Paul McKinley hops in his semi and starts his deliveries at six—but when he’s done is anyone’s guess. Loading and unloading is a game of tetris, and it’s one he plays to win. Step into the world of professional truck driving as Paul leads Scott on a tour of his truck driving journey from Alabama to the Navy and all the way to Southeastern Freight Lines.
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Scott Luton (00:32):
Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show on today’s episode, we’re gonna be diving into a conversation with a critical member of the global supply chain workforce. A professional truck driver stay tuned for what promises to be an informative and intriguing discussion. So with that said, I wanna dive right in, wanna welcome in our featured guests here today. Paul McKinley with Southeastern freight lines, a privately owned industry leader in the regional less truck load transportation services space. Now we interviewed Paul’s colleague Joey Thiessen a week or so ago. So you may have caught that episode as well. Paul, good morning. How you doing?
Paul McKinley (01:11):
Good morning. Doing great. How you doing?
Scott Luton (01:12):
Doing fantastic. I appreciate you. You taking some time out with us here today. I know how St. I can only imagine, uh, how busy you stay and to really look forward to our chat here today.
Paul McKinley (01:23):
I’m good. Looking forward to it.
Scott Luton (01:25):
So I wanna ask you before we dive into learn a little, little bit more about the Paul McKinley story as it were, maybe. So Joey Thon, who I, I know that you don’t know personally, but he is a colleague in the Atlanta area. He talked about how, when he drives, he loves the kids that do the air horn and he wants to start a campaign hashtag bring back the air horn. Is that something you enjoy seeing from kids too?
Paul McKinley (01:47):
Oh yeah. I, I love it. You know, we, you know, my, my truck is an older type truck. It still has a air horn in it. So I may, most of ’em have, you know, it’s right on the horn. So it, you know, it’s not like, you know, pull it down. You normally do.
Scott Luton (02:01):
I love it. I love it. Those are special little interactions. I remember doing that as a kid and, uh, you, you always get a kick outta whenever the, the driver would, would, uh, oblige you. So I love that. Well, uh, so Joe, if you’re listening, uh, me and Paul were all about, uh, hashtag bring back the air horn. All right. So, Paul, I wanna get to know you a little better first before we get into your profession and all of your experie span, a wealth of experience. So tell us what part of the country did you grow up in?
Paul McKinley (02:30):
I grew up in a little small town in Alabama, Frisco city, Alabama. It’s a little bit town in between mobile and Montgomery. About 1500 people graduated with 30 people in my class. Uh, wow. Grew up in the, from the first grade to 12th grade. Nobody moved in, nobody moved out. Same people like family
Scott Luton (02:48):
<laugh> man. That is that, that is really, uh, unique. So growing up in Frisco city, a small town, let’s talk food for a second. What’s one food dish that you grew up with that was just inseparable from your childhood
Paul McKinley (03:04):
Scott Luton (03:05):
Paul McKinley (03:06):
We grew all our, all our food, so everything we ate was mostly out to garden.
Scott Luton (03:12):
Okay, man, you’re making me hungry. Uh, we just, of course, with, with Easter weekend just a couple days ago, uh, we had a feast, which we included. We didn’t have butter beans this year, but we had Italian green beans, the flat green beans.
Paul McKinley (03:26):
I could eat them.
Scott Luton (03:26):
Oh, I love ’em too. I could eat ’em by the bowl for sure. All right. One more quick question. So Frisco city, Alabama, of course, Alabama is known for a wide variety of food, including barbecue. So when I, the word barbecue to you, Paul paint that, what does that plate look like
Paul McKinley (03:44):
For us? We really didn’t barbecue a lot. Uh, we was mostly fried.
Scott Luton (03:50):
Okay. All right.
Paul McKinley (03:51):
Fried chicken. That’s mostly what we ate. So barbecue. We mostly was just hamburgers.
Scott Luton (03:57):
Okay. All right. Well, Hey, I’m goof fried chicken with extra spicy, actually fried anything. We’re <laugh> we’re gonna be fair. So all of that sounds delicious to me. All right. So let’s shift gears a bit, uh, with Paul McKinley here, the pride of Frisco city, Alabama. Uh, let’s talk about what initially attracted you to the, the logistics and transportation industry. I think it’s important for our lists understand Paul pre-show. I think you shared, you have been with Southeastern freight for 35 years. Is that right?
