It takes a lot of courage to live as a military spouse, which is perhaps why so many military spouses make successful entrepreneurs. No matter how good a business idea is, entrepreneurs still have to summon the courage to put themselves ‘out there’ and give it their best shot.
Katie Prill took that leap of faith and added entrepreneur to the list of roles she already fills. She is a military spouse, a mother to two boys, a registered nurse, and one of the country’s newest entrepreneurs. As the owner of ‘Love and Lettering by Katie’ on the Spouse-ly platform, she offers a wide variety of home decor, stickers, clothing, seasonal gifts and decorations – including custom orders.
In this episode of Veteran Voices, produced in partnership with Vets2Industry and sponsored by Buyers Meeting Point, co-hosts Monica Fullerton, Founder and CEO of Spouse-ly, and Scott Luton speak with Katie about:
• The challenges of being a military spouse working in a licensed field like nursing or teaching, and the administrative overhead that has to be started over following each move
• How (and why) people should find the strength to overcome their fears of starting a new business
• Why taking care of yourself – finding time for breaks – may be the most important part of any entrepreneur’s ‘hustle’
Welcome to veteran voices, a podcast dedicated to giving a voice to those that have served in the United States, armed forces on this series, jointly presented by supply chain now, and vets to industry. We sit down with a wide variety of veterans and veteran advocates to gain their insights, perspective, and stories from serving. We taught with many individuals about their challenging transition from active duty to the private sector, and we discuss some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of veteran voices.
Scott Luton (00:41):
Good morning, everybody. Scott Luton and Monica Fullerton right here on veteran voices. Welcome to today’s episode. Monica, appreciate you joining this founder and CEO of spousely. How are you doing? I’m
Monica Fullerton (00:52):
Good, Scott, thank you so much for having me again. This is an exciting opportunity. What
Scott Luton (00:56):
Is, well, you know, we got so much feedback about your interview with us. I learned so much about the spouse’s journey and your entrepreneurship. Like we got to do it again. We’ve got to find some, yeah, again,
Monica Fullerton (01:07):
We got to bring all of these incredible spouse lead vendors, you know, on your podcast to be able to spread their word and share their stories.
Scott Luton (01:15):
And that’s exactly what we did. You put it better than I did. So y’all stay tuned for a great episode. One that really is gonna talk about, um, military life, but also how it intersects with entrepreneurship. So standby really, before we jump into that conversation with our dear guests, Katie and Monica here, a couple of quick programming notes. This program is part of the supply chain. Now family programming today’s show is conducted of course, in partnership with our dear friends and, uh, our nonprofit friends over at vets to industry, check them out, uh, to see what they’re doing for our veteran firstname.lastname@example.org. And it gets better. Monica there’s a little bit more today’s episode is sponsored by Kelly Barner and our dear friends at buyer’s meeting point and I’ll pay for procurement. So check out Kelly, who is a devoted and tireless veteran advocate did big things. You can learn email@example.com, okay. With all that said, are you ready to introduce our dear featured guests here today? Monica,
Monica Fullerton (02:13):
I am ready. And I am so excited. I know the world is going to love her.
Scott Luton (02:18):
Um, I agree with you and you can tell a lot in first impressions and you know, you know, 10 minutes or so. And I think we’ve got a home run story. So let me do this. I’m going to tee things up a little bit here. Uh, so our featured guests here today, we’re gonna be interviewing a military spouse, a mother for, uh, to two extraordinary boys. Our guests is a nurse and one of the country’s newest entrepreneurs as she received recently founded a company that specializes in arts and craft products, which is sold through the powerhouse spousely platform. So join me in welcoming Katie Prill, owner of love and lettering by Katie, Katie, how you doing? Thank you for having me. We are excited Monica. That that probably puts it mildly. Huh? Oh,
Monica Fullerton (03:00):
I’m just so excited. I know that Katie’s story just resonates so well and she’s just, you know, a true superhero in my eyes. I love everything that she’s doing. We
Scott Luton (03:10):
Do too. And we’ve been doing our homework on you, Katie. So your ears may have been burned a little bit, but you know, I gotta, I gotta throw this out there before we get started with Katie. You know, one of the things that came about as, as a part of Monica’s interview was, Hey, we need to feature more military spouses, right? That’s that’s a big part of the veteran community. You know, all these families are serving together. And so I’m really excited about doing that right here with Katie. So Katie let’s talk about some of the basics. One of our favorite questions asked where’d you grow up. So tell us where you grew up and give us some of the goods in your upbringing. Well,
Katie Prill (03:42):
I grew up in a very small town, um, outside of Milwaukee, it’s called Butler, Wisconsin, one square mile blink, and you’ll miss it. That’s where I grew up. What
Scott Luton (03:53):
Does Butler, Wisconsin known for?
