Supply Chain Now
Episode 837

We live in a world with finite resources, and we need to find a way to better utilize those resources. In the case of Yamaha, their products are made well enough to have a secondary or tertiary life. Let's find a way to put those products into the hands of someone that values them.

-Eric Aparicio, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at Yamaha Corporation of America

Episode Summary

This episode was recorded at the 18th annual Reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, the center returns management, reverse logistics, and more.

Host Scott Luton was joined by Eric Aparicio, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at Yamaha Corporation of America, the largest musical instrument manufacturer in the world. Even though reverse logistics is not part of his formal role, Yamaha allows team members the flexibility to invest time in things that are of interest to them – and for Eric that is circularity and reusing products.

Eric shares his perspective on:

  • How the pandemic affected the labor force and downstream production
  • The significant and unsustainable costs associated with poor management of returns
  • The value that exists in returned goods if companies can find the right way to repurpose them

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 entities Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton with supply chain now welcome to today’s show. We are continuing our coverage of the 18th annual reverse logistics Associa conference and expo right here in Vegas, which is, is the center of, uh, all things center of the universe for all things, returns management, reverse logistics and more, uh, right here. Uh, this week in Vegas, I’m joined by my newest best friend when welcome in Eric Aparicio senior director for strategic market at Yamaha corporation of America. Eric, how you doing?

Eric Aparicio (01:05):

Thank you, Scott. I’m doing great. Very happy to be here.

Scott Luton (01:07):

Great to have you here. I tell you we should have started rolling earlier, cuz I just love the story you shared a second ago. Sure. About what, what this makes, why this field, this, this aspect of industry is a passion. Your so we’ll touch on that again here. All right. You got it just a moment. But before we get there, Eric, let’s get to know you a little better. All right. So I wanna start with where you grew up. So tell us, give us some context on where you grew up.

Eric Aparicio (01:30):

Well, I am California born and raised. I’ve uh, lived in California all my life. And so by default, that means that I’m a Dodger fan, no matter what. And uh, if you’re a Dodger fan, you cannot like San Cisco teams.

Scott Luton (01:46):

So what part of California?

Eric Aparicio (01:48):

Um, Southern California. I spec I come from a little town, little working class town called ENT there in LA county.

Scott Luton (01:55):

And so you had to be a Dodgers fan growing up.

Eric Aparicio (01:57):

You had to be a Dodge fan grow.

Scott Luton (01:58):

Now don’t hate me. Don’t hate me born and raised a Braze fan Atlanta bras. I that’s. Okay. And we finally, Hey, we finally had a little, a moment in the sun first time since 1995. Yep. And we had to go through title town, which LA Dodgers. Um, I was there for game six.

Eric Aparicio (02:14):

That was a crushing defeat

Scott Luton (02:16):

Man. It was well, it hurt. I’m very humble. So I don’t mean, I don’t mean to bring it up to, uh, no it’s okay. Or salt and wounds, but I was there with my wife, a man and my three kids. I was very fortunate. A buddy of mine had tickets. Yep. And it’s one of those moments I got on, on, on my phone. It’s one of those moments that, you know, our family were a member cause we were all there together. Absolutely. For a long that’s the beauty of sports, especially in this pandemic environment right

Eric Aparicio (02:39):

Now. Right. Yep. And it was great that you could share that with your family cuz they’ll all remember that. Right, right. Share family memory.

Scott Luton (02:45):

And also don’t, I’m not too, uh, shy. I bring it up cause gosh, Dodgers have been so good for so long and lots of titles and you’ll, you’ll be right back there, you know, in the playoffs I’m sure.

Eric Aparicio (02:55):

Well, let’s hope so.

Scott Luton (02:56):

If we see baseball in 2022, let’s get these discussions done and lift the lock up and, and get to people what they want. Right. That’s

Eric Aparicio (03:04):

Right. That’s right. My, uh, friend to talk my brother into joining me for opening day, but his wife’s a bit of a germophobe and so I’m not sure

Scott Luton (03:12):

Again. Oh, okay. So she’s got, she might have a little longer of a return. Yeah.

