Every Veteran Voices episode delves into the inspiring stories of individuals who have served their country and are now making a difference beyond the uniform, but few stories are as powerful and uplifting as that of John Wayne Walding. John Wayne lost his leg to a sniper during battle in the mountains of Afghanistan, only to continue fighting, become the first amputee to become a Green Beret Sniper, and later found his own logistics company dedicated to overcoming and delivering on the impossible.
In today’s episode, sponsored by Pegasus Logistics Group, host Mary Kate Soliva, along with special co-host Tevon Taylor with Pegasus, welcomes John Wayne Walding, CEO and Founder of Gallantry Global Logistics to the show.
Listen in as John Wayne Walding shares his inspiring journey, taking us from a small Texas town to the frontlines of Afghanistan, where he faced overwhelming odds as a Green Beret, and also as Mary Kate, John Wayne, and Tevon share their experiences, insights, and their mission to give back to the communities that they hold dear. Join us as we explore stories of service, sacrifice, and resilience, and discover how vital it is to continue to make a positive impact in the world.
Welcome to Veteran Voices. A podcast is dedicated to giving a voice to those that have served in the United States Armed Forces on this series, jointly presented by Supply Chain now and Vets to Industry. We sit down with a wide variety of veterans and veteran advocates to gain their insights, perspective, and stories from serving. We talk with many individuals about their challenging transition from active duty to the private sector, and we discuss some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of Veteran Voices.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:00:42):
Hello everyone. Thank you again for joining us on Veteran Voices. And for those of you who are new to Veteran Voices, welcome to the show. I’m your host, Mary Kate Soliva, and we are gearing up for an incredible episode today. Super excited. But just before we start, we’re gonna do a quick programming note. This episode is sponsored by Pegasus Logistics. Shout out to them, and thank you so much, uh, for your sponsorship of, of Veteran Voices, where we interview those who are serving beyond the uniform, and we are also part of the supply chain. Now, family where you can, wherever you get your podcasts from. Supply Chain now is an incredible, uh, podcast who also is in partnership with the Guam Human Rights Initiative, a nonprofit that’s near and dear to my heart, where they’re focusing on human rights issues and through research. So now, without further ado, I want to welcome two of our special guests today before I continue rambling on and on, and on and on. Uh, so we had just had a great shout before this episode, but welcome to the show, uh, John jw, John Wayne, John Waling, nonetheless, and Tevin Taylor, thank you for joining us. It sounds like I invited like five people to the show, right? <laugh>,
John Wayne Walding (00:01:59):
I’ve got new personalities, so yeah, you, you hit it right? Could be on the show. Mary Kay
Mary Kate Soliva (00:02:04):
<laugh>. Well, thank you both. I’m getting a little, like, tongue twisted. ’cause you know, like I was mentioning earlier, my grandmother takes note about how I always seem to fly in like a bat outta hell. So, you know, hair’s frizzy for those who are just tuning in. I’m like sprinting in, uh, to the show, getting stuck in d dc rush hour traffic to make this incredible episode <laugh>. Uh, so I’m just grateful for, for you all for joining me today. Um, and I just wanted to, you know, to kick off for starters, uh, jw I’m gonna start with you about pumping up with some motivation. Feel free to sing a lyric if you want. I heard you rapping a little bit earlier. Um, if you want just, uh, love some motivation for our listeners today.
John Wayne Walding (00:02:48):
Yeah. So the motivation that I always give everyone is, uh, I tell the story about my first, uh, one of my first experience in special forces at at third group. And, and, you know, know when, when you get in there. And, uh, it is just a total different world than what the conventional army is. And, and I’ll never will forget our sergeant, major Eubanks, you know, he, he was like, if, if they had a Green Beret action figure right, sitting in Walmart that you could play with, it’d beat him, right? He’s just this big barrel chested black guy with a raspy voice, high and tight haircut, you know, and you could just tell that, that he just was an awesome guy and, uh, you know, he, you know, he’s been through it all, right? And, and, uh, listening to him tell stories at the end of it, he just said, men, when you’re in the foxhole and time gets hard and gets rough and you don’t know what to do, all you gotta do is dig your heels in. You lean forward and fight hard. And that’s what I’ve just continued with for the rest of my life, is just, that’s such a visual, right, of, of no matter what it’s, whether it’s physical, emotional, spiritual, what have you, when, when you do get in those, uh, you know, those dark times or uncertain times or just tough times, you just tighten up that chin strap. You dig those heels in, you just lean forward and fight hard and, and you’re always gonna come out better.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:04:03):
No, I, I absolutely love that. And I, I think that we, we had mentioned before our first time talking about, and we’ll get to it later in the show with regards to the transition, but I’m, I’m a couple years out transitioning on active duty, and I still feel like I’m, I’m leaning forward sometimes, you know, face first <laugh> into the, into the next thing. But, um, no, I, I love that little bit of motivation there to pump us up. And I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you, Kevin, I’m welcoming if you wanna call Cadence here, but, uh, if you wanna follow up with your favorite motivational quote,
Tevon Taylor (00:04:34):
I, I can’t follow John Wayne. Um, <laugh>, you know, all I can say is the caribou in the background, I don’t think was smiling when it, uh, saw its last breath <laugh>.
John Wayne Walding (00:04:44):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tevon Taylor (00:04:47):
In all seriousness, my motivation, one of the coolest things is to be on a, a podcast and to join you guys today with John Wayne Waling because his sacrifice and what he is done for our country, honestly, and not to make this a commercial, but it inspires me, right, to see what he does with veterans, uh, to be part of what he’s doing at Gallantry. That’s my motivation. So I won’t get cliche and read out of a book or give you any other quotes, but, uh, I’m just excited to be here today and to, to associate with good people like you and John Wayne Welding.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:05:20):
Thank you. I mean, much more motivation than we need than that. But honestly, I second that huge honor. Uh, you know, and Scott, our fearless leader of the supply chain now of programming, when he told me about this particular interview, I was super pumped up. ’cause John Wayne, you really do epitomize what it means to be that American hero. I’m sure they’re gonna be, have a, a superhero figure lined up after you at some point, <laugh>, uh, and, and just, you know, shameless plug there that whoever Toy Makers unit to get with John Wayne here, make his likeness. Um, but just super grateful to have you here. So thank you.
John Wayne Walding (00:05:56):
Thank you Te Kevin, that’s too nice. And I’m surprised you didn’t bring up the John Wayne quote. Life’s tough. It’s even tougher when you’re stupid. <laugh>
Tevon Taylor (00:06:04):
<laugh>. That’s my quote too. So I’m Aggie,
Mary Kate Soliva (00:06:09):
That’s what we gotta have. Like, we need a placard behind you, te so you, we don’t forget that we you’re, when you’re on a Zoom calls or video calls. But, you know, we had that connection talking about John Wayne, the actor. That’s where my name Mary Kate came from. Mary Kate Danaher from The Quiet Man, uh, John Wayne’s movie, the Quiet Man. So it just worked out. I love it. Got John Wayne and Mary Kate here in the house. I’m just not a redhead, you know, like little tone down on the temper. So, John, for starters, tell us about growing up in, in Beck, Texas. ’cause I have never been there ne nor have I think I’ve met anybody. You’re the first one, so I’m sure you’re, you’re the town celebrity as well.
