“I prided myself in developing mutually beneficial relationships with all troops or civilians, whether they be my seniors, my peers, or my subordinates. You have to really appreciate people and have a servant mentality because your best leaders are those who regard servitude highest.”
– John Cash, Founder & Professor HBCU Esports and Gaming, Air Force Veteran
After making Captain in the United States Air Force, John Cash was selected for training as a combat controller. Although he finished the training, he sustained an injury that caused him to be medically discharged. Although he was devastated not to be able to continue on that path, supporting service-disabled veterans has become a core part of his personal mission.
That mission, and his drive to succeed, has led to him crossing paths with a number of groups, including Vets2Industry. He now has his MBA and puts it to good use every day as an entrepreneur, college professor, and a mentor to his students.
In this episode of Veteran Voices, produced in partnership with Vets2Industry, Scott Luton interviews John Cash about:
· Why veterans have a higher turnover rate in jobs than the general population, especially when they have just transitioned out of service
· His work to build an e-sports and gaming curriculum club to not only attract more students to Johnston C. Smith University but also to diversify the industry
· The many relationships he has been able to build through his work in business, through his role as a professor, and through his military service
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 in bits to industry, we sit down with a wide variety of veterans and veteran advocates to gain their insights, perspective, and stories from serving. We taught with many individuals about their challenging transition from active duty to the private sector, and we discuss some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of veteran voices.
Scott Luton (00:48):
Hey, good afternoon, everybody. Scott Luton here with you on veteran voices. Welcome to today’s show. Uh, so today we’re gonna be talking with a fellow United States air force veteran that is doing some really big things in the business community. So stay tuned for what promises to be a really informative and intriguing conversation. Hey, quit programming before we get started here today. So this program is part of our supply chain. Now family programming, you can find better voices though, wherever you get your podcasts from. We sh we conduct this show in partnership with our friends at vets to industry. I’ll tell ya, you got to learn more about this powerful nonprofit, doing big things for the veteran firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay. No further do I want to introduce our special guests here today? I had an opportunity to connect with our guests has been probably two or three weeks ago.
Scott Luton (01:38):
I’ll tell you I was blown away. I had about 18 pages of notes. Our guests is involved in a lot of really important initiatives, both from an entrepreneurial standpoint, from an innovative standpoint, from a service standpoint. So get this, our guests graduated from Howard university with a degree in computer-based information systems, and then went on to earn a variety of advanced degrees from a couple of schools, including an MBA from the red McCombs school of business at the university of Texas. He’s a founder and global professor at Johnson, C Smith university in Charlotte, where he developed and launched the first e-sport and gaming curriculum club and lab the trifecta as he calls it at a historically black college or university HBCU. So groundbreaking work there, our guests has entrepreneurship and service running through his blood. You’ll pick up on that, which we’ll learn more about throughout today’s conversation. He’s a valued board member and volunteer leader, serving many organizations initiatives and on boards and whatnot. Please join me in welcoming John L Cash. John, how are you doing,
John Cash (02:39):
Doing well today, Scott, thanks for having me again and thanks to the audience out there. And it’s really funny. I’ll just share this real quick. I just got an unstable internet thing on my screen. So as we all continue to work from home, if I lose everyone is not because of not having fun. It’s because technology is in the way, but anyway, I’ll, I’ll get B because of that. I’ll let Scott continue great to be here.
Scott Luton (03:05):
Great to have you. And Hey, Murphy’s law is still alive and well, I know technology is doing some incredible things and, and more innovative things by the hour, but still we’re all fighting for our bandwidth these days. Aren’t we in, in, in all transparency, right? For, I kicked off this, uh, platform zoom here. I kicked off all three of my kids off of the internet to protect our bandwidth here in home studios. But nevertheless, so John, again, I enjoyed our conversation a while ago. We’ve got several great friends in common. I really admire so much of the work you’re doing. So it’s a pleasure to have you here. And so we can dive a little bit deeper, but before we get to the heavy lifting stuff, right, let’s get a sense of, of, of more about John Cash. Where are you from? Tell us about your upbringing and then we’ll get to when you joined the military. So tell us, give us a little, the goods on your upbringing.
John Cash (03:53):
Sure. Um, again, John Cash, I’m a native of Washington DC grew up in Anacostia for those who may be familiar again. I know I have a lot of military veterans on the call, so that might be familiar with the DC area. Be it the Pentagon Andrews joined air force base or some of the other, uh, establishments there, including Fort Belvoir. So although I grew up in Anacostia and Southeast a rough area, uh, they might be gentrified now who knows? I haven’t been there in two years. I could see all the monuments and the white house and everything as a kid, but it was a totally different world for me when I was growing up. And, uh, for one period there for approximately three years, unfortunately, Washington DC was the murder capital of the country, driven by the crack trade, uh, crack again, being powder cocaine. And that’s a whole different story.
