Supply Chain Now
Episode 1238

We really had to define our implementation strategy for our innovation and do it in a way which is reflective of how the world is, not how we want it to be.

-David Chen

Episode Summary

How are innovations helping to transform public health supply chains? How are technology providers and analytics specialists working with the health sector to bring cutting-edge capabilities so each person has the health care needed to thrive?

During this episode of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain Leadership Across Africa series we talk with two people who talk about the importance of innovation for public health supply chains – and what it takes to make innovations sustainable in Africa.

Director of VillageReach’s Global Technical Team and experienced health supply chain expert Tapiwa Mukwashi is our first guest. On a day-to-day basis, Tapiwa ensures VillageReach’s various teams across Africa have the technical assistance they need to do their jobs, working closely with vendors such as data analytics company Kapsule to do just that. David Chen, Kapsule’s Co-CEO and Co-Founder, also joins us to explain how his innovation came to market and some of the challenges, successes and lessons learned he has collected along the way.

During the conversation, the duo highlight the progress made but emphasize the need for more mature modeling and professionalization of the supply chain to better underpin African health care networks. Here, the importance of skills, infrastructure and technology to improve efficiency and visibility, especially at the last mile delivery level, are emphasized. The discussion also underscores the need for solutions tailored to the unique contexts of public health supply chains in Africa, focusing on the problem, building trust and using strategic implementation.

It is a highly complex and nuanced landscape to navigate, and several key strands emerge during the podcast:

· Building trust and collaboration among like-minded stakeholders to drive innovation in public health supply chains.

· Identifying and addressing root problems rather than focusing solely on outcomes.

· The role of optimism and perseverance in overcoming entrepreneurial challenges.

To hear more from Tapiwa and David, tune in to the full conversation now.

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 are, Scott Luton and Mary Kate Love here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Mary Kate, how you doing?

Mary Kate Love (00:42):

So excited to be here with you, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:45):

We are too, and so great to have you back on this side of the microphone or camera or whatever you want to call it. Really have enjoyed our collaboration for years now. And hey, Mary Kate, as you know, on today’s episode, we’re continuing our very popular series, Supply Chain Leadership Across Africa. We’ve been conducting this series for several years now, really, as we want to focus our platform on the innovation and brilliance and leadership that can be found throughout the 54 countries that make up the continent of Africa. So today though, we’re pleased to not only feature two heightens of both the global industry and the ring — more on that in a second, but we’re also pleased to conduct today’s episode in partnership with VillageReach, a powerful nonprofit that is transforming healthcare delivery to reach everyone. In fact, their critical work enables access to quality healthcare for 70 million people. Wow. Learn more at Mary Kate, I got to stop there. That’s a remarkable mission and critical mission. Would you agree?

Mary Kate Love (01:43):

Yeah, it’s almost impossible not to be inspired just hearing that mission alone. So, I am even more excited to dive in today and learn more about that mission.

Scott Luton (01:52):

You and me both. So outstanding show here. I’ll mention a little bit about the guests here in a second. We’re going to learn more in a minute. But we’re going to be diving into public health supply chains, both in general and specifically in Africa, amongst many, many other things. We’re going to be talking about some really cool innovation that we’re seeing in the sector, including from an entrepreneurial standpoint. So stay tuned for a great show. So, Mary Kate, if you’re good with it, I’m going to go ahead and bring in our two featured guests.

Mary Kate Love (02:17):

Sounds great to me.

Scott Luton (02:18):

Wonderful. So let’s get started. I want to introduce both of our guests here. First, we’ve got a repeat guest. So, officially Tapiwa is already a member of the family, but Tapiwa Mukwashi, a global health supply chain expert who brings more than 15 years of private sector and international development experience to the table. Now, Tapiwa serves as director, global technical team at VillageReach. And by the way, he’s got a thousand megawatt smiles. So Tapiwa, great to have you back with us again. How you doing?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (02:44):

Thanks, Scott. It’s great to be back here again. Looking forward to the show and looking forward to learning more from David, from Mary Kate and from yourself.

Scott Luton (02:51):

Oh, wow, man, already talking in leadership poetry, Tapiwa. Music to my ears. Now, you’ve brought a fascinating leader with you, David Chen. Now, he brings a background in genetics and pharmaceutical consulting to our conversation today amongst other things. Now he has leveraged his experience in these areas and a lot more to co-found Kapsule, a pioneering African healthcare data analytics company. Now as co-CEO, David is helping Kapsule to revolutionize healthcare across Africa by collecting, aggregating and standardizing data from various markets. And we know the power of data and what the outcomes that can lead to. So, David, welcome in.

David Chen (03:32):

Well, I thank you for having me, Scott. Real pleasure to be here.

Scott Luton (03:35):

Well, we are pleased to have you both and y’all both have been upping to fuel such an important mission, again, that’s providing important outcomes for folks all around the globe. So great to have you here, David. Okay, so, Mary Kate, I kind of teased something on the front end and as we get to know Tapiwa and David a little bit more, Mary Kate, are you a boxing or karate enthusiast?

Mary Kate Love (03:56):

You know what, I can’t say I am. I have much appreciation for the sports as an athlete myself, my family. I have a few boxers in the family, but I can’t say it’s a sport that quite frankly I’m even able to watch because it looks so brutal to me. So, kudos to you guys for both of those sports.

Scott Luton (04:16):

By the way, Mary Kate is, at least amongst other things, a softball champion. I’ve seen the proof, the trophy, the whole nine yards.

Mary Kate Love (04:23):

Thanks for bringing that up.

Scott Luton (04:25):

We’re all champions. All right. So back to what I was teasing about. So, Tapiwa, getting to know you a little better, besides being a second-degree black belt, and I’m going to mispronounce this, Tapiwa, but kyokushin karate. Did I say that right?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (04:37):

You said that right, Scott.

Scott Luton (04:38):

Okay. Man, a second-degree black belt. That’s something I would talk about as a kid. I only got to, I think, yellow belt status in Zen Do Kai I took years, decades ago. But beyond your martial arts passions and hobbies, I want to ask you about your reading because you’re a voracious reader and we get questions all the time. Hey, what’s the next good book I can read? So, what’s been one of your favorite books that you’ve read in the past 12 months or so, Tapiwa?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (05:03):

I’ll talk about my favorite book anytime and it’s a memoir by Shimon Peres, No Room for Small Dreams. It’s a book that talks about courage, imagination, and the making of a modern state. There’s so much that one can learn from that book about how to transform their life, transform society. And so, Scott, today it’s No Room for Small Dreams.

