Veteran Voices
Episode 33

Episode Summary

“The sign of a really good mentor and a really good leader is someone who’s trying to make other people more successful than themselves.”

– Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett, United States Navy, Retired


Although pursuing a career in acting always had a pull on Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett’s heart, the call to serve her country was stronger. She joined the Navy and enjoyed a successful career that taught her a range of entirely new technical skills as well as the meaning of true mentorship. Now that she is retired, she has been able to appear as an extra in several movies – proving that you can have multiple passions.

In this episode of Veteran Voices, produced in partnership with Vets2Industry, Scott Luton interviews Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett, United States Navy, Retired., about:

· The opportunities that exist for each of us to learn something completely new, especially in today’s digital age

· The dangers associated with poor cybersecurity in a world where a hacker can do significant damage to a nation or community with just $10-20K with of equipment

· What life can look like when you live it with a ‘carpe diem’ philosophy

Episode Transcript

Intro (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 discussed some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of veteran voices.

Scott Luton (00:42):

Good morning, Scott Luton with you here on veteran voices. Welcome to today’s show. Hey, joining us today, we’re gonna be talking with a retired senior leader from the U S Navy that is doing big things in business, and she’s one heck of an interview. So stay tuned for what promises to be an intriguing conversation. Hey, quick programming before we get started here today, veteran voices, of course, as part of the supply chain now family programming, but we couldn’t do it without our great friends and partners over at vets to industry, which is a nonprofit that is on the move. Helping a ton of veterans find the resources, resources they need to get through transition, to get through times, times of need and other chapters that we all experienced in life. So check out bets to, powerful nonprofit that’s taking care of our veterans community.

Scott Luton (01:27):

Okay. No further ado. Welcome in. I want to introduce our featured guests here today. Our guests graduated from Boston university with a bachelor of arts in history and right after which she received her commission in the us Navy in a ceremony aboard the USS constitution. How cool is that? She also holds several advanced degrees, including a master of science in information management. She spent 30 years in the us Navy earning the rank of rear Admiral and accumulating a wide variety of awards and recognition had about 27 pages that last count of awards and recognition throughout her career in her last role with the us Navy, this is pretty cool. She served as a Navy cyber security division director and deputy chief information officer on the chief of Naval operations staff. So we all know how much more important that’s become in recent years. Now she’s a sought after keynote speaker, author, and consultant. She serves on a variety of organizations, board of directors to include KBH industries and [inaudible] trust company. So do you want to meet and welcoming United States Navy rear Admiral retired, Danelle Barrett, Admiral Barrett. How are you?

Danelle Barrett (02:38):

I’m doing great. Thanks for having me today, Scott, it’s a real honor to be on your show and to just share some thoughts with you guys, it’s going to be a good conversation.

Scott Luton (02:46):

Well, I always love and thank you for that. Thank you for your time. I always love having a sneak peek of our guests and I’ll tell you, I know it was short. Uh, I think it was about a 30 minute session, uh, when you keynoted the big networking vets industry event, but it was home run stuff and it was no nonsense. And it was clearly been there, done that and it’s practical. And that I’ll tell ya, we, we, we have no shortage of a need for good leadership advice, but we really need good practical leadership advice. And you bring that in spades. So our listeners are in for a treat. So let’s get started. I want to, uh, you know, before we get to the heavy lifting stuff, I want to get, you know, get to know you a little bit better. So tell us Adam bear we’re where are you from? Where’d you grow up and, and give us some anecdotes of that upbringing. Yeah,

Danelle Barrett (03:29):

Sure. Um, so I grew up in upstate New York in a town outside of Buffalo called Hamburg. It’s a little town and, uh, uh, just, you know, typical suburbia growing up. And it’s funny, cause there wasn’t a lot of Navy around there or military. Um, there’s retired, you know, there were returned lot of Vietnam veterans and things like that, but not a lot of active duty people around. And uh, so anyway, um, uh, we used to have two museum ships in the Harbor down there. The Sullivan’s named after the five Sullivan brothers who died during world war two and um, the little rock. And so I remember doing an overnight on there for, with, you know, some group at sometime where you sleep overnight on the museum ship and stuff like that. And I just became really intrigued by that. And so anyway, it kind of piqued my interest in the Navy at a young age and I, and I never really, at that point, never wanted to join the Navy or anything.

Danelle Barrett (04:16):

I just thought that was pretty kind of interesting. And so, um, when I wanted to go to college, I actually used to do a lot of theater and acting and stuff. And I was thinking of doing that as a profession. Right. But, but then I wanted to serve, I wanted to do some sort of service, whether it was the peace Corps or the military, whatever, but the military seemed like a really noble profession, if you will. And so, um, to just calling to do a little bit something different and where you could not protect some freedoms and things that we have that are important to us in this country. So I thought, okay, well let me do that first. And then you can always do the acting thing later. You know what I mean? So, Hey,

Scott Luton (04:50):

So as you were talking about when you were a child and you’re, uh, did that overnight stay, was it the ships that were intriguing? Was the story, the seldom brothers story? What was it that made such a big impression and what you saw and kind of took in?

