As network endpoints proliferate, companies large and small face new challenges across security, compliance and privacy. In this episode, Kevin L. Jackson discusses these challenges with three leaders in telecommunications services, Noah Rafalko and Shane Unfred of TSG Global and Jim Johnson from Total Network Services (TNS). Tune in to hear their thoughts on how the phone number has become the new social security number, the promise of blockchain for helping to increase telecommunications security, the difference between public and private blockchains, digital solutions for increasing endpoint protection and more.
Welcome to Digital Transformers, the show that connects you with what you need to build, manage, and operate your digital supply chain. Join your host in a timely discussion on new and future business models with industry leading executives. The show will reveal global customer expectations, real world deployment challenges, and the value of advanced business technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotic process engineering. And now we bring you digital transformers.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:32):
Hello everyone. This is Kevin L. Jackson, and welcome to Digital Transformers on Supply Chain. Now, today’s show is sponsored by Total Network Services. TNS is an ecosystem of apps and technologies specifically designed to enable the new blockchain economy. So before we get started though, I have a few questions for you in the audience to consider. So, how important are smartphone in your everyday life? Do you use a voice controlled virtual assistant, something like Alexa or Siri, or a Google Assistant in your everyday life, uh, in your home or in your office? Do you ever think about how many video cameras are looking at you right now? Do you know all of the cameras that are around you? How about the one that’s right there in front of you on your computer or laptop? Your answers to these questions will tell you how the I o T or the internet of things are affecting you right now. They will also help you focus on today’s three topics of security, compliance, and privacy across the telecommunications Network network. So on today’s show from TSG Global, we have Noah Alco, the TSG founder and ceo. We have Shane Unread, the Executive Vice President for business development and product management. And from total network services, we are pleased to have Jim Johnson, tns Business Development Manager. Thank you gentlemen for being on the show.
Noah Rafalko (02:35):
Thank you. Thanks for inviting us, Kevin.
Kevin L. Jackson (02:38):
Oh, yes, my pleasure. So, so to get started, Noah, where are you physically in this world? And, and please tell us a little about TSG Global.
Noah Rafalko (02:51):
Okay, thank you, Kevin. Uh, my name is Noah Belco, and currently I am located just south of Boston, Massachusetts, the sports capital of the world. <laugh>, let everyone know
Jim Johnston (03:01):
Noah Rafalko (03:02):
Jim Johnston (03:03):
Ok. Wow. Yankees, <laugh>.
Noah Rafalko (03:07):
Haven’t, haven’t won anything quite in a bit, but, We’ll, we’ll, uh, so, uh, founded TSG a long time ago in 2006 as a consulting company, and really just tried to address the issues that our clients brought to us, which were generally around process and navigating this very, very, uh, ever changing world of telecommunications in all of its technology that came along with it, whether it was the internet or voiceover IP that went over it, where now SMS that actually goes over it and soon to be, uh, information over blockchain. So, very happy to be here, and thank you for having us.
Kevin L. Jackson (03:47):
No, thank you very much. This has an exciting discussion. And Shane, um, how about you? Are you in Boston also? Are you near nor what, and what’s your role in the company?
Shane Unfred (03:59):
Yeah, I, I’m actually located in Denver, Colorado. The, the home of the orange sunset, also known as Denver Broncos
Noah Rafalko (04:07):
Shane Unfred (04:10):
So, uh, yeah, my role is around partnerships and alliances, uh, and figuring out how to make a, a stronger ecosystem with, uh, blockchain and, and telecommunications in total.
Kevin L. Jackson (04:24):
Great. So, uh, we have people all over the country. So, Jim, I, I think you’re out in, aren’t you?
Jim Johnston (04:31):
Kevin L. Jackson (04:33):
Have you any of my,
Jim Johnston (04:35):
No, all the money goes to the house here,
Kevin L. Jackson (04:39):
So introduces tns.
