Supply Chain Now
Episode 875

You need to start raising money when you don't need it.

-Stephanie Stuckey

Episode Summary

Bring back the road trip! Stephanie Stuckey is on a mission that’s growing by the minute. Having bought back her family’s 85-year-old business and brought manufacturing in-house, the Stuckey’s Corporation CEO now faces the exciting challenge of exponential growth and how to fund it. In this episode, she joins Scott and Greg to chat about fundraising strategies, the power of story for branding and sales, expanding access to capital and more. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a lover of the famous Stuckey’s pecan log, there’s something for you in this can’t-miss episode with one of the CPG industry’s brightest rising stars.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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 entities Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:00:33):

Hey, good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you are Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream. Greg agree. How are we doing?

Greg White (00:00:42):

I’m doing well. I’m glad that you share your global perspective, right? From the outset morning, afternoon, or evening, wherever you are.

Scott Luton (00:00:50):

That’s right. And the good news is there’s lots of entrepreneurs globally fighting good fight in the trenches, making it happen, creating value and opportunities for others every hour, the day, right?

Greg White (00:01:02):

Yeah. Uh, you know, I even alerted a, a good friend of mine, Alan help, uh, that he’s a huge Stuckey’s fan. So I said, Hey, we’re gonna be live with the CEO today. And he said, I’m playing golf, selfish. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:01:18):

Well, Hey, it’s a big week for golf this week, but we’ll save that another show today talking about big, big weeks, big days, big shows. We’ve got a home run leader and a repeat guest joining us. It’s unscripted. Stephanie, Stuckey’s take on the entrepreneurial journey with a big focus today, Greg, on fundraising to include ensuring everyone. Everyone has access to capital excellent show teed up, right Greg?

Greg White (00:01:42):

Yeah, big topic for the day. And finally getting some eyes on that. So we’ve got some equity in terms of equity in the fundraising game.

Scott Luton (00:01:51):

Love that I’m, I’m really looking forward to, to not only, uh, learning from, uh, Stephanie’s journey, which has been incredible. You know, she’s been with this before, but, uh, you know, combining that with your perspective, you know, been there on that a thousand times, two of y’all, I think we’re gonna have a, a fascinating conversation and we’re gonna be including all the folks in the cheap seats. And we’re gonna knock out a couple of announcements and we’re gonna say hello to a few folks in just a minute, but Greg let’s pay the bills real quick. First up, we want to invite folks to join us for the May 10th webinar coming up right around the corner with our free ends at six river systems, how to solve three common peak season challenges, Greg home run stuff as always with this group. Huh?

Greg White (00:02:33):

Yeah. And can you believe we’re talking about peak season, but truthfully with the world we live in today now is the right time to be talking about preparation for peak season, right? That’s right. Mean it could take like it did last year, an extra 90 days. I think we heard about our friends at iRobot who may be able to use what they intended to sell last Christmas for this Christmas <laugh> so, I mean, that’s one way to get ahead of the season, right? That’s

Scott Luton (00:03:00):

Right. Not probably not in a preferred way, but Hey folks, y’all the ideal

Greg White (00:03:04):

Way. No,

Scott Luton (00:03:05):

Join us May 10th, 12 new, Eastern time free to register. The link to join is in the comments and talking about a, a fulfilling journey, man, this 2022 supply chain and procurement awards, it has been remarkable. I think we’ve got about 70 nominees thus far. We’ve got a few more that we’re, um, we’re, Corring in the last moments deadlines already passed though. We’re just kind of finalizing a few things, but most importantly, May 18th is the reveal. It’s a live virtual event. 10:00 AM on May 18th register. Uh, Greg, this, this thing’s been open for, I think four or five days, we have close to, I don’t know, 755 that have already registered and to register. So join us as we, uh, support, uh, not only celebrate all the success across global supply chain, but we support the nonprofit hope for justice, which is on a mission to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking. Greg, your quick thoughts there.

Greg White (00:03:56):

I mean, if, if anyone can do these virtual type events with fun intellect and interest and entertainment, <laugh> I, I mean, I think that, I think it’s gonna be a great show. It’s good to, you know, to be able to celebrate some of these companies that are doing great things and to celebrate a great cause, right. Ending human slavery. So look, I’m astounded at the big and small companies that you know who have been nominated for this. We’re gonna have some really interesting entries to go through as we go through the judging process.

Scott Luton (00:04:29):

Agree,

Greg White (00:04:30):

We will be

Scott Luton (00:04:31):

<laugh> scrutinizing, checking, checking it twice. Hey,

Greg White (00:04:35):

Be judged. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:04:37):

Learn more@supplychainprocurementawards.com. Okay. You I’m gonna flip the script real quick. Say that just once. Uh, it’s tough. <laugh> Let’s go ahead. I wanna walk him in our guests and then we’re gonna give some shout outs to the folks that in cheap seats. I bet some of these folks are big Stuckey’s fans, and I wanna give chance, uh, to Stephanie, to, uh, you interact and engage. So, uh, with no further ado, wanna walk him in our very special guest here today. Stephanie Stuckey, CEO of Stuckey’s Hey, Hey Stephanie, how you doing?

Stephanie Stuckey (00:05:10):

Good. I like that S swoosh

Scott Luton (00:05:13):

<laugh> Hey, it’s the little things right, Greg. Yeah.

Greg White (00:05:16):

Very few people get to get swooshed Stephanie. So count yourself among the lucky humans on the planet.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:05:23):

I’m I’ve been, I’ve been spoiled now. I’m going to expect that every time I do any type of online, I’m want the swoo

Scott Luton (00:05:31):

<laugh> well, you know, Stephanie, we’re so wonderful to have you back. We’ve really enjoyed a couple of interviews with you here. Live streams and podcasts here. It’s remarkable just to all of your journey. I don’t call a comeback anymore. It’s amazing what your team’s doing. Right? We’re gonna dive into that more, but while you’re here, let’s say it hello to some of the folks, uh, Greg and Stephanie folks that have tuned in. I wanna start with a demo who was with us the other day. Welcome back via LinkedIn. So great to have you enjoyed your perspective. You shared the other day, Carrie Joe Ellis from spring hill, Florida, Stephanie and Greg. Great to see you, Carrie Joe Mark Miller from the St. Louis area. I wonder if he’s a, a big Cardinals fan tuned in via LinkedIn.

Greg White (00:06:17):

I, I can see Stephanie going now. Did we have a store there? <laugh> I know we still have a store there. <laugh>

Stephanie Stuckey (00:06:22):

I I’m thinking of road trips. I’ve taken as well. And what, what did I see in St. Louis? Which is a wonderful town.

Scott Luton (00:06:29):

It is. It really is. Yeah. Sylvia. Judy, of course, Greg, we can’t do anything without the, the wonderful Sylvia Judy. Right, right.

Greg White (00:06:36):

How

Scott Luton (00:06:39):

Sure does from Johns island, of course, in the Charleston, South Carolina area, Lynn tuned in via LinkedIn, from Albertville, Alabama ever been there. Stephanie,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:06:49):

I’m thinking I have, so Lynn might need to let me know what’s around there, but I, that sounds so familiar. It’s a great town. It’s a great name.

Scott Luton (00:06:57):

Yes. Is it,

Greg White (00:06:58):

Is it Albertville Alabama or could, could it be Albertville Alberta?

Scott Luton (00:07:05):

<laugh>

Greg White (00:07:05):

Maybe in Canada. I wonder.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:07:07):

No, I think it’s Alabama and I love the liberation. You know, Stephanie needs to be, I I’m,

Greg White (00:07:13):

We’ve had so many things that are hard to say already. Yes, Stephanie. Right?

