“You got to always lead from the front. And what that means, what that means is this. I never asked somebody to do something I’m not willing to do.”
-Keith Singleton, Guest on Veteran Voices
In this episode of the newly re-launched Veteran Voices series, Scott welcomes Keith Singleton to the podcast.
Scott Luton (00:05):
Welcome to veteran voices, a podcast dedicated to giving a voice to those that have served in our country’s armed forces on this series, which is part of the supply chain. Now family of programming, we sit down with a wide variety of veterans and veteran advocates to gain their insights, perspective, and experiences. We’ll talk with many individuals about their challenging transition from active duty to the private sector, and we’ll discuss some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of veteran voices. Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton with veteran voices. Welcome to today’s show. Hey, really excited about this show here, because not only do we bring on a fellow veteran, but a dear friend I’ve known for a long time. So I know our audience is certainly in for a treat and he’s been, he’s a repeat guest. We interviewed him really from a supply chain angle a few months back. So great to have Keith Singleton in here with us today, but Hey, quick, programming it before we get started. So this program is part of supply chain. Now programming, you can find better invoices and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from and you want to subscribe. So you’ll miss conversations like this here today. Alright, so with no further ado, let’s say hello to our featured guests here today. Keith Singleton, Keith, how you doing?
Keith Singleton (01:32):
I’m outstanding. How you doing Scott?
Scott Luton (01:34):
I am really doing well. Things are going well, but this has been a really rewarding series and been real selfish about it because I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed it. And really it revolves around sitting down with fellow veterans or veteran advocates and hearing their point of view and their experiences and, and getting them to kind of help other veterans that may be transitioning or maybe they, maybe they hadn’t gotten out yet and they’re putting their plan together or maybe they’re already out. And they’re trying to figure out how to work their way up the up the professional career ladder. Sure. But before we get all there for getting the transition, I know a lot about you and I won’t owe you to share. Uh, so our audience can say the same thing. So for starters, Keith, let’s talk about, let’s get to know you a little better. So where are you from? And you got to give us an anecdote or two about Europe.
Keith Singleton (02:24):
Okay. I grew up in Oklahoma city, family, military family, partially raised by my grandparents. And I also spent some formative years in Anchorage, Alaska. In fact, that’s where I graduated from high school from in Anchorage, Alaska East high. I went back to Oklahoma to go and finish my undergraduate degree at the university of central Oklahoma. That’s where I’m from.
Scott Luton (02:46):
Do you still have a bunch of family in Anchorage or a bunch of family in Oklahoma or both?
Keith Singleton (02:51):
I have, I have family in both places. I do. I was the last time I was in Anchorage was in 2018. I went to the state track and hung out with family, my little brother for a weekend. And I took my youngest son with me
Scott Luton (03:04):
Or probably an overwhelming majority of our listeners have never been to Alaska. What was it like living in Anchorage? What I mean beyond probably the weather. What else really stands out? That’s unique about Anchorage.
Keith Singleton (03:16):
Anchorage is just beautiful. No joke. Anchorage is a scenically and iconic city said, uh, similar to some of the cities we’re probably familiar with on T V Sydney, London, places like that. Anchorage is beautiful. It is Alaska. So it does get cold. You still get this snow there. Matter of fact, when we were there in 2018 in may, it started raining where we were at and we went and watched filler, which is where Sarah Pailin is from. I actually know Sarah’s dad very, very well, his track coach. And, uh, I am familiar with Sarah and Todd. I don’t, you know, I wouldn’t frankly them personally, but I, I played against tide and, uh, I’ve seen Sarah before she was basketball player, a small town, small town.
Scott Luton (03:58):
Alright. So let’s you, you talked about, I think you said you graduated from central Oklahoma university, is that right? Yes. And then before we dive into your military, what else what’d you major in, in college?
Keith Singleton (04:13):
It was history, major history. Uh, yes, I, I am a history major. I am a huge history person. I had a professor that gave some advice to said, Hey, you should probably look into getting a liberal arts degree at our age group, which was 1820 year olds at the time. It’s probably the best advice he ever gave. Cause I have a real passion for history. And by the time you do that, then you’ll kind of figure out what you want to do and you’ll learn how to write and learn how to critically think. And he was exactly right. So that’s what, that’s what I did undergraduate wise. I got my graduate degree in business course. And, and then I can tell you about my professional development was started in the Marines.