Katie Prill (03:56):
Nothing really. I’m just kidding. Um, right outside, like we literally border on Milwaukee and Wallatosa and Brookfield and Menominee falls. We’re just this teeny tiny little thing. Like I said, you blink and you’ll miss it, but it’s a small town. We take care of each other. Um, and for the longest time, like my whole dad’s side of the family was, was living there recently. My parents just moved from Butler. So I feel like a part of me just broke apart my childhood home, but, um, very fond memories of growing up in the small little place and where I went to school and all of that. So that’s what, when I think of home, I think of Butler. I
Scott Luton (04:34):
Love that. I love that. So did you grow up a brewers fan or a Packers fan?
Katie Prill (04:40):
I did. I did. I grew up definitely cheering on the brewers county stadium before they changed it. And then, um, packer fan. Oh, I am a packer fan. Yes. A couple of years ago when they had, uh, the, uh, the sale on the stock, my husband and I brought, bought stock. So we can now say we are packer owners. Wow. Yes. One share. But to claim it, I will claim it.
Scott Luton (05:07):
The unique model that the Packers have. It’s like a, it’s like a massive family.
Katie Prill (05:12):
I mean the smallest market, but we have one of the biggest fan groups. So
Scott Luton (05:17):
It’s like in the blood. All right. So I want to talk, we’re gonna, we’re gonna pass the Baton to Monica in a second here, but before we do, I want to talk about food and Eureka moments. We love food around here. So growing up, what’s one food item. That was a inseparable part of Europe. Oh gosh.
Katie Prill (05:33):
Scott Luton (05:35):
I want to ask you about cheese. I’m sure you get that question all the time. I was
Monica Fullerton (05:38):
Just going to say, I hate to use, I
Katie Prill (05:40):
Mean, am I from Wisconsin? If I don’t like cheese, cheese for sure. And I just think of like also just all the different like dairy products and go into the state fair and getting your, uh, your flavored milk and all of that and your cheese on a stick. That’s what I, when I think of growing up in Wisconsin, I think of cheese on a stick.
Monica Fullerton (06:00):
It’s going to say cheese on a stick. You saw my thumbs up over here. I was, I love cheese on a stick. That is like my favorite food at the fair
Scott Luton (06:09):
I’m with you. All right. So Monica I’m, uh, I’m going to ask you more questions before we get Katie’s Eureka moment, other than cheese on a stick. What’s some of your other favorite cheeses.
Katie Prill (06:18):
Oh gosh. Now it’s Bri free is like, it’s a staple, you know, growing up as kids, you always loved your Lunchables. So now we make sure coterie boards and buy all the fancy cheeses. So I am all about that. Charcuterie board, fancy cheese life. Now I’m with you.
Scott Luton (06:35):
I’m with you, Monica. I bet you, oh my God.
Monica Fullerton (06:37):
I have to agree. I love just a variety of different things and different foods. And it’s just such a great way, especially when you’re entertaining. I feel like it brings everyone together as like, you know, we’re does that sound like you just got cheese on our tray, but everybody talks about it. It stirs up the conversation and it really just does, you know, it brings people together. So I agree.
Scott Luton (06:57):
And we need lots of that. Lots of that in times like this. So final question for you. We like to ask folks about their Eureka moments, right? Uh, they’re a big part of life. They’ve been a big part of this, you know, this pandemic environment we’re getting through. It seems like we’re having them by the hour. What’s a important Eureka moment that had an impact on your journey. Katie,
Katie Prill (07:17):
I think for me, it, you know, growing up with four siblings, four additional siblings, and, uh, my parents worked really hard to make sure that they were, they were always at something and the importance of just, they were always there. They always, they never missed a basketball game. They never missed a cross country meet or a track meet or anything like that. And I think like we are in the society where we just go, go, go. And it is so hard to just separate your family life sometimes from your work life. But they, they made it work. They made it work that they always were there. And I think my Eureka moment was just that it is okay to say, no, it is okay to pause what you’re doing and show up for your family and, and really, and truly, that’s what we’ve been doing this whole last year. It’s just, we do what we gotta do to show it for our family. I love
Scott Luton (08:07):
That. And the power of saying no, Steve jobs had a quote. That’s pretty publicly. I don’t have it in front of me, but it is an important new, we can’t say yes, everything. Otherwise we don’t get anything done. So Monica, I’m going to bring you in. I know that that probably resonates with you, especially as busy as you have been lately, but where are we going next with Katie?
