If you’re a supply chain professional interested in supporting Ukrainians as the Russia-Ukraine war continues, you don’t want to miss this episode with Procure 4 Peace founders Antti Suorsa, Sammeli Sammalkorpi and Volodymyr Vorobey. Join Enrique and Maureen as they chat with these dynamic change-makers about the journey that led them to procurement and how they answered the call for support at the start of the violence in Ukraine. Tune in now to learn more about Ukraine’s most pressing needs and how you can make a difference.
Welcome to logistics with purpose presented by vector global logistics in partnership with supply chain. Now we spotlight and celebrate organizations who are dedicated to creating a positive impact. Join us for this behind the scenes glimpse of the origin stories, change making progress and future plans of organizations who are actively making a difference. Our goal isn’t just to entertain you, but to inspire you to go out and change the world. And now here’s today’s episode of logistics with purpose
Enrique Alvarez (00:00:34):
Good day, and welcome back to another very exciting episode of logistics with purpose. It’s been, uh, a while since I had the privilege to host an episode with Maureen. Maureen, How are you doing today?
Maureen Woolshlager (00:00:44):
Good. How are you? Happy Monday.
Enrique Alvarez (00:00:46):
I’m doing great. Thank you so much. We have an, a very interesting organization joining us and we also have a very international panel as well.
Maureen Woolshlager (00:00:53):
That’s true. That’s true. We have SOEL and Valdimir and all from procure for peace and we will let them talk a little bit more about themselves and what procure for peace is, but I don’t wanna jump ahead too quickly on that
Enrique Alvarez (00:01:09):
<laugh> oh, well the pleasure being here with you again. Uh, thanks everyone for joining auntie SOEL Belo mirror. Thank you so much for what you guys do. Uh, as said before this, we started recording, uh, what you guys are doing inspires, but, uh, before we jump into your organization, if you could tell us a bit more about yourselves, where, where did you grow, grow up? Uh, some of the things that you like to do when you were little and what country are you by the way, cuz we’re literally all over the world. So, uh, um, auntie, do you wanna start us off?
Antti Suorsa (00:01:37):
Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for having us. Um, yeah, this was, I’ve been, uh, I live in Finland Helsinki originally from, from Northern Finland, uh, from, from Romi town on Arctic circle. Um, and then maybe it’s from there, but on, on free time, especially in wintertime, I love to ski. So, so if I can choose where I spend my free time, it’s gonna be climbing up mountain and, and then skiing it, skiing it down.
Enrique Alvarez (00:02:04):
That’s uh, that’s funny that you mentioned the climbing up first cause uh, for us we take the lift usually, you
Antti Suorsa (00:02:10):
Know? Yeah. I to avoid
Enrique Alvarez (00:02:11):
The like too
Antti Suorsa (00:02:12):
Maureen Woolshlager (00:02:13):
Do you use when you go up? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. What about, uh, Ison like the only place you wanna go skiing or what would be like your second, most favorite place to go ski?
Antti Suorsa (00:02:24):
Japan is my most favorite place. Really?
Maureen Woolshlager (00:02:27):
Yes. I’ve never, I’ve never been,
Antti Suorsa (00:02:29):
There’s nice places in us as well. I’ve been in, in Colorado and Utah and, and lake Tahoe.
Maureen Woolshlager (00:02:34):
Yeah. I don’t know if they compared to Finland though. I’ll be honest, but
Antti Suorsa (00:02:38):
Well, Finland is quite flat. So the winter I went to Norway, it’s very near and they have some mountain stairs, so.
Maureen Woolshlager (00:02:44):
Okay. Wow. Okay. Japan, I’m gonna put that on my list right now.
Enrique Alvarez (00:02:48):
Thank you for, yeah. Thanks for joining auntie. And um, yeah. Thanks for sharing that with us. Um, Sammeli, do you want to go next?
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:02:55):
Yeah. Thanks. And, and welcome to all, all listeners as well. Great. Great to have the budget to be here. Thanks Henry and modern for making that happen. So yeah, some Sam is, is, is my name and it happens. I was also born in the, in the north in Finland. So I share a lot, lot of background with, and actually for me, sort of my first name is Sam and it’s actually not your traditional finished first name, but it’s a very traditional name for people from Northern Finland who, who have certain occupation and it’s the reindeer farming. So my parents wanted me, I me to become a reindeer farmer, but I have not fulfilled my parents’ expectations, at least in, in that front. So in instead I became a software entrepreneur team leading, uh, co-founder CEO of, of Seattle hyper procure software company for the past 20 years. This is sort of my, my occupation. If, if, until last nature skiing, I must say I, I took the other route. I, I do city sensitive life and so forth. Actually have to take this call from Philadelphia. I’m based in Finland, but as, as we speak interrupt,
Maureen Woolshlager (00:03:56):
I definitely wanna hear more about reindeer farming, but I think that’s gonna be a separate podcast. Um, my husband’s been to Finland a bunch of times for work and he brought me back some re uh, a reindeer PT once as, but, um, that’s a whole nother industry that maybe we can talk about offline.
Enrique Alvarez (00:04:14):
Is it, um, is it super telling that the first thing that I thought when you said that was, uh, frozen? I, I have a younger <laugh> younger daughter. I’m like, wait, reindeer farmer. That’s that’s yeah. What was his name? Uh, I forgot anyways.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:04:27):
Yeah, actually actually actually got when it comes to this reindeer farming story, the, the funny thing is that the, the Reiner farming is actually quite niche business. So as of, of next year, actually Sierra’s total revenue will exceed the total reindeer farming industry revenue in Finland. So at least from final point of view, I’ve been doing better than my Parents’. So I’m vegetarian. So I, I don’t think that that much is relevant to reindeer farming. So
Maureen Woolshlager (00:04:53):
Well, do you have any siblings that could pass the business on too?
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:04:57):
Yeah, also none of my siblings are in the, in the Reiner farm. So
Maureen Woolshlager (00:05:01):
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:05:02):
Enrique Alvarez (00:05:04):
Well, no. And we’ll get a little bit more into, uh, how you guys grew up, uh, both of you and, uh, Finland, um, and, uh, Volodymyr, go ahead. Last but not least wait last, but not least is what I wanna say.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:05:15):
Yeah. Uh, thank you and great for hosting me here. It actually was, uh, fun to get to know more about auntie, uh, and some, some about where you are from and what you’re doing. I’m, uh, VDO bay based in LA Western in Ukraine. Um, I grew up in Lehua actually, uh, and, uh, worked in, uh, what was that, uh, for European countries, uh, but I’m based in LIIF and, uh, kind of graduated from university here, Ukrainian myself. My parents are Ukrainian. It’s just that we Soviet times used to travel kind of when born in Tuia, uh, and, uh, I’m, uh, interpreter. And for 14 years I have been running, uh, economic development agency, PPP knowledge networks based here in leave, where, uh, business consultants, uh, SME program managers. So managed to, uh, kind of grew to 12 people and run, uh, various programs, developing creative industries across Ukraine, small business, uh, um, enterprises. He invest in Ukraine primarily, so quite known in the area, at least in Ukraine. So we are not as big as Sam. We have not yet, uh, uh, came over Thein India industry. Okay.
