Logistics with Purpose
Episode 84

Crisis work is a logistics challenge: the right people, the right things, at the right time. Too early is just as bad as too late.

-David Burke, Chief Programs Officer at Team Rubicon

Episode Summary

Team Rubicon has been in operation for 13 years, during which time they have worked in 1,100 different disasters or crises across the country and around the world. The premise of the organization is that military veterans have great experience that can be applied in a disaster relief context and that the military culture and ethos – a bias for action – is attractive to a much broader base than the veteran community.

In this episode of Logistics with Purpose, Kristi Porter and Maureen Woolshlager are joined by David Burke, Chief Programs Officer at Team Rubicon and a Marine Corps veteran. In his current role, he spearheads Team Rubicon’s efforts to scale up the delivery of disaster services and life-saving humanitarian aid through safe, effective, and meaningful staff and volunteer implementation. Listen in as he talks about how he found his way from a career in the military to a leadership role at Team Rubicon.

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.

Kristi Porter (00:35):

Hi, and thank you so much for joining us for another episode of Logistics With Purpose. I am here with my somewhat consistent now cohort in crime, Marine Wool, shrugger. How are you Maureen?

Maureen Woolshlager (00:48):

Hi Kristi. I’m doing great. How are you doing?

Kristi Porter (00:50):

I’m good. I’m excited. This was a, again, a company we’ve talked about an organization we’ve talked about for a long time and we’ve been fans of their work. I know you have specific interest in their work, which you’ll talk a little bit more about later as well. But we’re thrilled to have finally get this conversation set up and bring it to everyone out there. So I’ll let you introduce our guest today.

Maureen Woolshlager (01:10):

Well, today we have David Burke, who is Gray shirt and chief programs officer at Team Lak. So welcome David. Welcome.

David Burke (01:19):

Thank you Maureen. Thanks Christie. Yeah.

Maureen Woolshlager (01:21):

Yes, we appreciate you getting up. This is earlier in the morning. Yes. Where you are. And it’s a Monday, so we appreciate you, uh, double duty, taking the time for us here and

Kristi Porter (01:30):

Welcome we kids.

Maureen Woolshlager (01:31):

Yes. Two babies.

David Burke (01:34):

Two babies at Elm.

Kristi Porter (01:35):

Yes. So first of all, well of course we wanna hear about what Team Rubicon is doing out in the world to make the better place. But first we wanna talk a little bit about you and hear a little bit about your story. So tell us where you grew up, about your childhood and sort of those early years of your life.

David Burke (01:53):

Yeah. I grew up in Bendorf, Iowa and the Quad City’s right on the Mississippi River. And spent my whole childhood in one community. We moved around a little bit, but stayed in the same general area and stayed in Iowa for college. Went to the University of Iowa and finished a degree in marketing before joining the Marine Corps. You know, I think about early years and, and kind of how it connects to what I do today. It was really seeing family, both grandparents served, a couple of my uncles served in the military, but my family’s biggest kind of source of service was in the church. I didn’t have the, haven’t had the same experience as I grew up, but, you know, found that influence of seeing my aunts and uncles and my parents serve in that way. Um, really influenced kind of where I’ve gone in my professional career.

Kristi Porter (02:47):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

Maureen Woolshlager (02:48):

Looking back, is there like a story or a particular experience from that time that you think has helped shaped who you are or that you carry around with you and you think about often?

David Burke (02:58):

Yeah, something I carry around a little bit, Maureen, is it’s always a sad story, right? That kind of shapes who you are and teaches you a little bit about the rest of the world. But when I was in high school, I’d kind of stepped away from a lot of sports. I had a couple of sports I stayed active in but wasn’t constantly busy all year. And the counselor called me into his office one day, our guidance counselor at the school, and he said, Hey, I’ve got a, I’ve got an opportunity for you. It’s kind of work, but I think you might be the person to help this family. And the family was a, a single mother and a young boy who was autistic and I spent every day after school that wasn’t in season with this young man and and his mom. And saw how challenging life can be for some families and saw the difference in kind of lived experience that people have across the whole spectrum. And it’s stuck with me to just understand how that changes people’s ability to function day to day and what their most important thing of the day is compared to a family that may not have that challenge in the home or different means to deal with it or a different approach. So I think working with Jack when I was really young and getting to know his mom and their life was something that just influenced my understanding of how people look day to day.

