What do bikes and sewing machines have in common? They’re changing lives around the world thanks to Pedals for Progress and Sewing Peace, both the brainchild of David Schweidenback. He joins us this episode to tell the logistics tale of 4,800 bikes shipped to over 45 countries – and how it all started with a bike sitting next to a garbage can. Join us as he explains the revolving funding model, shares his top four lessons learned and offers some quality advice for those looking to follow their passion into the wide world of logistics.
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Enrique Alvarez (00:00:32):
Good morning, and welcome back to another amazing episode of, uh, supply chain. Now logistics with purpose. I am incredibly happy to be here with you today. I have an amazing guest and a great cohost my name’s Enrique Alvarez. And if you like conversations like this one, and if you like getting to know people that are truly making a positive impact in the world and people that are using and leveraging logistics to change the lives of others, don’t forget to join us. Don’t forget to sign up for our logistics with purpose series money. How are you doing today?
Monica Roesch (00:01:04):
Hi Enrique. I’m doing very well. How about you?
Enrique Alvarez (00:01:07):
Great. It’s been a, it’s been a good, good week so far. We just had the Olympics a couple of days ago. It was fun that you watch any
Monica Roesch (00:01:15):
Of the, yeah, yeah, it was great actually, uh, uh, uh, sports climbing and it was his disability this year. So I was just,
Enrique Alvarez (00:01:23):
Isn’t it amazing. I watch a little about the climbing and the, the one that goes like really fast, like the speed climbing
Monica Roesch (00:01:29):
Is. Yeah, yeah, it’s crazy. It was so fun to watch the Olympics and I’m so happy that our sport is increasing in these amazing competition. I totally agree
Enrique Alvarez (00:01:40):
With you there. And today we have like a really good guest, this company, ships bikes all over the world, and they’re starting to ship sewing machines as well. So it’s a, it’s an honor and a pleasure to have Pedals for Progress with us today. Let me admit to the show, uh, David Schweidenback, and we’ll talk a little bit more about him and what he does, David. Good morning. How are you doing today? I’m very good. Thank you. It’s a pleasure having you here with us. We were talking before you came in a little bit about the Olympics and, uh, and how amazing they were money. Cause I’m an avid rock climber. So she’d talked a little bit about that. Did you, uh, watch a little bit of the Olympics as well?
David Schweidenback (00:02:18):
I watched some of it, not too much of it. I’ve been kind of busy lately. Things have been hectic. I completely
Enrique Alvarez (00:02:24):
Agree with that. What’s your favorite sport? Do you watch a lot of the bikes loaded? The cycling?
David Schweidenback (00:02:27):
A lovely, I like watching the cycling. I like watching the swimming too.
Enrique Alvarez (00:02:31):
Swimming’s fun. Well, David, for everyone else out there, that’s listening to this amazing episode. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and who you are, what you do and just a brief introduction before we dive into the other questions?
David Schweidenback (00:02:46):
Well, my name is David Schweidenback. Uh, I was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts in 1952 and unfortunately at a very young age, my father died and, uh, it kind of plunged us, um, from upper middle-class into, uh, kind of lower, lower class. And, um, I basically grew up what would now be called an ADC kid aid to dependent children. Although in those days it was so security and veterans benefits. My mother, my brother and I, and we were poor. And, uh, I started working at a very young age. Uh, my father died when I was five. I started working at six. I got a bunch of chickens and sold eggs up and down the street. Uh, I later had a newspaper route. Snow day was not a day off the place. No day was day to work. We shoveled snow. I mowed lawns in the, in the, uh, in the summer.
David Schweidenback (00:03:39):
And, uh, one of my greatest things to make money. As I sold Christmas cards all through the summer, I sold Christmas cards to people door to door, and then I would develop them later in the year. Make you made them yourself or no, no, no, no. It was for a company. And you know, I’ll just say an older brother or younger brother. I have an older brother, so you’re the youngest of the two. Yeah. And we, um, we worked and we worked, um, to earn money. Um, we did the census, we did surveys. We did anything. We could earn money because the government would not allow my mother to work for every $2. My mother would earn working. They would take every $2 pre-tax the government would take away $1 after tax. Um, so it just wasn’t worth it for her to work above the table.
David Schweidenback (00:04:28):
So we had to do everything under the table. So just to earn enough money. And I funny, I, at the time, I don’t think I knew I was poor at the time, but in the sixties, I guess it was 64. John Kennedy was a God in Massachusetts and they started the peace Corps and it absolutely captivated my mind, the idea of going to another country and working in another country and, you know, learning about it and doing that. And because my world was so small, I always like looking out at the rest of the world. And yeah, that dream went by, along that dream was when I was eight and long time went by, I don’t know, 16, 17 years later. And I went through college and I got out of college and I wasn’t anybody. I was a language major, a language and economics and history I wanted to get into international commerce.
David Schweidenback (00:05:23):
And I learned German in my original goal was to import a German white wine. But those houses are very tight family houses, very hard to get in and not much was going on. And I decided that, uh, I, that it was 25, I guess, that I would join the peace Corps. And, and I joined the peace Corps and I got sent to the middle of the Amazon basin. I lived in a little town at the end of the road on the east side of the Andes and the country of Ecuador. And did eat, did you speak Spanish or took a couple months to get there? I’d had one course in Spanish. They gave me a course in Quito in the Capitol. And then they sent me out to the Silva out to the forest. And so I lived at 3000 feet of altitude on the east side of the Andes, but I worked out in the flat, which was about 1000 feet of altitude.
David Schweidenback (00:06:20):
So it’s 1000 feet of altitude and 3,600 miles to the Atlantic. It is flat. I mean, flat. Wow. And I worked out there with a tribe of American Indians called the Schwab and the Ochoa. And I did topographical land survey. I would go on four to six week backpacking expeditions and we would fly out to a little landing strip out in the flat. And then we would survey the hunk of jungle that they considered theirs, which basically the Schwab from a Schwab village. They figured anything that was in within one day’s walk was their land. I mean, you know, they could walk a day and either way and not bump into anybody else. So we would survey the whole thing and drama map and give them property title to their ancestral lands because there’s oil and gold under those lands and they need property title.
David Schweidenback (00:07:19):
And they think they have it because they’ve been there for thousands of years, but they really didn’t. So I did that for two and a half years and I rented a house from this man called Saiza Pena. And Saiza Pena had one eye about this many fingers. He was a carpenter. That’s why I had this many fingers. And he had the only bicycle in the entire state of Merona Santiago. And he would get on that bike and he moves so slow. You would think he was standing still at times. I mean, he barely moved, but he got up every Monday morning and he went to work and he was a terrible carpenter. The guy was, he made a table for me once I had to take it apart and rebuild the whole table. And I asked a, um, another carpenter who was a talented carpenter.
