This week’s Buzz is on, with cohosts Kelly and Greg tackling the hottest topics of the moment. What’s happening with trucker drivers in Canada, and what impact will it have on the supply chain? What’s the Rooney Rule, and is it helping or hurting diversity initiatives? Are companies staying true to their ESG commitments? Listen to the episode to hear what Kelly and Greg have to say on these topics and more.
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 stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.
Kelly Barner (00:00:32):
Hey, good morning. And good afternoon everybody. Thank you for joining us here on supply chain. Now this is Kelly Barner. Oh my gosh. And Greg, we’re gonna do the was together today cuz Scott’s gallivanting around Vegas. Isn’t he?
Greg White (00:00:46):
He, he is. Yes. Uh, I’m sure. I’m sure he’s just left the uh, Chris, whatever his name is magic show at this point. Oh look, Amanda’s already here so she can report on him.
Kelly Barner (00:00:58):
Exactly. I know. Keep a close eye on him and Amanda and for any anybody that’s at the reverse logistics association, make sure you seek them out and go say hi, but being polite, Greg, I’m supposed to ask you happy Monday morning. How you doing?
Greg White (00:01:13):
I’m doing great. It was a, a great weekend. Um, I’m well below this storm, that seems to be disrupting the entirety of the rest of the, a planet and saw a few splashes of rain. But other than that, it’s uh, it was a great weekend. Little chilly. What about you? How are you doing? Cause you are right in the heart of it. If I
Kelly Barner (00:01:34):
Recall. Yeah. So we talking about weather now or running the live stream. Yeah. Isn’t
Greg White (00:01:39):
That what we’re supposed to do? Yeah. So that’s how we’re supposed. We’re supposed to talk about
Kelly Barner (00:01:42):
Weather. The weather has finally settled. We had our snow. What is it? Snow bomb. Snow explosion bomb hurricane nor Eastern thing. Shark. NATO. Yeah. We had that last week. So that at this point is mostly cleared up. Um, we’ve got some residual ice. We still got a bunch of snow and it’s wicked cold because it’s Boston and it’s February. Yeah. We check the weather wicked. It’s always wicked cold. It’s either snowing or not snowing.
Greg White (00:02:13):
Yeah. Um, yeah, it that’s funny. I like that. That reminds me of a buddy of mine that said something in college yogurt either sells or it doesn’t. I’ll never forget that.
Kelly Barner (00:02:27):
Fortunately we have shark NATOs but no yogurt NATO because yogurt is on my like do not eat list. There’s just, there’s just no way. And you have to have food in a supply chain now conversation. So I’m declaring yogurt off limits. I don’t care how good it is for me. There is just not going down.
Greg White (00:02:48):
No. Okay. I’m I’m with enough sugar. Um, and enough other flavors in it. Oh, well frozen
Kelly Barner (00:02:55):
Yogurt that I can frozen yogurt. I’m just not doing the healthy Greek stuff. That’s that is just too much. So today is a little bit different. You and I are doing the buzz together. Um, but I don’t have the snazzy pro set up that Scott does, so I’m not gonna SWO and SWO and whatever and graphics. Um, but before we get started, I have a few events that are upcoming to share with everybody. You’re just going to have to visualize what all of these graphics look like. Okay. So we have a webinar coming up at supply chain. Now later this week data at the heart of supply chain, resiliency and agility that’s later this week. So check out either supply chain now, social media or the website, and make sure you sign up and save your spot for that. And
Greg White (00:03:45):
Friday, February 11th. So
Kelly Barner (00:03:48):
Time is running short. We’ll be,
Greg White (00:03:50):
We’re gonna be working on Friday, Kelly.
Kelly Barner (00:03:52):
You can’t four day week, Greg. You can do it from the beach.
Greg White (00:04:00):
Kelly Barner (00:04:02):
So yeah, deal. And I think I have full negotiating power for Scott today. They gave me control of the comments. So we’ll say hi to a few people in a couple of minutes, but I think that also gives me the right to approve your location transfer. You can do the webinar that works for me.
Greg White (00:04:18):
Yeah. Okay. I put it in my
Kelly Barner (00:04:20):
Calendar. There you go. Now, speaking of calendar, we also have coming up March 1st is the deadline for award nominations for the supply chain and procurement awards. First time it’s global, first time it’s fully virtual. Um, and we’ve had a great campaign and actually an interview that’s coming out soon, um, with Tim Nelson, CEO of hope for justice. So Scott and I recorded that last week. What an interesting guy. He really, he is a super interesting guy and he’s someone who’s in the right job.
Greg White (00:04:53):
Yeah. It’s funny you say that. Cuz we interviewed him, uh, sometime back and I don’t know if I don’t know what the episode number is. I’m sure somebody can tell us, but we inter interviewed him some time back and man, is he in the right job? And is he dedicated to this cause, which is great. And something that supply chain can really impact human slavery and um, you know, and trafficking and all of the, those sorts of things that we can now with the transparency that’s available in the supply chain, we can keep our eye on and do something about. And probably the biggest can intention of professionals in the world are supply chain people to be able to keep an eye on and do something about this. So I’m glad we picked that as me too, as the, the philanthropy that we’re gonna support through the supply chain and procurement awards and I’m looking forward to it. Yeah,
Kelly Barner (00:05:39):
No. And it’s, as you learn about it, like just the scale of the problem associated with, with modern slavery and human trafficking and it’s not far away. I mean, we learned just recently Atlanta has major problems being a hub for people passing through. Um, so it’s a problem that no matter where you are, it is a problem there. Um, but as overwhelming as all that is, you’re absolutely right. Greg procurement supply chain professionals, we have a huge opportunity to step up and actually make a difference in this area. Okay. So last event real quick. Um, I’m obviously dial P here at supply chain now, but I’m also head of, uh, content and brand partnerships at art of procurement. And we also have a digital event coming up, digital outcomes. That’s March 8th through the 10th. It’s two hours each day, it’s free to attend. Um, so please make sure to Google and sign up for that. We’re bringing in some really different speakers. We’re gonna take a different look at the role. Technology can play in procurement, not the old features functionality stuff. We’re gonna stay focused on actual outcomes. I know. So that should be, that should be an interesting event. So like I said, it’s free and it’s virtual from the beach. Make sure you, you sign up for that and join us for that two hours each day, March 8th through the 10th
Greg White (00:06:55):
Look, I think outcomes is what technology and the digital transformation exist for. Yes. Not for their own sake, but to create these outcomes. So I think it’s important to, to think about what the, what you want to have happen, you know, what, what you want the result to be, as you think about the technologies and digital aspects of your business. Absolutely.