Kristi Porter (04:26):

Yeah. And just, yeah, like you said, living day to day differently, but just the sort of what you show up with on a daily basis to wherever, community job, everything you’re from, everywhere that you go in your background, it sort of takes on a new, a new understanding and you never know what’s going on behind the scenes with people. So that’s a lovely way to see it up close. And sounds like a really terrific time of your life. Let’s fast forward a little bit to your professional journey. As you mentioned you have a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Iowa and then you trained in crisis leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. Two very different paths, although in marketing myself, I can understand there are plenty of crisis that come up. So tell us a little bit about kind of those two experiences and what you learned at those times.

David Burke (05:16):

Well, half of marketing is managing crisis, right, Kristy? Yes,

Kristi Porter (05:19):


David Burke (05:20):

So super different timeframes in my life and very different experiences. But the, I went to undergrad thinking I was going to try to do something in the medical field and realized that me in organic chemistry was kind of a crisis. So those to go a different path. And as I bounced around every different school or potential opportunity at University of Iowa trying to figure out where I was gonna go and what I was gonna do, I kind of realized that there’s an opportunity to do something more than get a degree, get a corporate job, sit at a desk or start a small business or a private practice and had an opportunity while I was still young and able to do something that might require some physicality, but hopefully offered an opportunity for leadership experience and management experience. And so I found the Marine Corps officer programs about halfway through college and at that point it was the requirement for a Marine Corps officer program was to get a degree.

David Burke (06:21):

So I just had to pick the discipline that was gonna work for me and I wanted to make sure it was applicable to a post-service, post-service life if I didn’t make a career out of it. And going through all these decisions when you’re 20 years old is really just a best guess. And as I navigated my way into the Marine Corps, became a logistics officer and served about five years, LED people led mission, had a very close connection, understanding to the purpose of every day. And that kind of moved me down this path of leadership and management as a career. And I’ve tried a few different things along the way outside of service that didn’t quite fit for me. I went into the corporate world with a big company that’s ubiquitous for shipping things and having something to your door in two days and just really didn’t enjoy the experience, did some consulting and I found my way to Team Rubicon and that’s actually when I saw some of the executive education programs at Harvard and looked at a course that was, it was only a week long course, but it had a huge impact and influence on the way I think about crisis and the way I think about emergency management disaster relief.

David Burke (07:37):

And so the course there really kind of shaped a little bit of how Team Rubicon’s been built and what we do and how we look at the space of coordination post-disaster.

Kristi Porter (07:47):

And what was one of those lessons, if you can share with

David Burke (07:49):

Us? I think the biggest one in, but coming from a big 10 school in the Midwest, you don’t, you almost want to not like the Harvard class, right? You’re kind of like, ah, it can’t be that good. It was actually that good. And

Maureen Woolshlager (08:01):

You’re like, it’s all plea, it’s all, you know, khaki and tired. It’s different, there’s so football here, right? Yeah.

David Burke (08:09):

<laugh>. But there were two, two great professors that’ll drive me nuts. I can’t remember the two names and it was only a week. But the biggest piece that helped me understand after a few years of work in a disaster and listening to these folks that have been studying crisis AC academically, the idea of emergence theory and that the connections that need to be made and the immediate hours and days after a crisis or at the start of a crisis will happen. And you can try to circumvent it. You can try to do everything possible before a crisis happens and you should, it’s worthwhile investment, but every single one you’ll see a different network evolve and emerge from whatever challenge is facing a population. And to some degree you have to put in prep work to understand that will happen as much as you do to try to circumvent it from happening before the disaster.

David Burke (09:10):

The, the flexibility to, to work in that early hours and days ambiguity is critically important to the work that we do. And just having someone in a position of, you know, kind of academic authority be able to frame it in a way that was relatively easy to understand really helped me think through what the opportunity space is. And again, it doesn’t stop folks from investing before disasters and before crisis, but if you don’t allow the flexibility for things to happen after, after the fact, then you’re kind of fight against reality in some ways. Wow. That is a great lesson.

Maureen Woolshlager (09:50):

Yeah, we, she definitely mentioned less than 1% of the United States population like serves in the active duty military. So for you to kind of go and take that route is in itself a little bit unique. Right. So you were studying undergrad at the University of Iowa and then you transitioned into the Marine Corps. Um, and I guess I have two questions about this, but one was like how did you feel that transition went and did you feel prepared for kind of the experiences that you were gonna have there? But then after you just spoke about the leadership crisis class at Harvard, do you feel like your experience in the Marine Corps helped you prepare more than maybe some of your peers in that program? Because you’ve already kind of lived some of that in a, in an environment that had a lot of resources, whereas most disasters don’t always have that when people are responding.

