“I look back on Iraq and I did enjoy it. There were some tough times. But I remember when we first crossed the border and there was a little boy. He’s waving a flag…and you were like: yeah, that’s why we’re here.”
In this episode of Veteran Voices, host Scott W. Luton talks with Dan Reeve from Esker, a veteran of the British Army and the Wisconsin National Guard. At the age of 4, Dan had a strong desire to serve in the military. During our conversation, he shares some of his perspective & experiences from being able to fulfill that dream, both in the British Armed Forces and here in the United States. Dan discusses how the military shaped who he was as a person and a leader. He also shares advice for current veterans that are transitioning out of the military. “Be curious and humble”, amongst other recommendations, is what Dan Reeve shares in this wide-ranging and frank discussion.
Scott Luton (00:02):
Welcome to veteran voices, a podcast dedicated to giving a voice to those that have served in the United States, armed forces on this series, jointly presented by supply chain now, and vets to industry. We sit down with a wide variety of veterans and veteran advocates to gain their insights, perspective, and stories from serving. We taught with many individuals about their challenging transition from active duty to the private sector, and we discuss some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of veteran voices. Hey, good afternoon,
Scott Luton (00:43):
Scott Luton with you here on veteran voices. Thanks for tuning in on today’s show. We’re talking with a veteran, that’s doing some huge things in the world of digital transformation, really across global business world. And he’s got some outstanding stories that I know that you’re going to enjoy. So stay tuned. Hey, quick programming before we get started on this program is part of the supply chain. Now family programming, find a sense subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from simply search for veteran voices and subscribes. Don’t miss conversations just like this. Okay. No further ado the spring and really a repeat guests. We really enjoyed, uh, Dan’s expertise in a couple of different shows here at supply chain. Now, first time own veteran voices, but Dan Reeb, a veteran of the British army and the Wisconsin national guard. Dan, how you
Dan Reeve (01:28):
Scott Luton (01:31):
Doing great, great to reconnect with you. And as we’ve enjoyed, you know, we’re picking your brain on several episodes on, on the mother ship. So to speak on digital transformation and order to cash and, and driving, you know, optimizing those processes across global business. And through those conversations we learned about your veteran, uh, experiences and some outstanding stories. So I’m really excited to share some of those own this different series. So it look forward to today’s conversation. So for starters, let’s humanize us level set a little bit. Tell us a little bit, where are you from? And, and you’ve got some great anecdotes for your upbringing. So please, please do share
Dan Reeve (02:10):
Kind of interested in that. When I first came to the U S actually the first time I ever came to the U S was an exchange between the Royal engineers and \the air national guard and Volk field Wisconsin. And there was probably a clickable because I later ended up coming to work in the us in Wisconsin, met Matt and married, my enjoy Wisconsin, family and Wisconsin really is very similar to where I’m from. I’m from the rural part of England. I’m from, they don’t call us Hicks or hillbillies, but he sort of, you obviously talk about it as being farmers over there in East Anglia. So that’s what I grew up, not too far. If you can think of London two hours, two and a half hours North of London, you think of the bump right there, right by the coast.
Scott Luton (02:53):
Sounds gorgeous to me. And did you grow up on a farm?
Dan Reeve (02:56):
No, I grew up in the middle of the city. So I grew up in Norridge. Nope. Uh, which is the Capitol there. I think once upon a time you go way back hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years, it was the second city. Uh, but you know, it wasn’t always London. That was the capital of New York was the Capitol at one point. And, uh, orange is second. So I grew up in the city when I was 12. I applied to go to a semi military boarding school. It wasn’t a purely military school, but a lot of the families there were deployed in Germany, for example, and they needed to send their children somewhere. So it was very good for academics. Very good for sport. I wouldn’t say I was an elite athlete, but the people I was playing, but anyway, I wrote to Margaret that’s.
Dan Reeve (03:39):
My mother kind of put me up to her and said, you know, you need to access power. You need to sell. So we wrote to Margaret that. I said, you know, I’m really keen on a career in the military. That was all I ever wanted to do since age four. And I’m not sure if the local schools would give me the opportunity I need. Anyway, her private secretary wrote back saying, we think the local schools will be quite sufficient. Funnily enough, the end of that week, my scholarship was approved and that was a boarding school out in the country. Lots of land and a great military cadet program. Um, so very early on, I go out camping and shooting and rock climbing and old the things I came to love.
Scott Luton (04:17):
So you’ve got friends in high places.
Dan Reeve (04:19):
I’ve lost the letter. I couldn’t believe I’m fortunate to see Margaret P fats, your pasta pasta in the letter. She said, I’ve spoken to Margaret this morning. We think you’ll do just fine. That I’m sure it’s a coincidence that, you know, that week my scholarship was approved. And I didn’t think I had a hope in, you know, really a very strong chance of getting a scholarship. So it was, if anybody’s thinking about career in sales, that sir sometimes is with being bold and, you know, they say you have to access power.
Scott Luton (04:48):
Well said. Did you, did you know at an early age that you wanted to serve in the military?
