fact that she’s right. It’s been touched by hand and somebody paid it extra attention that the factory line did not pay. And, uh, and that’s, that’s a, a valid reason to, to go in that direction. And I mean, there’s more used cars being sold than new and, and certainly it applies there. The, the certified pre-owned term. I’m liking that a little bit for electronics. We’ll see if we can get that that down the road a little bit cuz the auto industry’s done well with it. Um, but yeah, there’s, there’s, and there’s more, um, Scott, there’s more used mobile phones being sold than new. That’s right. So, uh,

Scott Luton (19:15):

Um, it’s,

Tony Sciarrotta (19:15):

It’s a change.

Scott Luton (19:16):

It is. Uh, and I love the pre-loaded, the pre-loaded phraseology. And here’s a good, here’s a cool thing that you know is gonna happen too as reverse logistics. As a formally recognized, uh, sector or functional area continues to grow its roots is just like financial pros like Julie and sales pros like Tony and engineering and technical pros. The marketing pros will also come to the industry. And Tony, that’s where we’re gonna be working on some of these pH phraseology Yeah. Uh, some of these phraseology so we can we can tell a better story. Yep. It’s coming. It’s coming. Agreed. Um, and the other thing I was gonna point out to Julie’s comments there, um, about finding that pre-loaded and really, uh, uh, working that muscle, uh, as a consumer. I think the other thing that I’ve admired from a lot of these conversations is, uh, uh, we all know that consumers are more educated and they’ve got more data at their fingertips.

Scott Luton (20:09):

However, it hasn’t stopped a lot of consumers from making, from not doing their homework and making rapid decisions because it’s easy to return stuff. And I think one of the things I think about as my, in my own consumer journey, Julie and Tony, is I like to do my homework and not do a quick reaction. You know, um, buy even after a glass of delicious wine in the evenings where it might be, uh, easier to do. So <laugh> I really like, especially for bigger purchases, uh, and especially while more things are being used, um, and sold in the, in the re economy, like both of y’all have pointed out, still, there’s not quite a great replacement that can help us, um, put the industry in a better place as just making sure that you’re buying what you need and you’re not just carelessly adding to the tidal wave of returns that a lot of good people, uh, and companies are finding ways of, of, uh, doing better things with. Yeah. Okay. So let’s talk about, let’s go back to HP for a second. Julie. We’re kind of, we’re, we’re touching Julie’s story, we’re talking consumer, we’re talking trends in reverse logistics. I wanna get back to hp cuz HP has been passionate about sustainability and the, uh, and becoming more circular in the circular economy. So what are some of the outcomes, Julie, that you’re most proud of from a a company standpoint?

Julie Ryan (21:31):

So, both I mentioned, you know, starting at 26 years ago at Compaq and Hewlett Packard, both have long invested in very mature, refurbished and recycling worldwide organizations. Uh, the, the organization I lead represents actually over 70% of the worldwide returns. Wow. And I’m really proud of the accomplishments the team achieves. Um, reuse is in ours and our outsourced partners, d n A, um, but in particular to HP over the last couple of years, sustainability impact is at the heart of our strategy. Um, we’ve made publicly, we’ve publicly communicated what our goals are. Yep. Um, taking urgent and decisive actions to achieve net zero carbon emissions across the entire, uh, value chain, giving back to forests more than we take and innovating our pro products and services for more circular economy.

Scott Luton (22:32):

So, uh, Tony, when you think, when you think about that approach, and especially where Julie started, that response is in our D N A, right? Yeah. So that, I, I hear that when I hear things like that. Cause I like saying it’s in my bones a lot to our team here

Julie Ryan (22:45):

At supply chain

Scott Luton (22:46):

Now, but it means it’s in the culture. It’s that, it’s in our mindset. It’s what we, we think about every single day when we jump outta bed and before we wrap up our day at the end. So, Tony, speak to that. And some of those, uh, impressive goals that, uh, Julie and, and outcomes, current outcomes that Julie’s sharing.

