Supply Chain Now
Episode 1163

Supply chains are really the orchestration of people and physical, digital, and financial assets to meet customer expectations and corporate goals while preserving the planet.

-Matt Spooner, Industry Thought Leader, Kinaxis

Episode Summary

With so much change in global business, it can hardly come as a surprise that even the concept of “supply chain management” is being redefined out in industry. Effective supply chain management not only propels organizational success, but it also contributes to the creation of a more sustainable world.

Matt Spooner is an Industry Thought Leader at Kinaxis – and one of Europe’s top age group Ironman triathletes. Before joining Kinaxis, he held leadership roles at ABB, Gartner, and Ericsson where he developed the depth and breadth of experience he applies in his work today.

In this livestream-based episode, Matt shares his perspective about how to chart a path towards a resilient, sustainable, and thriving supply chain future with hosts Scott Luton and Constantine Limberakis:

• The concept of “supply chain orchestration” and what it means in practice

• How successful supply chain management can make organizations (and therefore the world) more sustainable

• His key takeaways from the largest Kinexions event ever, and what excites him most about where the industry is headed

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, Scott Luton and Constantine here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s live stream, Dino. How you doing today?

Constantine Limberakis (00:44):

Good morning. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Excellent, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:48):

Well, it is so great to have you back, of course, sitting in today, only today for the one, only Greg White, who is out and about. But man, we have had a lot of fun and a lot of great conversations recently, including we dove into some of your background with an episode. We’ll drop in the comments. So you’re just a, you’re the gift that keeps on giving. Dino, thank you.

Constantine Limberakis (01:08):

Thank you, Scott <laugh>.

Scott Luton (01:09):

You bet. And you know what? Plus it’s a lot of fun beyond all the truckload of, uh, expertise and experience. You’re the table. We have a blast. And today we’re gonna continue that tradition. Big show. Today we’re talking about a topic that not only Constantine brings beautiful thoughts to my mind, but brings success, results, melodic outcomes to global supply chains everywhere. We’re talking about supply chain orchestration. Should be a great conversation, huh?

Constantine Limberakis (01:37):

Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. It’s, Conaxis is a, an interesting platform and I think there’s gonna be a lot of interesting things to talk about here.

Scott Luton (01:45):

I agree. And we’ve got an interesting character industry thought leader, you name it, from Conaxis, Matt Spooner. Folks, you’re not gonna miss this. He’s gonna be joining us in just a second. But hey, to all of our folks out there as Constantine reiterated, where if it’s morning or afternoon or even wherever it is, wherever you are, we want to hear from you. So weigh in on the, uh, cheap seats as we call ’em, like the comments as we walk through this con great conversation here today.

Scott Luton (02:13):

We wanna hear from you and get your take, such as John Peterson. JP is back with us from Marietta, Georgia. So we’ll share and sprinkle in comments throughout the show, Dino, what these live shows, that’s one of the best parts mean, of course, Matt’s gonna bring it a truckload of brilliance as we know. , Maybe a bike load of brilliance based on what we’re gonna be talking about. But we love hearing from folks as they weigh in on what we’re discussing, right?

Constantine Limberakis (02:36):

Yes, absolutely. And the perspective and the analogies that we’re gonna bring here, I think are gonna be interest. It’s a, a different way of looking at things that we, we experience all the time, or in some cases, what he’s gonna share with us. Most of us won’t experience <laugh>.

Scott Luton (02:51):

well, and that I think that’s part of the zest of life. Whether we’re talking about longstanding things or new things. How we take what’s taking, what, how the industry is evolving and package it in a way that is approachable by all. Yes. So get ready folks. And I wanna say hello to one more person before we welcome in our guest speaker. See Ham. Great to have you back. I love you when you weigh in on, uh, LinkedIn posts with your perspective. And of course, we always love you having being here. Part of our live conversations. I like c Ham’s, sense of humor, Constantine. So with no further ado, I wanna welcome in our distinguished, distinguished guest here today, Matt Spooner, industry thought leader with Connexus. Hey, hey, Matt. How you doing?

Matt Spooner (03:35):

I’m really great. Thanks. Thanks, Scott. Thanks Dino for having me. And I think I might be the first ever supply chain now livestream, wearing cycling Kit <laugh>, <laugh>,

Scott Luton (03:47):

You, you know, our, uh, history welding, ’cause you are, you’re breaking new ground. Uh, and we’ll make all that connect in just a second. I wanna really quick before we dive in with Matt and Constantine, Hey, Murray tuned in from Edmonton, Alberta. I bet that’s a pretty part of the year. And of course, big thanks to Catherine and Amanda behind the scenes helping to make the production happen. Okay, so Matt and Constantine, we got a lot to get into, but first let’s talk more about what Matt just mentioned. ’cause he’s, he is setting records here. So really majority of our pre-show conversations before we get into supply chain orchestration, I love that word and a whole lot more. I wanna start with a pretty cool and fun topic, uh, that some folks may not know. But as we’ve learned, Matt, you are one of Europe’s top age group, Ironman triathletes. Uh, but that comes in handy when it comes to, uh, doing big things in supply chain. And you’ve recently and successfully completed the Transcontinental bike race, which is a prestigious yearly competition that runs from Belgium to Greece. We need some maps here. So let’s start with Matt. Tell us about the race and then we got some images. We’re gonna walk through it too.

Matt Spooner (04:51):

Yeah. Thanks very much, Scott. So the, the, the Transcontinental race is the definitive self-supported cycling race across Europe. It’s a really hard race, which is very complex in, in its execution. So it relies on a self-reliance, logistics navigation, but also the, the judgment when it comes to what are the decisions that you need to make mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it’s really a race where the people define or redefine what they think it’s possible. It’s a single stage race where the clock never stops. It’s not when the Tour de France, which it has stages, it’s the clock starts started on the 23rd of, uh, July, and it finishes when you cross the line increase. Okay. And riders and it’s self supported. So riders have to plan their, their route, they have to resurge it, they have to do their own navigation, their own course, choose where to rest, what to eat. You can only take what you can carry and you can only consume what you can find or buy. And there are four mandatory control points. So there’s a number of set routes that, that you actually have to run, which are particularly difficult. And it goes and it crosses some of Europe’s most prestigious cycling monuments. Mm-hmm. And we’ll look at some of the pictures of those in a minute. Yes. But

Scott Luton (06:07):

It’s

Matt Spooner (06:07):

Like, yeah, it’s a fantastic race.