Scott Luton (04:49):
Yeah. So one more question. Cause uh, this history wrinkle is a new one. I’ve learned something new about you already. So how do you, how do you serve that passion now? How do you get your history fix?
Keith Singleton (05:02):
Oh, I, you know, I’m a, I’m an avid reader. I am a real reader. And the other thing that I do is that I do volunteer for the local, uh, my local schools around here. So, um, I’m always in the schools, not only as a, you know, I do coach them, but I’m a guest speaker, things of that nature. And if it’s a subject because I actually, I got a certification and teach it to house here in Georgia. So if it’s something that a professor wants to bring home or a teacher wants to bring home to a class and just get a special guest, then that’s what I do. I I’ll know from the studies, I, I try to apply that.
Scott Luton (05:34):
Alright. So I’m fast. I got to give you one more question about this history angle and I’m gonna put you on the spot a bit, but you know, there’s, there’s that saying if we don’t learn from history repeat itself. Yes. So what, what is one thing maybe as I kind of catch it with a, with a curve ball here, but what’s one thing, maybe lesson that we haven’t learned well enough that will certainly repeat itself. Anything come to mind.
Keith Singleton (05:58):
I asked a few things that come to mind, but, uh, financially, um, what I have learned in history is this is that if you just push financial problems off, all you do is force the next generation to just have to solve it. And what happens is, is that once they solve it, they find out that it wasn’t that hard anyway, that people rally and they get by it. And then we move on with life. Uh, I give you one historical anecdote that will blow you away when the country formed and the constitution was approved, the debt was the equivalent to what I debt is right now, even with the pandemic going on. And so one of the first things that president Washington did was, Hey, we’re going to get our house in order. And we’re going to solve the debt to all our people that we owe money to.
Keith Singleton (06:48):
And that ain’t even, it ain’t even included the civilians that lent the military money and they did. They paid the debt within a year and a half and the country prosper. And it’s happened twice in our, in our, in our history. People have just made that we’re going to pay the debt off and move on. It’s not as painful as people think it is. And it does repeat itself if you won’t talk about it. And that’s the issue, nobody will talk about what they had to do. They want to talk about each of each of broccoli, two beats. They don’t never talk about, that’s not exciting.
Scott Luton (07:21):
Love it. All right. There’s so much more there. We’ll have to, we’ll have to bring you back for a history focused episode here. Um, alright, so let’s talk about what was your why for joining the military?
Keith Singleton (07:32):
I joined the military because it’s a family tradition with us and, uh, my family, uh, my dad was in the air force similar to Scott Scott. And I really got talking when we first met and then, but my, my grandparents were on both sides where we’re in the army. So I wanted to be different. And I had a cousin that was a Marine. So I decided I, you know, I had to do one up here if he was going to be a Marine and I had to be a Marine officer. So that’s what I did. I joined. That’s why.
Scott Luton (08:00):
Awesome. All right. So talk about that. You said a minute ago, kind of how your professional development started, uh, when you joined the military and started there talk about those early days, your early days of being a Marine.
Keith Singleton (08:13):
I tell you, I mean the Marine Corps officer path is a little different. You, uh, you have to go to officer Kennedy school, but it is more of a qualification process than it is, you know, just a, uh, a broken out pathway where you in service. So you pass those CS. And then, uh, if you’re in a PLC program like platoon leaders, class program, like I was in you go back to school, you graduate and then you get on active duty. So then the officers in the Marine Corps go through a process where they have to physically do our form of training, which is not bootcamp for 10 weeks. It’s six months for us in the core. So we do officer’s training at the basic school, which is the basic school for officer training. And then you get assigned to a, you pick your MOS there.
Keith Singleton (08:55):
So, um, I got my MOS by default. I first started out as a, as an air officer and, and realize, Hey, this probably is not the right thing for me. And so I went to ground supply school, which is what we call supply chain logistics. And it’s probably the best thing I ever did because it turns out my dad was a load master in the air force. Never really knew that. Cause I never asked him those questions, but a lot of the things that he taught me in terms of the business world and it was applicable to what I was doing. So I was immediately comfortable in that MOS cause I knew it. So we have the Marines to think
Scott Luton (09:35):
For all of your success and supply chain sense. Is that when you uncovered basically what supply chain management profession was?
