Supply Chain Now
Episode 973

It is easy for a sustainability person to go into a room and try to sell sustainability. But if you can get your legal team or your compliance team or your merchandising team to go in with you to help you sell it, it goes a lot further. The more people you can get on your side, when you go in to make your pitch to leadership, to change policy or implement a process, the better.

- Joy Hicks is the Senior Manager of Sustainability with the Home Depot

Episode Summary

Many large companies have individuals or teams who are responsible for sustainability, but, in the end, sustainability is everyone’s job. It is truly a cross-functional initiative.

Joy Hicks is the Senior Manager of Sustainability with the Home Depot. She and her team are responsible for everything from the products Home Depot sells in their stores to their operations. They make sure that the company is on the cutting edge of what needs to be done to do the right thing for the planet.

In this episode, part of the Reverse Logistics Series on Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton is joined by special co-host Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of The Reverse Logistics Association, to talk to Joy about what is at the top of Home Depot’s sustainability agenda.

• Why consumers should be just as concerned about the chemicals present in their homes as they are the chemicals they consume

• Materials formerly seen as ‘waste’ that Home Depot is using as the basis for other useful goods

• How taking a multi-faceted approach to investing in sustainability can increase the program’s results

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, good morning, Scott Luton and special guest host Tony Shroder here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show Tony, how you.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:39):

doing great today, Scott. Good to see you again.

Scott Luton (00:42):

You’re always doing great. I gotta, I gotta figure out what you’re having for breakfast and, and still some of your best practices there, but great to have you here once again. And we have an excellent conversation teed up talking with a retail leader. That’s doing big things, especially when it comes to, to, uh, sustainability. As we continue our reverse logistics leadership series here at supply chain. Now, Tony, you ready for this?

Tony Sciarrotta (01:05):

Ready for this Scott? We had a great one last month with Tom Mar from Dell. And, uh, as you said, we’re gonna get into the retailer side of things on the, on the dark side of the retailers, New York times quoted us. So the dark side.

Scott Luton (01:22):

I saw that I saw that great guest, uh, tee up. We’re gonna, we’re gonna shine some light into the dark side of global business, that being reversed logistics and returns management, but let’s formally welcome in our guests here today and welcome in joy Hicks, senior manager of sustainability with the home Depot, joy, how you doing?

Joy Hicks (01:40):

Doing great, doing great, glad to be here.

Scott Luton (01:42):

Well, you know, we were talking pre-show a little bit, Tony. Uh, I had met joy and of course you’ve known joy for quite some time at one of the, uh, tours and, and events. They hosted at one of the return centers at the home Depot and found it learned a ton that was probably about four years ago and just really appreciate, uh, a lot of what joy and her team shared there and a great learning opportunity, you know, powered by a RLA huh?

Tony Sciarrotta (02:05):

It, it was, I let’s confess it was a newer center, so it didn’t have all the dirt and, uh, grim that maybe some of the, uh, centers out there have, but, um, and eye opener for us as well to see what a newer center looked like and, uh, and joy in her team. Uh, and others really did a great job putting that new facility, uh, out there in place, McDonough, Georgia. Let’s give it a little shout out to McDonough Georgia today. Okay. Nice little place south of Atlanta.

Scott Luton (02:33):

That’s a perfect segue, Tony, and I really appreciate that. And then by the way, the square in McDonough, Georgia, uh, Georgia, a great place for all kinds of restaurants and shopping, but, uh, the segue being joy, I’d love to know where you grew up and, you know, tell us some anecdotes about your upbringing a little bit.

Joy Hicks (02:51):

I am from east Tennessee. So I’m in the foothills of the smokey mountains. Um, that’s the accent <laugh> um, and, uh, yeah, it’s a beautiful place to grow up and, uh, look forward to going back someday. Even

Scott Luton (03:04):

You have a bunch of family still in east Tennessee, is that right?

Joy Hicks (03:07):

I do have family in east Tennessee as well as a lot of friends. Sure.

Scott Luton (03:10):

So, uh, growing up in east Tennessee, uh, and for our listeners, uh, you know, Chatanooga is the east Tennessee, Knoxville’s east Tennessee, what other, uh, couple, maybe landmark cities would you put there on east Tennessee side?

Joy Hicks (03:23):

Well, the one that I think most people would probably know about would Beville where Dolly Parton is from. So Dolly wood and, and all of that, uh, is, is right in the right in the backyard. So yeah, we, we grew up with that as our backdrop

Scott Luton (03:38):

Love that joy, Tony, you ever been to Dollywood?

Tony Sciarrotta (03:41):

Uh, not that I can admit to, but, uh, um, I’ve been to Seville and, uh, that’s also right next to Gatlinburg, another beautiful city pattern after a, a Swiss village. Um, and I’m so glad joy picked that instead of suggesting that that little NASCAR track down the road from her was, uh, a backdrop. I, I like the, uh, severe Villa, uh, uh, Gatlinburg

Scott Luton (04:04):

Vibe, right?

