“I think for us [growth equity investors], you need to have exactly half of it figured out. No one has it all figured out, but, for example, the most common scenarios, one where it’s very clear that you have high product quality and high customer sat and a great market opportunity, limited competitive dynamic, great team, but maybe the founder and his right or left-hand man or woman are doing all the sales. And we would say amazing business. I think we need to work on a more repeatable sales team and hire a sales ops person. And, and you really emphasize that the founder shouldn’t be doing the sales anymore, but that’s still is a great opportunity because you’ve proven the market. You’ve proven the product customers love you. And there’s just a couple of things to fine-tune. And in addition to fine-tuning it, yes, you have the gasoline on the fire analogy is a good one in the growth stage.”
-Jack Freeman, Principal, PeakSpan Capital
Startup growth and navigating the investment environment is a complex game. Greg has been there and done it multiple times, and he’s realized every, single time it’s new. Greg’s guest, Jack Freeman and he will share Jack‘s path from startup to the investor seat. What he’s learned, what he’s still learning and some new areas that he’s getting into. Jack will also share what founders and tech leaders should know about the supply chain landscape.
In this episode, you’ll get insights from yet another supply chain tech pro who’s been there and done it. Jack has been doing investments, mergers and acquisitions. He can help decode the language between founders, executives and investors to help everyone overcome the challenges, successes and enlightenment that he’s seen.
Enjoy this valuable learning opportunity with Jack Freeman, Principal at growth equity fund PeakSpan Capital. Jack leads PeakSpan’s supply chain practice. He has spent his entire career in tech, mergers & acquisitions, and growth capital. Jack currently advises and is invested 12 companies. He’s an avid cyclist, a marathoner and a semi-retired soccer player. Full Disclosure: Jack and I worked together after he recruited me to be a Sector Expert, working with supply chain techs for PeakSpan.
Supply chain is one of the hottest topics in the world right now. And supply chain investing is at a level never before seen. Join me and Jack Freeman from PeakSpan Capital as we talk about the ideal supply chain scenarios, companies, even investors, and some of the most important things you can expect from supply chain evolution over the next years. It’s time to wake up to TECHquila Sunrise. I am Greg White, your supply chain tech advisor, with more insights into what you need to know to succeed in supply chain tech startup growth, investment, and transformation. So, let’s tip a glass to another enlightening TECHquila Sunrise.
Greg White (00:59):
Startup, growth, and navigating the investment environment is a complex game. I’ve been there. I’ve done it multiple times. And every single time it’s new. My guest and I will share his path from startup to the investor seat, what he’s learned, what he’s still learning, and some new areas that he’s getting into, and what founders and tech leaders should know about the supply chain landscape. So, by the end of this episode, you’ll get insights from someone else who’s been there and done it. And someone who’s doing mergers and acquisitions today. And who can help decode the language between founders and executives and investors and help everyone benefit from the challenges, the successes, and the enlightenment that he’s seen.
Greg White (01:49):
So, let me introduce our guest, Jack Freeman, Principal at growth equity fund, PeakSpan Capital. He’s in charge of the supply chain practice. He spent his whole career in tech, in mergers and acquisitions, and in growth capital. He’s currently advising and working with and investing in 12 companies, 12 of PeakSpan’s portfolio companies. He’s an avid cyclist, a marathoner – foolishly – and a semi-retired soccer player. He’s leading their practice. I said in the supply chain space in full disclosure, he and I worked together after he recruited me to be a sector expert for PeakSpan. So, Jack, thanks for joining us. Welcome to your very first TECHquila Sunrise. Are you ready for the real start of this interview?
Jack Freeman (02:41):
I am ready.
Greg White (02:43):
All right. Cheers.
Jack Freeman (02:46):
Greg White (02:55):
Okay. I think we’re ready now.
Jack Freeman (02:55):
What a start. Thanks for having me on.
Greg White (02:59):
Yeah. Well, great having you. This was tough to put together. Putting our schedules together has been difficult, so I really appreciate you being flexible. Look, I feel like I’ve known you for longer than I have, but the thing that struck me is how many companies that you’re partnered with currently. That’s an incredibly exciting challenge. So, tell our listeners a little bit about what you do and explain also kind of PeakSpan’s position in the marketplace and also a little bit about what growth equity means just for those that might not know.