Kelly Barner (00:07:17):
All right. So in pure buzz tradition, let’s pause and say hi to a few folks. Oh, and I just have to show off, I got myself a nice mouse for today. So there’s a digital outcome right there. Um, so, so let’s say hi to a few friends that I see popping up in the comments. Hey Peter, Peter Bole all night and all day. Thank you for being here with us today. Um, I also,
Greg White (00:07:44):
My goodness. We’re gonna talk a little bit about S in a little bit.
Kelly Barner (00:07:49):
Oh, hang on Peter. Wait, stay
Greg White (00:07:50):
Tune. That’s right,
Kelly Barner (00:07:52):
Amanda. Good morning from Vegas. It is early out there. Hope you guys have an awesome day at. RLA glad you were able to join. Oh, wait, I have a gambling update.
Greg White (00:08:05):
Oh, oh, roulette. Oh, how are the odd James Bond? Really? James Bond wins it roulette and
Kelly Barner (00:08:14):
James Bond wins it, everything. So not good to base it on his results. Um, we got a whole bunch of people in here, Dr. Rhonda on Zimer Zimerman Hey,
Greg White (00:08:27):
It seems like we haven’t seen her lately. I know, but she’s here with us. The weather is too good in Phoenix. So she’s probably been out hiking instead of watching us. And what were
Kelly Barner (00:08:35):
You sharing about Phoenix earlier? The undercover witness capital of the world,
Greg White (00:08:41):
The original witness protection program, the
Kelly Barner (00:08:43):
Original witness protection program.
Greg White (00:08:45):
So there’s some fantastic food in Phoenix
Kelly Barner (00:08:47):
From all over the country, probably right.
Greg White (00:08:51):
Kelly Barner (00:08:52):
Maybe. All right. So I am going to, Hey, look at that. I’m already doing okay. All right. So I’m gonna do something a little bit different. I’m actually gonna share right up front what the four stories are that we’re gonna hit. And the reason that I’m gonna do that is because I think we need to pace Greg. There’s some stuff going on in the world right now. And Scott told me I can talk about whatever I want. I’m not gonna waste this opportunity. We’re gonna talk some big stuff today. We are gonna talk about the truckers up in Canada. Huge story. You can’t be in supply chain in any capacity and not the freedom convoy
Greg White (00:09:29):
Kelly Barner (00:09:30):
Right? Convoy. Yeah. We’re gonna talk about Brian Flores. The NFL. Trust me. It has a procurement tie in, we are gonna talk about corporate sponsorship of the Olympics, right? So there’s some, yes.
Greg White (00:09:47):
Our friends at Coca-Cola
Kelly Barner (00:09:48):
Right. And our friends in China as well. Greg, I hear you tend to get a little fired up when China comes up on the bonds.
Greg White (00:09:58):
Yeah. Sorry. I’m taking a deep breath now.
Kelly Barner (00:10:00):
Well, I’ll tell you what I was a little worried about being the grownup host today. So I do have my paper bag all ready to go just off camera if I need to. Okay, good. Get the breathing under control. So I’ll, I’ll virtually pass that over to you so you can get centered before we start talking about the Olympics. And then thank you actually we’re I think we should start, as I said, we’re gonna pace let’s step into this slowly, cuz you shared an interesting article this morning from crunch base about supply chain funding. So after a record year, there are no signs of slowing down around supply chain, investment. Greg, what were a couple of the, either numbers or key points from this article that jumped out at you?
Greg White (00:10:42):
Yeah. Last, last year, 11.3 billion invested in, in supply chain startups. And that’s I forget the number now. I’m sorry that that’s a sign. You mentioned China, which really distracted me.
Kelly Barner (00:10:58):
Um, would you say wicked big it’s a wicked big number wi
Greg White (00:11:01):
Big it’s a wicked big uplift from, from the previous year 2020, which was a record by multiple billions of dollars then as well. And as you said, no signs of slowing down in the reason for that is because there are so many op opportunities for new technology and fascinatingly. A lot of it is much, much more science based and less, um, and data based and much, much less, uh, what I used to call brute force type technology that we used to have in supply chain. So it’s been, uh, it’s been a big change. I work with two different, uh, investment funds. One is for seed and startup companies. And one is for growth stage companies, um, that are investing pretty heavily in supply chain startups. So, and we are seeing a lot of companies out there and a lot of opportunity and of course, a lot of money out there for these companies. So the time is ni for us to, uh, you know, to move into a technological revolution in supply chain and uh, you know, almost all of it really accelerated by the COVID situation. And, um, companies are responding and they’re they’re uh, even the investors have a tremendous amount of talent and skill and bring some interesting external perspectives to supply chain. So
Kelly Barner (00:12:29):
To that point and, and here’s what I was kind of wondering you follow supply chain in investment space so closely, there’s been so much attention lavished on the disruptions and the problems and the issues over the last couple of years is this yep. Is it sort of like the gold rush, like last week I was inventing milkshake machines or designing sneakers, but boy, those guys in supply chain have no idea what they’re doing. I couldn’t possibly do worse than them. And so everybody’s jumping in, is this sort of like a, it looks simpler and easier to fix from the outside kind of a problem is that part of the draw,
Greg White (00:13:06):
There are, it’s always that way, whenever you have a hot space like this, um, there are a lot of people who, who look at it and think that, um, you know, disruptors are typical, typically have this blessing of naivete. Um, but what you’ve, don’t what people don’t recognize in supply chain is that there is this incredible undercurrent of complexity that you have to deal with that you don’t have for instance, in social media, right? And you don’t have in eCommerce and you don’t have in some of these other, other technological areas that are very, very complex. I, uh, I would kind of, um, compare it to, uh, biotech, but not biotech tech software technology, more like hardware, the, the intricacies and the time spans and the requirements of, of that are substantial. And there are no quick fixes with, with hardware technology in, in healthcare and it’s similar in supply chain.