Scott Luton (00:07:17):

You are right. Stuckey

Greg White (00:07:19):

CEO of Stuckey’s say that three times fast.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:07:21):

<laugh> right.

Scott Luton (00:07:23):

Joe’s tuned in from California via LinkedIn. Great to see you here. Brenda tuned in from Tennessee via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Joe Turner greetings from Atlanta. That’s right. I am home of the Atlanta Braves. Great to see you, Joe. Thanks for being here. Peter Bole all night and all day. One of our favorites around here, masters weekend. He’s also looking forward to that F1 race. Is that the one in Vegas? Greg and Stephanie are, y’all been tracking this.

Greg White (00:07:48):

I been, uh, I’ve been shirking my duties as an F1 fan. I must say my, my formula one skills are lacking. All

Scott Luton (00:07:55):

Right, well maybe Peter can let us know.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:07:58):

I just watching race car driving. I, I went to a NASCAR race at the Atlanta motor Speedway, not too long ago and loved it. Oh,

Scott Luton (00:08:06):

Cool. Nice. Nice. See, Fred told me don’t

Greg White (00:08:09):

Like to see any of that pesky passing Stephanie <laugh>

Stephanie Stuckey (00:08:14):

I just like the whole show, right? It’s not just watching the sport, it of fans. It’s the food,

Scott Luton (00:08:21):

The experience. It’s the whole experience. Yes.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:08:25):

Credible

Scott Luton (00:08:26):

Fred Tober. Greg, the nickname that you bestowed upon Fred Tober is

Greg White (00:08:33):

The doc holiday of supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:08:35):

That is right. One of our favorites. Fred, who’s doing some really cool things with, uh, UGA under grants. Uh, they’ve got the, the dog chain, I think is what they call the group of supply chain students here at UGA. It’s so great to see you here. Fred, of course, Ryan Campbell from Nashville, another great city via LinkedIn. Great to see ya, Evan from Omaha, Nebraska, wonderful T squared

Greg White (00:08:56):

Home, the most neutral accent in America,

Scott Luton (00:08:58):

By the way it okay.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:09:00):

And how a word buffet.

Scott Luton (00:09:01):

That’s

Greg White (00:09:02):

True that too.

Scott Luton (00:09:03):

The Oracle of Omaha T square, who holds down the Fort force on YouTube. Great to see you here. Hap happy Friday. Bring on the lunchtime nourishment. Well, we’ve got that by the truckload here today. Uh, I know we couldn’t get everybody, but y’all keep the, keep the feedback coming. We’ve got some great topics and, and stories and perspective here today. We want to make sure we feature all of, or as much as y’all’s comments as well. And by the way, Lisa’s confirming that it’s Albertville, Alabama Albertville, Lisa, Alabama, and Brenda. Now Brenda says she’s from the little town.

Greg White (00:09:37):

Is there in Albertville, Alberta? I wonder, oh my

Stephanie Stuckey (00:09:40):

Gosh. We’re probably related Brenda. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:09:44):

How about that small world?

Stephanie Stuckey (00:09:45):

The same hometown Eastman’s got. Well, we’re almost population 10,000. There you go. Love

Greg White (00:09:51):

It. Is it growing now that you have facilities or you’re growing your are facilities there now? I wonder

Stephanie Stuckey (00:09:57):

We’re actually, we’ve moved most of our operations to right outside of Augusta, Georgia.

Greg White (00:10:03):

That’s right.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:10:04):

I love east Eastman, but the facility we bought was turnkey ready and it happened to be outside of Augusta, which is a really good job market and home

Greg White (00:10:13):

And a great town. That’s right.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:10:15):

Augusta like business has shut down in Augusta this week. We’ve got a few things going on and it’s just, you hit the whole button for the week of the masters. There is nothing else. But the master’s in Augusta this week.

Scott Luton (00:10:27):

Yes, that’s right.

Greg White (00:10:29):

Yeah. Nothing else. But slung JM, by the way, he is absolutely smoking that course.

Scott Luton (00:10:34):

<laugh>, you

Stephanie Stuckey (00:10:35):

Know, I love a comeback. So I’m, I’m root for tiger.

Scott Luton (00:10:37):

That’s right. I am too love. One more. Mark widdle says GoDog from crystal beach and I wonder if that’s Florida or California, mark, let us know, but great to have you here. I know we couldn’t get to a bunch know where the dogs are from that’s right. We do know where the dogs are from that’s right. But Hey, wherever, I know we couldn’t get everybody, but welcome. Y’all uh, picked a great live story, him to be a part of. All right. So Stephanie, let’s pivot just a bit here and let’s talk, you know, since you were sh sharing some of your, you know, where operations are and some of the evolution and the growth, uh, although I think there’s a, a beautiful new mural in Eastman, Georgia. If I saw that on, on social. So maybe we can touch on that. But in a nutshell, I know pun intended. Uh, <laugh> tell us about, for the two people. <laugh> for the two people

Greg White (00:11:23):

Out there. Well, we have an international audience, so we may have a lot of people who don’t know right

Scott Luton (00:11:28):

Point. That’s a good point, Greg. So Greg, uh, so Stephanie, tell us, um, little about Stuckey’s.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:11:35):

I’d be happy to, and thank you everyone. Who’s joined us. Please keep comments coming and hang on because we will have a giveaway. So you need to stay tuned. I’m gonna be giving away some PCAN log rolls, which is what Stuckey’s is best known for. So quick summary of an 85 year old company. Wow. We’ll take a quick trip in the way back machine to 1937 during the great depression, my grandfather founded our company as a roadside PCAN or pecan stand. However you wanna say it. I’m happy to say it. As long as you’re buying from us, I’ll pronounce it the right way. And he grew it from a pecan stand to at its peak. And then 1960s and seventies, there were over 350 stores in 50 states. I’ve got a painting. It’s actually a blown up Polaroid background of what our stores look like.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:12:23):

We had gas, we had, it was like a convenience store. The first roadside retail chain in the country. We had 4,000 billboards, a candy plant, a PCAN shelling, a trucking company, but he sold the company in 1964. There were a series of outside corporate owners. The brand took a plummet for a variety of factors and with six figures in debt. When I had the opportunity to buy the company back in November of 2019, and I had no prior business, experie had lots of other life experience, but not business. I’m an attorney. And at age 53, I basically sunk my life savings into buying my family’s company. Wow. Now, two years later, it’s been two years and a few months we’ve gone from 2.4 million gross sales to over 12 million from being in the red to having all over two, 2 million profit. That’s how we ended 20, 21. And the way we’re moving the brand forward is largely supply chain issues. And we have gotten back into manufacturing. I got a business partner and we bought a PCAN shelling plant and a candy plant outside of Augusta. And we’re just growing the brand by getting into more retail accounts so that the future of our company is manufacturing.

Scott Luton (00:13:37):

That is so there’s so many different elements of that. That’s cool, but I wanna, but I wanna add this, Greg and Stephanie, this is, this is, uh, this is worth the price of admission. Brenda says that you’re related by heart because her dad was a Stuckey store manager in the early sixties until 1973. Yeah. How

Stephanie Stuckey (00:13:56):

I’m sure he knew my grandfather.