Danelle Barrett (05:05):

Well, it was kind of all of it and like I’d never been exposed to that stuff before. And so that’s the thing that’s important about kids and, um, you know, exposing them to a whole bunch of different things. Cause you just never know what’s that one thing that’s going to end up being something that they latch onto or have a passion for or whatever. Um, you know, you just, you just don’t know what that one thing is. And so the more you can expose kids to when they’re you little, um, whether it’s stem things or, you know, uh, experiences like behind a Navy ship or trips, or just conversations with people who might enlighten them on things that they’ve done and that, that are in the art of the possible, that’s really important to spark the imagination of a kid about what they might do. So I think that’s

Scott Luton (05:46):

Well said, well said that’s a wonderful point to be made. Um, let’s talk about, so you mentioned acting and, and uh, as, as, uh, early potential path for you and now coming full circle, I understand that in some of your spare time, now you serve as, as extras in movie production. Is that

Danelle Barrett (06:06):

Yeah, I do. I just started going back cause COVID, you know, I couldn’t do it last year because of the COVID, but yeah. So I, um, yeah, so I sign up for, to be extra and TV and movie and stuff like that. And you know, you blink, you’ll miss me kind of thing. Right. I’ve only done it a couple of times now, but, um, it’s kind of funny because you know, you know, dumpy lady crossing street, number two, I’ve been preparing for that role in my whole life. I mean, you know, that I’m like right out of central casting now, you know, and so, and you know, to be an extra background, actor and movies, I mean, there’s no skill required. I mean, you just need to be a mouth breather and have a reliable car to get the work, you know, I mean, the bar’s pretty well, right. So, um, but it’s, it’s really fun because, you know, you show up and you just get to experience a different something completely different in a different industry. And it’s fascinating to me. I mean, I talked to all the people that are on the set just to find out how that you can have a camera man that stand in guy, the guy who does props. I mean, it’s just interesting to learn something about something you don’t know, nothing about, you know,

Scott Luton (07:03):

I bet. Yeah. Just as you’re speaking, uh, just seeing kind of the craft, the operation, uh, all the people involved, what they do. I bet it is intriguing. Um, all right. So I wanna transition over now to your time in the us Navy is serving our country. Uh, and I know we’re only gonna be able to scratch, um, you know, only gonna be able to get the tip of iceberg here today in an hour’s time, but you’ve already spoken a bit to, um, why you joined the military, I think. Um, and, and of course, feel free to add anything else there, but I’d love to, you had so many different roles as I’ve read through your bio a bit and including your, or your last role when it comes to cyber. And that, that alone is fascinating because if you think back to the time when the Sullivan brothers served or, or even the eighties with, uh, you know, desert storm and the first Gulf war, you know, I’m not sure I’m not, I wasn’t in those conversations, but I’m not even sure if cyber was part of the conversation when it comes to fighting wars and, and definitive country for that matter.

Scott Luton (08:09):

And so now fast forward to, you know, delete, uh, or the, uh, 2018, 2019 kind of where we are now to have, you know, resources invested leadership, invested technology to, uh, to wage war and, and, and, and form national security around that aspect. It is absolutely fascinating. So tell us more, you know, whether it’s, whether it was, um, roles in that, uh, along those lines or previous in your career, what was some of your favorite positions during your service?

Danelle Barrett (08:40):

Well, it’s interesting cause the, the things that I liked the most were things that challenged me again to do things that I are inside my comfort zone. Now, when that happens, sometimes it’s thrust upon you or sometimes you grab it right yourself, but either way, I always find it fascinating, um, when something is brand new and some people don’t like that because there’s, the uncertainty makes them uncomfortable. Right. But I see opportunity and the uncertainty, and I love it because, Hey, if no one’s been there, no one’s chaired of the course and I’m going to do it. You know what I mean? So it kind of leaves it a little bit open for you to do, be creative or innovative or do something that, because people haven’t figured it out yet. Right. Um, other time in cyber’s a kind of a lot like that. I mean, we’re still figuring out a lot in cyber.

Danelle Barrett (09:22):

I mean, it’s, it’s the age of exponentially accelerating technology. Um, it’s astounding, how fast things are changing and transforming, um, whole industries. I mean, the thing that I like about working in the technology field and I was not a technologist when I got in the Navy, I couldn’t even program my VCR. Now I could program a router. I mean, it’s crazy. The things that need here in the military will teach you, you know what I mean? Um, I mean, I was a history major, right. And then one thing I’ll say too, just as an aside is don’t discount the liberal arts majors, because one thing I’ve found through my course of my career is that you need people who can write and liberal arts people can write, right? So it’s not like you have to be a stem guy or gal or a liberal arts person.

Danelle Barrett (10:03):

You can do both. And, um, uh, actually my daughter’s proof of that, she’s a professional ballerina, but she got her degree. She got a BS degree. So I call her my scientist and the Tutu. So you can encourage kids to do both. Right. But anyway, um, I think that in an age of exponentially accelerating technology, there’s opportunity there for us to whether it’s cyber or, or internet of things or unmanned vehicles or whatever, there’s opportunity there for us to seize. And as a leader look to see, okay, what are those kind of convergent points that can be transformational, that you could do something with? So if I use an example, um, of like an electronic car, an autonomous vehicle and Uber, right? Each of those things in among themselves is transformational, right? Uber really changed the whole taxi way. You get rideshare and get around industry, right?

Danelle Barrett (10:52):

Electric vehicle changes a whole bunch of things about the environment and how cars are built and how they’re, you know, gas stations and things like charging stations and all those things. And then cells are transformation. But when you combine them together, the point where they converge now, what that really means is that, you know, kids born today will never learn how to drive a car. Cause they’ll never need to, they’ll never own a car. There won’t be pep boys, car insurance, the way we know it, car rental companies, I mean, car dealership, all these things, you know, five to 10 years from now are going to be either radically different or far. Right. And that makes people really uncomfortable sometimes. But if you look at the opportunity of that, you know, what that means is I’ll walk out of my house in the morning and I will walk up and there’ll be some vehicle, whether it’s a car or a hovercraft or whatever, picks me up, scans the RFID tag in my head or my arm charges my bank two bucks and knows where I go every day.