John Cash (04:42):
But through those, uh, difficulties, I knew that there was more and more opportunity, played sports to keep out of trouble and also supporting my community through parking planning and boys and girls club initiatives, uh, lo and behold, where I went to school right there, undergrad and at how at university I was recruited for football and tracked. And although I visited probably seven institutions where I had scholarships, I decided to stay at Howard. It was actually my first visit and I was just drawn there. And I felt like I was at home one little great little factoid. I became my high school’s first junior air force ROTC commander because I was skipping a class in 11th grade and, uh, walking the halls. And lo and behold, I went into the auditorium and there was this Bostonian hu Cornel retired Colonel, who was a Korean war, veteran, pilot, Anglo, and then an African-American crusty chief master Sergeant air force. And I was just intrigued by the both of them. And to this day, my one wish one wish of mine is if I had the opportunity to tell them both how much they meant, those two men were the reason why I was able to secure a scholarship. After I finished playing sports at our university, uh, air force, ROTC scholarship detachment, one 30 at Howard, and there thus was commissioned a second Lieutenant. Wow. Went on and got into my career.
Scott Luton (06:12):
Hey, before we go, Hey John, before we move forward, what are those two gentleman’s names?
John Cash (06:17):
Uh, Colonel McNulty and chief Johnson. And Lord knows. I can’t remember their first names, but Colonel McNulty was from Boston. He might’ve gone to Boston college. I can’t remember. And chief Johnson, I love that. And Colonel McNolty, I think flew F four Phantoms during the Korean war, I believe, but two and daring men in my life.
Scott Luton (06:40):
Well, no wonder they probably didn’t let you be on a, on a first name basis. Right? I,
John Cash (06:46):
They beat me up pretty good. Before I came back, you know, that was between my 11th and 12th grade year. And so I had to attend a junior ROTC and Catlin at Andrews air force base, which was right in the city and the DMV from me. So not that hard, but I was there for four weeks during the summer between my 11th and 12th grade year. And that again, changed my trajectory in my intent to become an air force officer. Because again, I always have had a quality of service and no higher service than to serve your country. And you can complain and and moan all you want with you. You can be part of the problem, or you can try to be part of a solution. My goal is always to be, try to be part of a solution. And I still appreciate my days in the military. So that’s a little bit about my upbringing and how I got into and graduated from Howard university received. My commission,
Scott Luton (07:42):
Love it. You’re certainly an individual of action. Like what you’re just talking about, being a part of the solution. We’d be here all day. If I read off all the, all of your volunteer leadership work and the board just serve and, and some things you founded and served in advisory roles. And I love that. Uh, and it also what I’ve picked up on in our earlier conversation and just kind of getting a sense of who you are there you’re involved. It’s not in one pigeonhole or another, you’re you dabble across kind of across industry. And that is such a wonderful, you learn so much and so much can be applied from this sector to this sector, from this organization to this organization. So, uh, no wonder you’re tapped, uh, for a variety of, of, of leadership roles. So let’s move into your military career. So tell us a little more about what you did in the air force as an officer. And then we’ll talk about some of the people you worked with.
John Cash (08:36):
Sure. At the time when I was going in technology was really blasting off Scott. So at how our university, although I really liked business, I was a business major. I focus on computer-based information systems, be quite Frank. That’s where the air force wanted me to focus. Not that I love technology that much for coding per se. I did like systems analysis and design, but straight coding all the time. Really wasn’t my cup of tea, but I still went through, it was very excited about my assignment. And when I was able to select an assignment, I had either tinker air force base in Oklahoma as an opportunity off at air force base and Nebraska or Scott air force base and right outside St. Louis. And I selected Scott, because again, I’m a big city kid and I’m like, well, I’m going to go to what I think is a major city.
John Cash (09:26):
I love my experience at Scott and, you know, lo and behold, I didn’t know it at the time, but as some of the airports members out there and maybe some other, uh, of my fellow military service people know Scott has been home to headquarters Mac, which was military airlift command, also air force communications and control or communications command, and also trans comm at the time trans con command I had, I was basically a computer’s communications officer, responsible for opportunities of loading up programming and assets that were used around the world to ship, to track cargo and opportunities for Mac and AFCC, and then became commander, uh, leading initiatives on the navigation system for the C 17 in a joint project with the manufacturer after I was just promoted to captain. Can I interrupt just for a second? Sure. Go ahead. You know, we love supply chain here at
Scott Luton (10:20):
Supply chain now, and you know, the military has been said, thousands of times created supply chain logistics and what you just shared there. It’s really interesting because all the rage now, of course, in the private sector in global supply chain is visibility. And what you were just illustrating is, you know, years ago that the military was already, they were already big and the visibility of their logistics and the freight, because it’s tough to fight. It’s tough to project force. If you don’t know where your, your materials are. Right. So visibility. So once again, you’re, you’re kind of illustrating a lot of the advanced thought around logistics and supply chain that the military has. And, and to some degree continues to have, I mean, we all have our challenges, but still, I love that little, uh, shout out tracking freight.