John Wayne Walding (00:06:49):
Yeah. Well, you, you know, the, you, you’re probably right. The only person that I guess would be famous, they’re not from Rosebeck, but they’re 12 miles down the road in a town, Maia, and that was Anna Nicole Smith. Right? So that’s about as much talent as we get from where I’m from. And, and, uh, the, the town is just jokingly say, well, it is true though. You know, whenever I was there, you know, we had, uh, uh, about 3,500 people in our town, but we had a 10 million football field, right? So it’s just a, uh, a small town that loves, you know, uh, America, they loves God, family, country, and, and you know, it just has those old school work ethics. And, and, and, um, you know, it was always a place that I say that I’m proud to be from, but I’m never going back to, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:07:29):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It’s, it’s, uh, yes, I’m glad that, that I got to have the experience of what it’s like there. But it really was a, a, a place that, that you learn what work ethic is you that you learn, you know, just, you know, any country values that you have in Texas and, and, um, and, you know, think about a bunch of oil people, you know, a bunch of rednecks and, you know, hauling hay in the summers and hunting in the winter. And, and, uh, yeah, it, it was a, it was a good life that that really positioned me, you know, to be in the, uh, in the army, to be quite honest with you, I’ll never forget whenever I was in basic training, I, uh, I always, you know, Ron White eloquently said, you know, he had the right to remain silent, but not the ability, right? I, I’m the same way that, uh, I never will forget the, the drill star and asking, Hey, has anybody done this harder? You know? And I, I raised my hand, I’m like, man, you done two a days and grows back, you know, not, how about hauling hay when it’s eight, a hundred degrees outside and you got 800 square bes? You gotta get in the, you know, in the barn by the end of the day. Like, that’s hard work. This all we gotta do is run around for a little bit <laugh>. But, but yeah.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:08:35):
I have to ask about what, what you were mentioning about joining the, the Army. So a clearly sound, very American town, I think when, when folks from the out outside the US like think of Americans as you kind of think of the cowboy. And so it sounds like that sort of, you know, up upbringing and traditional American values. But I have to ask, why Army? Was there somebody, when you were a kid, did you, do you, have you come from a line of, of veterans, or why army not, you know, air Force, for example, <laugh> Marines? Well,
John Wayne Walding (00:09:08):
I wanna work for a living, that’s why I didn’t join the Air Force, you know, <laugh>, uh, so did the, I I’ll give you a longer answer. Right? So my first of all, you know, I wish I had a better answer to why my name’s John Wayne, other than I was born on the 4th of July. So my dad said, and I quote, you had a cool birthday, you needed a cool name, right? So I was like, well, I’m glad you thought about it a-hole, right? I’m not stuck with it. But, uh, but yeah, so that, that, you know, he did was a huge John Wayne fan. And, and for sure that was, uh, you know, the, uh, wisdom behind the, the, the, the namesake. But yeah, uh, that’s, that’s, that’s how I got the name. And, and for the Army, I always say I’m a hundred percent Texan, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:09:48):
My mom was Mexican, my dad’s a roughneck, right? So I grew up oil and tacos, right? That, that’s, that’s kind of what, what I, how I grew up. But, uh, we didn’t have a big military background. Uh, again, going back to oil, you know, my, my dad was a roughneck, my granddaddy, you know, I don’t think he graduated high school and, you know, started rough necked when he was 14 years old and worked his way all the way up to being the boss of the whole rig, right? And, and, uh, that’s, that’s, you know, where my lineage comes from and, and how did I get to the army? It’s just an act of God, you know, I, uh, never will forget, you know, this gives you a glimpse into, to my mindset to when I commit, I commit, and I go all in, and it’s a drag race to the end, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:10:28):
Let’s just, you know, barrel down. And, and so my birthday’s July 4th, right? Uh, on July 5th, I, I just realized, you know, that, man, I really need to have a, a better purpose, you know, a job with the meaning, you know, like I said, grows back, doesn’t have a lot of, you know, um, aspiration, right? That it is just that small town. And, and so whenever I had that birthday, I was like, you know, I, I really need to do something else, something bigger than meant more. And, and just so happened to have a buddy of mine that, uh, he was in the Army and told me about what he was doing. And, you know, it is funny when, when I first heard, I’m like, man, you gotta get up and do PT at six 30. That’s early, right? And, uh, and you know, I ended up becoming a Green Beret, so I guess I kinda liked it, but, uh, but yeah, again,
Mary Kate Soliva (00:11:11):
What year, what year, what year did you join?
John Wayne Walding (00:11:14):
Uh, well, I was in basic training, uh, September of 2001. So if you remember what happened September 11th, 2001. So that goes back to my mindset, right? So July 5th, I realized, okay, I need a real job. By August 16th, I was in basic training, <laugh>. So within 45 days, I’d already found a recruiter, got signed up, did through meps, got a, a date. And here I am serving my country, and, and, uh, the rest is history.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:11:40):
Oh, gosh. Well, I mean, again, just that was such a unique time for our nation too. And, and for you to be at basic training as a young soldier, uh, but it’s still taking with you, instilling all those, those American values when you first stepped foot at basic training. I just have to ask about, did you know at that time that you wanted to go into special forces? Like, did you know that you wanted to go and, and be in special operations at all at that time, or you just like, I don’t really care where, where they send me, where they take me at this point?
John Wayne Walding (00:12:11):
Yeah. At the time, you know, the recruiter got me, right? He said, Hey, you wanna shoot missiles? I was like, heck yeah, who don’t? Right? And, uh, so I joined the Army to, to shoot missiles, not become the Green Beret. You know, I really was fairly ignorant when it comes to really what the Army had to offer, right? I honestly didn’t even know what Green Berets did at the time or anything of that sort. But, you know, I obviously was in basic when the towers fell and, and, uh, that that was, uh, you know, talk about a catalyst, right? From, from one mindset to the next, you know, that was earth shattering. You, you know, I think a lot of people forget that, that before 2001, you know, really the pool to join the Army was like, Hey, come get some college money, right? Serve your country for a little bit.
John Wayne Walding (00:12:53):
We’ll get paid for some college and all that, you know, GI Bill this and all that stuff. And, and, and yeah, for sure, you know, serve Your country is, is a, you know, significant in the majority, you know, part of the conversation. But definitely, you know, there, there is more to that and that that’s, you know, really what I was thinking at the time. But again, the tower fell and, and, uh, you know, I thought it was a joke at first, right? Because I’m in basic, and all I know is the drill sergeants are telling me we’re gonna war, right? <laugh>. Yeah. And, and we pull back in, start doing Guard and everything, and about two o’clock in the morning we’re watching the tv. And, you know, at first I was like, man, this is like some Hollywood stuff here, right? Because I thought they had the tv, it was recording to make you think you’re gonna war.
John Wayne Walding (00:13:34):
Yes. But finally, about two o’clock, I realized, okay, this is real. And, and, um, obviously from there, whenever I, I realized, you know, I, I didn’t ever know just how good I was until I joined the Army. Going back to the mindset of, in a small town, it’s a very practical mindset, right? You know, it’s not a, Hey, you can do anything that you want if you set your mind to, it’s a, Hey, you need to get yourself a job, right? Like, get your head outta the clouds, go, you know, go to work. And, and that’s kind of always been the mindset that I’ve had, is just, Hey, I’m just gonna, you know, go to work and figure it out rather than what, you know, what is this awesomeness up here that I can, you know, uh, you know, strive for and hopefully one day achieve?