Danelle Barrett (11:46):

So it’s going to take me to work, right. And if just, perhaps I’m going to go to the airport that day, I’m going to say, oh no, I’m not going to work today. I’m going to the airport. It’s going to take me there and charge me $3. But my point is those convergent points in technology are transformational, but they’re also an opportunity for leaders and people to say, okay, what can I do with that transformation? What can I do? And so the jobs that I’ve had, where I could do to do those sort of innovative or try to do those kinds of things were much more interesting to me than, um, you know, other stuff. I mean, other stuff is important. I get it. And we all have to do it. You know, people have to write policy in the Pentagon, but it can be soul crushing.

Danelle Barrett (12:23):

Right. It’s not exactly like I wake up in the morning. I’m like, yes, today. Right? So, you know, there’s, there’s certain jobs. And of course the jobs that I loved the most were the operational jobs, um, where you’re with a team of folks and you’ve got great sailors and chiefs and sometimes civilians working on those teams where you’re deployed on a carrier or, you know, in Iraq or wherever, I just love the deployed environment. And I, of course you miss your family, don’t get me wrong, but I always found those the most, um, interesting, the most rewarding

Scott Luton (12:55):

Agreed. And we’re going to talk about the people in a second. If I could, one more follow-up question on, especially related to cyber, uh, you know, here at supply chain down and their invoices, of course, we talk a lot about, uh, Democrat. I can never say this we’re democratizing technology. Goodness gracious. I’m not, I’m going to have to go practice that 17 times, right. Don’t talk board. Um, and that’s a beautiful thing, right? The industry is, it really is. Um, I mean it’s fueling and changing and transforming so many different things. It’s empowering for the consumer. It’s fueling startup and entrepreneurial, um, ventures, which, you know, of course we can relate to as an entrepreneur. And it’s really enabling, uh, even large companies that have kind of moved far away from the startup culture to, to reinvent how they saw old and new problems. Now I’d love to pick your brain on this because my hunch, my assumption is when it comes to national security, all those great trends we’re seeing with technology for all, you know, in the, in the kind of the private sector or the civilian sector also makes it more challenging from national security sector because the bad actors, all of a sudden have, have, are taking advantage of innovations in technology all the same.

Scott Luton (14:04):

Is that, is that accurate? And can you see, can you speak to anything there?

Danelle Barrett (14:07):

Yeah, sure. No, it’s a great point, Scott, in you’re spot on that. Uh, so think about how much it costs to build the latest aircraft carrier. It was $13 billion. Now that’s a lot of firepower it’s capability. I get it. Um, if I’m an adversary, I’m not going to outspend a first world country like the United States on national defense, but you know how much it costs to build a capable hacker, you know, just to buy the tools. I could buy password cracking tools for about $3. I could buy a whole tool kit on the dark web today for $10. I could buy something that allows me to break into cell phone towers, a really sophisticated something for, you know, 10, $20,000, right? I mean, these are a leveler for bad guys. It’s a, it’s a way that they can achieve and effect and disrupt what we’re trying to do or destroy something, um, without having spend $13 billion and have all the infrastructure behind that.

Danelle Barrett (15:06):

So you have to have, the nation has to be agile in cyber, both in a or offensive way, because we’re not going to just take punches. You’re gonna have to get punched in general. Nakasone is doing great work at us, Cybercom with his team over there and all of the services that are working on that. So the nation’s doing really well under his leadership over there. Um, but what I would say is it’s a constant battle and it’s, it’s also, uh, it’s a cat and mouse game, you know, you’re never going to be done. It’s going to be always the minute something good comes out, some bad guy, figures out a way to use it for evil. And so, you know, even if it’s something as simple as, you know, a relief website for, for, you know, an earthquake or a charity, what do you see?

Danelle Barrett (15:47):

The first thing happened after that scams, right? Where they’re diverting people off and getting their money. And it’s not going to those people. I mean, so the minute some good next analogy comes out, whether it’s unmanned vehicles or internet of things, and you know, in the era of big data too, I mean, it’s becomes the calculus for just, you know, for, for tipping, uh, someone’s influence. I mean, something like, I’ll tell you, I big data, I love big data, but kind of scares me. You know, when I turned 53 this year, the first email I got that morning was where do you buy the best toenail Clippers for seniors? I’m like, really? I’m like, that’s the email I get. I mean, I was like, come on, man. You know what I mean? Why couldn’t it be like, this is how seniors can look hot. Right.

Danelle Barrett (16:29):

You know, I couldn’t like that. Right. And like, you know, I, I joke about it, but like, you know, I don’t want to be the guys sitting at home, you know, uh, you know, I’m like a sailor. So like, I don’t, I don’t, I like a point every now and then, but it’s not a point again is point of hog and us. And so I don’t want to get that call from my doctor on Monday morning that says, I think Barrett at your cholesterol is too high, lay off, lay off the hog and that’s, and I’ll be like, how does he know? And then I’ll be like frigerator refrigerator sock go in and not come back out. Right. So it was a dime to me up. So my point is like big data. And those kinds of things are just as helpful to us and wonderful, but also an adversary continue advantage of that. Look what happened with this information in our election? Look what happened, how easy it is to deep bake something or somebody saying something they didn’t say. So again, we just have to be smart about how we use technology and smart about what we see, you know, as consumers of technology and information, don’t just believe everything you see it’s caused a lot of divisiveness in our nation.