Jack Freeman (03:35):
Absolutely. And thanks again. I think it makes sense if I start with that question. I’m going to start with who PeakSpan is, what growth equity is, you know, all that, because it can get confusing in this landscape where there’s just a ton of investors.
Greg White (03:53):
Jack Freeman (03:53):
I’ll then back up and give you my personal background. And I want to weave in the question you asked me ahead of time, which was, why supply chain? Why am I passionate about it? And that question in my personal background, you’ll see are very interwoven, and we’ll get fun with it. So, PeakSpan, we’re a growth equity firm. And for anyone who’s talked to or heard of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, it sounds just like a lot of noise and there’s a million different ways to invest. The way I would paint the landscape kind of layering on risk appetite and then some strategy. But on one end of the spectrum, you have venture capitalists. The earlier you go, in my mind, the more, “I don’t understand how they do it.”
Greg White (04:45:
More risks, right?
Jack Freeman (04:46):
Investing in Amazon or Kupa before it had a dollar revenue. You’re a genius, because your seed stage investors, it’s voodoo, a lot of risks, a lot of reward. Those are the returns you read about, where Bill Gurley, you know, makes a $10 billion on Facebook. So, it’s the early burst, stuff like that. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, you have private equity. Those are more established businesses. I would say private equity, at the earliest, is getting involved, depending on the firm, like, 20 million in revenue. And for the most part profitable businesses. The most traditional private equity firms in the upmarket ones are going to focus on 20 to, like, a billion in revenue and serious profitability. And the things that private equity folks will do involve using debt to finance a transaction, using the ability to service that debt, et cetera, et cetera. Often, you know, bringing in new management, making big whole holistic changes.
Jack Freeman (05:55):
We’re in the middle, and that’s growth equity. Growth equity are businesses that have real revenue, need capital to grow, may one day be a candidate for private equity, may go public, may get back to profitability. You don’t really know. There’s a lot of decision-making in the growth stage. I would define growth stage by terms of revenue as about 3 million in revenue to that 20 million mark. When you get through that 20 million mark, you could still be raising from growth equity firms, of course. But that’s the segment that we broadly play in. And then, within growth equity, I always say we are emerging growth equity. What does that mean? It is the stage right past venture capital.
Greg White (06:41):
So, if you put an alphabet letter next to it, Jack, what letters would you be?
Jack Freeman (06:46):
The letter is tough nowadays.
Greg White (06:48):
Jack Freeman (06:49):
Yeah. It’s getting really confusing. I’d say we are looking to partner with bootstrapped or the capitalized businesses, so less than 10 or 15 million raised in prior funding is where PeakSpan would be a perfect fit. That could be in a Series A. It could be a Series C. If there was just a couple of small rounds and they decide to call them A and B, but we are 15 million raised or less. Once you get to that 15 million raised mark, things are going right. You’re probably hiring revenue and raising larger and larger rounds and a better fit for a later stage growth firm.
Greg White (07:27):
Cool. Very cool. And you mentioned 3 to 20, so that’s down quite a bit in what seems, like, relatively few years. But as I look back, it’s probably in the last ten years that it used to be for growth equity, it was 5 to 10 was the minimum, and usually it was really ten but if somebody wanted to get an early look at you they would consider you at five. But it sounds like investors – and this has been happening for some years – have come quite a bit down the revenue scale. Share with us a little bit why that is.
Jack Freeman (08:05):
It’s a great topic and we can do a whole podcast on just –
Greg White (08:09):
We could. Yeah. Maybe ten seconds long.
Jack Freeman (08:11):
Ten seconds is fine. So, two reasons I’d call out, which I think we may come back to later in the call just because it’s a friend of mine, for me, and in talking about investing. One is, there is too much capital out there and too little high-quality companies to invest in. The best example of this – and maybe a second reason – is software is eating the world and investors love software. They love the recurring revenue business model, the predictability, the innovation, the growth of the sector. For those reasons, because there’s so much capital out there, so many firms, and so few opportunities to invest in software, there’s this big supply demand and balance.
Jack Freeman (08:55):
The latest headline you can Google is Tiger Global, big [inaudible] invest in public companies. They’re the highest volume issuer of term sheets in 2021. They are, you know, kind of investing like gangbusters for at the —
Greg White (09:13):
For a week. I think I heard somebody say something like that, right?