Tony Sciarrotta (04:05):

Backdrop. Yes. The vibe. Yes.

Scott Luton (04:07):

<laugh>, you know, one last comment about Tennessee. So, um, my oldest daughter went with us and we drove through Tennessee, uh, probably five or six years ago. And we still talked today about how, uh, just the beauty of that state driving through it’s one of the prettiest states that drive through. Uh, so I’m sure you took full advantage of the outdoors, joy growing up in that neck of the woods. Uh, one last question about your, your, uh, your background. Um, so food always comes to mind, you know, we were just talking about Tony’s power breakfast and how he never has a bad day. What was one food dish that was inseparable from your upbringing? Joy?

Joy Hicks (04:43):

It was pretty simple. It’s actually, um, a Grainger county tomato. So just like maybe people that are listening have heard of Vidalia onions or, or other, other, uh, such vegetables from my iconic places, we had a very small town, but it’s the best tomato, uh, I would say in the region had a festival that, that, uh, celebrated it.

Scott Luton (05:06):

All right. So a lot, one more question about food. You, you get going. So, uh, are you, are you a fan of tomato sandwiches? And if you are, what is your go-to mayonnaise?

Joy Hicks (05:15):

Oh, well, I’ve been converted. My husband will only eat Dukes, so he’s in North Carolina boy. So I let him have that one. It’s all about compromise and marriage.

Scott Luton (05:24):

It is, I love that Tony, only about you, but, uh, uh, families have, uh, uh, picked some serious fights about which mayonnaise is used, uh, at dinner time. So, uh, tomato sandwiches. So I’m gonna have to check out Grainger county tomatoes, and we’re going to get back to Tennessee soon. So thanks joy for sharing some of your background there, Tony, where are we going next with joy?

Tony Sciarrotta (05:48):

Well, joy and I have known each other a while. We’re not gonna talk years here. And, uh, uh, we always kid about, uh, she came out of, uh, uh, uh, grade school and, and started with Phillips. So we go way back a ways. And, uh, and joy was in the service organization. I was in sales. We weren’t always, uh, on the same side of things in the beginning, right, because sales and service clash a lot. But, um, um, and this is Phillips consumer electronics, which was based in Knoxville, Tennessee for a while. And then Phillips decided to move us all down to this, uh, great city of Atlanta and, um, pulled us all down in, in waves. I was one of the first waves. Joy was one of the last waves as we brought service together with sales. And, um, for a while they didn’t know where to put reverse logistics people.

Tony Sciarrotta (06:39):

I was the returns director. They really didn’t know where to put us. And, and most companies still don’t know where to put these people. Sure. Um, so I started in sales operations, then I was assigned to service. Um, and then I get back into finance and then I wound up in supply chain when they were going through the rider transformation project. And then I wound up back in service and so joy and I crossed path because joy was one of those great support people that when you wanted to fix something for somebody or prevent a return, which we all forget about doing cer um, service and people like joy Hicks and especially joy had such a great way of convincing somebody. We’re gonna take care of your problem on your big screen TV, we’re gonna take care of it. And she did to follow through was amazing. So, um, we go way back and it was, um, it was a lot of great experiences I think, and some rough ones, but a lot of great experiences

Scott Luton (07:39):

<laugh> so Tony did all, but tell us where the bodies are buried their joy. Um, so <laugh> so in particular joy, so here kinda getting Tony’s prefacing there, and clearly y’all have a, a, a long rich history together. What’s a couple of previous roles. Um, you know, prior to your current one that really shaped your worldview joy.

Joy Hicks (08:00):

Well, I would say that, um, well, to, to Tony’s point all of the roles that, that I’ve had have generally been in support roles after the point of sale, um, after we would, um, take a TV back from a customer, if it weren’t was not working, or it was a return of some sort, they would be refurbished and we would have to sell those on the secondary market. And I was new to sales. Um, I had people like Tony Sheroda that teach me the ropes fortunately, and learning how to sell those, those televisions was refurbished televisions on the secondary market. Really taught me how to sell myself internally because all roles really are sales roles. Whether no matter what the product is you’re selling. Right, right. I think I, I learned, um, probably the most from that role,

Scott Luton (08:49):

Uh, Tony, uh, so true. All roles are sales roles, right. It’s just to the degree of, of, to the extent of what you’re selling, maybe would you agree, Tony?

Tony Sciarrotta (08:59):

I, I would tend to agree with that. And, uh, and joy isn’t, uh, being, uh, clear enough about how great that role was. She got to do road trips with me, <laugh> we actually, uh, I J it just reminded me joy about the road trips. We took to some of these, um, infamous liquidators around the country trips to the east coast, to California, um, meeting with people that you sometimes didn’t wanna shake hands with. <laugh> um, let’s say that’s that secondary market. It is, it is the true dark side. And, and there are liquidators in that industry that joy got to know, and, and, and as she said, was able to take it with her to home Depot. That was a, a, a great transition I thought, and I love the way she, uh, she made, made that work. It was just terrific to watch.

