Supply Chain Now
Episode 1230

I don't know what AI's strength of intuition could be without having life experience, but I would never rule it out, right? It is a very, very powerful tool. There's a lot of things that it can do that we may not be able to comprehend.

-Greg White

Episode Summary

The Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12 noon ET each week. This show focuses on some of the leading stories from global supply chain and global business, always with special guests – the most important of which is the live audience!

In this week’s episode of The Buzz, hosts Scott Luton and Greg White discuss some of the top news stories and trends in supply chain and industry today. Listen in and learn more about:

  • The attempt to control AI as it continues to develop and demonstrate knowledge far beyond its training data
  • More disruption and conflict ahead in the Red Sea
  • Cargo theft surging to an all-time high
  • The verdict for Chris Kirchner, the former CEO of supply chain management software startup Slync, who defrauded investors out of at least $25 million

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 opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from Those Making Global Business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be. Scott Luton, Greg White with you here on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream. Greg, how you doing? I’m

Greg White (00:42):

Doing very well, Scott, as you know, and as probably anybody who knows me knows it was a very, very good day yesterday.

Scott Luton (00:50):

Do tell, pray, tell.

Greg White (00:52):

There may have been an A FC championship game that the chiefs may have won handily. I mean, the score doesn’t really reflect how distant the two competitors were, but yeah, it’s a great game. Good to see the team put it back together just in time for the playoffs.

Scott Luton (01:09):

They sure did back in the Super Bowl. So a couple things there. First off, hey, a little bit of love and some hugs and some cheers. Up to our friend Tyler out there in West Coast. Big fans of the Ravens. Hard fault. Great season. Gosh,

Greg White (01:21):

I forgot that, sorry, Tyler.

Scott Luton (01:24):

And then secondly, Greg, you predicted on Friday, last Friday, you predicted how the game would unfurl, not just the sheer winner but the nature of the game as well. I thought that was very interesting. Alright, Hey Amanda, Catherine behind the scenes. Thanks for all that y’all do for help with the production and facilitation. As Amanda says, happy buzz day. Say hello. Let us know where you’re watching from. We’re glad to have you here today for sure. If you’re listening to the podcast replay, hey, you ought to consider joining us live on LinkedIn or YouTube or other social media channel of your choosing. We usually do publish the podcast replays on Fridays following a Monday live show. Second thing, if you enjoy today’s conversation, Greg, what would be our suggestion, our ask to our global audience?

Greg White (02:07):

Golly. Well, first of all, get a look at us on YouTube and phone a friend. You don’t have to phone ’em. Just tell somebody, as many people as we have watching this around the world, multitudes more that need the enlightenment that we bring on Monday about supply chain and what in the heck is going on in this crazy disruptive world.

Scott Luton (02:25):

So true. Well said. Our hardworking supply chain. Now team, your hardworking supply chain. Now team would appreciate it. Share, share, share, share and share alike. Okay, so Greg, we’ve got a lot to get into. We’re going to start with where we typically do resources for folks. Resources, we love to share resources and help make life a little bit easier. And we’re going to start with that said, our almost weekly newsletter Over the weekend, Greg, we dropped the newsletter and Cyber Kong made an appearance, a K mighty artificial intelligence, more on that com. In this episode or in this edition, big week for economic reports, we touch on that how India plans to meet its burgeoning power needs. Hint hint, there’s 19 nuclear reactors being built right now across the country, and as a lot of folks may not know, India became the world’s most populous country officially last year and a whole lot more. And Greg, one of the thing before I get you to weigh in here are logistics with purpose programming, which is a podcast some of y’all may have listened to out there where they’re approaching episode number 100, which is a big feat in the podcast industry, of course, sponsored by our friends over at Vector Global Logistics. Greg, when it comes with that said, your favorite part of this week’s edition or any additions.

Greg White (03:38):

I mean, I always love highlighting logistics with purpose because those are the realities of people like 5 0 1 c threes who are providing books or doing ethical sourcing of coffee and other things like that. So it’s great to hear about that sort of give forward type of company and how they’re facing challenges of logistics and supply chain and just business in general.

Scott Luton (04:03):

Agreed,

Greg White (04:04):

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world out there and

Scott Luton (04:07):

Man, you ain’t kidding. Well, hey, check out. With that said, we’re going to have a little bit of fun with the graphic there that came to us via our friends over at the Wall Street Journal, so stay tuned for that. And a link to sign up. As you can see there, we’re approaching 24,000 subscribers around the world. Hey, it’s easy to click on the link and you’ll see an option to subscribe to this almost weekly publication. Let’s get into the first. We got four stores we’re going through here today. Now we’re going to get to the first one here. So if y’all may know me, I’m still a hard copy person. I’ve tried hard to break and in many ways I’ve broken my addiction to hard copy stuff, but I still get one paper delivered to me every Friday. And that’s the Wall Street Journal.