Jim Johnston (04:41):
Sure. Uh, um, thank you, Kevin for inviting me to the podcast today, and I look forward to the discussion. I’m out here in Vegas on the los on the trade. So, uh, circuit, originally from New York. My name is Jim Johnson, uh, the business Development Manager for Total Network Services in, uh, the Unified Communica Communication Identifier. Um, the Universal Communication Identifier is a blockchain enabled service for supply chain security, device management, software licensing, uh, geospatial tracking in both, in both physical and virtual assets on a distributed ledger. So I’ve spent many years in telecommunications, in cybersecurity space, and after seeing the capabilities here at U C I D, uh, I jumped the chance to be part of this team that’s focused on the cutting edge technology and, uh, endpoint solutions, security solutions.
Kevin L. Jackson (05:36):
Oh, great. So thank you very much for joining us and of course, sponsoring this show. So, Shane, at the start of the show, I alluded to the importance of telecommunication networks and the I t to our everyday lives. According to the TSG website, your company has a quote, senior focus on supporting the customer’s communication strategy while keeping an eye on their future. You also highlight the use of blockchain technology to mitigate fraud, protect privacy rates, and enable easy connectivity. How does blockchain fit into anyone’s telecommunications strategy?
Shane Unfred (06:23):
Kevin? There’s a lot of different use cases within telecommunications, uh, that block blockchain can leverage in support. It really comes down to identity associated with the telephone number. Okay. And everything that we do as consumers or enterprises or even carriers, we attach a telephone number to something. It could be an iot device, it could be your voice service, it could be your internet service, co-location, and many other services outside of telecom. So as we begin, this industry begins to evolve into the digital world, the gig economy, edge device, and computer Web 3.0. Having a, a trusted source of information that’s associated with an identity that can tie to a, that ties to a phone number and build out a record that can be trusted and am val validated and tested by that supply chain, becomes very important and valuable, and the way that helps solve many of the challenges in the industry. Um, you talk about, we’ve seen a lot of discussions around robocall fan text messages. This technology lends its cap capabilities and trust to be able to solve those issues more effectively than what we’re doing today.
Kevin L. Jackson (07:46):
Well, you know, I don’t think many people realize that everything that’s connected to the network has an actual telephone number, even if you don’t call it.
Shane Unfred (07:57):
Right. And we, our viewpoint is there’s one unique identifier on a global basis mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that happens to be a telephone number.
Kevin L. Jackson (08:08):
Wow. That’s, that’s, that’s, that’s huge. So, so Jim tns is also a blockchain company, and, and you just recently launched this new service, the U C I D, it targets the telecommunications industry also. So how does blockchain fit into your new service?
Jim Johnston (08:29):
Well, blockchain creates an immutable and unedible permanent record of any physical or virtual asset that we place on a distributed ledger. The U C I D is connected to the E I D, the I M E I, eim and, uh, phone number as we were just speaking about, and anything tokenized on a distributed ledger. So that’s what we’re, that’s what we’re going after and what we’re, what
Noah Rafalko (08:54):
Kevin L. Jackson (08:57):
Okay. So it sounds like the U C I D is sort of linked to the device, whereas the, the, the telephone number is sort of personal and it’s the, the, the user or, or the organization or location. And, and, and Noah earlier, um, when I talked about the panel was going to focus on the importance of security, compliance, and privacy. Uh, these seem to be all critical to how we depend on the global telecommunications network. Uh, your focus on telephone numbers really is the, the heart of your solution that addresses all three of these items. The, the T N I D, Could you please explain the solution and its importance?
Noah Rafalko (09:52):
Sure. Well, I wish we could claim credit for it, but the, the society has chosen a phone number as one of its, uh, acceptable use case identifiers, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we put it into our medical records, our voting records, uh, and it becomes virtual at that point. It becomes beyond a telephone number, truly, uh, it’s become our, our, our social security number in this new digital world. And with any identifier, it really comes into, uh, you know, how, how attested is that data? How many people can agree that that data is correct. And that’s where TNS and I, uh, and, uh, TSG completely overlap and support each other because in this new future, there’s going to be identity management supported by different elements that you live and breathe around today. Uh, there are a lot of devices that are telecommunications infrastructure supports, and there’s going to be many layers of outside and inside identifiers necessary to support them for all of us, because we’re, we’re growing at, uh, an unbelievable amount of iot devices to human beings on this planet.
