You have a great product. You have top-notch talent. You have a process that’s been carefully mapped out. So, what’s missing? Join us to hear from executive, speakers and leadership authority Billy Ray Taylor. In his groundbreaking guide, The Winning Link, Bill Ray Taylor outlines A Proven Process to Define, Align, and Execute Strategy at Every Level – from top management to front-line employees. You’ll also hear Billy’s goals for The Winning Link podcast here on Supply Chain Now.
Welcome to TEKTOK digital supply chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business, impact, supply chain success, and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TEKTOK host, Karin Bursa, the 2020 Supply Chain Pro-to-Know of the Year. With more than 25 years of supply chain, and technology expertise, and the scars to prove it, Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights, and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up, it’s time for TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.
Karin Bursa (01:13):
Okay. Welcome back, supply chain movers and shakers. Karin Bursa here and I want to thank you for joining us today on TEKTOK, the digital supply chain podcast. I want to thank you also for helping to make TEKTOK a recognized member of a couple of top lists recently. TEKTOK was just recognized on the Feedspot Top Supply Chain Podcast. We came in at numbers 16. It was so exciting. I know you guys are probably laughing at me right now, but it was just a lot of fun. And Supply Chain Now, who produces TEKTOK, is still number 1. So, thank you so much for tuning in to Supply Chain Now and for helping TEKTOK get recognized at number 16 on that list. Now, I want your help though, help me stay on that list, and when you hear from our guest today, you’re going to want to share this episode with a couple of friends. So, I want you to think of three friends and be sure to forward this onto them, give them your recommendation, and ask them to tune into TEKTOK, because they’re going to want to learn from my new favorite author. My new favorite author is Billy Ray Taylor, and he is the CEO of LinkedXL, but he’s also the author of a brand-new book. And the new book is called The Winning Link. Billy, thanks for joining us today and congratulations on the book publishing.
Billy Taylor (02:48):
Well, thank you, Karin. One, thank you for having me and congratulations to you. That’s a major accomplishment to be on those lists. Well deserved.
Karin Bursa (02:57):
Yes, it is. It’s a lot of fun and it was a big surprise. So, I am just thrilled that the listener base for TEKTOK continues to grow and that those that watch the market are seeing the numbers climb. So, it’s an exciting thing. And, Billy, we’re going to talk about it in just a few minutes, but you’ve got a new show that’s part of the Supply Chain Now portfolio as well. So, I’m going to come back around to that, because our listeners are going to want to become your fans as well. I am confident, confident that they’re going to get fired up and inspired by what you have to share. So, tell me about your book. So, the book is called The Winning Link: A Proven Process to Define, Align, and Execute Strategy at Every Level. Billy, is it fair to say that this has been a labor of love for you?
Billy Taylor (03:51):
Absolutely. It’s what I’m passionate about. It’s like my purpose in life, right? How do you engage people through a connected business model? Through 30 years with Goodyear tire and rubber company, I often went into the most challenging situations or environments, and the common thread was that connection, that connected business model, because if you don’t clearly define what winning is, then winning’s a secret. And as I often say, you can’t manage a secret. It’s impossible. It’s impossible.
Karin Bursa (04:22):
Yeah, Billy. We were just talking in the pre-show and I know that you’ve got a winning attitude, a winning mindset, and you really understand what it takes to bring teams together, but I was hooked right away by something as I was skimming through an early release of the book, I saw a statement, “You’ve got a great product, you’ve got topnotch talent, you’ve even mapped out a solid process, but what’s missing? Why aren’t you winning?” And I was hooked right away, because I’ve seen it hundreds of times, the best product doesn’t always win. How did you get this concept, Billy, around The Winning Link?
Billy Taylor (05:07):
Well, it’s from failing. I went into organizations that were struggling and I was struggling as well. And I had to understand, why were we failing? We had a great strategy, but we were failing to execute. And what I’d say is—what I figured out was strategy plus execution equals results, but why were we still failing, the plus? Who owns what in the strategy? What do we want to accomplish? Do people know how they contribute? And when we start building that model, we looked at the accountability pyramid, where 5% of the people think they make everything happen.