Scott Luton (09:46):

And that’s a great lesson learned. So listeners out there as, as you’re trying to figure out how to progress and, and how to move into new roles and, and move into new leadership roles, man, being, uh, confident and comfortable selling yourself. And what in your accomplishments and your talents, uh, that clearly was an early lesson learned for joy and, and for all of us really. Um, okay. So let’s move into your role now at the home Depot, uh, and what you do as senior manager of sustainability.

Joy Hicks (10:12):

Sure. So our department, um, is, uh, responsible for setting the strategy of sort around sustainability for, uh, home Depot. And that is everything from the products we sell to, um, our, our operations, as well as, um, making sure that we are, are, um, listening to all of the different stakeholders to make sure that we are at the cutting edge of, of what we need to be doing when it comes to, uh, doing the right thing for the planet.

Scott Luton (10:46):

Yep. Well said, and, and that’s, you know, as we’ve all seen, fortunately, you know, customers are putting a, a much bigger, or our, um, consumers are putting much bigger emphasis on that. And, and of course they’re voting more with their wallet. So it’s really cool to, to hear, um, retailers like the home Depot, which everybody, and brother and sister knows, you know, goes without saying how they’re, uh, acting on that proactively and reactively, and now proactively. So we’re gonna dive more into that in a moment. Uh, Tony, um, your take on that. I know you, those, this is one of the areas you’re really passionate about before we get into some of the trends in general, uh, your thoughts.

Tony Sciarrotta (11:23):

So Joy’s move from selling reefers, which I thought was the best life on the planet into a role like sustainability and the vagueness about that. How do you, how do you accomplish that and being involved in strategies important, but ultimately it’s that it’s that feet on the ground? What do you do with some of this stuff to make sure it doesn’t impact the environment? And, and I love being in this industry, right? Scott we’ve said it before you get to be a tree hugger, and it doesn’t matter what your politics are. Everyone recognizes. At some point we have to do something about this stuff. And, and I think about those paint cans sitting in my garage that I’m not supposed to throw in the dumpster, but I want to, um, but then people like joy has to deal with thousands of these situations on a regular basis.

Tony Sciarrotta (12:12):

And, uh, and I know that Joy’s learned a lot and she shares it with the members of our community about best practices here, uh, from a leading giant lake home Depot. It’s, it’s so important. Uh, you know, Scott, we talk about, um, everything that happens after the sale falls into our world of rev, reverse logistics mm-hmm <affirmative> and it’s true. So even the sustainability and the handling of hazardous materials, which also falls into Joy’s lap and what’s being done there, it it’s, there, there aren’t really classes at any colleges for this stuff. Are there joy? <laugh>

Joy Hicks (12:45):

No, they’re not. Um, it it’s, it’s definitely, um, a, a, a, um,

Tony Sciarrotta (12:52):

Try by fire.

Joy Hicks (12:54):

It is that yes. And it, it was a, it was a seamless, uh, transition, I think from, or, or at least an intuitive one to go from working in those reverse logistics centers, to your point where it all comes back. And what do you do with that? And then going into sustainability, because that was where the rubber, uh, you know, hits the road. It really is.

Scott Luton (13:13):

Yep. And, you know, one of the, my favorite trends out there, and before I ask you some of yours, joy is how popular that secondary market that Tony’s been, uh, referring both of, y’all been referring to, uh, you know, that remarket, you know, that, that how consumers are really rallying spending a ton of money on, you know, used stuff, uh, remanufacture, refurbished stuff. That is a great sign. Um, so speaking, that’s one of my favorite trends we’ve been, uh, Tony, I think I’ve shared with you, uh, one of our gifts to our kids last holiday season was a refurbed. Uh, we, right. So my kids could beat me at tennis and bowling, and then whatever else is on that. We, um, so joy for you though, on the macro level, what’s two or three sustainability trends, topics you see as important ones for our listeners attract.

Joy Hicks (14:03):

I think that as a consumer, um, we should be concerned about the chemicals that we are putting, uh, in our homes, uh, as well as, uh, you know, uh, in our bodies. So I think making sure that the products that, uh, you are buying are safe and, and understanding, um, uh, what chemical policies, uh, companies have. Um, I think carbon footprint is big right now. Um, we’re all trying to reduce, um, and we can do that in our homes and we can do it in our businesses. So I think that’s, that’s one of the things that, that, um, should be, um, on top of mind. And then I really feel like circularity is, is something that, uh, we should all, uh, be, be, be thinking about. And I really think that’s where reverse logistics and sustainability really come together. Right? That’s where we can take some of those, those materials that, that are coming back and, and repurpose them, repurpose them back into the world.