David Burke (10:48):

Yeah. Two parts. So the first part, did typical high school college prepare me for the Marine Corps? I think yes and no. I don’t think there’s anything that really prepares a 22 year old to take a commission in the military. Maybe the academies are totally different. But I went through the Marine Corps calls it platoon leaders course two summers during college I went to six weeks of officer bootcamp, officer candidate school. And I think that generally kind of prepared you for the environment and expectation, but it’s, I think it’s an entirely individual reaction and experience to standing in front of Marines for the first time, not in a training environment where they expect you to lead a team, a department, an organization, and set the right example, make the right decisions, push on the right things and take the right advice from your senior enlisted leaders. I think that’s almost has to be a live experience. They understand what it really looks like. You can read about it all day, but until you have that responsibility loving on you and individual marines looking you in the eye saying what we do not, sir, I think that’s something you just have to experience to understand.

Maureen Woolshlager (12:02):

Um, I would say that most of this vulnerable doesn’t really understand that when you start as a young officer in any of the services that at 2122 whenever you graduate college, like you are in charge of making some of these decisions that if you were to go into a corporate environment, you wouldn’t necessarily start off with that sort of level of accountability, responsibility, decision making authority. So it’s a huge responsibility and task that I don’t know that there’s a lot of ways to compare it to, let’s say the other 99% that don’t see it, especially if you’re in a combat or a crisis situation, the stakes are a lot higher and I think that they really do train you or try to at least be a good leader and make good decisions. But like you said, you get out there, it’s different, there’s the theory and then there’s the actual, you get thrown in right away,

David Burke (13:02):

Thrown in, thrown straight into the deep end. I think there’s, there’re officers that sink and officers that swim the system and structure of the military is designed around an officer that has that responsibility and a senior enlisted leader that advises and helps grow those officers and nudges behind and says this is the right decision to make this one. And I had, I would incredibly fortunate, I had a E nine extremely senior enlisted leader that I got the privilege of working with very early and learned more from him and his leadership in how to be a good author. And he set me up for success in the very early days of my experiencer. And that’s what makes or breaks, I think Marine Corps officers or military officers in general is that opportunity to really learn from somebody that’s been in for 10 15, or in this case the master printer sergeant and been in for 26 years.

Maureen Woolshlager (13:56):

Yeah, I was gonna say if you’re 22 and you’re working within an E nine, he has a ton of experience to share with you. No,

David Burke (14:02):

So he, he definitely made me successful. There’s a lot of great, great master guns Davidson stories but that that made or break my military experience and what I was able to take from it and learn from other other staff NCOs and NCOs along the way. But it really did that, I was a logistics officer. Crisis work is a logistics challenge, the right people, the right things at the right time, too earliest, just as bad as too late. And learning to work in that environment to draw down operations. We help draw down combat operations in Iraq, moving equipment sets and battalions back home, closing battle space, handing it off. And in Afghanistan, I’m very similar to when I was there in 2011, 2012, there was a strict limit on boots on the ground. So the number of people that were allowed to be inside of Afghanistan was briefed to the Secretary of Defense every single day. And we had marines that were on such a tight timeline that the marine leaving had to fly home before the marine replacement could fly Aaron. And so just managing the logistics, the people logistics of not breaking the bog limit as it was called, but still not letting any mission fail was a super interesting space to work in. And it was again during drawdown and transition. So you’re losing the combat power, the hard target presence cuz you have to trade off who’s where and what are they doing, why you’re handing off battlespace. There’s

Maureen Woolshlager (15:36):

Not as much continuity, right. If people don’t have that, they don’t have a turnover. Yeah, yeah. I mean turnover is natural there anyway, but when you, when there’s like no, they can’t even hide five in the same unless it’s in the airspace, you know, it does Right. Make, you’re almost having to take a step back every time you’re taking a step forward I’m sure.

David Burke (15:56):

And so I think that experience really lent itself to what we do at Team Rubicon and and how we’ve built the organization to manage in of environments.