Karin Bursa (05:49):
Wow. 5%. Oh.
Billy Taylor (05:50):
And those are those top dudes at the top. They sit in the conference room, they sit in the boardroom, and they come with these elaborate strategies, but they don’t deploy those strategies. They don’t connect them. And then, 15% watch and 80% wait. What we figured out is how to flip the pyramid, where the 80% are executing. That business model there is what drove results, and great leaders real should realize you work for the people, they don’t work for you. You should enable them, eliminate constraints.
Karin Bursa (06:21):
Yeah. Now, you said a couple of things there, too. You said leaders. Not managers, leaders, right? And that may sound like I’m playing with vocabulary here, but it’s a very different mentality to lead a team than it is to manage a team. Tell me about that.
Billy Taylor (06:41):
Managing, in the old school, they’re directing people. That authority versus influence. Leaders are very influential, right? When I was a young manager, there was this management style called Theory X. It’s authoritarian. You force people to do and you pound it on the table, and that worked back then. Today, Theory Y is what works, right? Get people influenced. Why are we doing it? Help them understand their purpose and the team, and also, the team’s purpose in them. And so, what we realized was as a leader, you influenced, so they can impact, right? Good leaders, they do change with the people, not to the people. And see, a leader, I always say, egos erode effectiveness. A lot of managers have egos. It’s all about them. And for a leader, it’s about us. And so, how do we engage people, have round tables, communicate to people, be very deliberate of what we’re doing. Leaders are deliberate. They don’t force things on people. They engage people.
Karin Bursa (07:52):
Yeah. And I think that that’s really important, because even as a marketer, I’ve spent years and years in marketing and market strategy, we get tired of a message before it fully penetrates the marketplace. So, to share that and recognize when the team is living the goals, if you will, I think, is really important to making sure that they take ownership of the outcome. It’s not that leadership, or that C-suite, or the people sitting in a conference room, it’s what you said, Billy, it is the team members that are out there walking the walk, and talking the talk, and doing the small things every day that help to create that competitive advantage. And I think that it takes longer, right? It takes longer. Twenty years to be an overnight success, right? It takes longer to drive success than most anticipate. Give us an example, maybe, of some early indicators that a company is making a transition in this thought process or in harnessing The Winning Link, if you will. What are a couple, two or three things, we can do early in the process that are going to help us maybe change our mindset?
Billy Taylor (09:17):
Well, one is when you talk about engagement, it’s around, what are your key KPAs? Most companies only focus on KPIs, they key performance indicators. The influential companies focus on the KPAs, the key performance actions, that drive. So, when you’re building your strategy, first, identify the actions you’re going to take, and then connect those to your measures, and that will tell you if your actions are really driving the bottom-line results. And so, what we do is create a process called purpose mapping. It’s really a strategy on a page. It’s your soap. And what it does, it says, here’s what we’d like to accomplish, and let’s just use the example, I want to lose weight. If I stand on the scale, that’s a KPI, that tells me my weight, but what I should really focus on is, did I watch my calories? Did I work out every day? Did I get all my steps in?
Billy Taylor (10:15):
If I do all these things, how is that impacting my results? Let’s take that in companies. I can focus on safety and I’ll measure accidents, it’s too late. I should measure on MI compliance, are people following the rules? Those are KPAs that I should track on a daily basis, and that will keep me safe. The other is too late and I’m reactive. After someone gets hurt, I go out, right? If we look at spend and other things, focus on your KPAs that drive your KPIs, and then you win. And the other point is, and this is one where I was a young leader in my, I’m going to say late 20s, and I went to be assistant plant manager as an African-American in the deep south. So, I’m there, the person I’m replacing, doesn’t even know I’m coming, and they didn’t have-
Karin Bursa (11:12):
Oh, no, and you just show up.
Billy Taylor (11:14):
And they had no minorities on the leadership team, and I was kind of handpicked. One because of my ability to work with people. Well, three days later, they let go of the plant manager, and they give me the keys, and say, hold on, until we hire someone, we’re 6 million in debt.