John Wayne Walding (00:14:17):
And, and until I was in the Army and I had somebody, you know, uh, believe in me and say, Hey, I think you can do this. Or, you know, whenever you’re in a group and I’m toward the front of that pack, I’m like, wow, I didn’t know. It was just awesome, right? And, and, uh, I saw my first Green Beret and I saw what they were doing down range, and, and you know, that’s whenever I had that, uh, mindset of like, Hey, you know what? If he can do it, I bet you I can figure that out too. And, and went to selection, uh, in 2005. And, and fortunately, um, fortunately was selected then got to, you know, uh, the coveted Green Beret about a year and a half, two years later.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:14:51):
That’s, that’s amazing. Honestly, incredible with the, the pathway that you didn’t come in saying I wanted to be in the Special Forces. It was, it was something that you saw that, and, and I tell that to my young soldiers, you know, again, love having another fellow army veteran on the show. Uh, but, you know, I tell my soldiers about that, about just ex exploring their options. And I love when they, they come in and they’re all doe-eyed, and it’s like rainbows and sunshine. They’re super ua, super motivated, but you don’t realize, like that impact that you have on those young soldiers, like when you are doing your job, like you may the monotony, but may not think it’s as cool, but there’s those behind you looking up to you and, and what a badass, you know, <laugh> in its simplest terms, right? So I see you looking at it. Uh, did you have an idea really of, well, how do you envision Special Forces? I have to ask you, you see John Wayne is this like, uh, sup superhero, right? Well,
Tevon Taylor (00:15:42):
You know, every, everything a civilian thinks a Special Forces is what we see on tv, right? Tv they’re always the heroes. They’re, they’re always the ones that dodge bullets. Somehow they have more ammunition than anybody else. That’s bad. I lost lights, um, <laugh>. So somebody didn’t pay the electric bill here, but, you know, special forces, I mean, they’re, when I met John Wayne, it’s exactly what I expected. The movies, the difference is, you know, you don’t know the nitty gritty of, you know, seeing your buddies get shot. I mean, John Wayne losing a leg. I mean, some of the things you hear about the negative part of war and fighting for your country is people are gonna lose their lives. People are gonna lose limbs. People are gonna have a huge impact to their families and, and their, their futures. But you know, how you take that and translate it into our freedom and what we have today is, is amazing. And special forces do, to me, they’re like, not to translate it into logistics and freight forwarding, but they, they’re kind of, they slide in between the larger elements of, of our, our forces to make sure that we get things done. And, and, and America continues to be the free country we are. So, like I said, it’s always in the movies, we always see the good part of it, but there’s, there’s the difficult part too, and the sacrifice. And that’s, again, that’s why I appreciate what I know about John Wayne and what he’s doing today.
John Wayne Walding (00:16:59):
Well, that’s one thing that I always try to do, right? Tevin, I’m glad you brought that up, is ’cause, you know, whenever, you know, if I ever give a speech to a crowd and TE’s heard me say it, it is, I always say, never believe my resume, right? Because, because it’s awesome, right? John Wayne, born fourth, July, green Berets, you know, silver Star, bronze, all this stuff, right? It, I’m still just this human, and I’m just that little, you know, country boy kid from Rosebeck, Texas said that, uh, we, we experience things that, that people never, you know, even fathom. And, and there is a downside to that, and I, I make absolutely sure that when I do talk about my, my service, you know, I give both the good and the bad because, you know, they’re, in my mind, they’re just as significant, you know, equally sig uh, significant and Kevin’s point learn about, you know, the, the grief that we’ve had had to deal with, you know, like I say, be a lot is, is, you know, the, the Army teaches me how to deal death, but not how to deal with it.
John Wayne Walding (00:17:55):
Yes. Right? And, and, and you know, what a powerful statement that is when you really take a step back and really unpack what that means, right? Especially, you know, not to, you know, like how I am a 42 year old man, but at the time as a Green Beret, a 27 year old young man, right? And, and, uh, having to deal with, with such significant life problems over and over and over again, right? It’s not just once, you know, the death that I’ve had to deal with, most people don’t see in three lifetimes, right? And, and so anyway, I just wanna make sure that people understand, you know, you know, it is not just to vin’s point about the, the, the movies, right? Which by the way, Tevin, that’s all true. Everything <laugh> <laugh>, you know, John Jay Rambo is just like we are. Yeah. You know, but, you know, don’t believe in all the, all the, we can do the fun stuff, jumping outta airplanes, blowing in doors, you know, night vision this and all that good stuff. But, uh, we do go home to our families and, and have to deal with, you know, the, uh, the consequences of war.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:18:55):
No, that was such a great point. I know you mentioned about how you’re, how you’re just human, but I, I would dare to say that you’re a bit superhuman in the sense that you are still e extremely humble. You know, like you have this era of humility about you in addition to all the things that you have achieved and accomplished, and, you know, and, and those who are fortunate enough to come back home, uh, they still struggle to face the world, you know? And, and I think you’ve, you’ve taken it head on, like you said earlier, with your bit of motivation there, that you’re still leaning forward and, and knowing that how, how meaningful, how powerful your story is. And I know we’re about to, to touch in on that, but I, I just wanted to say that, you know, you say just human, but I, I think, you know, Kevin and I both look at you like you’re a little bit super more superhuman than the average human.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:19:42):
And I think that, you know, as you said that, that God-given, uh, path of yours has been, uh, is been a true blessing, and I’m sure it has touched so many. And I hope that those listening on the call tune in for, uh, you know, this entire episode and, and re-listened to it. Because I, I know John Wayne, that you’re gonna share a lot of incredible things, uh, this show. And I wanted to, if, if you could talk to us about, uh, that, that spring day in 2008, you’ve taken us now about, uh, donning the Green, the coveted Green Beret, which is so well known even by the, the civilian populace. But now we’re a few years in to your time donning that Green Beret, you share a bit more about that.
John Wayne Walding (00:20:22):
Yeah. You know, and I always start with what is a Green Beret, right? Just telling people mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, 90 seconds of, you know, really our core function is unconventional warfare, right? And, and what does that mean to a civilian? Well, ultimately it means is we teach them to die for their country, then Americans do it, right? Uh, um, that might not be a politically correct way of saying it, you know, but, but that’s really, you know, what’s that old, uh, ad age old adage of, of saying, you know, teach man to fish, he feeds forever. Give him a fish he feeds for a day. Right? Well, instead of sending a hundred Americans into a village right, to go fight a bad guy, why don’t we send 15 Green Berets to train a thousand? Right? That, that’s ultimately, you know, when John F. Kennedy, uh, awarded us the, the dawning of the Green Beret in the sixties, you know, it was our job to go to Vietnam and help the Vietnamese fight the Vietcong.
John Wayne Walding (00:21:14):
And, and we’ve done that ever since. Right? And so that day, April 6th, 2008, you know, we were fighting with the Afg Afghani Commandos, right? It was, they were the, uh, Afghan National Army Special Forces and, and, uh, had some absolute studs. And, and that’s, you know, we trained with them. We lived near ’em, and we fought with them. And, and, uh, that’s, that’s what we were, you know, we, uh, we were doing a great job with it. And, and, uh, this, this particular day was a kill capture mission with, you know, with our partner force up at 10,000 feet above sea level, the near stand province, uh, in, in Shock Valley. And if you don’t know where that is, if you Google where, uh, a lot of people, uh, probably remember one of the first thing Trump did when he got in office was drop the Moab.
John Wayne Walding (00:21:54):
Everybody remembers the Moab that was dropped, right? But that was in the nearest stand province. And, um, that’s exactly where we were. And so, you know, nobody had ever been there, not, not even in the eighties. So the Russians that haven’t been there, we hadn’t been there in G Watts since we’d been there. And so there’s no, uh, intel, you know, pretty much in or around that area other than we got from, you know, some, uh, single sources, uh, on the ground or, or, you know, any predator defeat on top. And, and so we, we, we thought we were gonna get one guy that had about 15 to 20, you know, personal security attachment along with him. And, and, uh, unfortunately we ended up getting a hornets nest with about 200 to 250, you know, and, and, uh, I was the, uh, the salt team, one liter of, of that day, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:22:38):
So you had a special forces team again, there, there was 10 of us there, and we all had our commandos that we, that we were in charge of and fought with. And, and I was, it was my job to be the first guy and the first team into this village and lock in a house, right? And, and then the next team would come past me, and we were just leapfrog, you know, to the, uh, to the objective, right? To the x and, and, you know, I was 40 meters from myself to the first, you know, building into this village, and we got opened off on. And I always say, well, you know, with the avalanche of gunfire, right? Like that within, you know, the first 10 minutes, which I’m sure we’ve been talking for 15 already, you know, but, uh, you know, we had our lead interpreter, CK got shot in the throat, died on impact.
