Logistics with Purpose
Episode 59

Please get out of your comfort zone and keep trying. Keep trying. The good job, the good opportunity, is not coming to the back of your door to knock, "Hey, I need you to come." No, you have to go and look for it.

-Harris Amani

Episode Summary

If you’re on the hunt for top talent, this is the moment to tune in. Kristi chats with Chris Chancey, Founder & CEO of Amplio Recruiting, a staffing agency that helps companies hire dependable employees from the refugee workforce, and Harris Amani, one of Amplio’s great success stories. Learn more about the most diverse square mile in America, Afghanistan’s most popular sports (including volleyball), how Chris and Amani found their professional footing, why companies are missing out when they don’t engage refugee recruits and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:02):

Welcome to logistics with purpose presented by vector global logistics in partnership with supply chain. Now we spotlight and celebrate organizations who are dedicated to creating a positive impact. Join us for this behind the scenes glimpse of the origin stories, change making progress and future plans of organizations who are actively making a difference. Our goal isn’t just to entertain you, but to inspire you to go out and change the world. And now here’s today’s episode of logistics with purpose.

Kristi Porter (00:00:34):

Hello, and thank you for joining us. I’m Kristi Porter of vector global logistics, and you are listening to, or watching logistics with purpose and spoiler alert. We’re gonna have another amazing episode in store for you. So I am delighted to introduce Chris Chancey, CEO and founder of Amio recruiting and Harris Amini, um, who is in the transition to a new job at Accenture here in Atlanta. So Chris Harris, welcome to the show and thank you for being here.

Harris Amani (00:01:02):

Our PLE my pleasure. Nice to meet you.

Kristi Porter (00:01:05):

Nice to meet you. Um, so, uh, first of all, we’re gonna hear a little bit about your background and then we’re gonna get into Amio and what you guys are doing now, and kind of the larger mission. You’re both serving at the moment. Um, but first let’s hear a little bit about your background, which for some reason is usually the harder questions for people to answer. <laugh>. Um, so Chris, tell us a little bit about your childhood and where you grew up.

Chris Chancey (00:01:29):

Yeah. I grew up in south Georgia and, uh, and, and so small town, um, you know, Friday nights were about football and, and, um, and, and, you know, when I live back, I just think about a great town to grow up in. Um, but for the most part, everyone, everyone thought the same way everyone spoke the same way, kind of believed the same things. Generally, there was a, a uniformity for the most part of the way that people, um, you know, believed in thought and acted. And, um, and so I never thought I’d be in a position, you know, fast forward several years, um, to be a part of, of, you know, community where that’s not the case. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, um, and so I think that, um, has always been really fascinating part of this journey is cuz it wasn’t something that I saw or had, uh, you know, had a perspective on at an early age, but grateful for growing up in a, in a town where, uh, faith was really important. Um, you know, football and, and family, you know, those were the, those were kind of the, the core, um, you know, essentials and, you know, a lot of that gets reflected in the community that we serve now. And, and so it’s fun to see those similarities, even though there’s a lot of differences.

Kristi Porter (00:02:45):

Yeah, for sure. It sounds like we were on parallel tracks except I was in a small town in west Texas. You were in a small town in south Georgia, but yes, family, faith and football is pretty much what sums up. <laugh> a lot of my background as well. Well, so I can relate. What about you Harris? What was your childhood like?

Harris Amani (00:03:03):

Uh, actually my childhood, I, I grew up in Afghanistan, actually my, my childhood all, to be honest, my childhood, I grew up running around. Mm. The reason I’m say the, the reason I’m saying I’m running around because when I was, uh, seven years old, so the civil war started in Afghanistan. And after that, after the civil war, then, then the, the internal war with the local leaders in the country started, everybody were fighting for the power. So we were running around. For example, we were running from cobble the capital to the logger, to my province to be saved. And then when, when the fight start from there, then finally we ended up become a refugee in Pakistan for a couple of years. So the reason of the, the reason that my dad, um, my late dad, he wanted that anything up into the world. He didn’t want their children to be uneducated in, in this country.

Harris Amani (00:04:06):

Because on that time, the education system, the schools, the college, everything was like totally destroyed. And, uh, my mom, she is a, she is a, uh, she’s a doctor and my, my, uh, father. He was a, uh, he was a, um, P first PhD, older in economics in Afghanistan. So he wanted us to move out from the country, not due to the save our lives. It’s also due to the, um, our education because he always says, he always said that a person without education is already a dead person. So he always said that he always said that. And for us, our, um, the way we learn English at the beginning, we never went to any tuition classes or anything. My mom and my dad, they were the, our English teachers. We have the books and any questions we had, we just asked them, I said, what the meaning of this question?

Harris Amani (00:05:02):

And even we didn’t have to open the dictionary to just search for the, the, the meaning and, um, um, the meaning of award and where we can’t use it till we moved to the Pakistan. Then when we moved to the Pakistan, I was in third grade when we moved to Pakistan, when the, the war started. So 12 grade, I was in Pakistan, then I joined, uh, then I joined the English tuition classes. And at age of 11, I graduated from the I age of 11. I graduated from the English institution classes. And again, then I rejoined again. Then again, I graduated again in 2003. So then after that, when the, when the civil war finished and 20, 20 plus years ago, when there is a suitable government and when the us came to the Afghanistan, so we moved back to Afghanistan. Okay. And, and at the same time, when I was in, in, uh, Pakistan, actually, I was at age of nine when I was playing volleyball.

Harris Amani (00:06:09):

And because with the, I like with the adults all the time, when I was going in a match, they would say that he’s a kid. If he is going to be headed with a ball, it’s not good for safety wise, but somehow they let me allow to play with him. So we ended up back going to Afghanistan. And, um, when I went to Afghanistan, then I first I start, my father become the, the, actually the, I can say the voice, the, I can say the DTI voice president for the ministry of information and technology. So there was a university which has been controlled by, by that ministry. Um, and I joined, and my father asked all our brothers because we are five brothers, two old me, and two younger did me. I am the middle one. So they said, I need one of you guys to be graduated from telecommunication engineering university.

Harris Amani (00:07:04):

Everybody said, no, no, but I was the one that pushed to that university. And I, and I graduated for, from that university, uh, uh, after four years. And at the same time, uh, my father resigned from the government and he joined a U S C I D project from the us government. So then I was with him one time and, uh, GK, then I went from another company. They asked talking to my dad and he said, who’s this young guy. My, my dad says, he’s my son. He said, can he speak English? He said, yeah, he can speak English very well. Then I start talking with the CEO of that company. That’s a very funny story. So, and it’s very interesting. So I hope you, I didn’t take you guys time.

Kristi Porter (00:07:53):

<laugh> that’s fantastic. Tell me, come from a very smart family.

Harris Amani (00:07:58):

Yeah. So then I came, then I, when I was start talking to him and the CEO of that company said to my dad, I really need this guy. I said, he is, he’s just 18, 17. He said how? He said, just he fixes own schedule set up. I, I will, I will fit him in a schedule that should be, he feel comfortable with education and also work. Then he hired me, has a VIP interpreter for the, for himself. So my job was when, when a VIP gets from the us, especially from Washington DC. Sure. They were visiting Afghanistan. My job was to go with them with the different ministries ministries to meet with the ministers or just for the of Afghanistan. So my job was to translate step by step. Then when I was get a little experience of how the business works and everything, they offer me to be the logistics manager and logistics assistant, and a store in charge, then I become the logistic assistant and, uh, store in charge.

Harris Amani (00:09:02):

Then I start building my career there. Wow. So then I start building my career there. So I learned, I studied then step by step. I was promoted to the different, uh, positions and logistics and logistics. And, uh, at the same time, it was a little bit harder to me because I was it, I was selected for the Afghan national volleyball team under, uh, under 19. So I play, I went out of the country couple of time to play, to play for my country. Then, uh, when I turned 20, then I joined the national team and I played for the national team for five till I moved to the us and I quit. Wow. Yeah. And I’m a national volleyball player.