Kristi Porter (16:04):

Yeah, for sure. Well speaking of Team Rubicon, so you transitioned out of the military found Team Rubicon, so our US listeners may be very familiar, but for the rest of our audience and those who are not familiar, please explain both the mission of Team Rubicon and your role as well.

David Burke (16:23):

Yeah, so Team Rubicons of veteran led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, after crises. So that, that’s a typical mission statement, get everything in there. But we’ve, we really started as a veteran based organization and had a predominantly veteran volunteer base over the years that’s expanded. We’ve got a ton of veteran leadership but we have as many civilian volunteers and staff members as we do veterans. So the organization’s broadened that veteran leadership in a humanitarian organization. We’ve realized over the years every action the organization’s taken has been a humanitarian action. Sometimes we focus on disasters. The domestic context may not lend itself to the word humanitarian, but helping someone on a bad day is always a humanitarian action. So we’ve been in operations for 13 years, worked in 1100 different disasters or crises across the country, around the world. And the premise of the organization is that a military veteran has great experience that applies to the disaster relief context and that military culture and ethos is attractive to a much broader base than just our veterans.

David Burke (17:36):

So that culture and ethos of bias for action, cutting through as much red tape as we can, but doing it with good risk mitigation skills and good safety awareness has let the organization grow to about 160,000 volunteers across the country that work both domestically and overseas. And the mission has grown to mitigation response and recovery work tied to disasters. So we help mitigate fires before they happen at individual properties and for community assets and infrastructure we respond and help homeowners directly with things like getting all the flood laden water and debris out of a home so they can start the rebuild process. And then we do work in some communities to rebuild homes and get families back into a stable hygienic, more resilient home than pre-storm. So hopefully it can weather the next one better. And overseas we do medical and water work to make sure that folks can stabilize immediately post-disaster or human cause crisis. And I’ve been with the organization for just over 10 years and I’m the chief programs officer so I help work with teams across all that programming to design and train for and build capacity to execute it. And it’s been a hell of a 10 year ride helping build the organization

Kristi Porter (18:58):

For sure. Well you shared some of the statistics, which is incredible in of itself. Do you have one or two stories, success stories that you can share either from your time personally out there giving back or ones that are really popular within the organization itself or that you love?

David Burke (19:16):

Yeah, we’re never shy from capturing inflection points or points of change. I think the one that that still sticks with me is Hurricane Harvey, hurricane Irma, hurricane Maria, the 2017 hurricane season that was, yeah, just devastating across from Corpus Christa, Puerto Rico. Everything in between was impacted to some degree by one of those three hurricanes and it was a an inflection point for the organization cuz when Harvey hit much like the rest of the emergency management space, disaster philanthropy space and the nonprofit space, everybody went, everybody ran headfirst into Harvey thinking most years you get a couple of major landfalls and they’re spread far enough apart that you can get some work done reconstitute and be ready for the next one. Irma and Maria were so close behind Hurricane Harvey that the ability to flex any resources to those two was stressful across the whole system.

David Burke (20:21):

But we did 2000 gray shirts we’re volunteers called Gray shirts. It’s our uniform, it’s owed to the military culture and ethos, but every gray shirt is a gray shirt first and then has a role in the organization that they play. But we sent nearly 2000 to the Harvey affected area and that was from the Texas Louisiana border all the way down to Corpus Rockport, Texas and huge, huge amount of work across I think a total of eight different operating areas there. And then we were able to have the capacity to get three operating areas in the Irma affected area in Florida and then an additional team to work in Puerto Rico. And then in the aftermath that really launched the organization’s long-term recovery and rebuild programming. So we still have teams rebuilding homes that were affected by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston and greater Houston area.

David Burke (21:21):

We built over 40 homes in Florida after Hurricane Irma put 500 salmons back under hurricane resilient roofs in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. And this last year after Hurricane Fiona took a similar path into Puerto Rico that Irma did, we found three of those roofs that had been leaking and went back and helped those families get those repaired. But three outta 500 after five years and multiple storms was, was pretty good. So that’s probably one that sticks with me more than, more than some. But there’s a hundred experiences on small scale events that are similar for the family but so different for the community and the country at large. You don’t hear about the floods that are happening in Chinle, Arizona on the Navajo Nation. You don’t hear about small tornadoes in the Midwest that only a few families are affected by. That family’s experience is no different than the thousands and millions of people that would affect the bys big storm. So the ability to get gray shirts to these small communities is just as impactful, but doesn’t necessarily connect or stress the organization the way these big events do.