John Wayne Walding (00:23:22):
You know, Dylan Bear, he was a, our r t o guy in charge of columns up to hire, uh, pretty important guy, right? He got shot in the hip. Initial assessment on him was 20 minutes to live, you know, then we had Luis Morales, who, our 18 Fox, right? Our Intel officer, you know, he got shot not once, but twice in the lake, you know? And now here we are, you know, for every one guy injured, you’re supposed to have two guys to help. So now we got six guys outta the fight, and there’s only 10 of us on the mountain, so do that math, right? And, and to make a long story short, 15 Americans went up against 250 Taliban fighters, and after six and a half hours, there were 70 danger close air strikes that were on that battle. 10 silver stars were awarded, which two of those were upgraded to the Medal of Honor, which, uh, and, and then we had eight Purple Hearts.
John Wayne Walding (00:24:08):
So imagine, you know, a bad day where 10 were on the mountain that day, but eight of us got shot, right? So, uh, if you ever get a bad day at the office, it ain’t that bad, right? And, and, uh, but to always end it with the best statistic of all, which is zero, right? Zero Americans killed. And, and just imagine, you know, the magnitude of that statement to where, you know, just 10 to 15 guys can go up against 250 and, and six and a half hours later we win, right? And, and it’s just a, a true testament to the war fighters that we have out there fighting for our freedoms.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:24:43):
Just like, like, wow. Right? Seven, I’m sure this isn’t the first time, but first time I’m hearing, I feel like I need a moment. Um, honestly, thank you so much for sharing, uh, John Wayne, and, and again, for, like you said that the running through the statistic there, you know, but there is more than just numbers and what a, a profound thing about no Americans killed, but the, the fact that everything was up against you. But I can see why now that you wanted to start out for, by saying the value of the Green Beret, because, you know, wasn’t, like you said, just just having so few against so many, but you all are the elite. You’re the, the best of the best, and, and there’s a reason why, uh, that you all get sent, uh, to areas such as that. And Tevin, what, what’s going through your mind as well? I know you’ve prob you’ve heard this, uh, before, but, you know, just you share your thoughts with our, our listeners as well, if you could.
Tevon Taylor (00:25:39):
There’s nothing like the, the story of what John went through and the other soldiers that day that’s more humbling and, and, you know, puts you in a place of realizing what, what a great place it is we live and, and what sacrifice has happened to get us here. Right? I played softball at a company event last night. My boss is in the dugout, and I hear him telling the story of John Wayne welding in the dugout to other employees that didn’t know the story, right? I worked for a large multinational, a hundred billion dollar company before going to Pegasus. And I’ve told people at that company the story of John Wayne Waling, because we take, we, we do take for granted at times, um, many times where we are and, and what benefits we have in America. And when you hear that story, you have to put yourself back a little bit and go, you know, July 4th Veteran’s Day, you know, you, you think of these holidays and a lot of people think of cookouts and fireworks, and we gotta sit back for a moment.
Tevon Taylor (00:26:39):
And, you know, John Wayne says it well, were the folks that fought in Vietnam came home, and it was a different story. You know, our heroes that come home now. It, it’s definitely, you know, we support them and embrace them. But, you know, I’ve got goosebumps right now thinking about this story, and I’ve heard it multiple times, but it, it, it always has an impact because no matter what you, it just, your, your heart hurts because you know what they went through. And it’s just, you know, I’m humbled and appreciative of, of what John Wayne Welding’s done and, and all the others like him, right? So there’s, there’s many John Wayne Welding’s out there. It’s an amazing story. Uh, it, it’s obviously got a great ending. ’cause we’re on the, you know, there’s some that don’t have that ending that, that John Wayne Waling has, but the fact he’s turned what he’s done into inspiring others and helping others, where you hear the story all around you, and, and I wanna, I wanna talk about it, but, you know, going into what he’s done at Gallantry Logistics and pushing for helping veterans and taking care of those that are taking care of us is, and that’s, that’s the moral of the story, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:27:44):
Yes. Yeah. And, and, and that’s, you know, I’m glad you brought that up, right? Because you know, Mary Kate, by no means is this disrespectful to what I’ve done, right? But no one ever asked me about April 7th, 2008, right? Everybody wants to know about the Battle of Shock Valley on April 6th, 2008, where all the, you know, accolades awards. And, and again, don’t get me wrong, it is awesome. But no one ever asked me about the day that I woke up in a hospital, you know, looking at ceiling tiles, terrified. That’s
Mary Kate Soliva (00:28:14):
What I wanted to ask you, is that the thought was crossed my mind about even what you said earlier about coming home, because how do you go from that, which Tim and I are sitting here and thinking like, this is what we see the green bras in the movies to this happening in real life for you. And like you said, come from a small country town like in Texas, small town Texas, and, and to something like that where you experience, and then to come home and put on a switcher or whatever it is to process all that, like you said, that the army doesn’t teach us that, and j f k special warfare thing, and you know, in Swic, they’re not teaching us about that. So yeah, tell me, tell me a little bit about that, if, if you don’t mind.
John Wayne Walding (00:28:58):
Yeah, yeah. So, you know, um, and that’s, that’s, like I said before, you know, every, uh, I, I care more about this story than the one other one, because that’s, that’s what we’re, you know, I always say use a, a term. So what? Right? Yeah. Oh, I did this. So what, what are you doing now? Right? Or, oh, I’ve got hurt. So what, what are you gonna do about it? This world, this country specifically, right? We, and we’ve gotten so divisive and, and everybody gets their feelings hurt so much and, and stick their lip out, and they wanna be a victim, right? And blame somebody, either I wasn’t born here, or I didn’t do this, or they make more than me. You know, this, you know, you can either be a victim or a, you choose, right? And, and, and, uh, that, that’s just my mindset, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:29:44):
That, that where I could, yeah, I could have blamed the army for taking my leg. I could have gotten mad at God, which, you know, by the way, I, I did all those things that, that we normally do, and, you know, uh, but I got over it because I realized that, you know, it’s, it’s up to me on, on what I’m gonna do with it. And, and you asked the question, you know, the first thing I did was cry, right? You wake up, you look down and, and you realize the, the inevitability of that word, right? Can’t, I can’t walk for the rest of my life. And, and, and having to deal with that as a 27 year old man, you know, that 24 hours earlier could jump outta airplanes, climb mountains, run a five minute mile, like all this awesome stuff, you know? Now, again, that word can’t, I, I’ve got to deal with, and, and I’ll try to be as quick as I can with it.
John Wayne Walding (00:30:30):
But, you know, the first thing that helped me overcome and, you know, was my faith in God, right? Because I, I realized, uh, you know, still being alive, it just galvanized my faith with him that, that I, it wasn’t because I got it out of there, you know, I, I gave it to him on the battlefield, says, Hey, God, I, you know, I, this is all I got, and it ain’t enough. And, and if you, if I make it out here, it’s because of you. And, and, uh, and fortunately, I did make it out of there. And so, you know, that that faith really, you know, it took the y mes away. ’cause ’cause we all had the Y mes, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, why, why is this happening to me? Right? I’m a good guy. I don’t do this or that, or whatever, you know, why is this happening to me?