Kristi Porter (00:09:49):

That is incredible.

Harris Amani (00:09:51):

Yeah. So after that, from that position,

Chris Chancey (00:09:55):

Very Paris, I had no idea that you played volleyball. Why have we not played volleyball yet?

Harris Amani (00:10:00):

<laugh> God, trust me. Uh, uh, do you know when we were start playing volleyball, I was playing for the national team. And at the same time, I had my own team from my cousins that they are 14 and 16 and 17. And you won’t believe me that all those teenagers that I coach and train them, all of them joined, uh, the national team that might perfect. Yeah. So it,

Chris Chancey (00:10:27):

Is it genetics or good coaching?

Kristi Porter (00:10:28):

Seriously,

Harris Amani (00:10:30):

Actually good coaching, to be honest with you. It’s because,

Chris Chancey (00:10:35):

So humble

Harris Amani (00:10:36):

Being in Afghanistan, Chris and my income was like $800 per month was my salary. And I was using that 400. I will give it to the family and 400, I was using it for the team

Kristi Porter (00:10:49):

Wow.

Harris Amani (00:10:50):

For their clothes, energy, ground, and everything which is necessary. And then, and five tournaments back to back, even I beat the national.

Kristi Porter (00:11:00):

Wow. So how big I, I, I don’t associate volleyball with Afghanistan. So how big a sport is volleyball there?

Harris Amani (00:11:10):

Actually, and Afghanistan, there is couple of sports, which is very popular. Okay. It’s a

Kristi Porter (00:11:17):

Uhhuh,

Harris Amani (00:11:17):

Uh, wrestling.

Kristi Porter (00:11:18):

Wrestling.

Harris Amani (00:11:19):

Okay. Yeah. Boxing. Okay. Uh, um, volleyball. And in these days they like it. They, they just familiar with the circuit as well. The car they play. Yeah. And, uh, and, um, also now they like the free five MMA. Now they have good MMA clubs that they are. I think some of them are joining the MMA labs here in the us. They are, they have good fighters.

Kristi Porter (00:11:47):

That’s fascinating. I, yeah, we’re in the midst of a celebrity here. I didn’t realize this

Harris Amani (00:11:53):

Not, I am not.

Kristi Porter (00:11:54):

<laugh> it’s really, uh, yeah. It’s so interesting. So let me ask you, like, now we’re hitting your kind of, you’ve already done so much in your, like twentie at this stage. Um, so let me stop you for a second there. Let me switch back to Chris and I’ll, I wanna hear some more about, um, some more about that as well, but Chris, let’s talk a little bit about your, you talked about just being in a very homogenous really environment growing up. So now you’re doing something completely different. Like you said something you would’ve never seen yourself doing. So now that you’re kind of trying to, to kind of tie those together, is there something that happened in your early years or a story that kind of now looking back at shaped who you are and what you’re doing now?

Chris Chancey (00:12:39):

Yeah, I just, I, I think I look back on, um, recognizing that there is so much, uh, different culture. There’s so much different, um, uh, different backgrounds that people come from that just create such rich, rich texture and tapestry to the community that we’re a part of now. And in some ways, um, you know, kind of sad that I think sometimes we miss out on that because it’s natural for us to be afraid of things that are different. Um, and so even when we, when we stepped into the community, um, that we’re part of now, um, it’s, it’s called Clarkston. It’s the most diverse square mile in the us. And, um, it’s right outside of Atlanta and, and kind of tucked in, in a way that you drive past it and you would never know it was there necessarily unless you stop and take notice.

Chris Chancey (00:13:31):

Um, but as we began to engage, uh, people there, um, we just, we just realized the, like the beauty of multiple cultures, um, bringing their very best to the table and you know, how it can impact the world around them and add so much value. So, um, I don’t have a specific story as much from being, you know, being a, being a child and how it’s kind of affected us. Um, but I, I always remember, um, the idea of, of, you know, caring for the Sojourner or reaching out and, and, you know, being kind, um, and trying to help those who, you know, we would say were less fortunate. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, I think as we moved into this community, what we expected to find, um, were, were people who were less fortunate or people who, you know, were struggling in some capacity. The reality is we found a lot of people who were hungry to add value, um, to contribute to their local economy, to be a part of an ongoing kind of solution and, and, you know, bringing their culture to bear and bringing their experience and knowledge, um, to bear on, on local companies and, and in the community in really positive, impactful ways.

Chris Chancey (00:14:46):

And so it kind of, uh, it, it was unexpected, but also such a, such an incredible blessing to our life to be a part of that story.

Kristi Porter (00:14:54):

Yeah, for sure. Harris, what about you? It sounds like there’s a lot to draw from on your path from the, the emphasis, the education played in your life from your parents to, um, translating, to volleyball, to all of those things. Is there a story kind of from your early years that really shaped the person you are today?

Harris Amani (00:15:14):

Actually, to be honest with you that, uh, uh, especially, uh, growing up in a country, like the people like just running around for their life, mm-hmm, <affirmative> actually, to be honest with you moving the us government in Afghanistan that gave us a good shape. Mm-hmm <affirmative> that gave us the power to speak up. That was the time that the, they start people start start value the education mm-hmm <affirmative>. I mean, not the power, not the money. The people was start respecting the people who are educated. So I can say that after the us moved in and the people recognize that at the end of the day war power gangs and, um, criminal activities are not, not something that it will take you to higher levels. The education is something that, um, um, that, that you need, if you go anywhere, because there was couple of times that happened, Christi, that I was, I was go because based on my job, uh, as I say that working for that company and has start has a V IP interpreter.

Harris Amani (00:16:25):

And you won’t believe that I resigned from that company as a CEO. I was the CEO and country director of that company. Wow. Yeah. I resigned when I moved to the us. So I resigned and they offered me to work for that company over here in Washington state, Washington, DC, but there was some terms and conditions, and there was some, some, like, I was not feeling comfortable with this few things that they said, and, and then I refused, uh, to join. So with, with that being said, so, as Chris mentioned before, actually there is a lot of good educated people. Mm-hmm <affirmative> they just need the right path. Sure. And because when I moved to the us, everybody was saying that that Harris, there is a, there is no shame in any job. All work is work. As long as you work, that’s everything work is work.

Harris Amani (00:17:22):

It doesn’t mean you are, you are a president, you are a laborer, you are anything, work is work. They were telling me that, uh, okay, let’s join a, we are working in a, this restaurant, come join us inside the kitchen, or be a cashier, or just, uh, we are cleaning P plates and everything. And I said that, uh, uh, I’m a fighter. I, I, I, I get anything I want in my life. I will not give up that much soon. So like right now, I’m attending this meeting with you guys. I was a volunteer speaker for IRC. One of the resettlement agencies here. I was one of the speakers and trust me when I was one, uh, I was in one of the conferences that life conference, like thousands of people sitting there when I entered, to be honest with you, I was like, I was like, nervous, how I going to speak?

Harris Amani (00:18:12):

But I said, okay, we will. Because everybody from, um, um, other countries like, uh, 30, uh, Pakistan or Rand country, they have their translators with them with their, but I was by my own. And only my wife was sitting straight in front of me. So you will be shocked that 18% of the questions on that conference has been asked from me. Mm. And trust me when I finish that, I, I feel, I feel, I felt like a big stone stick in top of my heart because I take out everything, which I, I knew it about everything, about how we are going to help the new immigrants. So I got my first job from that conference because somebody came to me and asked me, are you working? I said, no. And he said, do you mind, if you can give me your resume and I will going to give it to someone.