Paul McKinley (04:28):
30 years, right? Yeah,
Scott Luton (04:29):
Man. So way back, when, what, what, what initially attracted you to the, the industry?
Paul McKinley (04:35):
Well, actually, um, I was still in the military. I was in the Navy and, uh, I just was trying to find a job. And, uh, there was a guy in my shop. Uh, he was a civilian, his wife worked at Southeastern, uh, Jan Benson. And, um, he said, well, you know, go up there and, and, uh, they’re hiring on the dock. So I applied at, at Southeastern you here in Jacksonville and, uh, just kind of fit in, you know, it, it seemed like something I enjoyed doing was moving, you know, moving freight driving forklift. So that really what what’s got me in. I never thought I would be driving a truck and really drove, you know, worked a dock for seven years before I even even thought about driving a, I didn’t know how to drive truck. <laugh> learn how, you know, in the yard and, you know, hustling in the yard. And finally, I just decided to take the leap and take it back then, all you needed was to chauffeur license. So went and passed my test and put on the road. And they gave me a stack of bills and told me not to hit anything.
Scott Luton (05:46):
I love that. Let me back up for a second. So talk about, you know, uh, the dock work, you know, seven years before you started driving a truck, that sound, that’s a bunch of hard work. It sounds like to me.
Paul McKinley (05:57):
Yeah, it was, you know, very physical back then. All it was was it wasn’t hardly any, you know, pallet freight. It was mostly loose freight, you know, lot of, uh, floats we called ’em, you know, you load everything on the float and pushed it down the dock and loaded onto another trailer,
Scott Luton (06:14):
Man. Seven years,
Paul McKinley (06:16):
Seven years. Yeah.
Scott Luton (06:17):
Earned it. And then, so you were in, in the Navy prior to starting E even that work with Southeastern freight. What did you do? Uh, in the Navy, Paul,
Paul McKinley (06:26):
I was, uh, aviation ordinance, uh, loading bombs. And so once you get out of the Navy, there’s not a lot of jobs out there, loading bombs. So that part,
Scott Luton (06:38):
Yeah. That’s not a big profession in the private sector, is it?
Paul McKinley (06:41):
Yeah, but it was loading on bombs and missiles on, on jets.
Scott Luton (06:46):
Wow. That is fascinating on carriers. I would imagine. Is that right?
Paul McKinley (06:51):
Well, supposedly, but I was on shore duty the whole time, so
Scott Luton (06:55):
Paul McKinley (06:56):
Yeah. I was on the, a carrier for one time, for two weeks, another time for a week. And that was
Scott Luton (07:01):
It. Okay. I
Paul McKinley (07:02):
Kinda got lucky.
Scott Luton (07:04):
<laugh> that’s good. Luck is a good thing. All right. So from the Navy loading bombs and missiles to, uh, the dock there in Jacksonville, where you are now and had been for a long time for about seven years, and then you mentioned back then as you raise your hand and volunteered to start driving the, it sounded like if I heard you correctly, the barrier to get to start driving a truck was a little bit lower than what it is. Now. You said a chauffer license. Is that what you called it? Paul?
Paul McKinley (07:31):
Yeah. A chauffer license. Yeah. It wasn’t a, it wasn’t CDL back then. It was just a chauffer license.
Scott Luton (07:36):
Paul McKinley (07:38):
You know, and then you kinda got grandfathered into the, the CDL.
Scott Luton (07:44):
Paul McKinley (07:46):
But now totally different.
Scott Luton (07:48):
Yes. Yes. It is
Paul McKinley (07:50):
Six or eight weeks now. I think, even though you have a license, I mean, even though you knew how to drive, I didn’t even, I didn’t know how to drive
Scott Luton (07:58):
Really well. When you say you didn’t know how to drive is that is just your first time with a, um, uh, a commercial truck and a trailer. Yes. And you, so you kind of had to learn from scratch that way,
Paul McKinley (08:10):
Scott Luton (08:11):
So what was the, so learning to drive? What was, uh, what was the toughest part for you back
Paul McKinley (08:17):
Up backing up <laugh> That was that’s the time going forward was fine. But when I got backing up was probably the hardest thing to learn for me. It was,
Scott Luton (08:29):
You know, it, it, it’s amazing. Now, as you look at these new pickup trucks that are, of course built to tow things, and they’ve got the, the, the cameras and even the, the little owned dashboard, electronic steering wheels to help folks back up, I think humans in general, maybe weren’t made to backup trucks and trailers. It’s very difficult and challenging. Right.