Dan Reeve (04:53):
Very early on? My, uh, my, my, my father was in Northern force and there’s a squadron nearby. Oh. So there was a Royal air force base, nearby many bases, but the base really, I grew up upon and you still love guarantee the Astros’ was a ref cultural, cultural at the separate cat Jaguar, which was a grind attack aircraft. Um, and what’s used in the Gulf war. I think he means the Indian air force still uses it. The French used it. It’s a funny thing because if you have, they can operate in the yets arrow. They put, the sidebar does on top of the wings only see them do that. You know? So, yeah. So there was separate cat Jaguar was
Scott Luton (05:36):
There. So that had a big impact.
Dan Reeve (05:39):
I was running around with a helmet most of the time.
Scott Luton (05:41):
And so you had early fascination with military aircraft I’m hearing, is that right?
Dan Reeve (05:48):
Yes, but dominantly military aircraft, but most things green. Yeah.
Scott Luton (05:53):
I thought I recalled from one of your earlier appearances with us that you were playing in a cockpit of an aircraft.
Dan Reeve (06:02):
Yeah, it was a separate, it was a Jaguar and, uh, it was in the hangar and I don’t think they do this anymore for health and safety reasons, put six year old kids into the, um, into the pilot seat. And I, I can remember that there’s all these buttons and knobs anywhere. And anybody has been around a fighter jet knows that there’s no, there’s, there’s a couple of those buttons and knobs meters that are black and yellow. Sure enough. I was pulling on the ejection handle and the pins, you know, the, the, the safety pins were in there, but the officer, the maintenance officer saw what I was doing and kept running over. And he was screaming at everybody, including my dad on a funny pins are going to come out when you’re like, this thing was cool. I didn’t really know what it was about that I’m going to wiggle it. I’m trying to pull it. So I think that could have been a little bit embarrassing for the air force at a six old objective through the hanger. Yeah.
Scott Luton (06:56):
I bet. You know, you always need a great maintenance officer and maintenance men and women, you know, I was, I wasn’t there for us as well. Right. And my first base saw air force base in South Carolina, where I’m from, I joined air force, see the world, they say, and then I got stationed my first permanent station, about 90 minutes from where I’m from. So it makes no sense. So we were not sure what we were doing. It wasn’t a FOD walk. We were on the flight line for, for, for some reason. And I’m talking to a buddy of mine, but walking straight, of course, a real safe. And I almost walked right into the nose cone of an S 16, right. If it wasn’t for a tried and true maintenance officer, that stops me. I mean, I’m probably just a couple of feet from walking smack into this F 16. So, Hey, it seems like we both have been bared from disaster by the great men and women that maintain all these aircraft.
Dan Reeve (07:52):
That reminds me of a story in Iraq when I’m driving home in some near Badra. And, uh, the corner of my eye, I seen this dust and I turn, and it’s a challenge too. And I don’t know if that’s some young, young guy driving, a young lady driving and whatever it was a full, full speed. And I don’t know if they do 40, 45, something like that. And I see how the corner of my eye is traveling to, to, to flying across the desert, um, to pick up this prisoner of war and I’m walking in and I’m like, yeah, we can, we can intercept. There’s quick decision made about, well, I think I have the right way. And then I realized, well, no, he’s got 130 tons of trouble mama. And the main battle, main 130 million gun gun or whatever it is. And I think I’m going to let him win, go on there.
Scott Luton (08:39):
So I want to talk more about your experiences because that was in, I was in Iraq. Is that right? And so let’s talk, let’s talk about when you joined the military first, and then we’ll, we’ll talk more about your, your experience as well in tell us, when did you officially join and, and what were those early months like?
Dan Reeve (08:56):
Originally I joined in 94. I joined it. Yes. So I joined in 94. I actually joined as I went. So I was doing several nights a week and every weekend windows, a university I joined as a combat engineer or Sapper, uh, would French lesson would. My regiment was part of the seventh engineer regiment was part of the Royal engineers. Um, and we talked about this before. So the Royal engineers, their job is to, um, help the army move, survive, move, live, fight, and move the fight. That’s right. Our particular task for the, at that time was supporting the, how are your force? So the Harry is the whole purpose was we grew up at that time. We were trained to expect to fight, uh, Servia almond on it. And we were being trained to recognize Soviets and equipment. And so we, we always expected that we were going to get deployed to go and fight against these, the block.
Dan Reeve (09:52):
That isn’t really what happened originally, that we were trained to help the Harriers move when we would go and build mobile F mobile runways for them in forests or shelter Heights to keep the, the, the avionics safe, not, you don’t want me to you on us to cook in the sun. And, um, then as combat engineers, if the Royal air force needed a bridge or anything else built, or an agent test pad for the helicopters, we’d build that. The great thing was that most of the time, that meant we ate pretty well. My, my father had said to me, why are you going to the army? This is, I’ve seen weapons view grumps. Now I’ve done the NATO exercises in ignoring. He said, you’re gonna get, you’re gonna get shut up first. You’re going to be sleeping outside in the cold and you can be in terrible food. Mostly he was right. And I should have listened. However, because we were attached to the apples. Uh, we, we, we were really kind of succonded and we served the air force. How we a force a lot of the time, it wasn’t too bad because we were close to an airfield. And then, you know what, my experience was the Royal air force in the us air force conditions. Weren’t too bad. Yeah.