John Cash (11:04):
You’re exactly right, Scott, because think about a military oath command, what’s my client. So everything that we were loaded on a [inaudible] C5 and then leveraging the air force, computer command, uh, communications command, which included computers to program manifests and track that information that was already the job. And then, and then the actual computer programming and logistics included. So you’re absolutely right. When you think about that, how those skills are definitely transferable from the military to corporate very industry. I completely
Scott Luton (11:41):
Agree with you. I was not, I was an enlisted airman in the air force, and I love how you just rattled off several of our, some of our favorite aircraft. We had KC one 30 fives at McConnell in Wichita and numerous exercises. I was loading. I was, I was loading the freight into not the belly, but, but the, uh, the, you know, the main cargo of the KC, one 30 fives and strapping it down. And that I got a new found appreciation for all of the hard work and folks that, that make freight move today, regardless of what sector you’re talking about. So I love this, uh, it in clearly I love, it’s almost like you’re a student of air force history, so I I’m really, I’m gonna have to get some popcorn in a minute, but
John Cash (12:23):
Yeah. And, and Scott, what you’re mentioning, I mean, everybody knows what happened in the Suez SCA now last month. And so I was like, wow. And, and for the folks in supply chain, you guys know it intimately, what, what would they, we were losing as a goal on a global level about a billion dollars a day. And so that was slowing down all the supply chains. We don’t have to talk about it. We know what the microchip, not the chips. Yeah. The chips that I’ve used, basically in everything they’re talking about, that’s why cars are so expensive because you only have enough chips for that. Right. We’ve depleted our, our supply of computer chips. And that’s why computers are so short. So, you know, I have a great appreciation of that, and I’m sure everybody working here on this call also. So again, I did computers communications, and then I wanted to be challenged even more.
John Cash (13:15):
Um, from first Lieutenant to captain, I had the opportunity and I was selected for combat control training and, um, as a combat controller. So I apply, I was selected. I went through initial training, but due to a service disabled ended injury, although I completed initial training at the time, it was called NoHo Pope air force base there’s subsequently has been merged into Fort Bragg because we did initial training at both Pope and brag, but I had services, Sable injuries. I’m a 100% services able bet right now. So my passion point has always been what, uh, services able veterans and youth. And you’ll see that a little bit more later, but unfortunately I was, uh, was medically discharged and could not continue. And that kind of broke my heart. And at the same time, I was always looking for what’s next. And so I was thinking about getting my MBA or getting a law degree while I was in the military.
John Cash (14:11):
And then I just decided to get out, I would stay in the reserves because I at least qualified to still do that and be a desk jockey, but went on and got out and then got my MBA. I applied for both law school and my MBA, and I’m really, wasn’t passionate about law. It was one of those sexy sounding things, but I went on and got my MBA. I was selected at the university of Texas. That was one of the schools I applied to. And I really fell in love with university of Texas, because quite frankly, regardless of whether you want to say about that state, that state loves veterans, it appreciates us military and that transcended to the university for those who might think as a super liberal school, you know, I, I’m not going to get into politics here. All I know is I had a great time at Texas.
John Cash (14:55):
I got my degree and I always wanted to get into marketing and brand marketing was interesting to me. That’s what I majored in because brand marketing was the closest thing of running your own business with somebody else’s money. And so I interned with Proctor and gamble because they invented brand marketing. So I had a summer internship with them. And then I took a first job with general mills and brand marketing did brand marketing for several years, also data for Coca Cola. I like to push myself and work for the best. So Proctor and gamble is a fortune 50 company. Coca-Cola is a fortune 50 company and always want to try to improve myself and do my best. And then I did a pivot into sport entertainment. I love sport entertainment. I love marketing. I appreciated it being an athlete growing up on sports. Like a lot of folks, I just was engaged in it.
John Cash (15:49):
And that’s when I really found out if, you know, if you can sell, you’ll always have a career. So to the folks out there, whether, whether it’s selling your services and your skills and supply chain, if you’re a subject matter expert, that’s great. You can leverage that, but be great at something. And so I would say a lot of people can go why and not go really deep. I would suggest that you work on going deep, you know, focusing and going deep. And that way nobody can take that away from you. And I did work in sport entertainment in banking, and you know, I’ll pause right there for you, Scott. Yeah. You had some senior roles in those areas.
Scott Luton (16:28):
You sharing so much. I want to, I want to dive into and, and ask you some followup questions. So I’m going to work my way back and then we’ll come back forward. So, so going back to, I’m gonna have to remember no hope Pope, but going back to your time in uniform before you transitioned out, and you’re, you’re kind of sharing that journey, but share a couple of folks, regardless of station that were really special while you were serving folks that either, either they worked for you or you worked beside them, or you reported to them who were some folks that made your journey in, uh, serving our country
John Cash (17:00):
Really special. Uh, I would have to say it had been a selection of people. So let me start off with my first commander at Scott air force base. Her name was ma it was Colonel Elaine Leonard, a woman who was at the time, a commander at, you know, commander of my unit and a Colonel. So I have a lot of respect for her because we talk a lot now about DEI and women’s rights and people of color and senior positions. And what have you back when I was serving, you know, that was not common and for her to be a Colonel and achieve those ranks. And to be very, not that she, I didn’t think she was sufficient or anything, nothing like that. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always had a high regard and I have no problem with the equality. I have a mother who was the first to go college, moved up from a GS two to a GM 12 within the federal government, retired and took care of three big old guys in the household, myself, my brother who’s six, five, and my father who’s six, five, and a former football player wrote pro football player.