David Schweidenback (00:08:09):
Why would anyone hire Saiza when they could have you, I mean, you know, who would hire him? And he said, you don’t get it. And I went, no, I don’t get, I don’t understand who would hire him. He said he has the bike because this guy with his tools, which are heavy steel tools, he could only work a mile or two, either side of his house. Cause he had to carry his tools there and carry them home. You know, you don’t leave your tools at a job site. Those are your livelihood, but Saiza could get on his bike and he could bicycle 10 miles, either side of his house. So people hired him, even though he didn’t do that good of a job, he showed up, he was yelling
Enrique Alvarez (00:08:45):
Only one that could actually reach that far. Right. And so you had a much, much larger pool too. Yeah,
David Schweidenback (00:08:51):
Because it was just one dirt road coming through town and then paths going off into Hills where people lived on the Hills, there was, you know, there was only one street if you want to even call it that. And it was dirt. And that always stuck in my mind that he was so successful because of his mobility and mobility is something that I did. It hit you right away, like a lightning bolt, or it was like something that you had in you. And then it’s about six months, took about six months of watching him and then talking to this guy and then really realizing that, that, that bike made him. That was it.
Enrique Alvarez (00:09:26):
It was successful because of the bike. Clearly
David Schweidenback (00:09:28):
He was, uh, so my peace Corps time was over. I mean, it was terrible. I didn’t want to leave. They had to drag me out screaming and kicking. I was, I lived in paradise. Uh, I lived in a paradise and uh, came back to the U S and kicked around for a while. Did a few jobs, different things, taught school, uh, got married. Uh, I taught animal husbandry for a few years. And then, uh, after I got married, it was too congested on long island. I didn’t like it. So we moved out to New Jersey, more out into the country because I’m a country guy. My wife’s a city girl. She worked in lower Manhattan, but I need to be out in the trees. And when we moved out here, my son was born and my wife had a tremendous job in the city. And I didn’t even have a job at that point.
David Schweidenback (00:10:12):
I was looking for a job. So she said, well, congratulations, you’re a house boss. And I became a home dad at, in 1984, which it was not an acceptable thing at the time, but I loved it. And every time my son went to sleep, I started working on putting additions on our house. We bought a little house and I was going to just build it to what we needed. So every time he fell asleep, I started building even to this day at 35, he can sleep through anything. And I doubled the size of my house. And, um, neighbors started knocking on my door saying, Hey, will you put an addition on my house? So by then, my son was, well, my, my wife was a college professor. So she worked Monday, Wednesday, Friday. So I could always work on Tuesdays and Thursdays and weekends. So I started, I put a big addition on a friend’s house, down the street, two story addition.
David Schweidenback (00:11:08):
I did it all myself. And when I was finishing with it, Larry, the next house down said, Hey, I’m next? And I put an addition on his house. And when I got done with that, there weren’t any more houses in the neighborhood to put an additions on. I’d go to work with a wheelbarrow. And so I bought a truck and put my name on it and started just doing general carpentry. And it was successful. I mean our, and a lot of money, my kids were getting older and every week I would leave on Friday morning and go down the street and I would see bicycle sitting next to garbage cans, just sitting next to a garbage can, going to get taken away for the garbage. And it kept just ragging on me that what a waste, I mean, that bicycle could save someone’s life. So I thought about this for a while, thought about it for awhile. And I walked into the local newspaper, real little tiny local throwaway newspaper, found the editor and asked him to put me on the front page. And I, and that was February, 1991. And I wanted to ask the people of our community to donate 12 good bikes to me that I was going to pay with my dime to ship back to Sue and Ecuador and distribute to people. I knew
Enrique Alvarez (00:12:24):
I’m sure assessor was not going to be too happy about that.
David Schweidenback (00:12:27):
Yeah. Um, I had a terrible case of one country itis one country. I, this is when you’ve been to a country. You know, the country, you have friends there, you would do anything for them in the country. Next door. I don’t care about that. Right. You know, I was focused on Ecuador. So the editor tried to dissuade me. I said, no. He said, you’re going to get so many bikes. They’re going to cover your house. I went, nah, I’m not going to get that many. He put me on the front page. It was February. He put me on the front page to get 12 bucks. Wow. Um, I got, I got 140,
Enrique Alvarez (00:13:00):
140 bikes. The first time you tried this. Yes. Wow.
David Schweidenback (00:13:05):
That’s incredible. Yeah. Yes. I, I was not prepared. So then the next thing was to figure out, well, how am I going to do it? You ship it. So I made an appointment with the consular general of Ecuador in Newark, New Jersey. And I went in there to tell him my story. And you have to remember that the guy that runs the consulate in New Jersey, he got out, life’s good. He lives in New Jersey, you know? And his main thing is helping Ecuadorians here, who were in trouble, not, not going, not going. Right. So I made an appointment. I went in, I told them my whole story about Pena and Siqua and how I wanted to take these bikes and go in there and just radically change this little. They call them colono towns because they’re calling these because they’re out in the jungle, right. It’s like they just go out and make a new city.
David Schweidenback (00:13:55):
And he listened to me very, very carefully, heard my whole story, thought about it for a while and said, no, what? No, he didn’t want to help out. And it’s like, you know, this, isn’t what I do. There’s all these things that this is the wrong thing. And that, you know, uh, you can’t do it. And, uh, thank you for coming in. I appreciate your service in the peace Corps, but this isn’t going to happen. Wow. So then I had to go home and face my wife to tell her, yeah, you still have 140 bikes. Uh, I need a plan. Luckily I had a big backyard. So, um, I started looking around for other alternatives. Like, you know, what do I do now? I didn’t want to just scrap them. I liked the idea, but you know, Ecuador wasn’t going to work. And at that time, there was a lot of trouble in central America.
David Schweidenback (00:14:47):
And we were illegally funding the contractors, other people funding the Sandinistas and there’s a war going on and everybody’s shooting each other. They blew up every, every culvert, every bridge in the country, the war was if you’ve ever been in a, in a, in a disaster zone, a civil war is like 10 times worse because people were shooting each other across the street. There are bullet holes along the wall. It was terrible. So all bunch of, um, started as Quakers, but then a lot of other churches. And then some cities joined in and were really disgusted that Reagan was illegally funding the contrasts specifically against the wishes of the Congress. It was illegal, but that didn’t matter. So these people decided to band together to help Nicaragua against the contracts and what they did. The city of Princeton, New Jersey adopted the city of Leon and Nicaragua.