Jack Freeman (09:17):
I think. I don’t know this firsthand. I think it’s similar to SoftBank’s [inaudible], like, two years ago, which was more series D, E, and F. Tiger Global, I suppose their thesis is, we want as much exposure to software as possible. We’re going to go at the earlier stage and do a higher volume, fund a lot of exciting companies. And I don’t know what that risk return model looks like for them. But it just shows that there’s a lot of capital, hedge funds are getting down into growth equity now, and there’s a lot of interest.
Jack Freeman (09:54):
The other reason I would say just from our perspective in software as a service is, when you’re thematic and when, let’s say, looking at a supply chain business, because there’s more data out there and more sophistication around SAS, I always tell entrepreneurs, “We have a $3 million error minimum.” If that’s three customers, you’re still too early. If that’s a hundred customers at, you know, 10K a customer, that’s a lot of data. You can analyze a lot of retention data, sales efficiency, product market fit, customer references. That could be a pretty mature business. And I think that’s part of the reason why PeakSpan feels comfortable. We previously drew the line at five. Now, we’re drawing at three, because there’s a lot of interesting businesses that are proven out their go-to market and business models at that scale.
Greg White (10:46):
And I think that’s an important distinction, Jack, is, you know, venture capital is highly speculative. You know I work with Kubera VC also, and that’s pre-seed, seed, and A round. And then, we’re done investing at that point. But we’re looking for companies that are still looking for, as you said, that product market fit. They don’t have it figured out yet, but they’re well on their way. By the time they come to growth capital, would you say it’s a fair bet to say these companies have it figured out? And, now, what they need to do is put fuel on the fire to really, really accelerate. Is that –
Jack Freeman (11:26):
That’s exactly right. I think for us, you need to have exactly half of it figured out. No one has it all figured out. But, for example, the most common scenarios, one where it’s very clear that you have high product quality and high customer sat, and a great market opportunity, limited competitive dynamic, great team, but maybe the founder and his right or left hand man or woman are doing all the sales. And, you know, we would say, “Amazing business. I think we need to work on a more repeatable sales team and hire a sales ops person.” And really emphasize that the founder shouldn’t be doing the sales anymore. But that still is a great opportunity because you’ve proven the market, you’ve proven the product, customers love you, and there’s just a couple of things to fine tune. And in addition to fine tuning it, yes, you have the gasoline on the fire analogy is a good one in the growth stage.
Greg White (12:28):
Yeah. Or opportunities to capture additional market share or additional markets with expansion of that finely tuned product, right?
Jack Freeman (12:41):
It’s another great way to look at it. There’s usually some sort of thesis on why are you raising growth capital. It could be as simple as, we have this go-to market model, it’s baked, and we want to spend more on sales and marketing. I would say a self-serve product. We invested in a company called Ecwid, an e-commerce platform, similar to Shopify, but with an API centric approach. They don’t have an outbound sales team. They’re fully inbound, self-onward, self-serve, and their go-to market is partly through channel partners, partly through direct. That’s an example of a business model where they were spending X on marketing. When we came in, they don’t need a ton of capital because they’re very capital efficient. But allowing them to double or triple the marketing budget in the few quarters following our investment just was more of that.
Jack Freeman (13:36):
You probably heard the dials and knobs analogy, where you have your business dialed in, you can crank up marketing spend, and increase revenue. That happened some of the time. But in enterprise software and supply chain, you know, that’s not the case. It’s a lot more complex building a pipeline of enterprise customers and making that predictable. That’s not necessarily a dials and knobs business versus a strategic sale, knowing your ICP, and your customer base, and intelligently targeting that ICP in a way that’s predictable and scalable. So, sometimes it’s straightforward as marketing dollars and other times it’s less straightforward.
Greg White (14:18):
So, I think we’ve already established a couple of things. And one is that you’re way smarter than I am.
Jack Freeman (14:30):
No. It’s the tequila talking.
Greg White (14:33):
Mine or yours? Who even remembers? So, I’m really interested in learning about your interest in supply chain, but before we jump into supply chain, let’s talk about a couple of other, I think, formative moments for you. Well, one is, you obviously are invested in currently a dozen companies that – or nearly a dozen that have given you a good flavor for broad spectrum of types of texts. So, what is the most fascinating, or engaging, or interesting, or motivating part of investing for you?