John Wayne Walding (00:31:09):
And, and, and knowing that, that first and foremost arrogance to think that this is my path that I’m on, right? It, it’s not, it’s his path. And it’s just my job to do the best that I can on where God has placed me. And, and so I changed that question. I still ask question. It’s, it’s, it’s perfectly okay to question God, you know? But the question is, instead of why me, it’s, it’s, what are you teaching me? Right? What’s the lesson here? Yep. You know, what is this that, that I need to learn? And, and praying that, you know, frankly, that we all need is, what we need is patience <laugh>, right? Americans, I want my money and I want it now. Right? And, and I wanna know now. And, and rather than just having, you know, the, the, the patience to endure what you’re going through, and then learn what that lesson is.
John Wayne Walding (00:31:53):
And, and for me, the lesson ultimately is that you grow, always grow when you struggle, right? Just absolute fact. A yes. And, uh, you know, it’s a struggle to be one-legged, right? It’s a struggle every day to have to put my leg on, deal with nerve pain, to, you know, I start in my day in a wheelchair every day. That’s a struggle. And, and, and the lessons that I’ve learned from this struggle are just absolutely just phenomenal. You know, the first one you even mentioned it, it warms my heart that you said it, it’s humility. Right? You know, um, uh, uh, Tim Ner put it best. He says, you know, Tim, uh, that that humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s just thinking of yourself less. Right? And it’s such a powerful statement. And, and, uh, you know, again, there, there’s a lot of ego when it comes to a lot of accomplishment, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:32:45):
I did this, I did that, I did this. And, you know, you start to trick yourself into thinking, man, I, I got this right. And yes. And, and to not have this, like literally not have a leg and, and to get, you know, force fed that humble pie, you know, it made me realize, holy cow, you know, uh, we can always argue about who’s stronger, but we’re always stronger together, right? And, and that’s what taught me that, that humility and, and I’ll always have that posture going forth, that, that whenever it’s me and Tevin talking or, you know, whatever the deal, if we’re working a deal, you know, it’s not about who’s leading. It’s about how are we doing this together? And, and, uh, you know, that struggle taught me humility. Uh, the next thing it brought me was how about gratitude? Yes. Right here, you know, was grateful to wake up today.
John Wayne Walding (00:33:32):
I know I was, right? You, you talked about having traffic in dc right? What about being grateful that you have a car to be in traffic to begin with, right? Right. Or, or gratitude to have the dollar amount to pay for the gas, to drive the car. Just all those absolutely. Things that people just really don’t have. And, and, uh, again, because I struggle with being an amputee every day, I’m grateful for every single step, right? Because it could be worse. You know, I, instead of being a, I, I’m, I’m a right bologna amputee, I could be an above knee amputee. I could be a double amputee, right? I could have no arms, no legs, like Travis Mills, you know, like, you know, we, we, um, this, this, this country has gotten so in this, you know, culdesac of stupidity, of just chasing happy, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:34:14):
Because, you know, we are all about being happy, right? And just be happy and just all this will, you know, happiness is tied to happenings, right? Something good happens. You’re happy, right? Some bad happens. You’re sad, right? If you’re always just chasing happy, you’re just gonna continually help, you know, let yourself down. And, and, and joy is really what you want. And that comes from gratitude. You know? And, and, um, the, the last thing that really this struggle has taught me and is why I’m bringing it up now, it’s vulnerability. Mm-hmm. Right? Tell me an alpha man that wants to talk about being vulnerable, right? That’s always uncomfortable conversation. They don’t wanna talk about it. And I, I’ll dive right into it, you know, uh, I got no problem with it. Why? Because I’ve talked a genuine and, and significant value of how great it is to ask for help, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:35:03):
Because I’m in a wheelchair. I’ve got to ask for help, even if something as trivial as my daughter, bring me a cup of water, right? Or, or my wife, Hey, you know, I really need your help. And, and, and year after year of, of learning just how much better you are when you do, you know, humble yourself to be vulnerable enough to, to ask yourself, I’m Mary Kay, you know very well, you know, that we lose 22 a day to suicide. And, and, and yes, you know, we know that number’s a lot bigger than that. But that’s just the, uh, you know, the, the, the stereotype that we’ve gotten gotten and, and how many do you think we could save if we just had them that get, just learn the vulnerability to say, I need your help.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:35:46):
John Wayne Walding (00:35:47):
And, and so that’s why I’m so open and honest about, you know, just the value of, of dealing with that. You know? And so you asked about the transition, and I’m being very long-winded, Mary Kate. So by all means,
Mary Kate Soliva (00:35:58):
I was like, you know, you just mentioned that even almost struck a, it just struck a chord with me too. ’cause literally on my way stuck in DC traffic, I was on the phone with military OneSource trying to find out resources about counseling for, you know, for, so one of my soldiers that’s, that asked for help earlier today. And so it was just mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, just knowing what’s out there. But having that, that courage to ask for help. But one of the things too that’s been sticking out with me as you’ve been talking is, is that sense of purpose that I can hear in, in your voice that you, you, you have or empowered by this. But I’m not ignorant to to think that every combat veteran or ev any ve every veteran at all believes in, in God. But I think that there’s a lot of, of power to be said in that.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:36:42):
And forgiveness is another one that really stuck out to me. ’cause you said you, there was a point, like you said, the first thing you do is cry, but there’s a point where you’re angry. And I think just that, that forgiveness piece is, is really tough for a lot of us. And once we get down to like, forgiving ourselves, I know you mentioned that no American was killed, but in some cases there are Americans killed, and, and there’s that survivor’s guilt. But that forgiveness piece is so important. And my, my favorite hymn is, is, here I Am Lord. And you know, it’s like, I’ve heard you calling in the night. I’ll go if you lead me. And I, you know, and I, I just love that hymn so much. And you know, I, I sing it in my head when I’m rock marching, you know, when I’m scared to death, jumping outta airplanes, <laugh>, you know, thing. That song, I never feel closer to God than when I’m about to jump out of an airplane. Um, but I, I, I just wanted to highlight that. ’cause I, I think it is powerful. There’s power in, in faith, there’s power in believing, and, you know, for, for those us who believe in God, there’s that. But, you know, even if they just believe in a higher power in general to help get them through that point, and forgiveness is, is one of those,
John Wayne Walding (00:37:49):
Well, well, you know, there’s power and purpose
Mary Kate Soliva (00:37:51):
John Wayne Walding (00:37:53):
Agreed. And we all have a purpose, right? And to your point, whether it’s God-given or, you know, uh, I jokingly say, I’m not trying to tell you what to believe in Buddha or baby Jesus, right? But, uh, there’s definitely a purpose for you being here. And, and, and you know, I, I’ll, I’ll circle everything to your initial question, which, how did I transition? Well, that’s how you start. And
Mary Kate Soliva (00:38:12):
You know, yeah.