Karin Bursa (11:33):
Billy Taylor (11:33):
At that point, that’s when I realize it’s really not about me, it’s about us. And I spent the majority of my time engaging with the people, hearing the people, doing round tables, people want to be heard, they want to be valued. And so, my greatest strategies came from the shop floor. And so, to turn that organization around, I created platforms to hear the voice of the people. And so, that’s what really changed, and that point of celebrate the process, not the individual. Embrace the individual, right? Celebrate the person following the process, because if you celebrate the individual, you create arsonists, people that set fires to be recognized, and you don’t want to do that. And one of my sayings that I talk about is at that point as a leader, to make it not about me, I was hard on the processes and I led easy on the people.
Karin Bursa (12:39):
Hmm. That’s great advice. I like the, it’s not about me, it’s really about we, how do we do this together? But I do, Billy Ray, I like the focus on the process, because I think that manufacturing personnel in particular are very process-oriented. They look at these problems on a regular basis and their brains immediately think about efficiencies, and quality, and process improvement, and meeting goals. I mean, these are things that are inherent in the mindset of a strong manufacturing team. You give them a problem to tackle, they enjoy the intellectual exercise on helping to define how to get there.
Billy Taylor (13:31):
Absolutely. And sharing with them, I share a lot of my mother said stories. Well, one of the things that I’ll never forget that she talks to me about as a leader, it was kind of connected to being a parent. She put me in position so I could fail, but she made it safe for me to fail. But she’d often say, if I fight all of your fights, son, I’ll steal all your victories, so I have to let you go through those cycles of change so that you can grow and mature. It’s that way with organizations, and those things resonate with me. They resonate quite often just about life. Leadership is not about just working. It’s about being a good person in life, being process-oriented in what you do, from the way you dress to the way you carry yourself. How do you show up?
Karin Bursa (14:23):
Now, you’ve captured a lot of this in your book, The Winning Link. Tell me about, when is that going to be available? I know it’s publishing in August, right? Late August?
Billy Taylor (14:36):
Yes, August 19th, it’s officially released. It actually shipped from the warehouse today, to those that preordered. So, August 19th is when it officially hits the shelves.
Karin Bursa (14:51):
That’s exciting. Congratulations. I know that that is a big, big milestone, to actually see it and know that it is shipped from the warehouse, and I’m really excited to get a copy myself, and we’re going to make a couple of copies available to the TEKTOK audience. So, when this podcast publishes, we’ll give you details, TEKTOK movers and shakers, on how you can be entered in a drawing to get a copy of the new book, The Winning Link. And, Billy, it’s really like a field guide. It’s very practical. I want to thank you for the opportunity to skim through some of the pages, but I was really impressed with just how practical and methodic it is in going through that transition of how we think about a problem, and how we motivate our teams, and then how we empower them as leaders to get the job done, and to innovate, and in some situations that you shared, to even go beyond what expectations were in driving results.
Billy Taylor (15:57):
Yes, it was—actually, I rewrote it three times. It was interesting, because I kept looking at it, I didn’t want to sound like a scientist, I didn’t want to sound like it was so difficult to drive change on operational excellence. And so, we made it practical for a leader at any level of an organization. It was interesting, you’ll appreciate this, a conversation I was having over a cup of coffee with a senior leader, and he goes, Billy, I was listening to the monkeypox story and the breakdown in the management system. We knew about monkeypox. We knew how to control it. We even had the treatment. What broke down was the management system, the governance and sustainability, and they could have used your book. And he goes, because it was around those things, you know what, they quit looking at the KPAs, the key performance actions, and now, they’re trying to play damage control. And so, I thought that was really interesting.
Karin Bursa (16:57):
That is interesting. And it’s interesting that once you see a good process, a good framework, how you are able to apply that to a number of different types of problems or opportunities as well.
Billy Taylor (17:09):
Karin Bursa (17:11):
So, I think as it becomes part of your DNA, which, Billy, obviously, you’ve been doing this for decades and have been doing the hard work in the details as you were motivating teams for improvements. You told us just a moment ago that you were thrown into some pretty dicey environments and turned them around. So, that’s amazing. Congratulations.