Scott Luton (05:24):

No Room for Small Dreams. I love the book title alone. I bet the story behind is fascinating. So, No Room for Small Dreams. Thank you so much. All right. So moving right along, we could do a whole conversation I think around just that last thought, Tapiwa, but moving right along, David, now you’re the first professional boxer that we’ve ever had on Supply Chain Now in over 1200 episodes. Now, as I told you in the pre-show, Mary Kate may not be, but I grew up loving Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Those were two of my idols. So, I got to ask you, tell us about your first bout, David.

David Chen (05:57):

Yeah, my first bout was quite the experience. So, I’ve been training boxing for a number of years, but I recently decided to go professionals. I had my first professional bout on the 27th of May of this year and it was a very philosophical moment for me. As a founder, as an innovator, you’re always trying to go against the odds, do the impossible. And what I found with boxing is it really is the epitome of fear. To going to a professional boxing ring, you are faced with someone who’s equally as big as you, as strong as you and has been focused on hurting you for 12 weeks. So, every bone in your body makes you want to run away, but then you have to muscle the courage to still step forward, to go into the ring and then to fight someone else. So, for me it was very philosophical moment where it’s peak fear, that’s peak anxiety, and to go and face that feeling and then step forward regardless. That’s what I wanted to take away from it.

David Chen (06:59):

So, I’m fortunate enough to get the W. So, my one and only professional fight so far, I was fortunate enough to win against the top opponent. There were moments in there where you questioned yourself to think I could be running my company, why am I here right now in the middle of a ring, get punched in the face. But it gave me a medal that I have taken into my life more generally. And as a founder and as an entrepreneur and an innovator, I feel like having that in your toolbox is an invaluable asset.

Scott Luton (07:29):

Oh, David. Man, y’all have brought it already. Mary Kate, I want to get you whether you want to comment on Tapiwa’s book, No Room for Small Dreams, or the revelations that David, I mean, the intellectual approach on his boxing experience, just creating all kinds of thoughts. What are you thinking, Mary Kate?

Mary Kate Love (07:45):

Well, you already used the word poetic to describe some of these answers here we’re already hearing and that’s the word that came to mind to me immediately hearing David specifically speak about boxing. And if I wasn’t a boxing fan to begin with, maybe I’m changing my mind now with the way you just described that. I can totally see your passion coming through there. That’s awesome.

Scott Luton (08:07):

I’m with you, Mary Kate. All right. So, folks, we got a lot more to get into. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mary Kate, we can never get enough context in this fast-moving world that’s been really important. So, I want to level set on the front end and, Tapiwa, I’m going to start with you, of course, you’re with our dear friends over at VillageReach. We’ve talked about your noble mission already, but tell us in a nutshell, what does the organization do and your role there, Tapiwa?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (08:30):

As an organization, we focus on health and we build people-centered health solutions. It’s focused on improving equity, improving access to care. We value radical collaboration with governments, with other partners who are in the same line of work with the private sector, including some people like David from the start-ups, innovators, who all strengthen our ability to scale and sustain the solutions that we implement. The work that we do helps us improve the health outcomes of over 70 million people now. And so, the work that I do in this world, bigger picture about enabling everybody to get access to healthcare is that I lead a team within VillageReach that’s called the global technical team and we call it the global technical team because we’ve organized the work we do into some technical focus areas including supply chain which is of interest to the audience on this show, digital solutions, private sector engagement, data analytics, and health systems strengthening.

Tapiwa Mukwashi (09:32):

These are some of the key building blocks that we feel if we navigate as levers, if we maneuver as levers, are going to help us leapfrog through some of the challenges that are being experienced providing primary healthcare to people across Africa, across Sub-Saharan Africa, allowing us to be able to achieve better health outcomes. Less women or no women have to die whilst giving birth. No children have to die whilst they’re under the age of five through largely very preventable diseases. So, we use solutions that are tech-enabled. We define new approaches to doing things rather than people moving 20 kilometers to get to a health facility. We think the products, the medicines, must get to people. So, we are moving from people to products to a paradigm where products get to people and we have this desire to say we must drive sustainable impact. Everything that we co-create with governments must be sustained, must be transitioned, must be stewarded by government. And so, this is the work we are doing in the geographies that we work.

Scott Luton (10:36):

Oh, Tapiwa, blessed are those that build bridges and even more blessed are those that build bridges amongst all these different shareholders and get results for people out there. Mary Kate, I think it’s important here, based on what Tapiwa was sharing, a big theme was, I know you admire VillageReach’s mission as much as I do, but I know you’re passionate and spent a lot of time in your career at that intersection and developing those opportunities of public and private partnerships. Mary Kate, what’d you hear there from Tapiwa?

Mary Kate Love (11:01):

The word that stuck out to me was co-create because I think there’s a lot of power in co-creating between public and private partnerships. So when you can really bring those entities together that, number one, truly understand the problem which you so eloquently articulated, right, you need to get the product to the people and then you bring entities that have the technology, I think that’s when you start to see solutions that have impact. Love that co-creation kind of sentiment between the public and private partnerships.

Scott Luton (11:30):

Agreed, Mary Kate. Great call out. All right. So, David, as if that’s not enough good news what Tapiwa was sharing, man, y’all are doing some really cool things at Kapsule, so tell us more.

David Chen (11:40):

Yeah. So, as you mentioned in the introduction to myself and to Kapsule, we’re a healthcare data analytics company and what we essentially saw was that for many multinational institutions actually get the information that they need to drive their decisions, whether they be commercial decisions, investment decisions, impact-related decisions, the data is very, very hard to access or even get a hold of. But one thing we also notice at Kapsule is that the data does actually exist but it’s in loads of different silos. What we decided is rather than be another solution that comes on the market trying to be everything to everybody or creating a platform to onboard healthcare workers or hospitals or pharmacies, why don’t we take all of the great software that already exists, standardize that data, aggregate it, and combine it into one single place and make the insights available to the market. So if you are a global NGO, you can find out information about the countries which you want to serve and then decide where you’ll have the biggest impact.

