This Week in Business History
Episode 112

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

- George Orwell, Animal Farm

Episode Summary

In this LIVE episode of This Week in Business History, Scott Luton and Keith Singleton connected the dots of history while taking a journey down memory lane, shining a light on some of the most significant leaders, companies, innovations – and even lessons learned – from the week of August 15-19th.

They shared stories about:

• The origin story of Hardee’s Restaurants, and how the controlling share of the company was lost (and won) in a poker game

• Which artist or band best exemplifies the ‘glory days’ of compact discs or CDs

• How the use of mail order catalogs helped Sears expand their customer base

• The lasting message (and timeless warning) of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:12):

Good morning, Scott Luton here with you on this edition of this week in business history. Welcome to today’s show on this program, which is part of the supply chain. Now family of programming. We take a look back at the upcoming week, and then we share some of the most relevant events and milestones from years past, of course, mostly business focused with a little dab global supply chain. And occasionally we might just throw in a good story outside of our primary realm. So I invite you to join me on this. Look back in history to identify some of the most significant leaders, companies, innovations, and perhaps lessons learned in our collective business journey. Now let’s dive in to this week in business history.

Scott Luton (01:13):

Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you are. Scott Luton and special guest Keith Singleton with you here on the latest edition of this week in business history. Keith, how you doing?

Keith Singleton (01:24):

I’m outstanding. Let’s go on Scott. It is so good to see ya.

Scott Luton (01:29):

You know, you have appeared throughout kind of various installments of the supply chain now history, and, and now this week in business history, and I’m so excited because while we have known each other for a long time, you are a fellow and hopefully I can, I can say this you’re a fellow history nerd. Like I am. It’s one of your passions in life. It is passion. And we get to talk history today for the next 30, 40 minutes, right?

Keith Singleton (01:54):

That that’s refreshing and, and, and good. I’ve been telling you, well,

Scott Luton (01:59):

folks, as I mentioned, this is our latest edition of a new thing.

Scott Luton (02:03):

We’re doing BI history live. It’s associated with our this week in business history podcast, which really focuses in many ways on lesser known stories of leaders and, and innovation at the intersection of you guessed it business and history. We drop a new episode every Tuesday, including the replays of our live sessions. And Keith, I don’t know if you’ve checked these out yet, but Kelly Barner is my co-host my esteem co-host she brings all the literary in the real writing chops and she drops a handcrafted masterpiece every other Tuesday. So y’all check that out. In fact, Keith, I think I’ve got a graphic of our latest. So this is the latest episode that we published today. One of Kelly’s episodes and it focuses on Julia child. Okay. I haven’t, I haven’t checked all of it out just yet. Clearly someone was when they said only a business woman, we all know how iconic and how successful and how impactful Julia child was far beyond just a business person and check out this quote with enough butter. Anything is good. Keith, I can get behind that. How about you?

Keith Singleton (03:16):

Butter is like sugar. He goes into everything.

Scott Luton (03:18):

Oh man. Don’t you know, so folks check that out. A new episode today published by my talented friend, Kelly Barner. And you can find that if you search up this week in business history, wherever you get your podcast from, you can check that out and subscribe. So you don’t miss a thing. But Keith, today with this newer aspect of our business history programming we’re live, we’re live across I think, five social channels right now. We welcome comments from folks as they wanna comment on the, the stories we’re gonna be talking about. We’ve got four interesting historical moments to share today. Is that right? Keith that’s right now I brought my four. Did you bring your four getting, getting <laugh> <laugh> we’ve got four good things and I bet we’re gonna be sharing some things that folks haven’t, you know, connected dots on.

Scott Luton (04:09):

I was surprised by some of the research we did. So with all of that said, Keith, we’re gonna dive right in. Let’s do it. You ready to go?

Keith Singleton (04:16):

I’m ready to go.

