This episode features two bright minds tackling a one big question: can fintech more equitably distribute the building blocks of prosperity? If you ask authors Theodora Lau and Bradley Leimer, the answer is yes. In fact, they wrote the book on it, aptly titled “Beyond Good: How Technology Is Leading a Purpose-Driven Business Revolution.” Join host Scott Luton as he engages these two innovative minds in fintech for a wide-ranging conversation that includes reflections on self care, connecting more founders to funders, the role of supply chain in promoting equality, the question of data sovereignty – and some can’t-miss inspirational advice.
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Scott Luton (00:32):
Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton with you here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s episode. We’ve got a very special conversation teed up. We’ve got a couple of business leaders, podcasters authors, entrepreneurs, and more with this right here, talking on a variety of topics to include the core topic or really tech for good and beyond. So stay tuned as we dive into a really fun, intriguing and informational conversation. I want to welcome in the stars of our show here today. We have Theodora Lau and Bradley are co-authors of the book. The great read, the best selling top of the charts read beyond. Good. How technology is leading a purpose driven business, Theo Bradley. How are we doing? Very
Theodora Lau (01:18):
Good. Thank you for having
Scott Luton (01:19):
Us. Thanks again. Good to talk with you. You bet. Bradley Theo. We love repeat guests and of course we’re we’re friends, but we’re also social friends. I’ll tell you, I love your Twitter feed in particular, all the great projects and thought leadership you put out there. And, you know, last time you’re with us, we’ve talked a lot about Bradley Lamor and this big project that was in the works. Uh, and of course we had the remark pre-show Theo and Bradley. I’m in love with Bradley’s voice. Uh, I’ve got commercials and moot and movie introductions Bradley. We’re going to sign you up for, I think you’re going to have to be my agent going forward. If you could represent both of us, I think we’d probably be better off. Let’s go. Well, we had, uh, Theo great to see you again and Bradley we’ll we’ll we’ll talk business maybe after today’s show, but let’s start with, you had such a great time. You know, that’s been probably about four months ago. Do you think it’s been about, or, or maybe 40 ventures or projects ago for Theo ton of passion? I’m convinced you’ve got clones with everything you’ve got cooking. Huh?
Theodora Lau (02:24):
I might have little robots running around.
Scott Luton (02:28):
Well, so I thought we’d start today’s episode a little bit different, right? Rather than do a, a rerun of our first conversation with Theo. I wanted to kind of reinvent our conversation a bit. So I’ve got, I’m going to drag out of the closet. Something we call the lightning round around here at the here at supply chain now are y’all gain. Perfect. Okay. All right. We’re going to get to the heavy hitting stuff on the front end here, such as food. So, uh, I’m to start with you Theo, what is your best meal or at least one of the best meals you’ve ever had and why
Theodora Lau (03:00):
Best meal in the restaurant come Ms. Syria discovered at six years ago, when it first opened beautiful tasting restaurants, small joints in the heart of DC. And that’s been our family’s favorite ever since then.
Scott Luton (03:13):
Oh, love it. What’s one dish that, that your family enjoys most there. Ooh,
Theodora Lau (03:18):
I don’t know as a tasting. So they, they do everything all over the place. Um, pasta, their pasta dishes are amazing. Yes,
Scott Luton (03:26):
Man. Just with you saying that, I think I gained seven pounds cause I love pasta. So Bradley, same question for you. What’s one of your favorite all-time meals?
Bradley Leimer (03:36):
No, I’m just going to, I got to go back like almost 30 years because the first time I ever went to a place that was like a Michelin restaurant, I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. My parents didn’t take us out to this kind of place when I was, um, maybe my last year Cal, I went to a place with a girl that I was dating that I thought for sure I was going to end up marrying this girl. But we went down to LA, which is probably why I have a love, hate thing with LA. And we went to this Michelin restaurant and it was like the first time I’d ever seen synchronized like serving and like little tiny lake plates that just had amazing looking food on it. And that started this lifelong sort of level of affair with food and going to fantastic restaurants around the world. So that kicked it off. And uh, you know, the rest is history.
Scott Luton (04:15):
The rest is history. Love it in LA. You’re not talking lower Alabama, right?
Bradley Leimer (04:20):
Nope, Nope, Nope. But you know, lower Alabama hadn’t been there yet.
Scott Luton (04:24):
It is. Hey, some of the best, uh, barbecue, uh, for sure. Okay. From food. I want to talk about resources now, right? We’re all, we all produce a variety of content. Uh, we’re gonna talk more about, uh, this incredible book here momentarily, but let’s talk about other folks, other content, whether it’s news or commentary or analysis, or just for fun. What’s one thing that that’s on your either daily or weekly docket.
Theodora Lau (04:51):
I read papers every day. So I’m probably one of the few people weirdo that, that still read papers. I do while I do my round wall street journal, financial times, New York times and Washington post every single day. Wow.
Scott Luton (05:05):
Cover to cover.
Theodora Lau (05:07):
Well, I mean, here’s the thing, right? I think probably all of us would, our great news is news and news are different than they’re reported differently. Depends on the person who’s writing about it. And so you get different perspectives left, right. Middle and you know, financial times is, is European focused. And so it’s good to have different perspectives.
Scott Luton (05:27):
I can’t agree more wonderful. I’m jealous. I thought I was doing something, reading a couple newspapers a week. I got to step up my game Theo. Same question for you Bradley what’s what’s what’s on your daily or weekly docket.
Bradley Leimer (05:40):
I probably read four or five hours a day at least. And, uh, one of the things that though I read when I read slow, um, beyond like maybe some books, especially fiction books. When I read them slow is Sunday, New York times. Like since I was like in high school, I would read for two or three hours of Sunday, New York times. And uh, you know, I grew up delivering papers and I tell you, uh, I can, I can appreciate a big thick Sunday paper and I’ll devour like a good meal.