Kristi Porter (22:35):

Yeah. What is that dec, I guess on two fronts, what is that decision making process like? Both from, as you said, there are sometimes when only a few people are affected that may not make the headlines as some of these others do. So how is it decided, yes, we’re gonna step into that space as well. And then kind of the same thing on the rebuilding front. I don’t think the Reil rebuilding front happens at every location as well. So what is the decision making process there? Should we stay or should we go?

David Burke (23:03):

So there, yeah, there’s a couple parts. We always say a disaster happens when a local community’s overwhelmed. That can happen at the household level, you just your family or it can happen on the block or it can happen in a big city like Houston. But if the, if we identify a community that’s been overwhelmed and we identify a vulnerable population, it could be again one family, it could be a whole census tractor, it could be a whole county. But if we identify community that’s been overwhelmed, a vulnerability that warrants the work and we have the resources to do it, that’s kind of the kind of the decision process. So we always look at social vulnerability index is a great guide tool to see where the community’s gonna need the most held and overlay that with where was impacted by a disaster. So the two of those start to guide the resources and then you show up and sometimes you show up and there are 10 organizations already there.

David Burke (24:03):

And that is usually an indicator for us that we should look a little harder and see if somebody’s not getting help because it didn’t make the new cycle or it was slightly lower on the vulnerability index or some other variable that got met. Because the, again, back to the emergence theory, if you see one community on the news that was impacted, that’s the easy starting point for all organizations to go. You’re gonna find somebody that needs help. But if you don’t zoom out again and look and say, well there’s a ton of resources here where might be missing. So we try to find the communities that need the most help. And when resources are rich, we try to reorient, not overwhelm a community with additional support. And then on the rebuild side, it’s very, very similar. One of the things that we’re working really hard to do is get some of our philanthropic partners to understand that low attention disasters affect families the same way as a massive hurricane or a big tornado or a big flood.

David Burke (25:06):

So we’re working with some of our philanthropic partners to make funding available or rebuild in communities that never make the news cycle and find some of those families that need the same amount of help. The resourcing number there. In those cases we work with closely with local leadership. That could be faith-based leadership, it could be a community-based organization, could be the emergency management department. Some cities are incredible about how much they know about their communities. Some communities don’t have as much insider information, but identifying the folks that are most vulnerable and making the investment in those families the same way we are able to after a major hurricane is something that will continue to kind of fight at the disaster relief space is inequitable and attention drives some of that inequity. And when, you know big corporations, big organizations want to give because they saw it on the news, it creates a resourcing environment that’s so different than the resource for a small community. And then our federal and state and local system doesn’t have the capacity to close those gaps. The federal declarations happen less often compared to the volume of increase of a frequency increase in disasters. So there’s a widening gap in resourcing for the disaster reef space that the nonprofit sector’s being asked to come into and then help more. I think I just ramed it down. Appreciate. No, you

Kristi Porter (26:34):

Given No, no, it’s really interesting.

Maureen Woolshlager (26:36):

<laugh>. No, we could eat this up all day. Yeah, this is great info because like we’re here, we’re talking about like logistics with purpose and I don’t know if we could find another organization that really embodies this and the way that that you guys do. You know, and to follow on some of the topics we’ve touched upon so far, but a lot of the skills and experiences you or anyone in the military has are unique and different from those that you get in civilian training. And do you feel like there’s any skills or experiences that you had during your time in the Marine Corps that’s really helped uh, you kind of lead your team in the disaster initiatives that Team Rubbak takes on every day? I,

David Burke (27:21):

I think we talked about it at the start Marine when, when we said the explosion and experience heat in the military is just not impossible, but near impossible to match in the zillion sector at 22 or 25 or 30 for that matter. And I think those early experiences, the weight of the responsibility, the expectation to take every situation seriously, understand the risks that you’re gonna walk into or put marines, make Marines exposed to and and really think through that mission planning, it’s directly applicable post-disaster whether you’re in a domestic context or an international context, it’s things like the water supply being unpowerful. You can’t rely on, you know, showers, water washing toilets, simple things like that that you kind of know is a planning factor. If you’ve been anywhere in the military it might take a minute or two to digest and plan against and mitigate for those basic infrastructure gaps that you’ll see post-disaster that military planners just used to, and then all the other risks that are associated.