David Schweidenback (00:15:43):
Wow. And the city of Princeton, it’s a pretty liberal city with sending aid to the municipality there. And then there was a group of churches near me, uh, headed by a guy named Brookson in north Plainfield. And they adopted the cities of Messiah and Rivas. And what they were doing is they were shipping 40 foot containers of food, rice and beans medicine. I mean, they were shipping blankets, um, because the country was just torn asunder. And I remember in one shipment, we had a ship, a whole load of truck tires. Cause there were no truck tires in the country. And um, so I went in and I found the Reverend who was in charge of the program. And I said, look, you know, here’s my story from Ecuador. I know bikes will help. Will you put some of my bikes in your container? You’re shipping to Nicaragua.
David Schweidenback (00:16:35):
And he said, let me ask. So he asked and they said, yeah, let’s give it a try. So we shipped 50 in the first container to Messiah and you know, in with all the food and they loved them. They just absolutely loved them. So in the next shipment they wanted 150. So they wanted 50 50 for Messiah 50 for San Marcos and 50 for Rivas. Wow. So I did that. I did that twice and about a year had gone by and these one year is one year is now 19 92 92. Yeah. So the, these groups all wanted to have a conference so that they could be better coordinate their shipments because they have sailing shipments to each different towns and they figured that they should bring some people back from Nicaragua to, to talk about the shipments so that they would be the best thing. Right.
David Schweidenback (00:17:31):
So there was this great meeting with a long table, with 10 people on each side, 10 gringos on one side, 10 Nicaraguans on the other side and at the head of the table where there was this phenomenal translator, he worked at the UN, he would just kind of go into this zone and he would hear Spanish and English would come out and he would hear English and Spanish would come out and he never really listened to the conversation. He just did this incredible simultaneous translation of this event, which was really cool. And finally it got to be my turn to ask a question. There was a little old lady, well, you pro probably everything, right. I mean, I understood that punish fluently by then and you know, exact, you know. Yeah, yeah. But no one else did. None of the other gringos did. So, um, th there was this guy trying to catch my attention and he wanted to talk to me and I, I could tell, and I finally got to be my, my turn.
David Schweidenback (00:18:26):
And I said, [inaudible]. I said, did you like the bike? And the guy translated it actually. And I did it in English and Spanish because I wanted him to know I spoke Spanish and I wanted the guy to say it so that everyone else, so the English Americans would know what I said. And he said it and we’ll freight out answered. And it went in his ear and it came out in English and he tried to grab it and it was gone. Cause what will Fredo said, skip all the other junk, just send me bikes. And everybody else at the table was like, that was their whole thing. Wow. Yeah. The bikes were just
Enrique Alvarez (00:19:10):
Like, uh, like an addition to them. Right. They weren’t really considering the bikes as the main kind of product of their
David Schweidenback (00:19:16):
Shoes. No mobility, everybody walked everywhere. They went. Yeah. But no one got
Enrique Alvarez (00:19:20):
It. Right. I mean, it’s not clear, it’s clearly not evident to people that bisexually provide this extra boost and in the right,
David Schweidenback (00:19:31):
You know, China did it on a bike. Um, there was no developed economy in the world that did not go through a major bicycle, epic. Wow. It’s a stepping stone that, that the bicycle mechanic, you don’t, you know, the bicycle mechanic becomes the auto, the auto mechanics father and the auto mechanic son becomes the computer technician. These are steps in society and we’re way up here. And we don’t realize, but in these very low societies, we have to start with simple mechanics to get to automotive, to work their way up. Um, and, and there are good mechanics around the world, but you know, not, not one that’s going to fix my Tesla that’s for sure. Um, but, but whereas, so, um, so w there was a picnic afterwards, and I talked to Alfredo and his wife, Carla, was there. And we had this long conversation because they didn’t, uh, he speaks a little English now, but he still doesn’t speak much English.
David Schweidenback (00:20:34):
And, um, he said, if you could get me a container of bikes, I would sell them instead of giving them away and I could raise enough money to pay for the next container. And when I got the next container, I’d sell them because the problem is, he said, it isn’t one container of bikes. I need thousands of them. Right. We need to set up a system where this is going to work. So I said, okay, we’ll give it a try. And we were going to call it the revolving fund system. So I went into see land, which was a independent company at that point. And, uh, it was based in, in Newark or some Elizabeth or someplace in there. And I talked to this lady very, very high up and said, look, I want to become your customer. I’m going to become one of your best customers, but I need something.
David Schweidenback (00:21:23):
And I told her the whole program that if I can get, if you can just give me the shipping for one container, free $1,200 at those in those days, the ship of 45 to Nicaragua was $1,200. Wow. Um, and she said, okay. So I shipped the 45. I shipped the 45 down there. And it used to be, uh, $300 to get my container from the port. Now it’s 1300. Uh, so we shipped the container down there and he sold all the bikes and he sent me back the $1,200 and the $300. So $1,500 for the next container. Um, I shipped 56 containers of bikes into Rivas Nicaragua. Wow. Um, there’s a good documentary called the bicycle city by Greg Subaru that, uh, details everything that went on there. And then we’ll frame it, uh, left there and moved up the Hino tat bay. And I put 38 containers into Hino topic. And as we were moving along into these, you know, my, my production started to really ratchet up. I got to tell you that story. That’s a funny story. Um, but as my production started to ratchet up, I realized that I couldn’t be totally dependent on Nicaragua. I mean, it’s not the most stable, nice country, but not the most stable in the world. So I really needed to diversify. I needed to have a couple countries so that if I got shut down in Nicaragua, I still had some place to put the bikes.
Enrique Alvarez (00:22:53):
You don’t mind interrupting you for a second. So by now, you know that this is something, this is going, you already shipped not only one but 56 containers it’s working. At what point did you establish the company? At what point did you say, all right, this is what I’m going to do. Full-time as opposed to kind of being here and there, I, at one point became an a, and I’m probably starting to get into the story and the history of pedals for progress. But at what point, uh, you knew that this was for real and it could work
David Schweidenback (00:23:21):
Well. It, um, as I said, I was a carpenter and I was still doing my full-time job, doing it. And, uh, in the spring, in the third spring, let’s see, I had one full year. I had two full years and starting in the spring. Um, the previous years I had shipped about 800 bikes and going into the spring, I was at a job very early in, and I had my circular saw and I was holding a board and I was cutting that board going right along all the time until I felt the wind on my fingers. And I just dropped it all because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. I was thinking about bikes and I almost cut my hand really bad. And it scared the crap out of me. I picked up all my tools and I said to the guy, I can’t work anymore today.