Antti Suorsa (00:06:34):
Ukrainian, Ukrainian, Ren farming industry.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:06:36):
Enrique Alvarez (00:07:06):
Great. No, we, we have, uh, we have, again, not only a very diverse panel, but it seems that we have skiers and entrepreneurs with us. I think that’s the, uh, common denominator here. And of course, people who want to change the world and, uh, make it possibly impact on society. So, um, one, one, um, story or, or one example while you guys were growing up that really kind of, uh, shaped the way you are and kind of started pushing you in the direction that you chose. Um, if you guys could share some of that with us, maybe some hero that you had, your parents, some friends, some teacher, um, something that you re remember from, from your childhood days,
Antti Suorsa (00:07:46):
Ah, to Europe, I’m I’m up first. Yeah. Um, not, not a little bit kind of in between, between kind of adulthood and, and childhood when I was in high school, um, I was an exchange student in South Africa. So, uh, lived in, in Soweto for a year in a, in a black family. So if, if, if, and then, you know, I was kind of the only white guy in the middle of, of 5 million black people living. So thinking about if some, some something affected my, my worldview, it’s probably kind of that, that, uh, after that, that I’ve been looking, looking world in a little bit different lenses then than before,
Enrique Alvarez (00:08:24):
What was the thing that, uh, I mean, why, what shaped, what kind of changed? What, what was your realization that, that was so impactful?
Antti Suorsa (00:08:32):
Uh, I, I think the biggest impact or, or the realization is, is kind of, uh, that people should be happy, uh, and the happiness doesn’t come from the kind of material stuff that is around you, it comes from other people and, and how you see life. So, uh, I think that’s, that’s one of the key, key learnings from there.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:08:51):
Mm. If I can jump actually, because, uh, interesting, um, uh, I can relate to Soweto story because, uh, I’ve also been in Soweto, but a bit not when I was a youngster, I was leading a delegation of, uh, student of ISAC. It’s an international student organization for the world summit on sustainable development, which was 2001. So a long time ago, 20 years ago. Uh, and, um, uh, we were leaving actually, I was a, uh, kind of a leader of international delegation there. Uh, we, there were 40 of us, I think, from 25 countries. Uh, and I was like Ukraine and leading, uh, international delegation whom I met virtually before. And then we were living in Soweto in the church. So, and I remember, um, a local kids were in the Bon car kind of BES because that’s what you can afford as a student, uh, organization.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:09:47):
Uh, and, uh, local kids were playing with my, my, uh, whatever the second and the only jacket that I had at the time. So I forgot once it’s outside. And I found that they managed to make it into the ball <laugh> and they were playing with, this is my jacket <laugh>. And then to give a perspective that, because I was representing international headquarters, I had to go to the, um, sentence center. I still remember the, the, which is the Porsche, uh, um, um, suburb of job work. You can imagine. So I was leaving the poorest, which, uh, uh, Texas would refuse to drive me. And then I was, you know, working, attending this whole, uh, Hilton’s, uh, uh, Marriots blah, blah, blah, convention centers, events of the corporate world, where I had to wear this jacket. And then, uh, that will hit me. Then it was that, Hey, Ukraine wear such a communist country.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:10:38):
Like we don’t have inequality because that’s when I got to know firsthand what inequality now I hear thats is kind of also up and coming, um, trendy district when I was there. It was definitely not. So, uh, and then that’s when I first saw this, uh, you know, this building, this nice mentions. And then I saw this, uh, little plague saying trans Parus will be shot. I was like, what, like, normally we used to go, you know, to pick like, as a kid, some, um, apples, you know, you know, these nasty, small things to do as a kid, uh, to steal neighbors, uh, apples. And then you see this in. So, uh, on the way that people actually get shot for trying to TPAs, like, I’m just, you mentioned anti Soweto. That’s what coming, uh, to me back and forth. That’s, that’s when I got understanding that haste in Europe is all the bizarre, um, kind of entourage and whatever we have here, uh, is actually quite a decent place to live. And we have, uh, um, literally no inequality in comparison with what is there in South Africa. Um, so maybe it was not there like my childhood or whatever the question was, but it just, uh,
Enrique Alvarez (00:11:52):
No great, great addition. And it’s, uh, again, another thing that you both have in common, um, so, uh, so yeah, this, uh, discrepancy right between people that have, uh, material things and people that don’t, and,
Maureen Woolshlager (00:12:05):
And auntie, I had a question about your experience when you went to South Africa, did you get a list of countries that you could choose or rank, or was that, did you purposely choose South Africa for any particular reason?
Antti Suorsa (00:12:18):
I actually chose South Africa. Yeah. Um, and, and, and, and the answer is long why, but, but I wanted to go in English, speaking country, but I didn’t even want to go to us. Okay. Um, and I didn’t want to go to Europe. So, so basically the options were then like New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa.
Maureen Woolshlager (00:12:36):
Did you have any idea what you were sign when you got there? Was it anything that
Antti Suorsa (00:12:41):
You, I probably had like super romantic view from, you know, bill Smith books or, or something like that.
Maureen Woolshlager (00:12:47):
Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
Enrique Alvarez (00:12:49):
So, uh, anything from your childhood that, that, no.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:12:52):
No. So experience
Enrique Alvarez (00:12:54):
<laugh>, well, it could be any other experience
Maureen Woolshlager (00:12:58):
You been just ATO <laugh>
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:13:01):
I think sort of kind going back kind of what made, made me who I am, and perhaps also why I’m being kind of quite active in these kind of more purposeful movements. I think, I think sort of, it goes back to kind when a soccer player, that was my dream. That one day I’ll be the soccer player that sort of takes Finland to world champions, finance, or whatever never happened. I wasn’t even close. And I, I realized it was not only about you have a dream and put a lot of effort. I just didn’t have what it takes from the talent point of view. And that has made me very humble later in my life with whatever success I’ve had as an entrepreneur. I do realize that of course it’s effort and, and that sort of stuff, but it’s also very much that I’ve been lucky in many senses when it comes to my talents, not this football player, but, but as an entrepreneur and it, it also has made me realize, okay, if there’s a way that I can give back to society, then I should be doing this because 99% of, of the success is not due to my own efforts is pure luck in the background, my talent, the, the family I grew up in the society I grew up in and so forth.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:14:02):
So that’s, that’s been a great motivation for me to kind of try to give back to society as
Enrique Alvarez (00:14:07):
Well. Very true. Ally, what position did you play?
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:14:11):
<laugh> for water and actually all of that in, in
Enrique Alvarez (00:14:14):
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:14:14):
Striker. Yeah. Striker. Yeah. In, in Seattle, everything is negoti ship. Like we can discuss about everything, but there’s one exception when, when CFO soccer team is playing and if I’m there, I’ll be the striker, I’ll be the <laugh> opening striker, and that’s, that’s not a
Enrique Alvarez (00:14:29):
Maureen Woolshlager (00:14:29):
Was there a particular incident that happened when you were playing soccer that you, you had like an aha moment where you thought, okay, I’m not gonna be at the world cup, or was it just a series of experiences
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:14:41):
That you had? It took a long time for me to realize that I’m not really gonna make it. I think it’s the age of 18. I was playing on the, on the field, on, on the fourth highest level and, you know, soccer, Finland fourth highest level is not exactly close to world champion. And then you see younger people. And so who just then you’s, this is not gonna,
Enrique Alvarez (00:15:04):
Well, I’m still up. So, um,
Maureen Woolshlager (00:15:10):
The, do you notice that you did change the word for most of, like, let’s say the us listening audience to say soccer instead of football. Cause um, most of, I would think in Finland it would be just habit for you to say, to say football, right? Yeah,
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:15:22):
Yeah. Yeah. And I guess, yeah, we also had love to say us based people working at C. So I guess I’m leading to what soccer, because then there’s no, no room for me. Ations yeah.