Jack Freeman (15:15):
Great question. I think my job that’s [inaudible] before this, the three areas I would call out, one is the people. So, unlike other categories, consumer nanotechnology and hardware where – to use your example – you actually do have to find smart investors who are savant and geniuses and know nanotechnology to, like, the next chip maker or the next Elon.
Jack Freeman (15:50):
Unlike those investments, at our stage and in SAS, yes, the technology is important. But you’re investing behind people. People are the biggest risk and also the biggest reward in a growth stage software investment. We’re analyzing markets, supply and demand drivers, competitive analysis, e-economics. Actually, it’s not rocket science. But what is very difficult is analyzing people, and understanding people, and who’s going to make a good leader, and who can build a scalable culture. So, to your point, we’ve worked with 15 partners at PeakSpan, and the number one learning is, how important it is to partner with the right people, good entrepreneurs, collaborative founders. And those things can’t really be taught. They’re more learned through experience. That’s one. I can name two others, if you want.
Greg White (16:57):
It’s your call, man. I mean, mostly I love the people aspect of it. Because you get to meet so many collections of people that are making great things happen. But, yeah, tell us what else.
Jack Freeman (17:15):
Cool. These two are more supply chain-centric, so I like these. The second also has to do with – actually, all three have to do with people. It’s great. Second one in terms of people is, in the segments that I look at it in supply chain, procurement is another good one, where you can have a great technology and a great idea and not go anywhere with it because you have to convince people on the other end of the phone to adopt your technology, one. Sometimes champion it and, like, love it so much that they’re going to turn around and present it to 60 people at their enterprise and say, “Hey, I’m Jack. Spend $300,000 on this software and change all of your internal behavior to do a display. Greg and Greg’s company said that’s the right way to do supply chain. Here’s some slideware and let’s just change the face of what we do using technology, because I think it’s a great idea.”
Jack Freeman (18:21):
Convincing a human to stick their neck on the line for your software is the hardest thing to do. The folks that can do that type of strategic selling and just helping build champions at enterprises is where you make very valuable companies. And I don’t want to belittle product and engineering. You need amazing product and engineers to build it. The product needs to be intuitive. People need to love the product. For example, I’ll compare it to Asana. I’m a power user of Asana. I’ve used it for eight years. There’s no, like, enterprise sale – they do enterprise sales, I guess – but mostly it’s product like growth. The product is what drives adoption. In a lot of the segments, we look at it in supply chain and procurement, the company’s ability to drive adoption and change management is just as important as the technology itself, that’s two.
Jack Freeman (19:21):
Three is, again, another supply chain one, but just tracing back everything to supply-demand dependencies and why something is important. Looking at e-commerce logistics technologies, why is that important? Because e-commerce has boomed over the last 12 months and has been really booming for the last few years, and we can come back to this theme. But enabling two day delivery for a brand to compete against Amazon takes, you know, a lot of work and a lot of technology to do that. And because people demand their paper towels in 16 hours time after they pressed order. Because of that need that human need and expectation, we now have this huge supply chain conundrum that takes a lot of people in companies to help solve. And I love looking for those companies and pointing back to my fiance who needs something in 12 hours time. I’ve seen that the problem gets solved through the tech. It’s great.
Greg White (20:30):
Yeah. So, to me, I think so much of that speaks to people, right? You talked about technology, you talked about how important that is. But people build the technology. They don’t build it themselves. And guess who they build it for? They build it for people who are going to use it. So, I think it is a fascinating opportunity to see people – to me, I think it’s a great opportunity to see people do something great, to apply themselves, to affecting others in an affirmative way. And so many people say this, “You can go to a thousand pitch competitions anywhere in the world. You don’t even have to go to the valley.” And they want to change the world. Whether they do or they don’t, the wanting to is what’s really inspiring as much as anything.
Greg White (21:24):
But, yeah, you’re right. The key to getting interested in any kind of market is to be excited or at least interested in it. And as you said earlier, supply chain is so complex. It’s not like Asana. It’s not like Salesforce. It’s not like certain things. If you can’t facilitate that e-commerce and facilitate that last mile delivery and everything in between, it doesn’t matter what your brand is. It doesn’t matter what your customer experience is. Because the ultimate customer experience in supply chain is delivering on what you promise.