David Schweidenback (00:24:09):
I’ll be back. I’m out of here for today. I scared him cause I felt the wind. I mean, and uh, I sat down at dinner that night. And um, I said to my wife, I said that I have something here. I can make this my full-time job. And she said, yeah, right. And I went, I said, I can do it. I can do it. I said, I know I can’t, I have to do it. And she said, and you’re never going to be happy until you give it a try. I went, no, I have to do this. Right. And her first line was, you remember, you have two children. And I went, yeah, I know, I know. I know, but I can make this work. I will get a salary. And she said, okay, there’s no getting around it. And we had been living mainly on her money because she made good money as a college professor.
David Schweidenback (00:24:58):
And she said, I’ll give you one year. If you’re not getting a salary in one year, you got to quit that, you know, you can’t, you know, we’re not rich. So I went from 800 bikes the year before to 2,400 bikes. Wow. And at the end of the year, I got a whopping $5,000 bonus in December. And then the next year, my salary was going to be $17,000, which came down to a thousand dollars a month, which is what it costs for my medical insurance and my kids’ medical insurance, because my wife didn’t get free medical insurance for us. So I made enough for the medical insurance. And then I went from 2,400 to 4,800. Wow. And then, you know, by that point I knew, and by that point I was accumulating collectors distributors, truckers. I mean, I was building the nuts and bolts of the company by 95, 96.
David Schweidenback (00:25:58):
And then we tried to go national, which was a mistake. I had a warehouse in Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, um, Virginia. But if you go out like that, you have to have a hierarchy that can oversee, you know, if you had 10 vector offices, you couldn’t sit in a landfill all the time. You’d have to be on a plane to make sure that, Hey, that guy in new York’s doing the job. Right. Right. I mean, and this was before the internet. I mean, you know, so, you know, we, we live with fax machines to handwritten bills of lading by fax machine and it, and the organization just grew. And then I started expanding internationally into a great number of countries. Uh, we’ve now shipped bikes to over 45 countries. And in 1999, my mother-in-law passed away and we got a sewing machine and a beauty and a cabinet.
David Schweidenback (00:26:58):
And my wife had a portable that she rarely used. And I said to my wife, what are we going to do with the portable? You’re going to keep your mother’s right. She said, yeah, it’s a better machine. We’ll get rid of this one. And my son who always a character lively kid said, ship it to Nicaragua. That’s that might not be a bad idea. So I wrote to Wilfredo and said, Hey, what do you think anyway? I don’t know. He said, send me a few and we’ll see if it works. So I sent him a few and you know, I’ve now shipped 5,400 sewing machines, 40 different countries. And that’s what, uh, uh, most of them I put in with the bike shipments, but there are some bike people who don’t want sewing machines. Um, but also my sewing machine production got high enough that I do the LCL shipments too. So I can reach, you know, cause you dropped 72 sewing machines in one shipment on someone that more or less takes care of them for awhile. Uh, and in the 1950s and sixties, everybody, how to sign machine. Um, the oldest machine I got was from the 1850s. Uh, I get a lot of, uh, 19, 10, 19 12 singers, beautiful singers. But in the fifties and sixties, every woman had a sewing machine and they’re all in the closet and no one is going to throw away grandma B-cell sewing machine. That was grandma’s, but they’ll donate it well, especially
Enrique Alvarez (00:28:22):
If they know that they’re, um, they’re really making a positive impact with this machines. Cause at the end of the day, they’re also fueling the economies of so many different communities out there and countries even, right? Yeah.
David Schweidenback (00:28:34):
Well, part of my original whole emphasis in the beginning was all of central America can not come to the United States and all of Africa can not go to Western Europe. They just won’t fit physically. They won’t fit. We have to find a way to develop these countries in Africa or south central America, Asia to develop them. So they will become successful in bio products, we’re selling a machetes, we want to sell them computers. So it’s in our own advantage to help these people become successful. And then they’re not immigrants at our borders and a six, an economically successful person doesn’t necessarily go out and cause crime. And, you know, uh, economic success fuels a whole bunch of positive things for society. And you can go look on my website P for p.org, go to our newsletters. There’s hundreds of stories about individuals, uh, who got a sewing machine or got a bicycle and it has changed their life and they’re now completely successful. Right.
Enrique Alvarez (00:29:45):
You’re absolutely right. And I know that you have a couple of questions and uh, I’ve been hogging the conversation cause it’s just amazing to talk to David and thank you for sharing all these stories. I’m pretty sure. I’m
David Schweidenback (00:29:57):
Sorry. I’m long winded. No, that’s perfectly fine. But go, go ahead and money your
Monica Roesch (00:30:02):
Turn. So David, uh, these are amazing stories and I’m impressed of all the difference that you have been making with the bikes and the sewing machines. And I was wondering, are you going to keep doing this project like together or are you planning to separate it or are you thinking about shipping a different product now just to keep helping people to develop their countries?
David Schweidenback (00:30:28):
Yeah. I have tried lots of different things. The trick is to find one that works economically. Okay. So there’s a great need for wheelchairs, but the guy dragging himself down the street on a board, can’t give you $5 for the wheelchair that you just shipped there. Yeah. The bicycle and sewing machines go to, well, the mainly my goals a lot go to kids, to the kids, bikes go to kids, but they go to working age adults who are going to earn more money because they can go. So they will pay $10 for that bike. If you don’t have a lot of money, if you don’t make a lot of money anywhere, you have to make a little bit of money everywhere in order to pay all the bills. So it costs me $18,000 to produce a container of bikes and sewing machines. And that’s kind of where my funding runs out.
David Schweidenback (00:31:26):
So at the other end, someone is going to get a really nice bike. Well, they should pay for it. I’m a capitalist. If you give things away, people don’t take care of them. And just because you’re going to sell it doesn’t mean you have to sell it for a lot. You can sell it for a little, but the function of selling a Baader and selling is how you control the situation. Uh, in the early days we would just, I opened a bike shop once in an overseas community and just open the doors and literally a crowd of a hundred people just came in, swept through and took everything. And it was a riot. We had to just stand back and just let it happen. I mean, there was no controlling it.