Maureen Woolshlager (00:15:31):
Well, when you come to Atlanta, you and Enrique could go out and have a, a rec recreational game in the, in the courtyard of, uh,
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:15:38):
Enrique Alvarez (00:15:39):
I’ll invite you to one of my teams, uh, Wednesday nights you’ll come play with us. We need,
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:15:44):
Yeah. If you need a strike I there, But I’m
Enrique Alvarez (00:15:49):
Which, which means you just don’t ever run back to defend, but I know what it means. Yeah. <laugh>
Maureen Woolshlager (00:15:54):
Well, guys, this is, um, I love this. Get to know you session and I think this is great. I think it breaks the ice a little for us to talk about some personal experiences before we delve into more of, uh, why we all got on the call, which was to talk about kind our professional experiences. And also you guys, all, I don’t think you all grew up. I mean, auntie and ly did not grow up in the same town in Finland and therefore get together in a business and Lodi mirror. You’ve had some very different experiences, so Morgan to, so we’re gonna get to the point, which brought all three of you together, but I think it would be great for our audience to know your background professionally, that would help get to that discussion about where you guys all intersected. If you guys would share a little bit of that professional background, that would help us understand that a little bit better.
Antti Suorsa (00:16:44):
Yeah. Happy to. Um, so I’m, I’m a procurement person. Um, I’ve been that since, since, uh, university, I studied, uh, supply supply management and, and, and logistics and, um, and, and been working in procurement scenes. And I’ve been doing pretty much everything in procurement from, from a buyer to a CPO and, and everything in between worked in several international companies. Uh, I was working eight years at Nokia and then lived two and a half years in us while, while working there. Um, yeah. And, and two years ago, a little bit more than two years ago, found myself in a situation that I can actually, you know, little bit better decide myself what to do. Uh, and then with an old Nokia colleague, we, we got together and decided that we’ll, we’ll start a sourcing consulting company in Finland. And, um, yeah, we’ve been working and growing that since, since then. And, and we’re kind of a small boutique consulting. Um, we’re now about 10 people, seal sourcing is the name and, uh, help companies with sourcing transformation, digitalization, change management and, and all kind of interesting topics around procurement
Enrique Alvarez (00:17:58):
Became, uh, became super, uh, relevant right. Supply chain and procurement in the last couple years before. Yeah. Probably not. Everyone cared much about logistics or shipping now, Hey, once you start, um,
Antti Suorsa (00:18:10):
When New York times is writing about it, it’s, it’s, it’s relevant. So
Enrique Alvarez (00:18:13):
Maureen Woolshlager (00:18:14):
I wear the life of the party now, when, when you go before it be like you work in supply chain, everyone just is like,
Maureen Woolshlager (00:18:22):
And I’m like, oh, I work in supply chain. They’re like, oh. And then it becomes an actual topic that somebody understands or wants to engage. It’s there’s been so many experiences that make it a topic that everybody can understand, whereas before it was just one of those like, and about the weather this weekend or something. Um, and you’re right. I think, you know, the Los Angeles times has written a lot about it. The New York times has when you see the port of Los Angeles on the cover of the major newspapers with cranes, you think, okay, this is changing the dynamic and the awareness of anyone that works in the supply chain and logistics industry. I think it makes it a little bit easier to understand for sure.
Enrique Alvarez (00:19:04):
Yeah. For and having good consulting companies in this area. It’s very important. So I’m sure that, uh, you guys are going to be set up for a very successful few years. So, um, yeah. Thanks for sharing. Sammel do you wanna tell us a little bit more about how you ended up, uh,
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:19:18):
Yeah, yeah. Happy to, and I actually change
Enrique Alvarez (00:19:20):
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:19:21):
Yeah. I, I also changed my audio assets while, until speaking and apparently successful. So happy about that. Yeah. Sort of, um, instead of reindeer filming, I got interested in, in, in computers when I was sort of kid. So, so, and not only we got playing games, but, but it’s quite young, like 10 years ago old. So I started to do my own games and programming and so forth. So in a way I kind of learn to code and do software engineering as a hobby as, as a young boy, when I went to university, I, I went to more, let’s say business topics. So I was measuring strategy, but also kind of minor minor was on computer sciences already. During the university times I had my own, so small software company doing, let’s say bespoke code for, for large enterprises. So that was sort of my first company mostly designed to let’s say, finance, my studies. Um, last end of my university studies, I ended up in procurement con or consulting ended up doing procurement related projects. And that’s sort of how, how I got to know about procurement and supply chain and, and, and spin a and procurement analytics. I was not super so
Enrique Alvarez (00:20:24):
On the software still on the programming software. Um, yeah, no Thater side of things
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:20:30):
That was 30 on consulting side that was kind of really business consulting side. So I had this kind of software engineering background behind me, no formal education on that more formal education on, on business strategy and stuff ended up doing kind of consulting was not happy with the consulting carrier and then sort of decided to combine those and okay. The only thing myself and the other cofounder knew anything about was kind of procurement consulting, procurement analytics. And then we had a bit of software background and combining those to you get C one procurement analytics and that’s, that’s, that’s the journey we’ve been now, um, in for 18 years. So we started as two guys startup, our initial capital was 8,000 us dollars. So, so it really kind of bootstraps up and then being grow incredible at the point where we are now, uh, 250 employees, 25 million revenue this year. Wow. Large enterprises serving companies like Doche telecom, Levis, uh, Johnson, uh, Carl Perth, and so forth on global basis.
Enrique Alvarez (00:21:27):
Congratulations. That sounds, uh, super exciting. Congratulations.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:21:31):
Thank you. And as I said, 99% is luck. So I, but I do play one, one person of the, my own
Enrique Alvarez (00:21:38):
Abso absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, requires hard work and never giving up as well. But yes, you’re, you’re right about Bob too.
Maureen Woolshlager (00:21:44):
I have a, I have a question for you cuz I’m not, I’m not sure how old you are. You don’t have to tell me, but I know that when I was 10 and I’m in my forties, um, going and learning to code or develop something was not on my radar. I know that that does fit, um, some people earlier than others. Um, but definitely how accessible was that was the ability to, to actually go and learn that on your own. Like I have a 10 year old right now who’s into some things on the computer. So I signed them up for small online coding classes to see, but that’s like in 2022 where you can get some college students who want to build their own enterprise, they’re doing it for free. He’s excited cuz you can make a couple animated things, but I mean you draw in like 10, so you know it wasn’t so tell me, how did you get into that? Like how was
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:22:38):
That? Yeah, I need to also disclose, I I I’m in five forties, so it wasn’t equally accessible, accessible back thens fin.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:22:49):
Yeah. So, so what happened actually is I guess I need to also thank my, my brother who sort of convinced my parents that we should get the commuter of 64 and, and we got, and then, then I think he sort of purchased this, this well BA no kind of basic programming kind of guide or something like that. That’s how I got my first introduction to the world of coding. But yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s quite different blog nowadays. So with the online accessibility of the classes, but at the same time, I have to argue that. Okay. If, if you imagine yourself in, in Northern two town in November when right.
Enrique Alvarez (00:23:25):
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:23:27):
Activities. So I think that forced me to do something it most interesting attraction available.