Scott Luton (04:17):

All right. So this first one, I’m gonna pull up this graphic for a second and folks can kind of check this out as I go through this number one on our list today, we’re talking tightened of fast food. Yeah. So some folks may not know Wilbur Hardy was born August 15th, 1918 in Martin county, North Carolina, Keith, after leaving the family farm with a dream of becoming a musician, I think we all have dreams of becoming musicians at some point or the other, right. Wilbur ended up serving in the us Navy. And Keith, I believe you, you were, you’re a Marine right. Marine veteran, right? Don’t.

Keith Singleton (04:54):

yep, absolutely. Right. Marine Corps.

Scott Luton (04:57):

See, we just kind of established some kindred spirits between you and, and this story on the front end that we’re gonna walk through.

Scott Luton (05:04):

So after world war II, Wilbur Hardy found himself working as a grill cook at a restaurant. So as we’re gonna about to find out that experience was critical because he’d plant a seed in his mind that he’d uncovered new passion. He wanted to become a restaurant tour. And I said that, right. And of course an entrepreneur. So by the late 1950s and early 1960s, Wilbur Hardy opened five different restaurants along with his wife, Catherine, including something called the silo in Greenville, North Carolina in the early 1960s, Wilbur heard about a restaurant, little known restaurant that had just opened in Greensburg, North Carolina. And it was generating a ton of buzz Keith, any guesses in terms of what restaurant you think that might be.

Keith Singleton (05:49):

guesses wise? I mean, we’ve all, we all know the Ray CRO story at McDonald’s.

Scott Luton (05:52):

Yes. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, uh, that Ray CROX story.

Scott Luton (05:57):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> so as Keith guessed it, Wilbur Hardy, Wilbur Hardy, I keep wanting to say Wilbur Marshall and, and switch it and say harder Wilber, no Wilbur Hardy decided to take a trip to that. McDonald’s on summit avenue in Greensboro and check it out for himself. He would park kind of in a, out of the way spot and just observe a lunch service at McDonald’s on a Sunday morning. So Keith, he was stunned. Wilbur Hardy was stunned that the business did about 170 bucks in an hour, which may not sound like a lot, but you got consider two things that was 19, mid 1960s dollars. But number two, the hamburgers Keith were 15 cents, right? That’s a bunch of burgers in an hour, right?

Keith Singleton (06:44):

Bunch of burgers. That’s a lot of volume. Yes,

Scott Luton (06:47):

that’s right. And efficiency and order and processes that’s right. Processes. And, and of course popularity.

Scott Luton (06:57):

So he, after he had that Eureka moment, less than 11 months later using what he learned from study McDonald’s and his restaurant experience Wilbur opened the first Hardee’s hamburgers in Greenville, North Carolina. Now he chose that first location cause it wasn’t far from east Carolina university and he kept a menu, simple focused on burgers, fries. Mm fried apple pies, right. He, Keith, we’re gonna get in trouble talking hamburgers and fried apple pies. Right. And shakes let’s make it worse. Milkshakes. So Wilbur Hardy also heavily marketed the char grills that he installed. And that was a differentiator in his, in his view, it would help bring more flavor to the Hardy’s burgers versus the McDonald’s competition, better tasting burgers. He thought, so the response Keith was overwhelming, and this, this may not be the, this image here I believe is the first one. If it’s not the first it’s one of the very first ones, right.

Scott Luton (08:05):

One of the first Hardee’s hamburgers. So I wanna pause just a second. So Keith, you, you grew up, I, I always wanna go to Oklahoma, although I know you’ve got roots in a couple of different places. Right. Have you, have you had Hardies around you, whatever journey cause really it’s predominant in the Southeast and the Midwest. I believe.

Keith Singleton (08:27):

it is. I mean, you know, it’s interesting if you do some research on this later hards would combine with named Carl’s Jr. Yes. And in Oklahoma city it had one of the first stores that had that all, it was one of the cities that often both Carl’s junior and Hardy. I didn’t know that. So I did grow up, going to Hardy. Okay. I did grow up going heart,

Scott Luton (08:48):

man. You start connecting the dots in it’s a really small world and, and, and, and blessed be the ties that bind always comes to my mind a phrased us.