Scott Luton (11:04):
The Harrier, you referenced a couple of times that is the vertical takeoff and landing craft. Is that right?
Dan Reeve (11:10):
Yeah. We it’s the, it, unfortunately shames is retired from service in the British military. I think, I believe the U S Marines still use the, uh, derivative or version of that aircraft. So yeah, it had vertical takeoff capability in short cycle capability, much of the time when they came in to land on a, we would spend all Saturday and Sunday and Monday building these runways when they came in, they would typically land vertically, but take off and use the whole runway and take off.
Scott Luton (11:43):
That makes sense. That makes sense. I want to say that [inaudible] the new joint relativity names could be years old. I think they’ve made some, some vetoed additions. Of course, the Osprey, which had a notorious development record. There have been a service now, amazingly. Gosh, I bet. I bet it’s been 10 years. Um, and that’s that for some of our listeners, the hospital’s really unique aircraft because it’s a prop driven Vitol and short takeoff landing. Uh, but the hole is our call, the whole wing rotates, so that the props, you know, they’re, they’re, it’s like a normal plane. Um, however, in, in short, tight constrained areas, the wing adjusts, and it can land just like a helicopter. It’s really it’s fascinating technology. All right. So we’re clearly, we’re both aviation nerds here. Uh, Dan that’s. Okay. Let’s talk about some of the people that we’ve got a sense now of what you did in the military. What about some of the people that you worked with, or you worked for some of the folks that may have worked for you? Tell us about some of the people that really made your time really special.
Dan Reeve (12:46):
Two that immediately come to mind. Uh, let me talk about my best man. First interesting story. When we first met, we hated one another. Uh, we were in the same troop platoon. So in, in, in, in the Royal engineers, we talk about troops and squadrons. And then above that you have a regimen and a regimen. It could be 600 or so guys, girls in the squadron, 130, 150, he was in my troop troopers, 30, 35 people. When you joined, I ranked him. It was kind of like a squad leader. And, uh, it was really interesting exercise because Rob, he grew up on a farm and most farmers farm boys. I know he, he can turn his hands or anything. And I think, I don’t know, perhaps I was a little bit arrogant and young and full of myself and we got put together one, one on the next Bible exercise.
Dan Reeve (13:41):
And it doesn’t take too long until, you know, you’re cold, you’re hungry. You’ve been shivering a few hours. You’ve been, we just escaped. We’ve been hooded and cough and been for a little bit roughing up, so to speak. And then they turned us loose and we ran away and that stolen all about clothes and shelter. We built again and there we are freezing cold, wet to two guys that don’t like each other. And I think that was just such an interesting experience to change one’s mindset. That actually, is it really that person? Is it me? What, what is it about that person? He’s just he or she is just trying to get through the day or the mission, like, all right. Maybe we should give him a little bit of a break. Maybe he gave me a little bit of a break. I gave him a little bit of a break and for 20 years has been one of the most dependable people in my life. So I think there’s, there’s something in that. And, and I think would that happen in civilian street? Maybe it’s certainly, you know, my passions are things like mountaineering and hunting and, and the military gave us that opportunity to, to, to get over our prejudices and, and come to realize we liked one another. Right? Yeah. That’s a great
Scott Luton (14:52):
Point in Rob’s. What’s Rob’s last name? Joe shell
Dan Reeve (14:56):
Joe. Yeah. His dad was a major in the British army as well. It’s a side story for you. So I’m there at Christmas, his dad’s house a few years ago and there’s a big empty tank run in, in the hallway. It was cool. And it was called a wombat. It was basically an, it was just a heavy Hugin, 130 millimeter shell that they, in this seventies, you find those and they were just plowed through a tank or Alma. This is life it’s a lot. And it’s been in the house for about 20 years and I get to look at the mind, so that thing alive and he’s like, well, yeah, we just don’t. We just don’t pump it, make it, make noise about it. Then, you know, so his dad is car centric, his dad as a character. And I think he inherited the lobbyist sort of the boldness and his capability from his dad. For sure.
Scott Luton (15:46):
I love that. And going back to your earlier point, I think that is that’s one thing I wish that more of the private sector would learn and embrace from the military because, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re in the units or here in air force flight together, and you’re not going anywhere. And, and folks, you, you see eye to eye with, and folks you don’t see eye to eye with, oftentimes aren’t going anywhere. And you know, that has a great way of just, um, not only getting you focused around carrying the mission forward, but to your point for whatever it is, cause I’m not a psychologist, but you can get over, uh, the differences and, and, and how you view the world or, or different positions or whatever. And you get over those prejudices as you put it. And that’s, that’s one of the things I miss about active duty military service. So
Dan Reeve (16:36):
I think when I was in England, you drive 30 miles in England, then the accent changes. And so there were people with different coats and accidents and you would, you’d be on courses. And some of that, you mix for people from different regiments and calls and scorpions. I used to shoot for them, my regiment on my call, suddenly you can expose to people from all different regiments, go to breakfast with good cause. Um, who else, soldiers that fight for the British army from the Poland, there was just suddenly being part of that melting pot. It was great. And then the other thing about the Royal engineers, I’m several parts of the British army is you, you can regulate be walking around the next minute is a chat from South Africa or Zimbabwe or New Zealand, uh, you know, Commonwealth countries and their soldiers are serving alongside, you’ve been loaned to the British army and vice versa. So I always thought that was cool.