Billy Taylor (17:36):
Thank you. Thank you very much. And I think that’s where the core of the book comes from, those assignments, and the lessons learned, and the relationships I built with people. And I would say through that 30 years, I was more the student than I ever was the teacher. I mean, from Sammy, the janitor, to Rich Kramer, the CEO, I had mentors that didn’t even know they were my mentors.
Karin Bursa (18:04):
I love that, but do you know what I really like about just your philosophy there, more the student than the teacher, is I think that we have to remain teachable, and we have to ask ourselves, am I willing to learn and think about this differently? Obviously, you bring that mindset with you every day. If you still think of yourself today, 30 years later, as more a student than teacher, I think that that just shows how it’s instilled in your DNA, Billy. And I think that that is a very, very important personal attribute that we need to remember, especially as we advance in our companies, and become managers, leaders, executive team members, I would often tell my teams, look, it doesn’t mean I have all the answers, but I got a whole lot of questions I need your help figuring out.
Billy Taylor (18:59):
That’s right. That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. And if you can have that mindset, people will want to follow you, people will engage with you. They’ll want to be around you, right? They’ll own it. In those leaders, we’re talking ego, one of the things my mother used to say to my brothers and I, when we got to thinking, we will start to be a little full of ourselves, and she would often tell us, I know how I could retire, and we’re like, what do you mean? She says, I like to buy you three boys for what you think you’re worth and sell you for what you’re really worth.
Karin Bursa (19:38):
She’s working the margin out already on you.
Billy Taylor (19:41):
And we looked at her, and she’d say, the issue with being successful with some people is when you know enough to know you’re right, but you’re not willing to know enough to know when you’re wrong. And I took that to heart as a manager growing up, you know what, like you said, I know enough to know when I’m right, but I have to be open-minded to know when I’m wrong. And I would say, yeah, I had 13 degrees, and people see, yes, I was really smart, I earned two and I hired 11, right? And I used all 13, but that was some of the things, as a leader, really, my struggles were my greatest assets. My journeys and my setbacks were my greatest assets. And I often say when I speak to people, what qualifies me to be up here speaking to you is because I lived through it, I failed through it. I can talk to you from a practical perspective. Even the book, it’s written from a practical perspective. It’s not about how to do it right, it’s also about what I did wrong and how we overcame.
Karin Bursa (20:52):
Yeah, and it is. And I highly recommend it. It’s called The Winning Link. Now, Billy, that’s going to be available in just a matter of days here in August of 2022, but you’ve got some other exciting news. You’ve not been sitting back on your laurels, you’ve just launched a podcast by the same name, called The Winning Link, and it’s going to be published through Supply Chain Now, as well. Tell us a little bit about that and what you hope to achieve with the podcast.
Billy Taylor (21:23):
Well, it is bringing on practitioners that I went through similar journeys as myself that have something to offer, from next generational leaders, these are leaders that are supposed to be next generational leaders, but they’re leading now. One CEO of this company called Bounce Innovation Hub, Jessica Sublett, she’s the CEO, young lady, is making changes. She is one of the most credible leaders I’ve ever been around. She’s just going to talk about her story. And as I’ve said to her, imagine that young lady looking at this TV talking himself out of being successful, and when they see you, they’re going to think, wow. And it’s seasoned leaders, myself, that have something to offer the audience. It’s about personal development and business development, right? How do you grow yourself? How do you take that ownership to make change in yourself? Because often, you’re your greatest enemy, right? And I often say this repeatedly, coming up, my mother would never let us focus on the glass ceiling. She would always say, focus on your sticky floor, things that you can control. When you do that, people can’t break you down. People can’t convince you that you can’t achieve something. Yeah, you may fail, but you’re going to fail forward with that mentality. You’re going to grow from those opportunities. So, my show is about growing, getting people to grow, just getting outside your comfort zone.