David Chen (12:45):

If you’re a pharmaceutical company, you can understand the trends that are happening for particular products or disease areas or growth opportunities for your products. Or if you are a research organization, you can find potential sites which are capable of running a clinical trial based on their capabilities, based on their infrastructure, the number of experts of the [inaudible] and doctors and nurses, free beds, et cetera. Or you can identify patients which are traditionally not included in those clinical trials, so identify particular patient groups or specific demographics that you can have more inclusive trials by having a more broad patient base when you’re trialing these new medications. That’s what we do and the way we decided to do it is in every single way under [inaudible] from finding innovative ways of aggregating data and coming up with a business model which makes sense for people or entities to share their data with us through to building some software in-house that can capture some data as well as partnering with other institutions and leveraging third-party technology and streamlining the way the data is collected and distributed to help the institutions that we work with. I guess what I always say to people is if you are talking about data in Africa, you should be talking to Kapsule because we try and do everything we can to understand it and drive value and impact.

Scott Luton (14:10):

I love that. And as we always say around here, informed leaders make informed decisions. It’s so important to have our hands on not just data but the right data. Mary Kate, all right, you’ve got a ton of experience with start-ups we were talking about in the pre-show including leading that incubator and innovation center we talked about. How cool does the work at Kapsule sound to you?

Mary Kate Love (14:29):

I was just nodding along that whole time because data standards came up all the time when I was working — in the public-private partnership I was working on was focused on manufacturing and so collecting data wasn’t necessarily the problem, right? Like you said there’s data there, but the problem is collecting it in a way where you can analyze it, making sure standards across all organizations are somewhat matching so that you can make sense of the data. So that’s really hard work that not a lot of people are tackling. So, super excited to hear that you guys are doing that hard, hard work.

Scott Luton (15:03):

Yes, it is. All right. Well said, Mary Kate and David and Tapiwa. So, I want to move us right along. Tapiwa, I’m really looking forward to this next question because we get more context and I think there’s a lot of, just like me at various times in my career, sometimes our blind spot can be other geographic parts of the world and other sectors and here I want to level set when it comes to the current state of public health supply chains in Africa. So, if you could briefly share an overview on some of the challenges that are there within.

Tapiwa Mukwashi (15:28):

That’s a good question and I want to start by saying there has been tremendous progress with the supply chains in Africa. As we speak now, medicines are being procured, medicines are being delivered, medicines are being stored, people have an understanding of some of the North Star, where do we want to get to that understanding already exists. But having said that, I wanted to say we are in the era of maturity modeling. If you’re doing something, how mature is your level of operation? And if we apply the maturity model to the supply chains in Africa, most of them would achieve a low maturity status. And I will explain why. This is because we continue to experience talk outs at the service delivery level, at a level that does not optimize the outcomes we want. We continue to experience expiries, and when expiries are just opposed or put in the same line with stock outs in other areas, maybe the inventory could have been repositioned and some of those expiries could have been avoided.

Tapiwa Mukwashi (16:33):

So when we look at the supply chains in general, we still have a long way to go to professionalize public health supply chain as a competence area in which people must have certain skills, competencies to be able to work in that sector. We need to work on the skills. On the infrastructure, we need to continue the journey to building more high-capacity infrastructure, sufficient storage infrastructure on the digital infrastructure to be able to do work more efficiently, faster end-to-end visibility. In one of the countries that we work at VillageReach, we have always said we want to get medicines where people receive their services. It’s not enough to get medicines to health facility and think you’ve completed the job. Over 30, 40% of the population is getting medicines from community health workers. Whenever you talk about wanting to put medicines pass through to the community health workers, people tell you, “You know what, this is a black hole.” Once medicines get there, you don’t know how much has been used, when it has been used, what conditions it has been used to treat, and why are we going to keep shoving medicines down a black hole. It just gives you an insight into visibility constraints, impacting our ability to provide services to people where they are, our ability to report on the medicines, our ability to make efficient use of [00:17:56] financing that we have. So, I will close this up and say tremendous progress. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

Scott Luton (18:04):

Tapiwa, I really appreciate that succinct and deep overview of what we’re seeing. And hey, it’s great to get the good news. I’m still seeing all these opportunities that you point out there. Mary Kate, now you’re familiar personally with some of the challenges that Tapiwa maybe even touched on with your prior work. Does that sound familiar? Any of that?

Mary Kate Love (18:20):

Yeah, definitely, when you were kind of talking about the maturity model and coming up with solutions that could actually meet the supply chain where the supply chain is currently at in the maturity model in Africa. And so, I had worked with CARE, another nonprofit organization that had to come up with solutions for last mile delivery and a lot of solution providers were coming up with very tech forward solutions and it was like, “Hey, listen, this might work in a different country, but right now right here we’re going to focus on SMS text messages to manage our deliveries for last mile instead of some beautiful app or something that needs to connect to Wi-Fi.” So, I think that’s spot on that you know exactly where you’re at on the maturity model and you keep moving up that maturity model. That’s a really realistic and great approach.

Scott Luton (19:08):

All right, good stuff there, Mary Kate. And, Tapiwa, again, thanks for that great practical overview. As a follow-up, Tapiwa, how do you see innovation and technology playing a really important role in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public health supply chains, kind of what Mary Kate was referencing there?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (19:25):

There’s a very big role for innovation in technology for beginners. We need to buy the right amount of commodity, and technology can play that big role for supporting forecasting. We know what we’ve been buying in the last 10 years. We’ve not used the data to inform our future planning around what we should procure. I talked about visibility issues, end-to-end visibility, technologies that one big advantage of being able to make us hide from the manufacturers. The manufacturers should be able to see what our health facilities, what the clinics are dispensing and prepare their manufacturing schedules accordingly. Another challenge with the supply chains has been the level of fragmentation, 20 supply chains, one for [inaudible] commodities, another for vaccines, another for essential medicines, one for malaria; it increases the transaction costs. What can we do about integrating this so that leadership, supply leadership, the government leadership have a whole huge centralized one view of how things are going. And lastly, I want to talk about we are now in the age where we’re able to manage large volumes of data, and technology is going to be able to allow decision makers to use data for decision making, focusing on data analytics, being able to manipulate that data in a progressive way that makes for smarter decisions to be made.