Scott Luton (17:29):
I agree. Completely agree. By the way, some of my frankest most cultural learning moments was when I was in the military, right. I learned about Korean culture. I learned about, uh, Vietnamese cuisine about where, uh, my comrades came from and their family traditions and all that, you know, for how I grew up in a small town, small Southern town, cause some big learnings for me and, and, and they had an impact. So Rob was one of the two folks that really had a big impact on your experience.
Dan Reeve (18:03):
We had a staff, Sergeant, John Patterson, who kind of took me under his wing, almost like a, like a second father, when you’re younger. Sometimes you can be, you can have a chip on your show. I think maybe I had a chip on my shoulder or you can have the wrong attitude. And he kind of molded me and I have a lot of sort of drive and energy and I’d signed up for the school wanting to be a rock climbing and mountaineering instructor and lots of things I wanted to go do. And he says, well, first you’ve got to kind of earn your way, go physical training instructor and bring that back. Good, earn your way, bring us value. And then we’ll let you go do the things you want to do. So he kind of set me on the right path and made me sort of have the right attitude. And yeah, so it was having a staff Sergeant who wasn’t going to take any, any of the wrong attitude, attributes or traits, or for me, it was good. You know, he’s not coming to shape a little bit. And you know, I had a massive respect for him because I knew when it came to combat engineering and all that, the planning and all the different missions we do. And he had, he had experienced and he knew how to do it. And
Scott Luton (19:03):
W we all need someone like that in our attorneys, military or otherwise. Let’s talk about some of your experiences and we’ll talk about accomplishments. You mentioned being in Iraq deployed. Tell me about that. Was that when was that
Dan Reeve (19:15):
Much? 2003, we were mobilized. I thought I was going skiing in February. So just to set the scene, I was in the reserves for 12 years, 12 years. Okay. Basically, I remember having a chat with a friend of mine. She was a paramedic herself and my, my best man, we were supposed to go skiing in the South of France. And I remember having a conversation with those folks and things, any chance we can to get mobilized? No, no, no. We’d heard about it. It turns out my best man. He knew we were going undermine, who was a major, told him, but told him not to tell anybody else. So he, he didn’t even tell his best friend. Oh, we had to wake up. They loose lips, sink ships. It’s up two names on the list of mine in his name. We were the first two names put on the list and they didn’t tell me.
Dan Reeve (19:59):
So, so we booked a Steve holiday and I’m thinking, yeah, we’d Gary, didn’t get a month before that. He and I through the regiment had been to quite a lot of mountain naming and outdoor activities. The British army was really big about always be fighting, but you can train for the adverse conditions. So you can go and do sporting activities. You can protest yourself by mountaineering, hiking, whatever sports you really care about. When I got loaned to the national guard, I think some of the stories that I tell them thought, wow, really your most you’ve paid for that. So we were in, we were still on a peak in Nepal, in the Anaconda circuit. And we heard this avalanche come down and I thought it was fight at you, him so loud at its peak. Wow. This is amazing. We’re looking across and opponent South.
Dan Reeve (20:48):
And I said to him, you know what? This is going to come, come at a cost. We’re here for five weeks. We’re getting paid. This doesn’t come free. There’s going to be something, you know what, two months later they, we were in Iraq and I looked at him and said, I told you, I told you that that’d be, that’d be something to, you know, we’ll have to take the Piper. So I ended up, I volunteered to go to, um, uh, operation. Uh, the, when we first went into Iraq, I, I felt it was important. You know, the Tony bled said, well, country could be, um, at risk, it’s got missiles and they might have the range of a UK. They certainly would have the range of Cypress with this part about country. Talk about chemical weapons. And I wanted to go, and as my friends would be, you know, we, we received a letter saying you’re nine days you’re gone. So that was quite short, but I really, I actually fought to go because I, the last thing I wanted was to be left behind and not to go with my
Scott Luton (21:44):
Right. How long were you interact? Six months. And what part of the country?