Scott Luton (14:58):

You’re talking our language for sure. And Tony, I know she’s talking your language, especially when it comes to circularity your thoughts.

Tony Sciarrotta (15:04):

I wanna, uh, add on to what joy is saying. She’s being very careful and, and great wording. Scott, you blew it. You’re calling this stuff used. <laugh>, she’s calling it repurposed <laugh> that’s, that’s an important marketing distinction, vintage pre loved certified repurposed. Let’s go with the important buzzwords here because that’s, what’s gonna help. Um, young people do respond to those terms. They are buying repurposed goods. They are buying vintage clothing, um, which are used air Jordans, as far as I can tell what is vintage come on. So I love the way that joy is learning the language, uh, of circularity and in the world of circularity, as joy knows the most important, uh, trend these days, Scott, is we no longer talk about recycling, right? We’re trying to even get away from recycling. And that’s where home Depot’s really driving it too. It, it is repurposing because recycling, ultimately unfortunately can be bad because it uses more energy sometimes than to create new. And I know Joy’s learn that. And again, these are not things you learn in school very easily, right? Joy. It’s just, <laugh> we, we gotta get out there and find out more

Scott Luton (16:15):

That’s right. And, and, you know, uh, as we all know, we could have a whole series on how the recycling landscape has changed so much in the last, just two or three years. Yep. Um, but we’ll save that for another time. Um, you know, joy, I love the comment you made, uh, as you sharing some of the trends, the track, you know, more information to the consumer, right. Empowering the consumer to make better, more informed decisions. I love that. Um, Tony, yes. Thank you for the, um, the, the verbiage, uh, lessons learned, right. Uh, vintage is man. Uh, everything is cool. That’s vintage these days, right? That’s right. Um, alright, so <laugh>, so let’s drill down a little more. So that’s kind of the macro level, right? Joy sharing, some things, some trends, some, some topics to keep on your radar, let’s kind of speak directly to the home Depot. So when it comes to some of the environmental initiatives that been plenty that have been rolled out in recent years, joy, what’s a couple that you believe have been most impactful.

Joy Hicks (17:13):

I’m gonna go back to circularity here. Um, one of the projects that I am most proud of is we take all of the shrink wrap or L D P E from our supply chain. So think all of the shrink wrapped pallets that flow through, um, our logistics, um, program. And we, uh, sell that to trucks, the composite deck manufacturer, uh, and they make, uh, the trucks decking and they’re able, and, and then it’s a product that we sell in our stores. So, uh, it’s a great circularity story. Um, we are working, uh, right now we, we densify styrofoam and, uh, all of the styrofoam that comes with the appliance deliveries that we do. Um, we, we densify that and we sell that to different companies, including those that make, uh, some of the French drains that we sell in our stores. So trying to find these areas that we have, we have a waste product essentially, but can that be somebody else’s raw material? And it, you know, it’s, it’s, this it’s certainly be good for the environment, but it usually has a good benefit with the company as well. It, um, keeps the landfill costs down and frankly, you’re, you’re, you’re making a buck on it.

Scott Luton (18:28):

Uh, Tony, she’s talking about one of my favorite aspects of circularity, um, and that is, uh, designing products either to use, um, you know, what someone else’s refuse is, or designing products that produce less waste and, and can be used longer or better or more efficient, uh, efficiently you name it, that proactive approach. Right. Uh, but Tony, your thoughts.

Tony Sciarrotta (18:50):

Well, exactly the design for reuse is a new part of, of the world’s, uh, vernacular and a new part of the world’s learning design for reuse. And that’s what the Allen MacArthur foundation has been pushing for a long time. That’s what circularity is all about. Uh, but I love the story. The example joy gave, of course, that track that decking is a bit more expensive, but you don’t worry about getting splinters in your foot ever. <laugh> things like that. It’s exciting. And, um, and, and joy, I actually ran across, uh, an organization that, that, um, reached out to us. I think it’s, GLB, uh, paint company and they have recycled paint. They have, they take the paint back and they’ve recycled it, and it’s being resold under the brand name, uh, Volvo, something like that. So it’s out there and it’s just, you see something like that.

Tony Sciarrotta (19:44):

And you’re like, wow, somebody thought of a way to recycle, paint and make it available for consumers again, at a value. Um, and, and it’s just, it’s very cool that there’s these things coming up that Joy’s alluding to and many more out there, we’re not gonna teach all the consumers about it. They’re gonna have to find someone by themselves like myself running across it, accidentally on a website. It’s like, how cool is this? And I’ll bet joy already knew about the recycled paint. So I’m, I’m behind the eight ball. I’m sure on that one, but, uh, yeah, it’s just cool stuff.