Monica Fullerton (08:25):
Yeah. Let’s dive into, uh, military spouse life and what that looks like. And I think that that’s something that’s so important for everyone listening today to kind of see the other side of it, to see what it’s like for spouses. So, um, Katie, how long have you been a military spouse?
Katie Prill (08:41):
Um, I’ve been married to my spouse, uh, Ben for 13, uh, 13 and a half years. And, uh, we’ve been kind of in the military that whole entire time we got married our senior year of college, um, right before he commissioned into the air force, um, through ROTC. And so we I’ve been with him the entire kind of military surety.
Monica Fullerton (09:02):
Yeah. And you know, my story so similar as well, just, you know, being there throughout the whole process and seeing, growing up with someone, I mean, I was like 13 years old when I started dating, you know, my husband. And it’s just, it’s interesting to see somebody, you know, transition from, you know, who they were before and to the service members. So what has your journey as a military spouse been like, what does the military life been like for you guys?
Katie Prill (09:29):
I feel like it’s just, it’s been, it’s been a roller coaster for sure. I don’t know that I necessarily was as not committed, but just like dove in as much in the beginning. I think I was focused so much on just kind of starting my nursing career. Cause I graduated, you know, he commissioned and you know, it never stopped right after that. It just was, it’s the one thing after another, but the last couple years, the last assignments I’ve as the assignments have gotten shorter, I feel like I’ve been focused more on really connecting and making the time that we have at each face, just making it special, making, uh, making those connections. And when they say that it’s a small air force or whatever it really truly is because you never know when you’re going to see that person again, 2, 3, 4 assignments later and you can still create those connections and, and meet these people later.
Monica Fullerton (10:21):
Yeah. I love that. And I can relate so much to that with, with me as well. I feel like, you know, as a spouse, sometimes it means having to really find out like our identity and how we’re going to fit in alongside of our service member. And, um, you know, we have to sometimes put those careers on hold or find ways to navigate and be able to do something that can move around. What would be your biggest challenge that you’ve faced on this journey so far?
Katie Prill (10:47):
I think nursing like bites insure is one of the biggest or biggest headaches I have found, um, every state or at least up until recently, a lot of the states didn’t have reciprocity. And so I feel like I had to start over every single time with the whole, the background check, the fingerprints I’m paying for this or that. And running around town, getting everything taken care of and notarized and all the fees. And I really feel like it only paid for the last three to five years have the other, state’s been talking to each other to make it a little easier, but that’s been the biggest, like headache is just getting the license itself, transferred over every time we move. And then of course, you know, where do you want to work applications, figuring out who’s going to watch the kids when you go to job interviews, figure out childcare. It’s just, it’s been tricky, but, um, it’s been worth it for sure. But, uh, there’s definitely, I think there needs to be some more talking between states and figuring out, uh, how do we make this a more seamless truly you pass one, one exam for school. Why can’t it be the same to get licensed?