Scott Luton (06:06):
I love that. Well, you know, speaking of, of a good newspapers, the New York times and the wall street journal, they’re a, bituaries not to be morbid, but the storytelling and the research that goes into the ones they lead with, you know, weekly or daily or even daily, you can learn a ton. And it’s so much more than some of your, your typical obituary. So I’ve learned a ton just by focusing on that aspect of newspaper, uh, each week on a much lighter note, much, much lighter note, you know, as we were talking pre-show for my family on the outskirts of Atlanta, we like to venture over to Monroe, Georgia and take in that the weekly farmer’s market, especially on Saturday mornings, right? That’s that is religious for us. It’s therapeutic. And it’s a big part of our routine kids. Aren’t crazy about it. Most of the time, even though they get lemonade and treats and stuff, but Hey, it is what it is Theo for you. What’s a habit that’s therapy for you as well, whether it’s daily, weekly, or whatever.
Theodora Lau (07:06):
I do see your, um, I do see a farmer’s markets pictures every weekend. And I got jealous before COVID Hertz. Our weekly weekend routine was brunch. We always go into town for brunch, um, in downtown and, uh, religiously every weekend, at least one, one brunch, if not to the past year and a half, I don’t know. We let the kids, Nick breakfast, that’s been on habits, which is, which is great unto itself because they love to eat out. And now they just love to cook. The challenge is who does the cleaning
Scott Luton (07:45):
I’m with you? That’s like an age old challenge too, right? Yes. My dear wife, Amanda won’t let me cook because of, of that then important little afterthought I used
Theodora Lau (07:55):
Here. You’re not doing it on purpose.
Bradley Leimer (07:58):
Yeah. I don’t, I don’t understand like, you know, men should be doing as many dishes as everybody.
Scott Luton (08:02):
Yes, you’re right. Bradley you’re right. And Amanda, if you hear me, I agree with Bradley wholeheartedly, you know, she’s, she’s so much more of a culinary artist than I am. So Bradley. Same question. So I love how Theo encourages her children to experiment and be creative and, and develop their culinary skills. What about you? What what’s what’s daily or weekly, uh, therapeutic activities in your, in your, uh,
Bradley Leimer (08:25):
Yeah, I will say I actually love to cook and I’ve like, you know, ever since I went to Cal and like learned how to cook different types of meals from around the world, I’ve always loved to cook. So I do like that, but I will say during the pandemic, you know, I have had, even though I’ve had probably seven, eight years now working from home more time to be able to work on myself. And so I probably work out an hour or two a day. And so I’m doing, you know, five to seven to 10 miles of running a day and I have a rower and all this stuff, and that’s my time. And with the kids, you know, they take every other minute of every time. Uh, so between that and the book and work, you know, I tell you, you got to take care of yourself too. You sure.
Theodora Lau (09:05):
I’m trying to add up your hours brought so two hours rolling and running and then four hours reading. Wait, do you sleep?
Bradley Leimer (09:12):
Yeah, no, not, not too much sleep. And like you, I could say that, uh, you know, you have to stretch to get more than those 24 hours a day.
Theodora Lau (09:21):
I am working to get back into running. I don’t know how I used to do half. I can’t do it anymore.
Scott Luton (09:27):
Oh, there’s not enough hours in the day. There really is. Nope. But somehow we find a way and, and Bradley, I agree. I think it’s important. And Theo, I want to say you and I have touched on this in your first episode with us, you’re taking care of yourself. It’s tough to help others if we don’t take of our, you know, if, if we don’t take care of ourselves first in some way, shape or form. Okay. So I appreciate both of y’all’s, uh, indulging me with the, with the not so lightening round. I wanna, I want to move to your professional journeys, you know, Theo, we had a lot of fun talking about your background and your professional journey. The last time for some of our listeners that maybe hadn’t caught that, that episode recently, let’s start with you, give us a refresher, give us a couple of, um, uh, you know, previous roles that really helped shape your worldview.
Theodora Lau (10:13):
Yes, I’ll make it brief. So I was an accidental engineer, did it at a spate work. Great, wonderful. Proved it moved on. I spent most of my life actually in telecom and various aspects of telecom, including with a couple of clients in Georgia, where you are Scott and a land started with landline. I don’t know who still uses landline, but we had those and then see lack and wireless. And high-speed all of that. And then kits happened. So took a turn and, um, moved on and did a couple of startups after that went on to nonprofits. And then the rest was history. That was where I met Bradley. When I was working in nonprofit, looking at, uh, financial innovation for older adults.
Scott Luton (11:00):
I love that. And we, and we, we did talk about that last time and, you know, one interesting thing, you know, this is obviously supply chain now, and we, most of our episodes are really centered on supply chain, but I’ve always found it to be in the whole FinTech space and how it’s overlapping more and more with global supply chain. I find that fascinating. So I think this be a really neat if not creative episode here at spotlight now Bradley, same question for you. Give us, you know, so you’re new to our listeners. Yeah. Let’s walk through your professional journey a little bit. Same way.
Bradley Leimer (11:29):
Yeah. Well, I’ve been in financial services almost my entire career. You know, I started out seven, eight years doing the data side, working with banks and sort of leveraging their data to do marketing efforts around insurance and other products. And, you know, I feel bad about that early part of my career. Cause I probably killed about a billion trees with the direct mail that we did. So, uh, outside of that, I, that I dove into working in financial institutions themselves first in a credit union and ran marketing and technology for them for many, many years. And then the community bank, which was a hundred year old bank here in the bay area. And, um, learned an awful lot between those two institutions about what it means to serve and what it means to be part of that community. Then I, you know, started getting into working with startups across that time and into FinTech before it was FinTech and, uh, ended up leading innovation at Banco Santander, which is this monstrous global entity in 20 different regions with 160 million customers. And wow, there’s a lot to play with and a lot of fun. And then, you know, through that process, um, met Theo and the rest is history in terms of, you know, the book and what we do and all the work and all the good we’re trying to do in the ecosystem. So that’s me in a nutshell. Okay.