Keith Singleton (09:43):
Yes. That’s it? I mean, that’s exactly, that’s exactly where I am covering it because my MOS is 33,000 into a, for Marine office ground supply. But you get, uh, you get, of course you get a dose and how to warehouse, but you also get a dose to bid the administrative side to inventory management. I was in forced recon. So we did a lot of contracting. So I was, I was, I was in a line with procurement and then again, being a small independent unit, I had financial manager. I had the financial management piece too, or accounting account management. So I did that as well. John’s pretty well grounded once I left my first unit. And once I left my secondary unit, I knew logistics pretty, pretty well.
Scott Luton (10:28):
Yeah. We had a couple of earlier guests, we’re talking about a deployment and how that’s, it’s really a study and, and logistics and overall supply chain. I imagine that was your experience as well.
Keith Singleton (10:41):
It was, I mean, because I had to, I had the dubious honor of getting rid of getting, getting prepared for the Gulf war. I did serve in the first Gulf war. Uh, so we had to figure out how to pack all our equipment that we needed, Marines, take everything with them. So we had to figure that out and we got everything deployed in embark and disembark successfully in Saudi Arabia. And then I had to figure out how do I set up change the supply for somebody’s unique, uh, pieces of equipment that we have that make us successful so that the contracting part came in where I had to go out and, and visit with the Saudi nationals. I went and made relationships in Bahrain, places like that, so that I could get supply part. So with pair parts for our equipment. So I got that experience of doing that as well. It was fun, a lot of fun.
Scott Luton (11:28):
We were talking the other day and I can’t, I can’t remember if it was a live stream or one of our shows, but we were talking about how global supply chain cuts through all the differences in people and countries and traditions and cultures. And it just, it’s like a, um, folks just come together to make it happen. Hey Dan, and how much there’s so much that the rest of the world and other could learn from what is global supply chain manager, right?
Keith Singleton (11:57):
It is a whole bunch too. And uh, let me, but let it, we had this one experience where I, you know, I did establish a great relationship with this vendor in Bahrain. And before we even talk business, we had to sit down on his mat and drink tea. So while I’m walking to the mat, my supply chief has grabbed me in the back, said, sir, you can’t flinch. If they give you a dirty glass, you gotta drink that glass. So I’m like, okay, right. And, uh, they’re more aware of your traditions and your culture. They give, you know, they give you more credit than what you think. So, yeah, but it’s just a nuance as to, you know, uh, you don’t want to offend people that are there to help you. And if you establish the right relationships, they work with you. So the guy sending me credit and we didn’t even sign a contract.
Keith Singleton (12:48):
Well, he supported my unit all in February and March of that, of the war when it transitioned from a shield to storm. If you guys recall that that’s been some years for some people. And so once we got ready to leave country, I had to meet with our contracting office and get a contracting officials to go, to buy rain with me and pay this guy. Now I explained to him that, Hey, he’s only gonna take cash as none of the other stuff. And it was no problem. We, uh, we paid him in American cash. Uh, he signed all the necessary paperwork while we were standing there with him cause he needed his audit trails to, uh, and that’s what we found out. People do business relatively the same way and they have no problems when you have special needs and requirements on union. All you gotta do is ask you just gotta know what you ask him for.
Scott Luton (13:43):
It was a lot more commonality than we all think, which is a great thing. Before we move on to some of the folks you worked with that you, that you really enjoyed. So over there, during that time during desert shield and desert storm, what else is one memory of that time there in country that, you know, you bring with you until this day,
Keith Singleton (14:04):
We’ve asked several experiences, but I like to keep it positive. Uh, one of the best guys that I’ve ever worked with was this guy, uh, was, was my first commanding officer. He is still the ideal role model leader who I pattern myself after his name is Richard Berry. Uh, just a tremendous person. I tell you, I mean, he’s a man’s man. And, and let me tell you this, uh, you can’t judge a book by its cover. That’s what I learned from Colonel bear Canberra. One of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my life. And I learned the chain of command there too. The chain of commands there to protect you and the people that you work for, uh, the people in between, just make sure everything’s staffed. You’ve got all your T’s crossed and all your I’s dotted. And you learn to appreciate that in the Marine Corps.