Scott Luton (08:56):

So going back to this, the hardest story, you know, before some of the expansion that Keith just alluded to so immediately, right, right. Outta the gate, especially having already had restaurant experience and, and having all the success of the movement that was at the time, you know, this fast food, quick service was, is a new notion. Right. Right. So Wilbur immediately was thinking about expanding. And about that time he was in introduced, uh, luckily or maybe unluckily depends on how you look at it to a couple of partners, Leonard, Leonard raws and Jim Gardner. Yes. So what happened next after the partnership was formed? That’s where the story varies a little bit based on who you talk to, what is an absolute fact to what you were alluding to that the, the partnership soured very quickly and Wilbur Hardy lost controlling interest and the partnership that governed the restaurant chain that bore his name.

Scott Luton (09:55):

Now, Keith, I bet your research turned up the same thing. Some say it was a bad poker game and he waged his shares in the poker game, man. Right? That’s bad news. Others say that it was a Hasley signed and unread legal document, late night session with lots of adult beverages involved. And there were lots of signing of contracts that Wilbur did not read, but regardless, just a couple of years after the partnership was formed and then went sour, Hardy would be bought out by garden gardener. And raws for there’s two figures. I’ve seen $20,000 or $37,000 two figures. I came across. I’ll pause there for a minute. Keith and I don’t know about you, but I don’t sign legal documents playing cards or after drinking any adult beverages. Huh?

Keith Singleton (10:46):

Any, any beverages, but you know, the interesting thing on this is is that, uh, what I liked is he, in a later interview, he admitted that he, he just did something stupid.

Keith Singleton (10:57):

Yes. Uh, real remorseful about it. It’s great to hear that he later went on and made money. Yes. That’s the positive aspect of it. But you know, I guess this fact in history is, is that they actually took the, they took this thing national and made into a franchise in August of, of 1963, hence you know, celebrating business month here in August. So right. Interesting. You hear more, you hear plenty of success stories that are in this same vein, unfortunate, but it happens. They’ve made lots of money with heart or doing here.

Scott Luton (11:32):

Well, you know, I like a couple things you acknowledge there cause he did just own up to it later in life. Right. And there also is a, a, a happy conclusion to the story and I’ll drop this so I can share a couple of these comments. I’ll get to that in just a second.

Scott Luton (11:50):

Let’s see here, Amanda loved going back to Julia child. So she’s a big fan. We’re both big fans of Julia child. There’s a great new movie or newer movie that came out that we’ve enjoyed and, and series too, I believe. And she says, her dad loves Hardy’s biscuits. Yes. That’s what that and the Frisco breakfast sandwich, if I’m keeping it real around here, Keith. Yeah. I, I can’t do it anymore, but in college I could eat three or four of those at a setting. Again, we can’t do it anymore. As much as I would like to. Have you ever had this Frisco breakfast sandwich.

Scott Luton (12:23):

I’ve had both of, you know, the B just kind of took off in the eighties, sick. He branded itself with that breakfast biscuit. Yes.

Scott Luton (12:32):

And in the nineties and two thousands, they got in some interesting creative advertising. Yes they did.

Scott Luton (12:39):

I’ll I’ll save the footage for a later time, but right. Katherine gonna need a burger for dinner. I, I think all four of us and, and by the way, big tip of the hat to Katherine and Amanda for helping make the production happen today. So Keith let’s get back to, as we wrap up this first story, the better side of how this thing turned out. So as Keith mentioned, you know, 18 or over 1800 locations that exist today across the Southeastern Midwestern us as Hardy’s and, and Carl Jr. I believe hundreds of millions of revenue, just under a billion dollars in revenue in 2021. You know, the names sake of the Hardee’s restaurant would be outta the business based on that early split, but right. He would not be deterred well Beharie would not be deterred. He and his wife, Catherine made one heck of a team they’d open a variety of very successful restaurant ventures.