Scott Luton (00:13:58):

That is awesome. So

Stephanie Stuckey (00:13:59):

Yeah, so the stores, unfortunately we don’t own or operate any of them. That is the way I acquired the company. It’s not necessarily the way I’d like to have it. And we only have 20 licensed locations that are still around. Okay. So most of our revenue is being generated from just selling the product mostly to third party retailers. But those managers back in the day, Brenda would know this. They actually lived in the stores. So old Stuckey locations, they’re living quarters in the back. And my grandfather would often set up young couples with the seed money to open a store and they’d pay ’em back usually within a year or two, because profits were so good and wow. And he made his money from the sale of product and from the sale of gas, cuz he had to deal with Texaco. So it’s really fascinating. You know, when you really look at these businesses and how they generate revenue, even though in our prime, we were known for the stores, the stores themselves is not how the company made its money. The company has always made its money through sale product that we either made ourselves or that we outsourced. Cause we sell a lot of just kitchy stuff, alligator heads. And I just have one of these buy, you know, pigs,

Scott Luton (00:15:09):

Right. Is that, is that Wilber from uh, <laugh> what’s the Charlottes web. Yes.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:15:17):

That’s part of my job is getting to go to the trade shows. I call it the kitche souvenir trade show, but it’s the Vegas show. Every year’s where people in the retail business go to buy sort of the somewhat more, the lower end souvenir type merchandise. And I have so fun helping pick out the product line for our stores. Yeah. So this is a new trend. People are buying these like stretchy animals,

Scott Luton (00:15:43):

Right? Well, Hey, going back to, you’re describing the stores back in the sixties and seventies, you know, uh, Evan makes a point live and work from home is wonders. That’s what that’s what do you, you were way ahead of the trend. That is right. Yes. Uh, Steve’s a big fan. Uh, you’re welcome, Steve. Uh, we’re big fans of Stephanie as well. Steve, We look forward to, uh, to diving deeper. So, so on that note, before we get to, we wanna talk about fundraising and getting both of y’all’s per and stories there as well as you know, how important it is to ensure access to capital for all right. That’s uh, some of the issues of our day, but Stephanie, before we get there, you’ve got a trivia question and a giveaway, right? So tell us what you got.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:16:28):

So we will be giving one of our gift tens. And if you go on our website, I www.stuckey.com. You can see the gift tens they’re super popular and I’ll be giving a gift 10 that will have two ounce PCAN log rolls and divinity two of our best selling items. And I should have the count, right? I think it’s a 12 count and I think it’s valued at 59 90, but it’s a nice item and we will just ship it direct to you. We, you have to get the trivia question, right. And we will randomly select among the correct winner, correct answers.

Scott Luton (00:17:05):

So we’re gonna let you pose that question. I wanna share a couple quick comments here first. So Lisa saw you speak at last month at a chamber meeting. Mm-hmm <affirmative> uh, says, hello. Great. Thank you for that. Lisa, Jeff says he grew up on your PCAN divinity. So I was in your store so much. I felt like I lived there. Yay. Thank you for sharing. Hope you get the

Stephanie Stuckey (00:17:23):

Trivia question, Jeff. That’s

Scott Luton (00:17:25):

Right. Yeah. So with no further ado, Stephanie, what’s the question

Stephanie Stuckey (00:17:29):

I do wanna say a quick note about divinity because Jeff prompted this divinity is really for the ultimate candy Coner in my opinion, it is the hardest candy to make and you have to have just the right weather conditions. If it’s too humid, it doesn’t come out. Right. It is absolutely delicious. And we make ours from scratch. So I think our divinity will stand up next to any other candy company. Love

Scott Luton (00:17:54):

That. So

Stephanie Stuckey (00:17:56):

Yeah. So for your chance to win some of our divine candy, you have to get this right? What? Oscar winning film featured a scene at a Stuckey’s.

Scott Luton (00:18:08):

So that’s the question. Y’all drop the answers and the comments I’m gonna give a little hint is that it’s it’s it’s uh, it’s from a movie. Thank you, Craig. For the sound effects there. Hollywood sound effects <laugh> so the movie is from just within the last few years and it’s a great movie. I mean, and what best

Stephanie Stuckey (00:18:26):

Picture? When I say Oscar winning it won best picture. That

Scott Luton (00:18:29):

Is right. I forgot that. Uh, Stephanie, Amanda and I really enjoyed, in fact, I’m about to rewatch it this weekend, now that, and we’ve got one, we’ve got a couple answers already. And uh, Amanda, if you and the team will make sure that sometimes like with this here, sometimes you have a setting on your LinkedIn. We can’t see who that is. So Amanda, if you will make sure we can take these winners in account. And what, what we’ll do is

Greg White (00:18:54):

Basically, oh, I know the answer. <laugh>

Stephanie Stuckey (00:18:56):

<laugh> take a minute, Greg. You’re like,

Greg White (00:18:59):

Yeah, do

Scott Luton (00:19:00):

Do

Greg White (00:19:00):

Do no, actually I had it here. Right?

Scott Luton (00:19:04):

So Amanda, Chantel and Catherine, thanks for what y’all do the production team behind the scenes. If y’all would just pull all the right answers and we’ll select a winner at the end of the live stream. So,

Greg White (00:19:15):

Uh, Hey, there, there are a few answers that could probably be adjusted here. And I don’t think we would know the difference, but right. It is does seem like a shame of all the things that for Gump featured that Stuckey’s was not in. I mean, it just seems like a natural

Scott Luton (00:19:28):

This opportunity,

Greg White (00:19:29):

Doesn’t it?

Stephanie Stuckey (00:19:30):

We should have been,

Greg White (00:19:31):

They need to have a forest Gump too. Yes, yes. Or a prequel.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:19:36):

Yes. And we were actually, this is a bit of a trick question because we have been featured in two Oscar nominated.

Greg White (00:19:44):

Oh wow.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:19:45):

Films in the past. I wanna say it’s past five years. I I’d have to check years the moon female, but in recent years, but only one of them won best picture. So it’s the one that won best picture

Scott Luton (00:20:00):

One that won best picture. So Amanda, Chantel and Catherine y’all pull those, uh, answers the right ones. And to give us a winner, if you would, we’ll announce that at the end of the live stream, we got so much, you get to between now and the, I wanna move right along. I wanna move into our first of, uh, two big topics here today and now we’ll never do it justice, but we’re gonna, uh, maximize our time. We’re gonna be talking about fundraising, right. Fundraising. And, and you know, if you’re an entrepreneur, you probably know well and had plenty of experiences that our two, our two, uh, friends here, Greg and Stephanie have lots of exp. Uh, in fact, I’ve learned a lot from Greg in, in the last two or three years when it comes to fundraising and Stephanie, but I wanna start with you. We’ll get, Greg’s taken a minute, but what are some of your observations as it relates to this journey here that you began a few years back, as you made a, you know, big, bold bit to use your words, put your life savings into rebuilding this, uh, legendary American company and you know, and you’re doing it, but what have you learned about fundraising along the way?

Stephanie Stuckey (00:21:00):

Well, it’s hard. And I think the biggest takeaway has been, it’s almost like a second job.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:21:09):

You and I used to run a nonprofit. And I remember at the time thinking, this is the hardest job because you are doing two jobs, you’re doing the business of running the organization and you’re fundraising. And I thought, well, when you’re running a for profit corporation, that’s gotta be easier be because the service that you provide, the product you provide is producing the income that supports organization or the company, which is true. But if you like Stuckey and like most companies, you’re going to get to a point where a pressure point, where there are incredible growing pains, which is where we are right now out. It’s a, it’s a good problem, but it is painful right now because we are getting major national accounts interested in our brand, wanting to place large POS large purchase orders where we’re talking about potentially millions of pounds of pecans. We’re talking

Scott Luton (00:22:10):

Big orders,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:22:10):

Hundreds of cases.