John Wayne Walding (00:38:13):
Service members gotta know that, that, uh, you’re only as, you know, good to others as you are to yourself, right? And, and it starts with just having that brutal honesty with yourself. And, and, and really, every single day get 1% better, right? Just start working at it and start working at it. And the better you get, the better you’re gonna be able to help people. And, you know, and, and that’s what, uh, has, has led me to where I am today, right? With, with, uh, the partnership with Pegasus and, and with Gala Tree, you know, um, that, that 1% better. You know, when I got out of the army, you know, I didn’t have a job. You know, at one point, you know, I was the lead instructor for Chris Kyle’s company, you know, uh, which I thought was awesome that the Navy Seal needed a Green Beret to teach for, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:38:55):
You know? Yes. That, but the, um, before then, I didn’t have a job. And, uh, I, I got up every day and you know what I did? I left. Mm-hmm. You know, and it was actually a contention point with my wife and I, because I didn’t have a job. You know, I live in Dallas, it costs a lot of money to drive on the tollways and gas and, you know, we don’t have a lot of money. And she’s like, Hey, you need to stick your butt here and save money. And I said, babe, for my entire adult life, I’ve gotten up and gone to work. I don’t know where I’m going right now. I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I don’t know what’s gonna, I’m gonna be able to tell you when I come home, but I promise you it’s worth it. Right? And, and, uh, fortunately, you know, again, meeting this guy that met this guy that met this guy that knew Chris Kyle, and, and, you know, got me a job there, and, and ultimately, you know, uh, what was a great time there, but, but he unfortunately passed.
John Wayne Walding (00:39:45):
And, and uh, after that, you know, I, I got in introduced to the, the owner of, of Pegasus, Ken Beam. And, and, uh, his, his love for veterans and, and helping others is, you know, absolutely unparalleled and second to none. And he’s one of the guys that, you know, a lot of people wanna, you know, at one point they just wanna say the love vets put the shoulder on or take a picture and everything. And that’s true. You know, but they don’t, they don’t wanna put their money where their mouth is. And, uh, Ken absolutely do, did that. And, you know, we talked about, ’cause he asked me what my purpose was, you know, and I never had anybody ask me that before, right? Before it was like, job j o b, that’s when, you know, gotta gotta go to work, rather. Yeah. Not what do you want to do in life?
John Wayne Walding (00:40:26):
It’s like, Hey, what’s your purpose? And, and ultimately that’s what gallantry is. It is my purpose. You know, the mission of our, the purpose of gallantry is to provide the next mission, right? I know firsthand what it’s like to have great Americans like Tevin, like Ken, and all the people there to just give me that hand up and root, genuinely wanna help me, you know, because of my service to this country, I wanna forever give that back, right? And not only do I want to give that back, I want to give it back on a significant level, right? Instead of just taking a guy out fishing, buy him a fishing pole, you know, what does he do right? He puts it in the corner and looks at it and says, dang, I wish I can go fishing. You know, I, I wanna not only give him a job where he can afford his own fishing pole, but bring him into a community that he’s missing from his service, right? Just, Hey, come on. I know that you had that there. Let’s build this here. And so the culture and and community that, that pays this has, is absolutely second to none. And I just wanna bring people in, give them that culture, give ’em that, that sense of purpose, and to know that we’re gonna hire as many veterans as possible. And, and, uh, yeah. That, that’s, that’s what gets me pumped up every single day. That’s my why.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:41:33):
I love, I love that. I mean, yes. And I think that’s just a great, great plug there for our listeners to, to really dig deep to find your why. Like, take that time. You mentioned patients earlier. Um, and, and I think there’s a level of, once we’ve experienced, and I keep saying the badassery that we felt when we were in the special operations community, you know, you’re still part of that community even once you hang up the uniform. But there’s something in us that we want to continue serving in another capacity, and we sort of flounder. We may continue driving in circles until we find that purpose, but, like once we find it, like, you know, nothing holds us back, right? And, and I continue to see, uh, veterans doing incredible things. Um, you know, you mentioned about Pegasus and I, you know, te if you could come on and just share a little bit more about your work and your mission, and I’m gonna then circle back with John Wayne about his lived to give and what he’s working on. But te please share
Tevon Taylor (00:42:29):
A Absolutely. I’d love to. You know, Ken Beam, you know, he mentioned that, uh, John Wayne mentioned Ken Beam, who started the company back in 1994. He, you take a, an amazing leader like Ken that cares about people, wants to make a difference in people’s lives, and also be very client-centric. So this little company started in 1994, and in 29 years has grown to, you know, over half a billion dollars. I went from a white glove service where you’re trying to do end deliveries and, and do a lot of the, the niche things that some of, uh, the high value type of, uh, customers need to. Now we’re a, a, a full end-to-end logistics company. I was actually brought on to look at contract logistics and warehousing. And we’ve got 23 sites. I’m in one of them today, 3 million square feet. And it’s, it’s amazing that me, because everyone that I know in the industries, like Pegasus, we haven’t heard of Pegasus.
Tevon Taylor (00:43:26):
You, you, you came from this large company to Pegasus. Why? And honestly, it, it comes to the core values. And I love our core values because you, you see a lot of mission statements and you see a lot of core values, and you’re like, does the company really live that? Is that really kind of what they’re doing? But, you know, our core values, the first one is we wanna be fanatical and passionate about customer satisfaction. And we really are. It’s like, whatever we can do to make that customer happy, let’s figure it out. And every everyone’s all hands on deck make it happen. And the other thing is, there’s no zero sum games. Everybody wins when you do business with Pegasus. And if everybody’s not winning, we gotta figure out how everybody wins, means the customer wins, we win, suppliers win. Um, we look at tomorrow, today.
Tevon Taylor (00:44:13):
So we’re always trying to, to figure out how we can do things differently, how we innovate, how we create things. Um, and the last two things, it’s, it’s not for everyone. It’s only for the best. So, you know, Pegasus is a very unique environment. We work very hard, we play hard. Um, it’s an, an environment that I’ve never seen. It’s a lot of entrepreneurs in the company. Uh, we empower the people to, to make change and to, to deliver that customer satisfaction. And last, and most importantly, the difference is fun. We, we have fun at Pegasus. And, uh, you know, it’s just, it’s great being here. You know, I I, I tell people 27 years into my career, I started in 1996. Uh, I’m just shocked. It took me this long to find the company that fits what I look at culturally and what I want to do.
Tevon Taylor (00:45:01):
And I think this company’s amazing. And all of a sudden I find out about gallantry, where, you know, gallantry, uh, Pegasus really helps power gallantry business. Um, John Wayne drives a, you know, diversity owned company. We help him on the transportation logistics side. And I met him, I go, gosh, I don’t think it can get any better in this. Because <laugh>, it matches up to exactly what our core values are. And John Wayne and his personality and everything he’s doing, it’s like, this is this just, this is awesome. So yeah, a little bit of a pitch there. Not trying to do that, but, uh, that, that’s Pegasus in a nutshell. So it’s, you know, amazing company, good times.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:45:41):
I love that. ’cause it really is a match made in heaven. And I know our listeners weren’t as fortunate as me to, to get to talk to you all in depth as I did prior to the re this reporting. Uh, but to you two are hilarious, you know, and just start off with that. Like, um, and so I love what you just said too about having fun, but there, there’s a level of, of purpose there and, and synergy and values. Um, and, and like I said, I, I hear it in your voice, Kevin. I hear it in your voice, John Wayne. Uh, you know, I don’t, I don’t always get people, um, that, that I interact with that can say that they genuinely love what they do and, and what a blessing that is that you both get to say that and, uh, and get to do it together. So, uh, you know, Joan, we, if I could just, you know, if you could just circle back about your advice. I know you’d mentioned it to me on our, our first call, um, just advice for those who, who are transitioning. And then if you could, you know, go, go right into what you’re doing now with live to Give. ’cause I, I think that’s something that even those in transition just gonna feel super inspired by what you’re working on now.