Noah Rafalko (11:04):
And it’s happening beneath us, not us actively doing it. Uh, so having an identity that’s associated, like a telephone number is where we focus, because we come from the world of telecommunications. And telecommunications is marred with its own difficult issues, including robocall and robo texts. But if you really dig to the core of it, if you knew that you were going to be identified sending something, would you even attempt assemble? So we believe it just comes down to identity and working with partners like TNS and so many others that want to just help good communications and good identity, uh, supersede the, uh, what’s existing in this nefarious, uh, taking, uh, these nefarious events that are taking our identity away from us and not allowing us, us to manage it ourselves. Which, as I mentioned earlier, we’re already doing with our phone number in so many different ways.
Kevin L. Jackson (11:59):
Well, you know, I, I read just the other day that next month they’re gonna be over 8 billion humans on this earth. And I know personally, I, I probably have like 20 devices that are associated with me. So this means these are trillions and, and trillions of telephone numbers, um, that we need to manage that may be associated with each of these 8 billion humans. Uh, how, how are you going to do this? And, and, and Shane, what other ways is, uh, TSG Global protecting our communications? It sounds like a big job.
Shane Unfred (12:43):
It is a big job, but one that we can do and confident we can do, uh, especially with partners such as tns, to, to let, enable us to build a record that becomes even stronger because of different components that tie into it, right? The way we solve it is it’s really around compliancy. There’s many components around compliancy, whether text messaging in the US or registration of text messaging in Germany, every, uh, country has different requirements of compliancy. And how do you ensure that your customers remain compliant? And with T N I D, we set walk a customer through the process to the point that if they say they’re compliant, there’s checks and balances to ensure that they’re compliant. And the record, as Jim had noted, is stored in an immutable database. So you always have record of what was entered in and, and stored, but also checks and balances to ensure compliancy of, of that information. So that as well as building, uh, everybody knows the kyc know your customer, Uh, this enables multiple layers of that KYC to where the supply chain can see from the very end customer, whether consumer or an enterprise, all the way up to the government level to say, who is in that chain? And as everybody approved for that service, that’s associated with that number, right? That gives a check and balance that doesn’t exist today. And this is how it further protects consumers and enterprises going forward, as an example.
Kevin L. Jackson (14:28):
Well, I, I wanna pull on that a little bit since we are on the, uh, supply chain now and, uh, network, uh, you mentioned supply chain, and I always like to refer to our information, uh, supply chain. Um, does, does that make sense? Are you protecting our information supply chain?
Shane Unfred (14:51):
So in, in one of the beauty parts of this new technology is that each entity within the supply chain can permission their identity and information that they wanna permission out mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and more importantly, it enables the industry globally to be able to share information that doesn’t violate privacy nor confidentiality. It gives them a mechanism to say, Hey, I think this number is bad, or, I think this number is really good, Um, and without conflicting with any privacy laws and so on. So, yeah.
Kevin L. Jackson (15:29):
Wow. That’s, uh, this is really important. And, and Jim, it is probably surprising to, um, that blockchain or technology that’s most associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is now being used to secure network devices. Could you please explain that?
Jim Johnston (15:48):
Sure. Um, uh, well, blockchain capabilities are, are in their infant stages and, uh, we’ll far outweigh cryptocurrencies and practical applications in the very near FU future. Uh, the largest cybersecurity threats that we face today come from the exploding I t market, the Internet of things, the mobile device market, and, uh, the U C I D prevents things like device cloning, s i fraud, the use of stolen components. The U C I D gives you the providence to the BOM or bill of materials from the beginning of the device’s manufacturing phase through its entire supply chain lifecycle, giving you many opportunities along the way to, um, do software updating and, and, and just finding out physically where, where that item is on, uh, on the map. So,
Kevin L. Jackson (16:45):
Well, you know, I I, I’ve read somewhere that in some countries up to 40% of the smartphones being used are actually counterfeit devices, and that the, the black market for these smartphones runs in into billions of of dollars. So, So Shane, anything to add to that? Why is blockchain so important to TSG Global?