Scott Luton (06:09):

Well, before we move into these images, Dino, I feel like I’ve just burned 2000 calories here. And Matt, describe that your thoughts.

Constantine Limberakis (06:17):

Nice try <laugh>. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (06:18):

Nice try. You caught me. Okay. Alright. Alright, so let’s look at some of these images here. And we’re gonna start, Matt, with some of the provisions and supplies. Tell us, tell us what we’re looking at here. Yeah,

Matt Spooner (06:29):

So, so this was everything that I actually carried on the ride with me. As I say, it’s self-supported, so you don’t, there’s no support cars or anything like this. And so I wanted to keep the weight down to an absolute minimum, but actually be able to manage and mitigate any of the risks that I would face or, or on the route. Okay. So I took a very much a risk management approach on here looking at what was the, the likelihood of, uh, an event happening and what would the impact of that event be. So that could be cold weather, it could be mechanical failure, you know? Yeah. So you name it, you know, I’ve got spare shoes for being, you know, if I had to go and walk, uh, somewhere. So that was really important. So, uh, and I didn’t just factor in what was the risk and what was the impact of that risk.

Matt Spooner (07:15):

Okay. But I also factored in what was the cost of the mitigation strategy, because if I’d mitigated every single risk, I would’ve ended up with a bike that, that weighed, I dunno, a hundred pounds <laugh>. Um, I think my bike weighed something like 30, around 28 pounds. I think in total, I think it was around 15 kilos, oh, no, sorry, 32 pounds, I think, something like that. Whereas I think other people had, you know, twice as much weight because they’ve just tried to mitigate too many of those risks. Right. So that was actually a really important point was actually how did I choose everything that I took with me?

Scott Luton (07:51):

Well, Dina, I wonder if, uh, Matt and the team did any scenario planning as he was baking his, uh, transcontinental road race risk mitigation strategy. What’d you think, Constantine? Yeah,

Constantine Limberakis (08:02):

You know, I, it’s a good question because I was just gonna ask about like, what, what if there are any weight restrictions? Like you can say you can carry no more than X pounds or, it’s just curious because like you just described, Matt, I mean, you can’t do every scenario, but

Matt Spooner (08:19):

You can’t, you can’t. Yeah, no, there were, there were no specific weight restrictions. But, you know, it was, there, there was a lot of work that I did. In fact, that’s my setup. And you actually can see my bike in the background. There, there were no specific weight restrictions, but you, it’s important to try and minimize, to try and minimize the weight because I had about 160,000 meters of climbing in two weeks.

Matt Spooner (08:42):

But also, if you carry too much equipment, it really affects the aerodynamics of the bike and really makes it very slow to ride on the flat as well. So yeah, trying to get everything to a a minimum weight wa was critical without leaving out things that would be, that I would, uh, really need. Right. And a good example of that, and actually you can see in that picture there, which is at the starting in, uh, Gards burg and in Belgium, uh, okay. It was pouring with rain that day. In fact, the, the, the stars of the race was, was really cold, really wet. I’m wearing all of my wet weather kits, um, as I’ve cycled into Switzerland on top of one of the mountain passes it was minus two degrees and snowing. It’s the coldest I’ve ever been, even with all of my warm weather kits. So even though you are going through Europe in the middle of a heat wave on top mountains, you’ve got snow. So you you, and it’s exactly the same in supply chain. We have to think about all of the different scenarios that, that we need to face.

Scott Luton (09:46):

But hopefully you’re taking notes at home ’cause Matt is doing a wonderful job of transferable takeaway from this incredible endurance race. And, and Matt, speaking of the mountains, what, what are these mountains here that we’re looking at? Well,

Matt Spooner (09:58):

So this is on the Alps, it’s the Stelvio Pass, the second highest mountain pass in Europe between, uh, Italy and Switzerland. So actually that’s looking down into Italy from the top of Stelvio. And that was actually the day after I had snow. So it was, that was, that was pretty kind, it was pretty chilly actually up there on top of the Stelvio Pass. Yeah, that’s at around what, seven, 7,200 feet? Something like that. Okay.

Scott Luton (10:25):

And then here, and we’re not gonna do it justice here today as Ham is pointing out applying supply chain risk management strategy in everyday life, that’s really what we’re after here. And Matt, I love how you view that and your point of view here. But this is the finish line in Thessaloniki. I see, I get that right. Thesal, Kai, Greece, Matt, is that right?

Matt Spooner (10:46):

That’s correct, yeah. Tesson. Yeah. And, uh, as you can see, it is a huge port city, so really big from a logistics per logistics point of view. So Greece is second largest city, and you know, that’s me on the shores of the Aji having just cycled, uh, 2,500 miles in 13 days. That’s 180 miles per day. Wow. With, uh, 160,000 meters of climbing, which is about 11,005, sorry, 160, 57,000 feet of climbing, which is about 11,500 feet per day. That’s an the equivalent of Everest every two and a half days, man.

Scott Luton (11:27):

Okay. So Constantine, I’m gonna get you to weigh in here, but I wanna point out, since Matt already did that port of, uh, Thessalonica in Greece is the country’s, and it’s considered by many to be the gateway to the Balkans. Your quick comments. Yes,

Constantine Limberakis (11:41):

Constantine. Yes. Saloniki is a great city. I, as a Greek have never been there, so you making me inspired here, Matt. Okay. I also tell you that I was curious, Matt, what was your beverage of choice, <laugh>, when you got to the park? <laugh>

Scott Luton (11:57):

Beverage of choice? Matt Beverage choice was, well

Matt Spooner (11:59):

That’s a really, that’s a really interesting question. My beverage of choice on the ride was actually alcohol free beer. It would’ve been beer with, I could’ve enjoyed a beer with alcohol, but that doesn’t actually go well. Riding alcohol, free beer has actually got great nutrients in it, and it’s just something different to the sweets, sodas, the Coke and Fanta. So that was my marriage of choice.

