Veteran Voices
Episode 30

Episode Summary

“My dad, I always talk about him, he always said, be careful who you spend time with on the weekends and the people who you hang out with, who emulate excellence, who have high standards to hold you accountable, who give you feedback and love and advice and encouragement and lift you. Those are the type of people that you need to be hanging out with. And any soldier who’s listening, who is a veteran, you know, those men and women who you work with in the military, they had your back for the most part, you had theirs. So you got to seek out those folks in the civilian sector.”

-Waldo Waldman

 

In this episode, host Scott W. Luton interviews Lt. Col. Waldo Waldman, a combat-decorated fighter pilot for the United States Air Force, author of the New York Times bestseller “Never Fly Solo”, and a Hall of Fame keynote speaker & leadership coach. The discussion includes Waldo‘s first introduction to aircraft, as his father (an aircraft mechanic) places him in the cockpit of a passenger jet during a tour of John F. Kennedy International Airport. That moment fuels Waldo‘s passion for flying – – and leads to an extraordinary career in the USAF, where Waldo few the legendary F-16 fighter jet.

Throughout the interview, Waldo shares incredible colleagues that made an impact on his journey – – and critical lessons learned along the way, which he conveys in high-energy, engaging keynotes across the globe. Waldo also shares a variety of helpful advice for any transitioning veterans, as well as proven best practices for anyone looking to become a more effective & successful leader.

To learn more, visit www.YourWingman.com, email Info@YourWingman.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/waldowaldman/

Episode Transcript

Scott Luton (00:44):

Good afternoon, Scott Luton with you here on veteran voices. Welcome to today’s show. Hey, we’ve got an outstanding show, teed up big guests. Huge guest is doing big things with leaders and organizations, really helping them to adapt, grow, and thrive and succeed. So stay tuned for what promises to be an outstanding conversation. Hey, quick programming for get started to hear today, better voices as part of the supply chain. Now family programming, and you can find better voices wherever you get your podcasts from subscribe for free, but we do it in partnership with a wonderful nonprofit. It’s some big things for the veterans community. You got to check out vets to industry.com, vets to the number two industry.com where you can learn more about this really powerful nonprofit that’s helping veterans transition and find resources. You name it. So we couldn’t do it without them with no further ado.

Scott Luton (01:32):

We have. As I mentioned, we have an outstanding guest here today. Uh, he’s a New York times bestselling author of the book, never fly solo. He is a combat decorated F 16 fighter pilot for the Nazi States air force, which has been setting the world-class standard since 1947. He’s a hall of fame speaker and executive coach. I’ve seen him in person. He is a dynamo seeking twice in person. Most importantly, he is your ring wing, man. Let’s welcome in Lieutenant Colonel Waldo Waldman. How you doing, sir? Great to be here, Scott. Thanks for having me on the show. Thank you so much. You, I really have enjoyed, uh, seeing parts of your story and parts of your perspective to a couple of different sessions with our friends at Atlanta and the Georgia manufacturing Alliance. And it’s great to dive in deeper to your story right here on our podcast.

Scott Luton (02:18):

You got it. Well, what I like about you is you’re out there in the industry. You’re not just blast spies out about it. You’re shaking hands. You’re helping veterans. You remember, you’re a guy that craze knowledge and relationships, and I think that’s such a key attribute in business today, especially with the disruption in the world. And then also when it comes to building trust, right, you need to have credibility and make connections is important. So good on you for that there, Scott, thank you so much. You’ve made my day already and we hadn’t even gotten to the good stuff yet. So a pleasure to have you. I know you stay busy, so we’re going to dive into it here so upfront and I’ve, I’ve got, uh, our listeners, some of our listeners, maybe all three that haven’t met you yet. Haven’t had the inside track on your story. I’ve heard it a couple of times now, especially your upbringing. I love it. So let’s dive into this. Let’s let’s share. Where did you grow up and give us a couple of anecdotes from your upbringing. Waldo.

Waldo Waldman (03:07):

So grew up in long Island, out in a place called East side. So buy-sell Paris, South central part of Suffolk, but mom and dad were from Brooklyn. So missiles came at an early age because they were really blue collar. That was a mechanic at Kennedy airport used to come home with grease all over his uniform, smelling like jet fuel. And man, I just, I just got hooked on planes, especially when he took me to Kennedy airport on a tour when we were 10 years old and pop me in the plane, I started to play with the instruments and I asked him what this, what it was called, this place, where I was sitting. And he said, it’s the cockpit where the pilot flies the plane. And so I then an air I knew I didn’t want to fix the planes like my dad. I wanted to fly him.

Waldo Waldman (03:49):

So I made a commitment, excellence, uh, decided to join the air force much to his chagrin. Cause he’s a Navy vet, graduated the air force for me, overcame some challenges, a fear of Heights, et cetera. Uh, graduated, uh, went to pilot training was an instructor pilot first teaching young men and women, how to fly the jet. Then I taught the teachers how to teach students how to fly, which is a different dynamic teaching the teachers, which really was my favorite job in the airports, other than flying fighters, you know, teaching men and women, how to instruct, which is hard these days, listening and being careful not to over overtrain over coach, right? Letting people make mistakes. So I learned a lot from that. Did pretty well and competed for a fighter slot, got that. And then, uh, volunteered for a South Korea where I spent a year while the demilitarized zone doing crazy things that didn’t make the news. And then I spent a few years at your Alma mater at shy air force base in South Carolina. And I think you were there before me. When were you there? What years were you there? 96 to 97. So I was there from 98 to 2000, right before you left. So, uh, I was in the 79th flying tigers

Scott Luton (04:59):

Tigers cause we have flying tigers and the Bushmasters and I cannot remember the third,

Waldo Waldman (05:04):

The dice, uh, the, the, the, the ice that was at five 55 in the snakes.