Dan Reeve (21:50):
Well, we started off in Northern Kuwait to the couple of air bases where Allie, Alnylam, and we were getting fitted up there. And initially it was a little slow, you know, initially the invading forces going in a week earlier, and we were itching and dying to get in there. And we were getting Scott attacks and Ariel, uh, missile attacks, Chinese silkworm attacks, most days because Sadam had been there in the first off war. I’m a cop story for you is I was playing squash most nights. And one night I was playing squash with my Sergeant major and we got talking afterwards and he said, well, you do know Sadam had this bet before. Yeah. Well, did you see it? And he said to me, didn’t you see the pockmarks in the squash court. There was some marks on the walls. As if somebody had taken a chisel, made a hole. What actually happened is said I’m students. So to speak his military, he’d go lined up the, uh, Kuwaiti military, uh, the old warrant offices and a shotgun in that squash. So suddenly was like, Oh, hang on a minute. This isn’t a game anymore. This is, these folks are injustices have taken me taking part around here.
Scott Luton (23:07):
Mm Hmm. Six months in. And then is that, was that a standard tour of duty with the British army?
Dan Reeve (23:14):
Yeah, it was interesting because typically the six months tools, the air force does it shorter, I think two or three weeks, three months. It was very interesting because I think the third infantry brigade was there and they had just been extended. They, they spent a couple of months training, expecting a year-long deployment, and then they got extended another six months or so that was, you know, made me feel very grateful that we wouldn’t be deployed for that long. It was, I was married at the time and I didn’t have children. So, you know, kudos to those folks that, that, that did out. They were husbands, wives, children, sacrifice that he put in
Scott Luton (23:50):
That gets often I find gets overlooked. Even my fellow veterans, uh, is I’ve sat down to Friday of these conversations you think about. And especially when you have wives talk about their husbands deployed and vice versa, and they talk about what the family did while the, you know, that person in some cases, well, that person was deployed and it’s just any country, you know, around the world. Certainly the us and UK that deployed quite a bit. It’s amazing. The sacrifices that are made in service.
Dan Reeve (24:22):
I remember seeing one of my toughest soldiers. I was talking to me big, bad, tough lad, great guy. And, uh, I remember we were in Iraq and we’d gone back to Kuwait for an evening or two and he calls home. And I remember seeing him crying, just stayed because his children would talk to him on the phone to mad. The daddy had gone off and left them when they go home. Wives were, there was bitterness too, because some of them were like, well, we didn’t expect you in the national dog. It’s territorial. I mean, the British was touchy, go away and just leave us like this. There was, you know, you started to see the, the emotional investment people make. It has its toll in that, that I didn’t have children at the time. I don’t remember feeling so bad for my friend because wow. I was thinking, wow, look at that guy. He’s, he’s the toughest guy. I know he broke it down. You know, I felt terrible for him. Yeah.
Scott Luton (25:12):
Wow. And to carry that day in and day out, I imagine. All right. So let, let’s shift gears a bit. I want to certainly touch on your, how you transitioned to the Wisconsin national guard. But before we do your, the accomplishment, when you look back at your time in the British army, you know, what, what are, what’s that one or two key accomplishments you look back and you’re most proud of?
Dan Reeve (25:33):
I think the now I was able to get him to represent the regimen in the army, the regimen, quite a lot of shooting competitions. That was great. I was getting paid to shoot. I was getting paid. You’re representing compete. I was in my Nevada. I’m like, you’re paying me to do I love to do that was fun. I very much enjoyed vaporizing cars and bridges and getting paid to do that to my regiment would typically do a loan to the U S every one or two years. And we went to Wisconsin. I remember getting on the Epic [inaudible] ref Melbourne hall in England. We flipped potty with a national guard unit ever that night. We were late getting on the planes and Wilson, staggering drunk. I blame that on the us army unit, that was their fault. They were forcing tequila damages all night. That was a great experience for me, is coming to a different country that hospitality that they put on in Wisconsin was incredible friendly.
Dan Reeve (26:26):
Um, invite us in to meet their families in their homes. And I just, I fell in love with America right there. I’d never been to America before I fell in love with America. But also I think highlights for me. I look back on Iraq and I did enjoy it. There were some tough times, but I remember when we first crossed the border, knew the boy and he’s waving a flag and that flag, and he knows it will show you you well. Yeah, yeah. That’s why we’re here. You know, at that time, you know, people will get your hair changed, but, um, and then all of the mountaineering, they, they, they really gave me the opportunity to climb in all over the Europe and two trips to the Himalayas paid for by the military. And then one of those trips, I’m sitting there drinking tea with the Indian army on the energy of Himalayas, just sitting here, talking about life and so getting to meet different countries, different people, the hospitality that was shown to me, I got sick in Iraq, in Iraq, and it was the, uh, I went into the hospital tent under a three of the most attractive young ladies I’ve ever seen.
Dan Reeve (27:27):
I take care of me up in my Brown, gave me a shot and an Ivy. And I woke up and we were like three of the biggest earliest male nurse dudes I’ve ever met. The lady started going know, they’re like, Oh, you just put something better. So, uh, um, I think the hospitality getting to travel, getting to meet of the nation of a nations of a military. I feel that was just great.