John Cash (18:05):
I was a run of the family. So I’ve always held high regards for women and what they do, no problem here, but I would, I really have my at her and how she led and everything else. And then also Lieutenant Colonel McNulty, because he really brought a can-do business aspect to the job. So those two individuals were very important, as well as our civilian staff, especially a gentleman named, uh, Blankenship. I think he was like a GS 14 crusty old guy, but he knew the intricacies of the business because he worked at Scott and worked for Mac and AFCC for so long. So those are some of the individuals that, you know, I always looked at people that could help lead, but I had great admiration also, but one of our staff Sergeant this cat did programming and implementation on a global basis. And he would go, you know, we would have trips together, but he was always out whether it’s the [inaudible] run main Philippines, WAM doing implementation of systems and upgrades of systems.
John Cash (19:14):
That’s just the global travel. Some of the growth of travel. I’m going to have you going to start with the local, with the comas travel. We give me, I’m going back to comb this now, but anyway, cone is traveling. So those are some of the people that I admired in, uh, you know, who really took what they were doing and knowing that they will make an, a difference in people’s lives every day. And the, the appreciation of the supply chain people. Again, we were tracking movement of supplies, equipment, and we’re talking about doing contingencies, whether it’s Panama, other, other opportunities in south America, I’ll just place it like that as well as desert shield and desert storm. So,
Scott Luton (19:51):
So much there, so many more stories, so much to talk about too little time as always, let’s talk about a while you were in uniform, a key Eureka moment. You you’ve shared clearly a lot of great people referenced, lots of key takeaways and lessons learned. What’s a key Eureka moment you had during your time.
John Cash (20:08):
The biggest one is, and you know, it’s always a realization you go through every day, but one critical piece, as we all know, it’s about relationships because although I was an officer and I could actually, you know, provide orders and give people orders, I’m more, much more preferred building a relationship out of respect, not out of intimidation because of my rank. And so I prided myself in developing mutually beneficial relationships with our troops or civilians be there, my seniors, my peers, or my subordinates. So that’s something, of course you kind of know throughout, but when you get into a professional setting, it’s even more so. And again, when I was in the service, there were no, you know, all of these courses and everything about, uh, you know, relationship building and everything, but it’s one of those things of getting to really appreciate people and have a, and ha, and you’ve heard this before, have a servant mentality because your best leaders are those who regard it to highest. Yeah. Yeah.
Scott Luton (21:14):
Well said, love that. Okay. So, uh, as we talked, I’m a, I’m a fast forward. Now back to your transition out of the air force that you referenced earlier, if you had to give, if any, our listeners and our global community, regardless of what country of the armed forces they’re serving, you know, if a lot of folks are, are either in transition or they’re preparing for transition, and gosh, I know I made plenty. I made so many stupid mistakes, you know, almost 20 years ago when I, when I transitioned, I just wasn’t prepared. And I own that. You know, I made many assumptions that were not, uh, accurate. So if you had to speak to folks and, and offer two or three points of advice beyond what we’ve already, what you’ve already shared, what would
John Cash (21:56):
That be in regards to transition Scott? Yes, sir. Transitioning out the first, all first is make sure you’ve done your due diligence of if this is the right move for you, don’t be reactionary. If you had a bad review, if you don’t like your assignment, you know, those are temporary things that can be changed. You get your annual review every year. You can get reassigned to another post, really do your soul, searching on why you want to make a transition. That’s number one and most important. And again, if you’re married or with children, make sure you’re looking at that as a collective experience the next day is if you still want to make the transition, what is your action plan? What is the vision goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics that you are going to incorporate to make sure you meet your goals, whatever that is.
John Cash (22:47):
When I was coming out again, we didn’t have internet and Google and all this stuff. And all these resources, you all have over 600 pieces of resources. Now that I know of, why do I know? Because I serve as chairperson or bets, the industry check us out, www bets, the number two industry.com. We are a resource provider. We don’t find you jobs. Look at us as a repository of support. And you know, so I had, it was one junior military officer initiative program I went to and I actually secure it. Three opportunities out of that initiative. Wow. But you know, so the next next thing is, is to leverage your resources. And again, relationships leverage the relationships, start building them. Now don’t wait till you’re two months. If you’re a year out, two years out the earlier, the better to give you more time to do your due diligence.
John Cash (23:44):
And again, out for support, nobody is successful by themselves. There is no I in team. So don’t feel like, you know, I got to do this, myself, having this much attitude, everything is done by relationships, ladies and gentlemen. So that’s the second piece, do your research and relationships, and then be discerning because what I have seen and what can happen is you want to take that first thing that you see, don’t do that. One of the things we teach with bets to industry the non-for-profit our support is that when you look at the retention rate of veterans, that immediately get out and get a position that retention rate with that existing company a is much lower than a civilian. And that’s because I feel that veterans are too fast to jump at the first thing that they’d get. And then they find out, oh, I got something, but I really don’t care for it, but at least they’re out and they can make a transition to something else. I’m just saying, take your due diligence. So those are the three things that I would share Scott. Yeah. Outstanding
Scott Luton (24:51):
Advice. I really appreciate you taking time to, to, to share that perspective with folks that are struggling because many veterans, I mean, I struggled with my transition for sure. And I wish I had folks giving me sound advice like that. And I can’t tell you enough, you know, this is not a vet to industry commercial, but John and I both are big believers in what they do. It information is absolutely power. And I wish I had more when I was transitioning, you know, vets to industry, as, as John said, as a clearing house and, and the more, you know, the more options you’ll have the better informed, you’ll be the more discerning as John mentioned, you can be. So do that. And, and the other big thing he shared start, you can’t start early enough. I mean, just a simple stuff like LinkedIn, I think LinkedIn is free for a year. I believe for veterans start making
John Cash (25:36):
You get the premium service on LinkedIn for a year as a veteran. Wow.