Keith Singleton (14:47):
So one time my Xcel was gone and I did report and report directly to the Colonel while I was 23 year old, second tenant. So, you know, I didn’t know what to stop thought. So I, I wrote an article. I wrote, uh, I wrote a request that had to go up to the general and, and I had to get his signature. Well, typically, you know, my soul would review it, you know, the drill. So I gave this request to Colonel Barry and I purposely misspelled one word. I was going to go back and take it. It was on the same page. So Kurt burying him and I would always get in there and we’d talk, talk, talk, talk. And I had a bet with my Sergeant. He wasn’t gonna read the whole things and sign off on it. And of course that’s what he did.
Keith Singleton (15:24):
He signed off on it. But then he said, Keith, you knew you need to return that first page. And I said, what do you mean? Because we talked the whole time. I didn’t see the guy doing this reading. He said, Oh yeah, you got that misspelling, that second paragraph there. And I just want to let you know, can’t get bounded old man. Or what I found out is kind of Barry was an English major and he read a 2000 words a minute. Wow. And he had read and compromised and comprehended the entire, my entire submission. And so when the Xcel came, he wasn’t mad at me. He said, Oh, you tried to test the Colonel. And I said, yeah. He said, you know, Curry, 2000 words a minute. So I found out, but I mean, he was a, he’s a tremendous leader. I tell you what, man. I mean, the one adage that I take from him is this is that you got to always lead from the front. And what that means, what that means is this. I never asked somebody to do something I’m not willing.
Scott Luton (16:15):
Yeah. I love that. The words live by for sure. Right. And that was Colonel Richard Berry. Is that right? Right. So that’s a great segue because I don’t know about you, but for me, the people I met and serve beside or worked for in the military, I mean, you know, as a family, I mean, and I mean that, I don’t mean that cliche. I mean, there was, as you know, right. Folks look out for you. And it was something that frankly I was telling someone about the day, similar element in the manufacturing community and some manufacturing roles and how there’s a, there’s a sense to the production or a noble mission. And you get in there and you work together and there’s all kinds of problems you got to solve and serve the customer, all that stuff. But Mandan folks we worked with. So who, who sticks out in your journey as Marine Keith folks, either you worked for, or folks that you work beside or, or may folks that work for you? What are some of the characters?
Keith Singleton (17:07):
Well, I tell you what, I mean, the one guy that I, that really sticks out the most for me that, uh, and he was, he was in my command in general when I was at OCS NTDs, we did his retirement ceremony, but there’s a personal thing that, uh, I won’t go into great detail with, but this man, uh, is the reason why I was, I was a Marine officer and this is a true story. And Frank Peterson, uh, is one of the first earliest, uh, like aviators in the Marine Corps. Uh, he ended up being a general. He ended up being a commander general, uh, Hasidic Marine Corps training command center. That guys, the reason why I graduated from TVA, uh, OCS, and he doesn’t know that he’s passed since, but you know, I never got a chance to tell the story of how he, yeah, he was instrumental in me graduating.
Keith Singleton (17:56):
And then another guy, uh, who I just, uh, I tell you what he was doing. He’s an amazing fellow is general Stanley. He, uh, he had a chance. I thought general Stanley really had a chance of being coming out of the Marine Corps. But again, what I, what the thing I take away from both him in general, Peterson is always being connected, always being willing to help anybody that you see in me to help always be in having a foresight, to be able to pick talent out and to develop that talent. And the three gentlemen that I’ve mentioned to you, they all had a, a town. They all had a passion of doing that with young officers in the Marine Corps. But I, I tell you those, those, those are, those are the three people that I tried most of the pattern myself after
Scott Luton (18:44):
In my time. And I was enlisted. I know a lot of times they would put young officers and they’d have guidance from like a senior enlisted advisor as well, or any of those folks stick out that really helped help you navigate through those early years.
Keith Singleton (19:01):
Absolutely. My first supply sheet is Raymond Farmer is tremendous. I mean, uh, you know, it’s stills NCO is that really train young officers how to be good officers. I’ve got plenty of, uh, enlisted guys and plus all my family are all enlisted in, uh, the staff and CEO’s and NCO is my first, very first, uh, first Sergeant that I worked with was a guy named first Sergeant as fuck. I mean, just a tremendous fellow, just a tremendous fellow. Uh, he’s the one that it made me aware of how important it is. Not only for troops to be polished when it came to drill and popping circumstances, but the office had to be as well. And that we had to take the time to understand why we were going through these processes and why it was important to be able to, to not only know the part, but to look the part in front of your young Marines always have, uh, you know, you always, you always run across great people like that. And then just, um, you know, I had a younger private that came in force recon with me that ended up being a senior staff in CFA in Montana. He, uh, he was just a tremendous, uh, uh, young Marine, uh, watching and watching him grow and develop. I kept up with his career even after I got out, just watching him develop to become a great senior staff and CEO and retiring successfully. I’ll tell you what I mean, guys, that work for you hard like that. You cannot let down, you can’t let them down.