Scott Luton (05:10):

Find out we’ll get our research team on that. Hey, let me, let me go back though. All that. Let me go back. You shared already so much. I’m so curious about first off, what did they pick up? So when you went through undergraduate pilot training UPT, right? Clearly they saw in you an ability to, uh, Nat, a skillset to teach and coach and instruct because then you were, as you mentioned, you were helping other folks teach better, right? What did they see in you that, that said, Hey, we gotta get this guy helping us to, to convey the knowledge, um,

Waldo Waldman (05:42):

High energy. You know, I love people. I love helping. I love challenge. And, um, I’m also hard on myself. I have high standards. I think most of us in the fighter pilot world are. And when you’re teaching these young men and women right out of ROTC or the air force Academy, 22, 23, 24 years old, relatively immature, little bit of an experience and fear, you need somebody to put them in the right mindset so that their skill set can take over. And so part of my passion and why I was only number one, instructor out of 305 people and slightly to the quarter, not withstanding, I had a bunch of bad things happen because of the wing nut mistakes I made the mishaps and more leadership decisions I made, which is a lot of what I talk about because that’s when we learn, right, was my passion for helping and serving and really, really extracting as much courage and competence from people as possible, which is really what I do now as an executive coach, as an entrepreneurial coach, as a speaker, I want to just get rid of the veneer and the clouds of somebody’s motivation and skills and get them present enough to, to let that skill and energy shy.

Scott Luton (06:53):

Yeah. It comes across and every, every time I’ve seen you speak this passion and this high energy in this wanting to help, right, pull you out of the fog, it comes through, comes across. So I got to ask you when I was in the air force, you know, as I mentioned, I was a data analyst, Shaw and McConnell with KC, one 30 fives, which seemingly had been around for 200 years. It feels like I never went up in a fighter jet, never earned one of those honor honor flights, I think is what they called them. I went up in a, in refueling mission, which was really cool, but you got to describe to our audience because, you know, 99.9, nine nine, you know, six Sigma level, probably a folks will never have the population will never experience some of the really cool things you’ve experienced as a fighter pilot and an F 16, when the legendary aircraft of a, I don’t know if there’s a modern era of air of, of aviation, military aviation, try to describe what it’s like to fly in an F 16 up in the sky at the speeds you fly, especially in the, and then if that’s not challenging enough, you’re in combat sometimes.

Scott Luton (07:53):

And talk to us about that.

Waldo Waldman (07:55):

It’s about, it’s about exhilaration. You know, if you imagine a ride when you’re in Disney world or some adventure park and they strap you in, it’s like, you can’t really move that much. And you’re just like looking around and you’re like stuck in this thing. That’s kinda how it is. You can move a little bit forward and AFT and the fighter, but that’s kinda how it is. And you’re just wrapped around this machine. Like here it is right here. This is you have 16, love it. You can see you like popped in this little category. And I think folks may be watching this so you can see the Jedi or single seat, single engine. The painters had two seats, but 99% of the time I was by myself, but not flying solo. Cause we had a wing men and wing ma’ams the men and women who flew with us.

Waldo Waldman (08:35):

So the melding of tactics and technology, and also mind and, and, and, uh, your bill to stay present and focused and exhilarate exhilarated. And so that’s what it was. It was just, uh, the, the coolest ride you can be on, but it forced you to be present and forced you to, to face your fears because you were so prepared by the time you go up in that plane, you are trained, you know what every button does, uh, you not to land that plane safely. And the air force does an amazing job of training and part of what I do. And I think part of the challenge, when you look at a transitioning veteran for that matter, somebody who’s teaching, transitioning people or veterans to enter that new realm, you got double down on the training, the preparation, the skillset, the contingency planning that builds competence, and you need it. You need, you can have a, you may not be the coolest kid on the block, but if you know how to fly that F 16 know not to press those buttons and everything, I’d been beaten up by the nerdiest fighter pilots in the world because they think, and they’re able to act, uh, in the least suspecting suspects, you know, that Lisa suspects are the ones who fly jets. I mean, look at me, you know, other than my trauma and charisma, you probably wouldn’t think that I flew fighters. Right.

Scott Luton (09:54):

Oh, I love it. I love it. So many life lessons. And just what you’ve shared are in the last three minutes. Let’s I want to talk about, again, you’ve touched on some of what you did in United States air force. Um, what else can we talk about some of the people you serve with, I’ve heard you talk about this wing nut moment. I think you referenced it a minute ago and clearly it was a, a big, huge life lesson learned moment for you. Can you, can you share that with our listeners here? Yeah. Cool. Well, I’ve had a few, well, let me clarify. The one I heard about is involved a, um, a maintenance professional. Yeah. Yeah. Talk to us about that

Waldo Waldman (10:33):

Before you fly for the folks listening. And I know we have a lot of veterans, you know, we always have a crew chief who fuels to Jack, make sure the weapon systems are good overall checks the aircraft out and signs the paperwork to make sure that it is cleared to fight the fight and fly. I mean, it’s, it’s a big responsibility for these young men and women who do that. And basically I went to the Jad. It was shorted 500 pounds of fuel when I cranked up the engine, which really wasn’t a big deal, but it was enough to cut my mission short by just a few minutes. And with less people, I would be at a disadvantage over my wingman. The last few, I wouldn’t be able to go to afterburner as much. And I got really ticked off. And instead of acknowledging the reasons why it happened and understanding that mistakes happen, I chewed out that crew chief.

Waldo Waldman (11:20):

I cursed them out. You spell language, demeaned him. I mean, I just was not professional. I was in a bad mood. I was under a tremendous amount of stress at the time. As you can understand, we were deployed at the time flying. This is in Saudi Arabia actually, and, uh, fly missions into Iraq. And, uh, I just was disrespectful so long story short. When I came back from the mission, my, my commander met me at the jet and in the air force, when your commander, your boss waits for you at the end of that mission, it normally meant something was wrong at home. And so I got nervous you where it was my twin. Brother’s sick, was my family in the hospital. I jumped on the tarmac and he looked at me and pointed and said, come with me. And so I knew there was nothing wrong with my family at that time.