Tony Sciarrotta (23:02):

So you, you know, that, uh, it, it’s harder these days because business is, is, is somewhat like our government. Uh, people don’t believe in ’em as much. Mm-hmm. They, they get too cynical. Mm-hmm. And, and when you hear this story from hp, you’re like, yeah, that’s a lot of words. But I’ve seen the videos, <laugh>, okay. I’ve not only heard the stories, I’ve seen the videos of their people going down to a place like Katy and finding a way to, to recycle plastic and build a new computer with it. And it, and it’s a commitment to the people, not just, um, the process, but to the people. So that’s a culture shift. And, and clearly it’s in the entire HP culture. I I’m not saying a hundred percent of the people blindly follow this, but I think a hundred percent of the people understand that’s the company’s goal.

Tony Sciarrotta (23:52):

You can be cynical all you want, but at the end of the day, let’s make sure we’re doing our best. And we don’t have enough companies like that. And, uh, again, really proud of HP because I’ve seen those videos and that commitment. Uh, one, one of her colleagues, one of Julie’s colleagues, Patrick Gibbs, showed, uh, his adventures going to, I think he was in Haiti, Julie, if I’m correct, at, uh, uh, with that massive project of recycling. And, uh, just, you know, and, and by the way, that’s a, that’s a, a a, a brick in a wall, a a brick in a road that we’re, we have to run over because sometimes using recycled parts creates issues that manufacturers run into when they’re trying to sell things as new. And we’ve all been around that circle a few times. Mm. So somehow we need some help to say what HP is doing and recycling old plastic to put it into new products should be okay. And not be looked on as something negative. And that, that’s changing our culture, not just the HP culture, but the rest of the culture. It’s okay to do that. And, and that’s the drive that, uh, you know, Julie said it’s a billion dollar, uh, company. I think it’s a multi-billion dollar, uh, commitment to the planet and to the, the, the environment.

Scott Luton (25:09):

So two quick thoughts there. I told y’all, Tony’s a music fan. Did you hear him say, you slipped and say another brick in the wall? It’s a little shout out to y’all. That Floyd fans out there.

Tony Sciarrotta (25:18):

I slipped there. Yes.

Scott Luton (25:19):

Um, and then the other thing I, I wanna ask you about Julie, as a, as a quick follow up, you know, Tony, uh, cited, uh, the Haiti in initiative with your colleague Patrick. Uh, and from what I understand and, and doing our homework about who you are and how you lead and, and how you get things done, innovation is synonymous. Julie, with your approach. So question with all the creativity and real innovation, not lip service that you see folks talk about, but what, you know, deeds not words, what you see in actions just to do, um, to do the things that we’re describing. It takes just endless creativity and lots of experimentation. And so when you get something right, like Tony’s talking about in Haiti, how do y’all celebrate that as an organization? You know, how, how, how does that play out? Cause you know, that that seems to be a ripple effect and just creates more like a force multiplier for you to apply more and more creativity to other areas of the business.

Julie Ryan (26:18):

Well, it’s not done in a si silo. It’s not just done within the offices of hp. We’re very, we’re we embrace, uh, not only our, our partners, our channel partners, because they’re key to making sure they’ve got a sustainable impact, but also the communities. And so when we’re talking about Haiti, we’re finding those communities that we can benefit and penetrate and impact together as a team. And so then we want to communicate that and share that broadly, one, to share how we and others can have that kind of impact across the whole human rights and digital equity.

Scott Luton (27:05):

Hmm. Uh, well said Julie. Very well said. And I love, uh, it sounds like to me that, um, you celebrate these wins as an ecosystem, right? With all stakeholders and especially the, the impact. Um, so let’s shift gears for a second. Uh, we broached the whole talent piece earlier in the conversation. And I wanna pick, Julie, I wanna pick your brain a little bit more here based on your perspective. And of course we’ll get Tony’s comments as well. But how can we develop more talent in the reverse logistics pipeline? Julie,

Julie Ryan (27:40):

You know, we, um, we talked about this at the rla, um, in February in, in our board meeting. And it’s, it’s a reality, but it’s an exciting reality. Mm. That returns and reverse are actually relevant now <laugh>, um, because of the emphasis on sustainability and circularity, the companies especially, I mean, I see it at HP now where we are actually creating, we, we are in the middle of creating two worldwide organizations to focus on this. That hasn’t been the case. And that’s across the board. And I think that’s where, how it becomes relevant for, for, you know, just in order to promote and influence sustainability, but people’s careers.