Greg White (22:13):
And there’s so much that goes into that. And I think even people, regular consumers, you know, put us in our consumer seat, even we understand that as consumers nowadays. Having seen what happened with toilet paper, what happened with Ever Given in the Suez Canal, and all of these other disruptions, the situation in Texas, which is still impacting us and will impact us probably for the next two or three quarters. I can’t get my house painted, Jack, because polymer production went down just long enough in Texas that there is an incredible paint shortage. So, when it starts to hit home, people really realize it. And I think that is the thing that makes supply chain so incredibly valuable is that, it is the business. Supply chain is your main brand equity delivery vehicle. Delivery, no pun intended. But it really is and it has to be, because you have to be able to get the goods to your consumers before you have any need for brand equity. Coca-Cola couldn’t have become Coca-Cola without being able to deliver it.
Jack Freeman (23:37):
Aggravated. And on purpose try to pick embarrassing examples. The first three hours of my morning, I have every single object that I use laid out in a very specific spot so I don’t have to think, clothes, toothbrush, water I’m going to drink. It’s all, like, laid out so that I don’t waste any time moving throughout my day. I don’t have a dresser. I have shelves. Because a dresser would be inefficient. You’d have to open the dresser every time you want to get clothes. So, obviously, I’m not a dresser guy. It looks very much like a factory in my closet. Physical retail, if by choice, if I didn’t go to the store with my fiance to have fun for her, if you ask me, I would order everything online. No, thank you on physical retail. My video is going to freeze. I’m sorry about that.
Greg White (24:37):
I got your back. Do the physical retail part again. We’ll cut that and just do the physical retail part.
Jack Freeman (24:37):
If it keeps freezing, I don’t know – this has happened before. I guess we’ll cut all this. I can go to my phone, but I would suck if it keeps freezing. Physical retail, if it was up to me, I would not do anything in physical retail. Everything could be ordered online. The time to and from Target is an absolute waste of time. Absolute waste of time. I could be doing [inaudible] things –
Greg White (25:11):
You are a natural, Jack. You are a natural in supply chain.
Jack Freeman (25:16):
I’m just getting started. I eat the same breakfast every day. So, similar to like the Zuckerberg thing with his t-shirt, like waste of time to pick out a t-shirt, waste of time to think about what you want to eat for breakfast. Peanut butter toast and fruit every single day. I have a bike, you’ve called out earlier that I started cycling. I do that for a few charities. But if you gave me the choice, I would run versus bike any day of the week because you can run three miles. It takes 20 minutes for me, or 30 minutes, whatever. I get the same workout as an hour long bike ride, in terms of just expenditure. So, the quicker, the better. I listen to my podcast while I brush my teeth.
Greg White (26:08):
This is the best show ever. This is the absolute best. I love it.
Jack Freeman (26:15):
Thank you. And the last one is even a little more crazy. I haven’t been sick in, like, four years. Whenever I do with my health, I don’t get sick. Because going down for three days, as anyone knows, is waste of time. Like, if you go down for three days, that’s the most inefficient three days of your year. So, I don’t get sick, and I’m probably going to jinx myself based on that comment. So, suffice to say, I live my every minute of my life as one big supply chain optimization problem.
Jack Freeman (26:50):
The last thing I’ll say with supply chain, which is more near term or maybe less weird. When I was in college, I did my senior thesis I titled Combinatorial Optimization, which anyone who actually is smart knows what that means to supply chain. Essentially, I took our sports schedule and optimized it for the commissioner. So, you have football, field hockey, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, maybe volleyball, the five main sports in the fall. Twelve teams in the conference, everyone plays ten games, five home, five away. You have to swap home in away with the team that you play every year. You have to minimize the amount of classes that you make students miss. You have to minimize fuel cost and hotels. So, you’ll have to maybe go play Colby-Bates up in Maine in the same weekend. You don’t want to be going from Hamilton to Williams in the same weekend, because that’s a 12 hour drive. All of those variables.
Jack Freeman (27:53):
What fascinates me about supply chain and what I learned at that moment is that, there is no such thing as a fully optimized schedule. The MLB is the best example in a more pronounced way, because there’s 82 games, whatever amount of teams, T.V. slots. As compute power increases, our ability to optimize those equations will increase, but there’s no limit. If the computer power keeps increasing, we’ll keep finding ways to better optimize the scenarios. So, that’s my weird rant on supply chain optimization.