John Wayne Walding (00:46:45):
Yeah. The, the biggest advice that I’d give to those that are transitions, just don’t give up, right? Like, you know, uh, what’s embrace the suck, right? That’s something that we, we learned, oh
Mary Kate Soliva (00:46:55):
Gosh, that hasn’t changed since, you know,
John Wayne Walding (00:46:58):
<laugh>, the suck in the Army is the suck in the civilian world, right? And, and, and just realize, you know, really not a couple things, right? One, have a realistic expectation, right? When, when you’re, you’re getting out at, at the pinnacle of your, you know, your professional career in the military, but, uh, don’t expect to translate exactly that into the civilian world, right? You gotta come back down a little bit to build up. Uh, yep. Yeah. I own a company and I’m the c e o and got, you know, people hired and it’s awesome. We’re doing, you know, millions in revenue and all that stuff. But guess what I did when I first got here? I sat in a cubicle next to a 20 year old kid learning how to route freight, right? Like <laugh> I humbled myself to realize I know where I want to be, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:47:40):
I got out here, but I’m gonna come down here for a little bit. And, and, uh, you know, again, humble myself to learn the business. At least know enough to know that by the time I, I’m really taking the reins on this thing that I can, right? So, right. So just have that realistic, you know, don’t give up is the first thing, you know, have a realistic expectation. And again, ask for help. There’s, there are so many people, not only that can help but genuinely want to help. You know, that’s one of the things that I’ve learned in since being, you know, I got shot 2008 and, and from that data today, you know, uh, uh, when I first, you know, went, went on a, a wounded veteran event, and, and, uh, these people wanted to give you this or take you here, whatever, it really is awkward, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:48:23):
You don’t want it. You don’t, oh, I don’t need this, I don’t need that. Well, I started realizing that it’s not about me, right? It’s about us. Right? They can’t serve, they can’t go down there and pull that trigger. But I can. But what they can do, since I went and did that, they can help me afterwards, right? And it really is a two-way street. So this is something that, that not only, you know, can they do it, but they want to do it. So, you know, get over yourself a little bit and allow that person to help you. And, and you, I’m telling you, you’re always gonna be better for it, right? Because it’s just a win-win situation to TE’s point, right? That, that their culture, if you, if you notice what their core values are, they sound a lot like special operations, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:49:04):
It’s only for the best, right? Yep. Looking for tomorrow. So we’re all about technology, you know, we’re, we are fanatically and passionate about what we do, right? And I promise I didn’t become a Green Beret. ’cause I like it. I did it ’cause I love it, <laugh>. If I only liked it, I quit. ’cause it’s that hard. You, you know? And, and guess what? It’s fun being a Green Beret, right? And so there there’s a lot of, uh, of synergies that, that we have. And, and why is, ’cause I’ve, I’ve asked for help and I went into there and they, they’ve helped me, you know, uh, get me to where I can. And, and because of that, we’re gonna hire a bunch of people. And, and, uh, so that’s one thing. You know, the quick three things that I, I tell people, you know, that are transitioning is just don’t, don’t give up. You know? Uh, have a realistic expectation, right? Just be that, you know, that thing and, and then never, you know, get over yourself and, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Yeah.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:49:51):
I love that. And, and what I was actually picturing at the, the tail end of what you just said was, um, thinking about those, those ruck marches. I remember when I was at, at selection, you know, for Psyop, I saw a team of, of Ssf guys going at S F A S going by. And, you know, here we are, like taking a knee with our small packs, <laugh>. And, and I, I swear this guy had to have been carrying 90 pounds on his back, and I just couldn’t believe like he was hunched over. But he, he was carrying it. And, and he wasn’t much taller than I was, but he was carrying that weight. And I, I just think about that, about how they ingrain it in us to carry our own load. And, and that sticks with us even when we’re transitioning out that we gotta carry our own weight.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:50:33):
Like, this is our problem, not somebody else’s. This is my family to take care of. I’m the breadwinner. I gotta figure this out. I gotta find answers myself. Um, but there’s that also that aspect of the team. And, you know, and, and I stick of that, that time where I was, I could feel my, my body <laugh> starting to shut down from the wear tear on this one ruck march. And I had a soldier walk by and he pulled out a piece of poundcake outta his cargo pocket. I don’t, probably from an m r e, he didn’t even have any wrapping on it. He just hands it over to me with this dirty hand. I just took that <laugh> little piece of poundcake and put in my mouth and I was like, brother, you just saved my life. I feel like, you know, it is just such a small example of just how, you know, he saw <laugh> dire need is a just a, just a funny story there of and, and just helping me. But in all seriousness, I think that, of that analogy of just getting ingrained in us to carry our own load, but in this, in this case, it, it’s okay. Like you said, it is okay to cry. It’s okay to know that you, you’ve reached what you can do at that time. It doesn’t mean that you can’t get stronger and better and, and have the answers laid down the road, but it’s time to ask for help and it’s okay to do so.
John Wayne Walding (00:51:45):
Yeah. And if something bad happens that, again, don’t quit, right? Yeah. Everybody, everybody’s had a bad haircut before, doesn’t mean you stop getting haircuts. <laugh>. Right?
Mary Kate Soliva (00:51:54):
<laugh>, that’s a great analogy too. Yeah. I can visualize that one.
John Wayne Walding (00:51:58):
Yeah. So if you, you know, uh, go out there and you do ask for help or, you know, this opportunity you thought was great, didn’t turn out to be great, well just keep trying, you know, it, it’ll get there. That, you know, the, that just that relentlessness of, of never quitting, never give up like we learned in the military. Just transfer it to the civilian side and, and you’re gonna be bare for it. Like, you know, so going back to, you know, so you asked me about live to give, you know, that’s, uh, something that I founded a few years ago with a few other people that, you know, the whole purpose of that is, you know, to, uh, we give, you know, we wanna be like the Newman’s own for veterans, you know, when you go into whatever grocery it is, you see the Newman Zone, well, they give, you know, their proceeds to charities, right?
John Wayne Walding (00:52:37):
And, and that’s what we wanna do. You know, every bottle of of water that you buy, we give half back to veteran and first responder charities, right? That’s just love that your hand, you know, three inches to the right. Take it off Smart water, put it on live to give and change lives, you know? And, and that’s, we got a great team doing that. You know? Um, I’m definitely focused on the day-to-day in, in, uh, gallantry. And that’s where I, you know, do the majority of my time. But I’m, I’m the unfortunate face of the franchise for, for
Mary Kate Soliva (00:53:04):
<crosstalk>. Oh yeah. Come on.
John Wayne Walding (00:53:06):
Mary Kate Soliva (00:53:06):
Us John Wayne, where, where’s live to get, where, where can, um, listeners find, find what you’re, the work that you’re doing? Is it all over?
John Wayne Walding (00:53:13):
Yeah, we’re a regional company right now. We, we are in, uh, uh, H e B 245 HEBs, a lot of stuff in the dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. And, and, uh, we’re trying to get into a fees. Uh, so if you know anybody at a fees <laugh>, let let us know. I’ll tell you, it’s easier to fight the Taliban to get an A fees. Right. I, it was one of those things I, I never, I didn’t know it was so hard to get into there. You be a slam dunk, right? You mean you get back to veterans. Sure. Come get on post. And, and, uh, but, uh, it’s, it’s been a, a, a tough ride there than, uh, we thought, but
Mary Kate Soliva (00:53:44):
Oh my goodness. Yeah. No, it’s, I love that. And, um, and, uh, for Gallantry Global Logistics, so, um, you know, mentioning, uh, some of the, the work Kevin that you’re doing with, with John Wayne, was there something, anything y’all got stewing right now that you wanted to, to highlight?