Scott Luton (27:49):
I agree that tons of comradery, right. Had a Singapore when I was in, in, um, well, when I was at McAllen enforce space in Kansas, but also Sheppard air force base in Wichita falls, Texas. Uh, we had Singaporean partners that were operating refuelers, uh, in both locations, I believe I could be getting mixed up a bit, but the relationships, I mean, you’re eager to bond with folks or the uniform, you know, from other countries. And it’s just neat, neat exchanges there. To your point before we talk, transition, kind of to the private sector, I want to talk about Wisconsin. You you’ve talked about it already and how much you enjoy it. Is there one thing that when you moved there cause you, you were living there right? When, when you joined the national guard?
Dan Reeve (28:34):
No. Well, what happened is I, I transferred from a civilian to gulp civilian job had done well and I’d always wanted to go to Australia, but then I called, I called the general and said, sir, forgive me. But he’s any chance I get, I’m going to transfer, uh, with my civilian job to Madison in, uh, in us, is there any way I can be learned or trained with the national guard? And he was like, well, where are you in? And yes. Good. Well done. Good luck if you go. Oh, okay. So, so I managed to pull that off and that was fine. So yeah, I was almost, at the same time I transferred straight away. I actually had something that I would kind of almost immediately. I had something that I was used to because I was able to go to the drill. And that was nice because here I am suddenly a fish out of water, completely different country speaking in a different accent, but I’ve still got a little bit of the military that, uh, even though I walked around in a British army uniform and everyone’s like, do you want to slew?
Dan Reeve (29:30):
You know, I’m not sure who he is. The reality was there was something that I had, there was a rock I could rely upon. Good friends through it, I think was things is another learning lesson for me was in the British army, been around for many, many hundreds of years, perhaps a little bit of arrogance where we had this preconceived notion that the Americans would just pull a trigger and shoot first and ask questions later. And yes, I think Americans typically are better armed and more fire power, but I was very, very impressed with the professionalism. The planning always do an after action review after drill. I was really impressed and it made me change my perception to me say, well, just cause you’ve always heard that these guys are Cowboys or whatever, actually, they might be better at some of the things they do in the British army, pretty strong its strengths of the, you estimate that you go and speak strengths too. It forced me to, to let go of preconceived ideas.
Scott Luton (30:31):
Oh, is it benchmarking opportunity? Um, and the first time I heard, uh, someone kinda comparing contrast the U S army way of doing things and the British army way of doing things, there’s a ton of ton of learn. Obviously there’s a special relationship there. So let’s talk about one quick question. We’re gonna talk transition to, did you ever eat a butterbur burger in any moment when you were part of Wisconsin?
Dan Reeve (30:55):
I think, uh, I she’s kids, but I think I might have done it at least once. Uh, you know, they’ll be careful case my in-laws they hear this and I think is it called loses? That is the chain I think you’re right. Yeah. Cole was the, they do ice cream and butter bug. Is this a log tasty things come out. We’re still just going to eat them in. Um, uh, what’s the word? You know, iteration moderation. Yeah.
Scott Luton (31:20):
All right. So let’s talk, transition one of our big things. We always focus on these conversations because there’s so much, you know, our transition out of the air force back in Oh two. I was not a combat veteran. I had a four year degree, even though I was enlisted and I had a strong family and friend network that I transitioned into yet, despite those advantages, that many folks that transitioned out of the, at least the enlisted military, oftentimes don’t have, especially after, you know, 18 years or 19 years of war. I still struggled to find that footing. I didn’t know how the whole recruiting and interviewing thing went. Um, I didn’t have a professional network, right. I never thought about building out a professional network. And so I struggled. I finally found a job five or six months later. Um, so what we’ve heard so much about that I can definitely relate to is a lot of transition challenges even today when corporate America and corporate and the corporate world in general has gotten, they’ve put some action behind veteran support.
Scott Luton (32:25):
They’ve just big hiring initiatives, both for veterans and veteran spouses. That’s good news. Um, there’s new programs and improved programs to help prepare bets for our men and women in uniform before the exit and prepare them for transition, gotten stronger from what I’ve heard. And yet some of the experience, a lot of the experiences and stories we continue to hear are those of challenge and those where they’re still trying to find their way, find a good job where they’re not underemployed and where there’s the higher managers and want to lean in and understand rather than shy away because they can’t connect with that veteran experience, a better journey. So talk to us about your, your transition, uh, what it was like. And was it more challenging or less challenging than you had anticipated
Dan Reeve (33:08):
To answer that? I have to be realistic with your audience because my transition now is in the God it’s my transition was after the summers or many weekends, I’ve transitioned from being a member of a real engineer, combat engineer squadron. So then Monday morning go back to a sales job. So it was often having to do that transition. You got to adapt to where you are, but you’ve also got to take the confidence and the strength and the belief. And so I would take that into the military. And then the military, when I went back to work, there’ll be things I did with those folks that were so hard, physically different, difficult. And we had lots of planning belief. I think you have to take belief in yourself into what you’re going to do next. Coming home from Iraq was difficult. My relationship blew up.
