Tragically, human trafficking and slavery aren’t relics of the past, nor are they confined beyond our borders. But luckily, outstanding individuals like our very own Veteran Voices host Mary Kate Soliva are taking action to eradicate these harmful practices around the world. In this episode, Scott chats with Mary about the Guam Human Rights Initiative, which she co-founded in January of this year to address human rights issues through scholarly research and by enabling locally-grown scholars. We’ll also dive into how Mary is supporting her fellow veterans as they prepare to transition into the civilian workforce and discuss how leaders can take action to make sure trafficking and slavery stay out of the global supply chain for good.
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Scott Luton (00:32):
Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton with you here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s show. Hey, I’m really pleased to be interviewing a dear friend and colleague here today. A fellow veteran that continues to make the world a better place. We’re gonna be talking about action focused leadership. That’s tackling some of the greatest issues of our day in our time. Unfortunately, that’s human trafficking and modern slavery, uh, slavery, which unbelievably is on the rise here in 2022, but stay tuned for what promises to be an intriguing discussion. One that offers you different ways to take action, to get in the fight against, uh, trafficking and slavery. As we all know, global supply chains got, um, a lot of heavy lifting to do, and fortunately are taking action, uh, in that regard, but with no fur further ado, wanna welcome in my dear friend and guest here today, Mary Kate Sali, a host of our veteran voices series here at supply chain now. And trust me so, so much more Mary Kate, how you doing?
Mary Kate Soliva (01:34):
Hey Scott, thank you for having me. It’s great to be in the hot seat with you again.
Scott Luton (01:40):
I appreciate that. That’s come on. That seat is never hot. Uh, and you know, we’re big fans of all the work you do. Uh, there’s so much, uh, apart from, uh, what you do, uh, during your, what I’ll call day job, use that term loosely, all the servant leadership and the give forward and the do good stuff that you’re up to. So we’re big fans of the Atlanta, uh, Atlanta based, uh, Mary Kate saliva fan club. Um,
Mary Kate Soliva (02:05):
So I appreciate that.
Scott Luton (02:07):
<laugh> um, alright. So a lot of folks, uh, will be familiar about, um, you know, some of your interviews here and some of the interviewing you do here, of course, through veteran voices and some other ventures, but let’s refresh their memory a little bit. Tell us Mary Kate, where did you grow up? And I’m gonna ask you a, uh, a follow up question or two about your upbringing.
Mary Kate Soliva (02:29):
Oh yeah. See, now, now the role’s versed here. Right. But yeah. See, I, um, well actually I, I grew up, uh, as a Navy bra, so my dad was in the Navy, so we moved a little bit here and there. Uh, but surprisingly Maine, uh, so jokingly said a population five, you know, my family and the dog, but, uh, you know, Maine’s a very beautiful state and I was fortunate enough to spend most of my upbringing there. So, um, but you know, I do talk about Guam a whole lot, so definitely very much part of who I am as well as, as a Chamal woman. But, um, you know, I am also European descent, so I think that’s the beauty of it, right. Scott is just, we’re all melting pot of all here and there.
Scott Luton (03:14):
Absolutely. Uh, absolutely. And, you know, I forgot the main connection. I remember that coming out in our very first time, probably two years ago now that you and I sat down. Um, so I gotta ask you and, and it might be an obvious or a stupid question, but one of your favorite food dishes growing up in Maine.
Mary Kate Soliva (03:33):
Oh gosh, well, I absolutely love lobster and I can’t, you know, I can’t beat the prices. Yeah. Actually getting it like fresh off the docks from the lobstermen supporting local. That’s one thing I love about Maine too, is that they’re very much about supporting local and getting it from the farmers and blueberries, you know, another big thing. We had a big apple festival in our town growing up and I just, you know, I’m a big fan of apples and, uh, cooked in all different ways. <laugh>,
Scott Luton (04:03):
Mary Kate Soliva (04:04):
Bake in all different ways, all different things and just, um, yeah, just getting it, having food, bringing the community together was just amazing. There’s actually main, um, up in Northern main, they just had lobster festival okay. Up in, uh, in Katy national park, uh, up that area that way.
Scott Luton (04:20):
Well, you know,
Mary Kate Soliva (04:21):
So giant lobsters walking down the street, you know, <laugh>
Scott Luton (04:24):
Cheap, giant lobsters if I’m tracking with you. Um, so yeah, the lobster supply chain, uh, Maine plays a big role, the, the blueberry supply chain, as you mentioned, some folks may on those,
Mary Kate Soliva (04:36):
Oh, syrup, how could I forget the maple syrup? I mean, yeah. Marsh timeframe, the SAP houses getting fresh syrup up from the SAP house, putting it on a fresh bowl of ice cream.
Scott Luton (04:47):
Okay. I’ve never had maple circle ice cream, I guess that’s the thing. Huh?
Mary Kate Soliva (04:52):
That’s the thing. I think there’s a lot of things that Maine makes a thing, so yeah, we can do it. Right.