(04:44):

And this was on the review section, Greg, this captivating graphic and it’s based on how we can control ai and that’s where we’re going to start here. The author was Eric Schmidt, as I mentioned, the former CEO and executive chairman of Google. And I want to share a few highlights from this read and that a lot of y’all may not be aware of, even those that are out there using that AI regularly day in and day out. And that’s just about all of us these days. Then I can’t wait to get Greg’s take to this question and the AI topic in general. So let’s go through a review here really quick. AI programming as it is developed, they use red teams as what they call ’em, whose objective is to provoke the program into sharing any possible harmful outputs. I think more technologies need red teams.

(05:28):

More and more AI models are exhibiting what is called polymathic behavior where they are showing knowledge far beyond their training data. And these AI programs that are exhibiting this behavior can link concepts across a variety of topics and fields. And as we’ve touched on two things in particular, and with that said, Schmidt writes that one of the biggest AI risks out there that they’re still reviewing is that of capability overhang, which he defines as not just the model’s current knowledge, but the derived knowledge it could potentially generate on its own. Another big potential AI risk is that of multi-agent systems, which basically refers to a bunch of independent AI systems to get together, grab a cup of coffee, maybe a beer, and then they have a mind mail. Each of these systems could potentially contribute their own unique knowledge set and collaborate to fuel combinatorial innovation.

(06:19):

Schmidt says these combinations would rapidly multiply far beyond any level of human oversight. So from what I’ve seen, there have been a lot of calls to nationalize AI to help keep control of it. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea or not. It kind of probably Greg depends on the government and to that end, governments are enacting legislation which we’ve covered here from the European Union’s AI Act to the Biden Administration’s recent executive order on AI to many others. Policies that have been passed or are pending in countries such as China, Poland, Japan, Australia, and many other places. So Greg, whether it’s the risks, whether it’s a regulation, whether it’s a general question or AI in general. Your thoughts here, Greg?

Greg White (07:04):

Yeah, well, so this combinatorial innovation is not just a potential that happened ages ago. There was a story before 2020 for sure, maybe as old as 2015. Can’t recall the exact period, but Google and Facebook had two AI tools they had developed to negotiate the prices of ad fees and make the deals happen. Well, these two devices created their own language, which their creators could not understand, and they were having conversations outside of work, I guess you would say. They had basically quit working, quit doing the negotiating, and were having conversations. So AI is that powerful. I think that of course, this whole notion of polymathic behavior, I think the emphasis needs to be on their not training data. It’s still difficult for AI to manifest knowledge. They can access knowledge other than what they are given through these interactions with other systems. I actually have to hear from an expert that whether they can actually manifest knowledge, it would be exceedingly difficult for them to do so accurately because they don’t have some of the senses, which is how else you manifest knowledge other than from data or input or intuition.

(08:18):

And I don’t know what their strength of intuition could be without having life experience, but I would never rule it out, right? It is a very, very powerful tool. So there’s a lot of things that it can do that we may not be able to comprehend. And of course, this whole notion of nationalizing it, I mean, let’s not kid ourselves. A lot of AI has been used for years just like Velcro and GPS was used by the government, at least the US government before it ever made it into public hands. So I don’t know that nationalizing anything has ever done anything good for the citizenry. So of course I’m not a huge fan of that, but regulatory oversight is natural and will undoubtedly occur.

Scott Luton (08:59):

Excellent points there. And back to nationalizing. Jerry says, Hey, let’s give the government control of ai. What could possibly go wrong? T Square says AI is powerful, but it’s now being exploited to perpetuate fraud. Definitely something that needs to be considered when and if implementing. Great point there. Yeah, one

Greg White (09:19):

Of those frauds was plagiarism and then they developed AIS that could detect plagiarism generated by ais or even papers that students had written using ai. That’s a really interesting oversight. And as you can see, AI can be and should be self-regulating.