David Schweidenback (00:32:13):
Uh, we learned to only let five people in the shop at a time, uh, lesson number one, uh, learned a lot of lessons. And also if you put the bikes, the poorest guy is gonna come in and he’s gonna want that best bike. Well, I have bikes to sell for 5,000. I ship bikes, this sold for $5,000. I shipped bikes that sold for a thousand dollars and I shipped bikes this all for a hundred. When the son of the comes in with a chip on his shoulder and money in his pocket, he wants the best bike. We’ve got a thousand dollar bike for you, right? When the poor farmer comes in and he’s got two pennies to rub together and I’ll fix it, whatever you got, I’ll take it. I’ll fix it. Well, we got a bike for him for 20 cents because we sold the mayor son, the most expensive bike bikes I have.
David Schweidenback (00:33:03):
There were not oranges and oranges. They’re apples and oranges that I have this total spectrum of bikes. So when they put the bikes out, you know, they’ll put out one high end, two middle bikes and one low end bike and let the poor people come in and say, gee, I’d like that bike, but I can’t afford that. Just like when you go buy a car, you’re going to go buy a Mercedes. You’re going to buy a Toyota or you’re going to buy a Ford. You’re somewhere on that spectrum. And you know where you are. So when the people come in, they know they see the price range, they know what they can afford and they move towards that. And part of the, the reason for this, and it’s really, really important. It’s about discrimination. You can’t say the mayor, son can’t have one because he’s rich.
David Schweidenback (00:33:47):
You charge him more. That’s capitalism. If you try, try to stop. So then you’re going to end up selling that thousand dollar bike to a farmer for 10 bucks. How are you going to afford the next container? We have to raise enough money to afford to pay the shipping costs because I have my domestic trucking and my international shipping. And then they have their import costs that tax or whatever the country does. So we developed this system that they sell the bikes in society without discriminating against religion, race, or economic circumstance. That’s one condition. The other thing I learned very very quickly is while religious institutions are wonderful institutions for collecting bikes, all religious institutions are the pips for distributing bikes because they are inherently discriminatory. And I work in multi-ethnic countries. You can’t keep all the bikes to a Catholic and not give any to the Muslims or give them all to the Protestants and not give any to the Catholics. I mean, you can’t, what happens is the bikes become, uh, a negative force in society where people are angry with each other. It’s so important that everybody has an equal opportunity so that the bikes become a unifying force in the community where the people are coming together around the bike, rather than having the bikes spread them apart. And you can accomplish all of that by putting a price tag on the bike and letting people make their own decisions.
Monica Roesch (00:35:25):
Yeah. And that’s also because, uh, I think it’s very important what you were mentioning. Uh, yeah. Maybe it’s also about discrimination and you’re totally right, because they’re all people, they need to be able to move around the city or the forest to make a way of living. And it doesn’t matter the race or religion they’ll need to make some money for their families. So I think this is an awesome way to help them. I mean, you are right. Uh, shipping is not usually for free and costs are getting higher and higher, but you’re making a way of helping people, uh, at an affordable price, but still being able to, you know, to fund your project. So, wow. This, this is amazing. Can you share a little more about other lessons that you’ve learned during this amazing journey?
David Schweidenback (00:36:17):
Well, one of the good things is I don’t have to pay for my product. People give it to me, you know, and that makes it easier, but it’s still, um, I still run a trucking company. You know, I’m still registered with the department of transportation and all that stuff. And you know, you still have to follow the rules and regulations here, but these items bring such hopefulness to people that, um, and you know, I’ve done a lot of crazy things. I put 4% of the country of Barbados on a bike. Now it’s a little country, but, but 4% of a country that’s that made a real impact. And when I started in Barbados, there was one bike shop in Barbados run by an Englishman. And the cheapest bike was a thousand dollars. Wow. So there were no bikes on the island. So we shipped in our first container to a, uh, a group called Pinelands.
David Schweidenback (00:37:19):
And I got a phone call from the prime minister’s office. About a week later that I had an appointment with the prime minister on Tuesday, be there. So I flew out to Barbados to meet the prime minister and he wanted to know what was going on. And the, the Brit who ran the one bike shop in town that the cheapest bike was a thousand bucks. He complained to the government that I was unfairly competing because I was selling bikes from anywhere from a dollar to $50. And I went in, I talked to the prime minister and I said, well, the problem is if you only sell bikes for a thousand dollars, no one has a bike. And you know, I’m going to let all your kids be able to go to school easier and ride it out at, on the prime minister, listened to me for a while.
David Schweidenback (00:38:01):
And he said, okay, don’t worry about it. And then I had caught Blas going into Barbados, at least until the next election. And, um, you know, it made a substantive change. Um, it’s hard sometimes working with people in the developing world. It’s hard sometimes to get them to appreciate the nuances of shipping a container and getting it out of customs. They, you know, I work, I try to work with small groups at the end of the road. I wanted to call the bikes and rural development. I’m not an urban guy. I’m not interested in changing a big city. I’m much more interested in the country folk out on the farm because that’s just who I am. Um, and you know, I’ve always tried to get my bikes to the end of the road. And the problem is sometimes you get out there and the people that are in charge just really don’t have the educational experience that they really need to run a program like this.
David Schweidenback (00:39:02):
Um, some do some don’t. Um, and yeah, I lost a container in Jamaica once because they were going to get it out and oh yeah, we’re going to get out next week, man. And I was like, no, no, no, no, no, you have to go get the container. Oh, well, you know what? We’re busy this week. We’ve got it next week. I said, no, no, no, you have to go get the container. Well, when they showed up to get the container, three months later, they were pretty shocked by the bill. And then the whole thing got confiscated. And I kept telling him, and they didn’t believe no madness. The Jamaica mine were laid back. Okay. And it’s like, no, you get it out. This is sea land. You got to give it back to them. And you know, and sometimes you just can’t, you know, um, so there’s challenges working in small developing world countries.