Monica Fullerton (11:59):
Yeah. And that is, I think that’s, that’s such a challenge, especially, you know, with the military lifestyle of moving around usually about every two to three years. So you spend, you know, the first few months getting settled in your new location and now on top of it, you’ve got to take all these tests again, you have to pay all these fees and it’s just an ongoing, constant, you know, rotation. So yeah. Um, Scott, I know you probably got some questions around what all that looks like and professional background
Scott Luton (12:26):
And stuff. Do you read my mind, read them on one last thing on this I’ve learned from my sister-in-law a sister-in-law, who’s a talented educator that lived here in Georgia. They have since moved to, uh, I think South Carolina is where we’re living and my brother-in-law is working in the Charlotte area. You know? So there are in that, in that border area, but same, same problem, Katie, all of their, her credentials for teaching credentials, she had to go through a whole different process as a, as she works, going to school for a different districts. So we’ve got some common sense work to do, whether it’s healthcare or in our education, community, state, and state, right. There
Katie Prill (13:04):
Are. I mean, there are a lot of teachers within the military spouse community as well. And so they’re facing the exact same things, um, transferring over licenses and every state has different requirements in terms of continuing education. And some are free, some are not free. And when you move moving is expensive. So you’re at factoring in all those extra costs to get everything renewed or, you know, relicensed, so there definitely needs to be some people talking more about that. I’m with you,
Scott Luton (13:31):
We’ll see if we can’t make that conversation happen. Who knows. Uh, right. So I want to switch gears and cause you got some other exciting news. I want to talk more about your professional journey and you’ve kind of already spoken a little bit about the healthcare industry and some of your, your work payer elaborate a little bit more on what you have been doing prior to becoming an entrepreneur.
Katie Prill (13:52):
So prior to that, I guess, I mean, obviously I was a nurse and I got kind of into, I think as a means of, I don’t know, stress relief started doing some art and some, um, some lettering and stuff like that. And that just kind of turned into just my therapy, I guess, in a way. And it went right into, you know, when the pandemic started and I was out of work for a little bit because my job at the time I was just working as needed. And so the full-time staff, they got the hours, my, my department was not as essential, still essential, go get your colonoscopies. But, um, they didn’t need me there at the time. And so I was home with the kids and I turned to crafting and art and just like immersed myself in that as well as homeschooling, my kids are trying to keep them from, you know, creating home, burning down the house. And then yes, while my husband was also doing virtual school at the time too, for that assignment. So, um, yeah, I switched gears from the nursing world and switched it over to, to teaching my kids or, you know, overseeing at least my oldest and the online world and uh, and an arts and crafts. Yeah.
Scott Luton (15:08):
Couple of questions before I turn it back over to Monica here. So, so you are a nurses specialize in a particular type of medicine
Katie Prill (15:14):
Mostly for the last couple years. Yes. Um, I’m mostly stuck with, um, endoscopy or gastroenterology. So I usually worked at, um, outpatient facilities where, um, patients will come in and get their annual colonoscopy or if they were having an issue like that, then they come in and get an upper endoscopy. Um, I’ve done a little bit of like, I feel like I’ve done a little bit of everything with nursing because along with, you know, the trials of moving, you also have to deal with what jobs are available. And so sometimes the jobs you want, they’re not hiring when you get to your new base. And so I’ve done labor and delivery postpartum. I’ve worked surgery, I’ve worked infection control GI for the large majority of my career. And then I also worked in hospice as well,
Scott Luton (16:01):
Really speaking to the flexibility that professionals that are, that lived that military lifestyle have to have above and beyond what the normal flexibility that many, uh, professionals, uh, have been challenged with here in this current environment. One last question you’ve talked about, you know, homeschooling your kids. I think, I don’t know about y’all’s experience. We certainly learned firsthand how my wife, my wife, who has a lot more patience and she’s a much better teacher. She led kind of the Luton digital academy here when, when all three of our kids were home. And I have no idea still to this day, how she balanced all of that and all the different platforms while you know, doing, you know, working her job. So Katie speak to that a little bit and then Monica and past you. So Katie speak to that, how difficult and challenging that was
Katie Prill (16:49):
For me, I honestly never stayed home with my kids for more than, you know, maternity leave. And then, you know, the last couple of years I’ve always kind of just worked, I guess mostly since I’ve had kids is just as an as needed basis, but I usually at least work two to three days a week, sometimes more. And so it’s different. It was different going from, you know, working and being gone and away from my kids to having them home, honestly with me 24 7. Um, I think we all had to learn how to deal with each other a little bit, but I guess when it first, when everything first happened back in March of 2020, we were in another state and, um, my husband was in school for his assignment. So he was home too. So we both kind of got to tackle this, this idea or everything first together, at least with our oldest, he was in third grade.