Harris Amani (00:19:07):

And my first job here in the United States, I got, and I was a shipping and receiving manager, and they were not existing position on that company. They created that position for me to join. Wow. Then, then after I joined that company, definitely I work hard. I, I increased their receiving department by $250,000 in a day. And I increased their shipping by $300,000 in a day. Wow. But, uh, I worked for that company for two years then, uh, I see there is not more, uh, then I see there’s a lot more opportunities around. So I start looking around than I got this pharmaceutical, uh, position. And I got this through. I just thought that was our online, online. Um, uh, I submit the online application and you will be, you won’t believe me that they put the offer later in front of me at this first day of interview. And I signed,

Kristi Porter (00:20:08):

I can believe it. <laugh> I can believe it from everything you’ve said. I absolutely can. Yeah. That’s an incredible story. And so, yeah, so many layers to that. Um, let’s circle back to that in a minute. And then we’ll also pick up after your pro volleyball tour. <laugh> um, so Chris, let’s talk about pre Alia. What were, what were you doing before Alia recruiting?

Chris Chancey (00:20:30):

Yeah, let’s see. Before AMPL, um, I went to grad school. I, um, uh, started working, uh, for Chick-fil-A and for few years, got to work, uh, at one specific restaurant as a general manager, and then did some consulting. Uh, my wife was doing grand openings with them, them. And so we got a really good experience of, of, um, you know, what it’s like to lead a team and, and make a lot of, of mistakes, um, on Chick-fil-A’s dime and in terms of business and

Kristi Porter (00:20:59):

A lot of free chicken. Yeah.

Chris Chancey (00:21:01):

<laugh> exactly. And, uh, and then we, uh, worked for, uh, a faith-based micro finance organization called hope international. And so they do microfinance around the globe and it was kind of this intersection of, of helping people having social impact, um, but providing a physical, um, you know, uh, both a felt need and, and kind of, you know, other needs that surround that. So really focusing on how do we support people physically, right. And, and help them move in a positive direction. And so that was really formative, um, and, and kind of learning from both the business and social impact kind of tandem there. Yeah. And so, um, when we moved into Clarkston, we still had that, uh, in the forefront of our mind, like, you know, are there, is there a way we could, um, engage this community, uh, with a business, not necessarily a nonprofit, but a business that could, could create social impact, um, in this area.

Chris Chancey (00:21:59):

And, um, and so through a lot of, of conversations and, and, and questions, and just learning from people and sitting in their homes. And, and as often as they would let us sitting around their dinner table, um, when they would cook for us and just enjoying, we would also learning as much as we could. Um, we just came to this conclusion that, uh, jobs were the number one, um, desire, and really stability is the, is the number one desire, but jobs and employment plays such a critical role in that. Yes. And so we expected people to fall into one of two categories, either they were gonna be a charity case. And, uh, and they would be people who have experienced a lot of trauma. And, um, and so they deserved to live out their days in the us, um, being supported by our tax dollars, kind of kick up their feet and live in safety and not have to worry about, you know, terrorism or the things that force them to flee, or they would be a terrorist threat. They would be people who have, uh, you know, a dangerous intentions of getting into the us in some way. And we have to be very careful and watch them closely. So that’s what, that’s what my background and, and kind of media told me to expect.

Kristi Porter (00:23:14):

And how did you feel about Clarkston in the first place?

Chris Chancey (00:23:17):

Uh, it was really by accident. We didn’t move into the community on purpose. Um, we were trying to find a home. We could afford on a certain side of town that, um, we could be close to family and ended up, you know, stumbling on Clarkson. And, and, um, I think I told my wife, you know, it looks like there might be some good ethnic food here. I mean, we had no idea, uh, you know, what this community was all about. Um, but in moving in and meeting people, we realized these individuals are not a charity case. They’re not a terrorist threat. They’re, they’re the people who, uh, are trying to escape terrorism. Um, they’re actually a workforce. They’re actually people who wanna add value. They wanna contribute, they want to find employment. They want to be a part of, you know, something beautiful for their local economy. And that’s what really triggered like, okay, can we build a business around that mentality and that opportunity? Absolutely. You know, so what does that look like? And that’s kind of what led us down this road.

Kristi Porter (00:24:14):

And so, I don’t know if you wanna give you’ve mentioned Clarkston, um, which is a beautiful little place. If anybody gets the chance to go there, that hasn’t been there yet. Um, go to refuge coffee. <laugh> my friend’s coffee shop. I’ll plug that. Um, but they, uh, I don’t know if you wanna give any more background. It’s a really interesting place from a lot of different levels that, so I don’t know if you wanna explain anything else about Clarkston.

Chris Chancey (00:24:36):

Yeah. I mean, it’s a really unique place. There’s a documentary that just came out that you can find on a few different areas where you find documentaries. Um, uh, that kind of tells the story of, you know, a, a community that, um, you know, back in the sixties and seventies and even really into the eighties and nineties, um, there was a lot of friction around, um, refugees moving in and, and for whatever reason, this was just the, the community that was determined by the state as a, an appropriate place to, to resettle refugees who at the time were coming from Southeast Asia. And so really it was because of their, there was some decent public transportation to kind of get to different parts of the city. There was an abundance of, uh, multifamily housing, and there was a manufacturing kinda at the time, sort of an industrial, um, part of, of town there, where there were some jobs available.

Chris Chancey (00:25:31):

So it made a lot of sense at the time. Um, and, and, you know, other communities around the us that, that have similar populations of, of refugees, um, kind of outgrew the areas they were in and then, and sort of became fragmented around Metro for whatever reason in Atlanta. Um, Clarkston has just continued to be that hub. So now for 50, 60 years, it’s been the place where wave upon wave of immigrants have been resettled. So Southeast Asia, um, uh, um, you know, from, from people from Vietnam and, um, other parts of Southeast Asia then became parts people coming from Africa, um, from all over, uh, east Africa, west Africa, central Africa. Um, and then that gave way to, um, individuals from the middle east. Um, so Iraq, Iran, certainly from Syria when that crisis hit a few years back, and then most recently, um, the Afghan community mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Chris Chancey (00:26:26):

And, uh, and so, um, it’s a, it’s a really unique place. Um, there’s a lot of people walking in their native, uh, uh, garb and not as many vehicles or cars on the road as you would expect. Um, and then the most traveled bike route in the state of Georgia cuts right through the city. So it’s just on a daily daily basis. There’s just a unique mix of community and people that are interacting there and, um, we’re growing and, um, and you know, excited about new opportunities that are coming to our side of town. Yeah,

Harris Amani (00:27:00):

That’s a good, good explanation. Thank you. And I’m sorry, I just wanna add one, one more. Okay. Dan, uh, I missed that community as well because when I moved to the us in, uh, fifth, 20, 20 17, I moved to the Clarkstone areas. I actually, I start my life from Clarkstone area and I, I just, uh, uh, I can say eight months ago, I, um, I, I got, I got my own house and I moved out from there eight months ago, to be honest with you. I, I like that community. And because of my three kids, because I need a good schools with good ratings. That’s why I moved them over to, in a different to GoIT area. Otherwise I never, never, ever leave that area. Right. For example, if I want to some bread from my country or something from my country right now, I need to travel for 40 minutes to Clarkstone area to buy that stuff and drive back 40 minutes back to my house.

Harris Amani (00:27:57):

And when I was there that wasn’t five minutes, distance, anywhere, anything I needed. And I, to be honest with you, I missed that area. Yeah. Yeah. I missed that area actually. Uh, has, um, Mr. Chris, uh, added actually, I can say 90 to 95% of the refugees who came to Atlanta, Georgia, Atlanta. They start from their life from Clarkstone mm-hmm <affirmative>, and I can say 90 to 95 person. And, and, uh, because especially in these days, uh, uh, Chris, Chris knows my wife as well. She, her name is shy star money, and she’s working with a nonprofit organization. So the help, which we got during our transition here in United States, and she took all those experiences. And also she took all those struggling struggles that we do. We, we had on that time now she’s using all those, her background and our background experiences. Now she’s representing like plus 200 families on the area.