Scott Luton (25:40):
And that is a huge resource because as John mentioned that the relationships will drive opportunities. So start building that network. Okay. This is great stuff, John now. All right. So you, I think you, you kind of brought us to, when it comes to your civilian side, you just touched on banking before I took it back to the military. So if you want to, um, I’d love for you to maybe finish your, your professional journey. And then we’ll talk about some of the great things you’re doing now.
John Cash (26:06):
Sure. So again, I’m still in my profession and I’ll get to that, but I had a great opportunity with bank of America to lead. Uh, I was a senior vice president position leading a multicultural marketing, uh, found out later though that the company really wasn’t dedicated to it. And there was a transition. And, um, this isn’t a plug for bank of America, but I will admit during that one, when my position in the whole group dissolved bank of America went out of their way to find me other opportunities. So I’m always will be appreciative of that. And, you know, change is the only constant in life. So remember that whether it’s the military corporate, whatever, but, um, loved what I did because I actually managed some of bank of America sporting in a bit activations. So I was looking at doing more of that, but I had an opportunity.
John Cash (26:53):
I was recruited to an marketing advertising agency and I worked there for six years. And I love that because I got to work across industries with various clients, again, being of service, understanding what success looks like for those clients. So my clients included Wells Fargo, ARP, actually IRC, which at the time own well we’re half of the NASCAR racetracks. So I cut my teeth and NASCAR I’ve been to Talladega Charlotte speed race. So that was an experience. And, um, so that, that was a great experience. And then I got recruited to Lear field IMG sports entertainment while I’m there. I launched the first HBCU was historically black colleges and universities properties, the MVAC conference, which is a conference that how our university is it. So I manage those collegiate sponsorships. So what I did there was developed sales and marketing programs with sponsors. So corporate sponsorships included Coca-Cola for example, actually we had several services.
John Cash (27:56):
The us Marine Corps was my client. The us army was my client. And so those will all be activated at, at sporting events within the media pack. And Lear field IMG continues to be the largest multimedia rights company. So all you college football fans, whether you are Ohio or university of Michigan, there is a general manager managing those properties or conferences for you. And so I did similar roles also with bandwagon of sport entertainment for another HBCU conference. And then I had the opportunity all this time. I’ve been teaching over the past five years. I’ve been teaching at Johnson, C Smith. That’s one of the ways I look back at giving back of service. Once I moved from Atlanta, where I spent 14 years to Charlotte, where I’ve been for six years, some people ask, Hey, would you mind teaching? We saw your background. And so, yeah, I taught in the business school, marketing management, um, sport entertainment in their sport entertainment program. And then I did the research into e-sports gaming about two years ago,
Scott Luton (29:01):
John, I want, I want you strike me as you know, we all have yesterday. And, and, and in terms of not when folks are listening to this, but when we record yesterday was national teacher’s day and it made me do a mental exercise of all the folks had a big impact on my journey, my kid’s journey. So a lot of favorite teachers that you strike me as a wonderful teacher, and I bet you get lots of feedback from your students, especially because it seems like it comes from a spa that passion, right? So what what’s been during your time teaching, what’s a, what’s a moment that really made you stop and say, man, this is exactly why I’m doing this. Um,
John Cash (29:34):
The aha moment of teaching for me is when my students really click, because the experience industry experience that I have, and I can relate it to them. So, I mean, I can talk about running the bank of America, Atlanta football, classic, you know, I could, that could be in a textbook, but I actually did it. So I had to do the marketing, the advertising, the media, and ran on ESPN, all of that. So I teach by experience. That’s why I like doing it versus, and not, not to take away from teachers or professors who are tenured and do that, but I’m the type of learner that always learned from people who would’ve done it. Right. That’s the way I like to learn. And that’s what I think I like to give. But Scott, to your point, I guess the biggest success has just come within the last year of teaching what the e-sports gaming program that was launched in February, January 20, 20, and less than a year and a half for this summer.
John Cash (30:33):
I secured 12 internships with industry leading companies for 12 of my students. That’s awesome with epic. I mean, yeah. Five with epic games, which is located in Cary, North Carolina, the other developers are fortnight riot games out of Saturday, Santa Monica, cornea, they’re developers of battle, rent of league of legends. And then another two with Twitch. Now, one of the Twitch, those are other students at other schools, one we’re trying to secure at Howard university, my Alma mater, and one at North Carolina, a and T, and these are high paying computer science internships with Twitch, which is owned by Uber, Amazon. So, you know, notes have been really great opportunities. Now these are all remote assignments because of COVID and everything. So instead of being in sunny Santa Monica, or in Cary, North Carolina, you know, the students will be at home or wherever they reside, but at least they get quality education in the industry. So that’s been, that’s been my greatest satisfaction so far, but a little bit of background on the way that I love to learn and the way I love to teach, I really teach out of a textbook. I just look at the content and apply my experience to what’s going on.