Scott Luton (13:28):

I think one was called the little mint that got it to be, I think, 50 different locations. Right. And they largely lived the good life he passed away, unfortunately, but after a wife, a life well lived on June 20th, 2008. So all told, I think I saw one other comment out there. Keith, I think one of his daughters said that he didn’t like to be told and I’m paraphrasing. He didn’t like to be told anything. Right. So once he lost that controlling interest, you know, the dial was kind of a set and number two, he really was passionate about starting things, right. He wasn’t as much of like of a maintainer. That’s not where his juices were, you know, got excited. It was more on the starting and founding a new ideas and stuff like that. So I can get that Keith, but you’re, before we talk food, one more time, your final thoughts on the story of one Wilbur Hardy,

Keith Singleton (14:24):

you know, the biggest thing that comes to mind is resilience and the, the ability to put a mistake beside, behind you.

Keith Singleton (14:31):

And he did that. He did that really successfully and it’s most business people have to learn how to do. Sometimes you have to learn how to have a short memory. You gotta just pass mistakes.

Scott Luton (14:42):

You’re so right. Kinda like the sports analogy, right? CLO baseball closers. Right. If they blow a save the night before they gotta, they gotta block that out and forget it and move on, they can’t let it impact their, you know, appearance the next day. Right. Next game. Right. Right. All right. So now for the billion dollar question, Keith, where do you go if you had, if, if you had a private jet or if it was something in your backyard or local community, where is your number one spot for getting a good burger? <laugh>.

Keith Singleton (15:16):

when I, in Oklahoma, I go to water burgers. Okay. All right. Is that, is that what that’s what I do. I love water burgers, but here in Georgia is Wendy’s for me. Okay.

Scott Luton (15:27):

Wendy’s makes a good burger and we could do, we could do, I’ll have to do a future episode on Dave Thomas, who was quite the personality. What I have read about is the personality you saw on the TV commercials, right? Wasn’t the whole, whole Sheba. There was a lot more to Dave Thomas, huh? Right, right. All right. So we’re gonna have to leave the topic of burgers because we are getting way too hungry. Looks like, Hey, Sheena also is a big fan of water burger in Oklahoma city ever been to, you know, Sheena, perhaps.

Keith Singleton (16:04):

daughter. Oh really? <laugh> all right.

Scott Luton (16:06):

Well, Sheena, Hey, as I was saying, blessed, be the ties at bond. We’re all members of the Keith Singleton fan club around here. So you didn’t know, you were, you may not have known you’re the daughter of a legend, so great to see you Ash Sheena.

Scott Luton (16:20):

And I’m I’m, I’ve never had a water burger, Keith, what makes it so good?

Keith Singleton (16:24):

You know, they’re, they’re handmade. You can, you can make em to water and it’s just, it’s just the taste.

Scott Luton (16:29):

Okay. All right. You, if we there’s one here in, in, in, in the Atlanta area, I have to take you to it. Okay. Let’s Hey, we gotta, I gotta hold you to that. <laugh> so, all right. Let’s shift gears. We gotta get away from talking food for a minute. Getting too hungry. I wanna talk music, Keith, and we’re gonna take it back old school. And I have to say this because I’m old full who’s. So cool. Any, any, any, any idea what song that’s from?

Keith Singleton (16:58):

I have no idea.

Scott Luton (16:59):

Oh gosh. That is, that is a tag team who there it is. And you know, they made a comeback. That song was really popular when I was a senior in high school.

Scott Luton (17:11):

Okay. And I love that commercial. They have come out with recently. I think it’s for one of the big insurance companies. Okay. And it is so funny, but anyway, that’s enough enough, my cheesy singing. Let’s take it all the way back to the compact disc. Yes. Believe it or not. CD. Goodness. I remembered when this became a thing on August 17th, 1982. Yes. The world’s first commercial music compact disc AK to CD was released. It was an album by the iconic band Abba, entitled to visitors. Now, some folks would argue that it was a Billy Joel CD. It kind of part depends on how you define it. But Hey, according to my sources, ABA was the world’s first co commercial music CD compact disc technology was developed collaboratively by the companies, Phillips and Sony. There’s a big story there. We can’t get into here today. Right. As you know, Keith, I bet you had a collection.