Harris Amani (00:29:06):

Yeah. That she always in touch with them. If they need anything, if they like, definitely we are especially me. I’m really, really, uh, uh, appreciate Chris help, especially with this new job, which I get, I got this job through Chris mm-hmm <affirmative> and I, uh, he introduced me to a center to a center that, that you guys are looking for a supply chain and operation consultant. So he is the right person. He introduced it to me then definitive, there was, uh, Chris, I don’t know, you know that, but there was plus 11 interviews from me.

Chris Chancey (00:29:44):

<laugh> wow.

Harris Amani (00:29:46):

Yeah. Plus 11 interviews from me. And, uh that’s

Chris Chancey (00:29:50):

Because you have a lot to say

Harris Amani (00:29:52):

<laugh>. Yeah, no, actually, you know, sometime when I was sitting in interview, if you guess ha a lot of thing about your background and what you can do. So the expectation of the employer is getting more higher from you and they, they keep discuss it with their upper level. This guy can do this, this, that then definitely. Okay. I want the interview, he wants an interview. So that’s why it’s keep happening. But the only thing, which is a take a little time, because, uh, I have two bachelors, uh, two bachelors, one in telecommunication, electric engineering. And I have also a bachelor in, uh, in business. So to verify my bachelor, my, uh, uh, business bachelor, it took some time because of all this crisis in Afghanistan. So nothing is there. No one is going to verify anything like shy step graduated from political sciences and she is struggling now to get her, to get her bachelor out of the university.

Harris Amani (00:30:51):

There’s no one, there is no recall, like there’s a lot of thing going on my community and these days after this crisis. So, but overall again, Chris, thank you so much, man, for all those help, uh, all those help. I know you are a man of your work. I think I know you since two years now, more than that actually. And also Chris is the one Christy that during the evacuation of my family, mm-hmm <affirmative> family from Afghanistan that he knows how, how that was hard for me because, uh, because if my family was left behind there, so none of them will be alive till now. So Chris made a big contribute on that as well. And we finally, we made it. So all my family joined me here in the United States. And so they are happily settle on their own houses. We help them like, uh, they have their own cars, their own apartments, they have their jobs now they work around. So everything is going well. So thank you so much, Chris,

Kristi Porter (00:31:57):

Chris, we’ll, uh, clip that out. So you can tag that on your website, <laugh> in all your social media channels, cuz that’s an incredible endorsement right there, although I’m sure it’s one of many that you have. So we’ve kind of danced around, um, ample recruiting and what it is, but now let’s get into the specifics. So tell everybody formally what it is and what you guys do and what the mission is.

Chris Chancey (00:32:17):

Yeah. Thanks for sharing all that Harris. Uh, you set me up well here. So, um, yeah, so, so AMPL recruiting was formed in 2014 and as I said, it was these conversations with people really expressing their desire to not just have a job, but contribute and learn and grow and develop and be a part of this community and, and add value to the local economy. And so we, we looked at several different types of companies, but at the end of the day, we said, if we could start a staffing business, we know nothing about staffing and really nothing about HR, but if we could start a staffing business, there’s a chance that we’d be able to employ, uh, a large number of people and um, and connect them into all types of work, no matter the background that they’re coming from. So that was kind of the idea back in 2014, it just started with there’s a lot of companies that need to hire.

Chris Chancey (00:33:08):

Um, back then it was really difficult to hire in 2014, in 2022. Right. Um, there were already challenges, um, in, uh, you know, finding really good talent. So the companies that we were can actually would say, we can’t find good people. The people in our community would say we can’t find good jobs. And so we just said, let’s, let’s create this company where we can match those two groups together. And uh, and we feel like that could be an opportunity for, um, you know, some, some positive impact on both sides. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so we, we kind of thought maybe this would be sort of a side project or, you know, maybe sort of a passion project type thing. We didn’t really know what would happen. Um, but over eight years now, uh, we’ve grown into multiple cities across the country. We’re serving, you know, well over a hundred companies, we’ve placed about 10,000 refugees into full time employment.

Chris Chancey (00:33:59):

And, uh, and we’ll do, we’ll do $20 million in revenue this year. I mean, so we are way beyond what we ever expected. There’s still plenty of days where we feel like we don’t know what we’re doing and we’re still trying to figure it out. Um, and there’s certainly lots of, uh, ups and downs in that journey. But by and large, we’ve been able to grow and scale a company based on the fact that the individuals we’re carrying and serving and putting into jobs are incredibly diligent, dependable, uh, hardworking people who want to add in their <inaudible> and in their community and, and be an incredible employee for local companies.

Kristi Porter (00:34:38):

Yeah. Well, besides that, obviously the, your main focus is, um, finding jobs for refugees and displaced people. What else makes AMPL a special and unique place for, um, companies to, to look to? I’m gonna guess customer service is very high because of your Chick-fil-A background, but I’m sure there are other things too.

Chris Chancey (00:34:58):

Wow. I, I mean, so the focus is like everyday heads down. Um, there are people coming into our office that, um, have experienced, uh, what we would say is they’ve kinda lost dignity on their journey. They, I mean, you hear it in Harris’s story, right? There was a position of influence and authority or some, some level of pride in the things that they kinda had going on and the efforts towards their career that they were making and that’s interrupted. And, um, and then in that to try to reestablish, um, not just their livelihood and some level of stability, but to reestablish that pursuit after a career and something they could be proud of is really difficult. And I certainly would be, um, it’d be really difficult for me to try to do that in a new place. And we can all, you know, somewhat try to put ourselves, um, in, in the shoes of those, who’ve had to walk that path.

Chris Chancey (00:35:53):

And so they come in our office, we have about 500 people a month walking in our office, even today. When, you know, companies are saying, we can’t find people, we have almost 500 people in attendance looking for a job. So, um, there are people even today who are, um, excited, incredible people, um, you know, looking for the right opportunity. And so, you know, they come in our office and many times it’s with shoulder slumped and, and kind of head down, you know, trying to, you know, they’ll just say, if we were to ask, what kind of job are you looking for? They’d say, you know, any job, um, you know, we have, um, one of our team members, who’s also from Afghanistan. Um, he says that USA stands for you start again. And he tells, especially the Afghans that come in our office, he tells them that.

Chris Chancey (00:36:41):

And so there’s this, like, I’ll take any job. And as, as much as we recognize, there’s a desperation in saying that it’s like, no, tell us what you used to do. What was your background before you came? Let’s talk about some of the skills that you acquired. And so the experience you have that might be a really good fit for a company that’s, you know, trying to fill certain positions. So about 80% of the roles we fill are in, in industrial type positions, distribution centers, um, and, and positions where fluency and English is not a requirement on day one, uh, where you just need people who are willing to learn and, and, you know, show up on time and, and put in a good day’s work. And then we’ve got another, you know, 20 or so percent of the placements that we make that are more professional, more white collar type, um, opportunities for people like Harris who have more of a background, uh, in business or more of a professional environment and who are really great volleyball players. And so we’ve gotta, we try to balance it out and, and, you know, grateful for companies like Accenture, who we can place people in professional positions, um, like Harris is about to step into. And, and then, you know, a lot of other, uh, companies, small and medium sized warehouses all the way up to, you know, the Ciscos, um, the advanced auto parts, the, um, you know, the Albert sends and does it have these large distribution centers across the country?

Kristi Porter (00:38:03):

Yeah, that’s incredible. Um, so yes, Harris, let’s talk about, we left you off, I think at professional volleyball and translating and leading supply chains, and then a CEO position that you turned down. So there’s a lot to choose from here, but I’m also curious, um, what were the circumstances as, as much as you’re comfortable saying, what were the circumstances that brought you to the us?

Harris Amani (00:38:27):

Actually, the, I start coming to the us from starting 2011. Okay. So I was coming back and forth because I, in 2011, when I become the, uh, the operation manager for one of the biggest, uh, operations and for the us, us government in Afghanistan, and I, when I was the operation manager, I was responsible to manage 374 employees. Definitely. I had my assistant, my, my, uh, individual managers and individual departments. But overall I was the, I was the one who were leading. So in 2000, um, and, uh, in 2012, our civilian contracts with your us government has been completed and the company focused on the us army projects. So then from 2000, uh, 12 to 2000, uh, 17, 17 till I was there, then we start working for the us army projects and I was responsible to, and me and my team were responsible to provide, to provide generator power because I become the country director for the company like CEO plus country director.

