Logistics with Purpose
Episode 102

In the beginning, raising funds was difficult, and finding the right talent was also required to build up this new technology. So you can imagine, as a new company which nobody knew about, we needed to start making a little bit of noise.

-Cristina Aleixendri

Episode Summary

In this episode of Logistics with Purpose, co-hosts Enrique Alvarez and Nuria Sierra shine a spotlight on organizations dedicated to making a positive impact. Their guest, Christina Aleixendri, shares her journey with bound4blue, a company developing automated wind-assisted propulsion systems for ships.

Christina’s story encompasses her transition from wanting to pursue medicine to becoming an engineer, driven by her passion for problem-solving. She delves into the challenges of starting a company and the technological innovations behind bound4blue’s solutions.

Listen in and learn more about the importance of purpose-driven work, the impact of regulations on the maritime industry, and the future of sustainable shipping. Learn why Cristina emphasizes the significance of finding purpose in every job, and how you can apply it to your own journey.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:02):

Welcome to Logistics with Purpose presented by Vector Global Logistics in partnership with Supply chain. Now we spotlight and celebrate organizations who are dedicated to creating a positive impact. Join us for this behind the scenes glimpse of the origin stories change, making progress and future plans of organizations who are actively making a difference. Our goal isn’t just to entertain you, but to inspire you to go out and change the world. And now here’s today’s episode of Logistics with Purpose.

Enrique Alvarez (00:35):

Welcome, welcome, welcome to another very exciting episode of Logistics with Purpose. I’m your host, Enrique Alvarez, and I have the pleasure of co-hosting with Nuria today. How are you doing today, Nuria?

Nuria Sierra (00:46):

I’m really good, thank you. How are you, Enrique?

Enrique Alvarez (00:48):

I’m doing great. How’s the week going for you? Tell us one positive thing that happened to you this week. Oh,

Nuria Sierra (00:54):

I’ve been skiing over the weekend. Yeah, very close to where Christina is at the moment actually.

Enrique Alvarez (01:01):

Well, that’s exciting. And we haven’t really co-hosted in a while, so I’m very excited to be able to co-host and of course we have an amazing guest for us today. Go ahead, Nuria, why don’t you just tell us who we have.

Nuria Sierra (01:12):

We have Christina Alexandri Munoz. Oh, nearly there. So sorry.

Enrique Alvarez (01:20):

Is that Italian, Christina or where? Well,

Cristina Aleixendri (01:23):

I have a very good story about that. I was in the electronics class in university and then a professor of mine approached me and started speaking to me in Greek and I was like, okay, I’m going to fail this project. I really, I’m not understanding anything at all that I realized. This is a Greek surname. So anyways, San Catalan, by the way, Spanish.

Enrique Alvarez (01:43):

Okay, well that’s great. Actually. Bar’s playing today. Fingers crossed. We’ll win. But anyways, we haven’t even introduced you yet. Go ahead, Nuria.

Nuria Sierra (01:49):

Yeah, no, I was going to say that Christina is the COO and Co-founder at Bond for Blue. Bond for Blue is a company that develops automated wind assisted propulsion systems as a turnkey solution for all ship owners and shipping companies seeking to reduce fuel coasts and polluting emissions. So that is a lot and that’s very impressive, especially now days. So welcome Christina, welcome to our podcast and thank you for being here as well. Christina, I would like to start off, can you please tell us a little bit about where you grew up, something about your childhood?

Cristina Aleixendri (02:34):

So I was born in Barcelona in 1991, so you can make up your numbers and know what I am. I initially started living in Barcelona until I was like two years old, and my family then decided that they wanted to provide their children with more calm environment, so they decided to move to the outside of Barcelona, to the countryside. So I’m the smallest of the family of five. So I have an sister and brother. They’re not coming from engineering, so I was the strange Sheldon Cooper person in the family, but I’m very glad about that. I mean, I’ve learned also a lot about of them also so well basically of myself living in the countryside, which I really am very grateful for my family going outside, which really brought me the love I have for nature and for Mountain.