Scott Luton (00:22:12):

Yeah. Packaging

Stephanie Stuckey (00:22:13):

Thousand unit stores. Yes. That level,

Greg White (00:22:16):

Tons of sugar, all of that stuff. Right? I mean,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:22:18):

Volume for purchase orders. We bought a candy plant that was almost at its capacity. So we have completely stretched its capacity. So we are in the process of trying to acquire a new facility in the Augusta Georgia area. We have to move our distribution facility, which is currently in Eastman, it’s rented and that landlord is expanding and needs us out. Hmm. So we have to move for the distribution. So we’re, we need to move the distribution closer to our manufacturing and we’ll expand the manufacturing capacity at this new facility as well, because you have to get new equipment. Yep. Equipment takes up space. You can’t just stick a en robing machine and a small room. You’ve got to have space for the equipment to work. Yep. So,

Scott Luton (00:23:11):

So Stephanie

Stephanie Stuckey (00:23:11):

Found the site and um, just real quick, we’re looking at raising 6.5 million,

Scott Luton (00:23:18):

6.5 mil. That’s the number I’m gonna get Greg to comment here in just a second, but one quick follow up. You’ve really laid out the why Stephanie. Yeah. Right. To fuel this next phase of growth. Yeah. So the why is there, tell us about one, some of those, what the conversations, those fundraising conversations are like. Cause, cause you’re, you’re new to this, I think admittedly, so yes. What, what stood out there?

Stephanie Stuckey (00:23:39):

Well, just trying to figure out how you want to get access to capital and you have to make the decision, do you wanna do debt funding or equity funding or a blend thereof. And then there’s also these hybrids of the equity funding where you can structure it in different ways. It could be an equity buyback, or if it’s equity, do you wanna do the private equity route? Do you wanna do family fund, which are whole different animal? Do you want to do a crowdfunding equity, which is largely non-voting small, small shares, lot of work to put that together. So you have to figure out what your platform is. So we have been vetting all these different options and then their government loans, You know, do wanna take some of these government programs, uh, U S D a in particular, because we are in the agricultural food production space and likely what we’re gonna do is a capital stack. Right. We’re gonna get different ch different places.

Scott Luton (00:24:41):

Okay. All right. So you’re, you’re describing some of those conversations. Describe some of those options, kind of talking about how you gotta build your strategy. Greg, gonna pull you in here. I know all of this has probably been there, done that a thousand times. You’re our guru here at supply chain. Now, when it comes to these conversations, talk a little about what we’re hearing from Stephanie and from your experience.

Greg White (00:25:02):

I think that I think the most important thing, I mean, if you’re in business, if you’re an entrepreneur is to realize that it is a second job. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and in fact it’s a very delicate balancing act because you’re, you’re at an inflection point as a company, meaning it could go either way, right? Usually you you’ve hit the ceiling of what your current capacity or funding or team yeah. Can do, right. So you’re up against it as it, as it is. And you have to continue to perform at an excellent, you have to Excel while raising funding. So you literally have to take off your eye off the ball and still hit a home run. I mean, that’s the way, that’s the best. That’s the best analogy that I can give you. You, you have to take your eye off the ball of running the business day to day and still hope the business hits a home run because if sales dip or production alters, while you’re going through the funding, the, the fundraising process, everybody’s like, eh, I dunno,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:26:02):

I’m just doing both. I mean, my business partner and I are do, we are literally working 12 hour a day and consuming incredible amount of coffee. And the takeaway that I learned I read somewhere is you need to start raising money when you don’t need it.

Greg White (00:26:19):

Uh, unquestionably, especially if you especially, well, especially if you want loans, right? You can’t get loans when you need the money because you don’t have the collateral or you don’t have the capital structure that, and, and assures banks who are incredibly, incredibly conservative that you can pay them back. It’s a little bit different with equity. Somebody has taken a bit of a flying leap. However, there are all these provisions when you get equity, that puts it’s called the top of the stack that puts the new investors at the top of the stack. So if anything goes wrong, they get paid first. So there’s a lot of risk mitigation. That’s that’s going on. And I think the other you have to understand is that as much as they say, and I believe as much as investors believe that they are a partner with you and that they believe in your vision, they believe, believe in your vision for precisely, as long as it is creating returns on their investment than they don’t

Stephanie Stuckey (00:27:22):

A hundred percent. Yes. You need to accept that if you are going to go that equity route. And it took me a lot of meetings to get to that point and deciding frankly, that it is highly unlikely that that’s going to be the route for us. I would never say completely. No <inaudible>, but you are giving up a lot when you give up equity. And I look at some of the companies I admire, and I was thinking about Atlanta based MailChimp because they recently had a huge sale of their company, but

Greg White (00:27:55):

With zero investors

Stephanie Stuckey (00:27:56):

And his partners, two of them, and I’m sorry, I’m forgetting the other partner. They bootstrapped it completely. I read a great interview with the founder Calandy and he largely, and he’s based in Atlanta. He largely bootstrapped it with the exception of like a $50,000 friends and family type loan, like a con look, a connection. He knew that’s it. He bootstrapped it so you can bootstrap it. You just have to grow slower. Mm-hmm

Greg White (00:28:26):

<affirmative>,

Scott Luton (00:28:27):

That’s a great point. And Jed liked your earlier point capital. Stack’s a really interesting, great idea. Quote and loved your comment there. Raise money when you don’t need it. Uh, so Jed, thanks for being there. Sylvia is a big fan. Must be of SBA loans. Uh, wanna make sure, yeah,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:28:44):

We got a 5 0 4 loan to finance the acquisition of the candy plant and the shelling plant. Great money. If you can get it, you’re often locked in into a longer term loan, 10, 20 years, depending on the terms. And you’re locked in at very favorable interest rates, right? I, there is a variable, but if I recall correctly, we like at 4.1 for the I’m sorry. I had to let my

Scott Luton (00:29:11):

Smokey

Stephanie Stuckey (00:29:12):

In. She was, she was making a lot of noise at the door <laugh> so you, you get great interest. You get great terms and it’s backed by the SBA. So banks loan to loan to you. Here’s the challenge with an SBA. They require personal guarantee. And if you go bankrupt, it’s not shielded. And I don’t even wanna think about that being a possibility, but you need to know all the consequences of an SBA. They, they will get their money and they will go after everything. You own. Everything I own is just in that SBA loan.

Scott Luton (00:29:48):

Okay. Peter says, banks always willing to give it to you when you do not need it. <laugh>

Greg White (00:29:54):

Right. And,

Greg White (00:29:55):

And when you can personally guarantee it, I mean, that’s the truth. They just don’t take risk. And I think that, that, I think what you have to understand, um, in all of the legitimate and rhetoric, rhetorical discussions we’ve had about entrepreneurs and whether they built that or not, is that entrepreneurs are taking a significant risk so that no one that ever works for them into the future will ever have to take that risk again. Yeah. And the on, and they are literally the only people, Stephanie is the only one putting her home on the line so that this business can, can flourish. Not the best. Well,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:30:35):

The business

Greg White (00:30:35):

Partner, not the investors and not the employees. So my

Stephanie Stuckey (00:30:38):

Business partner, there’s two of us. We jointly own the company, but here’s the other thing. It’s our families too. Right? Right. Those assets. Can the family home, the family car, so right.

Greg White (00:30:50):

College funds, good

Stephanie Stuckey (00:30:51):

Money, good terms. I just think people need to be aware that none of this is without a certain amount of risk. And, and one, we haven’t talked about that I am intrigued by and I’m really interested pursuing is a crowdfunding option.