Greg White (00:14:05):
So, um, you know, we’ve seen a lot of kind of gold rush mentality. There are a ton of, of, uh, what people like to call EC electronic brokerages or technological brokerages, which are brokerages, um, with usually with just reporting or something like that. And I weed through companies like that all the time, there are lots of companies who have artificial intelligence or blockchain, but it’s not really their science, right. And, and that’s not a sustainable practice. And, and there are a lot of companies that actually have a really good point of view on this and their blessing of naivete combined with some people, with some tech, some, uh, proprietary or, or practitioner expertise in the industry have really had some companies make hay in, in this space. And, um, there are real advanced technologies that can and should be applied here. But yes, it is a gold rush.
Greg White (00:15:02):
Yes, lots of funds will lose millions of dollars, but that’s what they bet on. I mean, you know, the way that a, a venture capital fund works is they ex you know, they invest in 10, they expect three to be complete flops. They expect, uh, five more to be, you know, kind of mediocre and then one or two will maybe, um, make the whole fund profitable. So, um, you will see always a lot of that. Yeah. But I, I, I gotta tell you some of the, uh, companies that I’m working with, some of the funds that I’m working with, they have very discerning eyes and one in particular, Jack Freeman at each
Kelly Barner (00:15:40):
Chan. Yeah. Jack’s great.
Greg White (00:15:42):
He is. And he’s got, you know, him, right. Do so, you know, how analytical and capable, and he loves the whole concept of Combinator analytics, which is a hard, that’s a hard term to use first thing on a Monday
Kelly Barner (00:15:57):
Morning. Um, Yeah. Yeah. That’s more of a Wednesday
Greg White (00:16:01):
Afternoon work. That, that is really the root of what most companies stumble over is these combinatorial analytics, because there are so many variables in the supply chain and, um, anyone who can conquer that and anyone who can invest and understand that dynamic is gonna be a great asset to any company that’s coming up as they, as they grow. Absolutely.
Kelly Barner (00:16:23):
So shameless self-promotion. Thank you, Dr. Rhonda, I’m off to a good start. I’m gonna share your vote of confidence. We also have Mohe with us, um, nice to know it’s bomb cyclone. Wow. Now that I think about it. So bomb cyclone. So clearly Ji’s not having a bomb cyclone in Wichita, so I’m, I’m glad for you, but
Greg White (00:16:45):
It looks like they might have, I know
Kelly Barner (00:16:47):
Maybe a couple days ago that is, that is cold. Um,
Greg White (00:16:52):
Yeah. And my mom let me know that it was like a 12 minus 12 and I think minus 25 wind chill factor. I don’t know if everybody knows this, but the wind always blows, literally never stops
Kelly Barner (00:17:03):
In Kansas. And it really takes the feel down like that is when the wind is blowing. It makes a huge difference. Um, and we have clay and we also have cat and we also have Chantel, everybody was talking me down before the live stream. So I’m so grateful we have the best production team in the business. Um, glad you guys are with us chatting with everybody in the, in the comments. All right, Greg, you ready? Cause it’s about you get intense. Let’s do. Okay. All right. Yep. Seriously, freedom convoy. Right. So this was a story that I really felt strongly we needed to talk about. And yet it was a complicated one to add to the discussion list for today because I knew I was gonna have to monitor it through the whole weekend. Things are changing pretty quick and pretty intensely, and I was right to be following it.
Kelly Barner (00:17:56):
So just a couple facts for folks. Um, the quarantine requirements for non vaccinated drivers crossing the border back and forth from the us to Canada are, are pretty intense. And so there’s somewhere between 500 and 1200 trucks and cars that have all parked themselves, um, to protest and demonstrate. And I think there’s a couple of interesting things that we saw from this. I mean, it’s getting a lot of eyeballs. We’re all looking north to sort of see what what’s gonna happen with these truckers. So, Peter, I know you’re here, jump in if you wanna share a, a Canadian perspective on this. Um, but it, I think we’re, we’re seeing two things. We’re seeing what social media is doing around making it possible, especially for long haul drivers that would’ve been rather isolated in the past to right. Arrange themselves around a cause and work together, right.
Kelly Barner (00:18:52):
To get their point across and sort of represent their point of view or also seeing some interesting stuff around funding. And so the big news that broke over the weekend was that there was a little over 8 million that people had donated through GoFundMe. It hit 10 million and then GoFundMe took it down. So now know all that money, right. Is going back to everybody that donated it. Um, and that was something that broke. I think it was late Friday, early Saturday when we started hearing that news. So this is a, a quickly changing situation. Greg, what do you think the world is learning about truck drivers right now?
Greg White (00:19:29):
Uh, well, uh, you know, we talked about this off the air, Jay and Vera has said this, if truck drivers ever get together as a force. Yeah. And they use social media as a vehicle, um, what an incredibly powerful force this is because, uh, you know, I’ve only read some cursory reports, but apparently this thing started on the west coast of Canada and just continued to grow. And I think of the song from when I was a very small child called convoy. Yeah. Where just trucks just kept getting into the, the convoy and they smashed the gate doing 98, said, let them truckers roll 10, four. Um, uh, you’re not gonna sing it. They, you just give us the lyrics MCCA. It was kind of one of those talking songs. There were a lot of country songs that were talking songs in the seventies. Um, but I mean, incredible the power and the initiative of this.
Greg White (00:20:24):
And by the way, you know, um, GoFundMe took down the site and then decided to automatically refund all the funds because they had determined that there was some violence that violated their rules of order. There’s some argument around that, of course. And I’d love if anyone actually knows. I’d love to hear that, but a company called give, send go, yes. Uh, they set up a funding site and within two days they’ve raised, raised 3.5 million for, for this freedom convoy. So interesting that people will, and through this social media, as you said, people will find a way to support a cause that they, they believe in. And, um, I think interesting kind of the timing here as Europe declares victory over COVID and the mandates and the passports and the border restrictions and the lockdowns are coming off in Europe. That Justin, is that his name? Trudeau? Yes. He’s the younger Tru yeah. Sorry. Um, showing my ignorance yet
Kelly Barner (00:21:32):
Again, I won’t tell him, you couldn’t remember his name, Greg. Don’t worry about him. Yeah. I
Greg White (00:21:35):
Mean, it’s, you know. Yeah. Um, you know, it’s, it’s interesting that he picks now to have this battle. Yeah. And, and to really do this, when I think the even science agrees that the implications of this are, uh, a non-factor now, so I’m not sure exactly what this is. I also can’t help, but harken back to the peaceful protests that we had in the states wherein we let people burn buildings to the ground and declare areas off limits for police and anyone who disagreed with them and commit horrific acts of violence and murder. And yet the government took this stance on this particular group, which has apparently not shown any significant violence other than apparently fireworks or, or whatever. Maybe some fights who knows again, if anyone knows, I’d be interested to hear about that, but it is, it is interesting, the power of drivers. And it is interesting, um, that in Canada, I mean, Canadians are such polite people. I really don’t. I really never saw this coming honestly.