Greg White (28:34):
So, I hope this makes you feel better. But a lot of those things are my traits as well, always eat the same thing. And anyone who’s ever worked with me can embarrassingly quote some of these things. Always went to lunch at 11:30, because I don’t want to wait. If I went out to lunch, I always went to lunch at 11:30 because I don’t want to wait. Waiting in line is a waste of time. I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning. I do use drawers – I have to confess – or doors on my shelves. And I do select my t-shirt each day. But every single day, I’m conscious of the amount of time that I’m wasting selecting the t-shirt. And sometimes I give up and just go Harley t-shirt today, whatever I’ve got.
Greg White (29:27):
So, it’s not as odd as you think. And you will be welcomed and you will probably find more people in the supply chain industry who are like that than, maybe, even in accounting or other industries where you’d expect that.
Jack Freeman (29:46):
I’m thinking there’s going to be some support group that comes out of this.
Greg White (29:50):
Maybe so. And I hope it includes tequila. See, that’s why the tequila.
Jack Freeman (29:56):
Greg White (29:57):
So, my question to you then immediately, Jack, is, if you have all this structure in your day and your schedule and your methodology, how do you deal with disruption? Because that’s the core element of supply chain that eliminates any possibility that a supply chain will be fully optimized ever. So, how do you deal with disruption?
Jack Freeman (30:22):
It’s a great question. I’ll give you an unhelpful answer to supply chain and then a helpful answer. The unhelpful answer is, I think, I started at the beginning of COVID, but I started to do meditation. People can hopefully connect the dots, but just being able to calm down really quick is like a tool to deal with anything, anxiety, frustration. And it’s so hard. Anyone is starting meditation for the first time, like, try counting to ten without thinking about a purple dinosaur.
Greg White (31:00):
Jack Freeman (31:02):
It’s impossible. I promise you, you’ll think of a purple dinosaur the first time you do it. That is number one. The real answer, I think, and I didn’t even think about this as applied to supply chain, but as soon as disruption happens, presence of mind, recalibrate, figure out in the new world that you live in when you’ve been disrupted, what’s the best course going forward. Immediately, there’s new parameters, new variables, new goals, and you level so that you start from square one and move on.
Greg White (31:41):
So, I’ve contemplated this sort of list of things that, I guess, they would apply to life you having relayed that, that I hadn’t thought about for supply chain. So, it’s predict and preempt, plan, it’s monitor, respond, adapt, learn, rinse, and repeat. And, I mean, if you think about that, I hadn’t thought about that. That’s pretty applicable to life. Think about, you know, one of the key things – and, again, not to be too much about me – this is one thing that I think makes someone naturally a supply chain professional is, you think about what could go wrong and you try really hard to prevent or preempt it. You think about what could go wrong in your morning and your ability to get everything you want to get done efficiently. So, you put your toothbrush in the same place, you eat the same thing for breakfast.
Greg White (32:42):
It’s not dissimilar with supply chain, except that for every single one of those things, you have to have a disruptive alternative. What if the cat jumps on the counter and knocks my toothbrush on the floor? What do I do then? Do I have a backup toothbrush? Do I have hydrogen peroxide on the counter – like I do – to clean it if it gets on the floor? What? Anyway, what you’ll find is, supply chain is your support group because they think very much like that. So, you are a natural. So, I have to ask this, did you discover that and then get into supply chain? Did you get into supply chain and then discover the alignment there? Or how did that happen?
Jack Freeman (33:35):
Yeah. It was the latter, which I can explain. To trace my career, I worked at a startup. I think we’re going to talk about that. I worked at an investment bank for a few years and learned about M and A, capital raising, and finance. I then, through that, discovered a passion for working on transactions in a certain stage. So, after investment banking, I got into private equity or venture capital or growth stage. So, through investment banking, I realized partnering with the CEO and a management team and their 30 employees is like the most kickass and exciting time to partner with someone. So, that led me to growth equity. Software to always been an interest. But did not have aspirations to be a supply chain software investor until joining PeakSpan.