Scott Luton (18:09):

I know I had a collection. CDs would become the dominant format format for all things, especially music throughout the late eighties, nineties, and into the new millennium. And we all know what happened in two thousands. Digital technology would start to take over, you know, we had iPods come along where you could store, you know, thousands of songs and a small device and no need to, you know, join BMG music club and get 12 CDs for a penny. Remember those days.

Keith Singleton (18:35):

absolutely did.

Scott Luton (18:36):

Um, but all that eight away, eight away, eight away at, uh, both record and, and compact discs. But one final thing, I’m get your comment here. Keith, much like vinyl records, many industry analysts say that CDs, get this are making a comeback. CD sales grew in 2021 for the first time in 20 years. So Keith tell us where do CDs stand? Where do they sit with you? Do you remember those glory days where we all had the, the, uh, the catalog of CDs for house parties and whatnot.

Keith Singleton (19:11):

I still have my catalog. So it was really interesting to hear about a being the first group that released on CDs. I do remember that timeframe and, and, and this particular artist was a Sony person that was Michael Jackson and his, his album off the wall. It just really took off on CDs on that form.

Scott Luton (19:34):

So I’ve got a follow up question that we’re gonna, we’re gonna take it back and get the scoop on you and perhaps on me, but really quick, Amanda, Amanda’s telling herself she still has a huge book of CDs that she kept in her car in high school. And you had to hide them in the backseat when you got outta your car. So they wouldn’t get stolen.

Scott Luton (19:51):

<laugh> yeah, that was, that was, you know, some of my bigger catalogs, you know, I wanna say it held probably 60 CDs and, and gosh, for a while there you get, it’d be 15, 20 bucks for a CD. So that was a, that was a bad day to get your CDs stolen. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and she also confesses, she got a lot of CDs from BMG. I got my first collection notice Keith in my entire life from BMG because yes,

Keith Singleton (20:21):

the scam, of course, yes. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (20:22):

they, they give you 12 CDs for a penny, but what they didn’t say, and the ultra fine print is that there were lots of shipping and handling charges. And then you had to buy certain amounts per year. And if you didn’t, if you didn’t pick one, they were gonna invoice you. And you know, so anyway, <laugh>, I’m glad I settled with the BMG mafia, the team, but let’s get to the nitty gritty.

Scott Luton (20:51):

Your first, do you remember your first ever CD? Was it off the wall by Michael? It was,

Keith Singleton (20:57):

mine was off the wall. That was your first ever. Okay. That was my first ever.

Scott Luton (21:01):

Excellent. Historically one of the do most dominant albums all time. So mine was Candyman and I meant to grab a graphic. So get this, my beloved mom, which she may be tuned in today, Alia Luton from Aiken, South Carolina, uh, when, whatever year that was, I got, I got my first CD player. You remember it was very simple device, but it was like 500 bucks. Right. That was, that was, that was basically my Christmas one year. Right, right. And so of course she didn’t wanna just give me a CD player. She wanted to give me a couple CDs that, you know, so I could use it on, you know, when we opened up gifts, right.

Scott Luton (21:39):

So she went to Camelo or disc jock, whatever those mall stores were and said, Hey, what’s the hottest CD and, and act right now. So she pointed the, the, the assistant, the retail agent pointed to Candyman, which I don’t, I don’t think you’ve ever heard. He, I think he was a one record and done rap artist. He’s he has been sampled a lot, quite a bit. I’m gonna spare you and not try to sing a couple sucks, but <laugh> go ahead and give us go, come on. Oh, no, but I hear a Amanda laughing around the corner cause she knows how bad the first time I tried to drop a line or two, but Candyman picked out by my mom was my first CD. Okay. And we wore that thing out, whatever the winner and, uh, the winner in summer of, I don’t know, 1992 or something.