Waldo Waldman (12:06):

And he basically said, Hey, Walter, you’re not alone. That young crew chief was working on your jet. You know what he went through. And I said, of course I do. And he said, you don’t know anything. I want you to find your oldest flight to put it on tomorrow morning and walk the flight line for 12 hours with these young kids to see what they go through so that you can fly the coolest jet in the world, the S 16. So I got up that next morning at the crack of Dawn and spent an hour on that flight line, doing things I didn’t know they did. And I, quite frankly, Scott and listeners, I didn’t have a clue what they did. I thought I did, but I didn’t and never worked. So a lot of my life. And it made me realize everything I did up in the air had so much to do with what they did on the ground.

Waldo Waldman (12:50):

So I apologize to the crew chief. I worked on building that relationship and, and I just don’t know if I got his trust back because at the end of the day, trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. And I just realized there were a lot of unsung heroes in the air force. And even now from web designers, you know, we had a little panic attack before my website wasn’t coming up. I got connected with my web guy and they answer me quickly. Hey, Mayday, Mayday. I need help. Who are those unsung heroes who were helping you stay in business, give you the support and advice you need lift you up and even more important than that, who are those wing there’s men and women who give you feedback that you may not want to hear, but need to hear, and who love you enough to potentially tick you off and help you grow as a person.

Waldo Waldman (13:36):

And this is something that as veterans, we need to really embrace and find those civilian counterparts who can give us the advice, seek out the coaching. Obviously you’re listening to this podcast because you want a new tool, a new technique, a new strategy on how to be a better leader, deal with change. Lord knows it’s COVID right now, right? And so creating people in your life who you can go to for help, and who love you enough to give you that advice, uh, are key. And I learned that lesson about unsung heroes, and I’ll never forget it. And I was, I was off at the time that he made me do it, but I was thankful that he taught me the lesson. As a matter of fact, he lives in Atlanta now. And, uh, [inaudible] is his name. He flies for Southwest Atlanta did a speech on seven years ago. Why did him in the CME, in Atlanta shared that story and pointed out with tenant Colonel ina stats.

Scott Luton (14:26):

That’s awesome. Love that story. And I love your, how you’ve taken that experience and turn it into a lesson that others can learn from, especially to your point, whether it’s in the military or if it’s in supply chain or it’s a global business. So many folks that, that aren’t there aren’t recognized enough, the maintainers alone, I mean, in the military and, and, and, and those that keep fleets, civilian fleets going. Sure. Uh, so, so many, so much goodness there let’s. So Lieutenant Colonel Enos Dodson was that gentleman, uh, let’s talk about some other folks that you really, you know, that will always be folks. You think about that. Whether you work with them or maybe they reported to you, or maybe someone you, uh, you’re reporting up to that infamous military chain of command, who are some folks who really think about, uh, that you serve with that special to you?

Waldo Waldman (15:13):

One of them, I want to see if I have a picture of him on here. I don’t know if I do, but it’s, uh, uh, Rob Kasi, ESCO cars and cars was a, we would students together or instructor pilots together in San Antonio, Texas. Then we followed each other to Korea and we followed each other to shy out for space. And this guy was an undergraduate and graduate student at MIT, really brilliant, the best fighter pilot Abba flew with tall good-looking guy, just a great guy, great athlete. And I befriended him. I befriended him because we, we followed each other in so many different, uh, commands and basis, but also he was so good. I wanted to be around great people. I would say an average fighter pilot. I was a much better instructor in all due respect. I had my moments of glory as a fighter pilot, but I wasn’t great and good and average as a fighter pilot isn’t that bad, but coz was great.

Waldo Waldman (16:07):

This was his calling. So I learned so much from him. We spent a lot of time together. I flew combat missions with him, and now he is an emergency room physician. I went to get out of graduate school after I graduated or after I left the military, went to graduate school, got my MBA. He went to Johns Hopkins and got his PhD in medicine. And, uh, now he’s an emergency room doc in Columbia, South Carolina. And if I have a problem or an issue, anything physical or medical he’s there and helped me out. My wife’s always bugging him for things. It’s funny, but, but he’s a great guy. And he’s one of the few folks, uh, that I’ve be able to have been able to stay in touch. That’s relatively local for me. And these are important because I think, you know, my dad, I talked about him a little bit.

Waldo Waldman (16:51):

He always said, be careful who you spend time with on the weekends and the people who you hang out with, who emulate excellence, who have high standards to hold you accountable, who give you feedback and love and advice and encouragement and lift you. Those are the type of people that you need to be hanging out with. And any foe, any soldier who’s listening, who is a veteran, you know, those men and women who you work with in the military, they had your back for the most part, you had theirs. So you got to seek out those folks in the civilian sector. Now, maybe they’re former military, but the best way to do that is to do what you do. Scott, give you wings away, volunteer, share your best practices, help others out and be that resource and advocate to others. And this is how military transitioning folks can, can build that reputation capital that we’ll get the interview that we’ll build, that Rolodex of people can refer them into businesses.