Enrique Alvarez (03:20):

Awesome. Well that’s incredible and I was looking through your website and the company and just for anyone that’s out there, we’ll put all the different links at the end of the interview, but it’s amazing. The technology is amazing, the purpose is amazing, the culture’s amazing, and so I can hardly wait to deep dive into how you came up with this and all the different successes that you’ve had. But before we do that, I mean, can you tell a little story or can you share a story of when you were younger maybe that started pointing you into the right direction to what you’re doing now?

Cristina Aleixendri (03:51):

I think there’s two big things. One of them is that when I was younger I was saying I’m part of family of five, but indeed there were two more people, which were my grandmother and my grandfather, which also lived with us. So somehow I had to take care of them too as part of the family, not with the same responsibility as my mother or my father, but sometimes I spent too many time at hospital like being with them. And I realized at that moment they tell you, what do you want to be when you are older? A lot of people would say football player. And because I was always in the hospital, I was saying, okay, I want to be a doctor. But really the reason was not because I really loved blood or really loved to open people. So really what I really wanted was a meaningful job.

(04:32):

And at that point I thought, okay, the only people that I’m seeing that are making something meaningful are these people which are surrounding me, which are saving the life of my grandfather in that case. So years later, this evolved a little bit and I’m really grateful, this is the second point, to find professors of mathematics that really helped me to understand mathematics. I was very bad at maths and physics and whatever had numbers. I was really very bad at it. Really? Wow. Failed. Yeah. I mean it was always below five. Yeah, my scores were very, very bad. And I always say that it’s not that you don’t know maths, it’s that basically didn’t have a good professor because maths are like, I mean everybody has logic within themselves. So they helped me to understand and I was really fortunate about that until one point that I reached one of my professors, which was the year before deciding my career, the one that I wanted to apply to.

(05:23):

So I was always thinking, okay, let’s go to medicine. And I was working hard to enter the university to become a doctor, but this professor, which was an engineer, really acted as a role model for me. And she got me and she told me, you know what, Christina really your eyes bright when you were in class of physics and mathematics, have you envisioned yourself in an engineering path? And she helped me decide a little bit. So I think I’m grateful for the two sides for those doctors really showing me that you can work and have purpose, not only as a doctor and this professor of mine also, which I’m very grateful

Nuria Sierra (05:57):

Of. Wow, that’s amazing. It’s so important to have someone that inspires you when you are at school listening. Well, Christina, your educational background is nothing short of impressive. You hold both a bachelor’s and a in iron engineering focusing on propulsion from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. What makes it even more interesting is the unique trilingual setup of the program. This courses in Catalan, Spanish and English. So that really highlights your linguistic skills. So beyond engineering, you have broaden your horizon with moonshot thinking for entrepreneurs at ADE and further training at the University of Cambridge. So topping off your academic achievements, it’s an EMBA from ESA business school. So that perfectly matched your technical expertise with a strategic business knowledge. So I’m curious to hear about your journey through these diverse experiences and what drove you towards this particular fields. I know that you already told us the story of that teacher that inspires you, but how have they shaped your career path?

Cristina Aleixendri (07:12):

I would say that first of all, becoming an engineer. What’s this desire to solve problems and make it for societies or solve the problems of everybody? I mean day-to-day problems. So that was on the engineering side, but then you realize once you keep studying on these technical path that really to bring this to reality, you need the business side. So for me, it was essential to put and build those bridges between the business and the engineering side. And that was what really motivated me to start these mini courses one week, one month programs until it arrived a point in 2020, maybe because I was during the outbreak lockdown at home and crazy, I decided to apply for an executive MBA, which is something that for those who don’t know, it’s like an MBA that you do on Friday and Saturday complimentary to working and to traveling.