Scott Luton (22:36):

So we’ll see. Well, I, I have to go find the original somewhere in one of those big catalogs. Okay. Uh, Catherine would keep mix taped CDs in her car for all long drives. Did you ever make those mix tapes.

Keith Singleton (22:47):

made the mix?

Scott Luton (22:48):

Okay. All right. Amanda, lots of people got their first collection notice from mg. Thank you for bailing me out. Amanda makes me feel a little better. Her first CD was the cranberries. Do you remember that group? Yeah. Uh, <laugh> linger. Linger was I think their first hit and it was, it was nice and slow and kind of flowed. And then a lot of the other stuff that I released was very upbeat. Right. So great, great group cranberries. Okay. So we have talked burgers, we’ve talked about the Wilber Hardy story and, and she, Hey, I’m looking at you. Hey, what was your first CD or your first album or your first maybe song get downloaded.

Scott Luton (23:29):

I’d love to get the scoop on you. But we talked burgers and Wilber Hardy. We have taught compact discs, including some of my skeletons from the closet. Some of the CDs we’ll probably never see again. Let’s before we move on, we got two more stories. We’re gonna get through mill order catalogs and a great book that Keith and I both read as a kid, but the shippers group, Keith, you know, I’ve known you for, uh, quite some time going back, uh, a couple decades. You’ve always done some big things in supply chain. I’ve loved our practitioner conversations through those years. So tell us what the shippers group does.

Keith Singleton (24:08):

I mean, we’re at three PO mainly in, in warehousing and transportation currently where I work at, I work in Jonesboro out of the Jonesboro facility and I am actually doing work for free to lake. So repackaging and, and, and sending product both to the, to the, uh, to the manufacturing side and to on customers. So, okay. That is what I am doing right now.

Scott Luton (24:32):

Currently big name, big brand customer, making it happen as all, but Keith ever since our first conversation, you’ve been making it happen. So we’re gonna have to catch up in person. It’s been a long time ago. We were talking about pre show. We were talking about those. Um, we would need a cheesecake factory in the criminal area of Atlanta. For some of those conversations. That area looks a lot different now, right? Keith,

Keith Singleton (24:55):

a whole lot different.

Scott Luton (24:57):

<laugh> big fans of the shippers group. I’ve known some of your colleagues there over the years. Great group. And appreciate you carving some time out to talk history with a fellow history nerd here today. All right. So speaking of supply chain and shipping stuff as a perfect segue, unplanned segue Keith for our next, our third eye of the day.

Scott Luton (25:22):

So what did folks do before we had Amazon? Well, we order from these things.

Keith Singleton (25:29):

Yes, we did.

Scott Luton (25:30):

look at these things. So these are, these are really old. We order from mail order catalogs. So now while most folks may think of Sears, when it comes to the big old catalogs, the first company to publish one might surprise you. Montgomery reward publish the first mail order catalog on August 18th, 1872, get this. It was a small group when they launched it. And I think I read earlier, there’s only a handful of employees when they first launched this. Like I think it was like a one pager, right in 1872 mm-hmm <affirmative>, but by 1904, they had over 3 million CU 3 million customers on the Montgomery ward mailing list. Wow. Now, even though Keith, this also surprised me today. I didn’t know this today. I was today years old as all meme goes.

Scott Luton (26:17):

When I learned this, even though this Sears catalog discontinued 1993, which I did know you can still request and get a Montgomery ward catalog. I was on their site earlier today. So that, that surprised me a little bit. So here an image before we have Keith comment, the one on the left, you can, I, I got the date cut off, but that’s spring and summer 1875. So that’s about three years after they, they launched these things. And one on the right is more from, I think, 1895. So you’ll see kind of how it, it evolved a bit there, but Keith mail order catalogs before, long before it was Amazon, that’s how, especially folks in the rural parts of the world got their stuff. Right?