Scott Luton (20:15):

So you mentioned earlier, Tony, uh, that it may be more expensive, but you know, data after data study, after study have shown that oftentimes consumers are willing to spend more on more sustainable products, right. Uh, products with, with that have baked in circularity, you know, uh, when it comes to development and design and whatnot. So, um, you gotta get to people what they want. Right. Um, before we move forward, joy, give you a chance just to respond to Tony’s comments, any, any last thoughts about, um, uh, what, what takes place at the home Depot when it comes to sustainability initiatives?

Joy Hicks (20:49):

You know, there, there are new, um, things, uh, or, or processes that we’re looking at to, to try to drive sustainability. Um, we’re, we’re looking at recycled glass for, um, you know, insulation and then, you know, on the other side of the world, um, we’re making sure that the wood that we are are purchasing from around the world, um, is coming from sustainable places. We don’t buy wood from the Amazon or the Congo basins, and there’s other areas that we, uh, make sure that we protect too. So sustainability really is just a global view and how you can do better by the planet. So

Scott Luton (21:29):

Love that responsible sourcing. Um, I’m glad, I’m glad you brought that up. Um, okay. So now we’re gonna kind of segue as we kind of move into the last segment here with joy Hicks from the home Depot, of course, joining by my dear friend, Tony Sheroda with the reversal logistics association, uh, joy, uh, let’s pick your brain a bit and get you to take, give our listeners some, all of us, some advice. So for any of us that wanted to implement new sustainability focused projects at their own organization, what advice would you offer to them based on your journey ex and, and expertise

Joy Hicks (22:02):

Seek out internal partners? Um, it is, uh, it’s easy for sustainability person to go into a room and try to sell a sustainability. But if you can get your legal team or your compliance team or your merchandising team to go in with you to help you sell it, it goes a lot further. The more people you can get on your side, when you go in to make your pitch to leadership, to change policy or implement a process, the better. So it goes back to that internal selling thing I was talking about earlier, right?

Scott Luton (22:34):

So true. Tony, add on to that.

Tony Sciarrotta (22:36):

Well, joy knows from our days at Phillips, that was the, the biggest thing that the service organization had to do. Because again, from the sales side, their buck stops. The minute the product is bought by a consumer, goes out the door, they’ve made their money, they’ve made their margin, they’ve made their bonus figures and things like that, all that magic happens. It’s all that stuff that happens afterwards, that those organizations have to learn to cut across the silos service, had to anyone in the aftermarket support. You have to learn to cut across the silos. And I think that’s why the returns group kept getting shifted around it. Isn’t just that they didn’t know where to put it, but there was a recognition that it is part of supply chain. It is part of finance. It is part of market, product introduction, uh, joy, maybe, uh, at home Depot.

Tony Sciarrotta (23:27):

I’m not sure if you’re as actively involved in a new product launch, um, whether it’s it’s safe, whether it’s viable, what are gonna be the hazards of it. And that’s something that really is important to cut across those silos. And joy knows again, back at Phillips, I would have to go and enlist the aid of the service organization to prevent a product from coming to markets, just because we knew it was gonna result in high returns. Mm. Because it wasn’t quite ready for prime time. And, um, uh, I think joy also knows from our Phillips days, we were fighting the six Sigma engineers for a long time joy, right? They were in the room beating us up, saying there’s nothing wrong with this stuff. You’re taking back. And for years we had to fight six Sigma people and say, it’s not the technical perfection. It’s, you know, when you make a car, you want it to be technically perfect granted.

Tony Sciarrotta (24:27):

But when you make a consumer product, you want it to be nice, friendly, easy to use, exceed expectations, easy to turn on. We learned about quick start guides, joy. Remember we used to put in the stop sign. And what an experience is that if a, if a customer buys a product at home Depot and opens the box and there’s this red stop sign and says, don’t take it back, call us <laugh>. Well, the message is important, but it’s not the right way to do it. So the gold star took over from the stop sign, congratulations on your purchase. And this is stuff that the merchants at a home Depot also influence, right. Joy. And you’re part of those teams. I know,

Joy Hicks (25:07):

Yeah. Getting in on the front end and making sure that we are, are sourcing the right products is half the battle for sure. Absolutely. And especially, you know, we’ve got, um, we’ve got some, some, some pretty, um, aggressive goals when it comes to the environment. And in order to, to, to make sure that we hit those, we have to make sure that we have the buy-in of the people that are picking the products for our shelves.

Scott Luton (25:32):

Mm, okay. Uh, joy. Thank you. Uh, I, as I’m listening to what Tony’s last segment, it was about 17,000 directions. I want to go with, with all that he shared yours was pinpoint and succinct, and I’m never those things, those words don’t describe me, but, um, yeah, the six Sigma engineers, right. I, I gotta, I gotta speak to that for a second, Tony, cuz if I I’m hearing you correctly. Right. And, and of course we wanna love when all of our continuous improvement listeners, right. Six Sigma is an important methodology. Um, but I’m what I’m hearing you say is a, a good bias for action over the perfect strategy is important. Right? Uh, you don’t have to have the perfect strategy at the initial launch, you know, that action and what you learn along the way as you tweak the strategy is an important approach. Is that right? Tony? Would you say?