Katie Prill (17:41):
So, you know, we oversee or, you know, made sure he got his assignments done and everything like that. But then we moved shortly after, um, in the middle of that. So then we moved to a brand new state, no idea what the school system was going to be like, what schooling was going to be like in general because of the pandemic. So we made the decision that I was going to stay home and um, teach the kids. My youngest was preschool, so he didn’t do it a whole lot. And he certainly ran away a lot during teaching time, but, uh, uh, homeschooled my fourth grader for the whole year. And it was very humbling, very, and um, I learned a lot, I will never say I re I, I do not regret it one bit, but that was not the best decision or not, not saying that it was the best decision, but it’s not something I can continue to do. So my kids went to school starting Wednesday, Hey,
Scott Luton (18:35):
That’s a blessing. Uh, and it is, I, I think what I’m hearing you say, and certainly something we dealt with, it just wasn’t sustainable, right? Managing all the different platforms and then look, good, Lord bless our teachers because they were grown. They just dealt with the curve balls and just maintain, at least for us maintain just this, this calm and this understanding on how they did it. So, but I appreciate you sharing that. Katie was something that we all went through and, and of course with the additional challenges, that’s just part of military life. It’s fascinating to kind of hear how you all process that too. So Monica, where are we going next
Monica Fullerton (19:11):
Shift gears into entrepreneurship and you know what that’s been like, you know, Katie, how passionate I am about that. And, you know, just do just being able to be alongside so many incredibly talented entrepreneurs, especially in the military and first responder, uh, space. So tell me what that shift has been like for you. Um, you know, you’ve got a lot on your plate, you have a lot going on and you talked about how you just started crafting and starting putting the everything into motion. So what does that shift been like?
Katie Prill (19:43):
It’s been different. I mean, honestly I never, I mean, I kind of felt like I always had some talent towards crafting and arts and stuff like that, but really brought to dive in and focus on it and started having people notice it. And, um, I think switching to homeschooling and being home with my kids gave me the push. I needed to just take that leap of faith and just go for it because I had nothing else to lose. I mean, I was going to be at home with my kids. I may as well do something and try it. And honestly, what was the worst thing that was going to happen? I didn’t sell anything. That’s okay. Then I shut my shop down, but what, what, what could happen? I could reach other people and, you know, they can help me just as much as I helped them, I guess, in a way. So it was, it was absolutely scary and terrifying. The first time I hit publish on my lakes and put that out in the universe, but it’s been a, it’s been an amazing journey since the beginning. And I’m so grateful for it.
Monica Fullerton (20:40):
Yeah. And you know, Scott, all of Katie’s products, they are all around inspiration and providing motivation to other people. I’m actually drinking my coffee out of one of her mugs right now. And it says, notice that it says every day I’m hustling and I, you know, I love it. It’s so fun, but the best part about it is it’s a product that I know that you made and that you put so much love into. And so it’s something that has so much more of a deeper meaning than just a product. Um, so can you tell us a little bit more about what it’s been like to be a small business owner and just really that, that true impact behind it, that it’s so much more than a business and especially what it provides as a military spouse.
Katie Prill (21:25):
It provides me with an outlet or really, and truly just to show my creativity. So show more people about a different side of me that I, I didn’t necessarily know was there. And, um, it’s been amazing. I, I, I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to do it. And I love that my products get in other people’s hands and they mean something to them. There’s a, you know, you can drink your coffee in the morning and you think about the hustle that you’ve got going on in the day, or I know one particular product that I like to showcase are the mirror affirmation stickers, which you can kind of see up there and buy beer. But, um, just a reminder that, um, you know, to talk, talk nice to yourself, and I think we focus so much on the things we can’t do and meet to focus more on the things we can do. And, you know, sometimes just seeing that I’m capable, I am worthy. I can do it just is everything to someone. And so I want to just put that out in the world and remind people that they are worthy and they, they can literally do anything that they want to do.
Scott Luton (22:38):
Speaking of Monica and Katie, I’m on spouses now and this in a world where you can be anything, be kind to them. I’m going to have to get, I’m going to have to ask that for my whatever’s the next holiday, uh, add that to my gift list. But I love that because folks, students, I mean, there’s simple things that you think we all know we need to be constantly reminded, right? That for me, it’s, it’s PTK every day I learned from a church group, patience, tolerance, kindness. And it’s just that little phrase where when you’re ready to lose, you lose all of that. You know, we gotta be human and PTK, but Monica, I saw that from that Katie had up there, I had to say something about it. So what a, what else are we asking Katie about? Um,
Monica Fullerton (23:21):
So, well, I just want to say, because I’ve had the honor of getting to know, you know, Katie over the past few months and just, you know, I call her a friend she’s literally just been there for me. She’s been a part of the spouse lead journey. And that is what is so powerful about spousely in our community is having people like Katie, um, just behind it and being able to help power it. So I just want everyone was saying, listening to know that we are a people versus products marketplace. And that sounds a little crazy, right? Because obviously we’re selling products and we have services on the platform, but really at the end of the day, what Katie just shared with us is so inspiring, so impactful, and it just really makes a mark and it makes people really need to think through purchasing with a purpose. So I just kind of wanted to, to share that and wanted to see Katie. Do you have any advice that you can offer for anyone that is considering starting their business? Hey, this
Scott Luton (24:18):
Should be good, Katie. Um, I got my notes. Ready?