Scott Luton (04:58):
So one final question, and then we’re gonna move into some of the, uh, the good, great work you’re doing, uh, in Maine. What, what did y’all do, uh, you know, for recreation, you know, other than all the, the, the food, uh, delicious culinary, uh, ideas you just left with what what’d y’all do for fun? Where’d you go?
Mary Kate Soliva (05:18):
Actually, I loved, uh, we loved going down the river. Um, my family, we had a canoes and we’d go down the river and we go camping, bring a friend that can play guitar, bring a friend that can tell some stories. And it was just, you know, it was just some of the best, uh, childhood memories that I have is, is just literally being outside. And I have to tell you, Scott, I went for a walk yesterday with my dog and I, there weren’t, there wasn’t a person outside, like nobody not a single kid on the playground. The playground was empty. And I was just amazed cuz when I was a kid, I just, you know, gather all the like little Rascals from the neighborhood together and we would just go have a good time, go out to like the old abandoned buildings and yeah, just being on the river, um, being out with nature.
Scott Luton (06:06):
Yeah. He had a canoe man. I, I, I would be so jealous as a kid, uh, man to, you know, my dad had a, um, uh, a boat for fishing. Right. But of course I, I didn’t have access to that unless he was going, I could ride. And if I had a canoe to explore and kind of have my own vessel, man, my folks wouldn’t see me for days. So you paint a, a picture that, that definitely resonates with me. Um, yeah,
Mary Kate Soliva (06:30):
The old Pontiac my dad had, we used to go in the old, in the parades with his old Pontiac. So really? Yeah, just from the forties and wave our little American flag out the window. Um, you know, just, I think that’s why I really miss, I feel like parades are so condensed nowadays, but I remember them going on longer and just as a kid, it was just so fun and uh, antiquing, I’d say, I don’t know, different parts of the country, call it junking, thrifting and taking whatever they want to call it. Yard ceiling and uh, yeah, big pastime of, of my family’s skip.
Scott Luton (06:59):
Okay. So we’re gonna get your, your, uh, bargain picks on a future episode. We’ll have a antique in 1 0 1 with Mary Kate saliva. That’ll be fun. Um, well I appreciate you sharing, uh, and, and rekindling our, um, uh, refreshing our memory of, uh, your upbringing, uh, there in Maine. All sounds wonderful. Um, I wanna shift gears here. Uh, so as we talked about on the, the front end, you know, one of the biggest issues of our time right now, uh, is the travesty of human trafficking and modern slavery. Even for some, even if for some it’s kind of in their blind spot, right. Uh, we’ve had some big lessons learned over the last year or so, uh, partnering with a variety of groups to include hope for justice, a great nonprofit that I know you’re aware of that’s based, uh, in the UK, but doing great work, uh, globally. And you know, again also mentioned on the front end, according to various reports and data, both trafficking and slavery are on the rise that’s just is, is heartbreaking. So, uh, what I love, one of the many things that we love about, uh, uh, all of your passion and your work and, um, your leadership is, is you’re not reading these reports, you’re doing something about it, which I love. So why, why is this, why is doing something about trafficking and modern slavery? Why is this so important to you?
Mary Kate Soliva (08:21):
Um, yeah, it’s a great question, Scott. So one of the things for me is I, I don’t claim to, to be a subject matter expert, um, by any means, and there’s a lot of unspoken heroes out there doing a lot of great work, but how my personal story with it was actually about a, a decade ago, uh, when I was a, a graduate student in the university of Guam, there was the first known human trafficking case in Guam. And I say first known, uh, to emphasize that, you know, human traffickings existed beginning of time, but it’s one of those things where, because of the, there wasn’t a law in place, uh, at the, in Guam until 2009, a lot of the cases potentially tracking cases at the time weren’t recognized, um, you know, it couldn’t be prosecuted as such. And so there was a lot that I didn’t know at the time I didn’t human trafficking, wasn’t something I was taught in school about.
Mary Kate Soliva (09:11):
Um, and, and it wasn’t something that was a conversation, a point to worry about. I, you know, sexual assault, harassment, those were things that I remember even as a young teenage girl, you know, weren’t about like people that might abduct me, unsolved mysteries kind of thing, white van going around, snatch up kids, but that’s not the thing with modern day slavery or, you know, is what, you know, as human trafficking. And, um, I was really upset about how the myths surrounding human trafficking at the time. And even though I didn’t know a whole lot about it, I just heard a lot of, um, myths going around amongst people in, in the public about, oh, human, trafficking’s a problem. That’s just happening overseas. You know, it’s, these are all, you know, foreigners and, and that wasn’t the case. They right. Sometimes there’s a lot of, there are a lot of survivors, you know, here in the us too, that are Americans, they’re born and raised trafficked outta their own communities.