Keith Singleton (26:58):

That is, I mean, that’s how that’s, that’s how many of the people that lived in some of the front, what was called being the frontier states. That’s how they shopped and interesting to me. I would’ve thought that the companies like the Montgomery rewards and Sears, we may have had this conversation before Scott would’ve been successful. I know the, the Amazon concept really came from those forefathers there of just co soliciting, collecting information and driving the marketing aspect of the business through information, you know, sharing.

Scott Luton (27:33):

Yep. So, you know, I was reading earlier that, so, so to your point there, the big thrust there was getting outside the big cities where folks had more options and supplies and stuff, more variety and, and really targeting the rural population. Right? Right. Well, the rural stores, general stores and, and, and like, they hated to see these male catalogs pop up. Cause of course it was new competition. So they, they would host burning parties of these catalogs. You know, <laugh> if people prizes and they brought em, so, you know, what’s old is new.

Scott Luton (28:11):

Again, the competition hasn’t gotten any, the competition is just as fierce. It’s just, it looks different. Right? One last note, speaking of competition, we were just talking yesterday. I think it was with Greg white and Kevin L. Jackson, about how Amazon and Walmart, right. The next chapter of their ongoing competition. Right. You know, fight for market share. It is fascinating. Keith, is it? It’s,

Keith Singleton (28:36):

it’s, it’s fascinating. It is. It’s very fascinating. I mean, but you know, today’s current co technology makes it a, it makes it possible to control the economies. The scale is a whole lot better. Yep. I, which helps manage inventories. It’s a lot more real time, but it still, it still gets back to the nuts in bolts of the business. What I think Montgomery rewards really massive was managing the supply chain, get things there cheaper, right. Have carry over cost. Things like that.

Scott Luton (29:03):

That’s such a great point. Um, while many consumers and folks that aren’t, you know, in global supply chain, as practitioners or professionals or whatever, you know, many folks are new, you know, they’ve, they’ve really been introduced in, in good ways and bad ways over the last, you know, couple years, which is really part of the silver lining of this, this challenging time we’ve gone through, but supply chain’s always made it happen. I, and you think about when the whole value prop behind the, the mail order catalogs was it was coming to you at the price you commit, you know, the price you expect, you know? Right. And, and the convenience there. And, and, you know, even a house as we point out many, many times, right. Sears would ship an entire house to you back in the, in the, in the earliest days of, of the mail order catalogs.

Scott Luton (29:55):

So if there’s anything that has been consistent, it is folks in supply chain making it happen. So a lot of good stuff there, Keith, all right. So we’re coming down a home stretch. Keith, we’ve got one more item we wanna share with folks. And I think a, a book that you and I both have enjoyed, I’m gonna pop this up here on the screen, and this is animal farm by George Orwell. Some of our listeners may, may be familiar with this book. This was published for the first time that the initial publishing was on August 17th, 1945 in 45. Correct. Now we were talking in the pre-show about some of the, you know, some of the history of that time and what really fueled George Orwell to write the book. And I I’ll challenge people to go, you know, you can go Google that and, and dive in deep.

Scott Luton (30:44):

But this was one of my favorite books as a kid. I wanna say, we read this in the sixth grade or seventh grade, in a nutshell, if, if folks haven’t read it or hadn’t seen the two movies have come out, it tells a story of a farm where all the animals rebelled, right. They drove off the farmers off the, the, the, the property. Yes, they, and then the animals, Keith, as we know, had to establish essentially a government right. Rule order. But that’s where it gets interesting because eventually as the graphic to the right says, because they wrote all the rules on the side of the barn. And, and as the book speaks to the rules continued to evolve because eventually classes were created amongst the farm animals. And because of that and a lot more I’ll I’ll save, I won’t give up the whole story of it.

Scott Luton (31:32):

The farm would become worse, soft than it was even when it was being run by the farmer. It, it was a, a bit of a disaster. So Keith, I know you’ve read animal farm. What’s your thoughts on this book, this impactful book.