Scott Luton (31:51):
Love it. All right. And, and, you know, there is a tremendous value, you know, intern the internship that the word intern has has, um, it doesn’t do value enough to, to folks that serve in those roles and fill those internship programs and the impact they can have. In fact, here at supply chain. Now our interns, technically we were named as the associates because we didn’t like the dinner, the, uh, what it implies, they, and they’ve been incredibly valuable. So I love that. Cause folks, you know, there’s 12 folks are going to have light, probably life changing experiences through those internships. And we would just, we had a Brian Fallon with a high ranking executive with IBM on with us, not too long ago. And, uh, his whole time at IBM started with an that’s the power of these things. So if you’re a business leader, listening to this, take a minute and listen and invest in internships. Um, okay. So John, where are we going next? You were about to jump to morning. E-sports where you’re, you’re essentially a trailblazer. Uh, so tell us more about, uh, e-sport tell us more about this first, the east first e-sport and gaming curriculum club and lab at Johnson, C Smith university. What, what, what does that mean? Sure. Let
John Cash (33:05):
Me give a set up for you, Scott. Again, I bow down, this is the funny thing, but I bowed down to three, uh, entities, my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, market researchers, and entrepreneurs. That’s a little bit about me, but again, at the end of the day, I’m a businessman guy got us. I’m here to do one thing. Drive incremental revenue, do it in a profitable manner while increasing brand image, equity and consideration. And if I have to, at the expense of the competition, that’s all business is about. That’s what I do. So when I was looking at the e-sports piece that, I mean, it came up a couple of years ago, just looking at trends and opportunities within sport entertainment now. Yeah, I played Madden NBA two K. I was one of those kids in quarters and two arcade games playing Tetris and Pac-Man, but you know, I did not know.
John Cash (33:54):
So then I found out what the business opportunity, the e-sports e-sports is just electronic e-sports stands for electronic sports or competitive sports is when you’re in a team environment of five or six people per team playing one another and areas primarily some of the more popular games you might hear or your children hear Activision call of duty, riot games, league of legends, Madden, and NBA two K primarily do have an, a component where you can play competitively, but use this one-on-one. So you guys listen to this, the e-sports the gaming industry and gaming is everything else. The gaming industry is $160 billion industry. That’s larger than music on a global basis. That’s larger than the music and the movie industry combined the movie and music industry is approximately $70 billion. So it is double that. Okay, so now do I got your attention? You got to talk to them about global international business.
John Cash (34:58):
Now within the us, I found out that there are over 250 predominantly white institutions PWI, for sure that has some type of e-sports program curriculum club, team, or lab as of January, 2020. And when I launched, there was zero for HBCU. Again, all we wanted and the country for everybody is equality and the opportunity to grow, right? And so I saw this as an opportunity. And so I put together a proposal talk to my division. Yet my department hit, uh, presented to the department head and to the president and develop a curriculum. My president is, was relatively, but he was relative. He was astute because he was into finance and he’s also a lawyer. So he understood the opportunity because what I brought to him is the situation to bring more student attract more students to the, to the school, by providing e-sports gaming curriculum club teams.
John Cash (35:55):
What have you, as well as drive incremental revenue, which is what he wants to hear. And we put together the program. I work with my department head and within a year we were able to develop curriculum, a certification program. We, uh, started a club team, which now has approximately 25 students and less than a year. And again, to give you a understanding Johnson C Smith has approximately 1500 students on the smaller end of HBC use the, the HBCU that has the most students right now is North Carolina, a and T out of Greensboro, North Carolina. They have about 11,000 students. So again, HBCUs are considerably smaller than a lot of your power. Five schools, Michigan, Texas, where I went to grad school, those schools have 40, 50,000 students. So we built the program and everything else. We started growing. These, these t-shirts are from 0.3 0.3 as a brand new e-sports gaming apparel company out of Atlanta, Georgia.
John Cash (36:52):
Um, that might be interesting. I’m gonna give you guys some more interesting here. These glasses come from C E V. It is, uh, it was founded by Jaylen Smith and a partner at, um, who’s a, a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. Again, he’s built this glass company and these glasses basically cut down on the filtration. Of course, when your screen. So like, uh, a blue tent technology, so to reduce eyestrain. And if you are a gamer, who’s sitting in front of a screen three, four hours a day practicing, that makes a difference. So we were able to do that and develop relationships within the industry. And I started selling, right. I don’t have any money, but I know how to sell. So I did a deal with ride sports games. They gave me 25 of these, these chairs for my, uh, for my lap. Okay.