Mary Kate Soliva (10:04):
And that’s the thing with the word trafficking can be very misleading to think we’re going across borders. So I decided that I wanna do something and I rounded up about 40 university students at the university of Guam. And we stood at the intersection of the main, uh, road. That’s kinda interesting cause we don’ts Guam like Marine during rush hour. Um, we wanted to were holding up sign saying it’s happening. We wanted people to ask us well what’s happening. And to get that many student support, public support, we even had politicians come out and stand with us. We had some of the faculty come out and stand with us and it was just great for people to just start the conversation. You know, what is this about, you know, what what’s happening? And, uh, it’s not, you know, about fear mongering trying to get everybody scared, but it’s just to know that this is a serious issue. It, it threatens, uh, security and, you know, it’s it, there are people being enslaved and they come from all walks of life. Right. So,
Scott Luton (11:08):
Um, uh, and, and the awareness is critical, you know, uh, it’s, it is, it goes under, uh, the activity, the illegal activity, trafficking and slavery in many, in some cases takes place right up under our nose. You know, you mentioned in here in the states, I’ve, I’ve heard it, um, put that it’s $150 million industry here in the states, and that is, I hate to put it in those terms, but folks are profiting from BR you know, ruining and, and wrecking lives from the victims of trafficking and slavery. Uh, and that figure probably is conservative because so much of it takes place under the radar, right?
Mary Kate Soliva (11:49):
Absolutely. It’s, it’s very lucrative. And even the, the definition of human trafficking, you may see varied and, um, the public and even the media still gets, uh, smuggling mixed up with, uh, trafficking, you know, whether in prostitution and talking about enticement and pandering, and these are still of the words that they’re not necessarily talked about. They’re not, not necessarily common knowledge, but really encouraging folks to start that conversation, but you’re absolutely right. Goes underreported. There’s still a lack of laws across the board, even in the United States, uh, and resources available. Like we didn’t have the first, uh, male shelter, uh, shelter for male victims of trafficking until, and I believe it was last year. Yeah. Um, so it’s just a lot to be done. Um, I will add the, the point of, um, after I got into this advocacy work, Scott, as a volunteer, I learned, uh, from my family about my grandmother’s story, which I think I mentioned to you before about, um, she wasn’t taken in, uh, but at the time during world war II, uh, they were known as comfort women. And there were, um, five known comfort houses on Guam at the time. And, um, it was to appease the Japanese soldiers at the time who were occupied the island. So, uh, for the fact my great-grandmother hid my grandmother at the time. And to know, I, I did a deeper dive on comfort women and, and sexual slavery then, and it still exists. Now you hear it now as modern slavery, but it’s under different names.
Scott Luton (13:20):
Um, it’s just shocking. It really is. Uh, and, and your personal tie and your family’s personal tie in is just, um, it’s heartbreaking to, to, to piece together what folks I had to go through, or sadly here to here to this day are going through, um, right. I’m gonna come, I’m gonna circle back to, um, your time in the us army. I think you’re still in the garden reserves. I’m gonna circle back to that. Are, is it the guard or the reserves that you still serve in Mary Kate
Mary Kate Soliva (13:51):
In, in the army reserves?
Scott Luton (13:52):
Okay. Arm reserves. I’m gonna circle back to that because I think as we stick with this human trafficking, um, subject, you’ve got a big event that you’re participating in soon. Yes. Uh, you serve as a veteran fellow with the Hoover institution, which is, uh, I think hosted by Stanford university part of Stanford, university’s, uh, programming. Um, tell us about what this institution does and tell us about this upcoming event.
Mary Kate Soliva (14:19):
Yes, absolutely. And so the Hoover institution it’s located, um, as, as many would know it in, on the Stanford university campus, but Hoover institution is a, a think tank and it’s been around for a while. One of the things, uh, that hasn’t been around for a while is the veteran fellowship program. And that was actually <inaudible>. So, uh, Dr. Conno rice spearhead, the it’s spearheading the program and she’s, uh, head of the Hoover institution right now. And she wanted to pick, um, 10, 10 veterans post nine 11 veterans. So out of a pool of applicants nationwide, uh, somehow I’m sitting here before you saying I’m a veteran fellow. Wow. But I’m truly grateful of the opportunity. And it was something that when I, I saw the opportunity, uh, heard, heard about it through actually connection on, on LinkedIn, another veteran, and to hear about what they’re looking for.
Mary Kate Soliva (15:16):
Uh, she was looking for problems impacting like the American people. So it didn’t have to have a tie with the military. I have, I have peers of mine that are doing incredible. Uh, they have problem statements that are extremely relevant and they’re doing incredible work to tackle those problems. And, um, I just specifically decided that mine was going to tackle tie-in with the us military. Um, but I’m excited to say that on a September 1st I’m gonna be hosting as part of my capstone project for the fellowship hosting. Uh, the inaugural, uh, human rights conference was the emphasis human trafficking on Guam and in the Pacific. So this conference is part of, uh, in January earlier. So earlier this year in January, me and my best friend, Erica Anderson, we co-founded the Guam human rights initiative. And she actually was out there at that intersection. I mentioned earlier about a decade ago, holding up our signs as graduate students.