Scott Luton (20:47):

Tapiwa, there’s so many common themes across global supply chain no matter sector and what you touched on some of those things. And then, there’s some very unique elements to not only the challenges but how you see technology and innovation playing a role, so thank you. And it’s a great segue because David and Kapsule where Tapiwa finished there, the importance of data and connectivity and visibility and overcoming fragmentation and what he finished in particular, David, is the power of better decision making and that is a universal advantage. So, David, I want to get back to the Kapsule story. And to our listeners out there, when we say Kapsule, just so you can connect the dots if you want to do it mid episode Kapsule, that’s with K-A-P-S-U-L-E, so where you can learn more. Let’s talk about what your why was for starting the company, David, and how you built your innovative offering.

David Chen (21:37):

Yeah, so thanks, Scott. There’s a long story behind it, but I’ll try and give an abridged version and I’ll start off with again a sort of high-level summary of how one even becomes an entrepreneur and decides to set up a company because I think as Steve Jobs said, we’re the crazy ones who actually believe that we could change the world. So I think for me the why really came from having, well, from my background and from my experiences of consulting to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, seeing the impact that they have on the global level and doing my piece to help those organizations run better, I knew that as a professional, as an expert in my field, I had something to offer and I had insights that could be of value to organizations that have global impact. And once I coupled that knowledge that I have something to offer with a sort of dissatisfaction with how the world was — particularly, there was an event which I attended which was the world brand safety and then to counterfeiting summit. And there was a lot that was spoken about on, there’s a global platform and global forum and there was a very small segment about what was happening on the continental of Africa.

David Chen (23:01):

And for me, where I was thinking that Africa has such a disproportionately large health burden when compared to other regions of the world or the fact that so little was understood about the market and so little attention was being paid there, for me something felt wrong. So, I guess it triggered my curiosity to just find out, “Okay, how can you have such a large continent, so many countries be completely shut off from the global community when it comes to understanding their healthcare?” And I guess once the curiosity bug bites you, it’s impossible to not follow it down the rabbit hole. And I was fortunate enough that I had a very close friend who is also in healthcare in Africa, and at the time he was working in rural hospitals in Kenya and again he was born and raised in the UK like I was and very much disillusioned with some of the gaps that happened between more developed countries and some of the developing ones.

David Chen (24:04):

So, I think the two of us together we just had this internal angst of the world isn’t how we think it should be and there’s enough technology, there’s enough innovation in the world where the problems that we were observing shouldn’t exist. So, the fact that it does exist means that there is a misallocation of resource somewhere. And for me it was just kind of the feeling that this problem has been largely solved in many other regions of the world. There’s no feasible reason why it’s impossible for Africa to overcome these challenges. So I’d say that fundamental piece was at the core of the why. And then, I’d say the second component is really just finding people who believe in you and are crazy enough to go on that journey with you. So, I’d say I’m quite fortunate that my closest friends are kind of the same cloth and we all had overlapping experiences. So, Hannan, my co-founder, he had medical background. And then our other co-founder, Femi, he was in tech within the pharmaceutical space as well and he also worked in insurance and banking so he was very used to building enterprise-grade software. So, I think when the three of us were all feeling the same thing and then we all felt like we had a unique piece of the puzzle that we can contribute, the journey kind of called us. We couldn’t really —

Scott Luton (25:30):

You couldn’t say no. You couldn’t say no, David.

David Chen (25:34):

And there’s a guru in the start-up space known as Naval Ravikant and he has a phrase which I like to steal sometimes where oftentimes you hear of product-market-fit. But he says what’s more important is product-market-founder fit, where if you’re the right founder working on the right problems then that is the basis for success. So I think for us, we felt like we had product-market-founder fit based on our experiences, our passions, and the internal drive to do more and create the world that we believe should already exist. And I guess the enthusiasm and for instance with myself, I have a natural inclination to be an optimist. I think the good part of that is that as an optimist, I didn’t think through all of the challenges that I was likely going to encounter which has been many. But I think once you get started on the path and you actually see a way forward, the destination is closer than where you started from. So, that always keeps you going.

Scott Luton (26:39):

David, man, we’re going to have you back and dive into a full-blown punch by punch episode of you and the Kapsule story. For the sake of time, I want to shift gears. Mary Kate, I’m writing down a lot of things that David just shared there from the internal angst to finding folks that believe in you and willing to go on that crazy journey, that product-market-founder fit, great piece of advice. And then, one of the things he mentioned is natural inclination to be an optimist. Mary Kate, I know my thoughts of some of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I think it is so important for folks that can find that regular grounded optimism to push through even the toughest of days. Mary Kate, all the founders you’ve worked with, being a fellow founder, what are your thoughts over that obligatory optimism?

Mary Kate Love (27:18):

I love it because I always say that starting any company, any mission, there’s high highs and low lows and you got to ride through those low lows because it is really hard to get through those because you’re solving really big problems that no one else quite frankly has tackled for a reason. But the high highs, nothing beats them when you start to see your solution come to life, to change people’s lives, change the world. So high highs, low lows.

Scott Luton (27:44):

Yes, yes. Tapiwa and David, we didn’t even mention this on the front end, one of the long list of things Mary Kate’s done in her career is she is the founder of National Supply Chain Day here in the States, which she’s founded a couple of years ago. So, stay tuned for a lot more cool stuff there. Okay. So, Tapiwa, getting back — there’s so much to that Kapsule story. We’re going to have to again bring David back and talk about that and boxing a little later on. But, Tapiwa, let’s talk about some of the unique considerations that you’ve got to take into account when we design and implement innovative solutions that stick in public health supply chains.

Tapiwa Mukwashi (28:16):

Number one, it’s important to focus on the problem, very important to focus on the problem. And this is different from focusing on your technology. If you are coming to address public health supply chain challenges in Africa and you’re coming to sell a solution and a pre-designed solution that’s not customized to be frugal, to be fit for purpose, it’s going to be a challenge. Mary Kate was talking about a use case in which colleagues from an organization wanted to use SMS and they said, “Because this works for us, this buy-in.” So if you focus on the problem and if you focus on aligning the innovation to the problem, it’s going to work.