Scott Luton (20:25):
Well, put, uh, such a, such a sense of responsibility and accountability as, as their, their leaders that you, don’t not only can’t you do it, but you don’t want to do it. You know, it can light a fire under you sometimes, right?
Keith Singleton (20:39):
Oh, it can. I mean, my, uh, my first platoon Sergeant was a guy named blocker. I gotta restart ended up being a Sergeant major, but, uh, man, let me tell you, man, he eat, he was the, he was a definition of being tough, but the real deal of it is, is that, Hey, you know, sometimes you can’t miss words with people. Sometimes you have to let people know upfront what the expectations are and that aid it’s not only you that’s dependent upon us being successful, but those young men that are following you.
Scott Luton (21:12):
One of the things that that brings to my mind is why you always want to pick and choose your battles right? In business and in life, you can’t shy away from the tough conversations sometimes, right? You’ll get to yourself as much as you are the other people, right?
Keith Singleton (21:27):
I mean, that’s a good trans that’s a good segue because that is the truth. I mean, sometimes you have to have the tough conversations and sometimes you have to learn the, you have to learn how to do the toughness, the tough conversations in a nuanced fashion that you don’t want to alienate your audience. A lot of times we get, we get good at talking, managing up to people and struggling and learning how to say the right things. But you know what those very people that serve with you as peers or juniors, they deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect that you give seniors. And that’s the key to being a successful officer in the Marine Corps is that we not only respect people that are senior, but we respect juniors as well. And the, and the Marines, knowing that and demand that type of respect. And that’s what I like most about the Marine Corps. We really truly are a band of brothers. I mean, you’re not going to walk past the Marine and he pop up a salute. You’re not going to return it because it’s just common courtesy to greet each other in a brotherly fashion saying, Hey, how are you doing? And I’m acknowledging that it’s all smooth. It’s all it is
Scott Luton (22:35):
Before we move over and talking about transition and picking your brain, offering some advice to our listeners there. When you look back at your time at active duty as Marine what’s one accomplishment that, that you’re most proud of
Keith Singleton (22:49):
Introduced the light strike vehicle into the, uh, into the Marine Corps weapon for Ray. And I I’m really proud of that. It was something that started out just as a drawing on the wall, as we were getting ready to go overseas to SA uh, for the war. Somebody saw it on TV and just start drawing it out. And we were in, we were in boardroom talking and then I got with the contracting people. We went out and sourced some SMEs on it. And I think the army had something that was kind of similar, but it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. And we ended up having it built and we tested it while we were in Jubail. So I Arabia and we deployed it in the war. Once it started, it basically looks like a dune buggy, but at the bottom in it, you know, we just had, we had a smaller gun. And on top of you had a 60 on top as basically that will allow Marines to go in, be on a reconnaissance mission. If they ran into any issues, they could defend themselves. If they ran into something heavy, if you had something heavy enough to make them button up and you can add them as fast enough to get out of there. That was that’s. That was one of the most memorable experiences that I, that I had, you know, just something new introduced into the core. Yeah. It was not some experienced
Scott Luton (24:02):
Wartime innovation basically. Right? Let’s transition now over to transition, right? A big focus of these conversations we have is around transitioning. There’s so much, you know, uh, I exited and OTU we, you and I’ve chatted numerous times, especially when we, we saw each other regularly about transition best practices. And I can’t tell you, Keith, you probably have had them too. How many conversations from, from folks that continue to struggle with transition, whether they just didn’t know how to do it, or whether maybe some of their commanders I’ve heard, didn’t give them any leeway until the day that they separated to really invest in, in their transition or all kinds of things. Right? There’s all kinds of reasons. So let’s talk about your transition. How did that work?
Keith Singleton (24:48):
I’ll be honest. Like most service members I can tell you it’s stressful. It is really, really stressful, uh, because you, you know, first of all, you’re in a family and you know, you have firstly, all your needs being met and you have a support system there that you come acquainted with and you’re accustomed to. And the culture, the second thing though, is that you don’t know, you don’t know what to expect. You don’t know the unknown, you don’t know how people are going to receive you. You hear it, you read all the platitudes. And of course you running people into the civilian world saying, Hey, thank you for your service, but you don’t know if they’re being sincere or not. And then the first couple of resumes that you put out the first couple of times you go on interviews, you know, you realize that, Hey, I might be a bit out of step.
