Supply Chain Now
Episode 879

The biggest thing is just the sacrifice that logistics professionals and drivers do on a daily basis. You know, the last two years, especially with the pandemic, a lot of the world shut down. A lot of people stayed at home, but the trucking industry boomed. We've never been more busy. We were sacrificing more time away from home and being out and about during the pandemic than we were prior.

-Joey Thiessen

Episode Summary

One of the most critical aspects of the global supply chain workforce? The professional truck driver. In this episode, Scott sits down with Joey Thiessen of Southeastern Freight Lines to learn more about his path to the profession, current challenges and what everyone needs to know about truck driving. Hint: it’s time to bring back the air pump for the air horn.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and entities Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show. Now 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. So stay tuned for what promises to be an informative and intriguing discussion. And with that said, I wanna dive right in when welcome in our featured guest, Joey Thiessen with Southeastern freight lines, which is a privately owned industry leader in the regional less truckload transportation service space. So Hey Joey, how you doing?

Joey Thiessen (01:04):

Good, Scott, how are you?

Scott Luton (01:05):

I am doing great. And I’ve been looking forward to today’s interview, as I shared with you. Pre-show not only do folks in global supply chain, not get a chance to kind of get that VOD or voice of the driver, but a lot of consumers, this is a blind spot for no pun intended, and I’m really excited to, to learn myself, but also, uh, share your experiences with our global audience. So Joey, you ready to dive right in?

Joey Thiessen (01:29):

Yes, sir.

Scott Luton (01:30):

Awesome. So I gotta, you know, we’re gonna start with you, like we start with most of our guests, uh, before we get into the professional drug truck driving profession. Let’s learn a little more about Joey th so where’d you grow up, Joey? Yes,

Joey Thiessen (01:42):

Sir. I grew up in the Georgia. Uh, it’s located in Gwinnett county, which is a suburb, but Atlanta,

Scott Luton (01:48):

So tequila that is home of one of the largest Memorial day parades in the country. If I’m not mistaken, right?

Joey Thiessen (01:54):

That is, uh, we attended every year ever since. Oh man, I guess since I was five years old, we started attending that, uh, Memorial day parade. It’s uh, it’s definitely a big hit.

Scott Luton (02:04):

It is. Um, my family we’ve been going there at least for the last, uh, I don’t know, six or seven years. Um, but love that part of the state. What now growing up in tequila, Georgia, you know, I mentioned to you, we love talking food here at supply chain. Now, what is one dish or one restaurant that was a inseparable part of your childhood?

Joey Thiessen (02:24):

Oh man. Originally moving to tequila. It’s not like how it is now. It was, uh, it was pretty bare. There wasn’t much, mostly just farm fields, uh, growing up, uh, we had this one little, uh, it was a gas station slash little restaurant on the corner called a cane circle. And, uh, we were, we would walk up there and we’d keep it simple just with, and uh, the chili dogs are pretty famous. <laugh>, I’d say within a three mile radi, so all right. Chain circle.

Scott Luton (02:52):

Yeah. I love that cane circle. I got one quick follow up question in my house. We’ve got a raging debate, whether or not ketchup belongs on hotdog. I say no, but we’ve got others in my dear family that can’t eat a hot dog without it. So are you yes or no to ketchups on those famous canes circle chili dogs.

Joey Thiessen (03:11):

I’m with you brother mustard only. Yeah. Mustard and onions, or what on

Scott Luton (03:15):

Man? Right. We got to go get some, all right. I wanna shift gears a bit. Uh, so we’ll move from the Kula to, um, to, as we get in the industry. Uh, so you know, you’re a professional truck driver for a leading firm, Southeastern freight lines. Um, what initially attracted you to the logistics and transportation industry?

Joey Thiessen (03:35):

Uh, you mean other than over the top with Sylvester Stallone <laugh> uh,

Scott Luton (03:39):


Joey Thiessen (03:41):

I, I, I grew up seeing it. Um, my father, uh, he went to work for Southeastern freight lines in the early or the late 1980s as a driver. And, uh, I remember being a little kid sitting in the back of the car and, uh, you know, looking for the Southeastern truck to roll down the road. And, uh, you know, I just thought it was the coolest thing ever, other than that, it’s the, uh, uh, the financial stability and, uh, the job security that, you know, having a CDL brings to the table. Um, it’s one of those industries you can kind of go anywhere and, uh, work anywhere and, uh, uh, be financially successful at the same time. So, mm.