Karin Bursa (22:54):
That’s awesome. I can’t wait to tune in and listen to it again. The podcast, for our TEKTOK listeners, is called The Winning Link, same name as Billy Ray Taylor’s new book called The Winning Link. So, Billy, I want to thank you for giving us just a little sneak peek today. You’ve mentioned your mom a couple of times, and she sounds like an incredible woman. And she’s got a way for putting things that just gives you a tremendous word picture. In fact, I love the dedication in the front of your book. I always like to see who people dedicate all of this labor of love, this hard work to. There’s a story in there, and you’re going to do a better job explaining this than I will do here, but it is about when a bird lands on a branch, right? And you’ve also mentioned failing and not being afraid to fail. Tell us just a little bit about that story in learning to trust, really, your potential to do good things, not a desire for perfection.
Billy Taylor (24:06):
Absolutely. Well, I was running the world’s largest tire plant and I knew I was going to Corporate America, but the phone call came and it wasn’t to Corporate America. I was being reassigned to the worst plant in our footprint. And I called my mom, and I said, I’m not going to take that job. I said, no way, it’s not fair. I said, and everybody I know that went to that job, it was like, Gilligan’s Island, you started out on a three-day trip and you never came back. So, I said, no one, and she says to me in a stern voice, I’m disappointed in you. And she says, I’m very disappointed in you that you’re not going to accept that opportunity. And I said, what do you mean? She said, well, I’m going to ask you a question, and then I have to go. She says, son, if a bird lands on the branch, does the bird trust a branch or does it trust its wings?
Billy Taylor (24:54):
I said, well, what do you mean? She says, hmm, let me give you a clue. I’ve seen many birds land on branches, son, but what I have never, ever seen is a branch breaking, the bird fall and die. Trust yourself, trust the process, and you will be okay. Now, call me tomorrow and let me know if you accepted that job or not. And I took the job and it was the best turnaround assignment I’d ever had in my career. It launched me. So, she was right. Trust yourself.
Karin Bursa (25:25):
That’s amazing. Thank you for that inspiration and just sharing that story with us here today. Billy, what’s the best way for our TEKTOK listeners to get in touch with you?
Billy Taylor (25:37):
Through LinkedIn. I’m often looking at it late at night. Instead of a TV show, I’ll catch up on what’s happening in the business news, and I reply to all of my LinkedIn comments, and replies back. And so, that’s the best way to catch me. Recently, even the book wasn’t somewhere available, a couple of people reached out, it’s not letting me order on Amazon. I wrote them back personally and called Amazon the next day or called my publisher and we got the issue fixed. So, I answer my own personal LinkedIn messages.
Karin Bursa (26:10):
That’s it, doing the in the details and doing the work right alongside everybody else. So, Billy Ray Taylor, thank you so much for joining us today and congratulations on your new book called The Winning Link, as well as your new podcast also called The Winning Link. Listeners for TEKTOK, if you’ve enjoyed the conversation today, I encourage you to check out the podcast and get a copy of that book. I think you’re going to be inspired to do great things and your teams are going to thrive. So, thank you once again, Billy, for joining us.
Billy Taylor (26:43):
Thank you, Karin. Thanks for having me and what a great show you have as well. Thank you.
Karin Bursa (26:46):
Thanks so much. Alright. So, TEKTOK movers and shakers, thanks for joining us today. Remember, I’m challenging you to share this episode with three, three people so that they can learn more about Billy’s new book and also become fans of TEKTOK. So, we need your help in spreading the good news. Our goal with TEKTOK, the digital supply chain podcast, is to help you eliminate the noise, and focus in on the information and inspiration you need to transform your business, and replace risky inventory with valuable insights. And today, I think maybe we gave you just a little bit of inspiration from our friend here, Billy Ray Taylor. We’ll see you next time on TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.
Billy Taylor is an American business executive, dynamic speaker and leadership guru. He is the CEO and President of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm. Taylor spent 30 years with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT), serving as Director of North America Manufacturing and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. During his tenure at Goodyear, the company’s earnings rose from -38M to +1B. As the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Goodyear, Taylor led diversity and inclusion strategies for 64,000 employees across the 22 countries where Goodyear operates. Connect with Billy on LinkedIn.
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.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
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.
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.