Harris Amani (00:39:46):

And, uh, then I was responsible to provide generator power for plus 15 us army bases in Afghanistan and how tough that was and how, how I managed those projects. Because, uh, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a very interesting story when they offered me this job. And when I was sitting in a table with them and this, because the, the country director resigned and they were looking for a replacement and they thought 80% of this projects already controlled by Harris, why we are not going to give him this opportunity. And I told him, I’m not electric, uh, engineer. I don’t have any background of how the gen set’s work and everything. And if they said, they said, we will give you advisors. So they give me two, two, uh, uh, two local us advisors, engineers that they will advise me and create the proposals and everything, and make, prepare me, prepare me when I attending to enter to a big meetings, like to represent the company, they already trained and prepared me about technical, vice, technical, vice.

Harris Amani (00:40:48):

So when they offer to me, so it’s, it’s funny that the company president, he said, okay, everybody is here. Where is Harris? The guy who works for the company. And we are, and my, my boss on, I said, yeah, he is Harris sitting beside me beside me. And he said, what? I said, yeah, he is Harry. He said, he’s just a kid. <laugh> I, then my boss said, yeah, he’s Harris. He said, I was expecting Harris a money to be like a, at least 55 plus years old. And he’s just kid. And I said, uh, yes, sir. Oh, were you at this time? Uh, I’m sorry. How, how old were you when this happened? I was 27. Wow. Okay. So again, I say it, if I, if I shave, I would look like a, for a teenager <laugh> so, so I told them that I’m going to run it for two, uh, three months.

Harris Amani (00:41:36):

And if I feel comfortable, I will accept the position. If I don’t bring somebody, then after three months, I saw everything’s worked well and the team is following the distraction and, and the car, the projects are going very well. So I keep doing it. So the reason I move here, because, uh, storing from 2014, I start receiving warning calls. Mm-hmm <affirmative> warning emails, warning letters, so that why you are working for the us government, the us government will be here. Not forever. When they gone, we will, we will, we will see you. But the, uh, what that the shadow gets tighter on that time in mid 22, uh, 2015, that when I receive a call, I didn’t answer and finalize it. Maybe something, someone is calling me from different numbers, because while when, when I was in Afghanistan, and if somebody’s cell phone number is not saving my mobile, I will never, ever answer mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Harris Amani (00:42:35):

So they said, now we know, where are you? And currently you are drive, you are driving, uh, uh, uh, a blue lane cruiser. And this is your license plate number, and you are taking a right turn. Oh, my, that was the time that I was scared because it was not the first time, because in 2000, um, nineish, uh, nineish I went for a, for a ceremony to open a school in a clinic mm-hmm <affirmative> and on my way, I was ambushed. And, uh, there was four bullets in my body. And, uh, I was left on the deal on the place that people would think that he’s gone. He’s no more, but, but I was lucky I was alive. And, um, so then I applied, then I, uh, then I applied contact the us, uh, um, embassy in Afghanistan and said all these little issues. And they said, document everything and, uh, apply for a, for a, uh, immigration system, which is called Ivy.

Harris Amani (00:43:40):

Mm-hmm <affirmative>, it’s not a refugee, it’s called Ivy. It’s, it’s a special immigrant visa, a special immigrant visas. So I applied for that. And during this time I was hiding and switching my location from one, for complete two years. Wow. Just to be, to be saved. And, but during this time, I was also invited by, by university of Pennsylvania. And I was selected out of, uh, four, uh, 400 candidates from Afghanistan. And I was selected because I sent my short speech to them and they selected me and they invited me to give a speech at, uh, ministry, uh, university of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania. And, but the shocking thing was that my, my topic is speech was a little, uh, I was not expecting to that, what that was like all about the capital punishment, why it’s still exists in your country. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so that was very hard. And, um, they give me 10 minutes and I wa I was not able to finish it in 10 minutes. Yeah. Um, my <laugh>

Kristi Porter (00:44:50):

It’s like saying solve global peace in 10 minutes. <laugh> yeah. Big topic together.

Harris Amani (00:44:55):

The chief guest was, uh, the speech writer for Obama.

Kristi Porter (00:45:00):

Okay.

Harris Amani (00:45:00):

So she raised her hand and she extended for how long has I need time? And it took me 35 minutes to finish the speech. And, uh, and then after in Fe 20, uh, 17, uh, I receive a call. I receive an email from the us embassy to drop your passports. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. I dropped my passports and I complete the medical checkup. And then, uh, they issued a visas for me and for my wife and two kids. And I, and I left Afghanistan and I moved to the us to moving to the us, moving to the us is just on that time to, uh, to save my life. When those accident happened in, uh, 2009, I was single, to be honest with you, to being single, you can’t take a lot of risk. You are not worried about it, but when you get married, especially in a country in Afghanistan with one hit, there is another head connected your wife.

Harris Amani (00:46:00):

So one hit. Then when you get, when you used to have kids, so three lives was connected with me. So that’s why I say, if something happens, if I, if I lose my life, what will happen with this, with my kids and wives. So then I decided to move out of Afghanistan and I come to the us. And definitely there is still companies up to now that they are still want me to become their country director. And they run their business back in Afghanistan. I said, especially at this time, no. So this transition took a lot out of me a lot. And it was a very hard transition, as I explain, as I, as I explained before that, that to being a country director for a company, and you never drive, you had your own driver and you sit in a very nice office and you have somebody to make your, even you to make your, to make you a coffee early morning, bring and put it on your table.

Harris Amani (00:46:58):

And, and you, how you were well respected. Even, even I will, if I want to go to the president palace, anytime I wanted, I can go anytime I wanted, I can go to the president palace because I was registered there. And I was like, through my sport, I was known by people through my work. I was known by people. So that’s why I was like, I was living a good life and I live everything behind. And I start my, my, uh, new career us. And the day came here at the us because do you know I was man, when I was reshipping and receiving manager, I was responsible to manage, uh, 28 employees. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so there was a lot of thing going on here. Like a lot of thing, like they keep fighting or he works hard. I work slow. He, so there’s a lot.

Harris Amani (00:47:50):

In like that time, it came that I was start feeling that I’m, I’m managing a third grade class in a state of adult team. So that was a lot, if, sometime it happens because I don’t want it to lose the job. And I want to make some bread to the family. Sometime it happens that I take out my white shirt and my tie, put it aside and wear a short and a safety glasses, uh, safety, glass gloves. And I get in, get into the container. And I start unloading the containers by myself, even in the weekend, sometime when, because I sometime, if my boss approved, I went by myself and I unload the container by my whole 22, 20, uh, 2 44 container. And I unload it alone by myself, unload poly date, move it to the different location because I needed the money. Yeah. I need the fund because, because I cannot raise my hand to somebody to help me with somebody.

Harris Amani (00:48:51):

Because as long has, I’m a self built person. No, like no one. I build myself, I build everything for myself. Definitely. My parents have a big, real part of it. Sure. But, but I work hard, very hard. Like sometime even in this company that I’m working now, one day they asked me and your free time, even we didn’t see you in your phone. And I said, why, when I have free time, there is a system it’s called master control. That’s that the, you put all your procedures, the SOP C O Ws, like everything on that. So if you struggling knows about a policy or SOP, you get into that and just find out how you’re going to do this job. I never go to the O that much for my department because I memorized differently. Anything you ask me, I memorized it. Yeah. So, but when I was free, I get into master and a store learning other departments, activities, how their rules are, because definitely at the end of the day, if somebody says that my department is a hundred percent perfect, there’s no issues.