Scott Luton (12:23):

So Matt, uh, that’s a great question, by the way, Dino, uh, Matt, I’m gonna get you to, uh, talk about the, the significance of this shot in just a second. I wanna bring in, yeah, so, so speaking of beverages, Catherine says, Hey, I’m gonna need a Gatorade just listening to all this <laugh>, I’m with you and Claudia’s like, me too. And finally, Peter Bole. Thank you PB Peter Bo Bole all day and all night. Yes, we are doing what we love here today, talking with inspirational people that are taking action to make the world and our industry a better place. Thank you. Alright, so Matt, bringing it back. So

Matt Spooner (12:51):

This, the, the significance of this picture, this is why we shouldn’t always rely on AI on optimization, the limitations of AI on optimization. So this is actually the, in Albania, the SH 36 highway. Uh, believe it or not, this is a highway. And actually, if you go in and look@dangerousroads.org, the SSH 36 features as one of Europe’s most dangerous roads. And its description is that, uh, the s sh 36 is a terrible high mountain road located in Northeastern Albania. The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to navigate. Mm. Now the thing is, you know, the software, so we, I I use a system called KA Commute, which is, uh, an advanced, um, planning system for cycling or for, you know, doing cycling, hiking, walking. It uses ai, it uses optimization. It’s a, an absolute brilliant tool. Mm-hmm. But it doesn’t have all of the data about what are the condition of all the roads.

Matt Spooner (13:52):

So, you know, when you are going through some of these places in the Balkans, it goes and sends you on roads like the s h 36 highway, because it doesn’t know the surface of the roads, it doesn’t know how well how good the tarmac is. And I think this is really highlights exactly the same limitations that we have with AI and optimization within the supply chain. Sometimes it just doesn’t have all of the information to help us make the correct decisions. We actually have to make the correct decisions and be agile in making those correct decisions on the fly.

Scott Luton (14:25):

Matt, excellent point. And I’m, I’m so glad I’m a visual learner and I love, again, how you’re taking your point of view through this incredible accomp accomplishment to finish this race and applying it to our industry. Constantine, your quick comments before I move on.

Constantine Limberakis (14:41):

Yeah. I, I love the analogy, you can’t, you can’t do a better job than to connect those dots. I will probably make a comment. I bet you that road hasn’t changed since Roman times <laugh>. So maybe that was a highway <laugh>. That’s a great, it’s no

Scott Luton (14:57):

All in the eye of the beholder, right? Yes. Interesting. And, and by the way, thank you Korah. Zey, one of our dear friends. I may have butchered. He gives a high five U Constantine for correcting my pronunciation, Thea Lei. So Korah, I try hard, I get my kids’ names wrong from time to time, so bear with me, but I hope you’re well. Alright, so Matt and Constantine and to our global audience out there, just wait, there’s more. We got a lot to get into here today. And so Matt, thank you so much and congrats by the way, for finishing the race again this year. And we wanna get into, though, as we shift gears here, no, no bike puns intended, wanna get into this term that I love supply chain orchestration. We’re hearing that more and more, especially in recent years. Right? So, mark, for our conversation today, as we level set on the front end, Matt, tell us in your words what that means.

Matt Spooner (15:47):

Yeah, so traditionally we think of supply chains as being linear. So you go and plan the supply chain, you go through a process of doing your demand and supply, and then doing your ss o p process and then creating the plan and sending that plan over to the, your suppliers and the factories into the warehouses and executing on tho tho those plans. And that’s a, like a, that’s not the reality of the, the environment that we live in today. We need to have a strategy around our, our supply chains. We actually need to understand what does success look like. Mm-hmm. We then need to have a plan to say how do we deliver that set that, that that success across not just our own internal supply chain across all of the elements of the supply chain. We then need to have the, the correct tactics to make the correct decisions in pretty much in it could be in real time in, in really disruptive, disruptive times about making those decisions.

Matt Spooner (16:49):

Choosing which is a scenario that we want to follow. And then we need to go and, you know, execute on those decisions. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we actually have to go and transform raw materials into goods. We need to move the goods from one part of the supply chain to the next part of the supply chain. And it’s no longer that we just plan and execute. We’re actually planning and executing and planning and executing because what’s happening in real time actually impacts the way that we impacts the plan. So it’s no longer linear process, it’s a circular process mm-hmm. Of doing this constant. So that’s why we, we term term this su supply chain orchestration. And it’s not just orchestration in terms of our own, uh, you know, my organization and my own manufacturing and my own warehousing facilities. It’s across all of those suppliers as well. All of the upstream and downstream suppliers. Yes. And this is because becoming increasingly important, because this is not, will not only allow us to run supply chains more effectively and more efficiently, but also more sustainably, which is becoming really critical at the moment. We were discussing earlier about heat waves in Europe, heat waves in the US at the moment with summaries. And yeah, we, sustainability is becoming a big topic

Scott Luton (18:09):

And we’re gonna dive more into that in just a second. But speaking more Panama Canal, right now, constantina Matt, 200 ships are waiting and it’s mainly because of water levels due to a terrible regional drought are so low. Three rivers feed the Panama Canal, and they’re talking with the US core of Army engineers of how they can divert four more rivers into the canal. It’s just, it’s amazing all the constraints that we’re dealing with. Constantine, comment on that before we move forward and get it another term we’re gonna redefine here today. We’ll

Constantine Limberakis (18:38):

Talk about orchestration. They’re trying to orchestrate the differences in making management around the environmental, you know, challenges here to make something happen. And I think the other key word that the reason why we, I think I gravitate to this orchestration, it’s the fact that you are, if you think about what an orchestra is, you have all these different instruments that are trying to create something in harmony to come out with some outcome of a benefit, right? And so orchestrating requires all these stakeholders to be involved. And I think that’s why that term is just, it fits so well with what we’re trying to accomplish in the pan. Panama Canal is exact example of that.