Shane Unfred (17:12):
It’s very important in that one, it’s a new network, it’s a new technology, and we’ve, our one personally, our roots are in looking at new technology and how do we solve issues not only for our own company, but mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how could it be for the better good of the entire, uh, industry and globe, Right? So blockchain provides a mechanism to store the data that’s immutable, that invites people into that blockchain. If you’re a public blockchain, cryptocurrency, then you have a lot of processing power that requires everybody to build a consensus. But in the private blockchain arena, it’s really about the stakeholders, the enterprise, the carriers, the consumer that attest that relationship. And why it’s important is that now we’re enterprises and consumers are claiming their identity and being able to permission that information out as they choose to do fit. Versus today, we all put our identity in multiple different entities, which tend to be silo databases and siloed information out. How do we know how they’re managing that identity? Is it accurate? Is it inaccurate? And so this gives ability for ensuring it’s accurate because it becomes like a digital signature of our identity. And because I’m part of that solution, or my company’s part of that solution, I can attest that information at all times.
Kevin L. Jackson (18:48):
You know, you, you, you mentioned something as we talk about the, the different blockchains. I think you alluded to the fact that there are public blockchains and private blockchains. Uh, am I right? Uh, can you explain the difference why it’s such an important difference?
Shane Unfred (19:08):
Yeah. So public blockchains are built off of a pro, a concept called proof of work, where you have processing, uh, computers that are trying to solve a, a code, if you will, to build consensus of that record being validated in a private network. It is entities that are involved in that as a call, uh, proof of stake.
Kevin L. Jackson (19:35):
Shane Unfred (19:36):
So I’m invited into the, uh, blockchain, I can, uh, pass my identity and I can, my partners and my customers at task that they’re doing relationship business with me. And now I have that consistent. So it’s very private, it’s secure. Um, so it’s a little bit different configuration for sure. Uh, mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, uh, I think at some point there will be in the future where, uh, hybrid approach, uh, public and private, uh, blockchains interface. Uh, but right now the very distinct and separate
Kevin L. Jackson (20:14):
Okay. No, that’s, that makes it clear. So like, something like Bitcoin is a public blockchain, whereas the blockchains that TNS and TSG global use are private, so that, uh, you can actually manage and protect the data that that’s on it. That’s, that’s very interesting. So, so Noah, our, earlier this week, we, we talked a little about the need for all of us to protect our personal information, but you also mentioned that different verification approaches like tn, I d and the D could work together to improve our cyber. Could you please explain that to our audience?
Noah Rafalko (21:05):
Absolutely. So how we look at, uh, any kind of identifiers is you can actually start at being born. Uh, when you’re born, it’s a piece of paper that’s, uh, that’s signed by a doctor, the parents in a witness, and that creates your first level of identity through a wet ink witness type, uh, environment. And as we start to evolve that in this digital world, how can we use what’s surrounding us today to identify ourselves? And how can we ensure that those devices have been identified themselves, right? Within, you know, our own networks. And this is where, you know, we start with the telephone number and we say, Okay, but what do you, what do you, what do you assign identity to with, with your phone number? Well, again, we put it in everywhere, whether it’s, you know, logging into our nest on the wall, uh, or identifying ourselves, uh, with our smart refrigerator, you know, or our, our doorbell.
Noah Rafalko (22:08):
Uh, it all comes down to that we’re using a single identifier, but it’s only one. So then you start to get into, well, how, how can you validate through a single telephone number, uh, that that person is that person interacting with a device or for a transaction, like, I wanna transfer money, You know, that’s more, you know, a critical transaction versus I wanna turn on my lights before I get home. It might heat, right? So if you think about a nest, a nest actually is an iot device. So in the future, what we see happening is, instead of, you know, a high, high value transaction occurring through you responding to a two fa, or what they call a two-factor authentication message coming into your SMS today mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, reading it or entering it into a third party, the devices themselves will automatically determine the probability that it’s really you based on your iot proximity to certain devices, how often you’re there, as well as other blockchains that are identifying those devices in its own blockchain.
Noah Rafalko (23:16):
And that would be like a tns. So using all these elements together, you certainly can see that you can have a consensus, just like Bitcoin has these minors that can, you know, we’re all driving a machine to make an algorithm pump out a code, right? Or a, a, a, the correct winning value, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we can look at the future of all of our devices will create that behind the scenes under the iPad screen. Let’s follow. So it’s really important to trust technology that’s going to be subset, and we’re all just plumbers here to make your lives easier, uh, using phone numbers that you use to in devices that you turn on and off, and we’ll do the rest. Don’t
Jim Johnston (24:05):
<laugh>, <laugh>, you’re, you’re first. I
Kevin L. Jackson (24:07):
Like that. Smart plumbers
Jim Johnston (24:09):
<laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. Great. <laugh>.