Waldo Waldman (17:51):

And also if you’re in supply chain or leader in your organization, look to gain, influence and impact. Obviously supply chain is so critical. These days in front service manufacturing, you know, many times out of the, the, uh, the unsung hero, the ones who were literally moving, moving targets and, and, and, and supply in the fuel and armament so important to build those ambassadors and collaborators within your organization so that you have the seat at the table. And also that when you call out for help, they’ll be there for you. So, so causes one of them. I’ve got several others, but, but he is the one that I spend most of my, uh, my time with one of my other buddies, Tony Angelo graduated the Academy with me, just made one star general. He’s been, was a helicopter guy. And then he flew C seventeens and just an amazing guy. Now they’ll always be my wingman, even though we don’t see each other too often

Scott Luton (18:40):

Love that. All right. So let’s talk about accomplishments. Uh, I know you strike me as someone that, that celebrates a lot of other folks accomplishments and, and maybe not wanting to tout your own butt, but what’s one thing I know you’ve got a family and a son, one son, more, more children, 10 years old. So a hundred years from now, as you’re, as you’re, you’re talking to your son, what’s that one accomplishment or your, your grandkids, or you name it, whoever you’re gonna be talking to under yours. Now, what’s that one accomplishment it’s gonna stick with you that you really want to share with them that, that, that maybe they can, they can take pride in.

Waldo Waldman (19:16):

Well, obviously, you know, flying fighters is a pretty cool thing. You know, becoming a Lieutenant Colonel got inducted in the speaker hall.

Scott Luton (19:23):

Yeah. One of 200 people in the world, I think, right? Yeah,

Waldo Waldman (19:26):

No, I did that after 10 years as a professional speaker. First when I got it and all due respect, I’m like, I got to get coaching, man. I got to get better because Hey, here today gone tomorrow. We gotta earn our wings. No matter what awards we get, you’re a top gun, a peak performer. You can become irrelevant very quickly due to a word called complacent, a word called complacency, right? So I’m always evolving, growing, building relationships with guys like you, my office here, you know, you look at it, it’s, it’s, it’s built for speed. I’m doing virtual programs. I, I think I practice what I preach for the most part, because resilience isn’t just about being able to bounce back. It’s being able to operate in distressful environments in combat and in the gym, you know, really getting used to stepping out of your comfort zone and operating in that.

Waldo Waldman (20:12):

And the reason why I say that, I think what I’d want my kid to share with his grandchildren and for him to think about the most when he’s facing as an obstacle facing obstacles in his life is that his dad developed claustrophobia as a fighter pilot, that his dad almost died in a scuba diving accident three years in his flying career. And for eight years out of face, my fear of panic attacks in the jet. When you look at this thing, Scott, but those that can’t see it, just watch it. It’s a tiny little carpet. You’re barely able to move. And I would fly six, seven hours at a time in this thing, imagine being claustrophobic and having a nap. And so one of my stories that I share with, with folks who are going through struggles with people who are looking to take their lives to the next level is how I overcame panic attacks and massive claustrophobia, and stayed in that jet and eventually became flight leader of the quarter.

Waldo Waldman (21:03):

I’ve got the wooden plaque over there. I can actually show it. Doesn’t let me go get it. That’s what’s cool about here. So this is my flight leader of the quarter. I got it right before I left the airport. You could see a love it, right? It’s a January to March, 2020 is when I got the award, uh, 79th fighter squadron, right? Uh, slightly lead the quarter. And now I like to brag about this. Cause once again, there were better fire pots than me, but they didn’t know I had claustrophobia. They didn’t know I had panic attacks. Probably they did too. Most of us were scared of death flying in combat. It was normal, but to operate through fear and to stay in the jet and to stay so focused is how I was able to, to be a great leader in that, in that day.

Waldo Waldman (21:49):

And once again, not always the best, but they chose me as the best. So the way I did it was that I thought about them. When I flooded, when I was having a panic attack, thought about my women, how could I support them? Where is the threat? Let me be that wing, man. Let me, let me take that young guy or gal on my wing into Iraq and be so focused on her that she’s, she’s gonna tease. There’s no way she’s getting shot down because she’s got wall to wall, but her flight lead taking care of her and the message is this, all of us are going through challenges. You may be transitioning. You may be out of, out of work. You may be dealing with sales objections, or, uh, uh, an, a relationship issue with your spouse or partner or something going on in your life. A health issue.

Waldo Waldman (22:31):

When you focus on others and distract yourself from yourself, you can be present and lead and do great things. And I want my son to think about the fact that his dad, instead of quitting, my dad stayed in the jet that he emulated true courage in those combat missions. And that’ll give him the strength and maybe his grandchildren or his skills in the strand, the Navy, my peers and people who I coach the strength to, to, to stay courageous. It’s not about fearlessness. You, a lot of speakers talking about fearless leadership. It’s such BS. If you ask me because we’re all afraid, right? We just gotta operate through it. And overcoming your fear by focusing on others is a great thing. And as a parent, you know, you know, Scott, the three little ones, uh, when you focus on them, nothing else matters. You, you, you get totally present. And that’s the gift that God gives us by having children and the blessings of, uh, of true, authentic relationships. So that’s, that’s, that’s what I want him to think about when he talks to his kids,

Scott Luton (23:33):

Love that. Wow, that’s powerful. It, it, you know, focusing on others can sound like a simple piece of advice, but it’s so powerful if you truly and genuinely embrace and act on that, it really can, uh, help you through a variety of a challenging time. So speaking of challenging times, you mentioned, of course the, these times we live in which, you know, as challenging and uniquely challenging as they are, they’re also very inner fascinating. Sure, sure. And, and, and it’s a study in human behavior and psychology and business and leader talk about leadership. Wow. So let’s talk about a Eureka moment. And since you shared the wing that one of your wing net stories, let’s maybe talk about something that you’ve picked up, uh, in the last year or so, something, a learning, a key learning moment in these challenging times, I happen to know we’re connected on Facebook and I love your, your, um, your videos, your kinda your stop, and you kind of a thought of the day and you share it. And that blows up, uh, the Internet’s the internet. So years on those moments, I’ve seen, what’s been a key Eureka moment that maybe you keep coming back to from the last 12 months or so.