Mary Kate Soliva (16:15):
And, uh, now 10 years later, she’s about to finish a PhD program out in Glasgow, Scotland, and, and I’m in a doctoral program now. So using, utilizing the Hoover network, they’re incredible like prestigious fellows and, and amazing, intelligent people way smarter than me, Scott, uh, are able to help me brainstorm and think about ways that I could really impact the community. So one of the things that was really important to us for this conference is that it’s free. So we wanted to make it. So unless you want continuing education units, it’s just at a small fee, uh, $35. But other than that, it’s completely free. And we really want to start the conversation. It’s gonna be virtually broadcasted. We have the registration link available. And the day before on August 31st, we’re gonna have a webinar. So again, the webinar is gonna be talking about, uh, human trafficking from an a strategic standpoint. And, uh, on the September 1st 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM tomorrow standard time will be running four panels, but excited to say that the governor Guam will be in attendance as well as many other, uh, high name people in Ireland.
Scott Luton (17:22):
Wow. Making a, uh, quite a splash. Uh, and, and, and I think this is the first event, is this the first event, uh, of its kind in, in Guam really, I guess, related to the, the Hoover institution?
Mary Kate Soliva (17:37):
Yes. For related with the Hoover, with Hoover institution and partnership. That’s why it’s, I’m just so proud of, of what we’ve been able to achieve in just a matter of a few months. Scott, I tell you like, literally just a few months ago, Eric and I were just talking, you know, let let’s do this, let’s make this happen. And we definitely would not have been able to do it with, you know, without our sponsors, without the support. Um, even our, our rotary club came together. The other rotaries on island came together. Uh, the university of Guam, uh, you know, it was just really incredible. The victim advocacy groups, like Quan coalition and sexual assault, family violence. Um, and what’s so great is our keynote speaker, uh, attorney of, and former ag attorney general Alicia LICO is our keynote speaker. And she was our keynote speaker a decade ago when we held a forum on human trafficking, uh, again, as graduate students with our, our picket signs, um, we wanted to host a forum and she was our keynote. Then she has agreed to come back and it’s just great to see where we’re at now, really full circle.
Scott Luton (18:40):
That is awesome. Uh, look forward to getting lots of key takeaways and, uh, some of your experiences at this event. Um, so you mentioned the Guam human rights initiative, which is a, uh, nonprofit that you and Erica, I believe, uh, founded. Um, how can folks, you know, how can folks jump in and support and, and get involved or, or learn more information about that?
Mary Kate Soliva (19:05):
Yeah, so we actually have a, a website on Guam, hri.org. Um, we kindly, uh, shrunk that down human rights initiative down Tori, but, um, ironically we say our acronym, um, is GRE, but we’re, you know, adding team in there. So we can say we got grit, um, you know, follow stuff, Scott of cool SL slogans there, but, um, we have a LinkedIn as well that we really encourage folks to follow. So we’re gonna continue to update that and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that what really helped us off the ground really was our university of Guam. Um, and the university of Guam regional center for public policy, uh, R C P P. Um, they really helped us get off the ground by you won’t believe the Scott. I feel like no, where else, what other university would do this? But they let us have access to some of their graduate students. They asked for volunteers from the, the master of the public administration. Students said who would like to be in a cohort with Mary Kay and Erica as advisors and tackle, uh, human trafficking as the first, but, you know, first of many, hopefully many of human rights issues impacting Guam and Micronesia, uh, in the region. So they, we, uh, have four graduate level students that we got to run through a cohort and, um, finish out, uh, two white papers with them. So that was a incredible,
Scott Luton (20:29):
That is, that is awesome. Uh, and I can only imagine how that, uh, along other things added to the momentum you have as, uh, as, uh, what I’ll put as we’re a startup, right. A startup nonprofit that is going to do big things already is doing big things. So, uh, Guam, H R i.org, is that the website?
Mary Kate Soliva (20:51):
Yes. And okay. I will add that we are, um, we started Guam HRI, Guam human rights initiative because we identified with numerous stakeholders on island that there’s a significant lack in research and data on human trafficking and I’m, and still to this day, I’m very wary of the numbers. And I learn a significant amount of those who are on the ground, victim, AVO advocacy groups, uh, law enforcement, et cetera, who are dealing this fight in this fight every day. And just hearing, like you said earlier, got the numbers are so hard to come by. And there’s many reasons for that, but Eric and I are really hoping to raise awareness about these different human rights issues through our research and using the skills that we’re learning at the doctoral level to be able to do that.
Scott Luton (21:40):
Um, I don’t doubt it. You will, I’ve seen you in action. Uh, you, uh, you run through walls and you, more importantly, you have other folks ready to run through walls based on, on, on the work that you do. So, uh, thank you for sharing about Guam human rights initiative here. Um, and you know, speaking, you know, obviously, um, here at supply chain, now I’ll tell you, we are proud, very proud to have members of our family and are hosts that are making such a profound impact, uh, in global industry. So thank you on that behalf. And on that related note, um, you know, whether it’s the government, whether it is, uh, global supply chain, business leaders, global industry, you name it, we’re all trying in many ways to, you know, find the data to better quantify the problem. Of course, that’s what so many of us do in supply chain first, right?