Keith Singleton (25:36):
So I think that some of the programs they’ve set up now are really spot on like a one, one piece of advice that I’d give anybody is that, man, please listen to your wife on how to dress. Um, you know, NA it’s invaluable because your wife is, your wife is probably more in tune to what is expected for civilians on the outside and how to carry themselves and probably have watched the programs and done some of the interactions with people that can, you know, they, it kinda can point you in the right direction. So appearance is, uh, appearance is minimum, but at the same time, it kind of, it kind of segues like we just do in conversations and allowing people to say, okay, yeah, this guy, he looks like he’s ready to go. He looks like he’s ready to be a part of our team.
Keith Singleton (26:30):
And we’re ready to accept him in there too. You know, there are a lot of misconceptions about people from a service that were rigid that were flexible, et cetera, and so forth. And that’s the farthest thing from the truth, right? There are some well, you know, there are some well struck, uh, companies out there that are pretty buttoned up and have their own cultures. Uh, GE was one company that had a reputation about having a really, really buttoned up, you know, a white collar workforce, but it is no different than any large organization. Once you find a certain cadence of how to be successful and everybody falls in line with that and the military is as much of the same way. So,
Scott Luton (27:10):
So when you transitioned out of active duty, what was your first role?
Keith Singleton (27:16):
I got into the banking world. I did, I, I joined household international, uh, and it was by default. A friend of mine had interviewed with them. And I had, I, I looked around for quite a few jobs. It was, it was, it was a tight job market. It’s hard to say, but similar to right now, the real high unemployment rate, that kind of thing. And so I took the initiative. I, I wrote the guy’s name down, who learned, he said he spoke to. And, uh, and then I, I, I kinda sideways got the address for the, uh, for Marnee. And then I just sent it to him and he responded back at the time, you could go into the, you can go to the Gates of airports. And he flew in from Chicago and we met, it was now Reagan and that’s just called national airport. We met right there at his date and we talked for 45 minutes. He screened me and then he gave me the thumbs up. And then he gave me the one in his class with household, the great, great program. I love that program.
Scott Luton (28:15):
Those were good days when we didn’t have to go through all the security. I remember I was part of a consulting organization, way back when, before kids and we had a big deal. We were working and we flew into, I think, st. Louis to meet one of the decision makers who happened to may. Haven’t stopping at the airport in st. Louis. We had a couple hours and I remember walking all the way to his gate, you know, still walk in and learning and selling. That’ll go, you can’t do that anymore.
Keith Singleton (28:43):
I can’t do that anymore. I mean, you can do that anymore. I sit in restaurants and talking and that kind of thing. And, and, and that’s the other thing too. The advice I’d given any younger army person, sailor, airman, or Marine, is that you are being evaluated by those guys the entire time they are looking at you. They’re looking at your mannerisms. They’re looking at how you handle stressful situations, looking at how you respond to tough questions, how you even respond to when you know it is pregnant silence out there. So if it does not add stress to you, but they, they don’t really know. They don’t have a real appreciation of the, kind of where you’re coming from. They really, a lot of times just know stereotypes, uh, or what somebody else has told them.
Scott Luton (29:25):
As we kind of wrap up the transition segment of this interview. I’d love for you. You’ve already offered some pieces of advice for both parties. The, uh, the veteran that’s working through transition and also the hiring managers that don’t have experience. So let’s, let’s keep going down that route. What other advice would you offer veterans that either they’re in transition or maybe they found a job and they’re trying to figure out how to work the way up the ladder
Keith Singleton (29:52):
Start with, if you’re in transition, sometimes you get used to using acronyms. If you find yourself in the middle of an interview and an acronym slips out, don’t panic. Just explain what the acronym is. And you’ll be surprised. They’ll say, Oh, that’s what it means. As simple as ads. I apologize, sir. I catch myself. Everybody wants to, everybody wants to help you be successful. The second thing is is that you want to move up the ladder, but the key in corporate America and I, and it’s something that took me a long time to learn. It’s not, it’s not vertical. Like it is in, in, in the military. You don’t, you mean you have a set career pathway. I, you, you start out as a platoon commander. You know, you gotta be a company commander, you know, to get served successfully as a staff member and know what schools you got to go to.
