Dial P for Procurement
Episode 37

Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.

- Barbara Kingsolver

Episode Summary

Empathy is frequently cited as one of the most important qualities in hiring, management, and corporate culture in general. Empathy peaked in 2020 as communities and companies rallied to withstand the pandemic, but time has a way of wearing away all things.

Are we finally succumbing to ‘empathy fatigue?’

In this week’s Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner gathers data and anecdotes – plus a little custom research – to assess how effective our current empathy practices are:

• What empathy really means on individual and leadership levels

• The costs associated with practicing empathy

• Why empathy is not happiness and can’t be mandated

• How we can all get better together

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to dial P for procurement, a show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates, the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement

Kelly Barner (00:31):

As the late. Great Joan Rivers would say, can we talk? Listen, the last couple of years have been hard on parents. Spouses, families, all lives disrupted, thrown into homes together, trying to figure out new ways to make it all work. Now, finally, it seems like most of the world is getting back to some level of normal and yet supply chains and procurement organizations are still pegged. Now over the last few weeks, dial P has been getting great feedback for being objective independent and empowering people by giving them the information to make up their own minds. And I think it’s important to cover some of the news stories and industry topics that so many of us deal with on a regular basis, but all content has to have a balance. And I like to think of myself as being very plugged into our community. We’ve covered a lot of hard hitting topics, intellectual property, law oil, industry, profitability, federal government subsidies for semi-conductor manufacturing.

Kelly Barner (01:43):

These are important, but intense things. I’ve asked a lot of you as a listening community and you’ve rewarded that handsomely, but I’m also very aware that for each of us and for all of us together, our work is so much more than that. We’re all people just human and truthfully it is personal. I spend a lot of time talking to people all day. It seems like sometimes recorded and sometimes not. And I do understand that many of us are still in survival mode. Now the truth of that now withstanding we can’t realistically stay in survival mode indefinitely and also be empathetic coworkers or managers, people seem stressed out short, even unhappy. You would think given the fact that people’s vacations are starting back up, would’ve helped, but I have a feeling it’s actually stressed people out more. And then add to that, the news about the second quarter GDP.

Kelly Barner (02:51):

And we’re all just sitting around, waiting for the second recessionary shoe to drop. It’s really what we needed, frankly. I’m a little worried about all of us. I think we’re gonna be okay. But I do think a pause is in order in this week’s episode of dial P I’m going to focus on empathy. What does it really mean to be empathetic? What do we have to do on an individual level? And then as managers, in order to practice empathy regularly at work, you know, I’m in procurement. So I’ll tell you everything has a cost including empathy. So we’re gonna look into some of that. And we’re also gonna talk about why empathy is not the same thing as happiness and why you truthfully can’t mandate it. But as you would expect, I have some suggestions. So we’re gonna end on a positive note. Now, before I go any further, if you happen to be new to dial P let me introduce myself.

Kelly Barner (03:52):

I’m Kelly Barner, I’m the co-founder and managing director of buyers meeting point. I’m a partner at art of procurement, and I am your regular host here for dial P on supply chain. Now I’m constantly scanning the news for complex articles that I think are worth our time to understand and discuss. But I also stay on the lookout for things that I think maybe have escaped. People’s notice because they’ve fallen from favor and that’s what we’re gonna do this week. We’re going to talk about the thing that’s not being talked about. My goal is never to lead you to a simple answer, but instead to provide you with the background and context, you need to form your own opinion. Now D P releases a new podcast every Thursday. So beyond the lookout for future episodes, and please go back and check out some of my past content and conversations as well.

Kelly Barner (04:47):

If you see value in what you hear today, I’d love to ask you to follow us, give us some stars or a review on iTunes on LinkedIn, share this conversation with someone in your network that you think needs to hear it. We’re grateful for your interest and attention. And we constantly strive to deserve both. All right. So before we start this conversation, I would like us as a community to X hail. Empathy’s not a new idea. Even the word it comes from a late 19th century German word for feeling into or I’m full, which is a more expansive notion than sympathy. Sympathy gives you the poor. You I’m really sorry. That thing happened to you, or I’m sorry that you’re going through this situation right now. Whereas empathy walks a mile in someone else’s shoes. It thinks and feels as they do. And it experiences all of the relevant emotions.

Kelly Barner (05:51):

Along with them. As we grow up, empathy becomes less of an obvious focus. You can watch almost any children’s TV show or movie, and there’s some character that is overtly rewarded for their empathy. And each of us has varying levels of natural empathy as part of who we are. Some activities and traits associated with empathy are easier for some of us than others. So what exactly does it entail? There? Wiseman is a nursing scholar and she noted four attributes of empathy. They are perspective taking, staying out of judgment, recognizing others’ emotions and communication. Now all four of those things are very hard to do, especially consistently. So I decided to run a poll on LinkedIn and ask the people in my community, which of those four attributes they think is the hardest to practice regularly at work. As I record, there’s a few more hours left on the poll, but generally speaking, I think the results are in.