Scott Luton (19:15):

Uh, Dino, you’re absolutely right. Now here’s a challenge before we move on. When I think of orchestration, I think of a symphony, right? Trivia question. What a conductor holds is a baton as he or she conducts a symphony. But here’s a challenge for everybody. Woodwinds, percussion, brass, we gotta come up with different sections of what each represents in the global supply chain ecosystem. I’ll, I’ll throw that out there. John says, disruptions in supply chains used to be the exceptions. Now they are the norm. Great point that the process, as Matt mentioned, is circular and is in constant review. Alright, speaking of things that are in review, our terminology, our phraseology, our vernacular, I think Matt, you and the con access team want to redefine supply chain management and you’re calling for that new definition. Speak, speak to that. Tell us what you’re, you mean there?

Matt Spooner (20:04):

Yeah. And, and so I think it’s, we are looking at redefining supply chain management in terms of what does it mean for, for Canis and for our customers. I think on, on one side, you know, supply chains are not new supply chains have been around since the beginning of time. It’s the first time that, you know, anyone traded with somebody else there, there was a supply chain. Mm-hmm. And so supply chain management is not a new capability or a new concept. Right. But what we are talking about and looking at it in as inis, and the way we are thinking about it, is that supply chains are really the orchestration of people and physical, digital and financial assets to meet customer expectations and corporate goals while preserving the planet. So it’s not just about, we can’t just think about, it’s the movement of goods with looking at actually increasingly digital assets and the trading of digital assets is increasing only almost exponentially. Yes. Um, on a, on an annual basis, it’s not just the, the movement of the assets, it’s actually the financial transactions that are associated with those as well. How do we get paid for the, for, for those goods and services?

Scott Luton (21:19):

Well said. Um,

Matt Spooner (21:20):

We need to meet corporate goals. We need to meet the, our, our shareholders’ goals and all those corporate goals. And we also need to make sure that we are meeting all of those customer expectations, but we can’t forget about the planet and we need to do, you know, to preserve the planet and ensure that we are not taking away what we have today.

Scott Luton (21:40):

That’s right. One word that comes to my mind, and we’ve been big proponents of this for years, but the word that comes to my mind as Matt described that is holistic. Holistic. It’s not just a movement. Constantine, your quick thoughts there.

Constantine Limberakis (21:54):

Yeah, I think we’re gonna comment to it too. Another, the part of that orchestration is that you’re doing some things concurrently, right? And I think that’s a term that you guys are, are using quite a bit at Canis Matis concurrent planning, this concept of making sure you’re able to adjust when something happens. And so, uh, it’s fascinating to see where with the information that you’re coming, it’s coming at you, you’re gonna need to be able to do that quick, more quickly, not just to say in a kind of a, a singularity of one thing at a time. And it’s not just you as you guys are saying so

Matt Spooner (22:28):

And constantly. Yeah. And I judge, sorry Dean, I just wanted to bring up a a a really good point that you, you raised there, and this is actually something that I learned from, from the, the cycle race. From the transcontinental race as well mm-hmm. <affirmative> is that when you are tired making decision, you need to make decisions as simply as simple as possible. You want to make a, to try and get, create a yes no decision because you’re having, you know, a complex decision is very d difficult to make when you’re tired now Maya, and why this is relevant to the supply chain when you are in really disruptive times which we are in. Yeah. And I think that disruption is not going away. Organizations are exhausted and they’re not able to spend the time to make these decisions and and fully evaluate the decision.

Matt Spooner (23:16):

They actually just need to make really simple decisions. Right. And so when you are in less disruptive times, I think that you can then focus on making complex decisions when maybe at the beginning of the quarter, right after you’ve just had a great quarter, you can make complex decisions. But then, you know, when you’ve got this avalanche of the, we talked about the Panama Canal, that’s something I’ve been looking at for a few months now. Sure. And you’ve got all of these disruptions of it that are hitting, hitting you, you actually, you need to, you know, try and keep those decisions as simple as possible. Have scenarios that are already planned that you can say, do I go with scenario a decision making framework for, for the those deciding, which is a scenario because if you treat every disruption as something that’s new, you are just going to get overwhelmed by the number of decisions that you need to make.

Scott Luton (24:07):

Matt. Well said. And I would ar I would argue not only do we need to make decisions and make ’em faster, but we need to make sure our team is confident in those decisions as we make them. That’s a really important thing. We’re gonna move into su sustainability more in just a second. I wanna bring in a couple things. So Mihir talks about the VUCA acronym that’s been around forever, but it’s being used a lot more volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and the ambiguity. I think I said all that, right? Uh, c a talks about going back to the new name for supply chain management, a new name might help with understanding the functions involved versus using terms synonymously. That’s an excellent point, Sian. Okay. So I wanna talk about sustainability more. And so Matt, you’ve already touched on this a couple of times, the importance of making decisions that are good, not just for our organizations and our supply chains, but good for the planet. How does successful supply chain management and your view make organizations and of course, the world a far better place? Matt, your thoughts?

Matt Spooner (25:02):

Yeah, so on a personal basis, I think many of us are, are passionate about sustainability, but I think that we actually have to sort of look at this differently from our personal, from our personal opinion. Uh, and the corporate imperative. And actually becoming su su sustainable is very, is really important from a risk management perspective about minimizing and mitigating risk. So firstly, what you identify and what I believe is that sustainability and resilience are actually quite closely linked. So supply chains which are more resilient, tend to be more sustainable, or supply chains which are sustainable are or are, are also more resilient. So that’s, I think is a, a, a really good risk management perspective. Yeah. But also we’ve got external legislation. So there’s the corporate sustainability reporting directive in Europe. Um, so from 2025 companies in Europe are, are going to have, will be required to report indirect emissions across their value chains.