(08:00):

And just because Mount BU was at a point that I thought that my knowledge was not enough to bring it to the next level. So it’s a desire to solve problems, but also a desire really to know, learn and be prepared for the challenges. It’s like the tool that I needed at that point. So really, I’m not sure if this is impressive or not because I love to learn and I think that’s something very, very good of us as people, as human beings. So really I think I will keep learning with this desire to really solve problems

Enrique Alvarez (08:26):

Well, it’s not only very impressive, but also inspiring for everyone out there, especially if you combine what you just said and your amazing curriculum with the fact that you weren’t that good at math at the beginning and you actually hated numbers, you completely turned that around and you basically ended up loving numbers and math and physics and a lot of different things that are mathematical in nature. So thanks for sharing. That’s a really interesting story. You started your professional career at your university as right the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and I’m going to have to read this. The title is incredible. It’s a computational fluid dynamics analyst engineer, which I have no idea what that means. So you’ll have to explain us what you were doing. But more importantly, looking back at your career, all these different positions you’ve had, what do you get out of it? I mean, you get the knowledge of all these different topics, but what did you learn as a person, as a human being after kind of going through all

Cristina Aleixendri (09:22):

That? With respect to what I did, that was during my last year I think. So if I’m not wrong, that 10 years ago I wanted to really invent things to solve problems because the paths that really opened to me when the university was going to finish were more on consultancy and more on company established companies, but on a very checklist based workday. I mean no room for doing something and for solving the problems, just doing the same all of the day. So really I wanted to see if a career in university was something suitable for me. And that was great because I was able to cover that inventing things, like really exploring the impossible. But then the problem here that I realized very quickly I would say that this wasn’t going to be implemented, never at all, or if it was going to be implemented, it would take so many years that for the time until it’s developed, really the problem.

(10:16):

I mean, you need to solve the problem, but also on time, which is something, one of the topics in shipping too. So we can arrive to decarbonization now. We need to do it fast. So in the same point, I decided at that point that a career in university as a research base wasn’t something for me. So I learned a lot. I mean, I learned what I wanted and really I learned that I could do whatever I wanted, that I had the tools at that moment and that if not, I would find a way. That was the point. I was very optimistic at that time, just picture myself with 23 years old at that time, wanted to in Spain would say that would be the world.

Enrique Alvarez (10:50):

Yes, you’re right out of the school. You want to do things and impact and Well, I wanted to ask you a follow-up question. Where do you get your entrepreneurial spirit from? I mean, it sounds like you’re very entrepreneurial in nature, very curious. You wanted to invent something. Do you attribute it to someone or something or you’ve always been entrepreneurial?

Cristina Aleixendri (11:08):

I haven’t been entrepreneurial, I would say before Bound for Blue. I think it’s a mix. Of course, my mother, my father had a company and they owned that company. Then also my co-founders, Jose, Miguel and David, they were somehow also entrepreneurs. They were friends of mine also before starting for Blue. So they were also an inspiration to me, I would say. And then I think it’s also a mix. I was very crazy and I didn’t think it twice. It was just, okay, there’s a problem. We have a solution. I’m an engineer, and engineers tend to believe they know everything, then they know nothing. But in any case, I thought, okay, let’s do it. I really didn’t think it very much. And then things kept rolling and rolling and bigger, and there was no way of getting out of there. And I love it. So I’m just still here fighting for it.

Enrique Alvarez (11:50):

Amazing. And I guess before I pass the bat, Nuria, she has a question and we’ll deep dive into your company Bound for Blue, which is again, and I’ll stop to just say it again, if you have to go to their website. It’s amazing. The technology is incredible. Where do you get your law for the ocean? Do you have a special connection to the ocean? Is that something that attracts you or that was also kind of random? I

Cristina Aleixendri (12:11):

Wouldn’t say I hate ocean. I don’t hate it, but I’m not a sailor

Enrique Alvarez (12:16):

Really. It’s

Cristina Aleixendri (12:16):

True that during summer we had a small leisure boat to make activities with my family, and we went there for one month to the beach. It’s very typical in Spain. I mean hot weather, but maybe I’m more on the cold weather, the mountains. I love hiking. It’s on the other side. It’s just who cares? There’s so many problems that we as society are facing that I can handle everything and my life is limited. Just choose one. And for me, that was a big problem where I could bring really something considerably good enough.