David Burke (28:33):

And it’s everything from the personal physical risks that people accept to the environmental risks of floods, do bad things to water sources and chemical sites. And when you work in areas like Houston that’s largely driven by petrochemicals and has a bunch of different risk profiles that you don’t think about other places, we have to be super careful where we send people and what we’re asking them to do to make sure we’re taken care of our duty of care to the volunteer base and do the right thing here. So I think there’s a ton of different experiences you get in our military and in kind of rapid succession and you get re repeat experience that helps people just think about things a little bit differently when they are approaching these detection environments looking

Kristi Porter (29:18):

Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And you mentioned just now the personal responsibility, liability risks to your team and volunteers as well as responding to three hurricanes at once during one season. I’m curious, what have been some of your biggest lessons learned when responding to disasters either internationally or domestically? And that could be either just some that have been your own or maybe some in leading a team, but what were some of those big challenges that you’ve considered beyond that, that you’ve taken into account how you do things differently going forward?

David Burke (29:53):

Yeah, there’s plenty of different points. I, early, early days for Team Rubicon, we used to stand up in front of a group and say, here’s, here’s the task for the day. Who knows how to run heavy equipment? And you’re stand in front of a group of 25 or 30 or 40 half military veterans have I ready to help people, civilians. And every hand goes up <laugh> and you’re like, the likelihood that every single one of you run a bulldozer is pretty low <laugh>. And so early on we, you don’t

Maureen Woolshlager (30:24):

Have time to do a competency test, so how are we gonna whittle it down to two? Right?

David Burke (30:28):

How do we whittle it down to two or three? So yeah, we learned early on as the organization grew that the, one of the keys to scale was gonna be standardization and consistency and we had to invest in training pipelines, competency testing before disasters to make sure that we didn’t make it a bigger disaster in some ways. Or if you leave a skid steerer or an excavator broken down next to a house because you slammed into the slab too hard and broke all the hydraulic lines, that that doesn’t help the community recover. Now you’ve become another thing that has to be dealt with repaired. And so standardization consistency became really, really clear early on. We could do a lot of small team, a lot of really, really flexible fast operations as the organization’s grown and found the space that we’re most active in most consistently the training pipelines and standardization have been critical for our ability to help more communities at the same time.

David Burke (31:26):

So that, that’s probably one of the biggest lessons and I think it’s a constant for organizations that continue to grow. Uh, we’ve done work over the last four years that have been, has been well outside of our normal core operating and some of it was driven by the pandemic and some of it was driven by the rapid withdraw from Afghanistan in a doubling of their total inbound refugees for the year. And so over the last 18 months, the refugee resettlement system has been double its normal standing capacity to get Afghan allies back into the country. And so being able to flex into that space in a consistent standardized way, cuz we thought about it with the existing organizations that do the work and then flex out when the capacity goes back down, has been a another lesson that we’ve learned in that we will get asked to do anything when there’s a gap in the community.

David Burke (32:24):

And we try to say yes if we think we can do it, but make sure we know what we’re gonna do and know a little bit of what the exit plan looks like if it’s not a permanent line of operations for the organization. So thank those two building standards for the work we do all the time and knowing what the approach is to exit for work that we’re gonna do temporarily. Those are two of the probably biggest kind of guiding organizations that’s allowed us to stay flexible but grow at the pace that we have. Mm-hmm

Maureen Woolshlager (32:53):

<affirmative>. Yeah. Well I mean you guys have over 160,000 volunteers in the US and so what, you know, you mentioned some of them are military, some of are first responders, many aren’t. How do you re recruit them? You talked a little bit about training, but how do you recruit them and how do you continue to kind of expand that network? Do you utilize military connections that are a different avenue or mm-hmm <affirmative> and especially be, I think our listeners will definitely be interested in how could they become a volunteer. I know I am <laugh>

David Burke (33:26):

Team teamer on usa.org/volunteer and it’s super easy to sign up the military connections and the military and veteran organizations have been huge recruiting sources and consistency drivers for kind of the total volunteer base. The very early days it was very peer-to-peer driven, network driven, social media driven. I think in more recent years, maybe we’ll go from Hurricane Harvey forward, it’s been largely event driven. So big events happen and we get a bunch of earned media hits from different outlets. Folks find the organization, Google it and then start the process to sign up. And those events, the usually large disasters have driven big spikes in new volunteers and that’s kept the volunteer base growing. And I think what’s important about the size of the volunteer base, it’s not necessarily the number, it’s, that’s what’s necessary. Cuz volunteerism has to fit in life, right? Everybody’s at a different phase of life.