Paul McKinley (08:51):
It is, it was back then. Now it’s, it’s a lot easier. Is
Scott Luton (08:56):
Paul McKinley (08:57):
Yeah, it was. And it’s, it’s fun. It’s challenging, you know, to cause some of the spots we have to put these trailers in are yep. Difficult. But if you run the same route every day, as I do, you know, you get used to it. I mean, you, you know, what’s gonna be tough and, but it always changes. You know, there’s always things that wasn’t there the day before. And you, you just gotta keep your eyes open and be aware of everything around you.
Scott Luton (09:24):
Mm. So we were talking pre-show as an LTL driver, you know, you’ve got, I think you said about 70 miles a day, kinda local to the Jacksonville area. Is that right?
Paul McKinley (09:34):
Scott Luton (09:36):
A lot of the same stops.
Paul McKinley (09:38):
Yeah. Because I run the, the same area every day. Okay.
Scott Luton (09:42):
Paul McKinley (09:43):
Almost, almost every day is the same
Scott Luton (09:45):
Almost every day is the same. Well, so let’s talk about that a little bit more, uh, that typical day, what does that typical day look like? Just paint us a picture when when’s it start, uh, where do you go? What part to Jacksonville? What do those activities look like? And then when you make it back home?
Paul McKinley (10:00):
Well, I, I start out at six o’clock in the morning. I’ll take a, a load over to, uh, one of the logistics companies here in Jacksonville and it’s, um, it’s all going to one place. So I’ll, I’ll deliver there. It takes like an hour there. When that trailer’s empty, then we have, we probably have 35 areas of town that we drop at. So I drop the empty off. They’ll load it during the day, I’ll drop it off and I’ll come back to get my route. Then I’ll go probably 30 miles, 20 miles from here. And I’ll start my route. I’ll, I’ll make deliveries probably from nine to 15 deliveries. And then once I, I, I stop delivering and I get empty. I’ll start picking up and then I’ll start picking up all day and get it all in the trailer, high and tight and secure, and then I’ll bring it on back. And then usually once I back it up to the dock, then I’ll start, uh, I’ll go out again and start picking up the trailers. We dropped off that morning with loads and bring it in. And that’s about it by that time. It’s about six 30 in that in the evening
Scott Luton (11:13):
Man, day in and day out the backbone of global supply chain. What you and your fellow professional drivers do? Tell us about that sense. I mean, 35 years in, it might just be, you know what you do now? You may, it kind of be, it might be even be SUBC subconscious, I think is the word I’m looking for. But that sense of accomplishment, you know, when you work that 12, 12 and a half hour day, and you’re that critical cog and get move where they gotta go. I mean, is that, is that pretty gratifying?
Paul McKinley (11:44):
Well, it is. Yeah, it is gratifying. It’s um, like I said, it’s challenging. I, and I like it mostly. I like it a lot. I, I like to see how much freight I can get on trailer. <laugh> that’s what I do is like, Teris you try, you don’t lose an inch of space, everything it has its place. So you try to get as much freight on that trailer as possible. And you try to make all the pickups assigned to you. So I don’t like pick missing up missing any pickups,
Scott Luton (12:14):
Man. I love that
Paul McKinley (12:16):
Scott Luton (12:17):
So if you had to, so the, the whole every day is I’m sure challenging, so it, it might have some, some of the same challenges. And then from day to day, it might have each day may have its unique challenge. What’s one, if you had to pick one challenging aspect of what you do, what would the, that be?
Paul McKinley (12:35):
Well, I guess it would be to try to get, you know, like I said, all, all my pickups, you know, get it all fitted on the trail, all get it. Cause the stuff that we pick up is all different. It’s all different sizes is, you know, big Bucky, small, just awkward and, uh, trying to get it fitted in there. So all the rest, so you can get everything, but you know, your, your customers, you know, what type of freight they’re gonna be shipping out. So sometimes it’s surprising, but most the time it’s, you know, it it’s the same.