Theodora Lau (12:37):
Thank get to the dark side. Don’t call him a banker Scott.
Bradley Leimer (12:41):
Yeah. I don’t think anybody, anybody wants to be called a bank.
Scott Luton (12:46):
Well, so it’s, it’s, it’s uh, this will be interesting. So Theo you’re in DC, right? Bradley you’re in San Francisco and I’m in Atlanta and you know, as both, y’all probably know a lot better than I do the Atlanta area. I think its nickname is FinTech. Allie, if I’ve got that right, because of all the trends
Bradley Leimer (13:06):
And then visa just announced that they’re coming down with a lot more people and you know, it’s always been a FinTech hub for FIS if I serve in so many others.
Scott Luton (13:13):
Hmm. Very interesting. Okay. So I want to better understand and I bet our listeners will find this interesting. I mean, you know, so you all collaborate on more than just the book and again, the book we’re referencing today, we’re gonna talk more about here momentarily is beyond, beyond good. How technology is leading a purpose-driven business revolution. How did y’all meet?
Theodora Lau (13:35):
We let me go back in history. So there’s this, we need a whiteboard. So there’s this little Theo and this giant monstrous nonprofit trying to figure out, okay, what, what is this FinTech thing, first of all, what is FinTech? And how can we use it for older people? There’s so much buzz. And so what did I do? I went and Google FinTech. And then I went on to social media and search, well FinTech and there came something called FinTech mafia that remember that. And so a couple of names popped up one that the first one was Brentley Lymer okay. Don’t know who he is, sent him a LinkedIn email. He actually responded. That was quite interesting. Make a long story. Short, met a bunch of people in my first Finovate, which Brett would call the FinTech of Disneyland and FinTech. Right. See, that’s what I love him anyway.
Theodora Lau (14:40):
So I was there like, you know, this, this little person who does not know anyone and everyone seemed to know everyone and this person just dashed across in front of me, he was walking, it was in a hurry. He’s always in a hurry, going somewhere. And I’m like, oh, Hey Brett. And he stopped and looked at me. He’s like, who are you held up, man? Then you’re like, oh, you know, I’m Theo. We traded some correspondence. And his first thing he asked me, Brett, I don’t know if you still remember, are you drinking from the fire hose or something?
Bradley Leimer (15:14):
Well, and if you were at Finovate or anything else like that, or, you know, at those early days, that’s what it was. It was like drinking the fire hose of information. And uh, just to see, you know, dozens and dozens of startups in those earlier days and what has become a bit, it’s now like the hottest part of venture capital globally is.
Theodora Lau (15:35):
Yeah, it is amazing. Now, Brad, I don’t know if I should tell Scott about like what happened off the woods though? Remember the coffee meeting?
Bradley Leimer (15:43):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You could go ahead and tell that story. Whether they’re listening to
Theodora Lau (15:48):
Scotland to fate would have turned out completely different. So they’re in, you know, we met for coffee afterwards and um, at that time it was because I was looking for banks to partner, whereas us on a hackathon or just even looking, Hey, you know, anyone, you know what want to be part of this now, Mr. Lymer is used to talking to people who asked him for money because you know, banks, people go to him for money. And so I met him and before he even opened my mouth and start talking about what, why I wanted to do a hackathon for FinTech solutions for older adults, his first reaction was I can’t sponsor you. That was your second strike my friend, because I wasn’t looking for money. We had funding, we were perfectly fine. We were like a billion dollar non-profit did not need the funding. I just needed someone to work with me. But yes, that was Mr. Lima in a nutshell, but that’s how we got,
Bradley Leimer (16:52):
But let’s, you know, let’s, let’s take it from there. Um, you know, in terms of working together and in terms of, you know, helping you with hackathons and everything else I wasn’t there. So I just stopped. I actually personally will always do more than what the brand, um, you know, associated with at any given time
Theodora Lau (17:10):
On the first hackathon you was on the second one, I,
Bradley Leimer (17:12):
I came and I helped as much as I could. And I would say, but your
Theodora Lau (17:17):
Bradley Leimer (17:19):
Maybe not the first one, because of course I couldn’t sponsor. Um, but in terms of, in terms of the influence from that first meeting and what she took from, um, her experience at ARP and what that has changed in my mindset about that demographic and how we serve people that influence has continued for years. And so, you know, regardless of how that started, I think the impact will continue for a long, long time. Yeah. That
Scott Luton (17:49):
Excellent point. I got, I got to one follow-up question and one follow-up comment love for y’all to speak to before we start talking about Eureka moments, first off, you mentioned a hackathon and there may be a portion of our listening audience that are new to that. Uh, what that is. Can you briefly describe it?
Theodora Lau (18:05):
Yeah, so we did two, actually. It was loads of fun. The first one we did at, in New York and the whole idea is we wanted to get people to start thinking about why it is important to innovate for older adults, right? Because all of us in, you know, who involved in one shape or form with innovation, you have your typical bias of people who would be doing it and people you will be doing it for, right. And people don’t normally think about, you know, people that are older than 50, that need a digital solution for anything. And so that was the first, um, idea of, we wanted to get people to start thinking about it and change their mindset. And then the second one is, you know, it’s the best way to get new ideas is to reach into the community, right? Reach into people that are grandchildren, people that are adult children, you know, working with their parents and whatnot, or people that are going through the journey itself.