David Burke (34:28):

My volunteer time right now is a little low with two girls under two at home <laugh>. So that, that affects my kind of ebb and flow with how I participate with organizations outside of my, my work commitments. The extra time is tighter than maybe five years ago and I didn’t have any children and I had a ton more flexibility in my day-to-day schedule. So life has to line up with volunteers And so of that 160,000, we don’t have an expectation that people show up x number of days per year or month or week. We have a lot of folks that have crazy flexibility and show up for hours every week or weeks every year. And then we have folks that show up once every one, two or five years because it fits in their life. And that’s equally valuable to make sure that capacity smooths out over time. So the big numbers matter cuz that’s the potential energy of the volunteer base. It can’t all be genetic at once and that’s not the needs of primary on the needs. I’m probably gonna wander in.

Kristi Porter (35:28):

No, it’s good stuff.

Maureen Woolshlager (35:30):

Yeah. So can you talk a little bit about what your volunteers take away from these experiences?

David Burke (35:38):

Yeah. We’ve been tracking both our clients, the folks that we’re delivered services to and our volunteer base for many years now. And our volunteer base, we, we always have this theory that there are three things that are stronger in uniform than out of uniform. In uniform. Your community purpose and identity are very, very high. You have a unit, small, small team, you know your platoon, your company, your battalion, your service and you have all those different levels of community that you can attach to. And then your purpose is clear. It’s clear in every role in the military how you’re contributing to the overall military objective. And then your identity, you put a every day, it’s got your name on it somewhere. If you’re in dress uniform, it’s got things that you’ve done and been awarded for and been recognized for. If you, it’s

Maureen Woolshlager (36:38):

Like your re you wear your resume every day,

David Burke (36:40):

You wear your resume every day. It’s a way to, to have a really strong sense of identity in the transition space. It’s often harder to find that it’s hard to find a career that’s similar to military service, that community purpose and identity. One of ’em, two of ’em, maybe all three of ’em have a bit in that transition. So what we’ve found is we’ve, as we’ve surveyed and studied and asked the questions to the volunteer base is those three things stay higher when they engage with Team Rub. And that’s volunteers, veterans, civilian, emergency medical provider, former law enforcement, former firefighter, they all report an increase in community purpose identity through their affiliation of the organization, how they activate. And that’s a, what we seek to close a gap in for the volunteer base is that, and it’s not specific to military veterans, it’s, I think it’s universal.

David Burke (37:40):

If you are serving someone else, if you’re doing something bigger than yourself and your day-to-day, that connection to purpose is almost impossible to miss. And I think it’s, again, I talked about my family a little bit and their connection, the purpose was through faith. It’s just a different type of faith. Something you can believe in and and feel connected to. And helping somebody when it’s really clear that they need help and it’s clear that you can do some small act of kindness that makes a big difference in their life, that that creates a connection to purpose and the hopefully the glacier creates a little bit of an identity and the community operations is pretty cool.

Kristi Porter (38:22):

That’s fantastic. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for sharing all of that. And of course we can’t let you go without getting to know a little bit more about, you have a Roku TV series for Team Rubicon that’s incredibly exciting. Maureen and I were thrilled when we discovered that. So tell us more what it is about and how, what people can expect when they’re watching.

David Burke (38:45):

Yeah, so the Roku series is a cool development over the last year. It all happened really, really fast. But the team from this old house actually did a small cameo with some of our rebuild work years ago. And I think that idea percolated in that team’s head and the Roku channel took on this 13 part doc series. And so you’ll see Kevin, the host from this old house and the first episode is really the backstory of the history of the organization and Kevin’s first deployment. And over the course of the series you see almost all aspects of the organization. It’s heavily focused on the domestic work where you get little, little snippets of some of the international and rebuild work and our Clay Hunt fellows program. And you get to see just a little bit of everything Team Rubicon does and Evan’s journey to become a part of the gray shirt community.