Scott Luton (17:27):

Excellent. Uh, so much goodness in what you shared there. And, and one of the things, it, it, it is a journey with no finish line that can, it’s like continuous improvement in industry. There’s always you can’t. Yeah. You got to celebrate the wins of course. Right. But you can’t sit on those laurels for that extra minute because someone is looking to exploit, uh, as you said, the innovation, the latest development, the latest, a new device, or you name it. So thanks for weighing in on that. All right. One of our favorite things to talk about here are the people, of course, the people, the people, the people, and I’ve heard it said, you know, in this era of digital transformation and I can not remember Nadia, so not if you’re listening previous guests, I want to attribute this quote correctly. She really dispelled the notion around digital transformation that it’s not machines transforming. It’s the humans leading the digital transformation. That’s a good point because sometimes you talk, you know, we talk technology and, and people can be kind of lit on the sidelines of the conversation, but they are front and center and they’re critical to all that we do. So during your time in the us Navy, speaking to people who are some of the favorite folks that, that you had the good fortune of working,

Danelle Barrett (18:40):

Oh my gosh. I mean, there are just hundreds and, you know, I, I will, I will call it a few specifically that I’ve considered just super mentors. I mean, I, I recently made a list of mentors that include in a book I wrote, and it was probably 200 names. I mean, because you know, what, what happens is like, you know, when you’re a kid and you’re riding a bicycle and you’re learning how to ride a bike and your mom and dad are helping you, or somebody in your family’s helping you and you’re riding and you’re like, look at me, I’m riding the bike. I’m so cool. I’m doing this all by myself. Meanwhile, your mom’s like snowplowing all these obstacles out of your way in front of you, your dad’s holding the back of the bike until you’re stable enough. So I’ve had that kind of support my whole career.

Danelle Barrett (19:20):

And a lot of times you don’t even know that people are doing that for you. I mean, I, I, there are probably a thousand more people who I don’t even know, went out of their way to help me and just, I didn’t even know it, that they were just generous and kind of heart and, um, and helped me out. And didn’t look for recognition for that or any acknowledgement of that. And that’s the sign of a really good mentor and a really good leader. Someone who’s just trying to make other people more successful than themselves. You know what I mean? And so, you know, some people I would call out specifically, um, ML, uh, uh, Fox Fallon bill Fallon was been a mentor to me forever. And he’s just wonderful. And Monica shepherd, um, a civilian government, civilian, you know, she really taught me how to think, not what to think, how to think, you know, that’s a different kind of thing, you know, um, master chief, Terry par him master chief David Bird, Jeffrey Price, master chief, um, you know, I’ve had in enlisted folks, um, down to the lowest level who were mentors to me, like in technology areas that, you know, they would take time and sit and go through things with me that, um, uh, I didn’t know, understand whatever.

Danelle Barrett (20:27):

And so there’s just, I just Sue Higgins, um, you know, there’s people who were mentors to me who were like moms as well, and they kind of helped me figure out how do you balance being a mom with being a Navy officer and having a career where you’re traveling like in gone and uncertain and dangerous areas and things like that. And so, and my husband too, I give a lot of credit to my husband because, you know, he’s always, there’s always gotta be somebody around you who tells the emperor, they have no clothes, right. And calls a spade, a spade. And my husband is just the kindest gentlest man. And, uh, but he will tell me when I am being rude or not using my words carefully enough because, you know, I just, sometimes I’m the bull in the China shop, you know what I mean? And so he’ll, he’ll, he’ll keep me in check.

Scott Luton (21:11):

I love that. I think on that last note, uh, of course, military members, all the members go active duty guard, you name it all serve. But what oftentimes isn’t thought about, especially with folks who maybe don’t have military experiences, their families are truly serving. Right, right. And there’s a big sacrifices that are made on so many different levels so that our soldiers and airmen and Marines and all of them can, can faithfully discharge their duties and that, and I love your anecdote. I’m going to blatantly steal it. Uh, Admiral Barrett, uh, the, the, uh, riding the bike that is such a wonderful anecdote for mentorship. You know, you got the snowplow on the front and you got a steady as it goes support in the back. And oftentimes you’re looking around everything else other than the people that are clearing the path and are, you know, got you in there.

Scott Luton (21:59):

And so, okay. Let’s talk, let’s shift gears. And, and, uh, I surmise from my handful of experiences hearing you speak, you’re not big of touting your own accomplishments and what you’ve done, it’s all about the teams, kind of what I’ve gathered. However, you know, I think all of us as humble as some of us are, um, there’s a couple of points of recognition during our careers that really we beam with pride. We think about, we tell our kids about it’s always at that front of mind thing. So in a career like yours, which had no shortage of accomplishments and recognition, what’s, what’s one thing that you really point to that you’re really proud of.

Danelle Barrett (22:37):

Well, um, I would say it might be kind of obvious, but making Admiral, I mean was huge for me. I mean, I wasn’t like I was so like have, because there’s so many factors that go into making flag officer that are way, way beyond your control. Right. Um, but what I will say is, um, again, people looking out for me because the day my selection board met, there’s probably, you know, 20 officers who had equally or better records than mine. And the wind just happened to blow my way that, you know what I mean? And if it had been a different day to be in a different officer and they would have done just as well or better. And so to me, but that was a really special moment for me in a really exciting moment, because I, I felt like, okay, Hey, now I’m giving you opportunity to do more things at a higher level to impact the Navy to change in the, and I used my time as natural to push really hard to, to transform the Navy and the digital transformation in the Navy.