Kelly Barner (00:22:47):
Well, and it’s interesting. So Greg are actually getting some local, um, lemme pull a couple of these up, first of all, super interesting Peter Bole, listening to his mom, anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Unique new position for Peter. Peter’s a, a, yeah. Common attendee, a very outspoken rep on a lot of our are different shows, but now here’s a different perspective. Susan is sharing, she’s driving around AWA and it’s changing things for everyday people trying to get around the city. That’s, that’s a perspective. We’re not necessarily getting on the news here.
Greg White (00:23:25):
Yeah. It’s over 500 vehicles and you know, my, I, I can’t help, but, um, state that when I first heard this, I thought, okay, are those trucks running empty? And if they are, what is that doing to, yeah. The supply chain in Canada.
Kelly Barner (00:23:41):
Absolutely. Um, it sounds,
Greg White (00:23:44):
This is a common practice in Europe and in south America for drive truck drivers to jam the streets and completely block commerce in big cities. And, and, um, it’s fascinating that it’s just finally coming to north America to me. And you
Kelly Barner (00:24:02):
Wonder if it’s gonna show up in the us. Right. I mean, I know there are probably some us truckers out there in Canada, you know, not that far, we are connected by land. Um, but you wonder if this isn’t gonna be something where we’re all looking at it right now, but over time, is this gonna become a little bit more common once these guys have figured out they can organize once you just kind of do it again, right?
Greg White (00:24:24):
Yeah. Yeah. And I gotta tell you, I I’m, I, where I’m at is I’m hopeful that we are starting to come out of the seriousness of this, this pandemic and it, and it sounds like the scientists agree that it is becoming more endemic and it will be yet another there’s version 2 20, 3 of the common cold, and this will become version and whatever number they’re gonna assign to it. Yeah. Um, and I’m hopeful that that’s the case and the timing of this really both, both of the protest and of the mandates. And as Peter said, these mandates have been in place four weeks, maybe more, um, um, but it’s in interesting that everyone picked now to, to make, make their stand. So, yeah.
Kelly Barner (00:25:15):
And I think
Greg White (00:25:16):
So it gets Canada in the news. Right. So I think that’s, that’s a plus.
Kelly Barner (00:25:22):
I know. And, and we’re all here in the Canadian Anthem a little bit more, we’re seeing some Canadian flags wave
Greg White (00:25:27):
Flags. Yeah. You know, which I, one of my favorite flags, the maple leaf, so,
Kelly Barner (00:25:32):
Well, it’s definitely a recognizable brand, right. UCF flag, you know exactly where that flag is from, um, Skippy. So we’ve got interesting David, so there’s some disagreement on the, on the ground between people. You know, I think these conversations are important to, because for our different perspectives, I happen to think, right, this is gonna be one of those moments everywhere, but certainly within supply chain, we are gonna be looking back and studying this moment as the moment that driver mindset changed other people’s mindset around working with drivers and the structure of how all this should look and, and all of that changes. I have a feeling that is significant as that seems right now, it’s significance. We’re only gonna become more aware of it as, as time goes on. And as, you know, future repercussions or changes potentially fall from this.
Greg White (00:26:25):
Well, it’d be interesting if they, you know, once all of this, this mandate stuff passes, which it inevitably will ill, but it’ll be interesting to see if they don’t do a similar thing about, um, you know, the inability to park vehicle absolutely. To park their trucks and that of thing. Right. I mean, um, although I gotta say Scott and I used to talk about this quite a bit over the last two, three years and it, and it has become less and less of an issue. Uh, so, and, and I have seen, as I drive the interstates, um, I have seen where there are a lot more accommodations it’s okay to stay at waste stations in some states, some places overnight it’s okay to stay overnight in. Um, you know, in, in rest stops and truck stops are being built at a frenzy pace along a lot of these highways, but it was
Kelly Barner (00:27:22):
Probably a problem for a long time, like a really, really, really long time. And I have a feeling, things are gonna resolve themselves a lot faster. Now that everybody’s aware they have this kind of, sort of like collective bargaining power. Right. Even if they’re not efficient.
Greg White (00:27:37):
Yeah. I mean, its it’s, it’s not formal. No. Right. I mean it, or I mean, it may become formal, but it won’t don’t necessarily become a union, which is good. Cuz then they won’t waste their money giving dues to the nevermind. Um, um, but, but, but you’ve seen this Panos. Yes. Um, so, um, but, but I think that that for people to see that they have this kind of power and that even when on one platform they are arguably oppressed or whatever you wanna call it repressed. Um, they can move to another one. Yes. I mean this, this thing refunded 3.5 million in two days, that is incredible. 150,000 I think is what the one article said in just moments after opening it. Yeah. That’s
Kelly Barner (00:28:28):
Incredible. So also the distributed power, we were just talking about the impact that new investors are going to have in the supply chain tech space. Now we’re sort of seeing not the same dynamic, but we’re seeing another way that sources of funding and investment are shaking things up. And that certainly is gonna keep it interesting. Well,
Greg White (00:28:46):
The pay pace of the world and the pace of change is definitely a huge impact on the supply chain because this is a huge disruption in Canada. Yes. Right. And you know, one of the things that companies have to do to stay ahead of the game is they have to both anticipate and respond rapidly and to changes in the impacts and in the supply chain. We’re, I’m sure we’ll talk a little bit more about that as we go through a couple of these other stories indeed. But that’s critical. The pace of response is critical. And I, I think there is much, much more we can do to predict or preempt the kind of disruptions yeah. That, that are occurring because of these kind of activities. Yeah.