Enrique Alvarez (00:23:35):
That’s funny. Yeah. But commod 64 that’s basic used to, so you started with basic I’m guessing. Right. And then yeah. Pascal and from there
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:23:42):
On, yeah, I had basic, I had my Pascal couple years as well and then moved to Del, which is sort of Morelo programming stuff and so forth, but I haven’t touched software code in, I dunno, 10, 15 years. And I think it’s for the benefit of the, of the company
Enrique Alvarez (00:23:56):
Maureen Woolshlager (00:23:58):
Well, did you, well, I mean, you
Enrique Alvarez (00:24:00):
Know yeah, for sure. It was a definitely a, a good, good upbringing and great experience, um, below the mirror, uh, below the mirror. Tell us a little bit more about you. How did you, uh, became the successful person that you are now?
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:24:12):
Uh, well, I’m always humble in, uh, kind of describing whether I’m successful or not Bo, but at least, I mean I’m a decent person. That’s the most important? Uh, I was laughing because actually I also was, uh, computing on pascals, uh, Cubase and through a pascals, but it was in still Soviet union on Soviet computers with occasional high college short, uh, circuit, uh, um, receiving some electrical, um, kind, they call it motivation. Let’s put it that way, but my software development, if it could be called that way, uh, or actual electrical engineering career was very short lived, you know? So we moved to back to Ukraine because we always another, uh, more you asking more, uh, earlier the, um, experience that I got in as a teenager for me, it was actually a formative experience was, uh, 1991 when, because I grew up in Lithuania when Soviet troops were actually, um, a storm in Lithuania and TV station when Lithuania were breaking, uh, from Soviet union.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:25:18):
That’s when, um, I still vividly remember that because I was a kid of a Soviet officer, even though my father is a Ukrainian and we always wanted to be in Ukraine, but because of Soviet union, you couldn’t serve in the Republic that you were from. Uh, so that’s when you acutely, uh, um, my, how you call it, my national, uh, national identification process was very acute because you suddenly realize that no, I’m not Russian I’m Ukrainian. So you start asking questions, your parents, what does it mean? Because we were at the time Russian speaker. So rectify Ukrainians. Now I’m back to the roots to my Ukrainian language, even though we’re completely bilingual kind of country as a, as a way, but that’s what, uh, kind of, uh, was the experience there, but then coming short of my biography, uh, I was, um, I graduated from, uh, um, economics.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:26:10):
So financing credit, uh, uh, worked in Germany then, uh, um, some log logistics, Toman, actually in the logistics in the financial department. Uh, still remember we would leave the shock of my life when I came there and understood that the only person who was speaking English was my boss, but he was hardly ever there. And then here I am in English start and, uh, completely Bavarian speaking, um, Ukraine, recent grade do it. So my German, uh, picked up very rapidly. The kinda survival skills were very fast. And so, uh, remember writing this kind of making financial calls calculation for some B BMW operations in England while explaining that in German, you know, and I’m like from Ukraine. So that’s, uh, now I remember how it was very fast learning curves. So if you want to survive and then to get to understand logistics in German in like three months, uh, that was the best experience you can get first, a fast immersion, but then I moved back to kind of more student development and I was, uh, working in, um, Iceland then in roam and the Netherlands, uh, then my student activities went over and then I joined as a knowledge manager for associations in Brussels, where I worked in the area of corporate social responsibility, uh, was, uh, actually involved in the initiatives.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:27:34):
And it was like what, uh, 15, 20 years ago on responsible supply chain management. So I was involved in the, um, uh, in the projects when this, uh, when the corporate leaders were thinking about like HP, uh, Greek company, Titan and Volkswagen then known they were, uh, kind of setting up discussing how to clean up their supply chains, how to do supplies checks, uh, how to synchronize the, um, databases. So not to do overkill with the supply checks, et cetera. So it was quite interesting to, uh, kind of be involved in this, uh, international networks and the development projects. And there was a, a number of them. So I worked for CSI Europe, corporate social responsibility, Europe, and then academy business and societies been spin out of that with the major business school. So, and for me, it was interesting experience because I was involved in the high level high international agenda, European commission, uh, multinational companies, top universities, business schools, uh, um, designing the programs, uh, how to, uh, so I was involved in Desi setting up the program for funding, uh, projects, uh, for business schools and universities on, um, business and society issues.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:28:52):
What we call now impact investment, uh, ESG issues, environment, social government, uh, governance issues. Um, uh, but then I kind of felt that in a sense I’m, uh, slightly <inaudible> detached from reality. So it’s very high out there. Uh, you deal with policy making with a large enterprises and I wanted something down to earth and I decided, uh, why not to stop my Brussels career and go down to roots. And I moved back to Ukraine in 2008 and set up, um, an agency what later be became, so that the beginning, I would say it’s on the only on my third reincarnation PPP knowledge networks became what we are and we’re quite successful here, uh, because I wanted to contribute to the development of Ukraine, but do it in a smart, sustainable way. So, um, and we, and I set up the agency, which is actually, uh, consult also large companies in setting up, uh, uh, their CSR activities and how to run the develop.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:29:56):
We’ve set up a number of development agencies for literally setting up institutions. So it’s institutional development across Ukraine. Uh, we run, uh, very successful, um, program of Nova P Nova PORs. That’s the largest and very successful logistics company in Ukraine. It’s, uh, one of our corporate successes, uh, and the founders, uh, invested, um, into setting up kind of SME development, fast track, uh, uh, educational program, which our agency helped to design. So program and role, uh, role across the country. And now there are more than thousand graduates, SMEs, so small traders, uh, alumni there, and we’re happy that now they’re running it’s themselves now, but it’s our design kind of roll out the whole, it’s called, um, uh, Nova port school of business, uh, kind another business school, but school of business kind of to play in the words, it’s, uh, eight module, uh, programs, which was running across eight, uh, cities, uh, in Ukraine. Uh, we are also implementing projects funded by the European commission USA here and still doing that, uh, supporting, um, either sectors for instance, uh, creative industries, kind of fostering development training, uh, providing funding, or we, for instance, introduce their vouchers for SMEs as an instrument policy instrument here in Ukraine, uh, which has kind of now been COPI pasted by different local authorities. So, um, for me, it was background down to the roots in a sense, so I have, I would say reverse career, you know, normally
Enrique Alvarez (00:31:29):
Yeah. Full circle, you came back, uh, full circle, right? Uh,
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:31:33):
You exactly. So I came through Brussels, so I was meeting the commissioners, you know, like, uh, uh, maybe it’s not for the podcast to tell the stories, you know, how like, and then you I’m Ukrainian and people wouldn’t even know where Ukraine is at that time. And they were still telling that we are somewhere as Russia. And of course it was all the rage coming, rage coming. That’s nowhere, not Russia where we’re different. And then now I’m, uh, I feel myself in my place kind of I’m, uh, where I belong. Uh, uh, I’m involved in, uh, um, development of my country involved in the policy making. So you work with MPS with, uh, uh, uh, with ministers, I know personnel prime minister, because he used to, we used to work on projects here. Um, and it feels very natural, kind of that’s where, where I contribute, that’s where I am. Um, so,
Enrique Alvarez (00:32:24):
And it, it will it, and it, it seems after listening to all your stories that, uh, that were slowly, slowly building up from your childhood to where you are now. And, uh, I think now we know what’s connecting you, procurement logistics, supply chain, of course, is love that it seems that you’ll have to helping, uh, the community and the, the, the world. So, uh, anti I mean, I think if, I think we’re in the right spot now for you guys to introduce to us on our audience, what, uh, procurement for pieces, what, what is these, where, where does it come from? Why people from so different backgrounds kind of coming together, different countries and different experiences. What’s, what’s the deal? What happened? Maybe I’ll, I’ll
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:33:06):
Pass the word to some ma who’s kind of guilty party of,
Enrique Alvarez (00:33:09):
Of perfect. <laugh>.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:33:11):
Yeah. I tell the story from, from my view and thanks for the good pass strike, all of us, appreciate a good pass score. So I, I can tell at least that following story from my point of view, and then, then explains too, but sort of from my perspective. So, so prior to war and prior to for, I had absolutely no connections to Ukraine, so I don’t have any, let’s say special connectional didn’t have any special connection to Ukraine before the, the war started. But anyways, from point of all, Europeans, everybody globally, sort of when the, the Russia started, the attack was of a great shock sort of what, what happened. And, and then as a Z of company, of course, the first, first sort of question we had is that how do we, internally as a company react to that. And then we went on and had debate about that and decided to do an internal slack post on Thursday morning already.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:34:07):