Theodora Lau (19:01):
So the best, uh, that was, that was, um, our idea was to partner with as many communities as possible to see what challenges they’re facing, right. And how they think would be the best way to solve it. And we did it in a way that we wanted to bring in banks because at the end of the day, guess what, as much as FinTech solutions, as many FinTech solutions out there, a lot of us still bank with the main street bank. Right. And we also wanted to change the mindset of people that are working in traditional financial services to understand that there is a market to be hut, to innovate for older adults. Cause it’s, um, it’s a market opportunity of trillions of dollars. We’re all living longer and we still need services. Right.
Scott Luton (19:44):
Right. I think based on some of what you shared there, I think there’s some great takeaways for our supply chain, our global supply chain practitioners, listening, going outside of your typical regular channels for ideas and,
Bradley Leimer (19:57):
And just adding in there, you know, the idea of a supply chain related hackathon. When you think about in some of the companies we invested in at, at some time there, you know, we spent a lot of time on working through digitizing letters of credit and just different ways that the supply chain could be more optimized. And in working with our small businesses and our large providers, you know, the Cargills of the world, big providers in the supply chain, we learned that in doing something like a hackathon, there are going to be smaller startups working on pieces that could improve the entire system of the way that people get paid. Things get shipped, you know, how things like blockchain technology and other things can prove authenticity across the supply chain, et cetera, et cetera. And so you never know, you know, in working with smaller companies, what’s going to be sort of come out of that. And I think between the two of us working within the brands that we’ve associated with, and also, you know, working with clients along the side, there’s always something that can be discerned.
Scott Luton (21:01):
Okay. Well, we’ll put in a S on a related note, uh, you mentioned earlier Bradley, uh, how fintechs one of the hottest spaces when it comes to, uh, venture capital and, um, entrepreneurs, uh entrepreneurial-ism and whatnot. It also happens to coincide at a time when, when their procurement profession has got a seat at the table, perhaps unlike ever before. It’s really fascinating time. And I think where those things kind of overlap and are woven in with each other, I think that’s where there’s a ton of lessons to be learned and takeaways that are relevant in global business, just as much as relevant in global supply chain. Okay. So, uh, we’re we were about to, uh, uh, FinTech geek or supply chain geek out there. And I’m gonna pull us back from the edge for a second. Cause I want to, um, in one of my favorite things from Theo’s last appearance with us, we talked pre-show about, it was her one of her Eureka moments she shared.
Scott Luton (21:55):
And I can, I can’t remember where the line is from a song, uh, the line that the kids are. Okay. That was one of the main things she shared, you know, during this pandemic, as we were fear, as we all are fearful about how it impacts our kids. Right. And continue to be know, at least for us at anxious about that, you know, that was one of the, your lessons learned, the kids are okay and they’re navigating well. And they’re there in some cases they’re thriving, despite all the challenges. And that’s the beautiful thing, but starting with you Theo, I can’t wait to hear your latest Eureka moment that you’ve had, uh, so share what, what else has hit you like a ton of bricks here lately?
Theodora Lau (22:34):
I need sleep.
Theodora Lau (22:39):
But, but, and, and, and, and honestly, I think the last time when, when we both chat, that was when the kits was still at home virtual virtual classes. And, um, as of a few weeks ago, they finally are back in school and it’s, it’s, it’s bittersweet moment because a, they finally get to meet their friends face-to-face, which I think they really need. Right. Because humans are social animals and we need each other. And even though, you know, the three of us are talking and connecting through the screens, it’s not the same. Um, so, so, so there’s that, but I think finally, it’s, it’s to the point where I would like to say, we’re slowly adjusting to how life is, or likely will be for a while. And, um, so now I realized I need to take care of myself, so I need to sleep, sorry, it’s not like this does like earth shattering moment or smart thoughts that I could share, but it’s literally what I feel right down as I can finally breathe.
Scott Luton (23:42):
I think it’s really important. I think, I think, and kind of expanding a bit, you know, mental health, the need to invest in ourselves and the need to be physically and, uh, strong and mentally strong. And, and so that we can, you know, parents so we can lead businesses and startups and, and all these great initiatives during these, uh, these crazy times. So I appreciate you sharing that, uh, Theo and Bradley I’ll come to you next. What’s been, uh, Eureka.
Bradley Leimer (24:08):
No, I think, you know, the last 18, 19 months have proven out that people are pretty resilient. Uh, we’ve been through, you know, globally an awful lot, uh, with this pandemic. And I think it’s, it’s proven to people that people can be very productive at home. Those that are fortunate to be able to be working from home. And I, I hope that there’s a little bit more empathy that people have for those that aren’t able to work from home. It’s a privilege to be able to work, you know, from the comfort of your home when so many people can’t, and, you know, there’s so much economic divide that we confront every single day within this industry. And if we aren’t building solutions to help people be more resilient financially, then what are we doing? You know, why do we have a financial services industry, unless we’re serving the communities, every person within the community that we have an opportunity to serve. So there’s an awful lot, I think of learnings, but, uh, we’re an awful, awful resilient species of human humanity here. So lots, lots that we can improve upon, but, um, you know, w we’ll we’ll be, we’ll be okay.
Scott Luton (25:11):
Well, well said, and, and it is interesting how the definition and the prevailing definition of luxury has continued to change because you’re right working from home and B being able to still make a similar living, you know, without any of those, trade-offs, it certainly is a luxury. So will said there Bradley. Okay. So Theo and Bradley, now that we’ve kind of set the table, you know, we’ve talked about some of the characters we have here. We’ve talked about some of the professional journeys and the context there. Uh, and then of course, we’ve kind of brought it current with, uh, some, some recent lessons learned. I want to dive in to this book, this book that is, I think it’s number two in my queue of what I’m reading next. And I want to start with how it originated and they all start with you. How did it originate and, and proverbially, what is, what was your, why you and Bradley’s wife are doing?