Kelly Barner (07:01):

And they’re very interesting. So the number one response was not passing judgment over a third of the people that took the poll said that that’s the hardest thing to do on a regular basis. And the other interesting thing is that the other three options were relatively close to each other, recognizing others’ emotions and communicating understanding are tied at 23%. And understanding others’ point of view is at 20%. So by a pretty close margin, we’re equally able to understand what others are going through. We can recognize or appreciate their point of view. And we can communicate back to them in different ways that we understand what they’re going through, where we struggle is in resisting the urge to pass judgment on others. Now, as you might expect, there are also some generational differences in terms of how we experience and practice empathy. According to the site, get impact lead.com, 83% of gen Z employees prefer an empathetic workplace compared with 75% of the general workforce population.

Kelly Barner (08:10):

So empathy is increasing in importance with younger generations, just like we see similar trends around work, life, balance, diversity and inclusion, all of those kinds of things. This is following a similar path. And of course, that brings us to the main point today, the role of empathy in the workplace, which I would make the case is more important now than ever. According to the job search site, indeed empathy is one of the most important skills to have in the workplace. Empathetic people perform better in interviews. They’re more effective at securing new contracts. There’s an important one for procurement professionals, and they’re better at building internal influence outside of traditional reporting structures. There’s also evidence that empathy increases the performance of teams, and it improves regard from managers and bosses, a 2021 EY consulting survey found that 90% of us workers believe empathetic leadership leads to higher job satisfaction and 79% of them agree that it decreases employee turnover.

Kelly Barner (09:21):

That’s something every company wants to do today. Empathy, especially as relates to leadership has been a huge trend in sources like Harvard business review and the wall street journal and Forbes. But we have to wonder, is it starting to fall off? According to an article in the wall street journal data from LinkedIn shows that the number of member posts on the site that included terms like empathy, empathetic, compassion, and caring doubled from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2021 end quote. And yet in February of 2022, Gallup ran a poll of 15,000 us workers about a quarter of them said that they strongly agreed their employer cared about their wellbeing. And that’s about half of the number that said the same thing in the spring of 2020. Now none of this is being helped by zoom since months. Most of us only see the other people in our meetings from the shoulders up, we’re losing important body cues, body, language, posturing, leaning in, and it’s getting harder to focus our attention on the people that we’re meeting and working with.

Kelly Barner (10:37):

Now, if this is hard with coworkers, it’s certainly not any easier for managers and leaders. How are you supposed to convey caring when you don’t regularly see your team in person, especially since business goes on, you still have to be able to have conversations about performance and expectations. And even though it’s well, intentioned empathy can be a potential mind field with different managers and employees having varying levels of comfort with getting more personal. In fact, trying too hard to be empathetic can create risk. Some employees are turned off by what they perceive as a gap between talk about empathy and company practices. So I found an example of a, of a company while I was researching, where they were constantly messaging about empathy, but at the same time, when it was the cycle for them to renew their healthcare policy, everything was slimed down. And a lot of the more value added benefits like health and wellness were scaled down.

Kelly Barner (11:43):

And that seemed to be inconsistent with the messaging and caused employees to distrust the company. Now, in reality, corporate profit and growth don’t necessarily reward empathy and people do continue to have legitimate concerns about how communicating honestly may affect their career prospects, even when they do work for organizations, that regularly message about the importance of health and wellbeing. And don’t think that CEOs are getting off lightly. The 2022 state of workplace empathy from business solver found that 68% of CEOs admitted fearing. They will be less respected if they show empathy in the workplace, that’s a 31 point increase over 2020. Now the longer these unusual times continue the harder it gets to maintain empathetic practices on top of all of our additional work responsibilities and continued uncertainty. And that I think brings us back to the difference between sympathy and empathy. There’s an exhaustion factor.

Kelly Barner (12:52):

It takes so much more energy to walk around in someone else’s shoes than it does to be sorry. They’re having a hard day empathy or compassion. Fatigue is something that has previously been observed mainly in healthcare workers and hospice nurses. And it’s now showing up more regularly in the general population professor mark step. Nicki is a professor at east Carolina university and he has studied and documented empathy fatigue in many communities. He’s found that it’s more likely to be considered sort of an entry level characteristic in communities that have wellbeing as an overt part of what’s in the job certainly far more than you would typically find in a corporate management track. Now, the additional challenge is that it’s not really enough to be nice or even just happy empathy goes further than that. Two cities in the Philippines recently mandated that municipal employees must smile at all times, or they risk fines, suspension, and even potentially the loss of their jobs.