Enrique Alvarez (12:47):

It’s a huge problem. You’re absolutely right. Huge, huge problem. And you guys are contributing tremendously to solving it. So once again, this is great. And go ahead, Nuria.

Nuria Sierra (12:57):

I love this conversation because that was when my previous conversation with Christina, I also asked her precisely, do you say, are you yourself? I have exactly the same. So Christina, almost 10 years ago in 2015, you started with the vision of Bound for Blue and now it is a successful company. Can you tell us a little bit of your mission and what makes it so special for you in your role as a co-founder and CEOO, please?

Cristina Aleixendri (13:28):

For me, really it’s essential, the mission of Plan for Blue, and it’s really my why because sometimes with the ups and downs that you can have as an entrepreneur, really it’s very important to have these why and our why makes it sustainable. But in an economical way, we thought that the solutions that were offered at that moment or put on the table we’re not competitive in cost, and that wouldn’t help society with the needs that they require for this sector. So basically it’s making sales a standard in shipping again, so bringing sales back to ships. And really, if you think about it, it’s very logic because I think it’s one of the few sectors that started being 100% sustainable than becoming pollutant. And really we’re trying to find a very crazy solution to make it sustainable while going back to the auditing really makes sense. But with the noble technology we have today and with automation processes and so on, so this is our mission.

Enrique Alvarez (14:16):

There’s nothing better than just harnessing the power of nature like the wind or the waves or the saw the sun to really do what we’ve been doing for centuries. Sailing and shipping using fuel has always been the way we do things. So I’m glad to see that technology coming back. And speaking a little bit more about the technology, you actually developed an very unique way of doing it. Your sales, which I believe are called Esales, have a very particular technology. Could you tell us a little bit more about technology for all of those that I am an engineer, but for all those that are not engineers in a way that we can understand it, they don’t look like sales to me when I see the pictures,

Cristina Aleixendri (14:54):

It’s true. I mean, when I speak and I say that Bon for Blue is bringing sales back to ship again, they imagine this old sales from the past, like colo definitions, so they’re made of rigid material in this case is steel building steel. They’re fully autonomous and they’re so efficient that they’re very compact. So they’re quite small. It could even look like a small MA on a sheet. Yeah, yeah, they’re quite different. So how does it work? These technologies based on the suction sale concept? So this concept, even the first time they applied the suction of the airflow surrounding a profile was around the thirties, and that was done by naca, which today is nasa. So that was done in the aeronautic sectors for airplanes. This was a system that a methodology to generate thrust, very high amounts of thrust that was abandoned for airplanes because if the suction failed, then the airplane would crash.

(15:42):

And the other reason why, because to generate the suction in an airplane wing, they needed the wings not to store fuel. So today they’re using the wings to store fuel. So they couldn’t apply this concept really to aeronautics. But this whole concept in the eighties was again applied by Jackto Foundation together with two other inventors, professor Mal and cia. It’s part of our team today, and they applied this concept to a small ship. So we’re bringing back this whole concept of generating sacking the airflow surrounding the profile to generate eight times more savings than what an rigid sale would generate. So that means we are able to offer a solution which is much more compact with less cost, less maintenance, less impact on visibility and stability. So really making sure it meets the requirements of the

Enrique Alvarez (16:26):

Industry. Very convenient too, right? Because they save space, which you need for storing other things on the vessels and very unique. And I’m sure that this was a long journey, right? You’re talking about this very easily and quickly, but as a researcher or former researcher and now someone that runs the technology side of your company, what was the prototyping phase like? And of course you must have had tons of challenges. Could you share a couple and how you resolved them?