Danelle Barrett (23:30):

I felt that was really, really important to get our information warfare platform transformed. So I spent all my time as a flag officer working at Cybercom or lit my second job there as a flag out in, depending on trying to make sure that, you know, our information warfare platform was the best, most secure, most transformative thing that we could have. And that’s, that’s hard because there’s a lot of institutional resistance and inertia and all that kind of stuff. And you just have to kind of plow through that as best you can. And hopefully I did that, but I will tell you one thing that I always tell people who are retiring in, or who are, um, maybe disappointed that they didn’t make the rank that they thought they should have or could have, right. Because everybody, at some point gets told, thanks for your service.

Danelle Barrett (24:10):

You can go home now. Right. And so you have to be good with that. You have to be ready for that. And, and, and sometimes people get really down if they thought, well, I should’ve made, you know, gunnery Sergeant or I should have made, uh, you know, master chief or I should’ve made animal or captain or whatever. And I did, you know, and, and so now I’m a big failure, right? So they kind of get really down on themselves. But I say, you know, don’t judge your success by your terminal paper. I never did. If I had never made Admiral, I would’ve still been happy to retire as a captain or commander or whatever, you know? And, and, uh, because the, to me, the most rewarding moments and the measure of your success is like, when somebody comes up to you in the PX or the Navy exchange or a store or something, they say, Hey, you probably don’t remember me, but you know, I worked for you at this command.

Danelle Barrett (24:52):

And you’re the reason I stayed in the Navy. You did this for me, and you won’t even remember you did that. So they’re like the plowing away, you know, that we talked about for somebody else, you do that probably as a leader, a hundred times a day, different things for different people. And you will forget that, but they won’t. And you know, so when somebody comes up to you and says, something like that, you change that person’s life, and you didn’t even know you did it, or maybe you do remember, you know, maybe it was significant, but those kinds of moments are really what are the Seminole moments and the moments that characterize your leadership and your success, not your terminal pay grade. So, so anyway, when you look at the things that I find most important, special, I really still enjoy to this day. People will still, if I’m in a Navy town, sometimes you’ll have someone to come up to you and say, oh, Hey, I used to work for you. You know what I mean? And this is what you did. And I remember that or something. So that’s kind of the stuff that I find most

Scott Luton (25:36):

Important. I love that. All right. So the day that you found out that you made were Admiral were promoted up from captain what’d you

Danelle Barrett (25:45):

Do? Uh, I stayed at work. I mean, I call my family and my husband, obviously. And, and, you know, when you find out, you kind of find out a little ahead of time before the official list is out. So you’re not really supposed to talk about, which is really hard because you want to just be like calling all your friends and everything like that or whatever. But, but yeah, you know, I’d call my immediate family and they were of course thrilled for me and really excited for

Scott Luton (26:07):

Them. I love that. And there’s probably other, other ways you celebrate it, we can’t go into publicly.

Danelle Barrett (26:12):

Well, I would say I probably had a point point of Haagen-Dazs that day. Probably. It’s probably true again, my client.

Scott Luton (26:19):

All right. So let’s talk about before we’re talking, we’re going to talk transition in a minute, which is usually a big theme in these conversations because it just it’s, um, it’s really consumed the military. Um, and folks that have been separating or retiring, or just exiting here in the last, well, it seems like forever. It transitions. One of the things we’ve talked about before, do let’s talk about something far easier, favorite places? I bet. Um, I think I saw you somewhere that you said that off often recite a quote, you know, they say, you’ll see the world. If you joined the Navy and you did so on all of your travels, and I’m sure you saw plenty of gorgeous and fun and beautiful places, but what’s, what’s one or two that were really special to you.

Danelle Barrett (27:00):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you’re right. Join the Navy, see the world. You’re not canine. It’s probably been about 80 countries, but since I joined the Navy and some of them aren’t ones that you would like pick like Iraq and Haiti weren’t high on my list, but I even in those places, you know, the sky in Iraq at night with no light is the most beautiful sky I’ve ever seen. You know, Haiti, the people in Haiti. Um, I was down there for a really operations F in the last earthquake. Um, it’s what was horrible devastation, horrible mess, but the people were so wonderful and beautiful and resilient, you know what I mean? And in kind, and no one ever, nobody helped each other out, no one went crazy with food rice and things like that. So, I mean, those kinds of things are wonderful when it came to just sort of sightseeing. Um, I loved Bali. I was on a ship that pulled into Bali and what a beautiful place and new Zealand’s. And, uh, and we lived in Bahrain for, um, two years. My daughter was actually born there and I loved hearing the call to prayer in the morning. I mean, I hadn’t had exposure to the Muslim culture and, uh, I just found it fascinating and beautiful. And, uh, so again, you can find beauty anywhere you go in the world. Um, and I tried to do that

Scott Luton (28:05):

Well said, all right. So now let’s, let’s shift gears over to transition and, you know, uh, if you could speak a little bit about your transition, uh, as you, the part of the us Navy and kind of entered your things you’re doing now, keynoting assaulting serving on boards of directors. Um, but if you could also kind of along the same time, any lessons that you learned and any other really practical transition advice you might offer our listeners who may be, uh, enduring their own transition or getting ready to right at this minute.

Danelle Barrett (28:36):

Yeah, sure. I think the two big points I would make is, uh, the first one is be good with your transition. Don’t again, look back and say, oh, I wish I had done this, or which had made this rank or wish this had happened, or they’re telling me to go home or whatever, you know, be good with moving on and leave it behind. Right. And it doesn’t mean you leave your friends behind. It means you leave it behind. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t be like, Hey, this is what I did at band camp. Right. You know, don’t be that guy, you know, so, or gal. So just be good with it and, and make a break because the people that linger and linger in the past and keep that up, they just are constantly disappointed that the civilian world isn’t what the military room, it isn’t, and it’s not going to be, it’s never going to be, it’s going to be different, better something, a new challenge, new opportunity for you.

