Veteran Voices
Episode 36

Episode Summary

“I was so inspired by the amount of talent within our military and veteran community that I truly wanted to create a place where we could all come together and support one another.”

– Monica Fullerton, Founder & CEO of Spouse-ly

Veteran Voices has always shined a spotlight on the stories and experiences of veterans, but they are not the only ones who serve. The spouses and families that send them off and follow them as they move around the globe serve as well – and they, too, have stories to tell.

In today’s episode, we not only get to hear the story of a military spouse, Monica Fullerton, who is married to an Air Force Pilot and her high school sweetheart. We will also learn about her entrepreneurial journey – one that landed her on the Forbes #Next1000 list.

In this episode of Veteran Voices, produced in partnership with Vets2Industry, Scott Luton interviews Monica Fullerton about:

· How being a military spouse impacts the professional aspirations of those individuals, leading to a military spouse unemployment rate of 24%

· Why the grit and passion of military spouses gives them precisely the qualities needed to become successful entrepreneurs

· Her future plans to grow Spouse-ly and her advice for other entrepreneurs, whether they are in military families or not

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

Scott Luton (00:45):

Hey everybody, Scott Luton with you here on veteran voices. Welcome to today’s show big. Thanks for joining us today. We’ve got a great episode. We’re gonna be talking with an ambitious and successful entrepreneur who also wears a very important hat of serving as a military spouse. Uh, stay tuned for what promises to be an inspiring, intriguing, and uplifting conversation. And you’re gonna learn a lot too from a fellow founder. So stay tuned a quick program it, before we get started here today, this program is part of a supply chain. Now is family programming, but we can’t do it without our friends over@vetstoindustryfitstoindustry.org. Now a nonprofit doing some really home run stuff for our fellow veteran community. Uh, so check them out and, and, and find where you can, you can jump in and support them. Of course, you can find a veteran voices wherever you get your podcasts would welcome your review.

Scott Luton (01:32):

And of course, uh, subscribe. So you’ll miss conversations just like this one. Okay. I’m excited about this for a number of reasons because we need to feed be featuring more fellow military entrepreneurs and more military spouses. This is a powerhouse interview. So let me tell you a little about our featured guests here today. Our guests was recently named a trailblazer in tech by military spouse magazine, but wait, there’s more, she was also just recently named by Forbes magazine. Yes. That Forbes magazine for being included on their next 1000 list, or we’ll learn more about that. She founded spousely, uh, where she continues to serve as CEO and perhaps most importantly, she’s mother to, to fraternal twins and wife to an air force pilot, which I’m looking forward to learn a lot more. I want to welcome in Monica Fullerton, Monica, how are you doing?

Monica Fullerton  (02:19):

Hey, I’m doing good. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (02:21):

You bet. It was great. We rubbed elbows back on one of those mega networking events that Brian and the vets to industry team puts together. We, we, I think we were both sharing pre-show they do wonderful work for the veteran community. Huh?

Monica Fullerton  (02:34):

Love that’s the industry, man. You talk about just a great community filled with amazing people that are just looking for ways to support one another. It’s just an awesome place to be

Scott Luton (02:44):

You’re right. Absolutely. And, and, you know, they spotlight outstanding businesses, resources and leaders just like yourself. So I’m looking forward to diving more into your story. Cause it looks like y’all keep picking up more and more momentum. So, but before we get to the heavy let’s, let’s get to know Monica a little better. So tell us yet, universal question. Where’d you grow up and, and give us a goods on your upbringing a little bit.

Monica Fullerton  (03:06):

Yeah. So I am, uh, born and raised in a small town in Ohio. My husband is actually from there as well. Um, we are high school sweethearts never imagined in a million years that we would actually, you know, end up together and, you know, be able to live this crazy life by each other’s side. Cause we were so young, but yes, we’re both from Ohio and that’s where all of our family is still at.

Scott Luton (03:33):

Wonderful. All right. So that’s a really special tie high school sweethearts. And now you’re doing big things growing, a family, growing businesses, serving the country and more so what’s one thing. Think back to your earliest times dating, was there any traditions or habits or a special restaurant or something that you all spent time at?