Cristina Aleixendri (16:51):

I would say first of all is that shipping at the time we started was not a very sexy industry to invest in as a BC or as a private investor, wealthy individual. So basically raising funds was difficult. And for an industrial company like Bon for Blue that has to develop large scale systems, really implementing these prototypes was highly intensive in resources, economic resources, we find the way we even received a lot of support from public funding, even from the EU level and national level here in Spain, and then finding the right talent was also required to build up this new technology. So you can imagine a new company which nobody knows about. So you need to start making a little bit of noise, start really trying to attract the best people to build the solution which is suitable. And finding the first customer also and iterating with the market, I think was one of the hardest points indeed, that meant that it took us a little bit more time to build that solution with like they say in the us, maybe the minimum viable product and so on.

(17:47):

But I hate this word, but in this case was very difficult because every time we went, we were getting very weak answers. Like, okay, what is the admissible payback you would be willing to accept? And some of them were saying one year and some of them were saying 20. So really when you were building up the system, you had no clue really about the price that you could set. Is it reasonable? Will they pay for it? But even the solution itself, they really didn’t believe that wind proportion I would say was going to come back at that point. So I think they weren’t taking us very seriously, or at least the ones we spoke to.

Enrique Alvarez (18:17):

It’s very interesting that when you’re talking about challenges, I thought you were going to go the well the technology way, but no, so the challenges were more on the convincing others that your vision is worth investing in, which is again so interesting to me, right? Because it’s all about humans and we’ve been as humans, I mean, we’ve been investing in crazy projects our entire history, getting to the moon and things like that. So it’s interesting to know that that’s where you were struggling the most. But I’m happy to tell everyone that you have passed that phase it seems like, and people finally understand that if we need to do something to save our planet, and you can start to see people definitely coming back and coming back hard. So I’m very, very happy and again, super inspired with what you’ve done. So thank you so much.

Nuria Sierra (19:01):

Christina. Remember the conference in London where we met Ship Zero? I remember there was a very delightful experience for me, and you mentioned that at the beginning of the conversation, everything started with you asking me to take a picture while you were doing your speech because nobody else was there. I was. And you started talking about what Bound for Blue was doing, and for me it was so inspiring, especially considering how this technology contributes to improving greenhouse gas emissions for both new build and existing vessels. But can you share some insights into the installation process and its adaptability across different types of vessels?

Cristina Aleixendri (19:44):

Sure. Maybe I should thank Dana, which is our head of marketing that is always asking us to take photos to present it the social media. So thank you Dana. So yeah, with respect to your question, the installation process can be very smooth. In this case, you have maybe two options. If you have a scheduled dry dock for maintenance, then we would install the reinforcement and the sale all at the same time while you’re doing the normal activities at the yard. But then you also have another option, and if you have the window very close to the signature of the contract, we can do this reinforcement, then start manufacturing the sales and install them later at a port call wherever in the world. So it can take a small amount of time. It’s true that the reinforcement, it’s Val engineering themes here, Naval architects will know about how much time it takes, really not that much, but in the case of installing the sale, which people tend to believe, it takes a lot of time like verticalizing connecting it and so on. For a master shipping for the M traveler, it took us two hours per se. So really it was very, very fast. I mean we did it at a port called in Ow, ow. And it’s suitable then for different types of segments. So for new builds, existing row tankers, bulkers, nearly whatever type of ship, what I would say is the ship needs to sail in a area where there’s wind and then the ship needs to have available space on deck to receive and install those sails. That’s like what are

Nuria Sierra (21:06):

The dimensions? Out of curiosity of a sail,

Cristina Aleixendri (21:10):

It goes from 12 to 36 meter high. So depending on the size of the ship, you would install one unit, two units, three units, depending on one model or another model. I mean it really depends. And also the operations of the ship would limit the type of model and the unit. Then of course you have to meet with solace, visibility, stability, and you work with the classification society. But really it’s a quite straightforward process I would say.

Enrique Alvarez (21:33):

And Christina, you currently have war sales up and running or what’s the numbers right now?