Danelle Barrett (29:21):

So look at it that way. Most of the people I know are excited about moving on and doing something else, just because, you know, the military life is difficult and, um, it’s requires a lot of sacrifice particular with your family. And so the second point I would make is, is you’re not promised tomorrow. So you have to carve the DM. I mean, I’ve always been kind of a carpet game kind of gal, even when I was in the military. I mean, I don’t wait to do anything because I could be hit by a bus tomorrow. Right. But it was really brought home to me when I was two years ago, I had a heart attack and I was only 51. I went stuff that, that old, okay. That’s years of bad eating and probably hereditary and just a whole bunch of stress and a whole bunch of stuff.

Danelle Barrett (29:56):

But, you know, uh, the point is that after that, I, um, you know, I, I really made sure that I, my Carpathian philosophy continued particularly in retirement. So for example, I planned fun first right now I have to go to my board meetings. Those are, you know, you’re not going to miss a board meeting, but you know, when I get an opportunity to be an extra in a movie, I blocked that whole day off. Right. And you know, my husband’s, you know, we put him into it, so maybe we can do it together. It’s kind of something fun. And I don’t care if there’s other consulting money that would pay more than $170 a day, which it does. You know what I mean? I mean, that’s like, you know, kinda not. Then when you think about it in the big scheme of things, right. But it’s not there for the money, you’re there to have fun and do something different.

Danelle Barrett (30:38):

Or I, you know, I, I make sure we, I do things like go, go, go for walks with my husband or hikes from the house and every single day and things like that, you gotta put in the stuff that matters. Don’t be just chasing after a paycheck or a job or whatever, because, you know, you know, you may think you have all this time, but you may not. And you want to spend it with the people you love, because at the end of the day, that’s what really matters is the people and the relationships. It’s not how much money you make, how big your house is, what your car is, you know, what your position or title is. I mean, I would get rid of all my work today, if I didn’t enjoy it, you know, I’m only doing stuff that I enjoy and working for people I enjoy. And you know, one of the other things is, you know, I had some great advice from a, um, a leader when I was getting out of a retired flag officer. He’s like, Hey, you don’t have to work for, he is a different term, but jerks, right? I mean, you can choose not to work for those people anymore, right? No, one’s going to tell you who you have to work. So make choices that will bring you joy and bring joy to your family and friends.

Scott Luton (31:33):

I love that. And you know, I never really thought about that when I was in the military and I got out now too. So it’s been a little while, uh, I completely forgotten whoever your boss was, whoever you reported to that was going to be your boss or your manager, you don’t, and, and the private side, you don’t have to worry about that. Life’s too short for jerks and you can work for who you want to oftentimes. So, uh, love that advice, uh, and also stopping and smelling the roses is, is so important, you know, closing down email and turning the phone off and, and taking a mental break regardless of what you do from all the distressors. Cause it follows, you know, unlike you and this wonderful age of technology in the, in the information age, uh, it follows you home. It fall, you know, from office. And I know the office is at home these days, but still, you know, as you walk out of the room, that is your office, we all, we oftentimes have our email, social, you name it. Uh, and it just follows us wherever we go. We got to take this. This is important breaks,

Danelle Barrett (32:30):

Especially during, like you said, during COVID people have blurred home and office now make it distinct, cut it off, you know, at a certain point to stop because honestly, most of it’s BS and if nobody’s going to die, if you don’t do it, it’s really not that important. So let’s put it in perspective,

Scott Luton (32:46):

Wonderful perspective. Okay. So tell us a little before we’re going to talk about your book here in a minute, rock the boat, which I love. And, um, I love some of your perspective related to the book, but what, what are you doing now? Tell us, where do you spend your time now beyond crossing the street and big time movie productions?

Danelle Barrett (33:04):

Yeah. Well, I don’t know about that, but it’s fun. Anyway, don’t be lazy. Cross the street, number two. It’s it’s, uh, someone’s got to do that job, right? Take them on for the team. Yeah. So I do sit on some as an independent director on a couple boards, two banks in a, another company, and I do consulting and things like that. And it’s mostly related to digital transformation, cybersecurity. I do speaking engagements and things like that. And also a lot of veterans speaking kind of things. And with veterans groups like doors and stuff like that. And Brian Arrington’s bets to industry, like I said, I do some writing, writing articles with friends, um, mostly technical cybersecurity information, operations articles and things like that. And then I wrote the book because, and I wrote the book, honestly, because I was never like dying to be an author or anything like that.

Danelle Barrett (33:48):

But I just found over the years that people asked me, I used to speak a lot about mentoring, to groups about mentoring and how to be good mentor and things like that. And sometimes things that seem obvious to me are not, or to other leaders aren’t as obvious to everybody else. And so when I say so easy, a monkey can do it. It is so easy when you do it, but sometimes you have to realize, you have to think about it, you know, and you have to really think about, okay, well, yeah, why don’t I just do that? It doesn’t have to be this complicated. Let’s not make this harder than it needs to be. Right. So anyway, when I wrote the book, it was, uh, kind of, uh, um, amalgam of things that people had taught me, great leadership mentoring I’ve had over the years from folks like I like, uh, that are listed in the book of it, that we talked about a couple of them here today and you know, how you can pass that along to somebody else.

Danelle Barrett (34:33):

And so I was just trying to pass along really great leadership that I’d gotten from others. Um, and you know, kind of melded into my own style, like as a big glob, um, picking all the best pieces and, you know, you pick some of the worst two and you say, okay, I’m never going to treat somebody like that. Right. And so, um, you love that all together. And then I thought, well, I’ll just write it all down in a book because you know, people ask me a lot still to this day for the same kind of advice I thought, well, I’ll just put it out there. And if people are interested, they’ll read it. And if not, that’s okay too.