Tony Sciarrotta (26:20):


Scott Luton (26:21):

Okay. And then secondly, going back, George, to your initial, you know, where we started about, you know, getting your advice on, on how to get projects going. Um, we’ve had a lot of, you know, these types of conversations here at supply chain now, and one of the big common themes, and it kind of goes along the lines of your advice. Joy is especially for our leaders and managers that are listening, right? And you, you do these initiatives, whether they’re sustainability or technology or you, whatever, do it with your people, don’t do it to your people. You know, the, the people oftentimes aren’t scared of the project or the new technology or the new initiative or whatever. They’re more fearful of change as all humans are. Right. So if you do it with folks, you know, find that, um, what you call it, joy find that kinda an internal allies, right?

Joy Hicks (27:08):

Absolutely internal partners for

Scott Luton (27:10):

Sure. Internal partners. And you can go faster, farther, sooner. I think if I said that, right. Uh, a lot of good stuff, joy and Tony man get y’all two together. It’s like the wonder twin powers activate here. Um, let’s uh, I’m gonna ask this next question to both of y’all Tony. I’m not even gonna let you ask it. I’m gonna ask, cause I’m gonna ask you both. So joy, uh, again, picking your, uh, brain a bit and getting your, some of your expertise. Let’s envision the, uh, Walldorf Astoria up in New York city. I’m not sure if it’s still open or not, but it’s this grand hotel. It’s a big grand ballroom. And, uh, you’ve got a room full, um, at the, uh, how to advance in your career conference. And you’ve got the captive attention of a, of this full room of new college graduates that all want to enter global business and move up the ranks, just like you have, what would be as you take the stage, what will be your best advice to them,

Joy Hicks (28:07):

Be curious and don’t be afraid to take, or, or make sure that you take roles that are that interest you, um, it doesn’t always necessarily have to be up to go onward. Sometimes you will take a lateral role because it has a, a, a new skill that you need, uh, a new passion you wanna explore. Um, don’t, don’t go for the role, go for the, um, go for the experience, go for the skills that, that you need to learn to make sure that you have, um, uh, the, the toolkit you need to, to move ahead,

Scott Luton (28:42):

Big picture advice, uh, from joy there, Tony, I think that was excellent. Uh, your thoughts, Tony?

Tony Sciarrotta (28:49):

I think that, uh, joy expressed it so well. And by the way, I love the fact that I, I believe in my board companies of which home Depot is one of them. I have some of the smartest people on the planet in this area that includes joy and her colleagues, uh, Trish beam and Ryan Holden, and Troy Campbell. And, and there’s a whole list of them. Now, Katie baker that think like this, they think about not just limiting, uh, what they wanna do and focus on. They know they have to reach out. And I think that’s a part of the culture at home Depot as well. That’s, that’s a big factor is that they encourage people to figure out other ways to do things and joy hit on almost the exact same words, addressing the audience that Tom Mar did the last month that we talked, right?

Tony Sciarrotta (29:37):

Tom said the same kind of things work across boundaries, get to work in other areas and, and joy just reiterated the same words. And, uh, you know, we get, tell the story again and again, uh, Scott about Mike coming out of being a happy go, lucky sales and marketing guy, you know, and they just decided one day he said, Hey, Tony, go fix the returns problem. I’m like what <laugh>. And then it becomes a passion. Um, and joy, uh, you know, she was in service, she was a, a, you know, a service support person. And then she gets involved in selling refurb and she doesn’t stop there. And now she’s involved in sustainability and things that save the planet. Mm. So you just being curious is a nice way to say it joy, but it’s, it’s more than that. It it’s, it’s, it’s curious and a passion and a desire to make a difference. Mm. And, and joy makes a difference every day at home Depot. And most of her colleagues do too. So I get to say that plug

Scott Luton (30:36):

Too, Tony, you you’re way in Shakespeare today, I tell you what, um, the, uh, blessed are the volunteers. I is, um, a phrase that, uh, I’ve, I’ve long, shared, uh, over the years, you know, folks joy to your point, willing to raise your hand, you know, move into their UN you know, discomfort zone, you know, working new muscles, you know, learning new experiences, joy. It really is, uh, a great piece of advice because that’s how you can uncover whole new trajectories for your, your career. Uh, so thank you so much for sharing. Um, okay. And by the way, joy, I gotta give a, a shout out. Uh, I visit, uh, the, the home Depot store in Monroe, Georgia. You know, you have all different kind of pronunciations of cities here. Uh, it’s Monroe, Louisiana, but it’s Monroe. I think, uh, Georgia, I always get this messed up, but love, uh, the team there and the work they do. Um, okay. So before we make sure our listeners can connect with joy in the home Depot, Tony, uh, let’s make sure to touch on the next big RLA event coming up, which is,