Scott Luton (13:12):
Yes. It’s a cha it’s a, um, the most challenging jigsaw puzzle in <laugh> in history. Maybe. I don’t know. Um, so, and, and I love how you described it, that game of Tetris. I think anyone listening can probably know exactly what you’re talking about there. So speaking of that, let’s talk about, I know you stayed local and, and what you did today out for Southeastern freight, but pre-show, we were talking about some of your travels, uh, when you are in the us Navy, what is your, whether it’s during that time or, or maybe another period of your life, what’s, what’s one of your favorite places to drive through across the country?
Paul McKinley (13:49):
You know, I really don’t travel a lot, but actually Alabama, it is a beautiful place and I really didn’t know it at the time when I lived there. Yep. But when you go back now, it’s, I guess, cause you lived there so long, you really didn’t recognize how beautiful it was, but to be able to, to drive through the winding roads and the, the heels is, is really, is really nice.
Scott Luton (14:19):
I agree. And now when you’re driving without a trailer in your personal conveyance, do you, you’ve been driving so long, do you forget sometimes that you don’t have a trailer behind you and you can, you know, you can, uh, <laugh>, you know, you can enjoy the drive a little bit more.
Paul McKinley (14:33):
No, no, you don’t. You it’s, you know, you know, it, it’s totally different. I mean, you, you know that you’re in your personal car and you gotta drive totally different than when you’re driving that semi
Scott Luton (14:47):
<laugh>. So my dad, Paul, my dad was a, had a CDL. He didn’t drive trucks, he drove our church buses, right. NCIS, uh, that kind of stuff. And it’s fascinating. So many folks don’t realize what all goes into, you know, maintaining a truck and, and of course, driving the highways and keeping your head on a swivel. Um, I can, you know, that level of detail probably isn’t most humans probably aren’t built for that. So, so tell us about when you’re driving, you know, through the highways and byways of Jacksonville, just how careful you’ve gotta be. Not because of your own vehicle, but all the, all the vehicles around you,
Paul McKinley (15:27):
Right? Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s getting really bad now. Just so much aggression out on the, on the roads now. I mean, there, there’s some crazy people out there <laugh>, uh, really, really gotta watch, you know, what you do. Yes. Um, used to, you know, you, you gotta watch when, just like he’s talking about, you know, uh, about the air horn, you gotta watch one. Cause people get mad when they air horn
Scott Luton (15:55):
Paul McKinley (15:57):
So you’re blowing in a kid, you know, going like this right. And blowing into them. And
Scott Luton (16:03):
Scott Luton (16:05):
Man, I’ll tell you what, all the things we gotta take into consideration as we’re, uh, driving down the road. All right. One before I want to, uh, I’m gonna ask you in a minute, what you wish more folks knew about the truck driving profession, but before we do, as I learned, pre-show, you know, you’ve been at Southeastern freight for 35 years, but, and as special as that is, you also have the opportunity to work with your daughter, Heather, who also works as part of the Southeastern freight, do y’all ever, you know, talk, shop well on the weekends or when you’re grabbing a bite, eating it during the evenings or something.
Paul McKinley (16:36):
Yeah. Yeah. We do a lot. Yeah. Surely
Scott Luton (16:39):
How special is that?
Paul McKinley (16:41):
It’s, it’s very special. I talk, I think I, I talk about more and, and she does, but <laugh> um, but it it’s good.
Scott Luton (16:50):
Yep. Now she’s got a different role with the company. Is that right?
Paul McKinley (16:53):
Uh, yes. She’s she’s the, uh, the office manager.
Scott Luton (16:57):
Okay. All right. And
Paul McKinley (16:58):
She was, she was, she, she, um, she started here while she was going to college, so she worked part-time here. And then, um, she was a teacher and she, she taught for like a year and a half and decided it wasn’t for her. So she just came back to Southeast.