Scott Luton (28:34):

Tony, what would you add to that? So the newfound relevance, let’s all take a moment and, and celebrate that <laugh> as an ecosystem, right. Uh, and, and new and enhancing, continuing gradually growing relevance, which I think is a great thing for, for global business and, and, uh, a lot more. Tony, how would you, what else would you add to that, what Julie shared about, you know, developing more talent in the pipeline?

Tony Sciarrotta (28:58):

Well, I think with, uh, Julie’s background being finance, I think there’s a, there’s a recognition that these things are financial, there are numbers involved, and you just have to learn how to make them, uh, come out the right way in the sense of not trying to cheat them, but trying to show the end-to-end kind of opportunity and costs that are out there. And it takes more than just marketing or salespeople to do that. It really does take somebody with some financial background. Um, I think that many companies need to, if they don’t have somebody like Julie advocating for the importance of this role, they need to go out and say, this is important. Let’s find the best people we can and put them in it. Make them learn it. If they don’t know it, make them learn it. Cuz they, it’s not like there’s a degree for it, right?

Tony Sciarrotta (29:49):

Generally speaking. So pick somebody. And, and it’s not hard to find passionate people like Julie. Uh, they’re, they’re out there. Um, but it’s a matter of redirecting the passion. So, um, it’s just, it, it’s clear that the talent pool is improving. Um, but I also look at the facts, Scott, that we, you know, you are a voice of the industry and we appreciate that and love it, that you actually pay attention to not just the supply chain forward, but the reverse, the dark side, as we say, maybe it’s too dark for people. Um, but the fact that you keep promoting it is, is giving people a hint. Your path isn’t just on a forward channel. Take a look at the reverse opportunities that are there, that are great. And, um, we hope to get more talent. And I know that, um, Julie, her role and some of our other board members also do a mentorship.

Tony Sciarrotta (30:43):

Scott, uh, they look at people within their company and they try to find somebody with that passion and convert it into a, a position. I I, I’d like to think that the days of just jumping from roll to roll in a company can slow down because an opportunity like this has so many other forks you can split off in, but you don’t have to jump into a different silo. You can stay in yours and you’re overlapping everything. That’s the key about reverse and circular and sustainability. It over overlaps so many areas. And, uh, that’s exciting to me and it’s exciting to Julie and, uh, and, and not enough other people, but, but Scott, keep spreading the word. Let’s get more people to see all those opportunities.

Scott Luton (31:26):

We got to, it’s critical for the path forward for a lot of the reasons y’all both are, uh, have mentioned. Uh, because as Tony, as you like to say, going back a couple years now, if you, when when you allow consumers to return stuff, don’t be surprised when they do. We, we gotta be smarter and more innovative for the sake of all the gains we’re trying to make from a sustainable, uh, and, and, and just good for the earth, um, and good for the collective ecosystem in all parts of the world, uh, type of perspective. All right. So, uh, really, um, Tony and Julie appreciate both of your, uh, thoughts and per and been there and done it. Thoughts and perspective on, on, uh, creating more talent, uh, and more diverse talent, uh, coming into the reversal logistics space. Both of those things are really important. Um, so let’s talk about Julie, advice you might have for newcomers in the industry, especially women. So if I’m gonna get you to respond to that first, Julie. And then we’re gonna talk about a really cool, um, role that you embraced, uh, not a, a few months ago. So, Juli, give us advice first.