Then we started to repaid whether we should make an external statement that, okay, we, we support the, the people of Ukraine and we, we condemn this attack pipe for the administration. We have debate internal or whatever to do that or not. We did that, that public sort of statement on Friday, uh, then based on that, uh, guy called team who represents Ukrainians in Finland, sort of, uh, thanked this model support in LinkedIn, and then basically said, if you really want to help ping me and let’s see if you, if you could be of help. And then I, then I PED this team and tried to figure out what would help the Ukrainians in Finland, for example, whether they would like to use our office space for, for as headquarters that would, that was not sort of beneficial, but actually they, they had a problem that, that they had already collected different that they applied to ship to, but they missed logistics connection from health.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:34:59):
And then I realized that my connection seemed, let’s say, procure logistics were perhaps I could sort of, of help there. And then I tested some of my connections over Saturday, kind of in publicly LinkedIn, but also do direct messages. And the response was overwhelming in, in less than six hours, I had more than dozen different logistics providers, active in Finland, providing their support from, from the large multinationals, all the way to kind of guy and ran sort of sales saying, we’ll take the goods from health UK. We are happy to help tell me when to pick up and, and how much and wow. And that was in aha moment for me in many ways. First of all, there’s a kind of debate about, let’s say the, the democratic society kind of not, not being functional anymore and hate speech and so forth. But now I very strongly felt that, Hey, the D works and here we are as a society kind pulling together to, to, to help Ukraine that was in aha moment.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:35:53):
And there was also moment, okay. It was pretty easy with my connections to gotta make that happen, which had been innovative challenge for the Ukrainians in fin who don’t have, let’s say logistics, supply chain connections. So, so then I short that was helpful. That’s, that’s nice. Let’s say people in similar position as myself in different countries and, and regions of, of Europe. So I basically copied past it, what I, this Skype, what I did linked in with the idea that other people could sort of copy this, this playbook, if you may, and, and, and replicate the same activities in different regions and cohorts. But then what actually happened is, is, is, is one of them we don’t have <inaudible> here, but he is, he’s a chief procurement officer in the UK based company actually knows what meeting from the past. He saw my LinkedIn post and said, Hey, he’s been also trying to help the Ukraine in the, in the, in, in his own, sort of to our own connections.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:36:50):
And he saw what, what I had done and by we should kind of get together and discuss how we can sort of scale things up. And, and RO had one strong advantage to myself. He had a connection in Ukraine like we are discussing here. And then basically what we realized me raw, and then Lance who pressed the church, cofounder of that sort of, there’s a lot of Europeans who want to help, but they have absolutely no clue what would be really helpful in Ukraine because it’s, when you’ve been in war situation so forth, it, it, it, it can be difficult to understand what would be helpful. And also it’s easy to start use your energy on something which is not helpful. And perhaps even is, let’s say harmful for the situation. So we really, that we need to understand from the ground, what would be helpful.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:37:34):
And also the, one of the challenges was at that point, at least we didn’t know whether we should be trying to be helpful for next five days, five weeks, five months, five years. What is the time horizon of the events? Now, now, as we are recording this, this session, we of course, three months down to war, and it’s, it’s clear, it’ll be there for, for quite long time, but it was not that clear, uh, from the early days. But then basically if you pass forward today, number five, the next week, Tuesday, I believe we launched pro procure four piece, which is basically a volunteer organization with the purpose of, let’s say, connecting the Ukrainian people who have the needs, who actually have money nowadays through the donations. But though who don’t have, let’s say procurement capabilities at industry scale, connecting these Ukrainian people and organizations with European and us based procurement logistics, people who have all the connections who know how to run, sourcing or logistics in, in industrial scale and are willing to help, but basically have no idea what would be helpful in Ukraine. So procurement for peace is really kind of the platform. Maybe we try to kind of connect these to groups of people and, and, and, and organizations as well to make a positive impact for, for Ukraine. Whew, that was the story.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:38:47):
Uh, I can jump next then also to continue what Samuel was telling indeed, uh, uh, rocket sat, uh, my teammate from roter Dame times and, uh, kind of a good friend of mine. Um, uh, who’s now living in, in Germany, uh, he introduced me and said, uh, you know, there is this bunch of guys who are setting up this procure for piece, uh, how can we help? And, and he brought me on board. I’m despite working with kind of now, as I, uh, as I was telling now, I realize that there’s more connection to procurement and supply chains that I thought before. <laugh> because we do work with logistics companies and, uh, I was involved in the responsible supply chain management, but then, um, like, uh, on a daily basis, I’m not in the procurement area. I’m not a CPO or a person dealing with supply chain, but, uh, well, I do know of it, uh, uh, very well and, uh, uh, friends of mine, they were all kind of in the day one, I think, uh, I received, I dunno, um, thousands, probably hundreds, definitely messages from people whom, uh, I met maybe 20 years a minute ago, but everyone was so appalled by the, by the Russian invasion, everyone outreached.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:40:00):
It was that the outpour of emotion and support was, uh, overwhelming. And it were very grateful for that. But of course everyone, uh, in Ukraine, first of all, we had to deal with our personal safety, then employees and family, and, uh, uh, around you. And then you, you start kind of seeing what can I do? I mean, how can I be able help, uh, I mean, uh, obviously the economic development and the projects consulting. That’s not something that is going to continue during the war. So everything stopped to understand that. So I rearranged things at work and, um, uh, there was a number of initiatives. I got, uh, involved myself on a volunteer basis as every Ukrainian, uh, uh, does, unless you’re called, uh, to the army, like either you are being caught or then you try to find yourself, uh, where you can be more of help of use.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:40:50):
Uh, uh, and I realize that, sure. I mean, uh, I can be involved as, uh, everyone here in fundraising and in, uh, shipping things and, uh, people shipping stuff to Ukraine, but it’s not scalable. It’s not like, um, with my knowledge, my background, maybe there’s something else that, uh, I can do. And that’s why I, uh, agreed to, to rocket’s, uh, opera, like kind of to join and, and see how I can help. So, uh, long story short, uh, I also outreached to people in Ukraine who are actually more knowledgeable, uh, um, on procurement site. Uh, I, uh, got in touch with the key of school of economics, uh, uh, center of excellence in procurement. Uh, these are the, uh, the women latest who involved in, um, uh, kind of training and developing procurement, uh, managers across Ukraine. So it’s a recognized center of excellence in that area.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:41:46):
Uh, they are really well, uh, very well connected to the procurement network in Ukraine, including the, uh, defense ministry, um, uh, including the large companies operating here in Ukraine, both multinationals and Ukrainian, large companies, plus, uh, um, uh, they were, and still, uh, very involved in Porro, which is one of the successes of Ukraine. It’s a public procurement system, which is kind of open ended, uh, uh, where all public procurement go through and there are competing kind of platforms. So it’s a single database, uh, across the whole country, but then the operators of it, they’re multiple and they compete for, um, kind of, uh, people trading on the platform. So it’s a, a post my down post 2014 revolution success story, which eliminated PT corruption, uh, this whole transparency system that was involved and, um, keeps all,
Enrique Alvarez (00:42:44):
Well, it sounds, it sounds like you call the cavalry is, I mean, you, you basically, when they, you found out about this, you called every single person, you knew all the organizations you think could,
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:42:53):
Well, I wouldn’t
Enrique Alvarez (00:42:54):
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:42:54):
Called every single. I found those who know
Enrique Alvarez (00:42:57):
Then plug them into, plug them into procurement for peace.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:43:02):
Uh, uh, brought our heavy weight, Zoey to children who is driving for was, uh, I think 15 or 20 years of experience in ESE here in Ukraine. She was a CPO there. Um, uh, uh, uh, now she has her own, she’s like an independent consultant on procurement and she got involved in our lead, uh, with procure for PCP.