Scott Luton (09:38):

Yes. You know what, one last thought and then I’m going to share a different image that was in the comments with that said, Greg. Of course, cybersecurity measures and technologies and platforms are more and more leveraging, of course AI to fight ai. So I’m hoping that AI can maintain good guys versus the bad guys and the bad guys cannot convert the good AI that we’re leaning on to protect our technologies and platforms. Greg, you don’t seem so optimistic. Hump. That’s

Greg White (10:07):

Cute. Yeah, that’s cute and naive and hopeful perspective. But no, I mean everything goes evil. First, the internet had two primary uses, well, three email, ESPN and obscenity. That was its original usage, and we finally corralled it and created it to be something productive other than just a place to go find sports and dirty pictures. So I think it is inevitable that it will be used by duwell and ill doers and men and others, but I mean, they’ll just create something that detects that with white hat ai, right?

Scott Luton (10:45):

Yes, that’s right. The battle continues, the race continues. I want to share something that I really enjoyed, Greg, as we kept this first topic. So sharing again the image we used, I called Cyber Kong. With that said, that was initially in the Wall Street Journal, and then in the comments, Dan had this comment and this picture and says, the biggest risk is a planet of the AI apps spookily close to the planet of the apes rather than one giant monkey, but millions of them that learned to talk together and take over

Greg White (11:20):

Very, very twilight zone.

Scott Luton (11:22):

We got some justice in our fourth story here today, so it’s coming. Good news is coming. But on our second story, we’re talking about the Red Sea here today, right? So shift over their recent analysis from our friends at CNBC. According to recent data from the Maritime advisory firm, sea Intelligence, the Red Sea crisis, what they say has become more disruptive to ocean shipping than even the early pandemic. Looking at ocean shipping, weekly deviation, data disruption in December, 2023 due to the Red Sea attacks has the second most disrupted period since at least 2014. Again, according to their data, it has yet to surpass the big impact that he ever given pose getting stuck in the Suez Canal. Can you believe that was all the way back in 2021? Greg?

Greg White (12:06):

I don’t know what measure they’re using because there’s no way the ever given had more impact than the pandemic, and there’s also no way that this has had more than

Scott Luton (12:14):

Maybe they’ll pop in and they can share some of their rationale behind the data. Yeah, that’s right. Sadly, unfortunately, given the deadly attacks over the weekend in the region and what may be next, we can probably expect more disruption and certainly conflict ahead. Additionally, Chinese New Year, it’s coming up on February 10th through the 17th. And Greg, as you know, while the holiday is seven days long, some Chinese companies can shut down for weeks, which is always presented quite a ripple effect across global supply chain. Now, Greg, your thoughts on the story, on the data, on their views in general?

Greg White (12:50):

Yeah, I think they’re parsing words here for either the purpose of getting views or seeming whatever thought leading or to help pump ocean rates or something. I don’t know. I just don’t get it. I don’t know what the definition of early pandemic is, but it would be very difficult to have a greater impact on ocean shipping than shutting down an entire planet for almost a year. I mean, sending everyone home virtually overnight for weeks and weeks and months at a time. I don’t see it, but as we’ve said frequently, Scott, there are lies. There are damn lies. And then there are statistics. So if you parse the data just right, maybe you could argue that. So I don’t know what the purpose of this article is or this position is, but I don’t buy it. I just can’t see how it could be. I mean, remember there was a time when you could not get a container when literally all of the containers that were supposed to be heading back to China were left in the US and then vice versa, they were brought to China and not shipped back to the us and all of that was during the pandemic.

(13:58):

So I suppose if you’re worth year three and you weren’t alive during the pandemic, this may be the biggest since you’re in your lifetime, but I’m not seeing it.

Scott Luton (14:08):

I’ve got a church around the corner that’s hanging onto one of those containers. We’ve got it regular free, but you’re not the only one there. Greg Andre doesn’t buy it either. Headline is misleading. This LinkedIn user says perhaps as it relates to insurance premiums, maybe,

Greg White (14:22):

Yeah, I feel like they should have qualified that, right?

Scott Luton (14:25):

Nearshoring, localized sourcing, ENO mentions to the rescue amongst other things, and I would just throw out there C Intelligence. So our friends over at C Intelligence, Hey, reach out to us. Are

Greg White (14:35):

They friends? Do we know these people?

Scott Luton (14:36):

I do not. I see them regularly. I think CNBC uses them quite a bit. They regularly refer to their data, but hey, reach out and we’ll figure out more of what’s the story, what’s the piece that we’re missing here? Who knows? Alright, so Greg, look at this picture here. In this next article, we caught someone, a thief in the act. In the act. Look at there, we’ll move over to cargo theft, which is on the rise, folks, and this is in a lot of folks blind spots. So as reported also by CNBC, cargo theft surged in 2023 as a number of cargo theft incidents was up a whopping 57% over similar incidents in 2022. In fact, the article quotes Scott Carne, the National Practice Transportation Lead at Travelers as saying, I think we’re at an all time high. I hadn’t seen cargo theft at this level. Now, from what I can tell Greg, I looked up Scott Cornell on LinkedIn. It appears that he’s been an industry since 1999 and with Travelers for over 22 years. Cargo net says that the top three hotspots in the US for cargo theft are California, Texas, and Florida losses topped some $130 million in 2023, but since reporting theft isn’t required, that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. Okay, Greg, your thoughts folks are not just stealing trailers of cigarettes these days, huh?