Scott Luton (04:15):

And, and a lot of folks probably don’t appreciate that. They don’t know that, uh, with a commercial driver’s license. I mean, the opportunities are endless, you kind of pick and choose in many cases of what you wanna do. Right, right.

Joey Thiessen (04:26):

Absolutely. Yeah. You, you, you have a lot of options go from, I mean, a lot, uh, I work for Southeastern freight, which is a, uh, LTL company and, uh, you know, we, we dabble in any kind of freight, not only in the south, but across the country as well. Hmm. And, uh, but you know, you can, you can get into an industry like that, but, you know, you could be an independent driver and then, then, you know, start your own business.

Scott Luton (04:50):

So a couple of basic questions for, for folks out there that may be really unfamiliar. And I’m certainly not a truck driving expert by any means, but some, maybe not have, have interacted with LTL carriers at all. When, when you say LTL and less than truckload, uh, you’re making a lot of stops with a lot of customers perhaps on the same truckload, is that right?

Joey Thiessen (05:12):

Yes, sir. And when meeting a lot of people and, uh, interacting with customers, um, I kind of compare it to the ups or the FedEx man, uh, come kind of the same thing. Uh, the only difference is, uh, dealing with much larger items. We, we deliver freight palletized freight. And so it could be something such as a refrigerator going to a house, you know, or it could be, uh, the, the, uh, toilet paper going to a target, pretty much anything and everything just in power with form. Um, most of our trucks headed out on a route LTL route, leaving with anywhere from 10 to 13, maybe even 15 deliveries or stops. Um, we cover a certain area. Uh, my route specifically covers Buford, Georgia. Um, so I’ll leave in the morning with my, uh, trailer 13, 15 stops sometimes and, uh, yeah, deliver around town,

Scott Luton (06:08):

Man. Uh, so you’ve kind of painted a picture of what a typical day looks like. And I’ve got just, I got another follow up question too around that, but I wanna back up just for a second, because how long have you been driving? When did you start your truck driving career?

Joey Thiessen (06:23):

Uh, I began in the summer of 2014. I had just finished my enlistment in the United States Navy. And I was, uh, looking for the next career path. Like I mentioned before, uh, my father, he works or is with, of Southeastern freight lines now. And, uh, you know, I, I knew the, the financial security and the job security, not only that, but Southeastern has a very rich culture, um, that they breed here. And so I naturally gravitated towards that. And, uh, I got, I got on with them as a, uh, outbound freight now to begin with. And then shortly after that, I enrolled in the driver trainee program. It’s a, it’s a program Southeastern offers to aspiring personnel who wish to get their CD and become a driver. Uh, I completed that, uh, program, got my CDL and I’ve been driving, uh, P and D out to out of north Atlanta for the last eight years.

Scott Luton (07:18):

Okay, man. All right. So Joey, uh, I didn’t realize at my pre-interview homework, wasn’t complete. I didn’t realize you’re a fellow veteran. So what’d you do in the Navy?

Joey Thiessen (07:27):

Yes, sir. Yeah, I, I was the United States Navy. Uh, I was a air mechanic. I worked on F 18 super Hornets. I deploy, I deployed once to, um, the Persian Gulf, uh, where I serve in operation during for operation during freedom and operation, uh, red, new dot.

Scott Luton (07:45):

Mm. Well, I appreciate that. I really do. I was an air force still hold it against me. I was a, uh, a data analyst <laugh> I didn’t, I didn’t do cool stuff like work on equipment. Although we, we interacted regularly with, uh, the maintenance, uh, professionals at that, uh, kept aircraft and, and everything, uh, mission capable. And, you know, speaking of we’re, we’re gonna touch on this in a minute, you know, as we maybe mentioned on the front end, you know, a lot of folks don’t appreciate the truck driving community that keeps every, you know, E everything moving forward, but, you know, folks also don’t appreciate all the maintenance professionals and technicians that are out there that keep fleets moving. Would you agree,

Joey Thiessen (08:21):

Right? Oh, absolutely. Yeah. There’s uh, the amount of equipment that goes into basically keeping everything moving in the world as we know it. Rolling. Yeah. It, it, it’s a tremendous amount of effort from all different aspects from, you know, the, the trailer technician up to the driver, to the terminal manager, you know, uh, just like with the military, it’s one team, one fight, and all those cards have to kinda go in order to make it happen,

Scott Luton (08:47):

Team effort for sure. Takes everybody. Um, alright. So one quick que I wanna move in a second to kind of one of the most challenging aspects of what you do, but would you say I love organizations that put a priority on providing opportunities to veterans? Is that a big part of the culture at Southeastern freight lines?