Monica Fullerton  (03:53):

Gosh, we talk about this all the time. We loved hibachi, we still love hibachi, but, um, I remember one time he had a borrowed, someone that he had known, like, you know, their, their, uh, escalate. And we were going on this fancy date with our braces on and you know, our best clothes as much as they can be at that age. And we went on our fancy dinner to hibachi together and it was just so funny to look back at those pictures and we both had braces at the same

Scott Luton (04:19):

Time, so yeah. Oh man. Hey, it’s the small things that you look back on. So I love that. Okay. So I wanna switch gears and talk more about your experiences and journey as a, uh, first as a military spouse, we’re going to dive into your entrepreneurial journey here momentarily too, if you could, you know, we’re talking to pre-show and we’re gonna try to do a better job of, of here at veteran voices of spotlight, more of the military spouse, POV and military family POV. I think oftentimes as much as I love to see the love that our veterans get, you know, there’s other folks that serve and sacrifice a lot and don’t always get a ton of attention. So tell us if you could shed some light on for our audience about the military spouse journey.

Monica Fullerton  (05:01):

Yeah, I think it’s something that’s a really important and something that’s very near and dear to my heart because like many other military spouses out there, but we have these big hopes and dreams and you know, we’re career-driven and we see all of these things, but then when you start, you know, entering into the military life and into the military world, you quickly realize that sometimes you have to pivot and shift gears because maybe that, that big dream of, for me, it was becoming the next Oprah, which is, I know really hilarious and we can have a good laugh about it, but I just was always inspired by the power of communication and how she was able to bring people together and inspire one another. So I moved to south Florida, um, on a mission. I went to school for broadcast journalism and communications. And that was, that was my end goal.

Monica Fullerton  (05:51):

I wanted to build up my career in Florida and I, I didn’t really think much of it. But then, like I said, when I ended up getting back together with my high school, sweetheart, I quickly had to pivot. I didn’t really think that I would be able to do this and be moving around every two to three years. And so unfortunately the military spouse unemployment rate has been at 24% for nearly a decade. And that’s, um, due to it being hard to hold a traditional career that can move around with our lifestyle. I was one of the very lucky military spouses that ended up, you know, uh, working for a company that I was able to work remote. I was able to continue working my way up, even wherever the military sent us, but it really boiled my blood. It made me mad. It made me mad to see my fellow military spouses, not having, you know, that easy route of doing something that they truly loved that could move around with them. And, um, that’s, that’s kind of what stem to where I’m at today is being able to help others that are navigating entrepreneurship and finding new ways to navigate military life, being a military spouse, holding down the Fort and just dealing with the frequent, um, unknown.

Scott Luton (07:05):

Right? So you shared a lot there. And I want to kind of back up for a second because I want to dive deep into spouse at which I love what you’re doing. They’re such a force multiplier at attacking this challenge, but I went back up to the challenge itself. She said 24% is the unemployment rate if I heard you. Right. Uh, for military spouses for like 10 years. Yeah, yep.

Monica Fullerton  (07:26):

Over a decade. And you know, it’s just something that, like I said, it boils my blood. It makes me mad. These are just because you’re a military spouse and you’re standing by your spouses, you know, um, calling to serve our nation, which is incredible. You shouldn’t have to also put your own career dreams on the side for that though. Yeah.

Scott Luton (07:45):

Well said. And if you think of some of the reasons, so that said, it really crystallizes in our listeners mind, is it clearly lots of moving around? Right. Would you also w what if you had a short list of reasons? Uh, my hunch, as I’m thinking through it, it’s moving. And then as this other spouse is deployed, perhaps, and then they have to lead the family, which can take away from their, their career aspirations. What else would you add to the list there?