Scott Luton (22:34):
Figure out what the problem is. Um, it was great to see the white house, um, uh, and, and Congress get together and pass the Uighur force, labor prevention act, get that in the law where, and we won’t do it full justice here, but in a nutshell, it forces supply chain leaders to prove that, uh, raw materials and supplies and components don’t come out of certain regions in China, where, um, according to the, um, various governmental agencies and other third parties, credible third parties, there’s a lot of forced labor slave labor going on. So, um, it’s good. And I think hopefully that will be, um, a step to be followed by many other steps, effective steps that will help us eliminate, um, trafficking, human slavery, forced labor, you name it, uh, around the world because the, an important note, I think, to make Mary Kay, something you mentioned earlier is not just in one location or region it’s, unfortunately it’s everywhere.
Scott Luton (23:36):
Um, absolutely. So, uh, also you’re tying this back to our global supply chain listenership here. Um, so you, uh, are part and work with, uh, a dynamic group called PMI pro the project management Institute. And, um, you know, there’s, if there’s been, uh, there’s been a whole slew, uh, of, of trends and dynamics and, uh, things that are impacting global supply chain, but on the positive side project management and the formal discipline, there has really been, um, uh, an area and a, um, uh, a tool that supply chain leaders lean on more and more in recent years. I mean, it’s been around for a long time, been made an impact for a long time, but it’s really, you know, as we’re trying to digest change doing that within a project management framework has been a big, big area of, uh, relief and, uh, um, and, and impact. So tell us about PMI. What, what is PMI?
Mary Kate Soliva (24:42):
Yes. And I’m, I’m glad you asked that, cuz I know, um, folks will see the letters PMP all over LinkedIn. Uh, they’re just as proud of PMP as they would, you know, it’s right where an MBA or PhD would be right in their headline, their title, uh, PMI, I least say we’re at like the mothership is what I call us, but, uh, the project management Institute been around since 1969. Uh, but one of the things that I really love about the project management Institute PMI is, um, that they align with the United nation sustainable development goals and a lot of the work, uh, we have what we call like PM impact, uh, where we have staff members that are logging their hours for impact and what they’re doing out in the community, out in the world, the global community. And I have colleagues that are from all different regions of the world. And so it’s really cool to sit on a call like we’re doing now Scott, and just be able to talk in the different accents, just on one call. And, uh,
Scott Luton (25:42):
Mary Kate Soliva (25:45):
I can only imagine, but being able to, and they’re just, they really are about change and making positive change, a positive impact in this world and to do that and being part of a, a team. Um, and we, within the company, we have smaller regional teams and it’s just really great to be able to work across the aisle and work with one another collaborate ideas. See if what’s going on in one place can work over here. And it’s just really amazing. Mm.
Scott Luton (26:15):
And, um, part of your role there is, uh, reaching out to, to members of our fellow veteran community and helping them find resources because, uh, all those certifications and the body of knowledge and, and knowing how to, um, you know, accumulate and demonstrate your project management skills, those are wonderful, um, ways to help get a good job and advance in that career. Right.
Mary Kate Soliva (26:41):
Absolutely. And we’re all about, um, and I would say that PMI is, is actually a non non-profit. So, uh, we are, um, pushing like upskilling, helping to support folks in their career journey. And that’s what I talk to people all the time from, with all different industries is that project management applies across the spectrum of so many different industries. And we are with you every step of the way we have resources available for all different types of learners. And in my role, since I, I am a veteran, I have a privilege of being able to work with the military veteran community, uh, by spearheading the military and veteran initiative for north America. So that includes the youth military, as well as the Canadian armed forces of our friends up to the north. And so being able to, to do that, hear their stories, hear where they’re at.
Mary Kate Soliva (27:28):
And I say, PMI being with PMI is being on a journey. You know, if you’re at the very early stages, you don’t know anything about project management. We have a course for you if you’re mid-level manager and you’re just trying to, you know, you wanna get that next step. We have a, a course for you. So, you know, we have instructor led training. We have self-paced courses, e-learnings so many different options available. And that is what I did not know when I was on active duty <laugh> I was like, where was PMI? But PMI has always been there. And, um, that’s where we’re at. We want to be able to engage. And for me specifically, um, talk to my brothers and sisters at arms that are still serving say, Hey, don’t wait till you’re in your transition window. Don’t wait till that last 12 months to start cramming in certifications, you know, start early, use these. Now you can benefit your it’ll benefit, your unit benefit the organization for you to start soon.