Kelly Barner (00:29:27):
So let’s actually take this as our break to go to the second, big story. Now, Greg, you’re gonna help me with this one. We’re each gonna take a different perspective on this story. So what we wanna talk about is Brian Flores, former head coach of the Miami dolphins is suing the NFL over. What’s called the Rooney rule. So the Rooney rule, the intention of it is to increase diversity at the, the head coaching and, and team level, um, adopted in 2003, it requires that head coaching positions and general manager candidates include interviews for at least two individuals of color in the interviewing process. Now Brian was recently interviewed for a position. He did not get the job. He is now blaming the Rooney rule for him being included in what he calls a, a sham interview. He’s considering it not real. And I’ll kind of talk about the, the diversity side of things, cuz that’s something I’ve been focusing a lot on the corporate side, but before I do that, can you sort of give us the, the football perspective on this?
Greg White (00:30:37):
Yeah. I mean, let me start with, uh, you know, kind of the facts of Brian floor as one. Um, he’s alleging a number of things let’s not go there just yet, but let’s talk about his coaching. Um, he won five games in his first season as head coach of the, of the dolphins. He went 10 and six, the next season and nine and eight the season after which was last season, um, with, um, you know, someone else’s personnel. So I, I think, I think his 20, I think it’s a 25 and 24 record over three seasons. Arguably. Pretty good. Yeah. Um, if you compare, I mean, if you compare other head coaches who have gone on to be quite successful, um, you know, they haven’t done even that Wells often in the first three seasons. Um, Brian Flores was a defensive coach, uh, at, at the new England Patriots, uh, and one and was one of their defensive coaches during the super bowl. Um, I can’t remember which super bowl you’ll have to forgive me, but cause they’ve been to so many, well, I’m not gonna
Kelly Barner (00:31:43):
Football fact check you. I’m sure somebody watching or listening can jump in with that.
Greg White (00:31:48):
Someone who’s wicked smack wicked, who’s a wicked smack Patriots fan. Um, yeah. Um, and, and you know, the, the beef that Brian has is that this Rooney thing is a sham. And arguably, you know, these are token gestures by the owners and there is a SI significant systemic or cognitive bias that is, uh, inherent in the NFL. Or maybe even, maybe he’s even only focusing on the owners. Um, which, I mean, when you look at the numbers, I mean, I don’t know, I, I don’t know how hard it is to argue that, but, uh, you feel like there ought to be because, um, black people make up 13% of the population in the states, it seems like 13% of the coaches in, or your head coaches in the NFL ought to be black. So, um, and over the years, uh, over the last few years it’s been a number significantly below that.
Kelly Barner (00:32:48):
So, yeah. Well, and it’s interesting. So I’ve been covering, so supplier diversity, right from a procurement perspective is where you try to bring certified minority woman owned, veteran owned, LGBTQ and disabled, uh, businesses. You deliberately try to bring them into your supply chain and one of the complexities, and this is something I’ve heard from so many people, is that so often the time it does end up seeming like a box check, it seems like a token exercise. And you’re actually inadvertently hurting those businesses because there’s a significant opportunity cost associated with competing in an RFP that you’re definitely not going to win or investing time trying to build a relationship where you actually don’t have the potential to get business. And I thought one of the things that Brian said in an interview, I think it was on CBS morning is he talked about the fact that with a rule like this in place, even though it’s well intentioned, it means you never know means you don’t really know. Did I get this interview because I have a shot? Did I get this interview because of the Rooney rule? And then likewise, did I not get this job? I wasn’t the right guy, or did I not get this job because I was never going to get this job, having those lingering doubts, it’s hard enough interviewing for something, this high pressure and, and high visibility. How can you have your head in the game if you’re wondering about all this stuff going on, sort of as a backdrop.
Greg White (00:34:18):
Yeah. And yet, uh, I’ve read some other stories where, uh, a lot of black head coaching candidates have had, have done, I think, a bang up job. And I think, I think Brian did a really good job per personally. I have a lot of respect in admiration for Brian because the chiefs were the number one seed in 2019 team because Brian, um, beat the Patriots in the last game of the season, which gave us the one seed and they, the subsequent season did beat somebody else that helped us become, uh, the one seed in 2020. So, um, he’s done right by me and he’s, and he’s a great defensive coach. And considering that, um, he, I mean, and this is what I know about the, the, um, team, because I have a very close friend, who’s a Miami do dolphins fan. And, um, one of my former co-founders, um, and you know, he said he was not left with a great offense.
Greg White (00:35:20):
He’s got a rookie quarterback who’s obviously struggling and has always had a, you know, a tough time. They’ve had a tough time, uh, creating a good offensive line, all of those things too, of course. But I think that the, the important thing here is that, I mean, let’s face it, the Rooney rule. I really appreciate what the Rooneys were trying to do, but it does completely create a token gesture. And in when I’ve read some of the other articles around this, uh, Hugh Jackson also currently a black coaching candidate who has been a head coach in the past as well, you know, and, um, I forgot the first name, his last name is Horton, who is no longer coaching in the NFL. So they think they, that the Rooney rule ought to be abolished. And I can’t disagree with that because to your point, you get what you manage towards what you measure.
Greg White (00:36:13):
Okay. They did the two, they did the two interviews. Great. That’s not the goal. No, that’s not to your point a about your, your sessions, uh, in, in March, that’s not the outcome that we want. We don’t want token interviews. We want talented and deserving head coaches to, to be able to be put in place. And I think if a rule is ne necessary, then it ought to be more focused on the outcome that we desire, not the, you know, the hand waving that we, we want to see that that allows, um, the right kind of visibility for the, uh, and optics for the NFL. Yeah. To me, you know, having observed it for a lot of years, there is no question that if, if not intentional, there is at least cognitive bias in the NFL. I mean, these are old white billionaires that own these teams, right.
Greg White (00:37:09):
Guess who they know other old white billionaires. Yeah. Right. And, and, um, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a tough thing. I do. Don’t think it’s intentional. I, I do think that it is co what I would call cognitive bias, meaning they just don’t know. And therefore they go with where they’re most comfortable as most everyone does with people that they know or other people that they trust to advise them to make these decisions. And they just don’t know anybody that they can have help. One, one thing that I think is really interesting in my, my pointed this out is, um, and you know, this is something having come from an immigrant background that I learned as my, my family was very intentional about is this is the way America works. It’s not, I don’t believe that it’s a color thing. I believe that it’s a class thing in any country, the wealthy and the elite want to remain.