Monica Fullerton  (08:11):

Yeah, just to holding a traditional career, you know, um, if it’s not remote, then they’re losing all of that time by trying to commute. They’re trying to, you know, make it all work, having childcare, trying to figure out navigating life without having family nearby half the time. I mean, let’s face it. Most of the time our family is like across the country and it’s hard. You’re doing a lot on your own. Um, it’s not like you can easily call up mom and be like, Hey, I’m not feeling good today. Can you come watch the kids? Or, you know, it just doesn’t work like that in our lifestyle. And that’s why, um, the amount of grit and strength and resilience that military spouses have really makes them such an incredible, um, just, you know, an impactful piece to entrepreneurship or being an employee at a company, because these are great qualities. Right. Very great qualities

Scott Luton (09:05):

To find a way to make it happen. Yeah. So often, and time and time again, do you find that the community amongst military spouses, is that something you you’ve grown to?

Monica Fullerton  (09:16):

Yes. And you know, it’s one of those things that you don’t really know exists sometimes, like for me, because I was living this remote work life and I was in my career and doing all different things that I’d actually didn’t realize that there was so many amazing resources out there with my fellow military spouses and that community piece. And once you start finding out what’s available and just other people in your shoes or trying to help others, I mean, gosh, the sky’s the limit. Like there are just so many amazing organizations that are, are built around, um, just our community.

Scott Luton (09:50):

That’s great. Well, hopefully we can, we can continue to grow that, that community of resources and attack that 24% rate. Um, that’s that is disappointing to hear. Okay. Well, speaking of attacking the rate and speaking of seeing something that kind of burns your blood, as you, as you put it in doing something about it, you’ve built one heck of a, of a growing platform that, that provides a powerful access to military spouses and other members that want to be, um, entrepreneurs, right. And, and reach markets. So I want to talk about, let’s actually flip these questions first off, tell us in a nutshell, what spouse who does and we’ll talk about your why.

Monica Fullerton  (10:27):

Okay. Yes. Spousely is an online marketplace where you can find a wide variety of handmade products and services all created by military spouses, veterans, veteran spouses, active duty members. And we just expanded to first responders and their families. So I like to call it, you know, the Etsy meets Angie’s list, but with a focus on shopping for social good and supporting our nation’s heroes,

Scott Luton (10:51):

Love that. And wow. That is perfect. In a nutshell, I love on the money. Okay. So without making any assumptions, tell us, tell us what was your, why and what directly led you to found taking a huge leap, right. Big risk as any entrepreneur does and founding spouse.

Monica Fullerton  (11:10):

Yeah. So I really wanted to tackle that problem of, you know, spouses being discouraged and feeling like, you know, they couldn’t hold that traditional career, um, and moving around frequently with the military. So I wanted to provide those extra income generating opportunities, no matter where the military life sends us. And I was so inspired by the amount of talent alone within our military and veteran community that I truly just wanted to create a place where we could all come together, support one another. And like we had talked about, you know, before our community super power is support. So why not create a place where other people can come together and shop small and make a big impact.

Scott Luton (11:52):

Wow. I love that. So I’m an admittedly, I’m not a non technologist. Right. I’ve just, we just, uh, signed up for another platform for virtual events. And I was like, oh, no problem. I’ll jump in there and parade this event. And we’re often like, oh, it’s above my pay grade. So I want to think of something like spouse leave and, and especially the technology side of the business. How did you cross that divide? How, how did you, I mean, clearly it didn’t intimidate you like it does mean sometimes how’d you how’d you do that?

Monica Fullerton  (12:22):

Yeah. That’s a really great question. So, um, it all started obviously with the idea and seeing the need for it. Um, I knew that I personally was not going to be capable of how in-depth I wanted this platform to be. There was like everything from the small details of just a button that you click to the features and things like that, that I was kind of overwhelmed with how I really truly wanted to be able to build it out. So I found a local veteran owned web development company. What I did was I put together basically just a diagram with a bunch of information in a PowerPoint. I said, this is how I want it to look. This is what I needed to include. And, um, I need you to help me build it. And so they helped me get everything off the ground and running. Um, I would say it probably took about, uh, four or five months to build. And then from there I’ve been able to teach myself a bunch of different coding and programming and also partnering with other companies that can help me keep adding those, uh, technical, uh, features.

Scott Luton (13:26):

I love that. So you had a crystal clear vision is what I’m hearing. And

Monica Fullerton  (13:31):

Like I said, all the way down to all the details. So, um, and if you notice the spouse Lee main color, that is my favorite color. It’s a color that has always driven me to be the best version of myself. And I wanted it to make an impact in this brand as well.