Cristina Aleixendri (21:38):

So we’ve already installed our system on three ships. That’s four sames in total. We have several ships this year. So the first one will be Aurora, which is owned by Lure fo arm and chartered by Airbus. And this one will be three sails of 22 meters high. Then we have other projects with Lure fos company, not Arm, that’s another company. So lure fos company for a juice carrier. We’ll be installing units even of larger size, more units. Also a project with Fel Norwegian ship owner in the tanker segment. And also we also have a very nice project, new build, which we recently announced for the French Polynesia where we’ll be installing one unit of 22 meters. So we have different types of segments where we’ll be installing the system, either new build and existing

Enrique Alvarez (22:22):

And a part of everything you do for the company and everything you’ve done in your career, very successful and short career. May I add, you also are involved in 10 additional global projects, and I heard, or I think Noria told me that you have like five patents as well. Could you tell us a bit more about your other projects briefly? But then more importantly, you have talked in very prestigious events like the COP 24 at the UN and the European Parliament, and I’m sure that you’re actually getting your schedule full as we speak right now. How do you see technology evolving? What’s your relationship to technology when it comes to using or leveraging technology to achieve economic, social, environmental sustainability?

Cristina Aleixendri (23:03):

People tend to think that technology is something that you need to be scared of. When we speak about artificial intelligence right now, people are always seeing the bad side of technology. I think that as the world evolves towards having more and more and more technology and faster, I mean what took a lot of years to bring the technology point to the one we have today will not take the same time. It’ll go faster and faster, but of course you can focus on the bad things, but it’s basically focusing on the good side. So it’s technology. I think that technology will and ease at the service of people. So it has to be purpose driven. And then there’s another aspect with technology that I always say is that if we need more skills in technology today as a society to build new tech and the new solutions, it is as important as having these social roles like let’s say ethics. I mean it’s of much more importance like philosophy, this sort of not techy backgrounds, but more humanistic backgrounds, much more needed to really see if really this technology has been built for the purpose of society and has a very good purpose behind. But technology is not good nor bad. It really depends on the purpose you have built and the way you use it.

Nuria Sierra (24:13):

So according to the World Trade Organization, maritime Transport continues to be the primary mode for international trade serving as the essential framework for global supply chains and accounting for over 80% of the world trade volume. Given this, how do you envision the future if companies persist in relying on conventional fuels instead of transitioning to zero emission technologies?

Cristina Aleixendri (24:39):

I think that regulations really are pushing very hard, at least the market to make a change. And I think they have no choice rather than to take those technologies. What I think is that those that are just willing to rely on fumes and not making investments today will for sure experience a higher increase on the cost side so their profits will lower. And that’s because I’m starting to see there’s a lot of owners saying, okay, I understand alternative fuels will not be there and they will be expensive. So what other things do I have in the middle to help me in this decarbonization journey? But then there’s others that are just waiting and seeing and they want to rely on some sort of magic fuel that will not be cheap. So basically those who wait will have to experience this higher cost. And I’m really grateful to see the IMO really that we saw recently pushing harder.

(25:27):

Some of us maybe would say maybe they could have pushed farther or not. I mean we’ll never know. But then also seeing the European Union setting up the inclusion of shipping in the emission trading system fuel, which will come by and will have a huge tremendous effect. Other countries willing to follow the same path as the European Union, which I hope this will push also the IMO to say much later, even stricter like deadlines to push the whole industry. So really I would suggest people to consider different solutions for sure alternative fuels will be needed. I think it’s an end of these conventional fuels that you were speaking about, and there’s a wide variety there. It’s not just wind propulsion. We never said we were going to solve the whole problem, but it’s mixed between a lot of solutions, which today have proven to be successful and safe and reliable.