Scott Luton (28:23):
Uh, so well said, uh, and I was same way, you know, when I, when I transitioned in 2002, I had the, one of the largest blind spots known to, uh, modern history. I mean, there’s so much, I had no clue about, uh, including great resources like PMI, you know, like vets, two industry, which were all big fans of, um, so y’all check that out. Uh, what if you’re a veteran listening checkout, uh, great resource, great community to get involved in, uh, if you’re, uh, a supply chain practitioner, supply chain leader, looking to, to bring resources to your team, to help digest change and, and drive improvement and, and navigate the global global obstacle course, that is, uh, uh, supply chain these days. Hey, check out PMA.
Mary Kate Soliva (29:08):
You can start and get a 45 minute free course called kickoff that we have, it’s called kickoff. It’s free. And you get a cool digital badge that you can brag about on LinkedIn. Okay. You wanna post it on social media, but yeah, it’s only four, five minutes of your time. Some finished some smarter than me finished fresh, other than that, but you can, uh, it’s the intro and you can download different, uh, documents there, uh, re different tools for your toolkit and get an intro to project management.
Scott Luton (29:32):
Love it. Uh, love it. Um, I don’t know how you’re getting sleep at night. Okay. Cause you’ve got so much going on. You’re doing so much good stuff. So we’ve talked about, uh, the Hoover institution, um, affiliated with Stanford university, I guess it’s on campus there at Stanford. We’ve talked about, uh, the Guam human rights initiative. Uh, we’ve talked about PMI. Um, let’s talk about, uh, so you’re a us army veteran and now you’re serving in the reserves. Um, what has one, you know, if you think of one leadership lesson learned that your, your time and service and the uniform has taught you, what would that be?
Mary Kate Soliva (30:13):
Gosh, and, um, I think one thing that it it’s really has taught me is in leveraging the folks that I know I don’t wanna take the comradery for granted. And you could probably, you may about like the comradery being one of the top things that we miss, if not the top thing we miss about serving. And it’s one of those things where we meet from people from all walks of life and as a leader in the military, getting that opportunity to serve and, and lead and really bring people together, uh, as part of a team, when we have emissions going to all different parts of the world. I mean, it’s the folks here left here, right? Those who have your six. And I know I have a couch to BU on and probably every state in this country, cuz I can just call up one.
Mary Kate Soliva (31:00):
And the fact that we call each other brothers and sisters, you know, I think is, is really meaningful. And that that’s something that, um, I probably took for granted too often earlier on in my career. And I wish I had leveraged it more to be able to learn from their mistakes, uh, especially the veterans mm-hmm <affirmative> and to know that, to stop being afraid. I think I, I, I held myself back just from being scared about putting myself out there. It’s a great time to be able to put, to step up to the plate and, um, lead.
Scott Luton (31:32):
Yeah. Uh, yeah. And we need it. A global industry needs, it needs real action driven values, driven leadership, not, not to be dramatic, but uh, for more now than ever since I’ve been alive. Um, and I would just also add, I think what you shared there, I think that’s a great lesson for leaders in supply chain in the private sector, wherever they are. Right. How can you find ways, um, uh, to create that camaraderie, those, those meaningful relationships, you know, that sense of, um, you know, so work family, right. And yes, what else far beyond the, the function and, and uh, the job and the roles, you know, these are people and that there’s a lot more important going on, stuff going on in their lives. And, and as leaders we gotta, we gotta account for all of that, make sure they’re taken care of at, at home and at work in many ways. That was one of my lessons learned from, uh, being in the air force. You know, my managers, they, they cared about what I did from, you know, uh, at my duty station right. In our analysis shop, but they also wanted to know what was going on at home, in the dorm, uh, over the weekends and, you know, made sure I was, uh, taken care of and certainly absolutely would love to see more of that. Right.
Mary Kate Soliva (32:50):
Absolutely. And I think about even just when, probably different trainings, like even when you’re at basic training or your tech school and the first thing, when you meet somebody, you know, you might ask them, where’d you go to basic or where you from, but you, you get that breadth of experience and that different number of answers, but less. So I feel like on, on this side of the, the fence than, um, when I was on active duty or even now the reserves to be able to have that instant connection, like I think start like even our first conversation, you know, there’s like immediate things that we could connect and yeah, I’m not as much of a sports fanatic, uh, as you would by bobblehead. But, uh, I, but you know, we were able to connect, you know, just from that veteran sent our time and service. Absolutely. And so just, I think that’s a beautiful thing. Being able to connect with people on, on another level and to know that you went through the, what we call it, am I able to say the suck <laugh>
Scott Luton (33:45):
You embrace the suck,
Mary Kate Soliva (33:45):
Right? Nothing to bring people closer together than when you embrace the suck together. So, um, there’s a lot of truth to that. And, uh, I think there’s a lot of values that we can bring. Um, somebody brought up recently about the eating last, I, I heard from a civilian, um, who added it to their talk and presentation about how they didn’t know that that was a, a thing until they talked to a veteran. Um, and they asked about why this particular person, why they weren’t getting in line and they wanted to make sure that everybody else ate, got to eat and there was enough food for them. And, you know, to us, I don’t think we think as much of it, but for those leaders who do cut in front of the line, we know that we may not say anything, but we, we see that. And so, you know, that whole leading by example,
Scott Luton (34:30):
Uh, speaks, speaks volumes and impacts volumes. Uh, I’m glad you mentioned that, um, uh, you know, the, those folks that are willing, uh, to not, it’s not all about me, you know, it’s not all about me and what I get and when I get it, I mean, you know, it, it, it, it at leading by example and taking care of your team and making sure they’re take, you know, they’ve got what they need. Uh, it sounds simple probably to so many people, but man, to put it in action, um, just impacts others around you in ways you’ll probably never appreciate long until long, you know, long time after. Um, I want to, so, so Mary Kay, I wanna paint this picture here. As we start to kind of come down to home stretch with our, uh, our time with Mary Kay saliva, uh, who leads the veteran voices, uh, here at supply chain, amongst many other things as we’ve talked about. Uh, so let’s say you, you’re the keynote at this massive conference where all of the, uh, world’s biggest supply chain leaders, chief supply chain officers, CEOs, you name it are in a room and you’ve got their captive attention. What is one challenge that you would issue to them? Mary Kay.