Theodora Lau (26:05):
I tell people that we like to torture ourselves, but, um, it was a serendipity moment. I’d say the publisher reached out from the UK. And, um, this was 2019 pre pandemic. We all that in London in December. And we decided on the framework of the book, because we’ve been both of us, as Bradley had told you appreciate, we’ve been writing quite a bit for, for the last few years and, you know, and I’m a very, very regular basis. And so the thought was, well, how about we continue that on that, you know, have it in the shape of, of a book and talk about some of ideas extended through stories around the world. One of the things that resonated with both of us a lot when we talked about privilege earlier, is it’s a privilege to have a voice. It is a privilege to have a platform to be able to do what we do, and to have the opportunity to talk to so many people around the world and listen to this stories is a privilege onto itself, which is not something that everyone huts.
Theodora Lau (27:07):
And so we wanted to use the platform that we have be it a written medium, or be podcast, and what have you to bring those stories out so we can all learn from each other. So that was one of the foundational basis of why we wanted to write the book. And, um, so made a long story short. We started writing end of 2018, early 20, 20 before the pandemic hit. And at that time I worries was how would we be able to reach out to everyone we wanted to include in the book to have all the voices included in the book, and yet be able to keep up with all of our travel demands and speaking engagements and all of that? Well, I guess we all knew what happened after,
Scott Luton (27:53):
Well, so really quick, the a, because some of what you shared there also, we talked about in your first appearance and clearly your line with Bradley, where you won’t, especially those voices that aren’t regularly heard, you want to spotlight that and spotlight their POV or their point of view and their expertise. And what they’re thinking at that, that I loved that about y’all’s approach to your theater.
Theodora Lau (28:16):
So that was actually how we found it. The company rate it’s that there’s talent everywhere throughout both of our corporate lives. We keep running into amazing people. I kept running into amazing founders and they just could not get access to the network. They could not get access to the banks. They could not get access the capital because of where they are because of who they are because of where they went to school or not went to school. And that’s not right. Right. You know, to be able to meet how a world will be in the future, especially given all of the challenges that we have, we need all the ideas that we can get from different corners of the world, because there’s nothing better than Lyft experiences, right. People that are from demographics that we want to create solution for is not our job to be prescriptive of what they need, but it is our job to listen to them and then help them and get those ideas on the table
Scott Luton (29:15):
Beautifully said, and folks, uh, from my fellow supply chain related founders and entrepreneurs, best guy, but hopefully it’s singing in your ears because there’s opportunity for all, thanks to leaders like these two here. Um, and we’ve got more work to do for sure, as I’m sure they can attest to, but, um, I love that this, this dynamic that’s growing in entrepreneurial circles across the globe right now, Bradley, what else would you add? It comes to, um, you know, the book’s origin and your wife are doing it and whatnot.
Bradley Leimer (29:47):
Yeah. I mean, you know, what are the connections that, that, um, had for me was with the mid-year, um, and flourish ventures is what they’re called now. And we did a report that came out, um, probably six to eight months before we started writing the book that really highlighted good business models within FinTech and financial services globally. And these were companies that, uh, immediate network and flourish, uh, had invested in a mid-year, uh, person who founded eBay. And so, you know, they, they are really looking at how you could improve financial inclusion and in meeting some of the companies that they highlighted and sitting on stage at places like Monday 2020 to highlight their stories really had an impact in the way that I think we both felt about, you know, who a founder should be and why we need more representation, you know, than just your typical white male young founder, that looks like Zuckerberg.
Bradley Leimer (30:42):
Uh, because the average entrepreneur in FinTech is 42 years old, has worked in financial services and actually sees where the holes are. And there’s a lot of holes inside banking that banks still miss to this day. And so to me, you know, the, the book and what we worked on within, it was to point out a lot of those sort of missing opportunities, not just with who we serve, but just the way we serve people and, and the end result. Uh, and so our feedback thus far has been really, really positive about people kind of rethinking the way that they think about this business.
Scott Luton (31:19):
I love that. So you’re both kind of speaking to some degree of, of some degree of my next question, that that is wash it. Folks, sit down and read it. And now I’m partial already. Cause Thea told me to I’m kidding, but I really, you know, when you follow folks on social media and see thought leadership, you see what they point out and you get a sense of who they are and what they’re passionate about. It was an easy decision for me, right. To add it to my collection and my reading rotation, but Theo beyond what you’ve already shared, why should, why should folks pick up the book and give it a read
Theodora Lau (31:52):
Are all part of the world today and our kits and the next generations are going to be a part of the world in the future. So, you know, given what we have collectively learned in the last year and a half, if that did not prompt us to look for ways to change, what would
Scott Luton (32:13):
Well said, uh, Bradley, how would you, what would be your,
Bradley Leimer (32:17):
Yeah. Yeah. So for, for your listeners, um, there’s actually a section on, on supply chain and, and there’s, there’s seriously like a lot of examples about good supply chains and how companies can actually be part of beyond. Good. And so we, we talk about it in the context of system leadership and how, you know, leaders at the largest to the smallest corporations have choices, they have choices and who they use as suppliers. They have choices in the way that their supply chain has an impact, you know, from, uh, an ESG sort of standpoint, in terms of looking at the environmental and social impact of what they do and who they work with. And if more people at the heads of corporations, regardless of size, think about their supply chain, even if they don’t think about it in terms of a manufacturer supply chain, they think about goods and services from the employees to their partners, to their customers a little bit differently. And we think about how that all works together and the bigger, broader picture. I think that is a lesson that carries across not just supply chain networks, but across every single business model that exists
Scott Luton (33:26):
I’m with you. And I love that. So folks, there’s lots of supply chain in this book, get, you got to check it out. And again, going back to our earlier elements, um, supply chain, financial executives are the folks that have a lot of juice, a lot of power, and there’s also lots of opportunity there. So, uh, whether your global supply chain or global business, you all check it out. And I love the, um, I love the title alone because good isn’t enough. And these days, right. It makes me think, uh, when I saw, first of all the tile, it made me think of one of my first favorite business books, which is a good to great right. Uh, Jim Collins, uh, which I love kind of how, how he, uh, and maybe he’s got some callers. I don’t know how they, how they approached that as business cases and examples and stories.