Scott Luton (35:01):

Let’s talk. So w the book you’re talking about is rock the boat, and I think it’s coming out in June, is that right? And it’ll be available wherever you get your favorite books from what’s behind the

Danelle Barrett (35:11):

Name. Yeah. So, um, it’s interesting. Cause I had originally, when I sent to the publisher, I had a different name. It was, um, mentoring and leadership, so easy a monkey could do it. Right. And they were like, I don’t know if we want to say that. I’m like, well, it is, that is the truth. I mean, it really sets the tone for the book that, you know, this is not like a heavy tone. You’re not going to find like big, heavy leadership format, medical formulas in here. And yeah. Some books get like, that drives me insane. I just want practical that I can use right now. You know? And, and the book has a lot of stories in it, like we told today, like, because I think that I was always found, like, I’ll remember a story long after the leadership lesson is gone, but I take the leadership lessons out of the story.

Danelle Barrett (35:48):

Right. And so anyway, the publisher suggested like, I don’t know, five or six titles and that one just jumped out at me. That was when they actually suggested. I’m like, okay, I love that because it’s got the Navy element and it is kind of how I think, you know, I think you need to turn things up a little bit, um, to get progress into, to transform and to change. And part of the book is about how you embrace change as a leader and stuff. So I thought that was brilliant, but I have to give credit to my publisher on the title. So,

Scott Luton (36:15):

And you do indeed need to rock the boat these days, regardless of your role.

Danelle Barrett (36:20):

Right, right. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (36:23):

Um, that, that’s how we get, we have breakthroughs and innovation and, um, and you know, uh, provide opportunity for all right, despite whatever walk of life you come from and, and provide opportunities for advancement. So I love that. I really do look forward to getting a copy and reading through it. Um, along the same lines, we’ve talked a lot about bits to industry, to that. I’m a big fan of Brian Arrington and, uh, vets to industry. I mean, you talk, the other theme of this, conversation’s been real practical stuff, right? Practical resources, practical advice. Well, I’ll tell you it doesn’t get much more practical than seeing a need and, and finding a way to connect it with a resource. You know, we’ve had folks that have been homeless, unfortunately, veteran families been homeless for a couple months and through vets to industry, they found a way to get back into a home. I mean, that is talking about wonderful stories. Um, I heard, so at that keynote, you shared the advice, avoid the like MI trap. Can you, can you expound on that a little bit more for our listeners?

Danelle Barrett (37:25):

Yeah, sure. So, you know, when we look to be diverse and inclusive, um, it’s hard sometimes because we all grew up with an unconscious bias and hidden biases and stuff that are formed over years from our experience, our upbringing, our environment, where we live, you know, all that kinda stuff. And when you want to get your leadership team together, if you’re just picking people who are just like you, who think just like you, who look just like you, who act just like you, um, who make you comfortable because they reinforce what you think. And don’t challenge you to think a different way, then you’re not going to grow. You’re not going to have the best solution. You’re not going to have, um, transformational success. You know what I mean? Like we talked about, um, you may be successful, but not as successful as you could be.

Danelle Barrett (38:11):

And it requires leaders to be strong and vulnerable and take risks and be able to look at somebody else and not stereotype them and give them the opportunity to speak in the app and listen to what they’re saying and incorporate those ideas. Right. And so people who pick the, like me I’ve found usually on, first of all, they lack self-esteem because they don’t like to be challenged. And they think every challenge, a personal attack on them or their idea, they associate their idea too closely with themselves. Right. It’s not about you. Okay. It’s about an organization. It’s about a mission or whatever. So let’s remove that first of all, if you can do that. And then, and then the other piece too, is I’ve found that leaders who surround themselves with people just like them it’s because again, they don’t like to be challenged for whatever reason. And they, they want somebody to just reinforce what they’re already thinking. And that’s a, that’s a self-licking ice cream cone. That’s a dead end. And it’s certainly not anything that we need out of a change agent or leader today.

Scott Luton (39:10):

Well said one quick up question, uh, because unconscious bias, I’m a big, I, I completely agree with you. I’ve had some great coaches and mentors here in the last 10 years. It really helped uncover what that means and what that means in my own journey, right? Because these blind spots that we all have and, um, it’s, it’s, I still find amazing. And, and, uh, Adam Barrett, I’ve given up arguing on Facebook and LinkedIn and all social, because nothing ever happens, but there are some folks that just are adamant that it does not exist. And that’s, that’s unfortunate. And we’ve got to break through with all those folks,

Danelle Barrett (39:42):

They’re the problem, right? They are the unconscious walking, unconscious bias,

Scott Luton (39:47):

Right. And that, and, and what raises the stakes in the information age, we talked a lot about the front of this interview is with, uh, AI artificial intelligence and how that’s, how that’s constructed. And the coding goes into that and the dangers and, and, and fortunately there’s a lot smarter people like you and others that are putting together groups to, to tackle this stuff that, that, no, I am anything but a technologist. And I don’t know coding is not my thing, my, my gift, but how can we overcome unconscious bias? So the AI doesn’t even further, um, do more damage, right? Because it’s proliferating every, I mean, you said it yourself, a great example, the kitchen, your, your fridge traders, things, it’s touching all aspects of, of human life and the humidity journey, speak to that, if you would.