David Burke (39:42):

And he really does, he goes through training classes, he goes to multiple operations and does the work that any gray shirt does when they show up. He doesn’t, you know, stand around and ev host or comment that he’s just part of the organization as it happens. And it’s a, it’s a great way to see what it’s like to be a volunteer with Team Rubicon. And it’s something that we look pretty proud of and excited, tore, excited about people watching. It’s on the Roku channel, it’s can be streamed for free. It’s a cool, cool way to see into the organization.

Kristi Porter (40:13):

Yes. And I have a feeling that hundred 60,000 number volunteer number is going to go up very

David Burke (40:19):

Soon. Gonna go up a little bit.

Maureen Woolshlager (40:20):

Yeah. Get your website ready so you don’t have a Taylor Swift breaking the internet there

David Burke (40:26):

T-shirts. Yeah, the launch was over Memorial Day and we had like a standing technology operations center to make sure the website was good. The branded communications team were on call. It was a, it was like running an operation but specifically to make sure the infrastructure was there, the entrance spike. And we didn’t, we saw pretty cool increases in the daily website traffic and it was a neat,

Maureen Woolshlager (40:49):

That’s wonderful news made

Kristi Porter (40:50):

To watch it. Yeah, yeah.

Maureen Woolshlager (40:52):

Well we don’t wanna let you go without finding out. How can our listeners connect with you? How can they connect with Team Rubicon and how do they support Team Rubicon? So we wanna make sure we get the word out.

David Burke (41:04):

Yeah, so the websites team work on usa.org. It’s where you can volunteer, it’s where you can share stories, it’s where you can donate if you have a means to support the organization financially. And all three jump off of that landing point and we are always looking for new volunteers, new ways to share the story, new spins on an interest in the organization. And then obviously there’s a million things more important than money. They all cost money so we gotta support financially as well. But the website’s the best jumping off point and it connects to all the other digital properties and the Roku series. And

Kristi Porter (41:39):

That’s fantastic. Thank you so much for your time. This has been wonderful. It was worth the wait for Maureen and I who can like to schedule this for a long time. So thank you so much. I know even a couple of times you’re like, am I rambling? And I’m like, no, not at all. Because I just imagine the other humanitarian organizations listening and I think there’s so much they can glean from your insight on what’s worked, what doesn’t, what your process is. And I think that’s one of the beneficial things of having conversations like this with organizations like yours is we can all learn from each other in a variety of ways. So thank you so much for your time. Everyone go check out the website and of course watch the docuseries on Roku, like Maureen and I will be doing. Thanks for listening. Subscribe if you wanna hear more terrific conversations like this. And David, keep up the great work.

David Burke (42:26):

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

David Burke is a Marine Corps veteran who has applied the logistical experience he gained in the military to a career of service in his civilian life. During his tenure at Team Rubicon, he sat on the Board of Directors of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and was a Founding Board Member of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation. In November 2013, David followed his passion for service to Team Rubicon. Here he has developed and executed the organization’s programmatic strategy to help people on their worst days. As the Chief Programs Officer, he spearheads Team Rubicon’s efforts to scale up delivery of disaster services and life-saving humanitarian aid through safe, effective, and meaningful staff and volunteer implementation. Connect with David on LinkedIn.

Maureen Woolshlager started her career at McMaster-Carr’s Management Development Program working in sales, marketing, distribution operations, finance and accounting. After McMaster-Carr, she spent a year managing operations in one of Target Corporation’s warehouses before finding a role within a small management consulting company in Denver, Colorado. She worked on large projects for international food and restaurant companies and advised on account management, business development, operations management, warehouse operations, continuous improvement and distribution center operations, and procurement/supplier/inventory optimization. She has spent the last 9 years living in Belgium & Germany where her husband has been stationed as a US Army officer. Maureen has her B.A. from Emory University. She earned a certificate in Management & Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania & her M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here: https://vectorgl.com/


Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

You May Also Like

Click to view other episodes in this program

Additional Links & Resources

Learn more about Logistics with Purpose

Learn more about Vector Global Logistics

Subscribe to Logistics with Purpose

Check Out Our Sponsors

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Kim Reuter


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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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).

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Vicki White


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.

Connect on :

Allison Giddens


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.

Connect on :

Billy Taylor


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.

Connect on :

Tandreia Bellamy


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).

Connect on :

Marty Parker


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.

Connect on :

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!

Connect on :

Jake Barr


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.

Connect on :

Marcia Williams


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.

Connect on :

Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

Connect on :

Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

Connect on :

Constantine Limberakis


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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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!

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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’.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

Connect on :