Keith Singleton (31:47):

It’s an interesting Pardy on just what happened to the Soviet union even. And it is really prophetic as to it predicted how the Soviet union would probably evolve to the last point where the, some animals became more equal than others. And then the very last portion of the book, which is so prophetic is you couldn’t tell the humans from the pigs <laugh> by the end of the book. So, oh, many of the capitalists that the humans represented, the, the pigs became just even more capitalistic as what we see with some of the Russian oligarchs now.

Scott Luton (32:23):

So, so right. You’re so right. And to our, maybe to our, any of our listeners that are listening to the audio replay, you won’t see the graphic, the rule that we have up there, which is wasn’t one of the first rules after the rebellion and AF and you know, right at the moment where all the animals were in it, in the trenches together, you know, right. Everybody was on the same page as Keith alluded to it devolved. And one of the rules up here that, that the ruling class on the farm added to the list is all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. So that stuck with us for so long. So if you hadn’t read animal farm, it was written back in 1945. And as Keith mentioned, not only does it, is it applicable to what we’ve seen in the, so the old silver union, but in so many different movements around the world where, you know, people get what they want.

Scott Luton (33:15):

And then all of a sudden folks find ways to manipulate and, and, and accumulate power and other things. So animal farm released on, I think that was what, August 17th, 1945. Okay. So Keith, I appreciate you sitting in for these four stories from burgers, the CDs, a little Abba, little Candyman, little Michael Jackson, absolutely. To mail order catalogs, some modern day supply chain lessons and respect for the profession to even international politics and, and the human journey with animal farm. A lot of good stuff. What, um, so I know how to reach you. I know you’re, you’re active on LinkedIn and, and, and some social, but is that the best place? If folks wanna compare notes with you and, and what you do in supply chain and, or get your take on all things history, would you recommend if folks reach out via LinkedIn?

Keith Singleton (34:14):

Sure. Reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’m, I’m fairly easy to define. And then for those that know me, they can always reach out to me by email or just call me.

Scott Luton (34:24):

wonderful. And if you have any problems, y’all come through us. But Keith is someone that needs to be in your network. You’ll be better off for it. And Keith, we gotta, we gotta talk more history. I appreciate you weighing in this afternoon and I’m gonna hold you to getting that water burger I’m persons <laugh>.

Keith Singleton (34:43):

sometimes I’m, I’ll get you there. I’m gonna get you there. Water burger is better than Wendy’s. I promise you. Oh, love it all Patrick. Mahome <laugh>.

Scott Luton (34:52):

so, as we wrap here today, I want to thank my dear friend, Keith Singleton. I’ve probably known him for, for 20 years in Atlanta. Mm-hmm <affirmative> uh, appreciate what he does wanna thank of course, our production team. Big. Thanks, Amanda, and Catherine and others that have been here helping to make production happen today.

Scott Luton (35:09):

Thanks for all of our listeners. Hey, y’all be sure to check out the episode, the previous episode, Kelly Barner released on Julia child. You won’t be disappointed. Be sure to find this weekend, weekend business history, wherever you your podcast. Again, we drop a new episode every Tuesday and, uh, most importantly on behalf, our entire team, Scott Luton, challenging all of our team and all of our listeners to be like, Keith, Hey, do good. Get forward. Be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time. Right back here at this week in business history. Thanks here. Bye. Take care. Bye.

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Featured Guests

Keith Singleton is a Management Leader who has over 20+ years of experience leading people and organizations. He earned his Masters at Central Michigan University with a concentration in Leadership and Executive Administration. Keith started his professional career in the Marine Corps working in Distribution and Logistics. He has a variety of professional experiences ranging from Sales, Business Operations and Supply Chain Management. He currently works at Gates Corporation. Keith has been married for 26 years to Melissa Conyers, has three children and two grandchildren. His hobbies range from running to coaching AAU Basketball with the Atlanta Celtics. He has memberships in both APICS and CSMP where he has served on boards for both organizations. He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Keith’s ongoing mission is to leave the world better than the way he inherited it. His philosophy that drives his daily activities reflects his life endeavor: “…what would you do if you knew you could not fail.”

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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