Enrique Alvarez (00:43:23):
How, how many people did you ha so SOEL put you in touch, got, gets in touch with you, you start calling other people now. There’s not only one, there’s only two. It sounds like it’s starting to create a movement perhaps
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:43:38):
Kinda give us status, check where we are right now. And we’re doing up to nowadays,
Antti Suorsa (00:43:42):
I think. Yeah. So I, I joined about like maybe 3, 3, 4 weeks into the, into the show. I know some from, from the past and I, I followed from the beginning kind of the, the procure for piece story starting to shape up. And, um, yeah, now we are same. So through,
Enrique Alvarez (00:43:58):
Through LinkedIn, or how did you
Antti Suorsa (00:44:00):
Through LinkedIn? Yeah. Okay.
Enrique Alvarez (00:44:01):
Yeah. So when Sammel put it out there for people to know you saw it yeah. And you reacted to it and you’re like, okay, I got
Antti Suorsa (00:44:08):
It fast. And, and then some million Lance and Roha kind of posted a, a, a job. Uh, so they were looking for volunteer, uh, to, to take kind of the sourcing activities and, and start to lead, lead it from, from that point of view. And, um, yeah, I, I happened to have a bit quieter period. So I had had kind of possibility to push some other things aside and, and, and, and, and jump on board. And I think it’s great just to be doing something and not just worrying and, and, and following up Twitter and, and, and seeing kind of news is, is Kiev Kiev still, you know, standing. Um, so yeah, now we are, we have a core team in Ukraine. Uh, so with VDI, we have, uh, uh, soya that, that you mentioned already. We have Olga and ENA, uh, from the KF school of economics.
Antti Suorsa (00:44:56):
And, and then, um, we have the, the founding fathers, uh, on, on Europe site myself. Then we have NA um, our communications lead. And, and then we have, uh, the LinkedIn group, uh, in, in for procure for peace. And I think we have more than thousand people there currently who have kind of informed, well, joined the group. So they want to know what’s going on. Uh, and, and, and then we have, let’s say 30 to 40 people, both in Ukraine, and then outside Ukraine who have kind of volunteered so informed that they, they wanna help, uh, in, in different, different form or, or so, so, yeah, it’s, it’s been coming up quite a movement movement lately.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:45:40):
Uh, we also, on the Ukrainian side, we are set up the Facebook group because it’s, interestingly enough, in Ukraine like Facebook, uh, plays a role of LinkedIn kind of more professional, uh, networking. It’s bizarre, but that’s how the, the, the, the geography pick up different social media and we had to be there. So, uh, uh, it’s also growing quiet, uh, at a pace. Uh, we found volunteers for different categories. We started, uh, to find volunteers and, uh, Lana, they, they ran kind of the call for volunteers. And I think 30 plus, uh, people from procurement community Ukraine also volunteers said, Hey, we want to support like users. Uh, and we set up a category manager for radios two-way radios walkie talk, because that’s what people source and heavy issues. Um, uh, what else we, we had. And we also work with Corra fabric brick, you know, because it’s a quieted demand. It was quite a adventure to actually try to find the suppliers of that, because it seems that we, uh, Ukrainians have, uh, kind of, um,
Enrique Alvarez (00:46:48):
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:46:51):
Antti Suorsa (00:46:52):
The, for Bulletproof vest, ah, and medical kit pouches, and this kind of heavy, heavy duty fabric.
Enrique Alvarez (00:47:00):
Maureen, we go ahead, Maureen. I know you had <laugh>, we haven’t let you talk in a while
Maureen Woolshlager (00:47:04):
Was more of, it was more on like a higher, um, like a bigger picture level where, you know, when, when this all started in February and you guys came together really quickly, it seems like in a week you were able to come together and start a program and an organization, how has the scope or reach changed? Obviously there’s a lot more followers and people part of the group, but I don’t know that everyone had any idea of where we would be three months later, like you said, so that the timeline keeps shifting expectation shift. How has that affected kinda the day to day of your,
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:47:41):
Well, that’s a great question, because of course in the beginning it was, uh, lot of energy in a very unstructured way. So, so positive chaos, of course, for entrepreneur, it almost feels like home, but, but
Maureen Woolshlager (00:47:54):
Positive chaos, that’s a good way to say it that
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:47:58):
At the same it’s, it’s not scalable like that. Also, my initially there was a lot of people who sort of raised their hand and said, I want to help. And there’s kinda dis willingness to help, but then quickly we realized that trying to have to kinda some, some letters from thousand people who are very willing to help who can have one or two hours per week is not going to be a scalable way because you use more time for coordinating than you get benefits out. So, so then we sort of stated, okay, we want to have at one hand side, this sort of core volunteer organization who know, let’s say fulltime or close to full time, let’s say people who can really kind of keep, keep the ship the shape. Then also we realized that instead, or, or in addition to, let’s say lot of let’s say individuals, let’s, let’s try to kind of connect with of the large organizations who have consulting and procurement expertise be GP or better oil or scout be who can provide tools and resources to help to cause.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (00:48:57):
So instead of going to thousand people and try to get one hour, go to large organization, try to get 10 people full time. And I think that has helped us to kind of, uh, make a positive impact at the same time. We are still figuring out how, how could we also to kind of the strengths of the community, because there’s capable people in the community, but, but really it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s less of that positive chaos right now. And, and, and bit more structure as such. And it, it is about over time. Of course, we still don’t know what is the end game going to be, because now it’s, let’s say very much focused on Ukraine and there’s personal work to be done right now. So we don’t even worry about that, but what is the end game really for this organization? Something that we’ve sort of crossed our minds, but it’s, it’s not solved yet, then no need to solve it right
Enrique Alvarez (00:49:43):
Now. So, uh, and what are the current needs? Cause, uh, as you say, the goal is unfortunately nowhere near this horrible atrocity that Putin and Putins administration is put onto Ukraine, but also the world, like, uh, there’s outrage out there. There’s positive chaos as you put it. There’s a lot of energy, a lot of people want to help. And we see it, uh, on a day to day basis, which is uplifting and inspiring really, but what’s the need? What, what does peace, uh, procure for peace need right now? Um, what’s the main thing that you guys are seeking out to do, or what’s the next kind of objective?