Katie Prill (24:22):
Do it. Just dive in. Um, you will never know if you don’t try, you just have to take that leap of faith sometimes. And if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, but maybe you’ve just gotten, you know, one week how you could try again, just, just try and then another, I feel that it’s also important to protect your space, your personal space, use your boundaries. Um, I think a lot of people leave their corporate jobs or their other jobs. They’re nine to five and they find that they then work 24 7 at their new job. And just remember to take care of, yes, Monica, I’m looking at you, it just remembering to take care of you. Um, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so it is, uh, it is a hundred percent okay to say no, take the rest. There is, there are no prizes for this hustle culture and just working yourself to the ground. So take the breaks, take the rest, protect your space because you will end up better because you’re taking care of yourself.
Scott Luton (25:28):
Um, you can’t pour from an empty cup first time I heard that put that way. I love that. How true. Yeah, it is so true. Um, great advice there. If I could take that question one step further, two follow up questions. Do you have any, so when you look back at your role models and your family, is there any entrepreneurial-ism that runs in your family or you your, for your family’s first founder?
Katie Prill (25:52):
I am not. No. My dad’s side of the family started a plumbing and heating business crashed 50 years ago with my grandpa and his twin brother. They started it and it has grown tremendously. It’s up, you’re in the Wisconsin area. You probably know mid city for me, but, um, I love it. Yes, they are entrepreneurs themselves with the plumbing business, but my family is also, um, a family first responders. My parents, both my parents were, um, fire, volunteer firefighters and EMT. And my grandparents, my grandpa was my, my uncles. So you can do both. Um, but yes, I, I have a lot of really amazing role models in my family. So
Scott Luton (26:32):
Can we give your family, I’m not sure what your maiden name is. Can we give them a shout out? Cause they like pillars of the communities when I’m here. What’s their, what’s that name,
Katie Prill (26:40):
But the Zuellig family from my dad’s side and then the Giuliani family from my mom’s side,
Scott Luton (26:45):
That’s what we need more of. Okay. One of my additional questions was, um, uh, what advice, you know, we talked about your advice. You’d give other potential entrepreneurs, but how about folks that are, you know, military spouses or, you know, they’re veterans, you know, folks that have experienced that military life are still experiencing it. Any unique advice, you’d give them if they’re thinking about doing what
Katie Prill (27:06):
You’ve done, I definitely ask for help. I think we have this whole idea that we can shoulder everything alone and you don’t have to, and you shouldn’t have to. So as a military spouse ask for help people there, they’re very kind people out there and they always are, what can I do to help or just, you know, contact me, let me know what I can do. And I think we always think now I’m okay, I’ve got this. You don’t have to have it a hundred percent of the time. So let people help. And it’s the same thing when you’re going into an entrepreneur journey, ask for help. Sometimes that looks like for me is kind of my husband go and take care of sanding a couple of projects for me or putting the stain on first. If it saves me a step, he’ll do it. I just need to, you know, not work myself up to a frenzy and it goes kind of for all walks of life, but it is okay to ask for help, let people help you love
Scott Luton (28:00):
That. And, and clearly as, as you both of y’all have referenced, y’all had a friendship that has also served as a, a resource for both of your respective entrepreneurial journeys. I love that. All right. So I want to talk about spousely for a second. Here. We, it came on our radar after, uh, we met Monica at a vets to industry function where my, I think Monica was one of the keynotes and of course Monica Forbes magazine, and thousands of other outlets have, have recognized it, the really cool things she’s doing. And to your point, Katie, that’s a, that’s a wonderful, such a great resource for, uh, first responders that want, that, that are, that are, uh, on that founder journey. You know, of course, military spouses just love, love the mission behind it. So to you, Katie, how’d, you find spousely and what, what what’s been, how would you describe your experience with it? Thus far?