Tapiwa Mukwashi (28:55):

Secondly, you’ve got to build trust. You’re coming to implement an innovation in an area where people are working, people have a culture, people have a way of doing things, people need to buy into the way that you’re proposing that things should be done or tools should be used, and if that understanding, if that buy-in, if those critical insights, if government and their staff are unable to influence or inform the shipping and design, if organizations like VillageReach based on the extensive relationship with government and use cases are unable to influence or inform the design, it’s going to be a challenge. And lastly, I want to talk about, there must be a strategy. There must be an implementation strategy. Are you targeting implementation in a government-oriented environment, in a private sector-oriented environment? The strategies got to be different. The level and investment in buy-in has got to be different because you’re handling different cultures, different risk taking appetites. And so, focus on three things, focus on the problem, build trust, and be strategic in the implementation.

Scott Luton (29:59):

Tapiwa, love that. Mary Kate, I want to ask you about the first one there, focus on the problem. I love the movie Moneyball with Brad Pitt. Some of our listeners may have seen that as well. And there’s a great moment in that movie where Brad, Billy Beane I think is who he’s playing the GM of the Oakland Ace — there’s a great moment in that movie where he’s got all this expertise around the table. All these scouts have been in the baseball game for decades and he is like, “Guys” — I’m going to paraphrase, “Guys, what’s the problem? What’s our problem here?” And you get this guess and that guess and this guess and that guess and none of them have it nailed. And Billy Beane’s like, “No, this is the problem.” And Mary Kate, where Tapiwa started, that is so critical. So, our journey is taking the right trajectory, the right direction. We’re using resources smart because we know what we’re trying to do. Mary Kate, your thoughts.

Mary Kate Love (30:43):

I love this so much because I think defining the problem is actually the hardest part of anything because just like your example, Scott, when you go to a company and you ask them to define what their problem is, it takes a couple of sessions to get down to the root of the actual problem. And after the problem is defined and everyone understands and says, yes, this is the problem, then you can start to talk solutions. It’s always the wrong approach when you talk about solutions first and the problem later because then you come up with a solution that’s actually not solving a problem, which is just the worst-case scenario for everyone.

Scott Luton (31:21):

To your point, Mary Kate, there’s a quote somewhere and I can’t remember who said it, not me. I’m going to steal it, though, something like a problem well-defined is a problem half-solved, if I recall that correctly. And that can be really challenging. Okay. Hey, David, really quick, I’m going to get your response to either focus on the problem or the build trust or the strategy implementation. Quick comment there on what Tapiwa laid out.

David Chen (31:43):

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more and it’s even more pertinent for me because I felt like I made every mistake in the book. Focus on the problem piece, what I realized that I was doing in my entrepreneurial journey was I would confuse the results with the problem, and I find that many founders end up doing that. So just to give an example, if the result is that people can’t afford certain medication or the results are products are expiring while there is an oversupply or an undersupply of the same product in another area, that is a problem but that’s the result of another problem. And you have to really understand the whole ecosystem by which the problem exists before you can start solving it. And I think for me in the very beginning of my journey I was focusing on the results of the problem rather solving the fundamental issue. So, I completely agree with that as well.

David Chen (32:44):

And also, the other thing that Tapiwa mentioned which I think is so, so under communicated in the entrepreneurship space is the strategy and the implementation piece. So, really how do you make your product easy to use, easy to consume, easy to interact with for your users in a way that is in line with their current practices? You can have the best solution in the world, but if it requires a huge change management process, if it requires a huge rethink or training or hinge of the way people work, humans are inherently lazy and no one’s going to want to go through all of that effort for a possible result. And I think that was something that, again, made the mistake first and then really had to define our implementation strategy and do it in a way which is reflective of how the world is not how we want it to be, and that informed how we went to market, what type of clients we were focusing on initially, how we grow and expand from those customers.

Scott Luton (33:46):

Wow, the power of clarity, David, is kind one of the things that you’re speaking to, a lot of good stuff there. And, Tapiwa, I love those three things. It is tough to be simple but, man, with simplicity you can get so much clarity and move faster, better. So well said, Tapiwa, going back to how you kind of teed up this segment. All right. So, let’s change gears. David mentioned change management. We got to change gears here. Let’s talk about — one of the things we mentioned on the front end is this ecosystem of different stakeholders — I always get stakeholders and shareholders confused — stakeholders, this big ecosystem, all these different folks that can play a role from governments and NGOs to the private sector organizations and a lot more. Tapiwa, how do you see those partnerships between all of this big ecosystem playing out that the ones that really truly move the needle and drive that innovation, especially in public health supply chains?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (34:34):

These partnerships and the collaboration are especially more important because all the stakeholders, and I agree, they’re actually shareholders, all of them. They bring knowledge, they bring expertise, they bring different experiences to the table. Our governments, for instance, possess the regulatory knowledge, the public policy expertise when while NGOs on the other hand have a deep understanding of social and environmental challenges. The private sector would bring its own industry specific expertise, marketing sides and the higher risk appetite for trying out new things than the public sector would do. So when stakeholders collaborate, they can share their knowledge and expertise leading to the development of situation specific innovations that are very important. And above that, having all these stakeholders on the table brings access to a much deeper, diverse perspectives than you would — it’s a 360 view if you have government, NGOs, innovators and the private sector. If it was the innovator on their own, I’m sure they would see the elephant from just one side.

Tapiwa Mukwashi (35:40):

And so, that ability to see, to provide diverse perspectives is important. Although governments may not have the money, they actually do bring in some resources to the table assets in terms of access to the health facilities, access to the central medical stores, access to a whole lot of the infrastructure that’s being used in a way that allows resource polling to take place and so facilitating innovation at a very good scale. And lastly, we’ve got to share this, risk governments are not in the business of making risky investments with taxpayers’ money. And so, anything that’s going to help share, distribute the risk is something that’s going to increase their appetite for innovation.

Scott Luton (36:23):

This should be like a 12-podcast series on just different segments of today’s conversation. Mary Kate, if you could quickly weigh in on some of the things that Tapiwa just talked about, including one of my favorite parts, is how he talked about how those different stakeholders have different appetites for experimentation. But, Mary Kate, what stood out to you?