Enrique Alvarez (26:13):

Absolutely. I like the way that you guys are approaching the problem too, because it’s a compliment to other things you’re not replacing entirely. You can just use it to continue to reduce the cost. And as you mentioned, right fuel, either special or standard or any type of fuel will continue to be more expensive. That’s just the way it will be. So some of these technologies, yours in particular, can be implemented right away to save some costs as we continue to develop new technologies into the future. So well said Christina, and thank you so much for your leadership style. I wanted to change gears a little bit and I just wanted to ask you more like a personal question. In terms of your successful career, what has been your biggest reward so far? I mean, what do you look back and say, this is awesome, I’m great, I did this. What are you kind more proud of so far?

Cristina Aleixendri (27:01):

Something I really feel proud of. It’s not just that we’re offering a solution which is delivering results or seeing those results, seeing the first customer’s release. This is something I feel proud of, but also making sure we’re as a company, providing something more also to society. There’s another line of companies that they need to offer highly value added jobs, like really helping people be better professionals and be better people. Also in society. There’s much more into it. I’m really grateful. I’m not sure what will happen with in two years, five years, 20 years, but really when it comes to the end of the day, I say I’m grateful for the point where we are and really proud of everything we’ve accomplished altogether. So really working as a team. I mean the friends I’ve also met, not just colleagues, but have become friends also and working all together for one unique purpose. I’m really proud of that.

Enrique Alvarez (27:50):

By the way, are your grandparents still with you?

Cristina Aleixendri (27:53):

No, unfortunately not.

Enrique Alvarez (27:54):

What were their names? It sounds like they were like the initial seed that actually led you to what you had been doing. They must have been once again, really proud of you. But

Cristina Aleixendri (28:02):

My grandfather was named equally as me, but not Christina. Christina, which is a very weird Spanish name because the male name for Christina would be Christian or something like that. But it was named Christina. That was the name. I’ve

Nuria Sierra (28:16):

Never heard that.

Cristina Aleixendri (28:18):

Yeah, it’s very strange. He wanted everybody named called him Lorenzo, which is like the second name that they provide you when in the church anyways, but his official name was Christina.

Enrique Alvarez (28:33):

Oh, nice. Well thanks to your grandparents and your family and thank you once again for your success.

Nuria Sierra (28:40):

So Christina, something that Vector and bound for Blue have in common is that both pursue a great purpose. So I would like to ask you, what does the phrase logistics with purpose mean to you?

Cristina Aleixendri (28:53):

When I think about with purpose, just the word with purpose, I always think that all the jobs have a real purpose behind. And I really think about one of really, I was surprised, there was somebody cleaning the windows and you could think, okay, I’m just cleaning a window and I could be very angry because really what’s the purpose behind? But that person was smiling and you asked him and he said, I’m happy because I’m bringing more light into the life of the people that are working inside the building. So that is what purpose means. I mean, logistics is logistic and you can go to the dictionary and find the dictionary behind what logistic means, but then it’s the purpose of what you do that matters. And I think all jobs and all sectors, all industries should have a real purpose behind really. Logistics has this deep purpose that it’s em impacting everybody’s life. I mean, we’re seeing it every day, how really a disruption in logistics is affecting energy that arrives, the price, the time, electronics, everything is going on a ship or nearly everything I would say. I really cannot say anything that is not shipped. So basically it’s this purpose behind, and I really like this analogy with the person cleaning the windows.

Enrique Alvarez (29:56):

That’s definitely a powerful analogy. Yeah, that’s a good one. Changing gears again, if you’re up for this and thank you once again, we imagine that since you’ve always done things a little bit different and you’re pushing the envelope and you like to create and innovate, we’ve never had this section where we ask short quick questions and you just have to answer them with whatever comes to your mind. But if you’re game, we can try it with you for the first time ever. Are you, let’s go. Okay with it. Yes. Alright, let’s do it. So short, quick, first that comes to your mind, answers for the following questions. Here we go. Ready? What’s the last book you read?

Cristina Aleixendri (30:33):

Fortunately or unfortunately, reinventing Organizations. Oh wow. That was suggesting from a friend of mine.