Greg White (00:31:08):

Very

Stephanie Stuckey (00:31:08):

Doing a I’ve looked at Indigogo, I’ve looked at Kickstarter and I’ve actually become very intrigued with a new platform that I think we might try out. So we can talk about it. Future episodes, it’s called deal maker. You familiar with that platform?

Scott Luton (00:31:22):

I, I am not great.

Greg White (00:31:23):

I’ve heard of it. I’m not that familiar with it.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:31:25):

Yeah. So basically they help you structure all of the S E C filings. So you can’t just, I couldn’t just go up on LinkedIn and say, Hey, buy some equity, crowd funding, shares of our company where, where it’s different. If you’re doing the crowd funding route is that they’re not owning a sizable amount. It’s going to be a, it’s going to be a non-voting small share, but people will have a share of the company and you can choose the terms. And you can say, we’re not paying you back unless there’s a liquidation event. And that’ll be in 10 years, you know, so people know upfront through what the terms are, but you can also provide reward and fun incentives. So we’re looking at structuring it in a way that I think would be appealing to people to give at maybe the 500, a thousand dollars level. And we could get some of the funding that way. Okay. The deal maker is really nice in that they don’t have the huge percentages that you have to give up with some of these other platforms. They all come with fees and fine, not these. And they get percentages,

Scott Luton (00:32:26):

These and strings and percentages. Oh my, I wanna shift gears here for a second. I wanna share this. Um, Amanda, let me know who this is. If you would, he or she says, basically you need a runway where you have the luxury to build your brand right. And a deliberate, meaningful way. So as to ensure success. Yep. Excellent point there, uh, in, in light of all the risk that Greg and Stephanie, both are describing that that all of us are, have, have lived our living, you name it. And that was, um, mark Meers here. So thank you for that, mark. Greg. Thank

Stephanie Stuckey (00:32:57):

You, mark. So true. Yeah. And I wanna run away

Greg White (00:33:00):

And let’s talk about <laugh>, let’s talk a little bit about what builds brand, because Coca-Cola the most recognizable brand in the universe. Probably at least on this planet, didn’t start out as a brand. They started out selling the hell out of something. They called medicine that ultimately became a, a consumable PR uh, a consumer product soda, right? Sales it, what is what makes a brand a branding exercise does not make a brand mm-hmm <affirmative>. I just wanna be. I want people to understand that. I mean, we’re talking, I, I presume we’re speaking to some entrepreneurs here today, but it, the proof is in the pudding as has been said by who ever for however long. And I still don’t know what it means, but everybody understands it. <laugh> I mean that of a brand, somebody has to buy it and lots of people recognize it before you get to a branding exercise, sales, sales, sales,

Scott Luton (00:33:56):

Sales,

Greg White (00:33:57):

An entrepreneurial company, doesn’t have one problem, more sales can’t solve

Scott Luton (00:34:01):

Sales, speak loudest, for sure. Uh, thank you for that’s a great point, Greg folks, don’t go after the branding exercises. Get better at selling

Greg White (00:34:10):

Stuff

Scott Luton (00:34:11):

Too early. Yeah. Too early. Yeah. Get, thank you. Get better. Get better at selling stuff, folks. Um, okay. Can I

Stephanie Stuckey (00:34:17):

Quick thing to that though? Yeah, because I’ve learned interesting thing and we may be in a different position because Stuckey’s did come with a brand, albeit one that was a little dusty and maybe fading in people.

Greg White (00:34:28):

Yeah,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:34:29):

No, it was a little bit of like, whatever happened to when I got Stuckey’s that was literally the top Google search, whatever happened to Stuckey’s and Stuckey’s left and that is no longer the top Stuckey’s search. Now, now it’s become log roles. Thank you very much. Oh

Greg White (00:34:44):

Yeah. Awesome.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:34:45):

I had to do a lot of marketing. I you’re looking at the chief marketing officer and the chief sales officer and the chief executive officer. You wear many hats when you run a company. But what was interesting to me was when I was trying to market and sell the brand, what produced the most sales was when I talked about the brand, when I told the brand story, when I told the story of my journey, when I told, you know, I would talk about, oh, we sell cactus candy and here’s the story of cactus candy. And then next thing I know you look on the website and stuff is selling. So it’s a fine balance of not being too salesy at and telling the story. But if you just tell the story and don’t remind people, Hey, behind this great story, you can buy a mug. Right?

Scott Luton (00:35:34):

Yeah. <laugh>

Stephanie Stuckey (00:35:36):

So it’s interesting to me like the branding, branding, branding. It’s like what Gary V says, punch, punch, punch, punch, jab. Right? Right. You tell the story, you tell the story, you tell the story, all right, jab, you need a sale

Scott Luton (00:35:50):

Until you run into clever Lang and you gotta come up with new strategy maybe. But Hey, Stephanie, um, I wanna share a couple comments and I wanna shift into our second big topic, which is access for all access to capital for all. We got a bunch of great comments here. I’m gonna try to share some of ’em quickly. Uh, Sylvia says her sister started her publishing company through crowd front crowd funding. Unconventional. Yes. Effective. Yes. In big bold letters. Sylvia, thank you for sharing that co I might wanna

Stephanie Stuckey (00:36:19):

Connect with your sister just would love to chat with someone.

Scott Luton (00:36:23):

Let’s do it. Peter’s talking about Coca-Cola cocaine in a bottle. Gotcha. Hooked. He said back in the day, Peter loved that. No

Greg White (00:36:30):

Comment.

Scott Luton (00:36:31):

Uh, <laugh> Elizabeth as asking, attending south by Southwest for crop funding could be a resource for you. So maybe two of y’all can get connected after the show there, John is talking about Stuckey’s legacy highway locations. Yeah. Now online direct to consumer convenient stores, grocery stores. What other channels are in your omnichannel strategy? Uh, and he asked lot of great questions there. All the

Stephanie Stuckey (00:36:55):

We’re working on all those, we, we just sign up a new broker to get in the value chain. Uh, and we’ve been talking about airport gifts shops. Okay. Not wanting our own, but selling our product.

Scott Luton (00:37:05):

Wonderful, wonderful. We’re we’re we’re stirring some passions here. Nick is talking about, uh, equity is not a bad way to go. If the investor is able to structure a deal where you’re operating debt free and you then have capital for long term expansion, then they take a less equit, uh, equity position that allows you to own majority shares. Uh, Greg quick response there.

Greg White (00:37:26):

Yeah. Most, most equity is gonna be a minority investment to begin with, but with significant preference. Now it also depends on the kind of business you’re in, right. Technology has, has its own structure, retail or, or manufacturing or consumer goods have used different structures. And other industries use different structures. That is a very, the model that Nick is talking about is a very, very early, early equity equity model, but gotcha. Um, where some people, those would typically be called angels as opposed to the opposite. Some can be, um, those are typically called angels that would allow you to basically buy back your company from the equity investor. But most companies, if they have enough value can, can give away as little as a 20% share of their company for, for that equity. Hmm. So, but I mean, and that might be a different story Stephanie, than your hearing. And it also depends on the upside potential of a business, right. Particularly in technology they’re expecting to you to return 10 times what they’ve invested in your company. Exactly. Yeah. That’s very difficult from a manufacturing standpoint. Mm

Scott Luton (00:38:36):

Okay. Evan to append the proof is in pudding. That cake is also a lie. I I’ll have to learn that one. That latter one, there is that true. The cake is also a lot.

Greg White (00:38:45):

I thought it was heavier. Your cake. You eat it too.

Scott Luton (00:38:47):

Maybe

Stephanie Stuckey (00:38:48):

Or less cake

Scott Luton (00:38:49):

Now that’s right now Lisa disagrees.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:38:52):

Rebranding is key. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:38:54):

Yeah. Key foundation.