Matt Spooner (26:05):

So, and these are their scope three emissions Yeah. Organizations who don’t do this, uh, and this will be audited. This is not just some, you know, simple spreadsheet reporting. This is proper, this is proper reporting that will be audited against the same standards as financial audits are, are, are conducted. Yes. This is a really big risk. The C F O is looking at this and thinking, this is a really big risk for my organization. I’ve got to get a really good handle on my scope three emissions, understanding my scope three emissions. And so sustainability is the right thing to do for the planet, but it’s also the right thing to do to mitigate the risk in your organization.

Scott Luton (26:49):

Yes. The stakes are changing. They’re increasing. And I would add to your, your last comment there, Matt, it can be very profitable as well. Consumers, all stakeholders are demanding it more and more constant get you to weigh in on what ha as Matt addressed the, the critical need to really embrace with action sustainable initiatives.

Constantine Limberakis (27:11):

I, I think the important thing here is also it goes back to the innovation that you’re trying to use and what your outcomes are. And I think you and I talked about this on our conversation, that sustainability is critical, but also looking at it in terms of how is that gonna improve your innovation. And the only way you can do that is with accuracy and with technology and scenarios that could better understand what those outcomes are that are best for your business. And then those outcomes are in the long run gonna be what is gonna be a long-term sustainable solution by definition.

Scott Luton (27:43):

Well said Dino. Now I would add one more thing, Matt, before we get back around. We’re gonna make sure folks understand we got some resources and we’ll make sure folks understand the cool things that connects us up to, but lately I’ve been talking a lot about Kit Katts. Yes. Kit Kats. I had to, uh, a Nestle Kit Katt in Cape Town, South Africa several months back. Long story short, the incredible things that the supply chain organization is doing is enabling the sales and marketing team to promote that it’s Kit Katts, at least in that part of the world, is made with a hundred percent sustainable cocoa and it’s part of their global plan that by 2025, a hundred percent of its global supply of cocoa is going to be sustainably sourced. That helps us tackle many of our, the issues of our time. So, alright, so bringing it back then, bringing it back, let’s talk about Matt, a really important just to level set in a nutshell, what does Conis do? How would you answer that question?

Matt Spooner (28:32):

Well, I mean, it, canis you think is on the forefront of taking supply chain, supply chain management into the future. Mm-hmm. Uh, it’s on the forefront of, you know, bridging this gap between planning and execution con concurrent planning and concurrent execution. It’s on the forefront of bringing sustainability. And we recently just launched a sustainability module, which actually allows organizations to understand the scope three emissions across five of the different, uh, categories mm-hmm. Are based on their plan. And so we’re, we’re partnering with an organization called Climate Climatic to provide that, that information we’re also, you can’t have failed to, to have noticed the, the amount of attention that AI and optimization is now getting as well. And it’s about leveraging that AI and optimization to be able to create a better orchestrated supply chain response, but also combining that with heuristics and the experience of the planner so that you are actually making the, the best possible decision by that combined heuristics and AI and, and really recognizing that your supply chain professionals are still able to make the best possible decisions. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (29:57):

Constantly. I wanna bring you in here, but before I do, one of my favorite things that Greg has shared on earlier shows is it’s really important for our fellow supply chain leaders to discern actual intelligence versus artificial intelligence. Especially where AI is baked in every single interaction in the conversation these days. Constantine, weigh in on what Matt was just talking about there.

Constantine Limberakis (30:16):

Yeah. I mean, uh, you’re spot on there, Matt, with taking all these different data sets and, and the speed of which you, that information needs to come in to make, uh, some of those decisions. I mean, I was just reading one of the case studies that you guys called out and the papers that you had, and in talking about the importance of understanding what those outcomes could have been in a, it quickly assessing those scenarios. And you can’t really do that without properly applying the algorithms that are gonna help you do that. Whether it’s the internal data, it’s unstructured data, or it’s external data from providers that could help assist you in enhancing that and creating. And I think the word you were using before Scott was that holistic view. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, there you go. I mean, that’s it. That’s how you’re gonna do it.

Scott Luton (30:58):

Well said. And speaking of well said, how about well done Matt. Y’all have been a, uh, recognized once again by Gartner in the Magic Quadrant. Tell us more about that. I think we got a link we’re gonna drop in the chat too. Tell us about the, something that I know I’d be wearing on my sleeve. Matt, tell us more. Yeah,

Matt Spooner (31:16):

So, so we we’re incredibly PR proud of, uh, you know, our placement, uh, on the, the magic quadrant. So we’ve been placed as a leader within the magic quadrant for the ninth time, the ninth successive time. We’ve been in that top right hand quadrant. Uh, and that’s based on the completeness of, uh, of our vision and our ability to execute. And this year we’re actually the high, for the first time we’re the highest on both of those dimensions. On both of those as uh, axis, the, the completeness of the vision and our ability to execute, uh, it’s really important to, to, to xis partly because that being in that top right hand quadrant for nine successive years is a statement of quality. It, it’s a, it gives our customers confidence that, that we are, uh, evolving our solution, that we are driving forward, that we don’t just talk a good talk, we are actually delivering on, on, you know, what we plan to deliver and what we tell organizations that we are going to be delivering.

Matt Spooner (32:15):

Right. Uh, and that allows us to, to retain that position. So it’s very much a statement of quality when you dive into the, the magic quadrants. We were really proud of, uh, our, our performance this year. We were in four out of the five use cases, uh, Conaxis was one of the top score vendors. So we were, we did really well in, in the use cases against the critical capabilities. We were the top score vendor in seven out of the 15 critical capabilities. And we were scored number one for user experience. Now that is really important because that was one of the areas where we haven’t been so strong in the past. Mm-hmm. And that shows, you know, our commitment to address the areas where we, where we’ve traditionally not been so strong and actually focus on those areas as well. Yeah. The position on the Gartner Magic Quadrant is being, is really, really important and it’s, uh, and we we’re incredibly proud of where we are and what we’ve achieved.