Julie Ryan (32:31):

Well, like we’ve just been talking about, and Tony mentioned, um, the reverse space is so broad. Um, I use me as an example. You know, I, I held, I’ve held roles in strategy and planning and operations and remarketing and sales and now leadership. So there is, it, it’s not that, oh, it’s a manufacturing world. Many roles are in supply chain, but there are some, you know, quote unquote sexy roles that are typically roles that unfortunately women gravitate to. And I say unfortunate because people, women are very skilled and leaders and, uh, you know, our senior, uh, we have a senior VP who’s over worldwide logistics as a female. So one of the things that I, I guess from an advice to a woman is it’s such a broad field and it’s an opportunity to take your education and your skills and build a lifelong career and do many different things like Tony said, and never leave that space. One of my favorite quotes for, um, that I learned that I share, uh, from a women is there’s room for everyone at the table. Everyone, regardless of gender and race and background brings something different at the table. As a female, I make sure I am not only at the table, but I have a voice and I’m, I am, I ensure I’m heard. Yeah. And that’s one of the things I, I always share with women and, and especially people joining, starting their careers. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (34:16):

That is such a critical lesson and piece of advice that listeners have got to embrace wherever you are in your career, right? Because as much as we lean on, everyone leans on mentors and advocates and, you know, nominators and, and you know, folks that bring you into conversations and bring opportunities and whatnot. But at the end of the day, it’s like what Julie just shared. You’ve got to, oftentimes it’s, you have gotta share that voice and be heard, and that’s okay. It’s more than okay, it’s gotta happen. It’s gotta happen to maximize and optimize the opportunities you’ll get in this journey. So Julie, what a great call out. Um, Tony, uh, get your response to that first and then I’m gonna ask you about a really, uh, cool role that Julie Field here recently.

Tony Sciarrotta (35:06):

Well, I just want to point out that, um, HP has been on my board since I took over, and it’s been three women from HP have been in the role. And I had to probably beg Julie A. Little bit to do this and stay with us because she is one of of 12 board members. She’s the only woman on the board. And I have to tell you, I hear her voice more than most of the rest of them because it’s, it’s important and it’s experienced and, and it comes from a different perspective. And that’s critical. And, and I, I think I, I need to tell the story at this point, Scott, that we came up with this concept of there’s not a lot of women in reverse logistics. They generally are the lower level talent. But we said, okay, time for women in reverse logistics luncheon. Julie was our first speaker.

Tony Sciarrotta (35:59):

And, uh, and I’ve made the comment, um, it was an iceberg in that room because it was February in Las Vegas, and they had the loading dock doors open and the room where we were serving a warm lunch that turned cold very quickly. <laugh>, uh, was where Julie had to speak to only about 50 women at the time, flash forward to this year. And our speaker was in front of over a hundred women, um, in, in a three, four year time period. So women are more entering this space or being appointed. Whatever’s happening to them, it doesn’t matter, but the recognition that there’s a lot more of them and really appreciate that and appreciate that Julie was the, uh, the, the cheerleader for that at the beginning. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (36:44):

<affirmative>, it’s important that it happens. It’s what I heard you say, Tony, however we make it happen. I mean Yep. It’s good that we all learn how that happens, so we can do more of it, rinse and repeat and, and have bigger outcomes. Yep. But, um, and I got my, my timeframe wrong, so Julie, this is a few years ago, so that with that genesis, it led to where that, uh, that event has grown to. Um, and you know, the reason it was so cold, I bet Tony is because Julie was gonna gonna bring fire <laugh>, uh, and, and, uh, excitement and fireworks to the stage. So we know that what the hotel was getting ready for. But Julie, thank you for being that. Um, yeah, as I shared with, with y’all, and y’all probably, I’m preaching to the choir. I know, but you know, we’ve been, you know, uh, obviously I think we’re approaching episode 1300 or something like that.

Scott Luton (37:28):

So we’ve had a lot of these different conversations with folks across, you know, the, the whole career spectrum. Some of ’em are in their earliest stages. Some of ’em are, you know, C level and some of ’em have recently retired. All points in between. But a recurring theme, especially with folks, um, uh, from a variety of walks of life, is they gotta be able to see it. It helps ’em to see, to see someone feeling the role they want, and it helps ’em encourage, you know, to, to take the steps to become the same thing, right? And then to realize those dreams. And Julie, uh, I appreciate you doing that because that, um, you know, that fulfilling that role and having that platform undoubtedly has contributed to, uh, the, the cool growth in the space that Tony was speaking to. So, Julie, hey, appreciate you doing that. And, and was it as rewarding for you as it was for, it was Tony.