Greg White (00:38:54):

Unquestionably

Scott Luton (00:38:56):

Customers. Yeah. And she also says it’s an emotional experience and, and Lisa, um, really, I think, I think, uh, Lisa, I, I agree with that. Um, but I think, talk about cake and eat it too. If you focus on sales and you’re driving sales, you can still work of course, on making that emotional connection via branding with your customer. Right. Um, Greg and Stephanie

Greg White (00:39:17):

Unquestionably. And you have to, I mean, think about, let’s talk about, Coca-Cola just real quick, how that brand evolved. It started out as medicine, not a sustainable branding exercise because it didn’t generate enough sales also. Well, nevermind. I said, no comment didn’t I <laugh>, um, uh, also the, the, you know, so they, so they recognized that there was a consumer element to this and they shifted their brand identity to, to capitalize on that. And that did help drive that, that consumer, uh, that consumer consumption, which makes perfect sense. But they had to sell it before the branding meant anything. I mean, I, I bet nobody can name a brand that has never sold anything.

Scott Luton (00:40:04):

Hmm. Is that

Stephanie Stuckey (00:40:05):

Branding is at the core of everything a company does. Am

Greg White (00:40:09):

I unquestionably? You have to have some identity that separates you from the pack, right? Yeah.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:40:13):

And, and that emotional connection is key. And I’m a huge fan of Simon Sinek. I’m sure most people have seen his power of Y video mm-hmm <affirmative>, but talks about most people, you know, most businesses know what they make Coke makes Coca-Cola. They may know how they make it. Although the secret formula is a secret, but a lot of companies, in fact, most companies don’t truly understand why, what, why are they doing what they do? And so when I first acquired Stuckey’s what, what little team we had, we literally spent four hours locked in a room talking about the why of our brand, why do we exist? And we went around and around. Is that the pecan? Is that the RO what is our core? What is our raison Detra? And we came up with it’s the road trip. Yep.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:41:05):

Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so everything we do revolves around that evolves around that. We talk about the road trip. We talk about the fun of exploring small town, America. We talk about products that are made in this country and, and taking pride and being part of what’s a classic Americana experience. All that’s kind of wrapped up together. So even if we’re just selling our product, a food lion in some suburban location, when you see that become log role, you have an emotional connection because you think about taking a road trip and what fun it was right. Or is going to be so that’s branding, right? It’s everything you do. And it does drive the sales.

Scott Luton (00:41:40):

So I wanna, I wanna move to a second gear, but I wanna, I wanna make, uh, I wanna put kind of a period on this, on this, uh, segment here when we’re talking sales and, and branding or revenue generation and branding, you know, I, I think maybe the disconnect, at least from my perspective is, you know, sales and driving revenue and figuring out what the market is wanting to buy and what they’re willing to pay for and what exactly what they want. You know, that is, that is the lifeblood of the business, right? Yeah. And, and, and so I’m not disagreeing. You’ve gotta have a brand, you’ve gotta have a, you’ve gotta Polish, all of that. And you gotta make that emotional connection with the customer. But gosh, if you’ve got the, you know, the sexiest looking logo and product position and all this stuff, but you don’t know how to drive sales and drive revenue, really, what do you have? What’s the value of what you have. Yeah. So we’ll have to have a whole nother discussion <affirmative> around this.

Greg White (00:42:34):

I think the beautiful thing is we can disagree and all be successful.

Scott Luton (00:42:37):

Yes.

Greg White (00:42:38):

Yes. I don’t think, I don’t think it’s a mutually exclusive relationship. I, in fact, I know from, from personal experience multiple times that it’s not a, a,

Scott Luton (00:42:48):

Uh, is it a zero sum game, exclusive relationship? I still don’t know what a zero sum game is, but we’ll, we’ll save that for another too. We have a

Greg White (00:42:55):

Lot of stuff we don’t know. We just say that we don’t know

Stephanie Stuckey (00:42:58):

War. Right. They’re no winners.

Scott Luton (00:43:00):

Right. Okay. Thank you. I think that’s right. Stephanie, I’m, I’m leaving with the sounds good. I, I, I’ve not known that in any of my, uh, definition of that through my entire life. And I’m now walking away with, uh, that included on my 17 pages notes from this conversation between three of it. So let’s, let’s move along. Cause with the time we have left, I got a couple questions I wanna pose to both of y’all. I wanna get into access to capital for all. And before I, I, uh, Stephanie, we start with you and get some of your perspective here. I wanna start with this quote from Hypepotamus Potm I can’t got that, right?

Greg White (00:43:35):

Yeah. Close enough.

Scott Luton (00:43:36):

Close enough. Okay. Quote, minority founders receive less than 3% of all us venture capital investments. While those from underrepresented backgrounds, continue to struggle to get seats, venture capital side of the table in Stephanie, with that as a back, your take on how important it is and, and your maybe your personal experiences of making sure everyone has access to capital.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:44:03):

I think those statistics play out and the experiences that I’ve had now, I do have a white male business partner. So we’re, we’re not considered a minor minority company, but I do see the frustration. I do have friends and colleagues who are minority owned and operated businesses. And I see the challenges that they face. I would love to see a statistic if anyone has it on the private equity end of it, because it’s always the venture capital number that I’ve seen. And VC as y’all know, tends to be more tech and gadget related, which is not the space I’m in. And there are certainly, uh, and the minority companies I interact with tend to be more on my side, sort of the, the CPG, uh, the food business manufacturing making. So, uh, be interested to see if the numbers are consistent. I would bet that they are. Um, and I think it’s subtle.

Greg White (00:44:58):

It might be worse in private equity, right?

Stephanie Stuckey (00:45:01):

It’s, it’s very subtle. It’s, it’s not like you’re necessarily going to, I have not experienced where I think I was rejected because it’s a female uncle company, but it’s just the access to those contacts. I mean, I’m very fortunate that my business partner is a very good golfer and he plays golf. I don’t play golf. I’m not in those inner Santos where you hang out and smoke cigars and chat and oh, by the way. So, and so how’s this fun you should talk to about. And next thing you know, you got your money. Mm. So there’s, it’s all these subtle undercurrents and, and connections. And that’s hard if you didn’t grow up with that access, I have some access, but not, not like some other companies. And so I would like to see more private equity, more venture capital, make a deliberate decision that this is how we are going to run our company.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:46:06):

We are, some of this is going to have to be getting beyond our comfort zone, getting outside circle of people that you generally do business with and lend money to, and try really actively to seek out minority companies. And I know just this is related, but different and procurement with our business. I’ll look at, we’ll usually get three bids on a job. And I always look at what is the racial and, you know, demographic, what’s the demographic of the leadership of the company. And if we have three bids from three white male owned companies, I will insist that we get another bid from a minority owned firm. It doesn’t mean they get it, but it means that they get a bid. And so you have to do that. You have to make that extra

Greg White (00:46:56):

Effort be very conscious matter

Stephanie Stuckey (00:46:58):

Because they’re not necessarily these companies aren’t necessarily on our radar. And I have to say, it’s hard. Sometimes I really have to actively search. I get on the internet. I get on LinkedIn. I’m like, I’m trying to find in a firm in this space. Right. And it’s hard.