John Cash (37:43):
Nate con sports. They gave me 40 a B’s for my lab. Just that’s just relationships. What did we talk about before they saw the mutual beneficial in it? Right. It’s not always about money, but what can you give me in kind? And then of course, we talked about scholarships. We talked about internships and that’s how we grown. And then I developed a relationship with community spelt with the next CX M U N I T Y. And we again, created a 5 0 1 C3 in February of 2020. At the same time I was launching, I met Brian and Chris about the same time they found me on LinkedIn again, LinkedIn, right. They saw what I was doing in the space. It was like, okay, this cat’s a businessman. He’s done corporate. And he’s a military, I guess that some of that might have attracted them. And then we’ve been, you know, just doing our thing together. Communities go is to close the digital divide, leveraging stem and steam technology, uh, for K through 12 underserved, K through 12 and HBCU students and leveraging their passion for e-sports and gaming. We can use that as the hook to get them interested in education and not just stem steam. Yes. We need more engineers, software engineers, game developers, all of that. But you still need supply chain people, marketers research, sales admin within the industry with both endemic and non-endemic companies. So I will pause there, but that’s how we got started. Love
Scott Luton (39:11):
That. So community with an X and that’s C it looks like CX mm and
John Cash (39:17):
U N I T Y. And the website is.co not com is that seal
Scott Luton (39:24):
Include that in the show notes, folks got checked it out. We got to tackle this digital divide. I mean, the pandemic really has exacerbated the need and the distance of this divide. Right. Um, and there’s tons of research about it, especially when we moved into sheltering at home and, and folks that didn’t have the wherewithal, the internet, the equipment to make
John Cash (39:45):
Sure that hotspots, they didn’t have the internet or the facilities just real quick. Scott, one of the great first successes we had with community when we w we put together a telephone last year, the first weekend in may, we raised over a hundred thousand dollars, basically doing think about it as a virtual celebrity telephone, Michael stray Han, who who’s an HBCU graduate from Texas Southern Goodman in America halls was on there. We had a plethora of other people on there, Natalie, just a bunch of, we had a, we had a bunch of people of different ilk. We raised over a hundred thousand dollars and a lot of those dollars went to K through 12 and HBC use to help students do distance learning. This was the beginning of the pandemic. Remember last may. And I was able to secure 25 laptops for my Johnson, C Smith university, student athletes, who were lacking, who were at home and couldn’t do distance learning. So that’s what we were able to do when we’re like, Hey, we’re onto something. Then that led to other things, Twitch saw what we did that led to a two year partnership with Twitch. Then we started doing more Microsoft. So what we did, we have a three year spot strategic partnership with Microsoft. And I mentioned those two because you don’t get any bigger than Microsoft and Amazon Twitch, the, which Amazon bought Twitch for $950 million a few years ago. Well, that, that just led to more things for us.
Scott Luton (41:18):
I love it. Next time. You’ll do a telethon, please let us know we’re in [inaudible] we, that is such a, the digital divide. There’s a lot of great needs out there. Uh, but the here in the information age, the priority, the priority of how we’ve got to tackle has really risen up the chart. So, Hey, let us know. We’re in, I’ll answer phones. I’ll take the trash out, whatever to, to raise more money to tackle that. So, um, count us in. All right. So let’s make sure, so folks will, uh, for community we’ll include that, uh, that wonderful nonprofit in the show notes, of course, vets to industry, uh, uh, we’ll include that.com in the show notes. Um, you know, if you had to share, you’ve got so much going on, which I love it’s, it is, uh, it’s exciting. Anything else that you want to touch on before we start to wrap here?
John Cash (42:06):
Well, definitely for certain, because, uh, I am a, uh, uh, an entrepreneur also, and, uh, I’m not going to say struggling. I’m a blessed entrepreneur and I continue to grow. So right now, yes, I’m juggling my, my day job in corporate, but the Namur group, LLC, that’s the name of my company in a R M E R group. My website is www a Nama group.com. I specialize in strategic marketing, focusing the sport entertainment industry, as well as small business and government contracting. I just met with some gentlemen yesterday. I had three meetings yesterday, which was the first time I’ve had three in-person meetings since last March. So again, um, you can check out my site. I love doing, uh, work, also do social impact and DEI. You will also see my accomplishments on my site, many of them within the sport entertainment and e-sports gaming area, because that’s what I’ve been doing over the past year and a half.
John Cash (43:07):
So again, the Norma group, LLC, again in a R M E R, I’m also on LinkedIn. So please look me up. And the other passion point is, is again, being of service. Uh, one of the things I wanted to share for those of you who are in similar situations, we all go through things, but the Lord will never put more on us than we can bear. I have a wife that’s a multiple myeloma thriver three years ago. She was going through multiple myeloma, which is a bone cancer. And I had to take care of her. I’m a caregiver for both of my parents, who I moved from Washington DC, five years ago. My mother has Alzheimer’s, but the Lord has put me in a place in blessed us to continue to grow. And now that I’m stabilized with both of them, I can focus more on business.