Greg White (00:38:06):
Yeah. Both wealthy and elite. And if we all join them, if we all are lifted up to become the elite, they are no longer the elite. They’re just the, the rest of us, like the rest of us. Yeah. So, so, you know, you have to learn how the game is played. And I think as more companies or more families start to realize that, and not only push against it, but also advise how to navigate it, which I was. And my parents and my grandparents were advised very carefully by my great-grandparents. This is how you navigate America. This is how you make things happen. This is how you get above your current station in the world. I think as more families are more, um, intentional about that, then we’ll start to see that happening. So in this, uh, Washington post episode, I’ll give you, um, I’ll give you the title, the Brian Flo’s experience question mark.
Greg White (00:39:02):
That’s the reality for most black posts or coaches that’s in the Washington post. Um, one of the coaches is coaching his own son to learn how to navigate these difficult water and to, to do these things. Yeah, it ain’t right. No, it clearly ain’t right. But it also is not going to change until we the lesser. And of course I’m not, I’m not equivocating my personal situation with black people. Of course they have a much, have much, much worse, but until we, and they, and whomever else is, feels oppressed until they learn how to navigate it, navigate this, these murky waters, it’s not gonna change substantially. So, um, you know, you just have to be super conscious about it and, and you have to push against the tide, which is tough to,
Kelly Barner (00:39:56):
Well, it’s ultimately a people problem. Right. And as, as Lamont hard points out here, right, just like I was saying, it applies in corporate America, as much as it applies in the NFL, I would argue that there’s not a place that this kind of dynamic doesn’t go on, whether it’s about race or gender or, or class. Right. And right. And I think the thing that’s so hard and goodness of anybody watching knows the answer, please, the solution can’t be worse than the problem. And I think what we have identified with this Rooney rule is that in this case, a solution that we thought was going to work, isn’t working as well as we would’ve hoped. So it’s not to say we completely scrap it. We learn from it. Um, but clearly some changes are required because it’s not having the, the effect that we, we need to see really for anybody involved in the situation.
Greg White (00:40:50):
Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think, um, honestly I think it took a lot of guts for Brian to do what he’s doing. He’s suing the NFL. I think he’s probably, he’s probably, uh, fired a shot across the, about against, uh, some people who probably don’t deserve it or who have at least been, um, very outspoken in refuting his statement, the Denver Broncos, John Elway. Uh, um, but I do think that the NFL needs to change. There are a lot of things about the NFL that need to change. I mean, let’s face it, they’re a monopoly, right? Yeah. And,
Kelly Barner (00:41:30):
But not for profit, Greg, don’t forget. I just wanna make sure you, is that true? Yes. The NFL is not for profit because they don’t. Wow. Anyway,
Greg White (00:41:42):
That’s why Roger Gadel makes 200 million a year cuz they can’t make a profit.
Kelly Barner (00:41:46):
Got it. Yeah, I know. Right. Somebody should look them up on charity navigator. See what their rating is. Yeah. So it’s a, it’s a complicated situation, right? Anytime this much money is at stake that makes it so much harder to fix the problem. So as hard as it is to fix in corporate American and society in general, trying to fix it with these kinds of dollar values on the line, it makes it so much harder.
Greg White (00:42:10):
Well, and, and you know, the truth is this, this is really the, the difficult thing because we’ve, I mean, we’ve gone through a ton of different issues in the NFL. Look, let’s face it, football fans just wanna watch football. Right. Right. They just, and in fact they really just wanna watch their team and um, you know, they just wanna win. And I, I think it’s difficult when your constituency who does pay literally billions of dollars every year just wants, wants to be entertained. It’s, it’s hard for them to empathize, I think with a lot of these, these issues. So, um, but you know, I mean being a chief for, and we have a, we have a assistant coach, our offensive coordinator, Eric bien, who has been going, he’s the, basically the poster boy for this whole problem or was until Brian Flores, who’s been going through the process and has never gotten a head coaching job.
Greg White (00:43:13):
There have been a lot of mitigating discussions around that. The chiefs are two, you know, that go too far into the, um, into the postseason. So now you can interview coaches the last two weeks of the regular season. So that basically built a, the enemy rule. Yeah. Um, but I, I mean, I can’t explain why it isn’t happening. I can explain to you why it should happen. And, and, and as we were off the air to two words, tell me why this should happen. Tony Dungy, one of the greatest coaches in the NFL right. Happens to be a black coach as well. One of the most incredibly analytical and intellectual minds of the NFL ever. And if you’ve never seen him on television, you should check him out. Um, his bill to break down the game and predict it and understand it is, is exceptional.
Greg White (00:44:03):
He is, he is the prime example for why this can and should work. Um, so you, you know, everybody is equally capable in my mind and they just need equal opportunity to be able to, to do this. And I, I really applaud, I really applaud Brian for what he’s doing because he will definitely never coach in the NFL ever again. Oh no. Yeah. He will definitely not get any money out of this either. I mean, the lawyers will now get all the money because it’s a class action suit, but he could really affect a change. It takes guts to go nuclear and he did it.
Kelly Barner (00:44:43):
Yes, no, he absolutely did. And we need people to stand up like that. Right. And, and be willing to put it on the line to drive this kind of great last thought on this topic. And then we’re gonna switch to something, you know, simple and soft, like the Olympics. Um, but before we leave it, you’ve mentioned the chiefs a couple times. Do you guys have a game coming
Greg White (00:45:02):
Up? No, that’s why, that’s why I can do all of this analysis on the NFL is because football season is over for us. So yeah, it sucks. But, but no, you’re not. No.
Kelly Barner (00:45:16):
Greg White (00:45:17):
Kelly Barner (00:45:17):
A Patriot fan. Well, and I’m not even, so I’m lucky. I’m not really a football fan at all, unless my son’s playing and he’s 12. So he’s been done for a really long time. Um, but it’s, if you can look at this stuff objectively, I almost think of it business as opposed to thinking of it in the, in the sports light. Um, I think that it makes it easier to be a little bit more objective and see it as a system with a problem versus seeing it as like, you know, is it entertainment? Is it business? Is it social justice? How do we look at it? Right. We gotta try to look at it as straight as we can.