Tony Sciarrotta (31:40):

Well, there’s, there’s a couple of things going on. One is that we, um, uh, we have a private event by invitation only for the RLA leadership summit, and that will be in Nashville, September 7th and eighth. And that includes, uh, an all day session with the board companies, with myself and my operations team. Um, and, uh, I had asked joy to be there, but she decided to go on vacation instead. <laugh> so, you know, um, so instead we have a new board member from home Depot who will be, uh, participating with us. So that’s a very special event cuz day one is, is the leadership dinner with the board companies. Uh, again, again, home Depot will be there for dinner and others. Uh, then the next day kind of, uh, following along the lines of what Joy’s world is, we’re gonna have some morning sessions about market intelligence and a couple things, but the afternoon’s exciting because we’re gonna have a tour of a, of a recycling facility.

Tony Sciarrotta (32:39):

One of our board companies is Sims. They have three facilities in a Nashville area, and they’re allowing our guest, our, our major members to, at, to visit one of the, uh, the recycling facilities. I’ve been lucky enough to be through it. Uh, you have to wear hard hat and earplugs, cuz it’s a bit noisy to see these machines that are turning it into something right. And, and glad to see that. So that’s our leadership event. And then Scott, we’re hoping that the whole world is with us in Las Vegas, right in February seven to ninth at the Mirage hotel, which will be the north America conference and expo, uh, with, with, well, we had over 650 people including yourself and Amanda this year and we plan to grow it. There’s no plans, it’s already going to be a bigger event.

Scott Luton (33:29):


Tony Sciarrotta (33:29):

Um, and the

Scott Luton (33:30):

Only, the only bigger event in, in Vegas is, uh, what’s the love, Beatles, love musical, <laugh> Beatles love, or David Copperfield, baby, uh, but a home run event and it’s grown every year. This is gonna be the biggest, um, you know, we have to start referring to as a spectacle because that’s how big it’s getting Tony. I appreciate what you and the team do is, uh, an event not to miss. So appreciate that. And I,

Tony Sciarrotta (33:54):

And I covered the dates because I want joy to fix your calendar right now. So there’s no vacation in February for joy Hicks. She has to be in Las Vegas with us. Joy also should know Scott. She is part of, of our, our committee, the recycling and sustainability committee. She’s one of the co-chairs along with Sims and along with Hewlett Packard and she’s excellent. She’s actually run a session, uh, completely by herself, meaning she gave a presentation to the committee members and that’s a member benefit, but you get to hear from incredibly smart people like joy telling you what their company’s doing and not only giving you best practices, but giving you indications of how to make other best practices happen. Sure. So, uh, very proud of joy and, and her commitment and support to that committee and to the RLA Scott had to put that plug in.

Scott Luton (34:46):

So joy you’ve got, I think Tony must be the, uh, Atlanta chair, the chair of the Atlanta joy Hicks fan club. <laugh> joy. So you gotta respond to that joy.

Joy Hicks (34:56):

Oh, Tony, um, has been a mentor of mine for, uh, a number of years. And uh, like, like, like he mentioned earlier, we won’t disclose exactly how many, but it’s a, it’s a pleasure to, to, to work with the RLA it’s an organization that, um, I’ve been familiar with and a part of for, for a long time now, and it’s done wonderful things, um, um, under, under, uh, Tony’s guidance for sure.

Scott Luton (35:21):

Love it. Okay. So how can, uh, joy, of course we’ve seen you in action with your, uh, uh, presenting and, and sharing your expertise. Uh, we mentioned an event on the front end where, um, you played a role in that. Uh, clearly love how you’re giving back to what you’re just talking about, helping others, um, when it comes to returns, sustainability, environmental, you name it, you know, it’s really important and beholden on all of us in the industry to, to proliferate that knowledge so that we can move all everyone forward. Uh, so if anyone wants to connect, compare notes with you and may have a question for you, how can they connect with you and the home Depot?

Joy Hicks (36:00):

I think, um, especially with regards to, to our discussion today, a, a good place for people to go to learn more about the home Depot and, uh, sustainability practices is our website dedicated to that. It’s eco actions dot home, and there’s a newsletter there, a sustainability newsletter that that folks can sign up for and, and hear about the, the things that that we’re doing, uh, uh, on a, on a month, on a monthly basis. And you can reach out to me personally, um, at

Scott Luton (36:35):

Wonderful. It’s just that easy. And do you wanna, and I’m putting you on a spot here and you don’t have to share, you’ve got a vacation around the corner, uh, where you wanna shedding light and where you’re going, what you might be doing and inspire the rest of us.

Joy Hicks (36:49):

Um, headed out west, going to, um, gonna go to Sedona. Uh, oh man. Yeah, Sedona and Flagstaff gonna gonna get out into the desert, but try to get a little bit cooler by going up in the, up in the mountains.