David Schweidenback (00:39:45):
Um, but, um, the, my, my, I I’ve gotten very good at being able to choose partners. And, um, first of all, only secular partners overseas so that they can distribute to all the parts of the community, especially in multi-ethnic countries and I’ve found partners. And so once I get a partner going, traditionally, we fund the first container and then they sell it and then they use that money to buy the second. And then they use the second to buy the third. And that has been very, very successful over the years when I choose, um, very, very carefully. But what’s happening right now with our production down. I have so many functioning partners that looking for containers that I’m behind the eight ball. I, I’m not even going to add a new new program for a year or two because I’m having a hard time keeping up with who I have. I, you know, it’s, it’s
Enrique Alvarez (00:40:37):
Been, uh, you kind of mentioned that because we’re going to dive a little bit into, what’s been a challenging situation for everyone around the world, and I’m sure that it’s particularly more challenging for you and your business model like Corona Myers, right? The pandemic kid, what made it, I mean, what kind of changes did you have to make? Where were, where were your main pain points of the pandemic? And we talked a little bit off air before you came on, but there’s so many interesting things going on, especially with the bikes and, uh, not having enough new bikes in this country that will probably then cascade into maybe having more donated bikes in the future. Can you tell us a bit more, uh, your take on the whole pandemic and how you managed through
David Schweidenback (00:41:20):
It? Well, when the pandemic hit, um, we had 32 bike collections planned for the spring and we didn’t run any, um, we just, we couldn’t, but luckily I got a PPP that I was able to keep all my key people paid, including me through the spring, into the summer. And then when we got to the fall, it wasn’t a problem because they, they weren’t schools, they were Rotarian. So we had a great fall last fall. And then this spring, I thought the goalposts were April that we were vaccinated. I thought it would do well. But then we had all collections with schools and the schools were closed. So it was a very slow, but the collections, we did run with rotary clubs and with some churches were exceptionally good collections. So I ran 30% less collections, but I got 30% more bikes per collection. So it kind of all averaged out to the same amount of bikes.
David Schweidenback (00:42:17):
So, um, in 2021, my year ends September 30th and 2021. I shipped as many bikes as I did in 2019. And if I had been able to operate a full schedule in the spring, I would have had a huge increase. So we’re going into the fall schedule now in the fall lately used to be, the spring was bigger. Now the fall has been bigger lately. I don’t know why. I think it’s the weather more than anything. I expect a really strong fall season. So we’re going to be shipping out containers right away to Albania and Guatemala. And then I have to see, after that, I have seen a lot of our partners overseas. They’re used to getting two containers per year. So they get a container and they chew through it in about four or five months. And then they got another container and they chew through it in four or five months.
David Schweidenback (00:43:03):
So they have my guy in Albania has a storefront in the middle of the Capitol. He had to go over a year without a lot of container and he’s paying rent on the storefront and he didn’t want to give up the storefront because he knew it would be coming. So a lot of my partners have been struggling. I feel that this virus was spread just about completely by tourism. I mean, that’s really, you know, what got hit, you know, when they shut down [inaudible] so you couldn’t go across China, they left the airport open and what got hit hard, Rome, Venice, LA, New York, London, you know, those are the places that got hit. That’s where the tourists were. So a lot of my third world partners really haven’t had the spike yet. It hasn’t really gotten there yet. And it’s, I think east Africa right now, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, they are where we were last April.
David Schweidenback (00:44:00):
They’re just coming into the first major spike. So that container we shipped the Rwanda got their, um, they’re under total house, locked down. Luckily Oliver was able to get an exemption to get the container, to get it unloaded. So it’s in the warehouse, but they’re all locked up. I know Uganda is in terrible shape. So my greatest fear is not my ability to produce many more containers. I’m expecting a strong increase next. Well, my year goes October to September. So starting in October, I expect a really strong increase. I expect to go up, you know, 25, 30% in bikes. My fear is if we will be able to deliver them that, you know, I don’t know exactly what it’s been like in Atlanta, but I can tell you from being in New Jersey during flu this pandemic, it was really rough. And we have a really good medical system. You’ve gone to dozen, you’d gone to has 200 ICU beds in the country. They have no way. The only good thing to be said is that Africans know how to handle this. They’re used to disease. I mean, they, they follow the guidelines, unlike some Americans. So my greatest fear for, for the year coming up is what’s going to be happening in our partners because, you know, they don’t have hardly any vaccine yet. I mean, you know, we’re 80% vaccinated in New Jersey or more
Enrique Alvarez (00:45:26):
It’s, uh, it’s been definitely tough, but you’re right. I think where in the USA have the player, religion, the advantage that we’re seeing this a little bit in the rear view mirror sometimes, but there’s a lot of countries right now that are completely locked down. They’re completely shut down. They’re really strongly. And there’ll be other countries like the ones that you mentioned, they’ll probably get hit even harder in the next couple of months. So we still have to come together, continue helping continue caring. And this is great. Thank you so much for sharing everything that you’re sharing about pedals for progress and all your other project like sewing piece and some other things. What would be your, just an issue maybe, or your forecast for the future? I mean, you mentioned that you will have more collection you’ll mention they will have really good production. You are limited afraid of, of how the deliveries will go a little bit longer term forecast for you. Where, where do you want to take this company? We’re we’re, what’s the limit. What’s the next milestone. Yeah.
David Schweidenback (00:46:27):
Okay. Well, some big things coming on. I haven’t quite put it out there for the world yet, but it’s coming out soon. I hired an assistant to eventually replace me in April. His name is Alan Schultz. I’m real bright guy and he is in training. And, um, he’s actually going to Albania, uh, tomorrow to see one of our programs and, uh, I’m working with him. And, um, through this fall, he’s just going to be my shadow, looking at everything I do. And I copy him in all my emails and all my emails to back there, you’ll see him copied and then going into next spring, he will start taking over more of the duties and I will watch him. So now I have him mainly working on all the domestic duties, the collection grid, meeting the collectors, very, very important meeting the donors and getting the donors to know him and meeting our business contacts like you, and like at Avis and others.
David Schweidenback (00:47:28):
And then I expect to retire in December of 22. So at about 16 months, but I’m still on the board. I don’t do much of any of the, um, the domestic physical stuff anymore. I’m, I’m kind of broken. I, I did it all. I loaded 45 foot containers, the whole container myself for years. And, uh, I’m 69. I’m not doing that anymore. So, um, I’ve, I’ve already gotten out of the physical part out of necessity and, um, I’m slowly training Allen and we’re going to, we’ve been doing it for about four months. We’re going to be doing it for another 16 months. And then starting in January of 23, he’ll become the president. And I will become some sort of a consultant or advisor. I told him that, um, you know, that when the time comes and he becomes president, then he can decide what he wants to do with me.
David Schweidenback (00:48:26):
I mean, I’m not going to tell him now what he has to do with me. Then the whole idea is this is going to be his decision. So I think he will probably bother to keep me around for some of the international stuff, which is the most difficult. And he lives five doors down the street. So he can always just walk up and talk to me too. I mean, you know, I, I plan on still being active in the company, but letting go of the day-to-day stuff that, um, someone younger, stronger, you know, his name is.