Dan Reeve (33:50):
Okay. We just, that was moving you onto the next step in life. You know, got a wife and two children and very happy with it and super grateful to have them in my life is the right way to say it. I think the problem in the military, sometimes when you get deployed, especially as you can not be on the receiving end, my, my ex, she was deployed when you are in deployed, you think the world just stays the same traditions and things stay the same, but the planet is still turning the wounds still moving, and you have to sort of learn to be flexible and adapt. And I think w many people do learn that in the military to be flexible and to adapt and just go with it more recently in my role now, as a, as a sales director, I think ultimately it’s about 30 or 35 reports that report up to the management and my job is to support them and chime in and help be successful.
Dan Reeve (34:39):
We’ve been hiring. When I looked across, I was really pleased. We did a podcast recently. It was seven or eight of us in the company, in the U S for the veterans all across the board, different, different walks of life. I tend to see veterans that there are, they often be hump. There’ll be humble. They’ll, they’ll, they’ll rip up trees and work hard. What can I say? I mean, I think my advice to veterans would be reach out to your network, understand the challenges people have gone through already talk to folks in industry. And I’m just trying to understand what’s your job? Like, what does it mean? What do you do? What are the skills you do? What are the books you read? I don’t think it makes sense to do your 20 years. For example, I never have any awareness of what the civilian world is about, the them and us.
Dan Reeve (35:25):
And I’ve seen that. And I think that doesn’t always help. Whereas there are people I know have had military careers full 20, 25 year careers, and they understand the civilian world too. Don’t box themselves in and they’re open about, well, what is a great analogy? A friend of mine, he came, he came to my ESCA. He worked for me as a software sales rep. He’d been an attack helicopter pilot flying the links. Seven tours of duty worked for me for three, three, three or four years. Then he went back, was flying for the CIA and the British army wink, nudge, nudge Afghanistan, and toluene and all over the place. And now he’s, he’s a, he’s a helicopter pilot for the Northern Island police service.
Scott Luton (36:05):
Wow. And he’s got some stories to tell,
Dan Reeve (36:08):
Well, it turned up my wedding where it’s, uh, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s number one is that his outfit and metals from head of hair and everybody loved him. So, yeah, but, but what day you had his flexibility, you could have put that you could have, he could have been a school teacher who he was in. He was an attack helicopter pilot, who was humble. He wasn’t taught, he had confidence in himself, but he never came across his own military guy and the blinkers. And that’s all I do mean if you were a military person who was interested in what you had to do and what your role was and what you brought to the table, but he was also very open to what, what does it know? What is it you doing supply chain? What is it you doing finance what’s that involve, he could have sat at the table. Anybody, any, any time, any walk of life I’m going to think a lot of is because he’s curious and he’s humble,
Scott Luton (36:58):
Such a simple but powerful lesson. Um, I would add when it comes to, um, you know, that professional network you have to, to any veterans that may be listening. Of course, LinkedIn, I think LinkedIn is free for a year for the LinkedIn plus subscription for veterans, I believe, but regardless, uh, look for veteran networking groups. And as you’re, as you’re, if you’ve identified what you’re looking to do, try to identify veterans in the space and connect with them. And when you connect some, a note that you’re trying to build out your professional community, and you’re starting with veterans, veterans are very, very willing to engage that way. They may not be able to phone call with you or something, you know, but build out that, that, that network and make those connections. Yeah,
Dan Reeve (37:41):
We just hired, I just had a guy who did that with me and ironically, he’s all. Can I pick your brains? You don’t believe in Devin, Devin just joined us. She saw him leaving the military soon and Beatrice and talking to people, you know, you’re not, so you’ve got 20 years in sales and I was at first level, what advice can I give him? And just because he connected had a chat scenario, where, where were you in your spending? Well, I’m going to be looking for a job. Oh, we should find one for you, you know? Yeah. Yeah.
Scott Luton (38:13):
I love that. I love that. And self platoon, you, you mentioned something pre show about sales platoon. Tell us about what that is.
Dan Reeve (38:20):
Yeah. So there’s a M J organization in Chicago, Riley. He runs the organization, uh, has, he’s had a 15, 20 year career in sales as well. He was in the Marines. He’s put together a really good transition plan for anybody who’s interested in giving him the sales to train them on many of the tools, many of the philosophies, many of the key skills, he’s really part of Cod Carter together. The training plan, I think it’s sort of eight or 10 weeks. And then he effectively offers them to companies. And then, you know, we, we, we pay a little bit of money for that skill set. There was an advantage to the, to the employer that they’re often veteran benefits, uh, that can offset the cost. So he’s really doing a training and recruiting exercise, um, but good organization. We’re actually going to, aside from just picking up, at least our first veteran, who’s come through that program. We will tap into those folks because they’re going to provide some sales training to my organization. So I’d say anybody who is looking to hire sales people with, um, and an open to a military background, you know, what we, what we expect and what we believe we have with Devin is drive responsibility. The ability to take on instructions. Um, self-reliance the attributes. Of course I met Devin, uh, you know, we were impressed with what he brought to the table and what he learned at sales. Platoons
Scott Luton (39:48):
Love that. And so if you’re listening to veterans and maybe you’re new to sales or business development or whatever the word of the day is, check it out because not only is it, can it be lucrative if you get really good at it, it can also, if you master sales, uh, whether it’s technology or, or, or anything else, it’s an excellent, he’ll help you up the ladder, right. Leaders that can sell and drive and create revenue, lots of upward mobility. So check that out. Sales platoon, uh, also check out that resource. We’ll try to add that as a show note. The other thing I want to add as a show note, cause that S that Esker podcast featuring the veteran teams will include that as a direct link. That was a great episode. Now we’ve mentioned Esther a couple of times, let’s see connecting dots for folks, Dan, what does Esker do? And what do you do?