Enrique Alvarez (30:41):

Alright, we’ll add the link as well to the conversation so that people can check that book out and get to know you better through what you read. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received

Cristina Aleixendri (30:50):

From my mother? Follow your heart.

Enrique Alvarez (30:52):

What’s your go-to productivity hack that keeps you on top of your tasks?

Cristina Aleixendri (30:57):

Say no,

Enrique Alvarez (30:58):

Say no. I love that. Isn’t it a lot more difficult than it should be though? I’m terrible at saying no, but you’re right.

Cristina Aleixendri (31:08):

You always need to justify yourself. But if you always say yes, then when the moment arrives you say, why did I said yes? Now I have very important things on my table that I cannot really pay attention to. So say no,

Enrique Alvarez (31:21):

That’s hard. Activity hack. Say, no, I love that. What three items would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? Three items for an engineer,

Cristina Aleixendri (31:30):

Something to start a fire. Fire. I want to cook and I don’t want to eat

Enrique Alvarez (31:36):

Raw.

Cristina Aleixendri (31:37):

I’m not sure. I mean I like raw fish, but really cooked one is better. Some solar powered like satellite or something. I mean I’m engineer, I’m not idiot. So

Enrique Alvarez (31:46):

Solar powered satellite. All right.

Cristina Aleixendri (31:48):

Something to ask for help when an urban goes by or a ship nearby. And some sort of desalinization too. I want to drink the water. Unsalted water. They’re very engineer based, right?

Enrique Alvarez (32:00):

Well, you would survive though on a deserted island. I wouldn’t mind actually having any of those items. And the last one, what mantra or motivates you when you’re facing challenges?

Cristina Aleixendri (32:10):

This one is also from my mother, which I always apply and it’s tomorrow will be another day. So really sometimes you have a very bad day and you really believe this will not go by, but then tomorrow will be another day. And this really helps me to keep moving. I still work, but I know that someday this will pass.

Nuria Sierra (32:25):

Your mom is really wise. I love it. So Christina, how can our listeners connect with you and of course, learn more about For Blue

Cristina Aleixendri (32:36):

For sure. Going to the website blue com with a four that it’s a number. That’s the pay of words. Then we’re on LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn too, and quite active there. And we also have different social media accounts like Facebook, like Instagram, Twitter. I mean we’re much more active on LinkedIn and I think that’s the best way. But yeah. And then you can also email us to blue com and my colleagues will be happy to share questions.

Enrique Alvarez (33:02):

Absolutely. And if everyone’s listening, I want to know more about you, your company. You’ve heard Christina go to that if you’re a venture capitalism, want to actually invest in a very successful company, you should reach Christina too, because Time’s running up. I’m sure she’s getting a lot of phone calls about her company. Christina, thank you so much. Thanks to our logistics with purpose audience, Nuria. Thank you. Always a pleasure sharing these interviews with you and join us for the next one. Have a good day.

 

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Featured Guests

Cristina Aleixendri, COO and co-founder of bound4blue, holds a BSc. & MSc. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and an Executive MBA from IESE Business School. She has also attended several programs at the University of Cambridge, ESADE Business School and Singularity University. Cristina has participated in more than 10 national and European projects, being the inventor of more than 5 patents in the field of wind-assisted propulsion systems and its various applications. Connect with Cristina on LinkedIn.

Nuria Sierra is a growth marketer with 20+ years experience developing and managing inbound content marketing strategies to empower brands to tell their story with clarity and connect with their audiences in the US, UK, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and Portugal. Nuria is deeply passionate about digital marketing, branding, and making a positive social impact.  
She believes that our life is changing the world every day. If we choose to live positive values and do good in those around us, we are changing the world for the better.
Currently, she is changing the world as Sales & Marketing Manager at Vector Global Logistics.  Connect with Nuria on Linkedin.

Hosts

Enrique Alvarez

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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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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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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 Reuter

Host

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

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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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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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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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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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

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

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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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker

Host

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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr

Host

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

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Marcia Williams

Host

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

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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