Eric Aparicio (03:15):

That’s

Scott Luton (03:15):

Right to normal. Okay. Well let’s shift gears kinda sounds like. So Dodgers have, have been one of your favorite sports teams of all time. That’s right. What else? Any, any other team you can mention?

Eric Aparicio (03:28):

Well, you know, I used to be more actively involved in sports, but when my kids were young, it was soccer and baseball and I coached teams and then really they, uh, they got a high school band and so I was a band dad. Right. You know, moving, moving gear around

Scott Luton (03:44):

Logistics

Eric Aparicio (03:45):

Constantly. Yes. And uh, and so, and I did, and I did that continuously for literally about a decade. And so afterwards not really being around sports as much, my attention gravitated to different different hobbies.

Scott Luton (03:59):

That’s important. You flex that’s that’s right. You flex and evolve. That’s right. So what sport, one more follow up question on sports. What sport was your favorite to coach?

Eric Aparicio (04:08):

To coach? I would say soccer.

Scott Luton (04:11):

Soccer. Yes. Uh, did you play as a kid?

Eric Aparicio (04:14):

I did not play as a kid. I was never really exposed to soccer, but my daughter loved soccer. We, she, she was a little girl. We started her one season in softball and one season in soccer, ASO, and she gravitated towards the soccer. So I learned about soccer became a ref, became a coach.

Scott Luton (04:31):

Love it. Yeah. That’s all it. That’s all it takes. Right. The kids take an interest and we’re gonna support

Eric Aparicio (04:35):

That’s right. I’m not a soccer fan. I’m a Gracie fan.

Scott Luton (04:39):

All right. Final question. We’re getting to know Eric Aparicio, favorite movie or book. Give us one.

Eric Aparicio (04:45):

I have favorite movies by genre. And so I, I chose to focus on, on a book and it’s not my favorite book, but it’s the book that I just finished reading. It’s called the QBQ by John Miller. Okay. The QBQ. Yeah. The QB Q stands for question beyond the question. And it’s a book about personal accountability, both personally and professionally. And, uh, the QBQ stands for the question beyond the question. And, uh, part of the book talks about how oftentimes we ask the wrong questions, right? So it talks about often questions to start with when and why are you usually the wrong questions and questions that begin with how and what are you usually better questions. So as an example, you know, the question is when are they gonna hire more people? So I don’t have to work so much. That’s kind of the wrong question, right? The right question is what can I do to help my organization be more successful so that we can hire more folks

Scott Luton (05:45):

Love that. It sounds like a, are you embracing the right mindset?

Eric Aparicio (05:48):

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (05:50):

Yeah. I love that. Okay. So new one for me, the question beyond the question. Yes. Right?

Eric Aparicio (05:55):

It’s a, it’s a short, easy read. It’s written very well.

Scott Luton (05:58):

Okay. All right. We’re gonna check that out. Okay. So let’s shift gears over to the year that continues teaching us all. And that’s 2021, right? Of course last couple years have taught us plenty. But when you think of key Eureka moments from last year, what’s one that comes mind.

Eric Aparicio (06:15):

I’d have to say connect activity. I think most folks didn’t really give a second thought to supply chain, right? Or give a second thought to pandemics that they had heard about happening elsewhere in the world. And the fact that a virus that originated someplace else infected the entire world and in that process, as it affected our supply chain and people didn’t understand, Hey, when the labor force for this particular manufacturing organization, when that labor force is affected and it affects production, there’s this ripple effect that goes downstream. And I, I think the big Eureka Mo moment is just about connection and that the world’s a pretty small place. And uh, whether we like it or not, we’re all in it together. Yeah.

Scott Luton (07:02):

I love that. The power of, of connectivity.

Eric Aparicio (07:04):

That’s right.

Scott Luton (07:05):

So let’s talk about, you know, everyone is familiar with Yamaha. They may, you know, everyone may not be familiar, but all the different products and all different aspects of the business. Tell us a little more about Yamaha and then your role Eric.

Eric Aparicio (07:16):

All right. Well, Yamaha is, is a really great place to work. They’re the, uh, largest musical instrument manufacturer in the world they make about everything that you can think of if you go to a concert. Yep. Whether it’s a guitar, a drum, a keyboard, a synthesizer, a digital mixer, the PA that’s hanging from the trust. They make it all. And um, yeah, they’re the largest music manufacture in the world and they’re a good, great place to work for. Yeah.