Scott Luton (17:16):
Love that. Okay. So a couple things about the, the culture at Southeastern freight. Uh, and this is the second, uh, conversation I’ve had that clearly they, they like to hire veterans. I love that. And then they clearly with what you just shared there, they create opportunities for some of their part-timers to, to come on full-time and en enjoy quite a career, clearly a, uh, a culture that has enticed you to stay there 35 years, man. That is a, that is quite an accomplishment, especially given the, the stresses that just goes along with getting stuff moved where it’s gotta go, you know, part of global supply chain. All right. So Paul, let’s talk about a couple things and I think you’ve already shared a couple things that maybe, hopefully folks have at a Eureka moment, uh, about the truck driving profession, but what’s a couple other things that you wish more folks knew about the, uh, professional truck.
Paul McKinley (18:11):
Uh, they just, they just need to learn, you know, that this, this, truck’s not gonna stop on dying. You know, you, they, you know, they go and they cut you off. They, they don’t realize that, you know, I’m pulling, you know, 30,000 pounds behind me. I’m not gonna be able to, to stop, you know, and, and, you know, they need to realize how much room it takes to turn and, and our customers learn, you know, realize that you just can’t get in some places, you know, they under, they can’t understand why I can’t get back to where they want me to put this thing. <laugh> when you tell ’em I’m in a semi and then they come out and say, well, I didn’t know you was gonna drive that big a truck. <laugh>, you know, hope it was a semi, it’s not like a ups truck.
Scott Luton (18:58):
Right. It’s not like a, a, a little dart van or something. I mean, yeah. I gotta have room. Right, Paul,
Paul McKinley (19:05):
Scott Luton (19:07):
What, anything else, uh, to any of our listeners that might be, you know, in high school college, or might, might be starting out their career. They’re still trying to, you know, piece together, upstream and downstream, you know, what makes up, uh, supply chain, you know, anything, you know, my view, just my view is that our drivers, our professional drivers community do not get the recogni that they deserve. I mean, they keep us moving. They keep us rolling. They keep even during the pandemic and other similar challenges, you know, they, they protect our psyche because they keep the shelves stuff on the shelves. They, they keep things, keep things moving. Do you share that? Do you wish that drivers in general would, would get more visibility and get more recognition out there?
Paul McKinley (19:51):
Oh yeah. Yeah. People just don’t realize, you know, the amount of work we do. It’s not, it’s not like a regular job. It’s not like a nine to five job. You, you know, usually we don’t know. I know what time I’m gonna come in, but a lot of times you don’t know what time to come in. You definitely don’t know what time you’re gonna get off. Uh, it’s just, it’s a lot to it.
Scott Luton (20:14):
Yeah. Agreed. Well really on by far and supply chain now team appreciate what you do day in to day out. Uh, you know, again, I think I shared with you pre-show, uh, 35 years. I can’t imagine what you’ve seen out across the roads. I hope you can write, sit down and write a book at some point. Uh, I’ve bit, a lot of folks. I know I would be fascinated with some of the things that, um, that you’ve seen over the course of your career.
Paul McKinley (20:39):
Yeah. You see some crazy stuff out there. <laugh>
Scott Luton (20:42):
<laugh> all right. So let, uh, Paul really, you know, an hour or 30 minutes, doesn’t do justice for what, you know, everything you’ve done in your career, but I appreciate your time here today. I let you get back to what you’ve gotta do. Um, how can folks wanna learn more, uh, about you or about Southeastern freight lines? Where would you direct people to go?
Paul McKinley (21:01):
Well, you can go our website it’s, uh, dot com and, um, and it, it is all about Southeastern on there. You apply for a job on there. It’s it? It, it’s very informative.
Scott Luton (21:13):
Wonderful. It’s just that easy. Well, Paul McKinley really enjoyed meeting you here today. Uh, learn a little bit more about what you’ve been up to over the course of your career. Thank you so much for what you do and for spending some time with us here today.
Paul McKinley (21:27):
Well, you’re welcome. Thanks for having me.
Scott Luton (21:29):
You bet. All right. Uh, listeners, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. If you missed the first conversation with Paul’s colleague, Joey Thon, make sure you check that out, but hopefully enjoyed Paul’s perspective. I know I did here today, whatever you do though, I challenge you Scott LUT on behalf of the supply chain now team. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we see next time, right back here at supply chain now. Thanks everybody.
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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.
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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.
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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 a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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.