Greg White (15:52):

And suits. Yeah, like Goodfellas, right? Right. Well, in Florida, I have a feeling it could just be square groupers that they’re stealing that are probably tucked inside teddy bears or whatever, however you ship cocaine these days. But I don’t know. I don’t know specifically what we’re talking about actually, considering the amount of cargo that is shipped, $130 million, I can’t believe I’m going to say this. Scott doesn’t seem like that much does it, but it is much greater than what’s reported, and it’s largely due to the fact that our respective ports are run by governments, which are unbelievably inefficient, although they’re getting better and fairly so rapidly. But there are a lot of opportunities in port. It’s funny that you don’t see all kinds of ships being overtaken, whatever, but you do lose a lot of it on the ground, and I think that’s largely in the port. So I don’t know. I mean, it’s a shame that it’s happening at such a great rate. I think we should thank our lucky stars that it is only $130 million when we literally bring in hundreds of billions of dollars of freight every year. Right?

Scott Luton (17:02):

Well, folks, stay tuned. We’ve got a live show coming up soon where one of the things we’re going to be talking about with the leading construction supplies manufacturer is what they’re doing as it relates to optimizing loss prevention. So stay tuned for that. And Catherine and Amanda, if we have a link handy that’s our friends from a f will be joining us for that show, if we could drop that in the link, I think GAF and Vector will be joining us for that live show. We could drop that

Greg White (17:26):

Link. Cool. That’s who we ought to be asking.

Scott Luton (17:30):

All right, folks, this last story as we shift to the final story here today on the buzz for January 29th, 2024, hard to believe. Goodness gracious, where did the month go? Greg? I don’t know about you. I may know about you a little bit in this regard at least, but when folks do something bad, do something wrong, do something they shouldn’t be doing, especially when it hurts other people, man, I love when they get their justice that they’re due. So for this last story here, I can’t wait to get Greg’s take here, so I’m going to share this graphic and notice folks, this graphic comes from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Texas. One of the few times we’ve sourced them for dues here on the buzz, but stay tuned, I’ll connect the dots here. You may recall a while back, Greg White took a gentleman by the name of Chris Kirschner to task, and he didn’t pull any punches. Kirschner was the founder and former CEO of Slink, a supply chain management software startup. He was recently convicted of defrauding investors out of, at least according to the US Attorney’s office, $25 million and now faces up to decades of prison time. I had to stop. I was multiplying. The amount of prison time per count had to stop because my calculator started smoking. Greg, so your thoughts on Chris Kirchner and his misdeeds?

Greg White (18:52):

Yeah. Can you believe that this all started with just my disdain for Chris as one of those publicity seeking wants to be a star, a celebrity founder. I don’t know if you remember, we were just talking about the fact that he wanted to buy a soccer team and he had to be at every public event, and he wanted to run with the big dogs and the a-list people in Hollywood and things like that. What it turns out is that Chris is, and I want to reiterate that this is an opinion show and my opinion may or may not be congruous with that of supply chain now or Scott Luton. Chris is such an imbecile that he left his jobs in the Magnolia store inside of Best Buy and got a startup, and the only people stupider than Chris are the people who invested in him Goldman Sachs, and then left him with zero oversight with the ability to have the only keys to the kingdom.

(19:41):

He had the only access to the account that the money went into when they took investment. So he basically had his hand in the cookie jar and the cookie jar under his arm, and he took it down to the basement and bought himself a jet. Wow. So what started as just disdain for somebody who had so little respect and care for the work that it takes to be an entrepreneur and just wanted to be a celebrity and also certainly did not deserve to be an entrepreneur, he was unqualified, obviously. I mean, seriously, the best job the guy had was selling televisions and stereos. So that quickly turned to, because of the hard work of a real and true journalist, Emma Cosgrove, who now is at Business Insider, who had dug into the fact that people hadn’t been paid for months on end and interviewed a ton of people at the company who in some cases subsequently reached out to me because of how I took Chris to task on what now seemed like superficial matters and started sharing what was going on.