Scott Luton (33:07):

Well, Matt, congrats. I know y’all have a big team. Tom Polly from Raleigh, one of our faves, Alan, the whole team. Congrats all to a hard work y’all put into that. And Constantine, picking up on one of the last points Matt mentioned, user experience, the good old ux, when we think about adoption, which is so critical to any platform really for that matter, any new thing you’re gonna introduce to an organization if folks don’t use it, what have you gone through all the, the project and the labor and bless sweat and tears for, but speak to what stood out to you, Constantine?

Constantine Limberakis (33:37):

Well, I I think that’s spot on there with the user experience. Increasingly the garters of the world have recognized that importance. It’s not the technical framework of what the analysts are saying, it’s, but what your customers are saying and bringing those dynamics together is really critical, especially when you’re focusing on the users that you are intending to de deliver your solution on. Yes. And from my understanding, you guys have been very focused and because you’re so focused in the supply chain planning aspect of it, that’s probably testament to your success is that you’ve been, that’s what you’re trying to achieve. You’re not trying to do tons of other things that maybe some of your competitors on that quadrant are also trying to do. So there’s always that dynamic, right? Right. Where do you focus and what are the outcomes you’re trying to look for your customers.

Scott Luton (34:20):

Excellent point. And we’re gonna drop the link to that so y’all can dive into that and learn more that big. Thanks Amanda and Catherine there. I wanna shift gears for the sake of time, but I wanna make one mention here. And Matt, since you brought pictures, I’m gonna use them. So going back before we move on, this is the challenge now, but where we’re going and, and what you’re both are speaking to, the challenges are changing. Earlier today or this week, India became the fourth country to land on the moon space supply chain or whatever word we use. That’s gonna be a real thing soon. We’re seeing companies land massive contracts as we address what all the challenges and all the opportunities that comes with space exploration. So it’s only one of 1 million reasons why we’ve got to optimize how we do things today. Alright, so let’s just, let’s talk about connections. Connections hosted by Conaxis. Now, this is a ongoing user conference that y’all have each year. You’re back in person, Matt, and I’m sure, and rubbing elbows with members of your team. Y’all all had tons and tons of takeaways. What’s a couple of your favorite takeaways from the Connect connections from just a, a few months ago?

Matt Spooner (35:33):

So, I mean, the connections was for, for us was an amazing conference. We, we were, it was by far the the the biggest conference that, that we’ve ever had. And, and the, the enthusiasm from organizations was, was great. But I think if I look at the, some of the, the top takeaways and, and probably my biggest one is that the organizations are now talking about really supply chain delivering, just being about cost mitigation and cost saving, but are about delivering top line benefits and organizations and can access customers and our prospects talking to us about how do we work together as a supply chain community in order to demonstrate and really highlight the top line benefits that organizations can get from their improved supply chain management. And so that’s, I think, uh, uh, you know, some of those conversations were, were fantastic, really interesting conversations about AI and how there’s been a lot of hype about AI and Oh, sure.

Matt Spooner (36:39):

Let’s face it. There’s, you know, we, we generative AI chat G p t, there’s been, you know, lots of, lots of, lots of hype and you know, lots, so many concrete use cases, but actually your organizations talking about some of the concrete use cases, some of the concrete benefit benefits that they’re seeing, um, from ai, one organization wants to keep it a secret because they’re getting so much competitive advantage from the, from their AI based solution mm-hmm. That is actually a game changer, uh, for, for the organization. And those are listening to those conversations are inspirational for a supply chain leader like me.

Scott Luton (37:19):

Yes. And you know what? Wherever we find inspiration, that’s one of the shortlist of things, Constantine, when I think about, uh, the pressure on our workforces today, when I think about the pressure to not only deliver but to improve the challenges to managing change, good news and inspiration is what helps us all move forward, Constantine, but weigh in on those takeaways that Matt spoke about from connections. Well,

Constantine Limberakis (37:44):

I, I think, you know, it’s, it’s showing that the companies are also willing to take a, not also much a risk, but looking to do that next step to, to use that to leverage themselves and take that first mover advantage. Because to your point, Matt, I mean, again, at some point everyone kind of catches up where, how are they leveraging your technology to, to have that first mover advantage and being considered themselves as a leader. ’cause they wanna be affiliated with solutions that are gonna help them. So that’s great to hear that it’s gone again, beyond, way beyond the cost. It’s taken supply chain to the next level and the level of excitement that you’re hearing in this space. It’s just, it’s tremendous.

Scott Luton (38:23):

Agreed. And Matt, here’s a challenge for you, Matt. So on the ne on connections 2024, I say, I propose to you, you, you get your bike, get uniform, get a videographer behind you, and you capture all the conversations throughout the, uh, the, the conference floor. How’s that sound, Matt?

Matt Spooner (38:40):

I think that, yeah, that will be a really good idea. Actually. I think I, I quite like that. We, at the moment we’re thinking about what’s gonna be happening for connections 2024. So I’ll feed that in as a, a good suggestion, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (38:51):

Awesome. All right. So let’s talk about, and by the way, going back to the Gartner magic quadrant, y’all one click away. We got that in the chat. Y’all can dive more into that and see some of the, of the good news Matt was sharing non-consecutive years. Wow. Okay. So everyone, as we shift gears and kind of come around that home stretch, I’m not sure what the home stretch was in the transcontinental race mat, but that’s where we’re coming down here. I forgot to bring shades always. Uh, I’m always missing my props. We’re talking about where we’re going and I’m of the view, despite all the challenges we have, right? It’s, it, it all, it’s it’s always been there, right? Managing disruption. It, it may look differently, but that’s what we signed up for, right? Uh, to be in supply chain. But the good news there is the future is really bright. So Matt and constant, I’m gonna get your take too, but Matt, you start us, what excites you the most about where global supply chain is headed?