Kevin L. Jackson (24:11):
So Jim, anything to add to that?
Jim Johnston (24:13):
<laugh>? Yeah. Yeah. I You’re
Kevin L. Jackson (24:15):
A smart plumber too.
Jim Johnston (24:16):
<laugh>. Uh, I’m, I’m trying to, I’m a, I’m a journeyman right now. <laugh>. I think that adding more unique identifiers like the T N I D and the U C I D to blockchains, the elongating that dash, or what’s called salt, will create much stronger approach to deterring bad actors. Uh, the more companies like TSG and TNS that collaborate and create a more holistic approach to this endpoint security is, is key to securing our, our very vulnerable and exploding iot market. I mean, the, the more people we can get into the inner circle working on this, uh, collaboratively, is, is where I see the future.
Kevin L. Jackson (25:00):
Hmm. I tell you, you, um, are getting me a little scared here because of Noah was talking about when you’re born, and so said, now I’m gonna have this little U C I D enabled capsule. It’s implanted under my skin, and then, uh, TSG Global’s gonna give it a telephone number. And now for the rest of our life, what about privacy? So, so Shane, all of us in business have heard of GDPR and how it has changed how businesses are now handling our personal data. You guys are really getting personal now, and, and, and many US states are looking at enacting privacy laws, and US Congress is also making a lot of noise about doing something. So, so how will TSG help its customers in their efforts to comply with the upcoming new privacy laws?
Shane Unfred (26:03):
Yeah, so, so privacy laws tend to come about because companies like to share their data, my data, your data. Um, and with TN id, there’s a couple rounds. First of all, it is permissioned access. So as a consumer or as an enterprise, I can permission information out that, Hey, as a consumer, I want to hear from Adidas, or I want to hear from Wells Fargo. Um, today, we don’t have, I don’t have that choice. My information just goes up, hence the privacy laws. Uh, and so permission basis is obviously there within T N I D. What it also does, it enables enterprises to go through the process of compliancy checks. Hey, did you opt in for this type of message or opt out for this type of message? And what type of data do you really have that supports it? And then that data is stored in the, in the system. However, if you represent yourself as, uh, let’s just use an example, T-Mobile, I’m representing myself as T-Mobile, and it goes into tn i d tn I d will do the validation checks to say, Is Shane IED really authorized to speak on T-Mobile’s behalf?
Kevin L. Jackson (27:27):
Shane Unfred (27:27):
And it’ll come back and it’ll probably say, Nope, and that order won’t go anywhere. So it stops that nefarious behavior up front, but it also ensures compliancy, whether it’s a regulation as privacy laws or communication laws, or even industry best practices, which tend to be very fluid and robust at times that it adapts and short gets that information and allows the customer to know, Hey, if I’m gonna get this identity in this digital world, I have to fill out this information. If I don’t fill it out, they don’t get that identity in the digital world. Um, so it, it basically gives ’em the guardrails and, and information so that they can be insured that they’re in compliance.
Kevin L. Jackson (28:24):
Oh, okay. Well, thank you, Shane. I’m, I’m feeling a little better now. There’s going to be some real, uh, way of making the do not call list work. <laugh>. Unfortunately, though our time is is coming, uh, to an end. But, but Jim, do you have any final thoughts about how do U C I D and order TN i d can protect our iot future?
Jim Johnston (28:52):
Sure. Uh, I think, uh, reiterating what I said earlier, having more companies, uh, like TSG and tns and as, as we’re speaking to, and, um, providing, uh, use cases and, uh, go to market strategies with other companies, we’re learning a lot more about some of the issues. So involving as many companies that are being affected in the supply chain network and the iot world and the mobile device world and get everybody working collaboratively is, is the way, uh, the future will change. And, uh, we can stop bad actors from, uh, getting in from endpoint perspective
Kevin L. Jackson (29:33):
Endpoint protection. That’s really great. So, no, Noah, any final thoughts?