(20:42):

And when people who should have authority over the money like his CF, took it to the board and said he may be misappropriating funds, Chris summarily dismissed, said person. It is so unbelievably symmetrical to an experience I’m having right now with an investment of my own, which will remain unnamed, but it is so incredibly aligned with what’s happening there that it’s eerie as if this founder read Chris’s playbook or something, but it’s a tragedy. Many people lost their jobs. Several people went months without pay, while Chris lied about where the money was or that money was coming, and then subsequently tried to defraud additional investors by creating a fake next round of investment, which had never been approved by the board and did not exist to bring back into the company enough funds to keep the company going even though he had misappropriated some somewhere.

(21:37):

You have to read the pleadings and everything. Somewhere between 20 and 57 million, 50 ish million dollars from the company sent it to his own account. I heard this is hearsay, but it is from a credible source. I heard that the very day that they got their B round of investment, he bought a $16 million G six 50. That’s a jet people, that’s a private jet. Even if that jet was for the company, that was an incredibly inappropriate use of funds. And I cannot believe that any of the investors stood for it for one second, much less the near year that they let it go on, but they did. So now he’s going to prison. It is honestly, people, I have to tell you this, it is really unhealthy how happy I was when I saw this.

(22:23):

Somebody sent it to me. Was it over the weekend? No, it was Thursday, right, Scott? We talked about it on Friday when somebody sent it to me. I was actually joyous. I literally had to sit myself down and talk myself out of being so joyous, because obviously Chris has a family, thankfully, I think no kids, but I’m sure his wife is absolutely beside herself or his in-laws, I believe, who vouched for him to the investment company. Must feel completely embarrassed. But anyway, good for America, good for entrepreneurs, good for the A USA, the assistant US attorney in the Southern district for putting this guy where he belongs, which is in prison.

Scott Luton (23:01):

And that sentencing is coming up from what I can tell from this release from the US Attorney’s Office, but we’re talking decades and decades of prison is what he’s facing. So stay tuned.

Greg White (23:12):

I hope they make it public where they put him. I’m going to go visit him in prison.

Scott Luton (23:16):

Gosh, Andre says, I think there are more stupid and criminal people in circulation than we honest. People realize

Greg White (23:24):

That is very well. It is hard to believe that anyone could be that crooked, but as I’ve seen it firsthand twice now, it is very, very possibly true. Andre

Scott Luton (23:34):

And Jerry says, we get these reminders often. Invest what you can afford to lose and no more,

Greg White (23:41):

And do your diligence. Very true, Jerry. That is a hundred percent. And do your diligence is a mantra that every investor should live by, and the first red flag should be enough red flags. That’s

Scott Luton (23:54):

Right. All it takes is one, maybe half,

Greg White (23:57):

One. I don’t usually do New Year’s resolution, Scott, but this year I did. And it is when you see a red flag, pay attention. That’s my resolution for 2024.

Scott Luton (24:09):

All right, folks, that does it. We were extremely efficient and expedient here today on the Buzz. Remember, we come to you every Monday at 12 in Eastern time, a mix of news and analysis and hot and soft takes, mostly hot, but stories that should be on your radar, right? Really important. And we always welcome your perspective. And as we mentioned on the front end, if you enjoyed today’s show, hey, share it with a friend. Our team sure would be grateful. Okay, Greg, your last comment before we wrap here today.

Greg White (24:40):

I think it’s interesting, this notion that there is more disruption in the world than there has ever been. I would argue that it’s more publicized, but not. And we in this industry, in supply chain, we’re programmed to deal with disruption, almost dismissively, but it is because it’s in the news. It is ever so much more important to be very conscious and diligent in how you deal with it and dealing with it both rapidly and effectively. Because now the world is watching, right? I keep saying this, I’ve said this ever since. Here comes Scott, the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 that now people give a damn about supply chain and they know a little something about it, and they know enough to know that there are plenty of people to blame. So don’t be one of the people. Be the person that silently saves supply chain from disruption.

Scott Luton (25:30):

That is right. Well said there. Greg. Words live by. Alright folks, thanks for joining us here today. Hey, do yourself and your team a favor. Take one nugget, take one news story, one bit of analysis, you name it, something from today’s conversation and put it into action deeds, not words. And with that said, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton signing off, challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (26:00):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain now, anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain. Now.

 

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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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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Ben Harris

Host

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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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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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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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. 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).

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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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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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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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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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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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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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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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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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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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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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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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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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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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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Chris Barnes

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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Greg White

Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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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.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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