Joey Thiessen (09:05):

Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Veterans day, we get thanked, I believe there’s a huge push to hire more veterans. Um, and you know, just, it doesn’t seem to matter, you know, pretty much everyone here knows that you’re veteran and cause they come up to you all the time and thank you, especially around those special holidays for sure.

Scott Luton (09:22):

Awesome. Okay. All right. So let’s, so you kind of earlier painted a typical day, right? Based out of, uh, Beauford, Georgia, I think you mentioned. Yes, sir. What is, what would be my, maybe the most challenging aspect to what you do?

Joey Thiessen (09:38):

Oh, man. Uh, probably time management. I mean, in the, uh, in the freight world and logistics community as a whole, I mean time, management’s everything, we’re, we’re not a manufacturer. We don’t produce goods. We offer a service and be profitable in service. Um, especially moving freight from one to the next, you have to be efficient with your time, uh, on time orders. That’s what it’s called out. So, you know, you have to have efficiency with that. Uh, you have to have quality with your service and, you know, you have to be safe while doing it. So I think juggling all three of those aspects while trying to be time efficient or do it as quickly as possible is the biggest struggle. But luckily I work for a company Southeastern, you know, they, they, they had the system set up, they have the equipment set up and they have the per personnel and the manpower to do so. And so I really feel like on a daily basis, you know, not only do we tackle those challenges, but we rise above.

Scott Luton (10:35):

Mm-hmm love that. So I, I thought that one of, part of your answer to your more, more challenging aspect would be, you know, getting your vehicle and the trailer into all the tight nooks and crannies that make up any route. But sounds like you’ve got that ACE, huh?

Joey Thiessen (10:52):

Oh man. That’s cake. Yeah. I’ve uh, so my route is a, uh, 40 foot lift, which basically means I go to all the limited access places and limited access basically means they don’t have a dock. They don’t have a forklift and chances are, it’s probably down someone’s driveway to shop a back. So, uh, being able to maneuver the trailer after, uh, eight years of experience in those kind of scenarios, I, I, I feel pretty comfortable, but yeah, it just first starting out. Yeah. That’s a, that’s probably the biggest worry of any truck driver. Can I go down this road because you know, it’s not too easy to turn around for sure.

Scott Luton (11:28):

<laugh>, you know, I saw a truck driver. Uh, yes, we got a really bad intersection where I, I live out in, uh, the Walton county area, if you’ve ever been through that park of Georgia. And I saw gotta be one of the most talented truck drivers I’ve seen in action, make a UE at this main intersection and had all this. I mean, just, it was a beautiful maneuver. And I tell you, it takes a lot of talent to move, to navigate these, these big vehicles, uh, through all the traffic that you’ll find across the Metro Atlanta area, speaking, which, so it sounds like Joey, it sounds like, um, what you do day in and day out, you don’t venture too far from the Beauford service center. Is that right?

Joey Thiessen (12:07):

Uh, no sir. No, sir. So, uh, uh, north Atlanta terminal, uh, we’re located in Swanee, Georgia. The area I run or my route is, uh, Beauford, Georgia, which is literally five miles down the road from, uh, the terminal. So probably within the first five to 10 minutes, I’m making deliveries. So as far as drive time, uh, usually average about 70 to 80 miles a day, but leaving out on my route around nine morning, I’m usually coming back in around six in the, uh, in the afternoon. So it’s a long day with a bunch of Bob and weaving for sure. <laugh>

Scott Luton (12:42):

  1. All right. There’s so much more, so little time, so many questions, but Joey and, and maybe this, it goes also to your personal time, cause it sounds like, you know, you’re staying in that north Atlantic area, it for what you do day in and day out, but in general, what’s one of your favorite parts of the country to drive through?

Joey Thiessen (13:00):

Uh, well, like we mentioned, I was prior military, so I did get to see a lot of the country and drive through it, but you know, I got, I’m a Georgia boy, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna stay close to home. I live with north Georgia mountains, North Carolina, and, uh, even going up into Virginia rolling Hills mountains and uh, the green landscape. I love it for

Scott Luton (13:18):

Sure. All right. I, I do too. Uh, now you mentioned you’re a Georgia bulldog, so of course, for some of our listeners, it may not get what that means. That means big fan of the university of Georgia bulldogs, which is Joey they’re the reigning what?