Antti Suorsa (00:50:18):
I think we’ve been, there’s, there’s kind of different phases and there’s some studies about kind of crisis and, and different kind of needs in, in crisis that, that, that they are. And, and we’ve been very much focusing on those kind of first level things and, and, you know, medical kits, uh, blades for Bulletproof vests. We’ve, we’ve had some needs around food. Uh, so, so things that, that, you know, country in a war need and, and, and people in war need, um, we’ve, we’ve helped some NGOs helping refugees. There’s been millions of refugees leaving, leaving Ukraines. So there’ve been some, some specific needs around food and, and hygiene products for, for refugees. Uh, and, and I think that, that those, those needs are still there, but I think we are starting to kind of evolve and, and, and whether, and when we are gonna go, we’ll go to the next phase and what the needs will be there, uh, is, is probably a bit of a question, mark.
Antti Suorsa (00:51:21):
We just talk about it with, with holiday on, on Friday. Um, but I, I think we are, we kind of, we still have needs coming up on, on those kind of, you know, first categories that we’ve been supporting with. Um, but, but we are starting to see kind of, maybe we are in a, in a little bit more quieter face and, and then new stuff most likely will start picking up, um, when the kind of rebuilding activities will start and, and, and so on, different companies will start to realize, like, like Valdi said, you know, three months now in the war, we’ve started to see kind of economic activity picking up, well, you know, many of the supply chains are not there anymore. Maybe we need to see, start supporting companies to restart their business. Maybe they need to transform to a new business and they need new kind of supply chains. So, um, yeah, I, I think we, we still don’t know like what the end game will be, and, and, and, and now we are more on the kind of, you know, we help, uh, we listen, we learn and, and, and react and, and kind of based on, based on what we learn and where we can add most value.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:52:32):
I think I might add the actual, what, uh, concretely we’ve done, uh, and where the, kind of our contribution was because we were also discussing kind of how can we help because we, as soon as we announced that we are more about, uh, uh, we are in the area of procurements helping to find actual suppliers, uh, of course you get overwhelmed by this request that I need two bullet PR proof vest or whatever. So it’s a small scale, which obviously you, you can’t manage that. So we were talking about, um, scale, and then we found this, uh, um, I would say rather successful, uh, formula whereby we used our, um, contributors to who were grateful, uh, uh, Bero, uh, called E who would, uh, help us to identify suppliers and who would make publicly available the list of verified, uh, suppliers with talk available, let’s say of the armor plates or the, uh, first medical, uh, kit suppliers.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:53:31):
And, um, we were tracking, there were, uh, 700 plus views on those, uh, lists. So when people would outreach in contact, we would also put the standards, uh, publicly available on our Facebook page. Uh, so, uh, essentially we were helping the, kind of put this information plumbing in a sense. So where could I find whom, uh, how, how do ask, uh, what, what I’m looking for, what are the standards, uh, especially a lot of these volunteer procurement offices, so how you call it, uh, it’s like, um, uh, do it yourself procurement, which, uh, emerg at massive, a massive scale in Ukraine. We, uh, tried to, um, also outreach to large charities in Ukraine who fundraised, uh, large amounts and who were doing procurement, uh, uh, and when understood that they eventually, they found themselves the way to, uh, we were not able there to help them because they identify their own procurement officers.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:54:31):
Uh, uh, but nevertheless, we know the larger funds and we know the people who are kind of now procuring for Ukraine and what we’ve done. Uh, that’s what, uh, all Golan were doing and still doing. Uh, we also plugged, uh, this database of suppliers that we sourced into the por database because, uh, one of the, maybe one of the messages, which, uh, um, uh, which might come from this, uh, podcast is, uh, this, this recording is that, uh, uh, in fact there is this database of Zoro, uh, suppliers, uh, which Ukrainian, uh, both government and, uh, private sector, uh, companies are using to kind of, uh, get suppliers and international companies, uh, could and should be there too in order to actually be noticed. And, uh, so that people actually get to know about them because, uh, uh, the world is huge. And if you need something, a category, right, and you are in Ukraine, it’s kind of tricky. Either you go Googling or do you do what? So, no,
Enrique Alvarez (00:55:37):
We would love to help with that, uh, below the interview send us a list of some of the links to the companies that you think need to be mentioned and need to be, uh, get more awareness, please just send us an email and we’ll include it, uh, as part of the notes of this, uh, podcast. So that you’re absolutely right. That’s very, very powerful and something practical enough that we could do. We just put all the links to all those different, amazing companies that also need support. So, yeah. Good, good point.
Antti Suorsa (00:56:06):
I think another, another kind of call to action could be that, um, like I said, we, we have a guess what the future needs will be, but we, we don’t know what they exactly will be and when they will be. Um, but we know that if we have people who have expertise on a certain category and supply chain of a certain category, we will be a lot faster than to act on the need. So, so what we have, we have on the LinkedIn page, we have a kind of a survey form, uh, where you can fill in that, you know, I’m willing to help and, and, and, you know, I, I have expertise on these categories, so, so that’s, that’s kind of a, a future database for us then, you know, if we need concrete or, or, you know, specific steel products or, or whatever it might be, you know, if we have people who, who know that supply chain in and out and know who to contact, that, that we are gonna be a lot faster than to, to act on all the needs. So that’s, that would be a great
Enrique Alvarez (00:57:04):
Take the survey, right. And, and we have to promote that as well, and we’ll include it. We’ll, uh, we’ll share a link to the survey as well. And, and you’re right. That’s a, that’s a great way of, uh, very easily filtering out some of the resources that you’re getting, cuz uh, I said everyone wants to help, but sometimes, I mean just wanting to help might make things even more chaotic as opposed to, um, making things better. So good point.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:57:27):
Uh, actually I can do some, uh, uh, maybe a share some observation practical observation because the procure for peace activities also kind of opened for me the other, like the back door, you know, to Ukrainian businesses as well because, uh, uh, Ukraine, uh, has a lot of small enterprises companies who transformed their business models immediately. Let’s say the steel producers would shift to the armor plate steel if they could by, uh, considering technical, uh, issues. Then a lot of suing companies or brands started to, um, uh, make things for clothing, um, or their vests, et cetera for their front lines. Uh, uh, and it was very rapid, but then they, uh, immediately they were stuck with, for instance, what we just discussed, uh, earlier about the lack of the fabric, you know, because it was kind of wiped out across hall of Eastern Europe first.
Volodymyr Vorobey (00:58:22):
I mean, Poland is nearby and, uh, uh, kind of amazing support from them, but we also amazingly, you know, like, uh, uh, bought everything they had there for these categories, which I need now in Ukraine. Uh, and then you start this issue. Okay. We can produce. And of course, as a Ukraine and I would, uh, kind of steer towards jobs here in Ukraine so that we can produce and buy here in Ukraine for Ukraine and needs. Uh, it’s also needed for employment for taxes, et cetera, but then our companies, even those who are produced the final products they are being faced with their supplier issue on kind of, uh, how you call it dis distorted, um, supply chain situations. That’s where initiatives such as procure for pizza is helping is coming to help. So this, this kind of information support, I would say plumbing, right? So, um, uh, and that’s where we need to know whom to outreach as was mentioning, know the category specialists who can actually pinpoint, uh, because it’s actually challenging. It’s not that easy to find, uh, suppliers of certain categories in time of great demand and with availability and, and possibility to actually deliver to Ukrainian, uh, border
Enrique Alvarez (00:59:44):
And, and it’s surgeon too, right. I mean, you need them from a procurement standpoint, from a shipping standpoint, it’s like, Hey, we need them now. Right. We Y yesterday. Right. So, um, so you’re absolutely right Marine.