Waldo Waldman (24:40):

Goodness. Well, I’ve had a bunch of them that there are many unsuspecting unsung heroes in my life that popped up out of the woodwork. Who’ve helped me. I’ve got these lights, I’ve got this nice camera. I’ve got this nice expensive microphone. I’ve got this 55 inch screen, ladies and gentlemen, my friend, Scott, you think I figured this out on my own, no way. I was asked to join a mastermind group of people because I’d built a relationship with a buddy of mine, uh, who I got to speak on the platform at the national speakers association, we built relationship. He’s like, you’ve got to join this mastermind. I got a, it’s a group of us. We meet once a week and they be 20 different folks with different backgrounds are mostly speakers. And, uh, I have another mass might have just a few folks, but this was a new one.

Waldo Waldman (25:25):

And I showed up and there was a couple of nerds kind of on the program. Right. And I’m kind of nerdy too. But these were like really technical nerds. And they were always talking about lighting and sound and this and blah, blah, blah, blah. Well guess what? One of those nerds became my best buddy, because when the proverbial poop hit the fan and I needed help, he spent so much generous, humble time helping me. And he, he got me to learn how to use the stream deck, right? This, the stream deck here. If I press this button, boom, picture appears, press this button, my LinkedIn stuff. And every battle gets you press the spot immediately headed into the emergency field. Right. And so that’s pretty darn cool. I showed them during my keynotes, it’s a really value add. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, but this guy was generous and gave his wings away to me.

Waldo Waldman (26:12):

And I just got him a $15,000 keynote speech because I referred him. Wow. And because I believe in paying it forward, here’s the thing, one of the lessons that I always preach, but I truly took advantage of in these days of uncertainty is that you must give with honor and then take what honor I took with honor from this guy. And what that meant is I let him help me, help me, help me, help me. And I was taking it with honor because I knew number one, I would pay it forward to somebody else. I volunteer time on a podcast. I had helped so many other people out, which I do all the time speakers. I was just talking to a 24 year old kid out of New Jersey as a real estate agent, having panic attacks. He’s a private pilot. I spoke for him for 90 minutes, two weekends ago about how we can overcome his fears.

Waldo Waldman (26:59):

Talk about his background and anxiety. I do things behind the scenes. I don’t post it on Facebook, by the way, you don’t see me posting. I say some inspirational stuff, but I’m not going to tell all the people, all the great things that I’ve done. The fact that I was so generous and philanthropic, just so I’m going to, like, I think sometimes we have to toot our own horn, but I take with on it because I’m giving back as much as I can. And I knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to get him some business and I refer it in three or four times in Johnson and Johnson, where he hired me. They hired me for it for a little bit of money. I won’t say watch because they will bring me back, but he got the big deal out of it. And I’m like, great. You deserve it. You helped me. And when I can help somebody else in return, that’s great. So take without are given on a, pay it forward. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but you have to dig the well before you need the water.

Scott Luton (27:55):

Yes. Well, my favorites, uh, what is the author’s name? He wrote the book take you up before you’re thirsty. Yeah.

Waldo Waldman (28:01):

Yeah. It’s um, it’s bucket coffee, Mackay, Harvey Mackay. I got a picture of Harvey. As a matter of fact, I won’t show it, but I just had, uh, he met and saw me speak. I spoke for Medtronic in Minneapolis around a year ago. And, uh, I’ve been friends with him for years. He’s like my grandfather and, uh, he met me and we hung out and hung out outside the app of 45 minutes. And that a conversation. I have some photos I can send it to you, but, but he’s great. And I subscribe to his newsletter, great guy, speak at a witch, you know, subscribe to these newsletters, these podcasts, fill your, fill your bucket with content and knowledge from these folks and discipline yourself every day to kind of saturate your brain with positive things on business and life and relationships and God or whatever it is that, uh, that gets you excited. So important. Yeah.

Scott Luton (28:47):

Love that. All right. So you’ve already, if you’re taking notes, listeners at home folks in our community, you’ve already gotten probably a couple of pages of transition, advice and assistance and leadership advice and, and, and really life outlook and, and worldview, uh, advice. But let’s transition speaking from your transition. What’s a couple of pieces of advice, um, that you’ve learned and you would share with our military members, fellow veterans that are fighting through their own transition, whether they’re, you know, they’re about to go on terminal leave and maybe unlike our, or maybe like many, including myself, you know, I, I didn’t, I didn’t spend the six months or a year before I separated. I waited till the last minute to look for interviews, work recruiters and building that network and all that stuff. Speak to speak to our veteran community about your transition and some advice there.

Waldo Waldman (29:38):

Well, just because you’re a veteran, doesn’t necessarily you the right to get a job over anybody else. It demonstrates your core vows or work ethic, most likely your integrity, but you have to approach every interview, every job opportunity, every LinkedIn connection, every potential afer with them, same sense of discipline and preparation as you did, if you’re going and deploying on a combat mission or whatever it is. So no one’s going to hand it to you. You’ve got to prepare and go through basic training. You know, when I left the military, I was moving to Atlanta. My best friend from the air force Academy lived here. I said, where do I live? You go where your buddies are. Al Watsky is his name. And I contacted a guy who was, uh, who was a executive coach. And he coached me. He was actually a former, uh, air force fighter pilot in the sixties, gave me some great advice.

Waldo Waldman (30:26):

He befriended me, helped me in my first interview and I prepared maniacally. I contingency plan. I learned everything I could. And today with the internet, with LinkedIn social media, you can find out so many things about people, right? And so don’t take the easy way out, go old school on everything, write handwritten notes, you know, be kind, uh, be gracious. Uh, um, uh, you know, if you want to gain a referral, give a referral. If you want to gain a friend, be a friend, but prepare monopoly and then get coaching. A lot of people can’t translate their military background into layman’s civilian terms. And so you’ve got to put in the time and invest that I took out books on resume writing, et cetera, and, uh, very, very important, but also get out there into the community. And this also has to do with any leader, be it in supply chain and a fortune 500 company, whatever wing work don’t just network.