Harris Amani (00:49:59):

There’s no errors, anything. It means there’s tons of errors on that department because the first error is that you don’t have to think that to make everything perfectly fine. Based on your department, comfort and your department procedures, you, you have to think your comfort, maybe going to affect other department. You have to work as a team, right. As a team to make your department who looks better. Definitely. Sometime when I see other departments make some changes, I compare it to my de I compare it to my work activities. If it’s good. Yeah. Why not? But if it’s going to affect me, then definitely I’m going to speak up and not speak up. Like say something from my belly. I come up with a presentation to them. This is how I feel. If we do it, that will be better for both of us. What you guys think then definitely there will be a revision revision submission to the, so then we do a SOS. I’ve done this couple of times. I changed couple of times SOS with the revisions. So

Kristi Porter (00:51:06):

You’re, you’re a great catch for any company. I’m surprised they’re not out there just fighting over you, or maybe they will be after this interview. We’ll see. But I, I do wanna back up to a couple things that you said, and kind of get a little bit more of an explanation on that. The, um, first of all, you mentioned the threats on your life, all of the shooting, the, all of that, I feel like that is definitely more, the perspective that we get here in the Western world, Afghanistan is a scary place. There’s lots of bad things that go on, but I know it’s also a beautiful, amazing country. So what do you wish that people knew about Afghanistan that we don’t hear much of?

Harris Amani (00:51:44):

Actually, this will be my dream. The, the people should understand and know bitter about the good people in Afghanistan, like 60, 60 years ago, like each year plus plus 10 plus 5 million of, uh, tourists are visiting Afghanistan. It’s a beautiful country, Christy beautiful mountains, desert. It’s a beautiful country. Beautiful. So the bad, the bad thing, uh, I felt here is sometime, uh, only the media presenting the bad face of the Afghani country, because the good news will not be sell that much. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but the bad news will sell like that. Yeah. Easy to people watch, oh, what’s going on in Afghanistan, somebody from Afghanistan, do that, do that, do this, do that, do this, do that. But okay. Like let’s put me here. When I was the operation manager in Afghanistan, I was responsible for plus 300 us citizens in Afghanistan. And I take care of them like my own family.

Harris Amani (00:53:03):

And I have a record during my operation manager, not a single person injured that much. I was, I was on top of everything to save these people from all those streets around security is in. So why they are not putting something me and why they are not putting somebody like the, the first, the first, uh, award. I first, uh, bronze medal in Olympics in a country. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> why you are not going to show that why you are not going to show the beautiful mountains, why you are not going to show the beautiful river, why you are not going to show the, the, the, the good hospitality of the Afghan people, people, why you are not going to see their beautiful culture, their clothes, their food, their, their way, they live their hobbies. They are horse like Bokashi that they’re horse riding. And, and, and there’s a lot of good things.

Harris Amani (00:53:57):

Actually. There’s a positive things, Christi, that they have to focus on in a state of the bating. One thing I’m going to tell what I’m going to say here is one, but person or two, let’s see 5 million, but per, but people are in a country cannot represent that 37 million people population in Afghanistan. Right. You know what I mean? So that’s why this, this is my dream that my country should be known, has a country people with good hospitality with clean heart, with welcoming other people to, to come to visit their countries to their country. So this is my dream. Yeah. But unfortunately, sometimes we only, uh, we see our, the bad faces in the media, not the good faces, right? Not, not at all.

Kristi Porter (00:54:52):

Well, hopefully we’ll change some hearts and minds through this conversation and people catching it, um, later on as well. And Chris, I wanna bring you back in real quick. I know we’ve kind of thrown around the terms refugee a few times, um, immigrant, all of those, there are misconceptions about immigrants and refugees and the differences and kind of the per the, not only the perspectives and the circumstances, but the processes that they go through. So you wanna speak a little bit to that?

Chris Chancey (00:55:19):

Sure. Yeah. I, I think that, um, there, yeah, so, so the term refugee maybe can get misused or, or misinterpreted. Um, and so a good way to think about it is that, that kind of the highest level, uh, term that’s used as immigrant and under the term immigrant, there are lots of different categories. Um, we, we, we immediately think of documented or undocumented. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, some people would use the words, legal, you know, legal or illegal. And then, you know, you think about those who have come to the us in different ways, those who are seeking asylum, those who come on various types of visas that exist if it’s a tourist visa, um, or a student visa. So there’s all these different, um, categories under the term immigrant and refugee is one of those categories. And so, um, for those who have been resettled through the United nations through N HCR, um, they are brought to the us, they go through extensive screening from Homeland security.

Chris Chancey (00:56:22):

Uh, the director of the FBI says it’s harder to come into the country as a refugee than it is to join the FBI. And, um, and so they go through this extensive screening and then, um, they are considered a refugee. They are giving documentation to be able to do all the things that we would do as us citizens, except for being able to vote. And so they are able to, they’re authorized to work. Um, they’re able to get a driver’s license and, um, they’re able to get a job to pay taxes, to, you know, to have a bank account. Um, and then after five years they can apply for citizenship and, and, and then, um, and, and getting their citizenship would be able to, to vote as well. So, um, so that’s the, the standard kind of typical process that a refugee goes through as they come into the us, that they would be resettled in various communities across the country, um, in association with refugee resettlement agencies that exist across the country.

Chris Chancey (00:57:21):

And those are nonprofits whose job it is to meet people at the airport and, uh, help them find housing, get kids enrolled in school, uh, kinda help show them bus routes and kind of get them acclimated. And, uh, and we work in partnership with all of those agencies across the country to help with job placement. Um, so, um, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a really, um, fairly organized process. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, but there’s a lot that goes into it. And, uh, and certainly right now, as we’ve had waves of Afghans and now Ukrainians coming into the country, um, the process has been somewhat chaotic. Uh, there’s a lot of backlogs in the system, um, and the system is very much overwhelmed. Sure. And, uh, and so that’s where employers can step up and have an even greater role to play in supporting the process. And, uh, and certainly for those employers who are in desperate need of dependable employees.

Kristi Porter (00:58:18):

Yes. Well, speaking of, and of course, one of the reasons we have you on here is not just to hear both of your incredible stories, but we want more people to be hired. We know there are needs out there, especially in the world of supply chain and logistics. We hear that every day, everybody has a basic education in supply chain and logistics after the pandemic. Um, and Chris, you literally wrote the book on hiring refugees called refugee workforce, the economic case for hiring the display. So speaking to hiring managers, um, CEOs, founders, C-suite people, what do you wish more people knew about hiring refugees and what is that economic case?

Chris Chancey (00:58:54):

Yeah, thanks for asking that question. I think that a lot of companies, and these are themes we’ve already kind of touched on even throughout the podcast. I think that, um, a lot of companies there’s this thought that, um, if we can’t just go grab people in the same way that we’ve always recruited people and push them through the same process of onboarding and, and getting them into our company that we’ve always done, then it’s not really worth the additional effort that it might take to engage, you know, people that don’t necessarily, um, at least from, so that’s what we really recognize is wow, these people are incredible. I mean, you hear Harris’s story and Harris is really unique. And yet at the same time, there are people just like him that have incredible backgrounds and stories and experience, and they are somewhat sidelined from being able to, to participate in the workforce, because it really is all about, uh, getting that opportunity.

Chris Chancey (00:59:52):

And it’s all about your social network and who, you know, and getting that introduction. And a lot of times they don’t have the ability to pull on those same opportunities that we might have from growing up in this country and kind of knowing how to work the system. And so, um, we would just say on the front end, if you recognize that, um, you might change and tweak a little bit of your processes on the front end to engage this specific group of people or other marginalized groups of people that exist, um, just outside the typical kind of workforce that we, that we’re looking for, you will create a really strong pipeline of candidates who are looking for work and see your company as a viable option for them. And so the economic case is recognizing, Hey, we’re all struggling to find people. And that hits the bottom line really hard in ways that we never expect it with.