Scott Luton (37:01):

Love that. And you, I learned from a dear friend, uh, Corey who may be listening, uh, that the locals refer to Flagstaff as flag. So little insider knowledge there, joy as your, in the Flagstaff. Uh, but anyway, have a wonderful, wonderful vacation. Uh, and Tony folks can connect with you at,

Tony Sciarrotta (37:22):

Uh, Tony R and LinkedIn. Uh, you’ve got the spelling of my name, usually on the screen, cuz it’s not an easy one. Uh, and I know, uh, joy happens to be over there on LinkedIn as well. So LinkedIn is usually a good tool to reach out and, uh, send a message. Uh, don’t ask us to give consulting advice via LinkedIn. That’s lately been the trend, Scott. I think I’m doing too many of these with you because I’m getting all these people asking, uh, how do we, uh, how do we do this and this and this? And that’s like, no, we don’t consult on LinkedIn, but if you wanna connect, uh, to join, I that’s a good way. Uh, joy is also featured again on the RLA website in a couple of places as the committee chair for, uh, the recycling sustainability committee. And then as, uh, one of the member board member companies, uh, is home Depot as

Scott Luton (38:13):

Well. Love it. Uh, well huge, thanks to joy Hicks with the home Depot, joy. Thanks so much for car. Some time out here today,

Joy Hicks (38:21):

It’s been a pleasure

Scott Luton (38:23):

And Tony, Sheroda always a pleasure. Uh, I appreciate, uh, some of your back stories of, of, uh, you enjoy working together and, and, and, you know, she seems to be a very humble person. So I’m glad that we were here to get, get the full story of how she’s been contributing to industry.

Tony Sciarrotta (38:38):

Absolutely. And, uh, I’m, I’m very glad to see supply chain now, continuing this focus on reverse logistics to dark side, Scott, you’re bringing some light to us to joy and I, and all the work that all of the members are doing. So we, we really appreciate you’re the only global voice, uh, doing this. And that’s important. Thank you.

Scott Luton (38:58):

Uh, I appreciate that our team appreciates that and really enjoy, uh, producing and promoting this episodes and, and conversations. Uh, again, big, thanks to joy and Tony, Hey listeners, hopefully you enjoy this conversation. We had a, a mix of all kinds of things, the journey, uh, some of the best practices, some of the trends to, uh, make sure on your are on your radar. Some of the ways that you can advance your career, got some great home run advice there, both from joy and Tony. Um, but whatever you do, it’s about as, as both joy and Tony were talking about, it’s about taking action, deeds, not words. So on that note for on behalf, our entire team, Scott Luton signing off for now, but challenging you to do good to give forward and to be the chain, Hey, be like joy and Tony. And with that said, we’ll see next time, right back here at supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (39:44):

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Featured Guests

Joy Hicks has been supporting sustainability efforts both operationally and strategically throughout her career. She has been with The Home Depot for ten years, currently responsible for leading environmental initiatives for merchandising, store operations, and supply chain. Prior to Home Depot, Joy spent over two decades in reverse logistics with companies such as Philips and IBM. Connect with Joy on LinkedIn.

Tony Sciarrotta serves as Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association. He was nominated and selected by the Board to serve as the Executive Director on August 1, 2016. Since Mr. Sciarrotta had been an active member serving in committee leadership of Reverse Logistics Association since 2005, he had also served on the Board of RLA from 2005 to 2012 while employed at Philips Consumer Lifestyle as their Director of Sales & Marketing. So it was a simple decision for the selection team at RLA to approve Mr. Sciarrotta. Since his experience, qualifications and service to RLA was more than substantial to meet the requirement that was needed as the next Executive Director. Mr. Sciarrotta has held a variety of sales and marketing positions in the consumer electronics industry for over 35 years, most recently as the President of Reverse IT Sales & Consulting. Tony brings so much experience to the RLA team, including 25 years at Philips Consumer Lifestyle. His background helped prepare him for a developmental role as director for returns management activities, and in 1998 Tony was assigned to create and manage a cross functional department to reduce returns and their associated costs. He was successful at implementing effective returns policies and procedures with a variety of dealers, and in 2005, Tony assumed responsibility for maximizing asset recovery of all returned consumer goods. Tony has specifically targeted best avenues for reselling returned goods at the model level, by using tools developed with finance support. In 2013, after establishing best-in-class results for returns in the consumer goods industry, Tony retired from Philips and now sits on various committees and industry groups. Learn more about the Reverse Logistics Association here:


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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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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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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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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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., 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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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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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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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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Vicki White


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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Allison Giddens


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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Billy Taylor


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.

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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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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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Greg White

Principal & Host

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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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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 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.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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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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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

Director, Customer Experience

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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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.

Donna Krache

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.

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