Waldo Waldman (31:23):

It’s hard now by the virtual, but try to connect with as many people as you can show up to conversations where you can give a piece of advice, a wing tip that could help somebody out volunteer to help put together a project, do something at your kid’s school, mentor, a young guy or gal, build that relationship capital and be that resource as the go-to guy or gal who solves problems and gets things done. And, uh, you don’t need to get a paycheck for it, but, but just, just go out there and do it, your community. I also believe you don’t need to wear a uniform to serve, you know, guys like us, who’ve been in the service, you know, we serve it doesn’t mean we can’t still serve and we don’t need to carry an M 16, a flying F 16 to do it as well.

Waldo Waldman (32:05):

So, so stay active in your community. Uh, and then, uh, then prepare. And then also, like I said, just, just, don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s really, really, and the more people you have, the more solutions you have in your, in your flight plan and, and your cockpit and the more weapon systems you have, the more competent you’ll have to deal with change. Right? And so this podcast is given somebody that wink at that piece of advice. They didn’t have a solution before, but now, boom, I’ve got this weapon system or this tool love it. I’ve got a little green smoothie here. It’s the remnants of this green smoothie. Hey, I know I got to drink this stuff. I worked out today. I did, before I went on this call, I did a 35 minute power workout. I knew it was going to be four o’clock Eastern time.

Waldo Waldman (32:49):

I did an interview before you, and then I knew I need that energy. So I had my protein shake and then I had my green smoothie. Here’s the deal as Jim Rowan once said, famous philosopher, work harder on yourself than you do on the job. So keep working on that in a wing man, a wing ma’am refine your character, work on your health and fitness and relationships. Get the jet in the hanger, tighten down the rivets. We tool that yet. And you’ll build that competence to get AB one, just be patient and put in the hard work.

Scott Luton (33:23):

Love it. And don’t network wing work. I love that. That was nice.

Waldo Waldman (33:27):

I love helping others. When you go out, it’s all about helping others. You’re not there to get them to help you. You’re going to say, who do I know today that I can help be that resource? And they may not bring in immediate opportunity, but you’ll build a lot of wingmen and that’s what I’ve done in my life.

Scott Luton (33:41):

I, I, I believe it. I’m ready to run through a wall right now. I mean, this is, this is good stuff. Going back to what you said earlier, you know, folks need to, whether, if it’s a podcast, if it’s a book, if it’s a show, if it’s, if it’s people connecting with people by phone, however you fill your head with with good thoughts and positivity. And this is good stuff. I need a straw to suck all this stuff up. Well, no. So let’s, um, let’s talk about what you’re doing now, cause it really is fascinating. You’re from your work, that’s where you first hit my radar. Uh, and I was forced to see you twice in person. And as I mentioned on the front end, you are, you’re a dynamo folks kink. If three folks that maybe Waldo doesn’t get your juices going and you gotta, you gotta check your pulse, make sure you’re still with us. So let’s talk about what you do now. I think some folks can kind of gather based on some of the things you’ve shared, but, but what do you do? You know, we can week out right now to help organizations and leaders.

Waldo Waldman (34:36):

So two things I do, I do, I do executive coaching, either individual, senior managers, leaders in transition and also sales and leadership plumes. I coached them, we got on a couple of calls a month and we talked about standards and protocols and creating culture groups, collaborative cultures, and preparation mindset, skill set, and something that I coined heartset, right? Ashton drive the meaning to your mission. So I help align, align leadership, boom, so that they can become more productive and profitable. And then I also, I’m a keynote speaker for the most part, I do virtual and live programs. I’ve speak at the biggest stages from, you know, 5,000 subway, franchise owners to Dell,

Scott Luton (35:15):

Well computer to the Denver Broncos football team. I saw that. That was also, which was a lot of fun. Yeah.

Waldo Waldman (35:20):

I don’t know if I have a little Broncos thing on here. I don’t know if I do, but actually I spoke for Jim Brown to other Browns who, if you see on the screen here, standby it, is he on there? There is. Uh, let’s see. Yeah. There’s desert Browns, Cleveland Browns that, pushing it up right there. Uh, if you could see that. Yep. Love. And

New Speaker (35:20):

 

New Speaker (35:37):

so, uh, and then, uh, so that was great. So I do leadership programs on collaboration, courage and trust, mostly for sales teams because I have a sales background as well. I got my MBA. I was in technology sales and an M and a commission only, or just an acquisitions consulting. So I love sales teams, but I do a lot of, uh, of, of multidimensional teams on, uh, you know, yesterday I spoke for a healthcare organization in the medical device field.

Waldo Waldman (36:03):

And then next week I’m speaking for 2000 folks in, in financial services and insurance. Wow. Yeah. Very different. I love the HAC world. I’m doing work there, construction industry healthcare though. I, I love healthcare just because people are so service focused and it’s such a dynamic world, but also food service, supply chain, any, any place when you have moving product from a to S eight is a to Z, there’s a lot of men and women involved here. So great companies, especially in these meetings, bring in the diverse groups from sales, operations, uh, all the support staff. And we bring them in and let them know that they can’t win on their own. So,

Scott Luton (36:43):

So no shortage of engagements and keynotes and, and, uh, project work, you name it.

Waldo Waldman (36:48):

So it’s, you know, businesses coming in. It’s been challenging with COVID, but I had my really busy January. March is, uh, February, March is good, but, um, I just got to keep the radar sweep and, and stay relevant. Right, right,

Scott Luton (36:58):

Right. Well, all right. What, yeah. Of all. And you’ve touched on a few of them, but of all the different keynotes and sessions you’ve been a part of and there’s stages that you’ve commanded. What’s one that comes to mind that’s been a recent favorite or, or a long-held favorite of yours. What’s I mean, clearly the Browns and Broncos are probably pretty special. What else comes to mind? It was really that stays with you.