Kelly Barner (14:02):

Now while forced smiling is not the same thing as forced empathy. It does strike me as being the kind of situation that a well meaning leadership team could easily fall into. And this is especially problematic because authenticity is another highly rated quality. If you incentivize people to fake it, you’ll probably end up without empathy or authenticity. And I think in truth, this brings us to a somewhat related topic. My husband actually has this really non-scientific theory about conservation of fun, but typically I think it works in practice. If you go to a party and have an awesome time, chances are somebody else at the party had a lousy time. Now this, this isn’t always the case, but generally speaking, it kind of works out that way. So I would say that with empathy, with work group dynamics, each individual or team’s job is to aim for some type of equilibrium.

Kelly Barner (15:09):

If you get off the phone or you leave a meeting, do a quick check in with yourself, did you just unload on, on some poor unsuspecting supplier or contractor? Were they quietly asking for some kind of help that you could have provided? And I think this is even more important given the great resignation and given the rise of the gig workforce, there are increasing situations where you are in a conversation with someone who doesn’t necessarily have the same expectation of equal treatment. Now I’m not saying this based on gender or race or age or experience, but there is a differential between people that work in a company and are generally subject to HR standards and people dealing with those that they see as external, you are there to help me. You are there to help me achieve. There is a difference in feeling and even if it’s very subtle, it is still there.

Kelly Barner (16:15):

And I think it’s the kind of thing that can really affect our ability to practice empathy. If we’re not being careful and looking out for it, empathy is a two-way street. None of us are gonna get it right all the time. But as long as we’re trying, we’ll each do better. And by extension, all of us will do better together. Now I picked up a few tips on being empathetic while researching this episode. And the good news is they’re not all huggy fuzzy. If that doesn’t happen to be your thing, it doesn’t work for everyone. Ask questions of other people and maintain eye contact until the person is done answering allow for individual schedules to be met whenever possible, indirectly communicating to people that non-work challenges and needs for flexibility, carry weight, as well as traditional job responsibilities. And of course, we go back to the findings of the LinkedIn poll fight, the temptation to judge, we’re actually doing a pretty good job understanding where other people are understanding what they’re going through and indicating through various forms of communication that we do care and understand, but it’s that internal judgment.

Kelly Barner (17:36):

That’s the thing that we have to be careful about sneaking into our thought process because that’s the kind of thing that can be picked up on externally without us even being aware of it. I’m absolutely including myself in this. Please don’t think that I’m preaching. I’m learning about this as much so that I can do a better job practicing it so that I can make it part of the conversation this community is having. If you can avoid being negative, being realistic and being negative, may not always feel different, especially given the challenges that procurement and supply chain is dealing with, but look for the line and try not to cross it. Never put anything of any kind that’s negative in writing that will almost always come back to bite you, even if it’s just because you return to that email or slack channel and see it again, which reinforces it in your thought process, listen to yourself as much as you listen to other people, what is your tone?

Kelly Barner (18:39):

How did you handle that situation? Can you hear the way you sound to other people? And can you see the responses on their faces that indicate to you how well and how openly you’re communicating, and please don’t be a chucker. People are going to dump on you. People have bad days, otherwise, very nice calm people will make mistakes and they will unload, but acknowledge it and find a healthy way to deal with that stress. Instead of shoving it down deep and creating a supply chain of sadness, we don’t need more of that, but still don’t judge as a yoga teacher, I had once I didn’t last very long in yoga, but I did it for a short amount of time, enough to take away this one, learning that I think applies here. We don’t judge. We just notice if you’re having trouble balancing. If you’re not as flexible as you are on a normal day, if your head’s just not in it and you can’t get that tree pose or hold it for long enough, don’t judge yourself.

Kelly Barner (19:44):

But notice, and the same is worth extending to other people. I’m not saying that this is easy, but it is absolutely worthwhile and not easy, but worthwhile sounds like everything else we do in procurement and supply chain. So if anybody can do this, I have faith that it’s our community. Now that’s my point of view. And I know that this is a personal topic. So I’m always grateful for you listening into the episodes of dial P, but I really don’t want you to listen. Maybe more, especially on this topic than any other. Join the conversation on LinkedIn, on Twitter, on Facebook and let me know what you think. What grade would you give people in general on their ability to practice empathy right now? Do you think we’re trending down or are we just burning out? And what techniques do you use at work to keep your frustration and exhaustion in check.

Kelly Barner (20:52):

If you’ve got value from this, please share it with someone else and bring them into our community. And the offer offer stands. If you have something you wanna share directly, reach out to me, send me an email or a direct message. I’m always glad to hear from you. I always suggest that we’re going to work together to reach the best solution, but with this, we can’t do it any other way until next time. I’m Kelly Barner, your host here at dial P and part of the supply chain. Now team have a great rest of your day.

Intro/Outro (21:27):

Thank you for joining us for this episode of dial P four procurement and for being an active part of the supply chain now community, please check out all of our shows and events@supplychainnow.com. Make sure you follow dial P four procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of dial P for procurement.

Hosts

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

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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.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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