Jack Freeman (34:32):
And the way we kind of start is, you start a little bit more generalist. So, if you look at the companies that I worked with, or companies in customer experience management, sales technology, marketing technology, hospitality, through all of that and supply chain, of course, I very quickly gravitated towards supply chain. Probably for the reasons that, “You’re not in your head. You idiot. Listen to yourself.”
Greg White (35:00):
Well, I wasn’t thinking that. But I’m glad that it happened, for sure.
Jack Freeman (35:07):
One, actually, real example, the fourth or fifth partnership that I formed was with a company called Zingle. This goes to your lunch comment. So, Zingle is not a supply chain company. But Zingle is used cases, one that I started to do kind of before they were around, which is, they partner with a lot of location-based businesses, parking garages, delis, restaurants, golf courses, and they do business texting. So, they quite literally have a customer who’s around the corner from my hometown, a bagel store. And they allow the customer to text, “I want a bagel and a coffee,” so that they can come in and it’s ready, not to waste five minutes sitting in line and paying for it and all that. So, I’ve been doing that since I had a phone. I realized, I can call the deli and say, “Hey, can I order this sandwich over the phone?” They’re like, “Yeah. Sure. Whatever.” Order the sandwich, it’s waiting for you when you arrive, pick it up, and save five minutes waiting in the store. That’s what Zingle enabled. And stuff like that really, like, perked my interest right away. And that kind of was a stepping stone.
Greg White (36:23):
And you’re from New York originally?
Jack Freeman (36:26):
Greg White (36:27):
Okay. But still deli country. So, being prepared, and I’m not sure that the whole world is aware of this, but being prepared when you walk into a deli, especially in New York and New Jersey, absolute necessity. Because the place is – I mean, all the places I ever went in New York, they were always packed, always in a hurry, always maybe a little bit short curt with you. And, man, having that to avoid all of that risk is also a huge benefit, isn’t it? You just walk in, grab the bag and the cup, and walk out.
Jack Freeman (37:03):
Absolutely. If you’ve ever walked into a bagel shop in rush hour – actually, I worked at one when I was in high school. It’s chaos. And, like, having an assembly line and pulling the paper to wrap the bagel in, and scooping the cream cheese, it’s like a show [inaudible].
Greg White (37:28):
I’m thinking of my favorite bagel shop here in Atlanta now, as a matter of fact. I’ll run by New Yorkers, of course, so they already have the incredibly efficient process in place and it is bulletproof process. And you better not try to mess it up either.
That’s the first half of our interview with Jack Freeman from PeakSpan Capital. Join us next week when we wrap up and you’re going to get to learn a lot more about Jack and combinatorial analytics, maybe even something more interesting. How can I help you improve your shot at supply chain tech success? Four ways. One, subscribe to TECHquila Sunrise wherever you get your podcast to make sure you’re notified of my new episode every week. Two, follow me on LinkedIn and see my supply chain summaries every weekday. Three, if you’re a startup founder or growth stage leader and you need an active advisor to propel you through your supply chain tech journey, I’m currently considering select strategic advisory roles. Or, four, if you need an incubator or investment for your supply chain tech, reach out to me on LinkedIn and let’s talk.
Jack Freeman has worked with growth-stage technology businesses his whole career and most recently is a partner to twelve portfolio companies at PeakSpan. Prior to joining PeakSpan, Jack worked for Stackpop, an early-stage startup where he was the team’s second business development hire and helped build out a SaaS-based cost management platform to help CTOs and IT teams buy and manage their internet infrastructure. After his startup was disrupted by AWS, Jack joined Macquarie Capital where he spent three years executing software M&A and capital markets transactions. Jack holds a B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College; and prior to Middlebury, he played division I soccer for Seton Hall University. Jack lives in Brooklyn Heights with his Fiancé and recently rescued puppy, Willow – the sweetest Great Pyrenees you’ll ever meet. Once a year, Jack champions a team of thirty in a charity bike ride to the Hamptons to support his brother’s autism program, Quest, where he’s raised over $100K. Jack still tries to hold his own out on the pitch (soccer), but has become a more avid marathon runner and is halfway to completing the “big six” world marathon majors.
At PeakSpan, Jack leads investment theses surrounding Supply Chain, Procurement, E-Commerce Logistics, and Payments. Connect with Jack on 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.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Vice President, Production
Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.
Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.