Mary Kate Love (36:42):

Yeah, I would even add to that all those different stakeholders can move at different speeds. So government entities can’t move quickly, whereas the start-up can move super fast and doesn’t have a lot of red tape to jump through. So, those partnerships are so advantageous when you can make them happen because of all the pieces that come together. I was on a project in Chicago where we needed all the maps of the underground layering in the City of Chicago, which is an older city for U.S. terms, and we just couldn’t get these maps, we couldn’t get these maps. And then we got the City of Chicago to partner with us, and even though they’re not technology-focused, they knew where those physical maps existed in the basement of a city hall. And so, it’s like they are bringing something to the table where we need to do this underground mapping project; even though it’s not the technology piece, they have the knowledge of all of this and where it exists. So, I love seeing those partnerships come together even though the entities are also different.

Scott Luton (37:39):

That access is critical and the credibility that helped provide that access when the governments are involved. Great example too, Mary Kate. All right. So, David, on a related note, if you could speak specifically to the power of getting the private sector and NGO buy-in first. David, your thoughts.

David Chen (37:55):

Yeah, and this is something I’m super passionate about and it kind of segues from what Tapiwa was mentioning earlier about governments not being in the business of taking risk with taxpayer money. And I think many innovators in the healthcare space on the continent looks at the need and looks at the fact that the government ran facilities serve the bulk of the populations and forget the reality of the situation in that any innovation, any change to the current process presents risk and they by definition are risk averse. So, we made this mistake again. We tried to through government facilities in the very beginning through our wide-eyed optimism and naivety, to be completely honest. But then, what we saw was that is really about incentives and aligning incentives and the easiest incentive to align is that of the private sector because they’re driven by three things.

David Chen (38:55):

The first one is to drive their revenues and increase the amount of money that they’re making. The second is to increase the operational efficiency, and the third is to reduce costs. So if you can do any of those three things, ideally a combination of two or even all three of those things that private sector will engage with you or at least have a conversation. Once we came to that realization, we completely shifted our focus to first really finding out what is the major driver for the private sector actor that we’re speaking to. Is it to grow the revenues? Is it to increase efficiency or is it to cut costs? And then once we defined what that was for our customer, we then focus all of our products, KPIs, and almost everything that we’re measuring about our performance as a business was geared towards driving that one thing for the client. And then once they’re happy and they’re getting the value that they expect, you then have the evidence that you can then take by saying we can help increase your revenues by x percent if you follow this process.

David Chen (40:00):

You can then take that to other partners who are serving much larger patient pool. So that would be the NGOs as a step up. And then you can go to an NGO and say this is how data can be utilized and this is how data can drive the impact metrics that you care about and this is how you can be more efficient with how you spend each donor dollar. And once that is very clear, you can then make the sale to the NGO and then do a very, very similar process of building up a case study of how you can drive these specific metrics so that by the time you end up engaging with the public sector, you have a laundry list of all of the evidence that you need and all of the successes and all of the wins and milestones that you’ve helped other organizations within the healthcare space achieve.

David Chen (40:45):

And what you’ve essentially done is de-risked it for them. You’ve taken your innovation and stopped it from being a high risk, high change management, scary almost solution to something which is very reasonable. It has good metrics behind it. It has good organizations that they recognize that you’ve worked with and really does that de-risking process for them. So, I think for myself and for the team at Kapsule, once we made that shift that yes, we want to have the biggest impact and affect the most number of people and that will eventually lead us to working with public sector institutions. But until we get to the scale and size and have all the proof points that can really de-risk it for them, let’s focus on building our credibility in the private and the NGO space [inaudible].

Scott Luton (41:35):

Well said, David. As you shared your response, it’s like I’ve been watching my son with his building blocks, right? One by one, that stage approach building a masterpiece. So, well said, David. Okay. Tapiwa, I want to get back to talking about two specific topics that help not only drive innovation in public health supply chains but also in particular support adoption because we know with change or technology or whatever else. If users don’t adopt it, we don’t get anywhere. So when it comes to capacity building and training, how does that support where we’re trying to go, Tapiwa?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (42:06):

You know, Scott, many times people know what they know. Sometimes they don’t know what they don’t know. Sometimes they know what they don’t know but don’t do anything about it. So when you see capacity building and training, they close a gap around what people don’t know. It plays a very strong part in providing individuals with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to utilize the innovation, including the many technical aspects of it. On top of creating that knowledge and skills awareness, it also facilitates buy-in. It is at that point of training people, making them more aware about the pros and cons of an innovation that they make that decision about, you know what, this is something that’s going to be useful in our environment. And they actually buy-in. They commit their minds to it. They commit their energy to it, which is a whole new thing. So, it helps us, can I say, solve an insoluble problem.

Tapiwa Mukwashi (43:03):

One of the most insoluble challenges in Africa has been the resistance to change. It’s been a barrier to the adoption of many new innovations, some called high standard innovations, if just held flat out because people are resistant to change. So through capacity building and training, you’re able to dissolve old ways of doing things and help people and individuals navigate through that transition process. And lastly, when you are capacitating people, when you are training people, you’ve got to be able to listen as well because it is at that point that you’re able to customize your innovation to local context. They give you feedback on their work environment. They give you feedback on what they see may be a challenge in the adoption of that. And you’ve got to listen, you’ve got to get back to the table. Tool is already there. It is just needs customization.

Scott Luton (43:53):

All right. So, Mary Kate, clearly Tapiwa has been there and done it. I don’t know if you can see from my end but I’ve got about 21 pages notes already from y’all. Mary Kate, what’s one of the things from closing the gap around what you don’t know, that resistance to change — get this, I love this — dissolving the old ways of doing things? That paints a picture. Mary Kate, your favorite thing from what Tapiwa just said.

Mary Kate Love (44:14):

So I think it’s this theme, right, that this solution needs to be designed for the people, and if it’s not and if they’re not somewhat excited about it, if they’re not ready to receive the solution, it’s not going to work. I think David said it really nicely when he said they’re designing for the way the world is not how they want the world to be. And that’s a great realistic and the right approach.

Scott Luton (44:37):

Yes, that’s a great call out too. All right. So, David, really quick, when it comes to capacity building and training, how do those things help us get us where we want to go?