Scott Luton (07:43):

How long have you been with them?

Eric Aparicio (07:44):

I’ve been with them for just a little upwards of 25 years. Really? 25 years. Yes.

Scott Luton (07:48):

Holy cow. Was it your first job outta school?

Eric Aparicio (07:50):

No, it wasn’t. I worked for a small retailer in orange county when I first started in that company. It, it was small and I value it because it’s where I cut my teeth. But, um, they didn’t really have a mission and vision and company values and Yamaha really does.

Scott Luton (08:10):

So congratulations on almost 25 years of service to the largest, amongst other things, the largest musical instrument company manufacturing in the world. That’s right. I’ve forgotten that side of the business. And I, and I share with you, I think pre-show, I worked for a great, uh, organization learned a lot of things in, in the middle stamping industry. Right. Ages. It feels like ages ago. It’s probably like 10 years ago. Uh, but Yamaha’s one of the companies we dealt with. You’re new and Georgia facility. Yep.

Eric Aparicio (08:37):

That’s Yaha motors,

Scott Luton (08:37):

Uh, Janet and the rest of the team down there. Great people. I think the new facility, uh, as I can recall, watercraft golf carts, I believe. And, and some other and some ATV products, perhaps. Yes. But, uh, what you’re speaking to in terms of a great place to work, we saw a lot of that, uh, in our interaction with them. Right. So it seems like a pretty strong culture there at Yamaha.

Eric Aparicio (08:59):

It is, it’s a great culture. They’re, uh, very employee centric. And, um, I like there because I like working there because it resonates with me. We don’t make products that hurt people that hurt the environment. We make musical instruments so that other people can make music, which enriches everybody’s life.

Scott Luton (09:18):

Do you play any musical

Eric Aparicio (09:19):

Instruments? I don’t, no, I don’t.

Scott Luton (09:22):

There’s still time,

Eric Aparicio (09:24):

Time. There’s still time. That’s right.

Scott Luton (09:25):

All right. Let’s shift gears. Let’s get to kind of the, uh, super of the day, the topics of the day. And before we ask you about, you know, some of the things you’re focused on when it comes to returns management, reverse logistics, as, as you were just approaching the stage here, we’re getting, y’all set up. You mentioned how this is not formally part. I, I think that’s right. Formally part of your, your role, but you’re real passionate about this field. So, so let’s start there. Why are you so passionate?

Eric Aparicio (09:50):

Well, I’m so passionate about it because I grew up in a lower or middle class household and, uh, we didn’t waste anything and, uh, it just wasn’t an option. And so I grew up with that mindset and our, our president, Tom Sumner, he used to be the general manager of a mass market division. And, um, he was my manager and our division was losing money. It was losing money is we didn’t have a good solution for returns. And we were just simply liquidating them and it was an unsustainable practice. And so Tom gave me the task of trying to figure out a better way and working with a bunch of people, way smarter than me, we figured out a way to basically out the really great product that was resellable, that was B and C stock. And for the stuff that really wasn’t sellable, we found a, uh, qualified, responsible recycler to do their best with it.

Scott Luton (10:49):

I love that. So going back to the culture of the company, sounds like leadership empowers you to kind of pursue where you can, uh, add more to the equation, even outside of your formal job description.

Eric Aparicio (11:01):

That would be a correct description of Yamaha.

Scott Luton (11:03):

Okay. All right. So then let’s get to, you know, again here at the RLA conference, NPO, the center of the universe for all things returns, right? Returns management, reverse logistics. What’s a couple things that you’re tracking in this space and focused on more than others right now,

Eric Aparicio (11:20):

Right now, for me, it’s the message of circularity and the circular economy. And I think that that’s, that’s a message that cannot get enough attention. The idea that we live in a world with finite resources, and we need to find a way to better utilize those resources. And so in the case of Yamaha, their products are made well enough to have a secondary tertiary life. And so let’s find a way to put that, put those products back into the hands of someone else that values having that product. And so I love that message of circularity.