Chris Chancey (01:00:47):

There’s so many companies out there that that thought their most difficult challenge in being successful as a business would be about funding, the right, uh, you know, getting the right sales contract signed or, or, you know, getting the patent, you know, or, or, or establishing a really great supply chain. And, you know, there’s all these factors that we thought were gonna be the hardest. And in 2022, we’re saying the hardest thing is I just can’t get people to show up and do the work that I need them to do. And we’re, we’re just keep increasing our pay rates. And so if you’re willing to change a little bit of those incoming practices of recruiting and retaining talent, specifically from the refugee workforce, you will see a huge benefit in a long run of loyalty and dependability. One of the biggest stats that we love talking about is that the industry standard right now, for people who are hired on at any company is right around 30%.

Chris Chancey (01:01:37):

So 10 people start and three people are left after just one month on the job. And you guys would say, Hey, it’s much worse at our company. You know, we can’t even find 10 people much less, you know, see 10 people after a month, but we get to see numbers right at 80%. So eight out of 10 are still there after three months, seven out of 10, still working, still adding value after one year 70%. And so that just speaks to the loyalty and the commitment that comes from this community when they’re given. And they experience that loyalty and commitment from you as the employer. But we also hear companies say, oh, we tried that. And it didn’t work. And, uh, and so we just say, no, if we get involved and we help you and identify the right people and help you move through that process within, for the first few months of employment, um, it can absolutely flip, um, the numbers in your favor and have an incredible impact on this community that, that definitely seeking stability.

Kristi Porter (01:02:35):

Yeah, for sure. Thank you. And Harris, what about you? What do you wish more people knew about hiring refugees and displaced people?

Harris Amani (01:02:42):

Uh, I will recover one thing for the people especially would have more experience, but sometime the mentality of the people with good education when is getting to the us. So definitely they will be connected with one of their friends or families or anything, anything, anyone who they knows here is that the first thing, which was based on my own experience, that they were saying, your education, your experience back home is nothing in the us. You have to have a degree from the us. If you wanna get an office work, or you have to study here again and get a degree and get to use with the rules and, uh, with law. And even then you get the, a good job here, which is, which is, I say, it’s a totally misunderstanding for the people because I’m, I can say I’m a good experience. I didn’t listen to the people.

Harris Amani (01:03:35):

I didn’t listen to the community. What they’re saying, as I say it, I keep fighting and I keep tried till I, till I get the job. Like I, I, I tried for three months and I keep applying for the job because sometimes they said, if we are going to apply through the, like the online applications in the zip recruiters or, uh, um, link in or anything is said, the only thing we received, its emails, we didn’t receive an interview call or anything, but, but when I was looking for a job, you won’t believe me every night at night, till 4:00 AM. I was applying plus hundred jobs till I find out this, uh, uh, this pharmaceutical. Uh, but they have to get out of their comfort zone, right? This is what I’m going. If you are going to stay in your comfort zone and you are not going to try and open your eyes to the world and keep knocking to the door, to the doors, to the doors, then you can’t, you can’t do anything.

Harris Amani (01:04:40):

Definitely the recruiters, like a good recruiter like Chris and his team, they, they will help them as much they can, but they also need to participate and speak up and start knocking the doors and make more networkings, all around, networking all around the, all around the world. If you have a good networking system system, you are good. You are good. You will be not struggling for, for the job. For example, right now, like I was going to switch a job from this job. And I have a network which is Chris. So we, I contacted Chris, uh, uh, Hey Chris, I’m looking for a new job. Um, and he said, do you, uh, want to send your, uh, send me your resume? And even one day I missed the interior call and Chris called send me an email. And he said, Harris, this people trying to reach you.

Harris Amani (01:05:32):

This is their number, uh, number, can you please, uh, call them back? And I called them. And that, that relationship starts from there. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so definitely they have to definitely, they should usually should listen to people all around what they are saying, but pick up the positives. Yeah. Positive come up from your comfort zone. Do not stop trying. If you are currently working for a job, we are not feeling comfortable with it. And you need that money to bring food to the family, keep doing it. And at the same time, if you put two hours and aside, and instead of go to the Facebook or just chat, chat around that two hours time or one hour’s time, if you give it for yourself to look around for more opportunities, I’m more than a hundred percent. There is someone there will be someone that who needs the people, same like you.

Harris Amani (01:06:32):

Yeah, same like you, and you will get it. But all the community is not from my community, Afghani, Syrians, or all who do refugees are here in the country. They just need a step. They just need a chance to get in and a little bit, a little bit training and they are, they will, they will adopt. And they will be those type of people that they will not switch and leave you at the middle of nowhere for a couple of dollars, they will think they will think, oh, they help me. They help me on my bad time and why I should leave them at the middle of nowhere. And they don’t have an employee or misuse the company. They will not do like that. My first job, when I was a shipping and receiving manager manager, I was working for them from five to eight client, train my replacement for free because they helped me.

Harris Amani (01:07:27):

Yeah. When I need it. So I, I just give back, I give it back to them. Yeah. So this is my experience, and this is what I’m going to say to everybody. Just please get out of your comfort zone, comfort zone and keep trying, keep trying the good job. The good opportunity is not coming back off your door to knock, Hey, I need you come. How no, you have to go and look for it. Like, uh, and a good example is here is that a recently, a family moved, uh, to Atlanta Uhhuh. And he said, I was working for this company. And right now I lost the contact with all my supervisors and everybody. And I was a well known person in this company. I said, do you know the company name? And he said, yes, I put the company name. And I find that company is in, uh, not South Carolina.

Harris Amani (01:08:20):

I sit with him in the car and he said, no, I’m not going. It will be not looks good. It all I said, look, trust me. Let’s go. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. So I sit with him in my car. I drive with him to the North Carolina. I went to that office. I knocked the door and I introduce him with them. And when they get into their system, they find it out. They said, oh, wow, you worked for us for almost 11 years in Afghanistan. I said, yes, he worked for you guys. But he was afraid and is scared how to reach you guys. At the same day, they arrange a meeting with him and they said everything with them. And I was with him for two days in, uh, in Carolina. And two days they give them a job and he moved to North Carolina. Now he have a good job. So this is the people have to think like, like the companies would, will, will not follow up. Okay. After this crisis, where is Harris? They don’t care. Mm-hmm <affirmative> they don’t know where are Harris till I’m going to contact them. So reach out to them, reach out to your people, reach out to the communities, communities. This is how you’re gonna do it. Yeah. They, before they will not come and knock your door.

Kristi Porter (01:09:26):

Yeah, no, I, I love it. Um, and that’s a great segue into, this has been an incredible conversation. I’ve enjoyed talking with you both so much, and let’s get into those action steps, which is kind of where you started leading us anyway, Harris. So Chris, let’s get more people hired. How do people connect with you and take advantage of, um, AMPL recruiting and do you have any pressing needs we should know about as well?

Chris Chancey (01:09:49):

That’s a great question. So, um, we, we love connecting companies and just helping them walk through the process of if it makes sense for them based on their location, based on the jobs that they have available and all the other surrounding factors, if it’s a good fit for them to be focused on hiring from the refugee workforce. And so, um, we, we, we love walking through that process, even if it doesn’t mean direct benefit to us helping a company navigate, whether that’s an appropriate path for them, um, is something we’re doing all day every day. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, our specific approach is, is providing temp to perm staffing. So, uh, typically people are on our payroll for usually about six months, four to six months. And, and when we typically start a 40% markup, so those that are used to temp to perm, uh, staffing providers will, will know exactly what that means.

Chris Chancey (01:10:42):

So we, you know, we look and smell and act a lot like any other staffing company. It’s just that our focus is specifically providing talent from the refugee workforce. So we invoice every week, we’re covering all the, the payroll and, and, um, all the workers comp and all of that. And then they would go permanent, um, you know, with you. And then we have a direct placement, uh, option as well. You know, that, that, that people, especially if they’re stepping into a more professional work environment, um, you know, where they would be your employee from day one, and we would charge a percentage of the expected annual income. So, um, so happy to, to connect with anyone who’s, who’s listening and, uh, and just walk through the process of figuring out what might be the best path for them as they consider engaging refugees in their community. Um, emails, probably the best way to connect with me. So that’s just my first name, Chris AMPL recruiting.com. So that’s a P L I O recruiting.com and I’m sure it’ll be listed, um, on any follow up documents as well. So, uh, feel free just to reach out and we can plan a short discussion just to see how we can, how we can help and get you better connected to this community that can have a great impact.