David Chen (44:46):

It helps us get to where we want to go by increasing people’s familiarity with technology, with innovation, with the changes that are necessary to drive the outcomes that we want. But I also have a contrarian point of view on this where to Mary Kate’s point earlier about where she referenced my point on, we want to respond to how the world is, not how we want it to be. One challenge that we set to the team when we scrap a lot of our products and effectively start from scratch, how can we give our clients all of the benefits and zero work at the same time? And that has been a thought exercise that we’re constantly doing amongst our team. That’s why our CTO, Femi, is pushing to our developers constantly. And he came up with an analogy that we use all the time where he says we’re plumbers. And plumbing works because you go to your tap, you turn it on and the water just comes. You never really think about it.

David Chen (45:46):

And you only ever think about plumbing when there’s an issue, if there’s a leak, if there’s water damage, if there’s no water when you turn on the tap. So, we need to think of ourselves in a similar way where we just work in the background, people can answer the questions that they care about in whatever format that they want as quickly and as effectively as it can be done. And then we disappear when they’re not interested in answering a specific question. And I think that is our approach where we actually want to minimize the amount of training and capacity building that is required by our clients to make it as easy as possible to engage with us. So while I believe that capacity building and training is important because it upskills everyone and raises the level of the game, especially when it comes to healthcare delivery, we still acknowledge the fact that people are people. And one of the major qualities of human beings is that we’re lazy. And that’s one of the reasons why innovation exists because it helps us do the same thing with less time and less effort. So we just see it as, okay, let’s try and create our solutions, implement our solutions in a way which doesn’t require anything from our clients or as minimal effort as possible.

Scott Luton (46:57):

That plumber analogy was the knockout blow. That’s what I’m looking for, David. And it’s funny, whenever I hear plumbers, and I used to play cards back in the days before three kids kind of ended my poker playing days, they called me the plumber because I was always working on a flush. So, they need card players out there. Always got a kick out of that.

Scott Luton (47:13):

Okay. For the sake of today’s conversation, we’re going to have to come down the home stretch here. And just a couple of final questions and, Tapiwa, before we make sure folks can know how to connect with you and David, Tapiwa, I’ve got one question for you because it goes to the heart I think of what a lot of folks out there don’t really think about, kind of like the plumber example, and that is all the 54 different countries, different governments, different norms, societies, cultures, challenges, you name it, opportunities across the African continent. Tapiwa, what is one or two key considerations when it comes to truly scaling up and sustaining these innovative solutions across all these different African countries. What’s a couple of quick thoughts there, Tapiwa?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (47:57):

Scaling and sustaining are something that’s very close to our hearts at VillageReach. A few years ago we were reaching 15 million people. We moved to reaching 50 million people. In the last year, we reached 70 million people. We are now scaling up. We are targeting to reach 70 million people, 100 million people by 2026, and 350 million people by 2030. So when you are scaling, you’re really asking something that’s very close to us. We know that if we’re going to reach 350 million people at VillageReach, we’re not going to be doing it alone. We need to be able to collaborate with many stakeholders including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector partners, local communities. This is what we would do in VillageReach and this is what an innovator would do if they wanted to scale, collaborate and establish partnerships.

Tapiwa Mukwashi (48:43):

Secondly, we’ve got to think about getting political will and buy-in. We always strive to get that political buy-in at a local level, at a national level, at a regional level, at a continental level with Africa, CDC, with African Union. And if we have innovators that want to scale, they’ve got to focus on creating that political buy-in at the local, national and regional level depending on the maturity of the innovation and where it is going. And lastly, I want to talk about, always think about financial sustainability. There’s got to be a clear financial model to support the scaling up, to support the maintenance of innovative solutions. You don’t want to scale up in the moment you leave with your support. There are no internal resources. There are no creative funding models that are able to sustain and continue delivering the service.

Scott Luton (49:31):

Okay. Man, I got to go back to your first point. Mary Kate, I’ll get you to quickly respond as we start to wrap up here. Fifty million to 70 million to 100 million is the goal in 2026. And what was that last goal, Tapiwa?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (49:43):

350 million by 2030.

Scott Luton (49:48):

Oh, man. Okay. So, Mary Kate, just quickly respond to that. If I’ve ever heard of the BHAG, bold hairy audacious goal, I think stealing from one of Jim Collins books, Mary Kate, respond to that incredible vision.

Mary Kate Love (50:01):

I mean, like I started off the podcast, impossible not to be inspired by that, right? And I think laying it out in the way you did with numbers is amazing and you’re going to continue to reach those goals through your partnerships, right? I think that is pretty amazing to hear and I’m excited to continue to check in with you all.

Scott Luton (50:19):

Definitely. That truly is changing the world there. Incredible, critical, vital, noble mission. I hate to leave it here. I wish we had a couple more hours to spend. But I want to make sure our listeners know how to connect with both of our guests here today. So, Tapiwa, let’s stay with you for a second. Tapiwa, how can folks connect and learn a lot more about VillageReach?

Tapiwa Mukwashi (50:37):

Sure,, that’s where you find us on our website. We are again as VillageReach on our Twitter pages and our Facebook pages. We are also on LinkedIn. There’s numerous on social network through which you can reach us as VillageReach.

Scott Luton (50:53):


Tapiwa Mukwashi (50:54):

And for reaching me, this is Tapiwa Mukwashi. You can reach me on my LinkedIn. I’ve got a growing the range of people I’m connecting to. I’d like to learn more from everybody. Tapiwa on LinkedIn. Tapiwa Mukwashi again on X.

Scott Luton (51:07):

Outstanding. Tapiwa, I think you’ve got to open an academy. Again, I think you’ve got so much to share and teach and help people from your 15-plus years of doing it out in the industry. Really enjoyed your perspective here today. So again, folks, connect with Tapiwa Mukwashi, director, global technical team at VillageReach, amongst any of those channels, especially if you want to be inspired and have eureka moments like Mary Kate and I have had here today. David Chen, man, making it happen out there, bringing innovative entrepreneurial offerings to a very noble mission. And I can only see, I can see how Kapsule is helping get that 350 million folks to have access to healthcare by 2030. That’s just a short seven years from now. So, David Chen, co-CEO, co-founder of Kapsule, how can folks connect with you?