Enrique Alvarez (00:48:54):
Yeah. Thank you for sharing those kind of news with us and our audience today. This is amazing. And you’ve done such an amazing job then I’m pretty sure that Alan will be incredibly successful after all the mentorship and all the different things that you have put in place. So thank you again for sharing. I think money, uh, you have a question as well.
Monica Roesch (00:49:14):
Yes, daddy. Wow. We didn’t see that coming. Wow. Yeah, you got it. I’m sure that Alan is going to love to keep you around. He’s going to need your help. And I’m also sure that he’s going to do a great job after all of these months of training and the feeder, the future training. So after talking to you about all of these, what would be your advice for someone who’s trying to make a difference every day or trying to help others? And they’re just trying to take the first step. What would you tell them?
David Schweidenback (00:49:54):
Brace your failures? That pedals for progress is a summation of my failures, all the mistakes I’ve made that I’ve learned not to make that mistake again. And, uh, dealing with shipping companies, there can be a lot of those dealing with customs overseas. Yes. But, um, you, once you have your vision and you, you know, where you want to go, you have to not give up. You have to be obstinate. Um, I have gone bankrupt at least five, six times that, you know, it’s always an August, always an August. Our funding is very much a sign wave. It goes up and down, up and down in the spring and fall. We got a lot of money because we’re active in the summer and winter, we’re not active and we don’t bring in much money, but we still have the overhead. So August often goes down into the pennies, but always at the last moment, some donor would come through and save our butt. And it’s just a matter of staying strong and staying strong in your belief that you can make it work and you’re going to make it work. And one way or another, and it always seems to work out. It has so far. That’s a,
Enrique Alvarez (00:51:05):
That’s an amazing advice for everyone. And, um, again, there’s a lot of younger people that are following and listening to our podcast. And, um, that’s kind of a really good summary of what success means, right? Just don’t give up, keep pushing
David Schweidenback (00:51:19):
On. Good. And, and also domestically hiring quality people and internationally partnering with quality people. I mean, you know, no, the people you partner with know who they are and what they are, and, you know, go for those high integrity people that are going to be there when, when it gets tough, not adjust the good times, but when it gets tough, because you know, all of these programs, there’s ups and downs, and, you know, there are things that happen like a pandemic, you know, um, you know, two years ago, did you ever think you’d be there? I mean, you know, and, and, and there can be more things like that. So you just got to, it just got to have faith and hang in there. And, um, and I have always had this feeling and, and it was, I did this in an interview interview. His hat for years had asked me, why do you do this?
David Schweidenback (00:52:14):
And I had this interview interviewing me about six months ago. And he just reached down into my gut and grabbed that reason and wrenched it out of me that I didn’t know, I’ve given flippant answers for years. Cause I didn’t really know, but this one interviewer from Illumina, he was so fantastic. And when it came out, it was like a re revelation. And the reason I do this is because no kid should be poor and no kid should go hungry. And I used to go hungry a lot. So it’s person, and that’s why I do it, um, help as many as I can. Well, you’ve
Enrique Alvarez (00:52:58):
Certainly have helped a lot of kids, a lot of people and you’ll continue helping others. And again, it’s been a pleasure and an honor playing a very small part in what you guys do. You’ve been always very inspiring to everyone here at vector. And, um, and, and thanks, thanks for sharing. Thanks for what you do. We will continue to support in any way we can and we’ll continue kind of talking with you hopefully way. Well, after you, you decide to, to retire in a way after, uh, takes over and hopefully I’m sure you’ll be doing something else very quickly. You won’t, you won’t stand still for long. It’s my prediction, but thank you so much.
David Schweidenback (00:53:40):
Oh, thank you very much for interviewing me. I appreciate it. And thank you all the people at vector for all of the great service I’ve had delivering my containers of that. I don’t know how many years it must be six or seven, or I’d have to go back and look, I don’t know. Thank you much.
Enrique Alvarez (00:53:53):
And so what, uh, money, I think, uh, one of the last questions that you have, right, which is very important so that we can continue helping them.
Monica Roesch (00:54:02):
So David, please tell us, uh, how can our listeners connect with you? And of course we panels for progress.
David Schweidenback (00:54:10):
The best way is probably to find us is through our website. And it’s really easy, you know, pedals for progress. We call ourselves P for P because it’s quick and easy. So our website is just the letter P the number four, the letter p.org P for p.org. And there’s all sorts of information there. Um, you can watch the bicycle city. There’s a bunch of videos from around the world. There’s some, some interesting videos from all around the world that people have done the, on our bikes. And, um, there’s just a ton of stories. There’s 20 years of newsletters on the website with tremendous stories of people here, people there a great story of this Czech immigrant who got here in 1912, bought a sewing machine, spent his whole life in, uh, Westchester, New York, making clothes for four families. And, uh, he retired in the sixties and his, his daughter got me his credal finger from 1912.
David Schweidenback (00:55:12):
And there’s a story of the lady in Togo who now has that and is supporting her two kids. I mean, you know, they’re just such good feel, good stories and why not do it? I mean, why, why throw this stuff in a landfill? Why not take the time to reduce for reuse to get it to people who need it? I mean, I’m, I’m just, I’m disappointed that there are so many countries which will not allow us in. There are many countries that do not allow used goods period. End of story, uh, Vietnam, all of south America. Um, but in the countries we can help a long time ago. When I, when the Ecuadorians wouldn’t let me in. I learned a very serious lesson. There you go, where you can. I wanted to go to Ecuador. I had one country, I just I’d been there. I lived there, I knew the people.
David Schweidenback (00:56:06):
I had friends and I couldn’t get in. And I learned that I shipped bikes where the world lets me and I, I do good deed where the world lets me do it. And we have the world isn’t going to let you do it. They’re not going to let you do it no matter what you do. So, you know, I don’t ship the Haiti I gave, uh, it just, it’s not worth it. There’s easier places to work, uh, that are just as poor and need help just as bad. And, um, we try to spread the wealth as much as we can, but, um, you know, little drop in a big bucket.
Enrique Alvarez (00:56:39):
Thanks, thanks to everyone. So effort. Right. And, um, yeah, hopefully they’ll come around. Hopefully they’ll realize how important this is for their communities. And, uh, I’m pretty sure that they’ll eventually we’ll be forced one way or another to help, uh, to, uh, accept support and help from organizations like yours.