Keith Singleton (30:40):
Then, you know, you have to be able to tell you command and so forth. So on getting to be the CEO of a company might go sideways. You might, if you might be the AVP for a great department director, and you get noticed by somebody in the staff and in the C suites, and then you get, you get a special project. And boy that leads to another special project. And before you know it, you might be the vice president of a division right off of that. So if you, it’s not an apples to oranges comparison. And then the third thing is, is that you have to embrace people. You know, I’m going to give you, I’m going to give you this advice. I know I’m partial to the Marine Corps. Army is just as professional stores. The air force air force degree organization, and Navy is just amazing.
Keith Singleton (31:27):
But what I’m going to tell you is that those are some of the best professionals you are ever going to come up. They’re the best of the best you tell last corporate, Hey, I need this. You don’t have to go back and tell him anymore. It’s done. And after they’ve worked with you for a couple of years, they can finish your sentences. It’s not going to be that way in the civilian world. You’re not going to have people that you can hand a piece of paper to and walk away. And many cases, you’re going to have somebody that is going to type up your Excel spreadsheet. You don’t have to get any to do that yourself. So my thing is, is that, but that doesn’t make the people working for you any less professional, and that doesn’t make them any more, any less dedicated to seeing your success and their success too. It just translates a little differently, but people are just people. If you invest in them, they’ll invest in. You
Scott Luton (32:11):
Love that. Okay. So same question. What advice for different part of the hiring managers that are out there that are trying to figure out who to interview, and then the folks that interview how to engage and how to evaluate them. Oftentimes as humans, if we don’t understand things, we shop, we shy away. And as we both know, that hurts veterans opportunities to land these jobs, right? If there’s, if there’s that gap there. So what advice would you offer hiring managers that really want to get better at engaging and communicating and, and building relations? You know, having that professional relationship with veterans,
Keith Singleton (32:51):
I would say to a hiring manager out there, don’t be afraid to partner with a veteran that’s in your organization and theirs, if there are veterans in, uh, throughout corporate America. And so when you’re, uh, before interviewing a veteran, you know, get with somebody within your organization and just ask some general questions. A lot of times, as a hiring manager, we fall back on the written qualifications that this person must have as minimums before you. We, we, we, uh, we hired them. And the first thing we might say, well, this guy doesn’t have any experience as a supervisor, and I might have to start him this way. That’s not necessarily the case. I mean, he’s got plenty of experience supervisors. As a matter of fact, his chain of command doesn’t translate the same way as your chain of command, what you might call a supervisor.
Keith Singleton (33:39):
Well, to us, that’s nothing more than a squad leader. I’m just being straight with you. And so a squad leader has just as many responsibilities as a supervisor, and then a team leader is a lead, you know, that you have in your organization. So sometimes it’s not an apples to apples. Comparison is apples and oranges. And the third thing of it is, is that, you know, don’t be afraid if you find yourself in the interview of asking that person to give you experiences, just in layman’s terms of what did you do when you failed? How did you overcome the failure? What did you do to be successful? Can you outline to me what steps you took to be successful and what you w what you’ll discover? You’ll open that person’s mind up to start telling you how he operates, how he works, how you interfaces with people, how he gets the most out of people, how he gets buy in how he gets the people around him to aspire, to grab on to a goal that you got to get every day and how he inspires that young guy.
Keith Singleton (34:41):
That’s having a tough time out there, how to pick himself up and get it done, like coming back from break on time and saying, Hey, I know I failed yesterday, but I’ll make it today. Aspiration and inspiration to different things, but military professionals that are leaders do it every day. You know, that’s the only way a Marine can get a guy, you know, foxhole to charge a machine gun nest. And he knows he’s going to lose three out of his four buddies. They gotta learn. They got to embrace and believe in what we’re doing. The same thing translates to when you have goals that you’re trying to meet to be successful, or if your people don’t inspire and understand what you’re trying to do, they’re never going to aspire to get it, and they’re not going to embrace the goal. It’s just your goal. And they translate it as well. You just want to do that at our expense. No organization can be successful doing that
Scott Luton (35:33):
Well, put as always Keith. So really appreciate you sharing. I think that’s some really practical advice and I’m hoping, I’m sure our listeners will appreciate that. Let’s talk about what you do now. Tell us about your role and, and what the organization does.