Mary Kate Soliva (35:45):
I would challenge them to, you know, with, with human trafficking, as you mentioned earlier, Scott, the, the data, the lack of data, it’s so important for our supply chain leaders to incorporate those data collection, uh, systems, to be able to, to really take a closer look at that. Cuz when it comes to human trafficking, you’ll find numerous incredible organizations out there, here in the us, especially that are tracing the money they’re following the money and they’re, and without us taking a proactive stance against human trafficking, modern day slavery and taking a look at well, especially with supply chain, uh, we’re just letting, making it easier for the traffickers to stay in business, but we gotta stop it at the root and at the root we, we find the root through following the money. So I think especially for supply chain leaders, we saw how significant, how important supply chain was during the pandemic, uh, the global pandemic.
Mary Kate Soliva (36:43):
And this is a global problem. Human trafficking is a global issue and we need to step up to the plate. It’s gonna take an effort for all of us to not only, you don’t have to have a degree, be a subject matter expert. You don’t have to be a cop, a lawyer, social worker. You just need to have the interest, take the time to really do a deep dive in your current systems and your current data collection sources. What, what is the data telling you about who you’re buying from? And you should care about who your supplier supplier supplier is.
Scott Luton (37:15):
Mary Kate Soliva (37:16):
Cause you it’s, it’s detrimental, right? Scott, social media. So quick people have information at the tip of their fingers. Your brand could go down the gutter in, in moments if you know, would you should, instead of finding out later be proactive about it. So you’re not one of those companies that’s in the big headlines that the media’s spur around saying, you know, you’re supporting trafficking, right. And human trafficking, there’s different types, labor trafficking, sub trafficking, but especially for supply chain and taking a look at that, it’s gonna take a global effort to, to stop
Scott Luton (37:48):
It. That’s right. Uh, I’d say that’s quite a challenge. I appreciate you, uh, delivering that message. Uh, hopefully folks take heed. Um, you know, and as of, and I’m a butcher this year because it’s late in the day and my brain isn’t working as much as it does early in the day. Uh, but I’ve heard it heard our friend, Tim Nelson with hope for justice. Put it, um, yeah, focus more on, what are you gonna do when you find it in your organization or your supply chain or in your E whatever your ecosystem is, you know, it it’s it’s, um, you know, we don’t wanna, um, uh, villainize the folks that have no knowledge and then come across it, but right. That’s when it matters, right. That’s when it matters, what are good people, good leaders, uh, what are folks gonna do when they see that it is part of their ecosystem? So that’s the, um, that’s, that’s what makes it the big challenge of our time, cuz it takes to your point, takes people to take action to, I mean, um, let’s face it. I mean it’s, it’s all lives are at stake right lives. Yes. And forthcoming generations. So, um, it’s anyway, great. Appreciate your perspective there, Mary Kate, uh, one final. That’s a
Mary Kate Soliva (39:07):
Great perspective too. Um, I say like you could sell, you know, you sell a human over and over again, whereas a weapon or a drug you can sell once. Um, and you may hear that in other talks too, but there’s so much truth in that. And so it, um, you know, even for some of the messaging that we have, sometimes it, the victims themselves don’t realize that they’re a victim. It’s not something like I said, that we’re taught in school. So even though the signs all point to trafficking, so even, you know, across the board, we, instead of us waiting around for the other entities, uh, to do something, you know, we can be proactive, know what resources are available in your community to seek that help.
Scott Luton (39:45):
Mary Kate Soliva (39:46):
So hundred percent Scott. Thank you. Yeah,
Scott Luton (39:48):
You bet. Uh, I really appreciate your leadership on this area and, and, and many other places. Uh, alright. So we mentioned better voices here. Uh, we usually drop a new episode every Friday. Mary Kay’s been doing outstanding work, uh, as part of our, uh, do good gift forward back, um, uh, programming with our fellow veteran community, uplift their voice, amplify, their voices and their journeys. Love what you’ve been doing here. Uh, of course we gotta mission vets to industry, uh, powerful nonprofit, uh, clear inhouse and great information for veterans, for military families, transitioning members, you name it, uh, vets, the numeral two industry.org. Y’all check that out. Um, what is a, a key takeaway or two that you, you know, amongst your favorites from your conversations? Uh, you’ve been leading at veteran voices.