Katie Prill (28:50):
I found spousely through a friend when we were stationed in Alabama together, she had started her journey through spousely and she was the question that I needed. So thank you, Erin, for introducing me to spousely to Monica, it’s been an amazing journey. I, I think I honestly signed up and didn’t post anything or put any listings up for like three months, but I was there in the background ready and waiting and watching. So, um, again, just do it, just put it out there and, but it’s been a good, it’s been a great journey. And I feel like even though I wasn’t a vendor from the first day, I feel like I’ve been kind of tracking spousely since almost the beginning. And it’s, it’s been amazing, amazing to watch the growth and to meet the other vendors, para some incredible, incredible people on spouse sleep
Scott Luton (29:39):
Great. I’ve got a five bag of the fondest Nicaraguan coffee coming my way from my first spouse experience. And I’ve already noticed Monica, you already know this and Katie knows it too. The communication stream, you know, they, they give me an update when it’s here and update when it’s there. I mean, that’s, what’s in demand these days and you’ve got that baked into the platform. But, but my favorite thing is what Katie speaking to is such a huge empowerment vehicle and enabling folks to take that leap because I think as three entrepreneurs here PR one of the toughest decisions and it should be, is jumping out of that tree, jump on, you know, jumping out of that safety net, you know, making that splash. And so to find platforms that will help help you do that is so, so important. So Monica will give you a chance to respond to that and we’re gonna make sure folks know how to connect with Katie. Yeah,
Monica Fullerton (30:30):
I, that was amazing Katie. And like, I, I tell you all the time, thank you so much for just, you know, being a part of this journey because we are building spousely together. There’s, you know, I might be the founder and the CEO, but it’s just been such an incredible journey to have all of our vendors coming together, uh, spreading the word and being able to uplift one another. We are truly a community that gets it. We are alongside each other on this journey. We’re finding ways to help one another. And most importantly, we’re there for each other in both business and in life. And so that truly has been my favorite part about the journey. And I do want to say to Katie’s point, I am a big believer on don’t think just do, because we have a lot of times we talk ourselves out of things. We, we get nervous, we get scared. We think about all the negatives that could come out of it, or, you know, maybe it’s something that we don’t think we can fit in. And if you just go for it, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you’re capable of and what others love learning and being a part of as well.
Scott Luton (31:35):
Amen. Spike the football on what both of y’all shared. Some, someone out there needs to hear exactly what you are sharing. There’s a great quote. I came across last week, as I was talking about my granddad. We shared, we shared, you know, his birthday was August 21st and I was 23rd and shared that each year. And he’s just a gold standard of a person. And, uh, it was, you never know what your acts are that you do in a certain day. That’s a sermon to someone. It might be the only sermon they get that day. And, you know, going back to some of the values and some of that work ethic and some of the things we have to do and Tufts tough choices, we got to make, you know, being that person. And, and so Monica, just like you said, don’t think just do right or move that mental head trash. So I love that. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with Katie. And then Monica, I’ve got just another question or two for you. So Katie, how can folks find you connect with you, buy your stuff, get that coffee cup that Monica is drinking from right now. How can folks find that
Katie Prill (32:34):
Got my mug, but it says to die on it. So I had to bring that humor in there. Um, you can find me on, of course spousely, my shop is called love and lettering by Katie I’m on LinkedIn, but it is with my professional name. So Catherine pro not by Katie. And then of course I’m on Instagram. I’d love and lettering by Katie. And of course, feel free to email me. K P R K M P R I L firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Luton (33:05):
Wonderful. And we’ll have most of that, if not all of that one click away in the show notes so that it can make it really easy connect with Katie and Monica. There is just so our audience knows there’s no endorsement were fans, real fans, genuine fans of spouse league and have Monica. And I love them. I love what they’re doing so that that’s, that’s why we’re working together. And you’ve got no shortage of good news and growth stories. Uh, you’ve been accepted incubators. We touched on Forbes. It growth itself. I mean, if someone it’s like a truckload of good news, but give us one of your favorite recent developments with spouse. And of course, how can folks connect with you?