Matt Spooner (39:45):

And there’s so many things that I could talk about. I think one of the things that I will though will highlight is that supply chains are now, and supply chain is now a really recognized function, not just within the organizations, but within academia as well. Students want to become supply chain, uh, experts and what to move into supply chain. And that means that it’s not just you. We are not just capturing a a a group of people who’ve accidentally fallen into supply chain. We’re actually got people who, who want to become supply chain leaders. And this is bringing in, uh, some of the best talent. It’s bringing in new thoughts. It brings challenging the gray haired guys, guys and girls like me who’ve been around, you know, a bit. But the, though we’ve now got new ideas coming into supply chain and this, I think this new talent, this this whole profession of supply chain management, I think makes it incredibly exciting. But there’s lots of others as well.

Scott Luton (40:50):

The, you’re so true. And we could spend hours talking about this. I love your point of view here. Constant. Lemme ask you in just a second. I want to add to what Matt said there, though, you know, we have been conducting the now generation series here at supply chain, now meeting with some of the leading programs where all this talent’s coming in from all walks of life that Matt, you’re speaking to, and you’re right folks, they’ve connected dots, they’ve figured out what supply chain does and they wanna be part of it. And the cool thing there, I’m meeting artists, folks that, that majored in, in art that graduate, and then they’re bringing that perspective, right? That’s so unique, especially in a, a more of a technical and engineering and operational related industry. And they’re changing how we do things. We need more and more of that. Constantine, what are you looking forward to? Or feel free to comment on what Matt just shared there. Well,

Constantine Limberakis (41:36):

Just jumping out what Matt was saying about the youth coming in and in conversations I’m having with, uh, friends of mine whose kids are going back to college and you ask them, it’s like, what are they studying? And I can’t believe how many people I’m hearing they’re saying, oh yeah, they’re gonna go into supply chain. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they’re gonna go into supply chain management. And it’s just, it’s a, a testament again to before what we were saying of how that new generation’s gonna help influence both a lot of the things that they were brought up with. Again, this idea of how to re-look at triple bottom line, understanding corporate social responsibility. That’s something they’ve been born with and that’s something they’ve been, it’s so embedded and ingrained that’s gonna be really, I think part of what we’re gonna see in the next stage and next evolution of solutions and technologies that are out there because of their influence in how they’re looking at things. So that’s exciting.

Scott Luton (42:22):

It is. And, and you know what, it’s like what you’re implying there or outright saying it’s gotta happen, right? Because of the new demands that consumers are expecting, demanding, you name it. We’ve gotta have all that perspective in the industry so we can adjust and overcome a couple quick comments here. So yes, John, we’ve said it once. We’ve said it a thousand times, maybe a million times. And John, I love it, you mentioned it here, supply chain finally, finally as a seat at the table. And CMM says, yes, VUCA is what we all signed up for. We sure did. And we get what we ask for. Matt, we’ve come a lot. I think me and Constantine both are geared similar to you. Oh, the bike puns, we get to be here for days. But your final thought in terms of where we’re headed, and then we’re gonna make sure folks know how to connect with you and the team.

Matt Spooner (43:07):

Yeah. So where are we heading? We’re at the start of a, a transformation within the, within supply chain. And if I go back to when I first came into my supply chain career in the 1990s, spreadsheets had just started. Excel was a tool which

Scott Luton (43:23):

<crosstalk>, M T V still played Music man. And,

Matt Spooner (43:25):

And XL was that transformed and that actually created the supply chain management because it, it meant that we didn’t need to go to the IT department to run queries out of the, the mainframes and or it’s before it was incredibly clunky. And so suddenly we were able to do things and we created, we carved out this, this, uh, that this profession of supply chain management. And I think we’re going through a similar scale shift at the moment with, you know, all of the new capabilities, the new processes that are, are now that, that we’ve got. And, and, and it’s going to transform the way that, the way that we look at supply chains. We’re not going to be talking about necessary trade-offs and data entry and the things that we’ve been and creating Excel models that we’ve been talking about in the last 30 years. We’re actually going to be talking about how do we, going back to the definition I was talking about, how do we, you know, preserve the planet? How do we meet c PR goals? How do we meet customer expectations? Yes. And looking at brand new ways of, of doing all of that. So for me, this is actually the period we’re about to go through. Just going through now is actually probably the biggest change since the, you know, the 1990s.

Scott Luton (44:43):

I’m with you and I’m welcoming it with open arms. I’m not gonna miss those 17,000 step Excel macros that, uh, were earlier in my journey. Constantine, comment on that. And then we’re gonna make sure folks know how to connect with Matt and the Connexus team on the move.

Constantine Limberakis (44:59):

Well, I’m, I’m just gonna comment on Matt’s experience here and how he’s being in, he’s inspiring us and using these different analogies and his personal time to talk about how supply chains are changing and innovating. And I always find that fascinating. Open your mind and try to find other ways of, uh, trying to be creative and innovative and applying, uh, solutions to ways people are looking for them.

Scott Luton (45:23):

Yes. And piggybacking on that, Constantine and what Matt was talking about earlier, we’ve gotta make it easier for our teams, right? We’ve got to make, we gotta find the right solutions, solving the right problems, not just chasing after the latest and greatest. Matt talked about the height that comes with ai. We’ve all probably have our own stories about different business leaders that just, they see the latest Chinese object and they go after it, rather than starting with the problem, the business problem we’re trying to solve. Right. So Matt, I want to make sure before I forget, ’cause I, I, again, I love how you started the conversation, these life parallels. One of my favorite things to do is find lessons learned as a consumer. As for, for that matter, a husband and a father and a human and all that. Those lessons teach us about how to lead and drive supply chains. But Matt, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you and to connect this team. What would you suggest? How can folks track you down when you’re not doing big things on <laugh>, on big bike races?

Matt Spooner (46:28):

Yeah, so I’m, uh, a regular on, on LinkedIn. So you can connect with a, in Matthew Puer, uh, on LinkedIn. I think it’s, uh, yeah, you should be able to find me please and actually can see that, uh, Amanda’s put the, the, the

Scott Luton (46:44):

Bam

Matt Spooner (46:44):

The link to my LinkedIn profile. You c certainly contact Canis. If you go onto canis.com and go onto the contact page, we will be really happy to go and talk to you. You can also contact with, with Canis on LinkedIn as well. And also if you go onto in onto Canis, we have big ideas in supply chain. If you go onto the, the big ideas in supply chain, uh, page, you can see uh, a lot of the, the interviews that we’ve conducted with other thought leaders. Some of our customers got a a lot of information and a lot of, uh, places where people can contact can access.