Dan Reeve (40:33):
We should describe it as a software company. And what I like to say is all technology is used by companies all around the world. And what they’re trying to do, especially in this COVID times is be as efficient as they can. And that means take a freeing up the customer service staff or that staff in accounts receivable or collections to be rockstars. So rather than have to do lots of manual data entry or lots of manual mundane work, provide their staff with the ability to do really more interesting work and automate some of those processes. What does that mean? Ultimately better experience for customers, better control on where money is being spent within your organization and the ability to collect money. And right now, if you think about many of the, even just today, I heard this there’s there’s companies in California that have been shutting their doors.
Dan Reeve (41:21):
So cash flow is becoming tougher because those companies that are shutting their doors may pay later. So enterprises need technology to try and help collect the money faster, to have more visibility. Well, where are we at risk? So that’s that I like to say what we’re, why financial digital leaders would turn to rescues is they’re trying to free up their people through technology, get you in COVID the real winner. If, if there is a witness so to speak, um, you know, I don’t mean to come across as, um, in enrollment. I, I realized a lot of people been affected very negatively. If there’s a real winner, it’s probably technology. You’ve seen that in the supply chain as well.
Scott Luton (42:00):
Agreed. You know, that didn’t come across wrong at all. We had former guests join us and say something very, I think it was very apropos can find opportunity without being opportunistic. And the pandemic environment has created a ton of opportunity for technology and many other businesses that have adjusted just to the model or, or innovated, or create a different products to either fight the pandemic or enable the global workforce and the global business community to keep figuring out a way to move forward, given the pandemic environment. So that’s what businesses do. So I appreciate how you presented that. All right. So
Dan Reeve (42:40):
For the veterans that are on here as well, I think the reality is I think they can take strength from that training. And then, and then, then the tough experiences they’ve probably been through. And it’s a bit like now, okay. In business is the second or third time I’ve been through a recession and you realize, okay, the way we settle will be different, but companies often spend money to save money just as they will invest technology when they’re trying to grow. So it’s almost a bit like, well, you’ve been running the track, you’ll get through this. It’s probably, um, and don’t forget that you’ve been through tough times before. That’s my advice
Scott Luton (43:13):
Love that you can draw a lot from that those military experiences and apply them to business, to get through the good times and the bad times. Well put Dan, all right. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with Dan Reeve and escort.
Dan Reeve (43:28):
LinkedIn is probably the easiest mechanism or email Daniel dot Reeve at [inaudible] echo romeo.com.
Scott Luton (43:38):
Awesome. Of course, we’ll make that easy. We’ll put that, uh, those, uh, hyperlinks in the show notes all after that one click to connect with Dan, cause I’m sure you’re going to want to, because we just scratched the surface. He’s got a lot more stories he shared here today, but always a pleasure. Dan, I think this is your third appearance with us here. We’ve enjoyed each of them. Uh, your approach with these and, and very selfishly, uh, enjoyed your military focused conversation here today. I think there’s a lot of good stuff that, that, um, our, our men and women in uniform can, can learn from and, and help them move forward as a, you know, transitioning in and get into the workforce. So I really appreciate your time here today. You have enjoyed it. Alright, so big. Thanks to den, read with Esker again, connect with him and, and check out the company and the podcast we’re going to put in the show notes.
Scott Luton (44:28):
And for those of you that may be interested in sales, the sales platoon, the organization, beyond that, hopefully enjoyed the conversation. You can find a sense, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from search for veteran voices. And again, it’s free to subscribe. If you’ve got a story to tell if you’re a veteran or a military spouse or a veteran advocate, or maybe you lead a, a non-profit that helps veterans, Hey, reach out. We’d love to help you tell your story. You can find us. Of course, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, you name it. Try to work into the production schedule. Finally, a challenge you like with challenge our entire team here at veteran voices and supply chain. Now do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on veteran voices. Thanks everybody.
Dan Reeve is a Sales Director, approaching 22 years with Esker. Dan works to help companies free up front-line troops to be finance and customer service rockstars through the application of machine learning and AI.
Dan was fortunate to serve 10 years as a Combat Engineer in the British Army, then was attached to the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He traveled the world, served alongside Americans and many others, and learned everyone has a good idea, every Army unit thinks they are better, and what can you learn and apply so that you are indeed better prepared and more professional next time.
Dan’s career highlights include getting paid to represent the Royal Engineers in Army shooting competitions, being selected to Army Mountaineering expeditions (climbing Mountains, getting paid, seeing the world, and having a good time with the locals in Nepal, India, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain). Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.