Tevon Taylor (00:54:02):
You know, we we’re, we’re working on a lot of, uh, you know, obviously large government contractor type of, uh, scenarios. But, you know, look, if if, if there’s an opportunity for anyone that’s got freight moving and there’s a consequence of failure and they need a company to support them and give them kind of the white glove service, if you will look, that, that’s, that’s what we’re targeting. Not every customer’s right. Fit. So, you know, I would say there’s usually a little velocity and volume to the, the shipments as well. But the cool thing here is John, Wayne and I, we can jump in and, and support our customers and, you know, those that, uh, need some support, they can, they can reach me. It’s very easy. tTaylor@pegasuslogistics.com. And I don’t usually give my phone number out when my, the lights go off in this building. But I will say this, everyone has my old phone number for my previous experience. And it’s, it’s baffling when people reach out to me on LinkedIn and say, Hey, I’ve called you 10 times, you’re not reaching back out to me. I’m like, my phone number changed. So I would say this, go to my LinkedIn, uh, my new phone number’s out there, but, uh, would love to engage with any clients.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:55:10):
Thank you so much. And, and, uh, we’ll be sure to, you know, to, to put that on our, our site as well and, and our post of, of how folks can reach out to you. And, and John Wayne, I did wanna to loop back about what you said about supporting first responders. ’cause you, you know, we, we’ve been talking this whole time about veterans and the, and the transition, and could you just highlight real quick about what made you include first responders as well, and what you’re doing as far as giving back? Yeah,
John Wayne Walding (00:55:35):
I, I mean, that’s a very easy answer, right? Yeah. Because they’re the ones that protect us here, right? We go and protect those, uh, uh, uh, uh, off the soil. And if, if we don’t have police and fire, we’re, well, we’re one, one incident away from anarchy, you know, and, and, and they go and they, you know, hold that frontline here just as much as we do over there. And, and so, uh, it was just a, a, a very natural and easy, you know, conversation to have when we, uh, you know, started this about, hey, okay, you know, where’s our left and right limit? Right? Who are we gonna help? You know, it’s hard getting Air Force in. We’re like, ah, I guess we’ll let ’em in, you know, I’m kids. But, uh, it was, it was real easy, you know, uh, conversation to say, Hey, we need to have the first responder is, you know, personally, you know, my wife’s whole side of her family are all first responders. And, and, uh, yeah. And, and it’s just so, you know, something that, that, uh, we all gotta make sure we remember.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:56:26):
No, I love that. And, and you, it’s, you, you hit the nail on the head talking about they’re, they’re the ones fighting here at home, on the home front. So, you know, protecting both and, and making sure that those resources are available to them require funding, right? For it to support veterans and first responders, whether it’s their transition or beyond, or even those still dawn in the uniform. So, uh, you know, thank you so much, John, Wayne and Tevin. I, I know I could continue talking to you all day. And <laugh>, we may have to invite you, welcome you all back anytime to, uh, join us on Veteran Voices, where we continue to interview veterans serving beyond the uniform. And you are certainly doing that times, uh, 10 tenfold. So, John Wayne, how can, how can our listeners get ahold of you? How can they support your efforts? Where should they go? That’s
John Wayne Walding (00:57:14):
A good question. Uh, definitely, you know, gallantry logistics.com is the website for our, uh, our logistics company. Uh, obviously I, I’ve got, I don’t do social media. Uh, I’m, I’m one of those guys. I kind of run from all that. And, uh, uh, but I do have a LinkedIn, so you can look me up on LinkedIn. I don’t know if it’s private or not, but, uh, you know, I’m not on there often, but definitely reach out to me there and, and, uh, and yeah, that, that’s how you get in touch with us.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:57:39):
Fantastic. And, um, yeah, and Tim, a anything, I know you said you’re about sharing the old number. Did you have anything else about as far as how folks can you, are you on LinkedIn? I, I mean, as far, I know I we’re connected on LinkedIn, but are you welcoming everybody sitting? Yeah, I’m,
Tevon Taylor (00:57:54):
I’m, I’m a, I’m a LinkedIn, uh, yeah, I, I won’t say the word, but yeah, I absolutely use LinkedIn quite a bit. I, I’m in sales, you, LinkedIn is the best tool to be connected in the network, so I I absolutely use it. Yeah, he’s awesome. Yeah, it’s, it’s a great tool for me. I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t use it. It’s just, uh, I’m the guy that just looks at it and goes, gosh, these people are kind of silly. But,
Mary Kate Soliva (00:58:16):
Uh, I’m so glad that you dressed up for us today too. Thank you so much for, uh, <laugh>.
Tevon Taylor (00:58:21):
I got a haircut. I almost shaved, I took a shower. It was just for John Wayne. Yeah. I I feel like it took me three months to grow this beard. Look at him. He’s drizzly looking.
John Wayne Walding (00:58:32):
I trim mine. Yeah. Yeah.
Tevon Taylor (00:58:34):
<laugh>. That’s great. Mary Kate, you’ve been awesome. I’m not used to being so quiet on these, but I don’t need to talk. I got John Wayne Walden, he’s got the greatest story on the planet. So this is the first time I’ve done a podcast and I literally had to bite my, my tongue. ’cause I have nothing to say compared to what he’s gonna tell you.
Mary Kate Soliva (00:58:50):
No, I don’t know about that, but I, you know, honestly, both, both of you have been such a joy. And, uh, that’s why I feel like we almost need like a comedy run because it’s just like fire rapid fire here. Like how quick you guys are <laugh> back at each other. But I mean, that’s, that’s what, that’s the love and the brotherhood underneath all of it, right? It’s like, yeah, there’s the, the business piece, the for-profit piece that keeps the lights on, but there’s, there’s this piece that’s, you know, willing to drop whatever you got going on to, uh, to help one another out. And so that’s, that’s why I love doing this. That’s why I love connecting and bridging that gap with our listeners, with folks like yourselves, John Wayne, American Hero here. Thank you so much again for your service and sacrifice and, and to your wife, your daughter, your family, for, you know, standing by you through the thick and thin, you know, just wanted to shout out to them as well because, you know, I, I think that just the family piece is so important and, um, absolutely right. And, and sending out that, that, God bless to everybody, you know, everybody tune in. Thank you so much for tuning into Veteran Voices. Tune into wherever you get your podcast from and, and please join us again to hear more stories from other veterans continuing to serve beyond the uniform. Uh, and, and with that, I thank you all, uh, do good and be the change that’s seen as John Wayne said, you know, go out there, find your purpose, and, and don’t quit. Don’t give up. Uh, we’ll see you all next time.
John Wayne Walding spent 12 years in the United States Army, including seven years in the Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and during his career at 3rd SFG, he served on ODA 396/3336 as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant and the Sniper Detachment as a Sniper Instructor. It was during the harrowing battle of Shok Valley on April 6, 2008, that John would lose his leg to a sniper, and yet returned fire for four more hours with his severed lower limb tied to his thigh. The incredible story of that six-hour fight is detailed in the book No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan by Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer. Post-injury, John attended Special Forces Sniper School and upon graduation became the first amputee ever to become a Green Beret Sniper. Using a hand crank, he went on to compete in the 2009 Boston Marathon, in which he finished 4th, finished in the top 10 in the 2009 New York Marathon and ran the Army 10 Miler. Connect with John Wayne on LinkedIn.
Tevon Taylor is SVP Enterprise Sales Pegasus Logistics where he helps to drive growth and retention with contract logistics and transportation clients. Tevon has over 27 years of experience in transportation and logistics at UPS, Brink’s, and FedEx. His journey into logistics includes positions in IT, Engineering, Customer Service, Solutions, and Sales. Tevon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University as well as a Master’s in Business Administration focused on Corporate Finance from the University of Dallas. Connect with Tevon on LinkedIn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, 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.
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.
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).
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
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!
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.
Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
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.