Greg White (00:45:49):
We, we really, uh, as chief fans really had a front row seat watching Eric BI year after year after year, when we all know all of us know he deserves a shot. Um, and I believe that he wants it though. He has been remarkably unspoken on this topic. I, I believe that he wants it and I believe that he deserves it, frankly. I hope that he just stays with the chiefs and his OC until Andy Reed retires. And then he takes over for Andy Reed. That’s my strategy for the chiefs. Um, I would love it if we gave Eric bien, his shot at a, at head coaching. Well,
Kelly Barner (00:46:29):
We’re getting some really positive feedback here, Greg, let me share a couple of comments from the odd. So Mo’s put in request for the first copy of your book, um, on handling the navigation from what’s broken to, what’s gonna be fixed. He’s he’s ready. You just gotta put it down on paper. He’s he’s ready to follow you through that solution.
Greg White (00:46:50):
Awesome. It’s funny if I had recorded more conversations with my grandparents and great grandparents, I probably could have written the book 30 years ago. Um, but I mean, you know, I mean, you live in a city where, I mean, people were not just systematically and not just covertly. They were overtly. Yes. Right. The Irish were overtly excluded. Oh yeah. Irish native. We not apply. I remember seeing those signs. Yeah. Yeah. Irish need not apply. Right. So I remember those, those seeing those signs. I remember those, you know, those times and, um, and you know, and yet somehow, um, the Irish and you’re Irish, right. The Irish have, uh, have somehow elevated themselves. So there, there are ways to do it. Yeah. Right. German immigrants, uh, did it early revolutionary days and, and others. So I, I think there are ways to do it. And those playbooks yeah. Are, are things that we ought to expose to everyone. Yeah. Because they were very systematic and intentional family by family. Right. Right. To try and elevate the next
Kelly Barner (00:48:03):
Generation. Yeah. No, I mean, and, and I can speak to that firsthand. So I mean, not that I’m alone and this in Boston, but I’m second generation American. Um, you know, my grandparents immigrated here had a heck of a time getting their feet underneath them because I mean, we grew up with stories of Irish need not apply. And, and that was the situation that was being faced. Right. So all this stuff takes time. We have to keep at it. Um, and part of how we keep at it is we talk about it. So Brian Flores is taking the risk and kind of speaking for a lot of people. Um, and Kim, winter’s giving us credit for taking on these topics with the, with the, but buzz audience. So it’s, it’s not easy to be the one that stands up and it’s not always easy to be the one that says, Hey, we need to have a conversation about this, but that really is how we’re gonna drive the change that we want to see.
Greg White (00:48:54):
I think it is easy if you think about everyone as a person, right? Yes. I, I mean, I don’t, I don’t know a lot of people who actively discriminate against other people. I hear about it all the time. And I, you know, again, having had a black co-founder, I’ve heard some horrific stories, even experienced it with one of our other co-founders, um, which was a tragedy. But, um, but you know, I don’t, I don’t experience it person to person. And I think if we think of it as a person, to person thing, not a group to group or class to class or a color to color thing, right. If we think of it as a person, to person thing, you get to know the person, you get to know who they are. And even in a self-serving situation where you’re trying to win football games, you get to know a person and understand that that is someone that can help you succeed. And I, I just feel like we need to do more of that. I, I really do feel like it’s simple. You grew up in an immigrant family. I grew up in an immigrant family. I watched people interact who had absolutely nothing in common. I mean, our, the neighborhood, my grandparents lived in was, was Latino and Vietnamese. And I watched those people will integrate very, very tightly because they got to know one another as persons. Yes. Right. Absolut, not as a, a class or a nationality or anything. Yeah. So,
Kelly Barner (00:50:24):
So Greg, we got about 10 minutes and one more story to hit. It’s a big story. So we’re gonna try to yeah. Hit it quick because we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge some of the corporate advertising challenges that have arisen around this year’s Olympics. So being hosted by China, right. We’ve got companies, like, I think the, the big example that’s been written around an awful lot is Coca-Cola, they are a huge sponsor of the Olympics in China. But if you look around on the TV and magazines and newspapers, you might not know that here in the states, because this particular Olympics is troublesome. I don’t know. Do we go so far as to say unpopular, depending on where people are coming from. Um, but corporate sponsors don’t necessarily want consumers here to know, um, that they are supporting the games. I’ll give you, I’ll give you first thoughts there before we get a little more specific.
Greg White (00:51:20):
Troublesome is an understatement. This is the second time in, in, under a decade that we have put, we have put an arguably apolitical event in the most oppressive dictatorship on the planet. Right. Actively and openly oppressing someone who won a medal for them, by the way, a, a, they had a skier, a weaker skier who probably was into service as, you know, as a, as a Chinese athlete. Um, which is their, their most oppressed group. Yes. Right. Actively committing genocide, actively and openly, um, creating slavery in the Uighur province of Jang. Yeah. Um, and, um, you know, to give them that I, I can only say follow the money. Yeah. Right. Uh, China is, is Coca-Cola’s third largest market behind the us and Mexico, uh, by the way, Mexican Coke is still the best Coke ever because they use real sugar. Yes. If you can ever get Mexican Coke, drink that.
Greg White (00:52:30):
Um, and you know, it’s, it’s opportunism, it’s, it’s, autonomism whatever you wanna call it. It’s, it’s CRAs. Commercialism is what it is. And, um, you know, the beauty of a company like Coca-Cola is they like other mass companies, they can control the narrative around their product and they do. Um, and because even in this day and age, which never ceases to amaze me, you can control, you can control the news coming out of a country. Yeah. Like China. Right. Um, and when you control the press, you control the country. Well, and to that point, I mean, that is how leaderships are maintained is by controlling the
Kelly Barner (00:53:14):
Person that skier that you talked about. If I’m thinking of the same person, it made huge headlines that she was one of the two people they chose to carry the torch during the opening. And people were flabbergasted that she had been chosen because she is from the Uighur community. And people were not expecting this. Now the follow on to that, right. Which a lot less people probably saw is that I don’t think she did all that great in her event. And there’s some type of process. I forget what it’s called. When you, even your event, there’s like a gauntlet of media that everybody is expected to walk through. You don’t necessarily have to talk to the media, but the rule is you have to go through, you have to walk it this gauntlet, not only did she not talk to the media, they, I don’t know, whi her at the side door as she’s cross country skier, so no side, but they Wied her off and got her home somehow or other. And she didn’t even have to walk down that path. So to your point about the media and controlling the narrative and what countries allowed to broadcast outside of their borders, it’s a really, like you said, troublesome is an understatement.