Scott Luton (13:47):

All right. Love that. All right. So let’s talk about what’s next. There’s so much there, and it’s too much to fit into a single conversation. There’s, there’s a ton of momentum and growth and success and, and, uh, but tell us a little bit, well, you know what, I’ll tell you what I want to ask about this Forbes magazine recognition, and then we’ll talk about what’s next for the, the, um, the platform spousely and to be on a Forbes list. You mentioned it Oprah earlier. Holy cow, you’ve got something in common with Oprah. So how did that, I guess what makes up the list? Is it fellow entrepreneurs? Is it business leaders? What, what’s, what makes up the next 1000 lists?

Monica Fullerton  (14:23):

Yeah. So the next to the Forbes X 1000 is basically companies that are making an impact entrepreneurs that are, you know, putting everything out there to truly grow from the ground up. And it’s about that passion, that grit. And so I just love that they’ve come together and have been able to highlight and share these businesses because, you know, we both know growing something from the ground up, it takes time and it takes support and it takes a ton of strength. So an honor to be on this, uh, Forbes next 1000 lists, we’ve also been very lucky. Um, we’ve been featured in success magazine, CNBC. We are the mighty PenFed credit union came to us and put together a video on our communities. So we’ve been very, very grateful for the opportunities that continue to come our way to showcase our community.

Scott Luton (15:11):

I love that. Have you ever stopped to think about how spousely is creating the opportunities for other entrepreneurs to enjoy that same beyond the recognition business success, early business success?

Monica Fullerton  (15:25):

Yeah, and that’s where I, that’s where my passion truly lies is just being, um, you know, on that journey with these entrepreneurs, whether it’s a business that’s just starting out or a business that’s already, you know, at those next steps. That’s what is really incredible about spousely is we have vendors of all different sizes. I actually have vendors on spousely that started their business because of spousely. And, um, that to me, like I get chills thinking about it because that’s the piece that I love most that empowerment being able to just show others that you can do it. You have a community behind you that believes in it, and with the right tools and resources, we can do anything no matter what life throws at

Scott Luton (16:08):

Us. I love it. I’m going to have to get a spouse tattoo that wall behind me, I’m ready to run through it. This is what we need. This is exactly what we need is such a, um, it makes so much sense. I love for folks that might be a little bit slow, like me Etsy. What was that? Etsy meets Angie’s list. And then, yeah. And we’re

Monica Fullerton  (16:26):

Combining both product vendors and service vendors all onto one platform. So it gives that true one-stop shop feel while, you know, shopping for social goods, supporting these amazing, uh, small businesses.

Scott Luton (16:39):

I love it. All right. So tell us what’s next, all this momentum and growth and success and, and, and purpose. Um, what’s next for the company?

Monica Fullerton  (16:48):

Yeah, what’s next to, oh my gosh. So I am a solo preneur. Um, I have very, very big plans for spousely, um, determined to make it a household name. I know that I need to continue to getting the right people, um, and expertise behind me to help me really continue to power this. So we’re getting ready to raise our first round of funding. I’ve done everything out of pocket up to this point, and we’re looking to raise between 200 and 500,000 to get us started to really boost marketing, to grow our team and to, um, continue expanding. And then also partnerships and sponsorships. I am. That is something that is very important to our mission is to continue to partner and have sponsors that believe in what we’re doing that are able to help us continue to move mountains for all of these business owners.

Scott Luton (17:38):

Okay. I love that man. Big, bold visions. That’s how big things happen? Mountains mood really. Okay. Now one of my favorite questions, I’m going to ask you here today and listeners, hopefully you’re enjoying this conversation. I told you I was going to be inspiring. Let’s think about all these folks that maybe, maybe they haven’t launched their business yet. Maybe they hadn’t even arrived at the idea of what, you know, what it is. That’s going to make them be ready to jump out of the, off the branch, so to speak or folks in the early stages, you know, fighting the typical, uh, hash as Greg white says, hashtag startup life. Right. All the good and the bad that comes with that. So what, what would your advice be to these people?