Waldo Waldman (37:21):

I, I was spoken Vegas for Dell world. You had a couple thousand people in the audience, you know, you know, I got to meet Michael Dell, very, very innovative company. Technology is huge these days obviously, and have do so many things other than build their computers, right. There’s data centers and this and that. And so I really love that space. And there was such a diverse group and I built some great relationships with people there just love that. Uh, but you know, yesterday I spoke for a company called CDI. It’s a healthcare organization, AB MRI centers center for diagnostic imaging centers all over the U S 133 of them. But the guy that hired me, his name is Tim [inaudible]. Now Tim recommended me a month ago to his boss. Now, the reason why Tim recommended me to his boss was Tim hired me for GE healthcare just a few years prior, and then eight years or 10 years prior to that, he hired me when he was with Phillips medical systems.

Waldo Waldman (38:19):

So I’ve kept in touch with him over the years because he gave me an opportunity in 2008 or so to work for Philips. We stayed in touch connect. When I was in Omaha, Nebraska, where he, where he was after a couple of years, I connected with him. I did something for union Pacific out there, and he went and had coffee with me. And then I just went to, uh, Greece with my wife and he was running the GE healthcare division of, of Europe. And he was living in Athens and I tried getting together with him, but we just connect. That gets show you the messages on LinkedIn and on my phone. Right. And then sure enough, he left GE healthcare. I was with this new COVID, he’s like Walter, we’re having a virtual event. You’d be perfect for us a week after he asked, I got a nice healthy paycheck.

Waldo Waldman (39:03):

And I, I delivered, delivered this program and I gave my heart. I had a headache yesterday. I was not feeling good. And I gave him everything. I’m like, there’s no way I’m not pushing it up for this guy in this team. And so we had a wonderful time that the feedback was amazing. And I’m not just saying that because I don’t always kill it. There was some days where I’m not feeling in his own, but isn’t it wonderful when we can truly deliver our CR uh, greatness, whatever that diamond of Condit is to people who really deserve it and, and trust. And I’m so blessed to be able to get a paycheck for it. But I felt so good that I was able to kick some button help out Tim and his team. And I just, I, he was happy the, the, the CEO and everybody was happy, and I’ll never forget that one out of all the virtual programs, CDI, Nan, it was great. And I’m humbled by it. And I’m just thankful to Tim that he’s kept me on the radar and is able to allow me to put food on my table in this volatile, uncertain environment that we’re in today.

Scott Luton (39:59):

Well, and clearly you love what you do. You love it. I mean, it, it, it, it comes jumps right off this zoom we’re connected on. And that, that really, that’s gotta be wonderful momentum and, and tell wins, right? As you connect with the, the, the folks you’re communicating to and engaging with. Yeah. Why do you love it though? What’s your

Waldo Waldman (40:20):

Wow. So here, here’s why. And it goes back to why I went to the air force Academy, why I chose flying fighters. I love challenge the reason why I created the brand wing man, which in 2003, I trademarked in the speaking business consulting world was when man is a trusted partner in business and life and trust. In my opinion means somebody that you feel comfortable going to for help, right? And somebody who you know, is going to help you is going to be there for you, dependable or liable, you know, has integrity, does what they say they’re going to do admits their mistakes. That’s why I love what I do because people are calling out Mayday with a problem. And I pride myself on the fact that they’re not just going to get a speech or a coaching session that I’m going to rip my heart out.

Waldo Waldman (41:08):

If I have to throw it at them and cut a vein and share my, share my vulnerabilities and my mishaps and mess ups, and also share my humanity. And when I’m able to do that, I, and, and reveal my vulnerabilities. And, and once again, folks, and I do very well, but man, I’ve got a lot of battle damage, a lot of sales, scars, and issues in my life that I’m always working on. We all are, but when able to do that, and we realize that we have this courageous person inside of us begging to come out, I don’t get motivated, helping lazy people. You show a basketball help. And this is why, you know, I love how you prepare. We CA you contacted me last night, made sure that we were aligned. I said, I was going to be five minutes late. No, we were aligned in that.

Waldo Waldman (41:50):

And, and we that’s trust that’s humanity, that’s follow-up and dependability. And I don’t like helping people who aren’t earning their wings, doing the hard work on their own. And so if I see people who were putting in the effort and I tell my son the same thing, you know, he’s 10 years old. If he’s getting a little lazy and not putting into time and soccer and sorry, I’m your dad, but you’re going to learn less than no iPad, Noah X-Box and, uh, get to work or let me get out there and help him. So, so I just love being able to be the guy to come through for people to, to help them. And that fills me with pride and joy and, and, uh, and unfortunately paid for it. Yeah,

Scott Luton (42:30):

It’s fulfilling. It is what it comes across. Like it’s like, you’re, you had a mission when you were in, uh, the air force and, and it was ABC. And now this is a mission you’re on now. And you can, you can, you can see it. And I think as an entrepreneur, I think when you, when you finally, you know, for me, at least it took a couple of different paths in terms like we all make as, as, as business people. But then when you hit that gear and you find that mission, and it’s a mission that, that, that you’re jumping out of bed do every day, and you’re going to bed at night thinking about it. And, and it’s, it’s not, it’s consuming in a healthy way, right? Because it is so rewarding, fulfilling, and that’s what, that’s what I’m picking up from. All the it’s funny.

Waldo Waldman (43:11):

I carried it a quote, uh, like last year or two, and it says, it’s not what keeps us up at night. That’s as important as what gets us out of bed. I love that because what keeps you up at night is fear-based right. Fewer space. Doesn’t create joy and excitement. It can create paralysis and keep you up. But when you think about what gets out of bed, that is courage based, that is what’s going to drive you forward and take risks and humble yourself and get you working. And so you said that perfectly, you know, you, you got to drive yourself out of bed. And so many people are staying up at night for rights, rightly reasons. I know I don’t always sleep well. We all have an amazing burden and sense of responsibility, especially in these tough times. My dad’s 91, my mom’s 86.