Maureen Woolshlager (00:59:56):
Um, I was actually just curious, as you were talking about, I know it’s a little bit off topic, but for some of those things with the, the vests and the armor and things like that, have that, have those been accessible for civilian use or is it more that the military is looking for additional
Volodymyr Vorobey (01:00:12):
Resources with that? There are, I
Maureen Woolshlager (01:00:14):
Know in stage it’s harder to get that like as a group, but the military has it. So in the situation with Ukraine, there’s so many levels of people, part of the protecting, trying to protect the, the country there has it,
Volodymyr Vorobey (01:00:30):
Uh, uh, you see, that’s a, uh, multidimensional question I would say. So on one hand, there is a, a military forces procurement obviously, and there is a great help from the Western countries supporting, and these are their own separate channels, which we do not get involved. Uh, but then also we need to remember that, uh, Ukraine, uh, well, it was an invasion, so there is an army, but then there is a territorial defense forces, which are part of the army, but which was set up just in January. So it means that in terms of procurement and in terms of equipment and the personal protective equipment, uh, uh, there not much, yeah, let’s put that right there. The weapon is there, but then, uh, it’s up to volunteers to actually to equip, uh, and it’s this hundred thousand people, um, like in one month, you know, that you suddenly need all of that.
Volodymyr Vorobey (01:01:22):
Uh, plus people who go in then to the frontline, then they figure out that they also would like to have this drones. And then they would like to ask this walkie talk is, and it would be great and Ukrainians are inventive in what we need and how we can fight in this sense. It’s our kind of forte and then their demands are coming. And then you have other different various countries and regulations, whereas somewhere it’s, uh, uh, let’s say, uh, rather prohibitive and restrictive, let’s say in Germany that you would need to have kind of qua license in order to buy that. But in other countries it’s kind of, uh, available for the civilian news. So you need to kind of navigate that, uh, navigate that. Uh, so, uh, let’s say in armor plates, we will, it’s just armor plates. It’s not the, uh, final good. So what we, uh, the supply is available and you can, uh, source them from, uh, European countries to Ukraine. Uh, so that was, was also part of the check and part of the, kind of, uh, the whole research, you know, how right? Where can you source what quantities you can source, uh, was the procedures there,
Enrique Alvarez (01:02:30):
Maureen Woolshlager (01:02:31):
So, yeah, cause I wasn’t sure too, if the, the shippers or the suppliers had restrictions on who they could sell too, which then created a little bit of a challenge for, there’s obviously a need and there’s some resources or supply here, but I didn’t know what other hurdles there were. Um, and you had mentioned some, it’s hard in some countries to procure that because of the rules, but on the other side, I didn’t know if all the manufacturing facilities had the freedom to, to sell to who they wanted to, um, and to open up that commerce to those who need it in Ukraine.
Enrique Alvarez (01:03:05):
Well, thank you. Thank you. Once again, uh, I mean, we could, we could talk, uh, about this topic and about your organization for a couple hours, but, uh, but, uh, first and foremost, again, it’s, uh, it’s very interesting and it’s very inspiring to kind of learn and talk to people like yourselves, entrepreneurs, all with your own careers, your old paths coming together to face, uh, something so horrible, uh, trying to help, um, other people in need. So procure for peace, kind of, uh, the story went from a movement to a very cool organization. And I’m sure you guys, now that you did this in Ukraine will probably have to continue hopefully, uh, for, for many more years. It’s a great idea. Um, it’s great to see that you guys all came together. It’s great to see that people are supporting you. How can, uh, our audience, uh, connect with you, how what’s the best way to contact you, uh, Somali and, and the team?
Sammeli Sammalkorpi (01:03:58):
Uh, I think when it comes to procure four piece, I think the, the, the first recommendation is, is the procure four piece LinkedIn group. So procure number four piece LinkedIn group. And if you join that group, then you kind of will be informed about the different ways you can help. And definitely the, the survey that mentioned is, is, is good one step. So I think that if you, if you are willing to, to join the movement, that would be my advice on more personal level. If you want to understand something more about reindeer farming and strike on soccer, I’m, I’m available on LinkedIn as well. Connection,
Enrique Alvarez (01:04:28):
You’ll have to start a separate group for that. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of a lot.
Maureen Woolshlager (01:04:32):
I’ll join it. I wanna know about it.
Enrique Alvarez (01:04:34):
A lot of listeners will join that group too, but no, thank you. Once again. Um, it’s been an incredible conversation with you kind with our full support. Once again, uh, if you’re listening to this episode and did podcast and you like, uh, conversations like the ones we had today, please don’t forget to subscribe to supply chain, uh, supply chain now logistics with purpose. Uh, this was another good episode and pre caliber, this Marine, any kind of parting words from your end?
Maureen Woolshlager (01:05:00):
No, I think we covered quite, quite a variety of topics today. So I think it was wonderful way to start the week. And thank you for all of you joining us, especially different time zones, continents, um, in the middle of your busy day.
Enrique Alvarez (01:05:12):
Thank you everyone. Have a good day. Thank you.
Antti Suorsa is an experienced new generation sourcing leader. He manages the external resources of the company is critical to any business and sourcing has a key role in ensuring the performance of those external resources. He is enthusiastic about data and possibilities of advanced analytics and AI/ML. He has a strong record of accomplishment in process development, team management, strategy creation and execution. Antti majored in Industrial Management and have a minor in Software Development from the top technical university in Finland. Connect with Antti on LinkedIn.
Volodymyr Vorobey has 20+ years of experience developing companies and business ecosystems as well as local, regional and national development systems. He is the Founder and Managing Director of PPV Knowledge Networks, leading economic development agency in Western Ukraine (Lviv). He is a strategy consultant and has delivered over 40 corporate strategies (mostly to clients in Ukraine), from leading corporations to micro creative enterprises, from donor-funded programs to local authorities. Connect with Volodymyr on LinkedIn.
Sammeli Sammalkorpi is the Co-founder and CEO at Sievo, a leading global procurement analytics company. He is enthusiastic about data driven procurement, a big fan of transparent, non-hierarchical and high-trust organizations, and a strong believer in the fact that only by having successful and satisfied customers makes us also be successful. Sammeli is passionate about making a positive impact to the world and is extremely happy to be able to do this by their software allowing for data insights regarding the CO2 emissions in the leading procurement organizations. Connect with Sammeli on LinkedIn.
Maureen Woolshlager started her career at McMaster-Carr’s Management Development Program working in sales, marketing, distribution operations, finance and accounting. After McMaster-Carr, she spent a year managing operations in one of Target Corporation’s warehouses before finding a role within a small management consulting company in Denver, Colorado. She worked on large projects for international food and restaurant companies and advised on account management, business development, operations management, warehouse operations, continuous improvement and distribution center operations, and procurement/supplier/inventory optimization. She has spent the last 9 years living in Belgium & Germany where her husband has been stationed as a US Army officer. Maureen has her B.A. from Emory University. She earned a certificate in Management & Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania & her M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here: https://vectorgl.com/
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.
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.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
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.
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.
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.
Principal, 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.
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.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
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.
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 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, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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, 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.
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, 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.
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
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.
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.