Scott Luton (11:55):

Yeah. Agreed. And there’s so much more we can do when it comes to circularity, especially as you move it upstream into, I think, as you mentioned it, uh, product design. Yes. You know, and how can we really design products so that, you know, recycling and, and getting them reused into the next product that’s right. There can be more there. We can avoid the landfall altogether that’s landfill altogether. Right. Absolutely. All right. Anything else before we get into a big, bold prediction and I, I’m looking forward to your answer there, uh, to our based on our pre-show conversation, anything else when, when it comes to this space and how you’re benchmarking and you’re, you’re gathering data, sounds like you’re having a lot of interesting conversations with other that, you know, are, are, are finding new ways of doing things like you are anything else really stick out in your mind,

Eric Aparicio (12:39):

You know, for anybody else that is thinking about reverse logistics and helping to take your company into that next stage. You know, it’s really important to understand, and to identify the cost of reverse logistics, because it’s not, it’s not as visible to your C-suite executives as other elements of the P and L might be, right. So for, for a P and L you know, right away what your margin is, it’s right there, front and center. But, uh, the concept of, you know, what are my reverse logistics costing me and what is my asset recovery? It’s, it’s, it’s much further down that you really have to dig to find it

Scott Luton (13:22):

Excellent point. And we all know if you can’t see it, it becomes really tough to manage you.

Eric Aparicio (13:27):

Right. That’s that’s right.

Scott Luton (13:28):

Okay. On that note, skip to big, bad, bold prediction mode with Eric, uh, Aparicio. So talk to us any, any bold prediction you wanna make for the rest of 2022, what we’re gonna see?

Eric Aparicio (13:42):

Well, I like to preface this by saying I’m driven by data, so I’m not given to big, bold predictions, but, uh, just for this one time, I really think that with the, this will awareness of supply chain that COVID has created and this sense of connectivity that we all have now, I really think that the idea of circularity and the idea of reusing products, it, to me, it, it used to seem like kind of a fundamental, fundamental American value. And maybe that’s gotten lost because we’ve become a, a culture of disposal. You know, you know, let’s not fix the TV anymore. Let’s go buy a new one. It’s complacent. Yes. And I really think that the idea of circularity is gonna come roaring back and people are gonna understand it and see it for what it is.

Scott Luton (14:33):

I love that answer, Eric. So thank you for indulging the us.

Eric Aparicio (14:36):

Thank you very much. All

Scott Luton (14:37):

Right. So how can Vos connect with you in Yamaha? Eric?

Eric Aparicio (14:40):

You can reach me at, um, my profile on LinkedIn under my name, Eric Opio, or you can reach me at, uh, E aparicio@yamaha.com.

Scott Luton (14:52):

Okay. It’s just that easy. And of course, easy. We’ll have that in the, uh, show notes of the episode page. So I, we encourage y’all to connect with Eric. I love your passion. I love your, your fact finding and your data, uh, centric disposition. That’s important these days. Isn’t it? Absolutely.

Eric Aparicio (15:08):

Absolutely. Let’s make that’s how we make good decisions. That’s

Scott Luton (15:10):

Right. Uh, good decisions fast. All right. Big, thanks to, uh, joining us today. Eric, Ricio senior director of strategic marketing at Yamaha corporation of America. Hey, folks, stay tuned as we continue our coverage here in Vegas at the 20 C 2022 reverse logistics association conference and expo the 18th annual event, where folks are they’re on the move, trying to find better solutions to old and new problems. Absolutely. So, Hey, signing off for our supply chain now team, this is Scott Luton, challenging you do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed on that note. We see next time, right back here at supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (15:50):

Thanks for being 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

Eric Aparicio is the Senior Director of Strategic Marketing for Yamaha Corporation of America. Eric has been a marketing professional in the music industry for over 25 years. Eric is passionate about music and happy to work at a company like Yamaha, whose vision is a world filled with music lovers inspired to make music to enrich the lives of people around the world. Eric is also freakishly passionate about the environment and sustainability. He believes that a strong reverse logistics strategy is the backbone of sustainability and presents a unique marketing opportunity. The Reverse Logistics Association is a fantastic organization that truly understands the value of the circular economy. Eric has been a member of the RLA for many years. Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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.

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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 transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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