Scott Luton (34:08):
So I’m looking forward to giving this a read as well. So again, beyond good how technology is leading a purpose driven business revolution. And I would just add supply chain and global supply chain leadership and know-how, and action is what’s going to help address some of the leading challenges and issues of our time. And that, that that’s really cool. We talked about procurement having a seat at the table for perhaps the most ever in your supply chain. Also, there’s a reason why we’re seeing chief supply chain officers crop up left, and right. And as Greg white always says, and I’ve got to get y’all connected to Greg. We’d have a really fun conversation. Uh, now that we’ve got a seat at the table, that’s good news, but the bad news is we’ve got to act like it. We’ve got to take action. Right. Um, okay. So plenty, no shortage of ammunition in terms of how to pick up the book. Let’s Theo, let’s talk about your favorite part of the book. Cool.
Theodora Lau (35:04):
Too many. I think the one favorite thing I like the most about the book is we were able to squeeze in a lot of quotes from a lot of founders and entrepreneurs around the world. That that was, was really important to us. So important that we actually cut off 10,000 words and Brett is still crying. Um, but we were told we had too many words and too many pages. And so we decided to cut up our words so that we could keep others words in there, because that is one important bits of, of why we wanted to do it. Right. Like I said, in the first place, we want to include voices of others in what we do. And so if you go through the book, you’ll see lots of quotes from, you know, founders of various ages, from different demographics, from various parts of the world, doing different things, and we want to get them in there. So that’s my favorite part.
Scott Luton (36:03):
I love that. And that resonates with me as, as being, you know, I’m talking all the time too much, right. And one of my favorite parts about what we do is, is still a page out of your book. You give the mic, you give the spotlight, you give your own podium to others and, and gosh, to cut 10,000 of your own words to protect those voices across the globe. I love that the, with sharing that with my family this weekend. All right. So Bradley asked me a tough to top, but what’s your, one of your favorite parts of the book? I don’t
Bradley Leimer (36:34):
Know. I was still crying about the words that are missing.
Scott Luton (36:39):
Hey, you got a headstart on, on part two though.
Bradley Leimer (36:41):
All right, there you go. We’re going to start with those words. I would say the first thing that I wrote as part of this book was a story around Lego and the history of how Lego started and the tragedy of factory fires and talk about supply chain disruptions. I mean, when your entire factory burns down to the ground three different times, and yet you still now have the single largest, most profitable toy company in the world. And you think about, you know, how LIGO started. So that’s how the book starts. And that, that was the first set of words that I started out with. And I think the key to all this is that we end with that as well, the story of Lego and what they’re doing now and how they’re changing their supply chain and how they’re changing the way that they look at manufacturing. And it’s about hope in the end. And so it starts with hope and it ends with hope. And that’s the message that we want to get across to everybody is that changes in the mix changes happening now. And everybody can be part of,
Scott Luton (37:38):
I love that, uh, Theo, I want to, maybe as you and I talking about this last time, cause hope came up. I believe it could have been someone else. But on that note, you know, I grew up in South Carolina or our state motto is doom, Spiro, Spiro, and I’m probably getting a Latin wrong there, but it’s, while I breathe, I hope. And it has been imprinted in my brain since being a kid because without hope, gosh, especially during the most challenging days, what do you got? You know, um, so I love that Bradley, um, you know, this has gotta be, and, and I have, I can’t say I’ve rubbed elbows with a ton of authors, but gosh, a sense of purpose that I’m picking up between both of y’all of writing this book is really heavy. I mean, it really is. Uh, and I mean, heavy meaning, um, full, I guess, you know, it wasn’t, let’s start with business and, and what folks should know it’s like you had both of y’all are really sharing a very deliberate purpose for really beyond the information you share, how you, how you write the book and how you’re put really pulling people together.
Scott Luton (38:43):
Does that Theo, is that right?
Theodora Lau (38:46):
Yeah, that was a chapter. Um, in the very beginning that we pulled out to Brad, remember that our personal stories that we wanted to share a background about us that lead us to the journey where we are, that part we had to take out, unfortunately. Um, but it was, it was, it was very personal. So you, if you thought, you know, what you read in the book now is personal debt. That is like, it ha adds a ton to it. Um, I talked about my mother, um, where she grew up when, um, I was born and raised in Hong Kong, but my parents, they both, um, they were born during war times, right? Post-war and my, my mother’s family, especially they, they were refugees and they escaped and they settled in Hong Kong, but they lost everything. And so it was a lot about my mother growing up and giving up a lot of things.
Theodora Lau (39:42):
Um, just so that, you know, the rest of her younger siblings could have the lives that the family wanted them to have. But in the course of that, it also changed how my mother’s career trajectory or she, she ended up doing something else that she didn’t want to, at the same time in parallel, my dad was in a similar story and the two of them ended up meeting, but how their life experiences impacted, how I think about people who don’t have enough, how our attitude, um, towards others that are in less fortunate situation than how each and every single one of us have the responsibility to help lift each other up. I think, I think that part of it and, and my mother especially impacted the work that I’ve been doing and, and, and even now, right on what, what we’re doing and why we want to do it. So that was the pot that cut out. That was really personal. And Brett, you had a similar story on Nebraska too. Okay.