Scott Luton (47:26):

I love it Matt and I can tell Constantine, can you tell as much as Matt loves the racing and the tri athletic, I think that’s the word contest and stuff. Matt loves supply chain and leadership and changing things for the better. If you pick that, I, I picked that up like almost tangibly from talking with Matt. Absolutely. Up,

Constantine Limberakis (47:49):

Well you said you since the nineties you’ve been in the industry so you were pretty dedicated <laugh>.

Matt Spooner (47:54):

Can I tell you a, a, a little bit, little story about that? And it might <inaudible>, you might think it’s a bit strange, but I was speaking to somebody, you saying you’re on the transcontinental race of 13 days, cycling 15 hours a day. Were you listening to music all the time and said, uh, no I wasn’t, didn’t listen to music. Say, well what were you doing all the time? I said, well, I was actually thinking about supply chain and thinking about thought leadership and, and how, how my experience had parallels with, with my experience within supply chains. Yes, it’s, you are absolutely right. It’s, uh, it’s, I I love supply chain and it’s, it’s something that I, you know, think about a lot. It’s, I might be a bit strange.

Scott Luton (48:31):

No, I don’t think right here you’re kindred spirits, right? And I bet that consumers out there are very thankful folks like you and the rest of us here love talking and diving into supply chain conversations. ’cause that’s what’s in empowered and just outright powered the, the e-commerce. Greg says drop the e ’cause it’s all commerce now the e-commerce era we’re in, right? So I’m so Matt, you come on anytime your family now you’re an OG now, right? Because I love your passion for doing things better. I gotta call someone else out here, Tony, she wrote it. My dear friend Tony, who also is a big music fan, is also leading voice of the returns. Talk about some challenges we gotta get to there, returns in reverse logistics. Appreciate you being here. Tony and I owe you a phone call. Constantine, we made sure folks. So folks, you can check out the magic quadrant information.

Scott Luton (49:23):

We got links there in the chat. You can connect directly with Matt and whether you wanna talk supply chain or talk how he’s been able to shoot up the list and become one of the world’s foremost athletes. You name it. I bet he welcomes all calls over fake beer or near beer is my hunch. <laugh>, but Con <laugh>, Constantine, what was, while we, before we wrap here with Matt, you think through all the, we’ve come a long way, right from where we began until where we’re here, I think on a really high and a real inspirational and positive note. What’s been one of your favorite things that Matt has dropped on us here today, Dino?

Constantine Limberakis (49:58):

That, uh, that e 65 highway. I’m still shocked by that you did that. I mean, it, it just, you know, right? It’s like what you said. That’s a lesson to learn for anybody who wants to go biking or anything and go in new frontiers. Well that, that’s one of ’em.

Scott Luton (50:15):

Well then I’m gonna wrap with a challenge then for you, Constantine. ’cause next time we’re gonna do this show in Thesal Leiki, right? And we’re gonna dive into the port, we’ll see Matt wrap his next race and we’ll knock it all out. How’s that sound, Matt?

Matt Spooner (50:28):

That sounds great. And it’s an ab and, and Dino, I know you haven’t been there before. You need to go there. It’s an absolutely amazing and brilliant city.

Scott Luton (50:36):

It’s on my list. <laugh> on your list. All right, we’re gonna dive into Dino’s list in an upcoming episode. But hey, but, but before we do that, Matt Spooner, industry thought leader with Conaxis, I’ve really, I’ll tell you, I wish we had captured all the pre-show conversations because, um, we had a lot of fun talking about life and supply chain and your racing and, and really your view on how we can all kick a bigger dent in the universe. So I really have enjoyed you being here today, Matt. Thanks.

Matt Spooner (51:00):

It’s been great.

Scott Luton (51:02):

It sure has. And Constantine, I tell you one heck of a conversation, we knew it was going to be right, and I think we welcome folks to join us anytime to, to dive into, uh, supply chain and everything that, that, that makes up this beautiful global ecosystem and village. Is that right Constantine? Yes. And Scott, I we wish you a very happy birthday. Oh, hey, I appreciate that. <laugh>. I’m not gonna throw, I’m not gonna throw, uh, John’s comments earlier ’cause I don’t think I can find them, but he said, Hey, I think con here he goes, Scott says, John said, I think Matt and Constantine should sing Happy Birthday. Just saying, no, I’m not gonna do that to our global audience, <laugh>, although they probably have some beautiful voices, but I’m gonna wrap with this folks. Um, whatever you do, we gotta find a way to act on these conversations.

Scott Luton (51:47):

And, and fortunately there are leaders and organizations and practitioners, the, the, the wonderful people that make up global supply chain global industry. Thankfully folks are taking action, but with each of these conversations, it just, it makes us all and it should inspire us to do more. So with that, I wanna thank all of our audience for showing out. Thanks for all the comments. Know we couldn’t get to all of them. Big thanks to the production team to help make today’s show happen. Big thanks to Matt and Constantine, but most importantly folks, so Matt, for our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Ludin challenge. You do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed, and we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (52:27):

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

Matt Spooner is an Industry Thought Leader at Kinaxis. Before joining Kinaxis, Matthew worked in Finance, managing corporate restructuring at ABB. Prior to this, he was VP of Planning and Fulfillment responsible for the global supply chain planning processes. Matthew was an analyst with research firm Gartner, where he was responsible for supply chain planning research. For many years, he worked for telecomms company Ericsson, where he held leadership roles in planning, logistics and IT deployments. Matthew is recognized as a supply chain visionary with deep industry expertise. In his spare time, he is one of Europe’s top age group Ironman triathletes. Matthew has a BSC in computer science from the University of York, he holds APICS CSCP certification. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

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Scott W. Luton

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Constantine Limberakis

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Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Greg White

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

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

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

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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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