Noah Rafalko (29:38):
Uh, absolutely. What I would say to everyone in the audience, audience, including yourself in the sense of a consumer, we’re all consumers as well. Yeah. Uh, our job is to enable and empower you with your own privacy protections and your own ability to manage your own identity. That’s why we’re not the ones going to, to maintain access to you. We’re just gonna give you the tools that you allow your yourself to connect with a business, a business connect with you, or even, you know, that long lost aunt you never wanna speak to again, <laugh>.
Jim Johnston (30:12):
Oh, that’s good.
Kevin L. Jackson (30:13):
So, great. Great. So before we end though, could each of you tell our audience how to reach out to you in order to learn more? Uh, let’s start with Jim.
Jim Johnston (30:23):
Sure. Uh, it’s Jim total network services.io. Or you can call me directly on my cell phone at (518) 331-0464. Once again, that’s 5 1 8 3 3 1 0 4 64.
Kevin L. Jackson (30:44):
I gotta register that with a tnd, I guess. And Shane
Shane Unfred (30:48):
Kevin L. Jackson (30:49):
Exactly. People reach out to you.
Shane Unfred (30:52):
Oh, Jim, I’ll send you a tokenized link later. Thank you, <laugh>. Uh, I can be reached at shane dot N f r e d tsg global.com, and you find me on LinkedIn, or feel free to reach out to myself. 9 7 0 9 8 8 4 2 4 1.
Jim Johnston (31:15):
Great. And Shane’s already protected, so I should got, I should have got on the phone with him beforehand, got protected <laugh>
Kevin L. Jackson (31:24):
And, uh, no.
Noah Rafalko (31:25):
Sure. Uh, you can reach me, uh, directly at my email. I’ll make it short instead of spelling out my name, CEO TSG, G L O B A l.com, and my can be reach number, which by consulting clients from decades ago, still have this number. That is 6 1 7 5 9 2 2 0 6 4. And I can also be found on LinkedIn, uh, texting is the way to get my attention. If you call, I’ll probably at this point still think you’re a robocall, <laugh>, but we’re, Thank you.
Kevin L. Jackson (32:00):
No, thank you. And, and, uh, all this information will be in the show notes if you, if you miss that information. So thank you all for that enlightening discussion. But in closing, I would like to invite everyone to check out a wide variety of industry thought firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can find digital transformers and supply chain now wherever you get your podcast. So be sure to subscribe on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain now, this is Kevin L. Jackson wishing all of our listeners a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on Digital Transformers.
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Noah Rafalko is a founder and CEO of TSG Global, Inc., which provides voice, messaging and identity management services for SaaS companies and large enterprises. An entrepreneur at heart, Rafalko also founded Midori Interactive, Inc., which enables businesses deploy a self-managed messaging solution for increased customer engagement and satisfaction. A strong advocate for health and innovation within the communications ecosystem, Rafalko serves on the Somos advisory board, which administers and manages over 41 million toll-free numbers, offering vision and leadership in an ever-changing technology space. Rafalko is also executive director of MessageComm, a new trade association/coalition formed with Jeff Pulver, a globally recognized innovator and co-founder of the VON Coalition. Rafalko is also an active participant in CTIA, which represents the U.S. wireless communications industry. He is dedicated to an equitable and innovative marketplace that embraces new ways to meet the demand for automated messaging channels. Rafalko has been awarded two patents for the application of advanced blockchain network technologies in everyday use for solving complex communications, security and privacy issues. In 2018, he was certified in Blockchain Technologies by MIT Sloan School of Management, specializing in the application of blockchain technologies to telecommunications network services. Connect with Noah on LinkedIn.
Jim Johnston is an exceptional leader with talent selling design, quality, service, and value over price. Adept at B2B sales and negotiations with decision makers at many levels. Outstanding relationship building, training, presentation skills. Intelligent, articulate, and driven to succeed. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.
Shane Unfred is a telecom executive focused on creating new product and services leveraging new technologies such as VoIP, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. Products delivered increased revenue and enabled the communication industry to extend service creation to millions of companies. Connect with Shane 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
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Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.