Bradley Leimer (40:46):
Th th the regeneration or the ability to sort of change your trajectory is what I think I had written about. And, you know, in my family, um, my dad moved from Nebraska to California when he was 17 or 18, um, and changed the life that he led and changed the life of what my mother, um, led. And my father-in-law moved from Mexico, uh, and came to work in California and changed the trajectory of his family going forward. And if we could personally change by decisions that we make, then corporations and businesses of all sizes can change when people make decisions that are better for themselves, but they changed the lives of other people. And so I think what we ended up writing about was about that ability for people to improve the lots of others and how small things at the time add up to be very, very big things, much like, you know, this Lego piece where a little brick can be turned into almost anything.
Bradley Leimer (41:53):
And just really quick, the reason why we called the book beyond good was actually something that you had alluded to with Jim Collins’ book. Good, great. We thought that, you know, even though it was almost 30 years ago that this book came out even more now, I think 40, maybe almost we talked about the book and what it meant, because a lot of what he defined as great was around profitability and was around productivity and was around efficiency. And we actually think that businesses should be gauged and judged in a different way. And, and that’s why we said, it’s not good to great. Let’s, let’s start with good and purpose and go beyond that. And so this is a revolution that hasn’t started with us and it won’t end with us, but it’s happening
Scott Luton (42:44):
Pros with a purpose comes to mind. And I also love how it doesn’t start with y’all and doesn’t end with y’all. But both of you via this book and other things you’re doing are adding fuel to the fire and bringing more momentum to this movement and a revolution you’re talking about. So folks y’all got me ready to run through the wall back behind me. This is really good stuff. Let’s make sure. And also we’ll be tuning. We’ll be ready for part two, because it seems like what y’all left out could, would be a wonderful core or beginning to, uh, uh, the, the follow-up piece. Let’s make sure folks know how to get it. So I went to, um, I like to diversify where I get my e-commerce so that it’s not all going to one place. And I went to, uh, a different bookseller. Got it. And still got it in in the time I needed it right. Less than a week. It’s fine. It’s like getting a pair of socks. I only need a pair of socks. Same day. I can wait. I can wait a few days, but Theo, where would you suggest folks go get the book?
Theodora Lau (43:44):
So we actually have a site firstname.lastname@example.org and it has links to if you’re overseas, a mortar stones, or if you’re domestic oversee can go to the big retailer, but we also love it. When folks go visit the local bookstores, independent bookstores, that’s always our favorite. So bookshop.org, um, and anywhere books have sold
Scott Luton (44:05):
Love it. And in the last time, and just getting this scheduled, which was a couple months in the making, it seems like the book has really resonated with a bunch of folks, interviews and webinars and keynotes and all kinds of stuff. Is that right? Bradley.
Bradley Leimer (44:19):
We are here to have this message get to as many people as we can. And I think, again, this is not just our message. This is the message of the hundred plus companies and the dozens and desert, the people that we share within this book. And we’re privileged enough to talk about. So it’s a collective message.
Scott Luton (44:37):
I love that. And it takes a village for sure. All right. So now on my favorite questions, I’m going to ask you all today is there’s so many aspiring, really let’s say let’s call it content publishers. Some are looking to publish that first book. And it’s like the moving target others are maybe thinking about, you know, they just can’t, uh, they want to be a podcast or, and they can’t just can’t get started, or they want to be a keynote speaker and they can’t get started, but maybe with a focus on book writing or really whatever, y’all prefer, what’s some advice and Theo we’ll start with you. What’s some advice you’d offer those aspiring thought leaders.
Theodora Lau (45:14):
I think the first thing I say is, listen, listen to what others are saying, listen to what’s going on around you observe. Um, and if you have some ideas, just write it down. Doesn’t matter if it’s like 20 words. So a 50 what’s a hundred words and start building it up. Right.
Scott Luton (45:30):
Bye Lego brick. I love that Theo. Alright, Bradley, what would your advice be?
Bradley Leimer (45:36):
Um, you know, I do love that and to listen to others, I think consume as much information as you can and develop your own voice. I think, I don’t know how many people, you know, in the last 10 or 20 years I’ve sent two, but just start, start to write, start to speak, start to have a voice, start to realize that regardless of where you think you are in an organization, there’s always a need to hear you and to hear what your message is. Um, no one should be silent.
Scott Luton (46:05):
Gosh, I love that. Y’all are quiet. The 1, 2, 1, 2 punch. Um, I would just add to that, even if you can’t wrap your head all the way around it, that confidence journey, we all have different, different paths there, but no, if you’re listening to this know that you have a voice and it’s important and folks want to hear from you. So even if you just begin to embrace that as fine, but just know that and act on it. Okay. So I want to broaden out. So, so really appreciate you all sharing a lot about the book and a lot about the, the movement behind the book and a lot about your approach. There, let’s broaden things out. So Theo, when you, when you, uh, pulse the global business environment right now, no shortage of topics coverlet related, non-covered related. What’s one, whether it’s a news development or an innovation or a leadership example, whatever it is, what’s one thing that’s got your attention more than others right now.
Theodora Lau (47:01):
I think data sovereignty is one thing that that’s been on and is growing. And it’s actually worrying in a bit, if you start thinking about how a lot of the technology, regardless of industry you in the, the underlying technology infrastructure was created and has been created to facilitate information, transfer, data transfer, or emerging technology using AI, and what have you, you need a massive amount of data and a lot of collaboration across borders, right? That is needed to make it thrive and to make a better. And unfortunately, I think when I worry and what I see is that we’re going to opposite direction where, you know, countries start setting up walls and say, well, you know, my data stays here. It doesn’t go out. Or, you know, one country not play nicely with the other country and thereby, you know, eroding the trust that humans need for businesses to survive. I think that is the one trend I’ve been observing, um, that I hope it will go a different way and we need it to right. Um, but yeah, that that’s
Scott Luton (48:12):
Data sovereignty, man. Uh, we’re the set up a whole series dedicated to bag. I learned a lot more about that. Um, a Bradley, what about you? What’s one thing that you’re tracking more than others right now.