Joey Thiessen (13:33):

Uh, national champions.

Scott Luton (13:35):

Okay. Sounds gonna let you say that. I was gonna let you say that in spite of football. Yeah,

Joey Thiessen (13:39):

Yeah. Right. Dog’s on top.

Scott Luton (13:41):

<laugh> all right. Awesome. And they’ve got a bunch of folks coming back. The 2022 football season should be a good one for UGA. Okay. Absolutely.

Joey Thiessen (13:50):

We got E day Saturday looking forward to it.

Scott Luton (13:52):

Awesome. All right. So kind of coming down the home stretch here, uh, Joey, appreciate your time. I know how busy you are. He probably got it running with a few full plates. If you’re, if you had a moment or two to kind of speak to those folks, uh, consumers, maybe even non supply chain practitioners, you know, folks that really may, may not even ever step foot from a professional standpoint in global supply. What’s, you know, what’s a couple of things you wish that more folks knew about the truck driving profession.

Joey Thiessen (14:22):

Probably, probably the biggest thing is just the, uh, the sacrifice that, you know, logistics professionals and drivers, uh, do on a daily basis. I might say sacrifice. I mean, time away from home and time away from family. You know, I, the last two years, especially with the pandemic, you know, a, a lot of the world shut down. A lot of people stayed at home, but the, the trucking industry boomed, we’ve never been more busy. You know, we, we were sacrificing more time away from home and being out and about during the pandemic than we were prior. So just the sacrifice from away from home, like I mentioned, I’m a P and D driver. So a lot of people call that nine to five trucking because I run a route. I kind, I, I get here in the morning and I leave in the evening, I’m home every night.

Joey Thiessen (15:07):

Hmm. Even even doing that kind of the gig, I still leave in the morning when it’s dark and I get home in the evening when it’s dark. So it, it is just a lot of sacrifice to time away. The other thing, probably the air pump for the air horn. I don’t think we see it enough, uh, kids these days. I feel like don’t even know what it is. So if I could tell, you know, of people, anything, um, and I think all the truckers would agree with me. The main perk of the job is seeing that little arm going up and down. That was awesome. And, uh, so yeah, uh, hashtag bring back the arm.

Scott Luton (15:42):

<laugh> <laugh> all right. I love that. I’m so glad you mentioned it. Uh, that was a big part of, of certainly my childhood and probably many folks’ childhood. But kidding aside, I wanted to one more follow up here because, you know, as folks are getting back on the highways, you know, getting outta the lockdown, hopefully keep your fingers crossed. We’re kind of in the post pandemic environment where folks getting in the offices or getting out and about, you know, of course traffic is coming back, right. And oh yeah. Gosh, having driven myself, you know, for the last 20 years on the, the highways and byways around Atlanta, all the interstates, you know, bypass, you name it, and I’ve seen some crazy you, you, you have too, I’m sure some crazy drivers, what you for for those drivers out there, truck drivers could be probably afforded a little, little, extra professional courtesy from our fellow drivers. Would you say,

Joey Thiessen (16:32):

Oh man, absolutely way. Yeah. Going back to the pandemic. Uh, I mean, we were working longer hours, uh, busier than ever, but the traffic was amazing. I mean, there was none, it was in and out, not a problem. Anything good came to that. That was it. Uh, yeah. Coming back into it though, especially in the Metro Atlanta area, we’re pretty much back at full capacity as far as traffic on a daily basis, but yeah, I mean, be courteous, you know, we make right, uh, wide right turns and, uh, we can’t stop on a dime, uh, you know, especially back in or back doing the rush hour thing. There’s a lot of people that like to pull right over in front of you or, um, you know, or get a little, you thinking you can just, if they break, check. Yeah. You can, you can just stop. So yeah, just, just be cur courteous. Yeah. To, to the big trucks, please,

Scott Luton (17:23):

Please. Yeah. A little more space, little cur, a little, uh, professional courtesy in those tight spots. You know, sometimes it might be helpful if you just back up a few feet and give them a little extra turn space, but you know, they certainly a a as the picture you paint, uh, I really appreciate what the truck driving community does and continues to do, especially, I mean, every day, but these last couple years where, you know, folks have had a lot of stress already kind of on, on the fear of the unknown and, and you and all your fellow, uh, truck drivers kept things going, kept stuff in stores, you know, and there’s so much to be said for that and appreciate what you do. So as we start to close, we’re gonna make sure folks on how to connect with you and Southeastern freight lines in a minute, but just how special is it? I can’t remember Felix it’s preach show or maybe after we went. Uh, but you mentioned your dad is also a fellow professional truck driver. How cool is it that talk shot with him whenever you’re are able to get together, whether it’s a Sunday afternoon for dinner or, or just in general? How cool is that?