Mary Kate Soliva (40:43):
Oh gosh. <laugh> I th that’s a tough one. I know. And they’re probably all listening too <laugh> but <laugh>, I will say that one thing that collectively, I believe across the board has been cuz every single one of them is serving with a purpose and they are serving beyond the uniform. That is what I really, you know, STEMM in from the great work that you started with veteran voices, Scott about doing good and be the change that’s needed. I, I, across the board, they are all doing and you and believe how many veterans I’m coming across that when I ask them what volunteer work you’re doing, they’re like, well, I did something like a decade ago, you know, there’s so many that, that aren’t doing anything and they served <laugh>. And, but I hearing them during the episodes talk about how they were able to manage it, how the importance of serving beyond the uniform, I think is invaluable because it’s not only helping them grow their networks and do good, but also obtaining additional skills outside of what they have from their, their day to day job. So, um, serving with a purpose and, uh, knowing that they’re not alone and doing so if you don’t know where to start, you can reach out to any of them that I’ve interviewed on the episode. And I know that they would take the shirt off their back to help that person so
Scott Luton (42:06):
Completely agree. Uh, and I’ll again, appreciate what you’re doing there. Uh, we all think as a, um, you know, certainly speaking at this from a, um, you know, not a United States perspective, right. As both having served in the us arm forces, uh, you know, I think the veteran population makes up about 10% of the overall population. Um, and as with that, there’s so many, uh, Americans that didn’t serve that really there’s a, they have a big blind spot when it comes to the veteran experience and what’s involved there, right? And, and that’s where I really love, uh, the work you’re doing is, uh, that awareness piece that is so critical so that we can start to in a very meaningful way tackle and resolve, uh, and fix some of the issues facing, uh, our veterans and their families. So Mary, Kate, thank you so much. I appreciate what you’re doing. How can folks connect with the one only the one and only Mary Kate saliva
Mary Kate Soliva (43:05):
That takes a village sometimes Scott. Um, but I, uh, they can definitely reach out to me on LinkedIn. Um, there’s even a chat option, the GOME tribe.org that you can reach out. And one of us will answer, but if you wanna reach out to me directly, LinkedIn’s a great platform to do that. And I welcome if you have suggestions, if you know a veteran who’s serving beyond the uniform, please let me know. I would love to see, uh, if they’d be a great fit, if I’m a great fit and, and veteran voice is a great platform to amplify the efforts that they’re doing. Uh, so I really appreciate, and thank you all for, for tuning in and thank you so much, Scott, for having me today.
Scott Luton (43:43):
You bet. Uh, I’m I I’m tickled, uh, I love being able to catch up with you. Hey, you’re a real, um, modest individual. So I wanna put this out there, uh, for the Guam human rights initiative folks, if you’ve got some, uh, some charity dollars, uh, here as we kind of move towards, uh, uh, late, uh, the fourth quarter 2022, or if you wanna support organization, that’s really action based. That’s doing some of the things that Mary Kate, uh, have has mentioned here, Hey, look, ’em up. They could use your funding. Uh, you know, they’re doing great things and, and to do more great things, Hey, it takes resources, right? So check out Guam H i.org. And, um, and if you, if you have any problems come through us and we’ll make sure you get, uh, you’re able to connect with Mary Kate. So Mary Kate saliva, big, thanks for what you’re doing. Safe travels and your upcoming, uh, big conference. And we look forward to getting a full report. When you get back,
Mary Kate Soliva (44:40):
I really appreciate that Scott and, uh, wouldn be here as host without you. So, I mean, just huge shout out to supply chain now and what you all are doing. I mean, you, you branched out so many other hosts because of the, it all stem in great work and really bridging that gap and bringing a bunch of great people together. So really love what you’re doing. And, um, looking forward to connecting with other rock stars out there, helping the global community.
Scott Luton (45:06):
You said a high standard, um, about rockstar standard, but Hey, uh, thanks so much for Mary Kate, uh, to our listeners. Hey, thanks so much for, for joining us in this journey, right? Thanks for tuning in to veteran voices and, and all of our different shows. Uh, I’ll tell you, uh, Mary Kate saliva is an inspiration and, you know, hopefully, you know, it’s all about, deed’s not words and people like Mary Kate really, you know, we talked about being that role model, she’s doing it right? So with that said, I’m gonna, uh, finish our show. Like I always do challenging all of our listeners on bath of our team. Hey, to be like Mary, Kate, do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed, but take action. Deed’s not words. And with all that said, we see you next time, right back here on Sacha. Now, thanks
For being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our email@example.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.
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.