Scott Luton (00:47:14):

No, absolutely. That that’s why sourcing the procurement and those professionals are, are so talented and, and such an important part of the mix because, uh, whether you’re talking, um, well, whatever suppliers you’re talking about, uh, it, it’s very difficult. The finding, uh, and vetting and, and making sure you’re as inclusive as you want to be. It’s a, it’s a full time job. Greg respond, if you would, to some of the things that Stephanie talked about in particular on the front end, as she was talking about, it’s, it’s not so much an active exclu exclusive type of vibe. It’s that, it’s the stuff that you don’t even think of about just because of kind of, you know, uh, the golf club as she’s talking about, but Greg speak to some of those things that Stephanie, the

Stephanie Stuckey (00:47:55):

Inherent biases.

Greg White (00:47:57):

I, I think it’s even, uh, more than that, it’s not, it’s not intent as much as it is neglect. I mean, look, let’s face it. Who are the investors in their countries, in this, in any country, they are hedge fund managers and their children, those children go to Wharton business school and they hang out with other hedge fund managers, kids. Um, they are exceptionally intelligent because they are taught business around the breakfast table from mm-hmm <affirmative> birth, basically. Yeah. I, I have struggled with this because it, uh, it’s not a, it is a demographic thing. I think Frank frankly, and unfortunately that’s probably the best description for it because it’s not a race thing. It’s not an ethnicity thing. It’s, it’s not a class thing though. All three of those things come into play. It is, it is, uh, an, an, uh, affinity thing. It is, they don’t know us. They don’t know people other than those hedge fund managers and their trust fund babies who have gone to Wharton. So, uh, or, or other now schools, but really it did all start with Warton. Yeah.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:49:04):

Like Harvard

Greg White (00:49:05):

<laugh>. Right, right.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:49:07):

They’ll look at some other schools,

Greg White (00:49:09):

Harvard. Yeah. But I mean, the, the net effect, we don’t have to list all the schools, I guess, but the net effect is the same, right? These are really knowledgeable people. And, and if you think about it from their perspective, somebody you have known maybe your whole life, but certainly all the way through college who, you know, to be highly intelligent and ultimately capable, and also O backed by daddy’s money is a great investment. Somebody you don’t know, regardless of what they look like or sound like or who they are, but that doesn’t have the same pedigree that you do. And you don’t know what their backstop is in terms of funding or whatever. It’s a much, much higher risk. And what I’ve discovered from now being on the other side of the table in venture capital is we need to make, and all investors need to make, and they are starting to make, they are really, really trying hard to make those connections at an earlier stage with people that aren’t from their regular social class or even social circle, right.

Greg White (00:50:10):

You, you have to start making those connections, even just like with banks, even before you need the money, or even before, you know, you might ever need money. Right. We need, we need to do it in high school and grade school and kindergarten and preschool, whatever <laugh>. Um, so, so that we know one another better, we can, we come up through our livelihoods and our professional lives together, and we can recognize the value that you go. You know, if I gave that, that lady like a million bucks, I think she’d do good stuff with it because I have this timeline of experiences that I, I can draw from ultimately, and this is an outsider’s analysis, regardless of what I look like. I’m an definite outsider when it comes to investing, um, that’s an outsider’s perspective and analysis of why it was hard for me, even a white male, right. Um, to raise money and, and why it is hard to get, to make those contacts with so many people.

Scott Luton (00:51:11):

All right. So Stephanie, I wanna get your quick response, what Greg just shared and your final thought when it comes to access for all, uh, to that critical capital to, you know, to help fuel this rapid and successful, uh, growth. But Stephanie, your quick response there,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:51:26):

Greg touched on some good pull. I think there needs to be this infrastructure, not just where you have these opportunities to get to know people who don’t come from the same background. And I would love to see that begin at the educational stage pre-K elementary school. That’s gonna be pretty hard

Greg White (00:51:45):

List,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:51:45):

Right? I think more like we are going to need to have an infrastructure in place to support businesses, entrepreneurs that don’t have that access. And you make a point I’m, there’s often this conception that, well, if you’re white and male, then you’re privileged and you have access to these ho halls. Not always the case, huh? To percent agree with that. But I would say vast majority of those private equity. In fact, while you were talking, I was clicking through, I have easily talked to 40 or 50 private equity firms. I have taught, not talked to a single one that was not Rumbo by white males, not

Greg White (00:52:34):

UN unquestionable.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:52:35):

I’m not saying they don’t exist.

Greg White (00:52:37):

They do. And I, I can point you at one that might even be a good,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:52:41):

Uh, I would love it.

Greg White (00:52:42):

Option four.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:52:43):

Love it. Yeah. But I think having the infrastructure to support entrepreneurs who don’t have those opportunities, because I did have the benefit of a couple of times being on a judge panel for pitches, for entrepreneurs, which is so fun because I’m usually on the pitching side, not getting pitch too. Right.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:53:04):

And great way. Great time to talk about pitch with baseball, just starting that’s. But I realize how ill prepared. So many of them are, even though they may have a great idea, but it’s understanding what it really takes to scale. Like so many of them will say, well, I have this great product and I aim to be in target in a year and they’re not even in their local community store. So it’s just that not really understanding what it takes. And then, you know, you ask to look at the financials and they’re not done well, these aren’t CPA generated financials. The business plans really need a lot more support. So I think there’s just this infrastructure there that needs to be more available and it’s not an easy problem to fix

Greg White (00:53:59):

That’s right. It’s not, and it takes intention and action. And I think we’re getting there. I mean, when I started tequila, sunrise, that was, this was one of the topics that we addressed on, on the show at a very early stage, the intent and the action is there. It is a heavy lift from both sides, I believe. Yeah, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:54:20):

Right. I

Greg White (00:54:20):

Mean, you can’t have grown up in, you know, extreme wealth and, and expect to know people other than that are like that. Just like you can’t expect to grow up in extreme poverty and expect to know people other than outside that circle. So we need to bridge that gap substantially and rapidly, I think because there are some fantastic ideas out there and there are some fantastic opportunities for everyone to benefit.

Scott Luton (00:54:48):

Yep. Really quick. And I wanna, I wanna, as we start to wrap here, we, we got just a couple more minutes. We have some great comments by the way, Elizabeth, thanks for sharing this. Uh, she, she recommends search funder.com good resource for making some of those connections, search funder.com. Check that out. Awesome.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:55:04):

I will check that

Scott Luton (00:55:04):

Out. Yeah. Rhetorical question for now, want to save y’all’s takes on this, uh, for the, uh, another show, but you know, sometimes I wonder, especially as I, as I, uh, dive deeper into some of these, uh, raises, uh, raise journeys and what what’s published, if we don’t need more folks born to build and to sell versus born, just to raise, you know, I think we should think about that, but we’ll save that for another show. Yeah. Uh, okay.

Greg White (00:55:30):

What do you mean by that born to raise I’m curious, you mean raise funds?

Scott Luton (00:55:33):

Yeah. I, I, I think in some of the, some of the things I’m observing, right, rather than folks get into and know their market, get into build the product that the market wants rather than get into and start creating revenue. They, they build something that’s more poised just to raise rather than

Greg White (00:55:52):

That’s a really good insight. That is unbelievably insightful. Yeah. That <laugh>, I mean, WeWork is a great example of that by the way. Right.

Scott Luton (00:56:01):

Which is a fascinating story. There’s some great documentaries, Greg.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:56:05):

Oh, I just finished reading the, we were work biography. Well, I, I listen to it on audible. Amazing.

Scott Luton (00:56:12):

It really is. Yeah. Disturbs me <laugh> and you’ve got some strong, uh, I’ve enjoyed some of your strong takes on the we WeWork story. And I can’t remember the, uh, the founders, um, the founder’s name. What’s that? Stephanie, Adam,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:56:28):

Adam. I remember it. As soon as we go off the air,

Greg White (00:56:32):

I’m trying to forget it,

Stephanie Stuckey (00:56:35):

Type

Greg White (00:56:35):

It in. All right.