Julie Ryan (38:20):

It was such an honor. And, um, you know, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to share and, and not just me sharing, but it was an incredible forum of engagement and, and insight from others that were there and, and, and use the word confidence and just spelled out each letter as, as it impacts women and leadership, women in supply chain. Um, and it was really impactful and it, it, it really was intentionally, um, shared and, and really well received

Scott Luton (38:57):

Out. Outstanding.

Tony Sciarrotta (38:58):

Scott, I just wanna add, I, I don’t get to know what any of these are like, because they, we do not allow men in the room. No. It’s their own private space. They get to share, share the way they want to. And I actually got challenged on that by couple of guys over the years, years.

Scott Luton (39:13):

I see that. I can see that.

Tony Sciarrotta (39:14):

But it’s like, you know what? We get our own space enough. Usually there’s drinking and smokey involved, but, um, this is their space. And, uh, the opportunity to, as Julie said, talk back and forth. And I also will say I’m proud of the fact that Julie and Becca and, and Ingrid talked about their paths that they’ve gone down mm-hmm. More than the industry, per se. Mm-hmm. But they talked about their, their path forward, their careers, how they got there, much of what we’re saying today. So Julie’s sharing some of what she shared in that women’s luncheon, but it’s, it’s just an honor to have the opportunity to keep doing that and just seeing it grow. We have a bigger room for them next year, Scott. We, we can go up about one 50, so

Julie Ryan (39:56):

That’s, well, and now, now we actually have a committee. A women’s That’s right. <laugh> a women’s committee. Yeah. Wow. Within rla,

Scott Luton (40:03):

We’re gonna be blinking and we’re gonna have really cool halftime performances at this. There you go. Uh, this women’s luncheon. Um, alright. Right. So as much as I hate, uh, to kind of come down to home stretch here, still wanna make sure folks know how to connect really with both of y’all. But, uh, Julie, Ryan, great to have you back. I think this is either your third or fourth appearance, uh, maybe your first remote. I really enjoyed our in-person conversations. We’ll have to make that happen again soon. But how can folks connect with you, whether they want to compare notes on the cool things you’re doing, hp, um, whether they wanna compare leadership notes, they wanna talk more about, uh, you know, your journey into and succeeding in the industry. How can folks connect with you in the HP team?

Julie Ryan (40:42):

With me, it’s, it’s the best to go through LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn, um, I’m happy to talk to people, share about my journey, my role within hp, um, whether it be curiosity or mentorship, I’m always open to that. Um, for people, for companies who are looking to purchase or sell or get in involved in our reverse logistics, um, our reverse supply chain. The key to managing and working with HP is to be an authorized partner. And it’s easy. You get on the hp.com, go down to the bottom of the page, HP partner, and then click on apply.

Scott Luton (41:24):

Okay. It’s just that easy. Good stuff there. Uh, Julie, great to have you. Um, alright,

Tony Sciarrotta (41:29):

Let’s, let’s not make it sound too easy here. Um, Julie has an incredibly strong network of very qualified, authorized resellers, refurbisher partners. So it may be easy to apply. Oh,

Scott Luton (41:43):

I gotcha.

Tony Sciarrotta (41:43):

The standards for those companies are high and, and proud of that they should be mm-hmm. <affirmative> because they’re, they’re recreating valuable, so easy to, to apply. But Julie set the standards

Julie Ryan (41:55):

Well, and that lens is for purchasing our HP refurbished products, being, ah, being a partner and seller. Yeah. As Tony says, we, we, you know, we’ve been a part of r l A for years, members, active members and as a result, have been able to connect and partner with the very strong outsourced partners who, who really, that is their, um, core strategy is reverse. Yep.

Scott Luton (42:22):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Excellent. And Julie, uh, it’s a great segue. So Tony, let’s just make sure Tony Sheroda, uh, with the Reverse Logistics Association, how can folks connect with you and explore being a part of that ecosystem?