Bradley Leimer (48:22):
Yeah. I mean, we, we talk in the book a lot about data and, um, you know, how companies are using it and the rights and wrongs of personalization and everything else. And so there’s just so much in there, but I will say that one of the things that, that I think we’ll probably be writing a lot more about in the coming year or two is both embedded business models and the power of platforms. And just, you know, to say that that your business model is something that could be easily switched over and taken over by someone else. And we think about the power of, you know, Amazon and large platforms and changing the way that things are procured and changing the way that supply chains are changed, uh, over the last couple of years, think about, you know, drop shipments and think about how many small businesses have changed, because now almost anybody could start a business that starts to ship a lot of stuff around the world. And man, don’t, don’t ever say that your business can never be disrupted because there’s nothing right now that ain’t been disrupted.
Scott Luton (49:17):
You’re absolutely right. Every, I can’t think of one sector that doesn’t have new ideas or new challengers or innovations that are, uh, changing. How, how things have always been done or how they have, have been being done now, or even that short-term arising, uh, is, is, is evolving fast and furiously. Right. Um, it’s tough to keep, uh, it’s tough to keep tabs on law. Maybe I need to read seven newspapers a week like Theo and, and we’ll make some progress there. Okay. So we’re coming to an end here and I really appreciate y’all’s. Time is busy. You are appreciate, um, uh, what you’ve shared here today. Folks make sure you check out beyond good book.com, get your order, uh, get your copy of the book. And then some let’s make sure folks know how to connect with both of y’all. So, um, whether it’s unconventional ventures, the podcasts, other projects, y’all got cooking Theo, let’s start with you. How can folks connect with you?
Theodora Lau (50:14):
I am on social. So Amman on Twitter, uh, PSB underscore D C or in LinkedIn, um, theater allowed to visit our costs. One vision. We are going to be celebrating hundred and 50 episodes soon and super proud to say that half of our guests so far are women, um, and, uh, friends from LGBTQ, LGBTQ community, as well as people from communities of color. So that is the one thing that is super important to us as we invite guests to come on our show to talk about different experiences. So do check us out and we very much appreciate, you know, your support.
Scott Luton (50:53):
Oh, you bet. I love it. I love that deliberate aspect of, uh, of what you do and giving the microphone to folks that oftentimes don’t have it and amplifying that voice. And, you know, I also enjoy your, as I mentioned, you’re a Twitter feed, especially every once in a while you throw a new Lego, um, project on there, Theo, and that’s really cool. So keep that coming. All right. So Bradley, same question. How can folks connect with you? Yeah.
Bradley Leimer (51:17):
So emailBradley@unconventionalventures.com of course, our corporate website on conventional ventures.com and Twitter. Probably the best place it’s at Lymer L E I M E R.
Scott Luton (51:29):
It’s just that easy. It is just that easy. Well, this has been a really fun conversation. I’ve got my 18 pages of notes. I’ve got my homework assignment. I think Theo said is going to be a quiz. So I will welcome that hopefully multiple choice. And if I’m confused, I always go with see that’s. That was a rule of thumb in college, at least for me really appreciate. But the y’all’s Tom, on a more serious note, gosh, it feels like you’re just scratching the surface with the first book, especially with what you want to do, what you want to share and who you want to uplift and the topics you want to cover. So we’re fully expecting a, a mini series. I’m trying to think of the last elementary or the last series of books. I’m thinking Laura Ingalls Wilder had a series of books. I think, uh, uh, not Willy Wonka. There was Beverly Cleary had a series of books, right? So many stories to share. Well, Theo and Bradley. I think y’all both have a full series on, uh, up your sleeve. So, uh, just be B be con consider it as I deliver my book report on the first one. Okay. Is that, is that a deal? Is that a deal?
Theodora Lau (52:34):
Scott Luton (52:35):
Deal. Thank you. Thanks so much.
Bradley Leimer (52:38):
Always answer C always answer.
Scott Luton (52:41):
Oh, what a fun conversation. The adore Lau and Bradley Lamur co-authors of the book again. Good. Check it out beyond. Good. How technology is leading a purpose driven business and there is dump trucks of purpose right here between these two truckloads full. And again, you can check out the email@example.com. Folks. Hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. Yes, it was not a core supply chain episode, but Hey, we got to broaden things out. Where are we going to get more? Uh well-rounded as supply chain professionals and practitioners, and this episode, I think serves in that purpose. Hey, check us out. Supply chain.com. Check us out wherever you get your podcasts. But most importantly, Hey, be like Theo and Bradley. Do good gift for be the change that’s needed. And when that note was, see right back here, next time on supply chain. Now, thanks for buddy.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.
Theodora (Theo) Lau is the founder of Unconventional Ventures, a public speaker, and an advisor. She is the author of Beyond Good, and co-host of One Vision, a podcast on fintech and innovation. She is also a regular contributor for top industry events and publications, including Harvard Business Review and Nikkei Asian Review. Connect with Theo on LinkedIn.
Bradley Leimer is Co-Founder of Unconventional Ventures, which connects founders to funders, provides mentorship to entrepreneurs, advisory to corporates, and broadens opportunities for diversity within the ecosystem. Anyone with great ideas should have a chance to succeed. As the former Head of Innovation and Fintech Strategy at Santander U.S., his team connected the bank to the fintech ecosystem and served as an observatory for the global organization for trends originating in the U.S. that have potential to expand and accelerate globally. He adds additional perspective leading marketing and technology teams and projects within the bank and credit union industry and from a decade driving database marketing and analytic programs. Bradley writes and speaks about banking and technology trends, and advises corporates, startups, accelerators and key industry conferences in the financial services technology space. Connect with Bradley on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.