Scott Luton (00:56:38):

<laugh> that’s right. Oh, Hey, that runs me. We gotta get to the trivia winner. So we gotta wrap up really quick. And Stephanie, you got a full Friday afternoon too, as does Greg. So a couple things I wanna first off make sure, uh, Stephanie, how can folks, before we pick our winner and Amanda Chantel or Catherine, if one of y’all could pick the answer to the trivia question was the green book, the green book. So check that out on that Netflix amongst other places, a great movie. So let’s, let’s pick a winner that shared the right answer. And Amanda, if you could let me know in, in the chat there, uh, Stephanie

Stephanie Stuckey (00:57:13):

Story, the green book’s a true story.

Scott Luton (00:57:16):

So, and

Stephanie Stuckey (00:57:16):

Stuckey’s is in the movie because we were never segregated.

Greg White (00:57:19):

Okay.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:57:20):

And stories about driving through the segregated south. So it’s, it’s an amazing tale. Definitely check it out.

Scott Luton (00:57:27):

Wow. Okay. Well, I’m gonna pick the winner here, but in the meantime, as I’ll do this, Stephanie, make sure how can folks connect with you and Stuckey’s how, how can that happen?

Stephanie Stuckey (00:57:37):

Yeah. So LinkedIn is the best place to find me and Stuckey. So Stuckey’s corporation and then I’m listed at is Stephanie Stuckey. I will say, if you send me an invitation to connect, it is not personal that I do not accept is that LinkedIn will not allow me to accept any more connections. So if you will kindly follow me, if you need to reach me, my information’s in my bio. And I do also try to check the messages. I get a lot of spam. I do my best, but email me is the best way. If you have like a, a message for me also, I’m on Twitter TikTok. I’m on TikTok now.

Greg White (00:58:15):

Wow. And

Stephanie Stuckey (00:58:15):

Instagram as at Stuckey, stop, all one word and Facebook is E Stephanie Stuckey. My first name’s Ethel.

Scott Luton (00:58:24):

Okay.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:58:25):

Page is E Stephanie Stuckey.

Greg White (00:58:27):

Awesome.

Scott Luton (00:58:28):

It’s just that easy. Make sure you connect with her, uh, make sure you check out Stuckey’s for all of your year round, uh, uh, candy and, and beyond needs. I love the nostalgia and, and of course the legendary brand, uh, Greg, this is Dave S is what Amanda tells me. He was a fur the person to answer correctly. Uh, Dave ES. So Dave, if you can, um, I’ll tell you if you can shoot your information over to, I think Stephanie shared her email address. You might also want to copy amanda@supplychainnow.com on there. So we make sure it makes it through all the, the junk mail filters that, that, uh, things happen these days. But Dave, congratulations. You’re the winner, Dave.

Greg White (00:59:09):

Yeah.

Stephanie Stuckey (00:59:09):

We’ll mail it direct to you. It’s S Stuckey Stuckey’s dot com.

Scott Luton (00:59:14):

Okay, perfect. Okay. So Greg, we didn’t get a chance to get to good news. We was Stephanie, both, both of y’all were sharing so much good stuff here today. Been there, done that, um, really appreciated y’all’s time and perspective Greg, out of all the goodness that Stephanie shared beyond the story, which is really cool. Um, you know, the, the massive risk on the free front end, you know, to basically invest her life savings and to rebuilding her family’s company and an America can icon and all the good stuff that she shared since then. What’s one thing that she shared that you really think folks should take away.

Greg White (00:59:48):

I, I, I think the, um, the number one, um, attribute of an entrepreneur is, is persistence. And Stephanie taught, you know, she didn’t get to share it here, but she shared it in the past, just how persistent she had to be. And, and, um, I think in one of your recent posts, you said you were something like seventh in line to take over the company, right? Yeah.

Stephanie Stuckey (01:00:16):

Seven grade kids. I was number five of seven. So not high

Greg White (01:00:20):

In order. Oh, okay. Five, okay. Five outta. Okay. You still, but I, I mean, I think that’s important cause that persistence has to come from belief. It has to come from your why as we talked about, and, and that persistence is absolutely necessary to get through the Hills and valleys the hurdles and troughs and all of those things that you go through as an entrepreneur to keep you going pointed at that north star to get to the moon and or, or whatever your goal is. Right. And, um, and make it happen that, you know, I don’t think that really, we were able to enunciate that here, but I think that’s really important to acknowledge. And secondly, I think it’s important that Stephanie and other entrepreneurs don’t just get at theirs and then claim their land. They are looking out for others. They are looking to uplift others who are, or would be entrepreneurs to create a more level playing field, a fairer, uh, rule book and those sorts of things that make everyone have the opportunity to build that. Mm. So I think that is, that’s an important, uh, takeaway from, for me today,

Scott Luton (01:01:27):

Agreed as Lisa says, persistence and passion and Lisa, by the way said that she’s gonna be a part of that. Uh, the marketing and branding call that we have Lisa. We’d welcome it. Uh, I love your passion around topics today. Stephanie, is this your, uh, we get this email here, right? Peter, uh, S Stuckey at Stuckey’s dot. Okay.

Stephanie Stuckey (01:01:45):

Yeah. Email me Peter.

Scott Luton (01:01:47):

So Dave S our winner, uh, send, send a note to that email and of course, copy, uh, Amanda supply chain now.com to make sure that gets through, uh, and folks what a wonderful conversation. Big, thanks to, uh, the one only Stephanie roadie Stuckey. We didn’t talk about your nickname. What have to get to the story behind that at some point soon, but big, thanks to Stephanie and big. Thanks to my colleague here, partner in crime, the one only Greg white, thanks for your time here today. Uh, we hope to have Stephanie back again soon, where we’re gonna dive deeper into this incredible journey, her and her team, her own some of her Frank observations, the good, the bad, and Hey, some of those days can be ugly, but that’s that that’s, that’s all part of the, all part of the walk of life that we’re on when you’re not, that

Greg White (01:02:31):

Makes the win that much taste here. <laugh>

Scott Luton (01:02:36):

All right, folks. Thanks for tuning in all the great comments, uh, by the way, Stephanie, Nick says he’s gonna email you information on his firm may be able to help you. We’ve got some other comments along those lines. Thank you. Thank y’all. Appreciate

Stephanie Stuckey (01:02:49):

That. And thanks to smokey

Greg White (01:02:52):

<laugh>

Greg White (01:02:53):

Yes. Right. Who made a cameo a couple of times. That’s

Scott Luton (01:02:56):

Right.

Stephanie Stuckey (01:02:57):

My assistant

Scott Luton (01:02:58):

<laugh> well, Hey folks, thanks for tuning in big, thanks to the whole production team, man, helping to make today’s show happen. Catherine, Chantel and Amanda, whatever y’all do, though, whatever you do. If you take one thing away from this conversation here today, I wanna challenge y’all to be like Stephanie, be like Greg, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we see next time, right back here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:03:22):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.

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Featured Guests

Stephanie Stuckey received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia. She has worked as a trial lawyer, elected to seven terms as a state representative from the Atlanta area, ran an environmental nonprofit law firm that settled the largest Clean Water Act case in Georgia history, served as Director of Sustainability and Resilience for the City of Atlanta, and taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law. Stephanie’s achievements include being named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine and a graduate of Leadership Atlanta. She is active in her community and serves on many nonprofit boards, including EarthShare of Georgia, and her local zoning review board.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & 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.

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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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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