Danelle Barrett (40:36):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s a great study. I can’t remember who did it, but it was a study of the unconscious bias that AI can have in big data. And how it worked was there was, um, a language translation program that translated English to Turkish, Turkish, back to English. Right. And in Turkish, apparently they use the same pronoun for a male female. So they don’t have like a male version or female version of the pronoun. Right. And so going into the, the, the going in proposition was John as a nurse. Right. Got translated into Turkish. When it came back out of Turkish to English, it said, Joan is a nurse because obviously John’s a guy, he couldn’t be a nurse. Right. Well, how does that happen? Right. It was the algorithm that the AI developer wrote for that, that had the unconscious bias that a man is Campion nurse, or isn’t a nurse.

Danelle Barrett (41:28):

Okay. And so it’s really interesting, you know, they say, you know, your AI, uh, it matters where your AI went to school. Right. And it’s true. And so that is something that people who program, um, artificial intelligence need to be really super conscious of their potential biases. And, and that’s the problem with unconscious bias is that they’re unconscious, you don’t already have them. And so you have to have discussions about what could those look like? What might those be? So developers should have almost like, uh, you know, anthropologists with them. You know, I, I often find it intriguing that, uh, I think it was general portray. It’s used to have an anthropologist on his staff because he said, my problem is not a technical problem. It’s not a military problem. It’s a cultural, right. It’s like, how do I understand the culture in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever he hadn’t been putting warrants and stuff and understand the tribal differences in all of those kinds of things. Right. It’s the same thing with how we program technology and use technology and how it can be skewed a certain way based on some bias. So it requires extra effort and the ability to look beyond the technology, to the process, people, training, awareness, all that other stuff that goes into making it a successful capability or solution or change driver

Scott Luton (42:46):

Well said, you know, in this age we live in and not just technology, but, but, uh, across industry, we’re all highly focused on outputs and outcomes. However, I would submit to you that in the years ahead, it’s going to be incredibly more important to focus a lot more on the inputs, the inputs inputs, and getting those right. That’s right. Yeah. Um, so thanks so much for speaking on that. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you, Adam. Well, Barrett, uh, I really appreciate kind of your approach of your POV. How just how much practicality you have there love the book. I want to dive into the book. Um, I know you stay busy, but how can folks connect with you and, and where will they be able to?

Danelle Barrett (43:26):

Yeah, so the book is available for pre order on Amazon right now, and a couple of other sites, and it’ll be available in ebook and audio book and about a month to, for order. Um, but you can just find it, if you did rock the boat and Denelle Delbert on Amazon, you’ll be able to find it that way. Um, the other way you can connect with me as I have a couple, I have an Instagram site, a Twitter feed in a, um, a Facebook group called mentoring with the Admiral on that site. I post on particularly the Facebook sites, more friendly than texts, but I, I post daily mentoring nuggets, um, there. So every single day there’s a new little mentoring nugget. And I also post them on LinkedIn. So you can find me on LinkedIn or I have a website, um, Denelle and you can always email me or connect with me on any of those

Scott Luton (44:11):

Sites, check that out. Uh, because if you like this interview, you’re going to love those daily nuggets. I’m sure. So I’m a depart and sign up for that right away. Mentoring with the Admiral loved that. Well, huge. Thanks. We’ve been talking with new United States, Navy rear Admiral, retired to nail Barrick. Really appreciate your time congratulate, uh, first off, appreciate all of your service. Congratulations on all these projects. You’ve got cooking and we look forward to big things to come, and we’ll have to have you back on put our finger on the pulse of all your, your, uh, great POV again, real soon.

Danelle Barrett (44:44):

Well, thanks for the opportunity to talk to the group and for the group out there, all your service, whether your family member or the actual military member or government civilian, it’s all service. So thank you very much.

Scott Luton (44:54):

Amen. All right, Adam. Well, Barrett, thanks so much. Hey, on behalf of the entire team here at veteran voices, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as we have, uh, uh, stay tuned. We got season three, this, this, this conversation is part of season three, releasing in spring 2021. We got a lot of outstanding interviews, just like this one, all teed up and ready to go. Uh, you can find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. Find us on social Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. Hey, if you’re a veteran, got a story to tell, reach out and we’ll see if we can’t work you into production. Of course, be sure to check out our They need your support. They’re nonprofit that are really practically moving the needle for a veteran community. That’s to on behalf of our entire team here, Scotland and signing off for now.

Intro (45:39):

Good. You afford be the change that’s needed. Be just like Admiral Barrett on that note. See you next time here at veteran voices. Thanks everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

The Critical Importance of Rocking the Boat: Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett, United States Navy, Retired

Featured Guests

Former Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett is mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. She was born in Buffalo, New York, and is a 1989 graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in History where she received her commission as an officer from the U. S. Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in a ceremony aboard the USS Constitution. She holds Masters of Arts in Management, National Security Strategic Studies, and Human Resources Development. She also earned a Master of Science in Information Management.

As an admiral, Danelle served as Director of Current Operations at U.S. Cyber Command, and as the Navy Cyber Security Division Director and Deputy Chief Information Officer on the Chief of Naval Operations staff. An innovator, she implemented visionary digital transformation to modernize with unprecedented speed, significantly improving Navy Information Warfare capabilities. Her numerous operational assignments included deployments to Iraq, on an aircraft carrier in support of operations in Afghanistan and to Haiti providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after the 2010 earthquake.

She currently executes a portfolio of work that includes being an Independent Director on several Corporate Boards, consulting, public speaking, and writing with over 36 articles published. Her book, “Rock the Boat: Encourage Innovation, Lead Change and Be a Successful Leader” will be out in June 2021. ( Oh, and most importantly for fun, she signs up to be an extra in movies.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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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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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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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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