Monica Fullerton (33:43):
Yeah, so we do have a lot going on. I am definitely on a mission. Um, the more that I can continue spreading the word about spousely, the more we can continue putting more funds in the pockets of our heroes. So I am definitely never, um, stopping. I’ve got my foot on the gas, but let’s see, we did just recently win the startup Nevada pitch competition. And then we also just secured a wonderful sponsorship, which I will disclose a little bit more once everything’s finalized, but it’s great. And we’re excited because that’s what we know can country can truly help us move mountains is aligning with other companies and organizations that love supporting our military and first responder community. And now that they can see just how many amazing entrepreneurs are within one community itself, that is so powerful. And Scott did you know that there’s over 4 million businesses alone just owned by military families that doesn’t even include first responders? Like how incredible is that? That’s a very powerful number. And so just continuing the mission, um, and finding ways that we can support one another
Scott Luton (34:52):
Gosh, 4 million that blows me away. Uh, and it’s great that I think, you know, there’s so many aspects and attributes of successful entrepreneurs that, um, that you can find in our military families and, and certainly our veterans certainly on military spouses, certainly our first responders. So, uh, I bet that’s for me and very successful businesses. So I love spouse a congrats on all that, all of that good news for you and Monica. How can folks connect with you? Yeah, go head
Monica Fullerton (35:23):
On over to spouse, lead.com. It’s spouse dash L y.com. You can find thousands of products and services all created by military and first responders. And, um, I’m always, um, open to a conversation. I love connecting from others and finding ways just to continue pushing forward,
Scott Luton (35:40):
Love that. And I appreciate your family service, uh, what your husbands are doing, what y’all do. Um, you know, on that note, uh, folks that you’re, if you’re listening, one of the themes here has been, you know, looking out for each other and you know, you don’t, it goes, doesn’t have to be mentioned the difficult times. We’re all going through together based on global events. So now is the time I like Katie and moniker speaking to reach out to those veterans and checking on them, love on them, but make sure they stay on your radar. So with that said, Monica, a pleasure. I’ll tell you a Katie, Katie, you blew away the expectations. We knew we were getting a, like a, a Hollywood hero in here today. Man, you blew it away. Uh, pleasure to meet you, Katie
Katie Prill (36:23):
Prill. Thank you for having me.
Monica Fullerton (36:26):
Yeah. And Scott, I just want to say, first of all, I didn’t mean to cut you off, but I want to say thank you so much for allowing us to share our spouse like community and their stories, because that is something that is so important. And I truly, really appreciate everything that you’re doing to continue spreading the word.
Scott Luton (36:42):
Thank you. Uh that’s that’s the mission we’re on. And, and, and I love how that is so baked into your journey. It is here in, uh, finding people like Katie that come from the families that have given so much, and now they’re starting new chapters as entrepreneurs. You can’t, there’s no better content. So big, thanks to Katie prill with love and lettering by Katie. The links to connect with Katie will be in the comments, uh, Monica [inaudible], founder and CEO at Spousey. Again, check out spousal.com. Remember there’s a hyphen and between spouse and Lys, a spousal.com. Check that out folks. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this episode as much as I have. This is, you know, this is a kind of conversations that has me running through walls. So this is why we do this stuff jumping out of bed in the mornings. Um, if you’re a veteran, you got a story to tell, reach out to us. You can find us across social media. Of course you can find us at, uh, supply chain now.com. Most importantly, Hey folks, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed to be just like Katie and Monica and our dear friend Kelly Boerner. And with that said, was he next time? Right here on veteran voices. Thanks for buddy.
Katie Prill is a military spouse, mom to two amazing boys, a nurse, and most recently became a small business owner last year. With all of the uncertainty and changes that a military move involves, Katie took a leap of faith to put her nursing career on hold in order to stay home with her boys after their most recent move in June of 2020. She used that time to launch her own arts and crafts business through the platform Spouse-ly which offers products and services from military, veteran, and first responder families. Connect with Katie on LinkedIn.
Military life often requires wearing lots of hats, and that’s especially true for Monica Fullerton. She was recently named a Trailblazer in Tech by Military Spouse Magazine and is an ambitious entrepreneur, twin mom, and Air Force spouse. She has long dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, but she wanted her efforts to support a greater purpose than just starting a business. In an effort to provide highly transient military families, as well as those that have previously served, a space to market their products and services regardless of their duty station, Monica launched Spouse-ly. Connect with Monica on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
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Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
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Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
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The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
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Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.