Keith Singleton (35:46):
Well, I mean, Gates is a power company. Uh, I’m in the auto replacement division, and right now I’m acting plant manager of my site. So, uh, I have just under a hundred people that report to me in a 240,000 square foot, uh, warehouse. Uh, and I’m, so I’m responsible from everything from receiving inbound freight and to storing it properly kidding in some organizations. I mean, that means taking materials and some other in item products and make it into something else. And then shipping it out. I, primary customer is Napa. So whenever a Napa store is open and it needs something we’ll responsible here in Latonia to getting that part to them. So it’s been interesting times, you know, since the virus and everything like that. So we’ve been in lots of volume, but that’s always a good problem to have business is always a good problem. Solved.
Scott Luton (36:35):
Yeah, absolutely. And I bet I stay in business a good problem to have, right. Hey, one last question. I know you’re passionate about this terms of ongoing education and professional development. Yeah. You and I met volunteering for supply chain industry association, any advice. So when you think of veterans that may be trying to break into supply chain, any advice around that ongoing education angle?
Keith Singleton (37:01):
Sure. You know, I, I’m going to tell them this is that, uh, I think, uh, I think getting a six Sigma certification is like one of the, one of the ground tenants that you can do to help you get acclimated and to help you get oriented in a new organization. And what I mean by that is we’re always looking in the military of how you can improve things. Uh, six Sigma is a, is a discipline and a tenant that’s, uh, it’s pretty methodical. You could start out with the goal green and then elevate to a black belt, but it doesn’t require a whole lot of you of your time to do that. You can do it in a, a plan in a methodical way, and it gives you, it gives you the addiction and it gives you the cadence to be able to talk to other business people out there, uh, in a language that everybody understands. Everybody understands improvement. If I understand it’s getting rid of waste and everybody understands trying to increase profits, and that’s, uh, that’s a good entry way into, uh, opening up a, an interview process and getting the interview to start interviewer, to start talking about some of the things that you’re most familiar about.
Scott Luton (38:03):
Hmm. Love it. Good stuff there. All right. So Keith, for some of the folks that may want to reach out and connect with you, what would your advice be there?
Keith Singleton (38:10):
I’m on LinkedIn. So you can type in my name and you can find me on LinkedIn. And, uh, but the other thing is that I’ll give you my email address and you can always email me. My personal address is K D thing, S I N email@example.com. And my, uh, my business address is keith.Singleton@gates.com. Perfect. You can just email me at any one of those dresses and respond to you.
Scott Luton (38:36):
Perfect. It’s just that simple Keith, a pleasure. You know, this could, I had to hold back cause this could have been a three hour episode and then I’m sure you’ve got folks waiting on you in your role, but this is always a pleasure to reconnect with you. I really appreciate your, your point of view and insight. And I learned some things I didn’t know. Oh yeah. The whole history angle. We’ll have to chat a lot more about that in the months to come, but regardless big, thanks to Keith Singleton. Thanks for joining us here on veteran voices. Thanks, Keith. Thank you so much. You bet. All right. To our listeners, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I had. I told you I was in, you were in for a treat and Keith delivered as always. So if you enjoyed this, Hey, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from search for veteran voices. Of course, we’re on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, you name it. Hey, if you’re a veteran and you’ve got a story that you really want to share, reach out to us, see if we can’t work into the programming. We’d love to hear from you beyond all of that is a Scott Luton wishing all of you, nothing but the best. Do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see next time here on veteran voices. Hey, thanks everybody.
Keith Singleton is a Management Leader who has over 20+ years of experience leading people and organizations. He earned his Masters at Central Michigan University with a concentration in Leadership and Executive Administration. Keith started his professional career in the Marine Corps working in Distribution and Logistics. He has a variety of professional experiences ranging from Sales, Business Operations and Supply Chain Management. He currently works at Gates Corporation. Keith has been married for 26 years to Melissa Conyers, has three children and two grandchildren. His hobbies range from running to coaching AAU Basketball with the Atlanta Celtics. He has memberships in both APICS and CSMP where he has served on boards for both organizations. He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Keith’s ongoing mission is to leave the world better than the way he inherited it. His philosophy that drives his daily activities reflects his life endeavor: “…what would you do if you knew you could not fail.”
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
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Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
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 started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
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The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.