Kristi Porter (01:11:54):

Yeah. And we three are coming to everybody today from the beautiful Atlanta Georgia area, but you guys work nationwide, right?

Chris Chancey (01:12:01):

Yeah, that’s right. We have a, you know, strong portfolio of clients that we already serve. Um, but we can operate anywhere in the us or in Canada. Um, as we, you know, have the opportunity to connect with our local, you know, refugee community. So we’re grateful to be really central to this ecosystem around the, around the country. And, you know, we call out guys like Harris and say, who do you know, in this town? And he gets us connected. And, um, and so we’re grateful to, to have a lot of friends from all over the world that we never expected would be our friends, much less our employees and, and just grateful we get to do what we do and come alongside some great companies in the process.

Kristi Porter (01:12:37):

Yeah, for sure. And heres, we’ll give you the last word you’ve already kind of given some good advice about getting outside your comfort zone, but what are a couple actions? And that may be one of them that people in their own lives outside of just recruiting or hiring or work, but talking about even just our personal lives and things like that. What, um, what are some action steps that people can take to learn more about the refugee population and support displaced individuals?

Harris Amani (01:13:03):

Uh, the one thing I will, I will advise to all the immigrants, how soon as you can adopt the culture where you live. And the second thing I had a, uh, the second thing, I will say that if you think what you are or what you are in the past, how successful you are in your country, if you keep thinking about that, you will not grow up in this country. You have to start from scratch again and build yourself. If your mentalities still set what you are in your country country. And you keep saying that stories who you are, or I done this, I done that. I was well known. I was popular these things. Yeah, definitely. That will be a history history, but you have to, you have to stop thinking about that and start, start a new life here. If you keep thinking about what you were in the past and how good life you had in the past, back home, back home, they should think about this.

Harris Amani (01:14:14):

Yeah, definitely. You have a good life there, but your life was not safe. When you are going out of home. You never know that you are coming back alive or no. When your kids are going to school, you don’t know if they are going to back come back alive or no. So this is the good opportunities here. The positive things here that you have to think at the end of the day, you have to think about your family as well, because what we do in this world for what I’m making money for, what I’m working hard to just to present a good kid, a, a good kid and a good person, a good person to this world. So that’s why you have to, again, I’m saying that come out your comfort zone and do not think what you are, think what you are going to be in this country, set up a new goal for you.

Harris Amani (01:15:06):

It doesn’t mean that you can reach your goal. In couple of months, you a couple of months, if it’s going to take you years, still, you have to, you should have a goal what you want to be and how you going to reach it, and how you going to, um, like, um, uh, KBI, like how you going to KBI it, how you’re going to manage it when and how, how you put your goals, how you are going to achieve your goals, your goals, which step you already took to achieve your goals, goals, what next step you’re gonna be? Your, your step will be to achieve your goals. So these are the stuff that stuff I presented this through a supply chain and logistics perspective, because this is how I can explain it to them. Sure. Like the good thing here is in the us as that most of these companies let the employees to set their goal, to set their goal. And then it’s up to the employees, how they pro how they will process and through reaching that goal, that goal, if you reach your goal, definitely you will get your full bonus. But if you and a half of it, you will give half bonus. So it’s a good, it’s a good experience. Mm-hmm <affirmative> actually, even if you can use that, that in your real life, you will be a successful person here.

Kristi Porter (01:16:24):

Yeah. And what about people like me and Chris and just regular Americans? How can we more learn more and embrace more? Um, people who come from other areas, especially Chris and I, like we talked about, grew up in other places that this wasn’t an option. We didn’t know people from lots of different places. And now with a, with our global world, we have that ability. So, um, you know, what would you encourage us to do?

Harris Amani (01:16:50):

Uh, I will en especially in, it’s not because you, people are already the best people. I know you go, you are successful. And, uh, and I thank you. Uh, thank Chris to give me this opportunity to meet with you guys and also openly speak up what I feel about it. But one thing I will say that, especially when a, a doctor is coming from our country through ament agencies and they are contacting to the job that the employment specialist that he needs a job. If he is a doctor, definitely he can be like, uh, work in a medical store. Yeah. But before they talk to them and more know more about them, they offer them to work in a chicken factory. Mm. And they, they lost their dignity right there. Yeah. Right there. And they lose the hope and they lost everything there. The good thing would be here is to talk, speak up with you cannot, you, you don’t, you cannot understand or know everything about a person.

Harris Amani (01:17:59):

What is written on their resume. I mean, under CV or Zumi, if we get to use with it, to talk with them more and ask them like me personally, when I’m sitting in an interview, to be honest with you, when I’m taking some interviews, interviews, 30% of my question is from job related, related, uh, questions, 70% of my indirectly and directly, I put some questions in front of the candidates that I don’t see the candidate, what he can do now. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> I see if this candidate is going to adopt more challenges in the future or not how his mentality is safe, how he knows about the culture here, how he knows how the law works here, everything. If I feel that that opportunity on one person, if he has the experience of 30%, and I see the growth of 50%, that he can adopt 50, more, 50% with a little bit training training, I will give him the opportunity in the state of that.

Harris Amani (01:19:10):

I say, I give him a number. Okay. Out of a hundred, he is on 45. And the average number acceptant is like 65 or 70 mm-hmm <affirmative> no, no. I, before I say that, all those people like me, they need an opportunity, an opportunity, just give them an opportunity and give them an opportunity, give them three months time and see how can he adopt it? No, no one, no one come to this world to learn, to learn who like, for me, I was like a kid. When I joined, I learned everything from every, like I learned a lot of things. I, today I learned a lot from you. I learned from Chris. I adopt a lot of things from you guys today. So this is what, what, especially when I am sitting on the table, when I’m taking interviews, this is how my, how I do, how I do everybody have their own rules, procedures. And definitely, uh, the company also have their own expectations as well. But this is what I feel. If, what I say, if the companies just do a little, a little turnover to left and right side, they will get the best employees they ever, they ever think from the refugee communities.

Kristi Porter (01:20:25):

Yeah. I, yeah, absolutely agree with you. I would sum it up by saying, um, more conversations lead to, um, less assumptions, which is what we all need to do less of assuming about each other. Uh, we’re a different culture, a different community, anything like that. And just open up more conversations like this one, which has been incredible. Thank you both for your time, for your experience, for your expertise. Um, I’m excited to get this out in the world and have more people learn about the, both of you and about Amio and, um, yeah, let’s the supply chain, world needs lots of good people working in it, especially right now. So let’s get more of those people hired. And thank you again, both for your time. Um, this is another amazing episode of logistics with purpose, and we hope you’ll join us next time. And thank you Harris. Thank you Chris, for your time. I really appreciate it.

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Featured Guests

Chris Chancey is the founder of Amplio Recruiting, a staffing agency placing refugees into supply chain jobs across the globe. Amplio has placed over 10K refugees into full time employment since 2014 and is based out of Clarkston, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta and known as the most diverse square mile in America. Refugees placed by Amplio are working in warehouses and distribution facilities across the US such as Sysco, Advanced Auto Parts and Albertsons Grocery. Chancey is the author of Refugee Workforce, an Amazon best-selling book on the stories and stats for the economic case of hiring refugees. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.

Ahmad Harris Amani is a committed, dynamic, goal driven operations and logistics manager with extensive experience, managing successful teams, providing superior customer service, and ensuring quality controls. He has a proven history of streamlining business processes to reduce costs and increase productivity. Connect with Harris on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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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

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.

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

Controller

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

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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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