John Cash (43:54):
So again, just like the pandemic, if life gives you lemon, you just go out and make great lemonade and just continue to be persistent. You know, some days are going to be three steps forward and four steps backwards. That doesn’t matter because you’re going to have days when you have five steps forward and no steps backwards. So I just continue to, uh, inspire everyone, whether you’re corporate or entrepreneur, just pursue your passion. What’s great for you. I’m always open to relationships. I shared with you what my mantra is regarding business. And, um, you know, I look for those you who are transitioning, please check out best to industry and other veteran resources for you. Lastly, I did not share, but I will share there’s one more. Organization’s gotta like to say, please, it’s called warrior GMR and warrior GMR. They asked me to be on their board too, but we focus on the problem of our veterans suicide rate.
John Cash (44:54):
You know, we’re losing 22 veterans or military members per day, due to suicide. Our goal is to advocate and stop that. And you can look at warrior G M R gamma, Mary, uh, Ryan Mia, Romeo, um, to find that out has been a minute for me. And, um, again, we just have a Patriot he’s out of, uh, Scottsdale, Arizona, Josh Otero. He is the founder and I’ve met him in the e-sport industry. He makes basically think about this. He makes the Gatorade version for e-sport gamers. It’s a powder drink and it’s to help with hydration and mental clarity, all those types of things. But that’s how we met within the industry. That’s, that’s all I want to share. And I’m always open to relationships, um, mutually beneficial relationships. That’s, that’s what I will end with Scott. So,
Scott Luton (45:47):
John, uh, you see that wall behind me, right? Yes. Well, you got me pumped up. I might be running through that here after the last hour with you. I mean, really you are clearly an inspiration and, um, I love all that you’re doing. I love the entrepreneurial side, of course, because that resonates as a fellow entrepreneur. But as a fellow veteran, I cannot remember the gentleman’s name and he’s going to kill me, but he really made, he really, I had a Eureka moment on, on the earlier shows here. He really talked about how veterans have a proven track record that once they exit or separate or retire, what have you, they just keep on giving. They keep on giving and, and, and it really never really, it makes perfect sense, but never really dawned on me that I really, how true that is. And, and you’re really, uh, an illustration of that. So I admire what you do, uh, my, all that you help. And holy cow, I bet your business is blowing up and, and yeah, well, no
John Cash (46:39):
Wonder I’m ready for it to blow up more so I can hire more people and I’ll end with this. I have nothing but high regard to my veterans. My father was a veteran for two years after college. And before he went to professional football, he played with the first two, the number of what Denver Bronco football teams, my father-in-law who just passed earlier this year was a veteran of the Korean war. My, my grandfather was a veteran of the Korean war. I have my flag, but that’s my grandfather’s flag behind me. And it’s just to share that we all need to cherish this country that we have. Is it perfect? Heck no, nothing’s perfect, but we can all be of service and love one another. Then take much to love one another, just go out and touch somebody try to be objective. And this is one mantra that I live with that I’ll share with you.
John Cash (47:32):
Scott always be awkward because you know what you’re doing when you’re being awkward, you’re pushing yourself. You’re trying yourself. Just like the first time I had to repel down, I did Australia and repel down a wall or had to do a free flight and a jump, always be awkward and challenge yourself. That’s how you grow and be of service to others and just go out and try to love everybody. I love that the intellectual have the spiritual resilience to just do good. Even when others are doing bad to you, it’s better to walk away than to go into conflict. Why go into conflict? So I’ll just leave that because I know what the social impact and we’re all brothers and sisters in the skin. It doesn’t matter what your melatonin is.
Scott Luton (48:17):
Well, we’ll say there’s so much there. Gosh, we could, we could bolt on another hour, but we’re, we’ll, we’ll have to have you back. You know, maybe we can do some of these together, but, uh, we’ve been talking with John L. Cash and you can see, this is very, uh, representative of the phone call we had. I’m like, we got to get this guy on the show and, and get him to share his story and his POV with our, our listeners. So thanks
John Cash (48:39):
So much. I got to interrupt Scott, the Scott, you are a blessing. So I’m thankful to be on your show. You are of service and I will pray for your continued prosperity for you and your family, because this is what we need is more of this. And for everybody on this show, please appreciate and support Scott as best you can. I am thankful for you man
Scott Luton (49:03):
And vice versa. I really, I really, that means a lot to me. Uh, what you do means a lot to us. It’s, it’s, it’s helping our veteran community and, and, and far beyond. So we’ll have you back on soon. We have to do some more of these together, but we’ve been talking with John L. Cash, uh, tied to a lot of initiatives, groundbreaking in many ways and, uh, make sure, make sure at a minimum, you connect with John on LinkedIn at a minimum, but you’ll have the show notes for where you can check out some of the initiatives we’ve talked about here. Okay? Folks. So with the air force, Hey, hopefully you enjoy this conversation as much as I have. I tell you, John is a pleasure to be around. We invite you to find veteran voices, wherever you get your podcasts from subscribe for free. So you don’t miss conversations. Just like this one. Hey, if you’re a veteran, you got something to share. You got a story to share and reach out. We’ll see if we can fit you into our production schedule, but most importantly, be sure to check out vets to industry.com our partners. They’re doing great work, nonprofit work for our fellow veteran community owned that note on behalf of our entire team here at veteran voices, Scott Luton signing off. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change. Be just like Johnny Cash. And we’ll see you next time. Right here. [inaudible]
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.