Joey Thiessen (18:23):

Uh, it, it’s pretty cool, you know, spending time with your father special when you get to work with him and have all the same insights and actually really connect with ’em in a, on a professional level. Uh, it, it is pretty neat. You know, it just not even a talking shop when, you know, we’re, we’re at holidays or whatever, you know, we’ll, we’ll call each other during the Workday and, you know, tell each other what’s going on with our delivery or anything like that. And it’s, it is good to have not only a father, but you know, a mentor that been doing it for almost 30 years. So, wow. It’s a blessing, definitely. And it’s pretty cool when you’re driving down the road in your big truck, he’s driving by you in his big truck and y’all can honk at each. You know,

Scott Luton (19:06):

I love that Joey, Big time high fives. And of course you created a hashtag a moment ago. Uh, bring back what what’d you say, hashtag what,

Joey Thiessen (19:20):

Uh, ha hashtag bring back the air pump. That’s right. Tell your kids <laugh> make it go viral.

Scott Luton (19:25):

Love it. Bring hashtag bring back the air pump. Okay. So Joey Thon really PR as Biza really appreciate your time, uh, spending some time with us here at supply chain now, uh, sharing some of these experiences, folks, it may make some assumptions and, and I’m sure you’re filling in the blind spot for a lot of folks, but how can folks connect with you and Southeastern freight lines?

Joey Thiessen (19:46):

Yeah. Uh, if you wanna connect with Southeastern freight lines, it’s a, you can just check off the website. It’s a S E F Uh, if you’re interested in job opportunities, we’re always, uh, we’re always hiring, uh, just click on the career icon and you’ll be able to find the terminal near you. Uh, other than that, just all the other social, uh, media platforms, as far as, as far as finding SDL we’re on Facebook. We’re on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Yeah. That’s it

Scott Luton (20:11):

Wonderful. Been talking with Joey Thon, professional truck driver, uh, for the last, uh, eight years, I believe with Southeastern freight lines, Joey, Hey, we hope to have you back, uh, again on behalf of our entire team and our listening community, really grateful for what you do day in and day out.

Joey Thiessen (20:28):

Thank you so much, Scott. I really appreciate your time.

Scott Luton (20:31):

All right. Uh, so folks hopeful, you know, this opportunity over the last, uh, 25 30 minutes gives you a chance to, you know, peek in on the life of, of one of the most critical aspects of the global supply chain workforce. And that’s our professional truck driver. We owe them all a huge, uh, debt gratitude for what they do continue to do, uh, day in, day out, hopefully enjoy the conversations as much as I have big thanks to Joey Thon with Southeastern, uh, freight lines. I look forward to reconnecting with them soon, but whatever you do on behalf of supply chain, now, Scott Luton signing off now challenging you to do good to give forward and to be the change that’s needed with at that said, we’ll see next time, right back here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (21:12):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, linked Twitter and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.

Featured Guests

Joey Thiessen has been a P&D Driver with Southeastern Freight Lines since February 2015. Prior to that, he was an Outbound Freight Handler and a Driver Trainee in 2014.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Scott W. Luton

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.

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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.

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Karin Bursa

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.

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Kevin L. Jackson

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 CiscoMicrosoft, 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 UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier 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.

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Enrique Alvarez

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.

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Kelly Barner

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’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

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.

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Jeff Miller


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.

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Amanda Luton

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.

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Clay Phillips

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.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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.

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Billy Taylor

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.

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Chantel King

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.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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.

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Katherine Hintz

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.

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Ben Harris


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.

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Page Siplon

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).

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Kristi Porter

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.

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Kevin Brown

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.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

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.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

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.

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Demo Perez

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.

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Kim Winter

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., 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).

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Nick Roemer

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.

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Alex Bramley

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.

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