Monica Fullerton  (18:18):

Yeah, so we just spent, you know, a while talking about all of the positives and all of the amazing things, but, uh, let’s be honest. It’s been an emotional roller coaster and it’s something that, um, I strongly believe that those bumps, that you’re going to hit along the way. Um, don’t see them as a negative, see them as, how can I get over this bump and turn it into a positive, I think that any human out there that is an entrepreneur and growing, uh, something knows that it is not all rainbows and sunshine all the time. We have our highs, we have our lows. And my biggest piece of advice that I can give is just enjoy the bumps that happen in the road, because they’re there for a reason. And that’s what helps make you stronger.

Scott Luton (19:02):

Excellent. Uh, excellent. I love how you put that because that’s those tough days, the toughest days where gosh, things just don’t go, right. That’s what we learned from, and we pull ourselves up and we get out of our comfort zone and it it’s like, um, I can’t remember how they temper steel. It tempers your, your core within I think. Yeah.

Monica Fullerton  (19:23):

Well, I have one favorite quote that goes with all this that I’d love to, that I just think is so powerful. It’s um, when comfort ends growth begins, and that is something that I have truly seen firsthand. I just recently quit my corporate career to focus on growing spousely and anyone who knows me knows that this was a very, very hard decision because you have your security, right? You have your security piece from that world, and now you’re entering into the unknown world. But, um, what I can say is when you are passionate about what you’re doing, um, there is no looking back.

Scott Luton (19:59):

I love that. What a great message, because there’s folks listen to this right now that they they’ve got a vision, they got their own vision, they’ve got their own idea, but man, they’re clinging to that, that comfort blanket and that regular paycheck and the benefits and everything that goes with it. Uh, and some books it’s, it’s terrifying, but you know, this as we kind of hear about your journey, that’s the best art of the, as part of the art of the possible. And so I’m looking forward to seeing what, you know, how you, how you realize what’s next and execute on the opportunity that is for spouses to make it a household name. So let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you. Monica, Fullerton, founder, and CEO at spousely. How can folks connect in and jump in and support you?

Monica Fullerton  (20:45):

Yeah. Connect with me on, I love meeting people on there, finding things that we can connect on as well as at a deeper level. Um, you can also email me@monicaatspouse-oy.com. And, um, our website is spouse dash L y.com. And if you type in Google, spousely all one word it’ll come up to make life easier.

Scott Luton (21:07):

Wonderful. Well, Hey folks, if you want to be a, a product supplier or a service provider, or if you want a sponsor or partner or just a, be a customer, you know, get behind the, uh, the great social angle here, which is important and support our, our fellow entrepreneurs and, and military families, and first responders you name it. What a great, great story. Big, thanks to Monica Fullerton again, founder and CEO with spousely. We hope to have you back on soon.

Monica Fullerton  (21:37):

Yes. Thanks again for having me today.

Scott Luton (21:38):

You bet, man. What a great story. So folks, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. Again, big, thanks to our friends over@vetstoindustrydotorgusedtobe.com. Now it’s dot org, uh, a jump in support, these, uh, wonderful leaders and businesses spousely and [inaudible] um, and Hey, if you’re a, um, a veteran with a story to tell, reach out to us, you can find us across social media, veteran voices. We’d love to, um, you know, work in our production and, and share your story with our listing audience as well. Find some subscribed to wherever you get your podcasts from. And most importantly, Scott Luton signing off the entire team here. Uh, hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Hey, do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed to be just like Monica. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right here at veteran voices. Thanks everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

When Comfort Ends, Growth Begins: Monica Fullerton with Spouse-ly

Featured Guests

Military life often requires wearing lots of hats, and that’s especially true for Monica Fullerton. She was recently named a Trailblazer in Tech by Military Spouse Magazine and is an ambitious entrepreneur, twin mom, and Air Force spouse. She has long dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, but she wanted her efforts to support a greater purpose than just starting a business. In an effort to provide highly transient military families, as well as those that have previously served, a space to market their products and services regardless of their duty station, Monica launched Spouse-ly. Connect with Monica on LinkedIn. 

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

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.

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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, 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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Karin Bursa

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.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

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.

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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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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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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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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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