David Chen (51:53):

Yeah. I like to make myself extremely accessible. So David Chen on LinkedIn or David Chen Kapsule, K-A-P-S-U-L-E. And similarly, you can email me at, and you can learn more about capsule on our website, But yeah, feel free to reach out. And if you want to learn more about what we’re doing or if you see any opportunities to partner or you are curious about how you can utilize healthcare data, I’m very open to conversation.

Scott Luton (52:24):

I love it. David, I appreciate how you have also inspired us and have powered some critical learning moments here and Kapsule where they’re driving the three A’s – I’m stealing this shamelessly from your side here – accessible, affordable, and authentic healthcare with data. Good stuff there. David Chen, thanks so much for joining us. Okay. Mary Kate, before we wrap here today, two quick things. I’ll get your favorite takeaway, but first I’ve got to correct an error I made. I kind of inflated my resume a bit. I did not get a yellow belt in Zen Do Kai karate. I got an orange belt to be what’s got me beat by Olive Bore. But hey, more importantly, Mary Kate, fascinating conversation here today. We knew it would be. David and Tapiwa’s given us some stuff to really think about and hopefully take action with. So, what was one of your favorite takeaways from today’s conversation, Mary Kate?

Mary Kate Love (53:10):

I love this conversation and I think my biggest takeaway has been kind of twofold but kind of the same point. In order to get to the best, most innovative and effective solutions, number one, you have to define the problem first. Not only is that motivating but it makes sure you’re working on the best solution. And number two, you really have to make sure you have your partnerships in place. And in this instance, we’re speaking to public and private partnerships. But we’ve seen the power of those partnerships, the information you’re able to gather, the way you’re able to roll out your solutions. I think that the well-defined problem and the partnerships gets you to the most innovative and effective solutions.

Scott Luton (53:47):

Very well said, Mary Kate. Finishing with some supply chain poetry here as we wrap up here. All right. Big thanks to you, Mary Kate Love, co-host here today, founder of National Supply Chain Day here in the States. It’s always a pleasure, Mary Kate.

Mary Kate Love (54:00):

Great to be here. Super excited about this conversation.

Scott Luton (54:03):

I am too, Cross Africa series, very popular series here at Supply Chain Now. And I’ll tell you, this has been a home run episode. So again, Tapiwa with VillageReach, thank you so much, you being here. Y’all know how we wrap these things up. David, Tapiwa and Mary Kate, man, they brought a truckload of knowledge and inspiration here today, but now the onus is on you listeners to take one thing, at least just one thing, make it simple and put it into action. Your team will appreciate it. And, man, there’s so many opportunities out there. Deeds, not words, right? We’ve got too much lip service leadership out there. Folks, whatever you do, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton and Mary Kate challenging you to do good and to be the change. Be like Tapiwa and David in a world be a much better place. And we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (54:50):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now Community. Check out all of our programming at 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.

Featured Guests

Tapiwa Mukwashi is a global health supply chain expert with more than 15 years of private sector and international development experience across sub-Saharan Africa. As director of the Global Technical Team, Tapiwa ensures that VillageReach has the high-quality technical assistance needed to support its country teams, global partnerships, and program portfolio. Connect with Tapiwa on LinkedIn.

David Chen is a visionary leader and cofounder of Kapsule, a pioneering African healthcare data analytics company. With a background in Genetics and over 6 years of pharmaceutical consulting experience, David is helping Kapsule to revolutionize African healthcare by collecting, aggregating, and standardizing data from various markets. This enables clients to gain invaluable insights into supply chains and business operations to uncover commercial opportunities and enhance clinical development across the continent. Connect with David on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing & Host

You May Also Like

Click to view other episodes in this program

Additional Links & Resources

Learn more about Village Reach

Learn more about Kapsule

Learn more about Supply Chain Now

WEBINAR- Achieving the Next-Gen Control Tower in 2024: Lessons Learned from the High-Tech Industry

WEBINAR- Data Driven Decision Making in Logistics

Check Out Our Sponsors

Billy Taylor


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.

Connect on :

Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

Connect on :

Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www., which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Allison Giddens


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.

Connect on :

Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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.

Connect on :

Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

Connect on :

Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

Connect on :

Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

Connect on :

Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

Connect on :

Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

Connect on :

Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

Connect on :

Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

Connect on :

Sofia Rivas Herrera


Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) 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. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

Currently working as Sr. Staffing Analyst within the S&OP team in Mexico at the biggest ecommerce company in Latin America: Mercado Libre. Responsible for workforce forecasting and planning through the analysis of demand, productivity, capacity, cost & time constraints. Sofia self identifies as Supply Chain Ambassador, sharing her passion for the field in her daily life. She has been recognized as upcoming thought leader in the field and invited to participate in several podcasts (Freight Path Podcast, Supply Chain Revolution Podcast, Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Industrificados) to discuss topics such as digital transformation, automation and future skillsets for supply chain professionals.

She is a frequent featured guest at Supply Chain Now and appointed co-host for their new series Supply Chain Now en Español. Global Ambassador for ISCEAs Sustainable Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSSCP) and keynote speaker at World Supply Chain Forum 2021 by ISCEA Indonesia.

Connect on :

Karin Bursa


Karin Bursa is the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year and the Host of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast powered by Supply Chain Now. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it), Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and share their success stories. Today, she helps B2B technology companies introduce new products, capture customer success and grow global revenue, market share and profitability. In addition to her recognition as the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year, Karin has also been recognized as a 2019 and 2018 Supply Chain Pro to Know, 2009 Technology Marketing Executive of the Year and a 2008 Women in Technology Finalist. 

Connect on :

Vin Vashishta


Vin Vashishta is the author of ‘From Data To Profit’ (Wiley 2023). It’s the playbook for monetizing data and AI. Vin is the Founder of V-Squared and built the business from client 1 to one of the world’s oldest data and AI consulting firms. His background combines nearly 30 years in strategy, leadership, software engineering, and applied machine learning.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Greg White

Principal & Host

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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!

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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’.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Constantine Limberakis


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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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.

Connect on :

Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Connect on :

Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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.

Donna Krache

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.

Connect on :

Vicki White


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.

Connect on :