Waldo Waldman (43:55):

She just recovered from COVID in a nursing home. I’ve got a brother that’s going through some personal challenges right now. And, and, uh, and Lord knows there there’s a lot of headwinds for, for people that I love and, and others in the world. But when you gain meaning to your mission or what I call the why before you fly, you gotta know what that is. And then you’ll be willing to take off and say, all right, I’m willing to get shot at today. I’m willing to have that panic attack. Cause there’s no way I’m getting out of that yet, because I have people that depend on me. And that’s what turns that wing man into a trusted partner and, and, and creates in your life.

Scott Luton (44:32):

Wow, love it. I love it so much. I wish we had three more hours, but, uh, unfortunately we do not. And I’m sure you’ve got 10 more interviews before you hit the, your head hits the pillow tonight.

Waldo Waldman (44:42):

That’s the last, that’s the last one today. I’m pretty beat up, but, uh,

Scott Luton (44:48):

So let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you. So we’ve been talking with Lieutenant Colonel Waldo Waldman, uh, fascinating, uh, interview, just like I knew it would be because I’ve had a couple sneak peaks of inaction. How can folks connect with you and, and connect with your website and, and even, you know, maybe do some more.

Waldo Waldman (45:04):

So, so a couple of things I’m putting on, they’re going to see the video on this, right? Scott. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So, so if you take out your phone, there’s a QR code on the screen that connects directly to me on LinkedIn. I didn’t know what the heck a QR code was a year or two ago, but you just pretend you take it a picture of it. And it’ll just pop up, connect with me there on LinkedIn. Then I want to give everybody particularly veterans, a copy of my New York times bestseller never fly solo. It’s an audio book version. I’ve got an art cover, but the audio book is free unless you want to go to audible and pay 20 bucks. But if you go to your wing, man.com forward slash NFS, like never fly solo, put your name and email address. You’ll get that audio book there.

Waldo Waldman (45:43):

And then you can put this in the show notes as well for the folks. And then I have a five video series. That’s part of my ACE Academy. You notice all the acronyms, right? And so it’s a mission ready series part of my enemy. If you want five short videos on, on building courage and trust and accountability, if you go to your wing, man.com forward slash M R like mission ready, uh, lowercase letters, please, you will get five videos coming at ya on courage and trust. And then you have an opportunity to participate in my ACE Academy after that. So those are a couple of things as well. I’m all over social media at Waldo Waldman. Whenever you do, if you do load anything up, drop me a note and I’ll connect with you, but please let let Scott. And I know that you, uh, you met me from this podcast, uh, and that we, we made a difference and maybe even share the lesson learned and pay it forward and let Scott know that his podcast kicks button. You love it.

Scott Luton (46:36):

Uh, wonderful man. I you’ve already given me a 102 PEs best practices today from, from leadership lessons to even podcast execution. So tell you what. So we’ve been talking again with Lieutenant Colonel Waldo Waldman, New York times bestselling author of the book, never fly solo. So check that out. Very, very gracious of you to offer that to our veteran community, combat decorated F 16 fighter pilot hall of fame speaker one of only 200 in the, in the, in the entire world. So really impressive and best of all, you’re your wing man. One heck of a guy is out there doing what he loves to do. So really appreciate all of your time. You’ve given us here today, all of the, your, your thoughts and your, your point of view and your experiences, and thanks so much for, for, for, uh, being willing to carve time out from your busy schedule.

Waldo Waldman (47:26):

You’re pro what you do, Scott I’m thoroughly impressed mean that sincerely,

Scott Luton (47:30):

Uh, with your, your ability to hold a conversation and extract the best out of me. And you did that today, and I’m out of to know yet. I’m proud to be your wing man as well. Awesome. Hey, thank you so much to tenant Colonel Waldo Waldman and to our listeners. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as I have be sure to check out your wing man.com. Be sure to check out all the books and audiotapes and, and, and keynotes that a Waldo shared here with us here today. Hey, connect with us. You can find us wherever you get your podcasts from subscribe. So you don’t miss anything. You don’t wanna miss conversations, just like this one. And if you’re a veteran and you’ve got a story to tell, I reach out, we’ll try to work into our production schedule. That’s a really important, you know, serving as the voice of the veteran community. Hey, on behalf of our entire team here, Scotland and wishing you nothing but the best. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed to be like Lieutenant Colonel Waldo Waldman. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on veteran voices. Thanks.

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Featured Guests

Lt. Col. Waldo Waldman, The Wingman, is a leadership speaker, executive coach, and the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Never Fly Solo. He helps leaders and organizations build collaborative cultures of trust, courage, and excellence in order to adapt to change, break performance barriers, and overcome adversity.

In addition to his career as a combat decorated F-16 fighter pilot, Waldo has real world corporate sales and management experience and is an expert on change management, peak performance, and resilience – having broken through a lifelong fear of heights and overcoming claustrophobia as a fighter pilot. A key message in his inspirational “Never Fly Solo” signature keynotes, seminars, and peak performance coaching is that you can’t reach your highest potential alone. You need wingmen – trusted partners – to help you win when adversity strikes.
His compelling stories and strategies on overcoming obstacles, performing under pressure, and servant-based leadership are extremely relevant to organizations who seek to create a resilient, courageous, “One Team, One Mission” performance-focused culture of collaboration and trust.

Waldo is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and the founder of The Wingman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to build funds and awareness for veterans in need. He is an inductee into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, a prestigious award that honors speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence and has been bestowed on less than 200 speakers worldwide. He speaks internationally for clients including Marriott, American Express, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, The Denver Broncos, and Home Depot, and has been featured on Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, Inc. Magazine and The Harvard Business Review.

To learn more, visit www.YourWingman.com, email Info@YourWingman.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/waldowaldman/

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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.

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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We’re always looking for new talent to work with us. Apply below if you are interested in joining the Supply Chain Now team.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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