Tony Sciarrotta (42:33):

Go to the website. It’s free to join our community. That one is easy. It’s free to join the community <laugh>, although I’ve got some spot checkers now. We don’t like the Gmail, Yahoo people anymore. We need real company people. Um, so I’m on the website, it’s rla.org, reverse Logistics Association. Sheroda is a tough name. If you see it on your screen and type it into, uh, LinkedIn. I’m about the only sheroda out there in the entire world, so you can find me pretty easily. And they can reach me through LinkedIn or through a direct email, tony rla.org.

Scott Luton (43:11):

Yes. Now that’s easy. I love that. And Tony, I gotta share a little tip you gave me four or five years ago, that’s also a musical theme is, uh, he, uh, as I was trying to pronounce Tony’s last name initially, he’s like, Scott, you ever heard the song my Sharon? I’m like, sure, absolutely. He goes, uh, my, uh, my Sheroda Sharonda Sheroda. Just like that. I love it. It’s my song. Uh, yeah. It, it made things so much easier, these countless, uh, conversations later. But, uh, Tony, uh, pleasure as always and appreciate what you’re doing at the Rla rla. Um, all right. So thank you Tony for joining us. Thank you. Thanks so much. Thank you, Julie Ryan, for joining us once again. Really enjoyed the, to be here, different aspects of your story that I, I didn’t uncover last go round. That’s great to have you back with us soon.

Julie Ryan (43:57):

Yes, great to have, great to be here. And yes, enjoyed it.

Scott Luton (44:03):

Wonderful. All right folks. Hopefully you enjoyed the conversation as much as I have so much great action insights, uh, to take away from this episode. Really, if you’re interested in getting in reverse or if you’re already there, or just as you further your career and your leadership development, lots of great takeaway here. Hopefully enjoyed it as much as I have, but whatever you do, you know what the challenge is, you gotta take something that Julie or Tony shared here, and you gotta put it in action, right? Deeds, not words. And on that note, on behalf of our tire team here, Scott Luton challenged you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. We’ll see next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (44:40):

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

Julie Ryan, Accomplished business professional innovating in HP for more than 36 years. Developed a unique set of experiences and competencies in the reverse supply chain areas of Strategy, Business Planning, Returns, Remanufacturing and Warehouse Operations, Partner Management, Quality, Logistics, Remarketing, Order Management, Supply Chain Solutions, Project Management and Program Management, and Incubation Projects. Based in Houston, Texas. Significant experience leading and managing diverse teams. Strong collaborator with stakeholders and cross-functional teams. Work with both mid-level managers and senior executives in the definition and execution of strategic initiatives and priorities. Proven record of exceeding business objectives, improving operational stability, efficiency, and profitability and managing for success in complex organizations. Skilled at formulating innovative solutions to minimize cost and solve challenges. Creative developer, innovation thinker and process minded by nature that thrives in challenging, complex assignments and multi-cultural environments. Connect with Julie on LinkedIn.

Tony Sciarrotta serves as Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association. He was nominated and selected by the Board to serve as the Executive Director on August 1, 2016. Since Mr. Sciarrotta had been an active member serving in committee leadership of Reverse Logistics Association since 2005, he had also served on the Board of RLA from 2005 to 2012 while employed at Philips Consumer Lifestyle as their Director of Sales & Marketing. So it was a simple decision for the selection team at RLA to approve Mr. Sciarrotta. Since his experience, qualifications and service to RLA was more than substantial to meet the requirement that was needed as the next Executive Director. Mr. Sciarrotta has held a variety of sales and marketing positions in the consumer electronics industry for over 35 years, most recently as the President of Reverse IT Sales & Consulting. Tony brings so much experience to the RLA team, including 25 years at Philips Consumer Lifestyle. His background helped prepare him for a developmental role as director for returns management activities, and in 1998 Tony was assigned to create and manage a cross functional department to reduce returns and their associated costs. He was successful at implementing effective returns policies and procedures with a variety of dealers, and in 2005, Tony assumed responsibility for maximizing asset recovery of all returned consumer goods. Tony has specifically targeted best avenues for reselling returned goods at the model level, by using tools developed with finance support. In 2013, after establishing best-in-class results for returns in the consumer goods industry, Tony retired from Philips and now sits on various committees and industry groups. Learn more about the Reverse Logistics Association here: https://rla.org/

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker

Host

Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr

Host

An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams

Host

Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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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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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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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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