Greg White (00:54:24):
I get, why come, why companies do it right. There is a ton of market. It’s the largest commercial market on the planet, China. Right. I get why they do it. Um, I’m incredibly conflicted there. I mean, having done business in China many, many years ago, I mean, it’s, it’s also fascinating to me that people are just seeing China as a production organization. I recall my father going over there in the, I think late seventies, early eighties, um, you know, craftsman tools and the, the tools that, uh, Kmart, if anyone remembers Kmart, um, um, the Kmart sold were made in the very same in China, in the seventies and eighties and volumes and volumes of product have been made over there for so long. Um, whatever you want, whatever you wanna say about the Chinese people, they are great. They are resilient. They are somehow surviving all of this, but this is a, this is a dictatorships dictatorship, China.
Greg White (00:55:29):
I mean, even the Soviet union, which I studied in college was not as harsh a dictatorship, of course, after they killed off millions of people. But after that point, they were not as harsh, a dictatorship as China is today. And that was 50, 60 years ago. Yeah. Well more than that. Yeah. Even so, um, it it’s, I, I still think of Tianmen square. The, the now completely erased from history tank running over, which as, as kids, we got to see in person live, running over someone who tried to stand in front of a tank to stop it from entering or, or furthering its progress in Tianmen square, just the, um, and, and, and that’s just a small representation of the kind of things that have happened. I mean, they mandated how many children you could have in China. And now they have an incredible problem because people gave away or worse yet did away with, uh, girl children so that they could have a namesake for their family. And, um, it’s, you know, it’s just an awful, awful government and it’s, you know, it’s a terrible dictatorship and to, to support it in any way, I find incredibly offensive.
Kelly Barner (00:56:54):
Well, and I think what I struggle with, I mean, ESG is a huge topic in procurement. I think it’s a huge topic everywhere, but we’re talking about it a lot because we’re trying to figure out a way just like with supplier diversity, how are we gonna hit these goals or metrics? Right. And so we’re trying to look at who are we doing business with and what type of business practices do they have and how ethical is the supply chain that they’ve built to serve them, which we’re then hoping helps them serve us. And I just have to wonder about the sincerity and the efficacy of a big corporation who claims to have an ESG program with one hand. But with the other hand, we’ll turn around and spend so much money in a country with these horrible human rights abuses. We, we talked about it with the truckers.
Kelly Barner (00:57:41):
I mean, this comes full circle. Maybe they can have, have this stuff in China, but we all have this information because some of it, much of it is coming directly to us through social media now. So we know we’re hearing stories from the athletes. People are starting, you know, even as like Elon mosque speaks out about, you know, the Uighurs and how they’re being treated and companies make decisions about which regions of China are they going to manufacture in, we are all learning as individuals. You can’t segment that you came like, oh, well, but you know, they planted a million trees. And so is that supposed to offset? You know, somehow as consumers, we all have to reconcile this in our minds, as we get the information.
Greg White (00:58:24):
Uh, you know, I think the approach to ESG has been exactly the opposite of what it ought to be. And that is if we can’t affirm, if we cannot affirm bad deeds or bad intent, we don’t, as we assume there is none. And I think our approach should be exactly the opposite if we don’t, if we cannot affirm good deeds, good intent. Good action. Good ethics, good sustainability, good human rights operations. We should assume that they are bad. Yeah. Think about, I mean, you know, this was not, this was how I was first educated on supply chain. Assume everyone fail you. So I have all, I mean, it’s not the, it’s not the most, um, it’s not the most optimistic way. The POY, is it a great way to create resiliency in your supply chain? By assuming that if you don’t know for certain that someone will, will, um, come through that they will fail you.
Greg White (00:59:26):
Likewise, if you don’t know that someone is doing a good deed, you should assume that they’re not that’s the approach. So this epiphany kind of came to me as the federal, the us federal government started to their policy around the Jin Jong province and their, their statement and their policy became, we will seize and assume your goods were produced with, with slave labor in J if they come from Jin Jong province, unless you can prove that they weren’t right, not, we will let you in, unless it can be proven that you aren’t or that you are right. And that flip has made more change than anything has in, in the past. And I think if we do, likewise, we assume not just things like human rights and sustainability, but if we assume that come companies, um, are aren’t using good practices, let’s say to assure our deliveries on time, then, then we can kind of create a scoring.
Greg White (01:00:32):
We assume they aren’t, unless they prove that they are. And isn’t that what we’re seeking in the supply chain, we’re seeking transparency. We’re seeking the knowledge, we’re seeking the affirmation that everything will go right. And by right. I mean, not just delivered on time, I mean, done right. Done well done the right way. Um, and I think that if we change that approach, then there is no choice. But to, but to change the way companies do the, because right now they can hide in the shadows. If we assume they are hiding in the shadows until they prove they’re not, they are forced then to change. That’s right.
Kelly Barner (01:01:12):
And I think that’s the positive note. We should end the hour on Greg. So thank you for being with me for this hour of the buzz. This was fun. Thank you everybody who comment and who joined us, did we tackle a lot in an hour? So now, well, Greg gets to go to the beach. The rest of us are watching for the bomb cyclone, but, um,
Greg White (01:01:35):
It’s we could have one here too. It’s gonna be like 48 degrees. So
Kelly Barner (01:01:39):
Yeah. So listen, thank you so much. Thanks to the whole supply chain now production team. Thank you to, to Scott and Amanda for going to Vegas so that I could have the chance to come do this. And we can’t wrap this Greg without saying, do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed on behalf of the whole team here at supply chain. Now thank you so much for joining us. Have a great rest of your day.
Greg White (01:02:01):
Thanks for being a part of a, our supply chain. Now community check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.
Host, 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.
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.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
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.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, 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.
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.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
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!
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.
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.
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.