David Schweidenback (00:56:56):
And also for my community here that in the greater Highbridge area, because I learned after ripping my elbows out, packing containers by myself to hire high school kids, to help me, I have mentored scores of young men who, you know, come in and, you know, they want to work out and they load containers for a couple of years while they’re in high school. And that’s Allen Allen worked loading containers for three years in high school, then went off and got a master’s in English and came back and was looking for a job. And I hired him to replace me, but, uh, I had a guy drive up and stop in front of the house yesterday and said, Hey, how you doing Dave? And he was, I couldn’t see who he was. And he, he told me who he was and I used to have his side.
David Schweidenback (00:57:44):
He said, I just want to stop and tell you what a great job you did with my son. You’re mentoring him, made all the difference. And you know that kid’s 30 now, but I’ve mentored. I’ve mentored a whole bunch of kids that, you know, they’re in high school. And there were so many Americans. I found young Americans who are just angry because they aren’t multi-millionaires and they don’t have the fancy shoes that the latest baseball basketball player has. And there are so many Americans that are just frustrated and they shouldn’t be, they should realize how lucky they are. They were born here. They could have been born in Zimbabwe and I, all these young men who come and work with me, I really, I tell them stories and I make them read the newsletters and I tell them stories about overseas. And I tried to impress upon them how lucky they are. And, um, I’ve had a lot of success with young men who were getting in trouble basically because they didn’t know what else to do. And they just needed a little inspiration and, um, mentoring all those young men over the years. Uh, I really, I really have enjoyed that, that, um, to see them come, you know, as a high school kid kind of in a mess and see them as capable adults with a job and moving on, I mean, that’s a really good experience. Yeah.
Monica Roesch (00:59:08):
And that’s another way of making a difference in your lives too. Like you’re helping people in the other side of the world, but you’re also making a difference in your community. And that also matters a lot. So I would just like to add one more question. If anyone wanted to volunteer with you guys, or if anyone wanted to ask for help for their country, can they reach you in, in your website too? Or is there any other programs?
David Schweidenback (00:59:37):
Um, well, our, our phone numbers and emails are all on the website. My email’s easy. It’s D Sweden back at Gmail, but spelling Sweden back, isn’t always the easiest thing to do. But, um, there are other website and anyone who lives in the greater New York, Philadelphia area, um, and would like to run a collection. Uh, we run collections in the spring and fall with rotary clubs, church groups, lions clubs, high schools, middle school, environmental clubs, uh, individuals, just a couple of people who just think that, like to do it for fun. The bicycle collections are great. It’s one day, three hours once a year. It’s not a big commitment. One day, three hours. And, you know, we average a hundred bikes, a collection. Can
Enrique Alvarez (01:00:20):
We get in other cities as well? I feel that that’s, I don’t know that you said
David Schweidenback (01:00:26):
Right, the logistics, it, it, you know, the cost, the cost to drag it all the way back to New Jersey. So I work in about 150 miles circle because 150 miles, I can send a man in a truck, do a collection and get him back in eight hours. Cause you can’t have a guy in a truck more than eight hours, or you shouldn’t have a guy in the truck more than eight hours. Yeah. So we really concentrate intensively where we have capacity and basically suburban New York, Philadelphia, isn’t the worst market in the world. I mean, a lot of people here, a lot of bikes, a lot of people who bike. So we concentrate right here. Although we do have financial donors from every state in the union, our mailing list goes out all over the place. Um, people who have found us who believe in it, a lot of returned, peace Corps, volunteers who, uh, believe in this sort of thing.
David Schweidenback (01:01:17):
And you know, not only the, the, the kids that I mentored, but also the people who run collections that I don’t go to collections much anymore. I other people do that. We have too many that all those people who come in, I used to see when I used to run collections, some kid would come in with his bike and he just got a new bike and he’s got to give away the old bike and he’s holding onto it. And his father is like, okay, you got to give it up. And he’s thinking, he’s thinking like I got that new bike, but man, I’ve been riding this line. I’m not ready to give it up. And I take a brochure and go up to the little kid and give him a brochure and say, Hey, let me give you this brochure. And let me tell you what’s going to happen.
David Schweidenback (01:01:54):
We can bike. And I’d tell him a story about where his bike was going to go. Because by the day of the collection, we know where we’re going to shift to the next, right? And you tell them the story where the bike was going to go. And then that he could go online and he can see pictures of that town. And he can see what’s going on there and he can follow his bike. And he can find out when his bike arrives. And I can not promise to get him a picture of his bike with the new owner. That’s just impossible. But, um, you know, they can fall where a ghost and all of these young kids who give up their bikes, you know, they live in their tome town and all of a sudden their world just became global that their bike is going to Africa. Yeah. They had heard the word Africa, but Africa didn’t mean anything before, but now my bike’s going to Africa. I mean, and it, it broadens, we need to broaden the American public to be more accepting of other nationalities that, you know, we’re not the only country in the world. I mean, we share this planet and, um, we need our young people to be more appreciative of the entire world and the people who live there.
Enrique Alvarez (01:03:00):
I think there’s no better way of closing this interview then with what you use said. So, um, without David, thank you so much, we wish you the very, very best. And, uh, thanks for giving us some time today to talk to you. We’ll be more than happy to talk some more with you and your team and maybe have Alan as well when the time comes. But, uh, once again, money, thank you very much for joining David. Thank you very much. And for everyone that’s listening to this episode, if you like interesting conversations, like the one that we just had with David at pedals for progress, just don’t forget to join supply chain now and follow the logistics with purpose series. This is simply caliber is thank you very much. And we’ll see you soon.
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David Schweidenback, After graduating from college he joined the United States Peace Corps and spent 2 1/2 years in the Amazon basin of Ecuador. He lived in a little town where everyone walked everywhere they went except his landlord Cesar Peña who had the only bicycle. He was always amazed at how much his landlord got done and how little he got done needing to walk everywhere every day. David came back to United States, got married, started a family, and was working as a general contractor in High Bridge, New Jersey. In 1990, he remembers seeing a bicycle sitting next to garbage cans every week. He decided he wanted to collect a dozen bikes and send them back to the town where he lived during his time with the Peace Corps. 30 years David has sent 165,000 bikes back to his town.
Monica Aurora Roesch Davila has a Bachelor’s degree in Management and International Business from Universidad Panamericana in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She has work experience in purchasing, logistics, and sales for automotive companies, and is currently working at Vector handling some non-profit accounts and helping them achieve their goals. She also develops new accounts and plans with them the better routes and strategies for them to have efficient and cost-effective operations.
Monica believes that everything we do matters and that we can make a difference and impact the world in a positive way with our daily actions, so she tries to do her best every day.
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.